Monthly Archives: December 2016

What a year we’ve just gone through! … There is absolutely no question this world is rapidly careening toward disaster. .. Just glancing back even a couple of years, most of us would never have imagined things could continue to accelerate at the pace that we’ve witnessed. .. And sadly, the coming year of 2017 doesn’t appear that it will fair any better. ..

With that in mind, I felt that I wanted to close out 2016 with something that will hopefully bring a smile to your faces .. something light instead of all the heaviness. .. So hear goes …..

Just imagine for a minute that God had to ‘adjust’ his domain somewhat, what with all the chaos Satan is throwing at us in his final moments. .. Quite simply the ‘forces for good’ are so busy reaching out to those under attack that some automation was needed to handle all the ‘prayer traffic.’  ..

We’ve all learned to live with ‘voice mail’ as a necessary part of modern life. .. But, what if God decided to install His own voice mail? .. Imagine praying & hearing this …..

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“Thank you for calling my Father’s house. .. Please select one of the following options:

   -Press 1 for requests ..

   -Press 2 for thanksgiving ..

   -Press 3 for complaints ..

   -Press 4 for other inquiries ..

What if you heard the familiar excuse .. “I’m sorry, all of our angels are busy helping other sinners right now. .. However, your prayer is very important to us and it will be answered in the order it was received, so please stay on the line.’ …

Or can you imagine getting these responses as you call out in prayer? ..

If you would like to speak to –

     *Gabriel –  Press 1

     *Michael – Press 2

     *For a directory of other angels – Press 3

     *If you’d like to hear King David sing a Psalm while holding – Press 4

     *To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven – Press 5, enter his or her Social Security number, then press the pound key. .. (If you get a negative response, try area code 666

     *For reservations at ‘My Father’s House,’ please enter J-O-H-N, followed by 3-1-6

What if you heard, “Our computers show that you have already prayed once today. .. Please hang up & try again later.”

Or ..

“This office is closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday. .. Please pray again Monday after 9:30 AM. .. If you need emergency assistance when this office is closed, contact your local pastor.”

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Thank God! – He will NEVER have ‘voice mail’ and He will ALWAYS listen when we pray! .. God always answers ‘knee-mail’ …… Amen! …

For each of you who have shared in our ministry here at ‘Light in The Darkness,’ Victor & I want to thank you & wish each of you a blessed & enlightened year to come. .. Our prayer for 2017 is that God will use this website & each of us personally to advance the message of Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him. ..

I personally believe that the Lord is returning for His Church at any moment and feel an urgency to tell as many as possible of His saving grave & promise of eternal life. .. I pray you will join with me in this urgency & help shine the “Light in The Darkness” … Back at you next year! …

Until next time,

Red

PS .. I truly hope God has a sense of humor, or I am in real trouble!

The following is a story I ran across a while back and thought it would be appropriate to share at this time. .. I believe it contains the true message of what this season is really all about … giving instead of receiving …….. Here it is ……

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Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was 15 years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible. Instead, he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard.

“Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he told them something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up in the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed.

“I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. “Pa, what are you doing?” “You been to widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what? “Yeah, why?” Pa said, “I rode by just today, and little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.”

That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack,” I asked. Pa said, “shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy, too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible. Then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” Pa answered, “Lucas Miles, ma’am, and my son Matt. Could we come in for a bit?”

Widow jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought you a load of wood too, ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy I’d never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,:” she said. “I know the Lord sent you. The children and I have been praying that He would send one of His angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought of it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he had to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get about eleven. It’d be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt here