The Truly Consecrated Christian

HANDS IN CIRCLE

True consecration and oneness with Jesus is not earmarked by some mystical — other-worldly — experience where the believer ceases to have active participation in the life of the earth. It’s best understood as a believer continuing to have his feet firmly planted on this earth and actively participating in the life being lived on this planet, but whose heart is totally captured by Jesus. He’s so in love with Jesus that the love they share dictates and controls how the believer lives out that life on a day-by-day basis.

The wholly consecrated believer does not hide himself away from the world. He actively involves Jesus in the every-day aspects of his earthly life and his relationships with people — thus bringing the Kingdom of God into the earth.

 

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Friday Fictioneers – 6/17/19

Friday Fictioneers this week is based on the picture prompt below by Valerie J. Barrett.

My story is below the picture.

vintage-kitchen-tools-valerie-barrett

 

SEEDS FOR A NEW BEGINNING

The old stove looked as if Granny would be scurrying back into the kitchen any minute. I could almost hear the teakettle hum. The house should have felt empty, but instead, it was rich with welcoming sights and scents.

I had come to sort and process the remnants of Granny’s life. But as I stood in her kitchen, where life still seemed so warm and real – and where cyberspace seemed like science fiction – I realized those remnants were treasures that could give my wayward life some meaning. So I decided to light up the stove, fill the teakettle, and stay a few years.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Weekly Smile: 6/4/19

I’m finally getting back to participating in “Weekly Smile” this week. I really like this subject, but some weeks there are just too many irons in the fire already to be able to do another post for it. However, this week, I’m determined. And I’m SO determined that I’m going to do one better than Trent. He had two things to smile about this week, but I have three. 🙂

Exif JPEGMy first smile is my recent purchase of a couple African Marigold plants. Let me say up front that I am not a gardener. The pretty flowers in my yard at present are the ones that came to me with the house, and I’ve had to struggle to keep them moderately cared for. I’ve not had any marigolds in a garden for at least 20 years or more, but they have a special place in my heart. My mother used to absolutely love gardening, and she created such beautiful garden spots in almost every house we ever lived in. In two of our homes, she created a huge rock garden — with rocks and shells from around the country — and some of the most gorgeous flowers anywhere around.

But one summer, her mother became quite ill and had to move in and live with my parents. My mother had pretty much the full care of Granny, but I helped when and where I could. It was actually spring when Granny first moved in, and it was the time of year my mom would have started her loving labors on her yard and her gardens. But that kind of work took hours and hours of attention and consumed so much time and energy that she didn’t feel she could care for her mother properly if she gave her garden proper attention.

One day as she sat looking out the window, she talked about how much she wished she could plant something. She didn’t begrudge caring for her mom at all, but there was a real sadness in not being able to plant something new and see it grow.

Suddenly, she said, “I think if you’ll drive me to the nursery, I can at least pick up some marigolds. It won’t take long to purchase them if I know exactly what I want, and it will be easy and quick to set them in. They’re hardy and won’t take a lot of care, and I can at least watch them grow this summer and feel like I’ve got something with new life in the yard.”

So I drove her to the nursery, she picked up several trays of marigolds, and she was almost like a kid with a bag full of candy when she went out to plant them in the back yard while I watched Granny. I have never forgotten how important those marigolds were to her that year.  I had never been particularly impressed with them before that time, but since then they’ve held a special place in my heart because of that little event that we shared.

Exif JPEG
This year, I unexpectedly came across these beautiful African Marigolds, and as soon as I saw them, I thought of my mom. I still miss her terribly, even though she’s been gone over 30 years, and those marigold plants — and the memories they evoked — were a balm to my heart. So I bought two of them to put on my front porch in honor of her. They each had 5 very large blooms and multiple others just waiting to come forth. So that’s one of my big smiles this week.


 

WATERMELON CARD FRONT W. FRAMESmile number two is a new set of greeting cards that I created this week with one of my original watercolor paintings on the front. It’s super simple: just slices of watermelon and a summery slogan. But I love it, and I do love the little cards. Sets of them will make great gifts to some friends who like to send cards. I’ve included a picture of the front of the card with the watercolor.

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BIBLICAL PATHWAYS LOGO

And smile number three is the fact that it’s time for the summer term to begin at the college where I teach. This term I’m teaching “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” and “Writing Memoir and Personal Narrative.”  I’m really looking forward to starting these classes this coming week. I hope we have a full house for each one.

 


If you’d like to participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile, click on the link and get the details.

Until next week — I hope you all keep smiling.

 

 

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A Tiny Tribute to Max Steiner and Margaret Mitchell

Max Steiner’s iconic theme to Gone With The Wind has never lost its appeal. The poignancy and the passion of the music draw those same qualities to the surface in the listener. The music defines, at a level beyond words, the love, the courage, the conflict, and the tragedy of the Civil War and its toll on the lives of all who lived through it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that war lately — and about the book Gone With The Wind — about how incredible it is that one author, Margaret Mitchell, could bring to life that unique kaleidoscope of personalities, emotions, and events of that epic era in such a realistic manner. Some have scoffed at Mitchell’s book. I had a college professor who did so. But he had missed — as have all the other scoffers — the power of the creative gift in Margaret Mitchell. Very few authors have created characters so powerfully developed and presented as to impact generation after generation of readers and movie-goers. Her characters are raw and real with the passions of their time and their tragedy. And they force those who read and watch their passage through that story to feel what they feel.

Many have criticized the book in recent decades because they say it does not portray a realistic picture of the South during the pre-war period. But Mitchell was not trying to portray a picture of her homeland from an objective or “politically correct” point of view. She was trying to make readers see what generations of southerners believed and felt — how they saw their lives and what they longed for in their future — and how they lost it all and barely survived the further tragedy of the Reconstruction.

She was endeavoring to tell a story — and one that was based in reality as she and her southern kinsmen saw it. And in that effort, her gift as a writer shines. Readers and movie goers have identified with her characters for generation after generation, and it has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with a writer being able to bring raw, real human qualities and emotions to life in simple black ink on white paper.

There are a few other authors with this same gift, but they are rare indeed — especially in our current time, when so many who write are everlastingly conscious of “political correctness.” Margaret Mitchell was, most definitely, not politically correct. But she was committed and faithful to tell a powerful and successful story of how those people lived, loved, longed for better lives, and languished in their defeat. Every once in a while I like to just sit back and breathe in the beauty of that kind of talent when I find it.
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Amazing Story of U. S. Marines Protected by God During W.W.II

BLACKIE'S GROUP AROUND TABLE - Dad, J. Boyles (sp), Blackie, Jim Mouring (sp)On Memorial Day, 2013 — just 2 months before going to be with the Lord — my dad posted the entire text of his book “SARGE, WILL YOU TELL US ABOUT GOD?” on his personal website so that people all over the world could read it free. He prefaced the story by sharing about his visit that year with his very best friend throughout the war. They had stayed in touch but had not seen each other for 67 years. I’m posting the link to that site so that all of my readers will have the opportunity to read the amazing story of God’s miraculous care and protection of an entire Marine unit because they believed Psalm 91 and prayed those promises. The book is quite short, but exceedingly powerful and faith-building. Read it and share it wherever you can.

You’ll find the entire story here:  ‘SARGE, WILL YOU TELL US ABOUT GOD?’

 

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Their Agenda Has Never Changed

America, we must never forget who did this?  Why? Because THEIR AGENDA HAS NEVER CHANGED.

There’s only one religion in the world that teaches so much hatred and murder as part of its requirements to be considered faithful to its doctrines. Quit sticking your head in the sand and listening to idiots in the political arena who tell you lies about this religion. Study and learn for yourself before you pay a terrible price for not bothering to do so.


 

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Since It’s World Bee Day

BEE ON YELLOW

Terry Valley – Visions Seen Photography

Today is “Word Bee Day.” Who knew???  Well, I guess the UN General Assembly did, since they declared it a couple years ago. I didn’t know until this morning, but that’s okay. I have nothing against bees. I usually have a hundred or so spending time in my azalea bushes., and we get along fine. But, frankly, I’m totally fed up with all these causes to “save” all kinds of various creatures and plants while carrying on the wholesale slaughter of human beings in their mother’s wombs. Can anyone say “insanity”?????

Anyway, I decided that if I’m going to have to acknowledge “World Bee Day,” I’m going to do it may own way. I made out a list of things that I’m scheduling myself to do today, and I encourage everyone reading this post to do these same things. As a former grammar teacher, I’ve had to turn off my natural spelling instincts for this one, but it’s worth it:

1.  Bee on the look-out for anyone I can help with his job or a personal problem — and then actively help him.

2.  Bee cheerful and kind to everyone I interact with all day long, whether it’s a business, associate, a family member, a social network friend, a fellow grocery shopper, or a neighbor’s dog choosing my yard for the bathroom — everyone — no exceptions.

3.  Bee diligent to do every task that should be done today and to finish it on time and with excellence.

4.  Bee sure to smile at everyone and at myself in the mirror.

5.  Bee diligent to contemplate and be grateful for all the multitude of blessings in my life.

6.  Bee diligent to openly and generously praise the Lord for giving me so much to make my life good.

7.  Bee Happy!  (It is a choice.)

 

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Think Pink

This poem is part of my “Color Me Happy” series on my poetry site. I thought readers here might enjoy it as well.

 


When you feel your emotions are starting to sink,
Think pink.
When you’re fed up with politics and all the stink,
Think pink.
When you’re so mad your panties are all in a kink,
Think pink.
When losing your sanity’s just on the brink,
Think pink.

And why should you choose such a color, you ask?
Because when we choose in pink’s color to bask,
We’re cuddled and coddled in this pleasant shade.
It pampers and pets us and makes our hearts glad.

God, in His infinite wisdom did choose
Pink as a color important to use
When bringing the dawn of a new day alive
And when setting the sun to usher in night.

There’s something quite primal in pink I have found —
Something so elemental it’s almost profound.
We respond as if there’s an umbilical link.
So whatever the problem — to fix it, think pink.

 

 

 


 

Our Words Rule — Video Lesson

If you’re struggling in your faith, or you find that God’s promises don’t seem to be manifesting in your life the way you need them to, this lesson will help you. In fact, the truths presented here, when absorbed and acted upon, can totally change your life.

This video includes a full-length Bible study recorded live at my church a couple months ago.

 

 

 


 

Why I Wrote ‘The Smoky Mountain Novel Series’

 


My love affair with the Smoky Mountains began when I was still a very young child. Except for a two-year stint in Fort Wayne, IN, my years between infancy and first grade were spent in Southern Illinois. And all of our family travels took us into the northeastern sections of the country. But when I was six, my family traveled south for the first time. On our way to South Carolina, we passed through Tennessee, and I came face to face with the homeland of my Cherokee ancestors: the Appalachian Mountains – and specifically the area known by that time as The Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

I remember two specific things about those mountains. In one sense they were a little frightening to a six-year old. Highways were not what they are now, and the less developed highways ran in among those mountains with a little more drama than they do today. The inclines were exceptionally steep in places, with warning signs everywhere about making sure autos were in lowest gear and with stories rampant about “runaway” semis going down those inclines. I remember coming around curves more than once where the road looked as though it would literally lead straight into the mountain. It was a little overwhelming in one way, but it was also tremendously exciting as well. The second thing that struck me was that within these mountains and their foothill regions dwelt people of a different culture and attitude toward life. It wasn’t just the Cherokee people who exhibited that difference. It was virtually all the people who called that place home.

That particular trip touched, not just me, but also my parents. They fell in love with Tennessee and decided that they wanted to live there. When an opportunity came to do so – through a job opening in Nashville, TN – my parents jumped at it. Nashville wasn’t in the mountains, of course, but it was a lot closer. I can honestly say that I have never lived any place that was so special to me as Nashville, Tennessee. I fell in love again – with the city of Nashville and the whole state of Tennessee.

In the years following, my family and I made many trips into the Smoky Mountains. We saw the Park and the surrounding towns change considerably during that time, but the area never lost its unique culture. And having a strong Cherokee heritage in my own life, the older I got the more I wanted to know and be known by the people who had given me my great grandmother. My immediate family and I eventually moved back to Illinois, but we have never stopped visiting the Smoky Mountains.

I’ve wondered sometimes if there’s something in my own blood that calls me home to the Smokies. I don’t recall ever visiting any other place –  or even living in any other place – that kept pulling me to come back to it the way the Smokies do — or where I felt so much as if I were “home” each time I visited. Over more recent decades, I’ve tried to maneuver some things in my live and work out a way to have my work and my everyday life in the midst of that area of the country. But the Lord has kept opening doors to the ministry He wants me to do in other areas instead. So those other areas remain my world of everyday life. And, alas, I am still relegated to making visits to my mountains.

But those visits, over the years, have gleaned me an entire family of wonderful characters who do get to live and love and work and play right in the midst of the Smokies. So I’ll have to settle for that. When writing the books in The Smoky Mountain Series, I’ve lived there with them and enjoyed being “home” for all those months. There’s one more book to come, so I’ll continue that enjoyment as I write Book 5: This Fire In My Heart.  I’m grateful that, through these books, I can truly live in two worlds at the same time.

My heart’s telling me that it’s time I worked things out in my schedule to make another trip to that place that’s the next best thing to Heaven. In fact, on my most recent trip to the Smokies, I picked up a little magnet for my refrigerator door that says, “Heaven’s a little closer in the mountains.”  Ahhh, YES, INDEED, IT IS!


If you’d like to read the series, you’ll find the first 4 books in paperback and digital HERE.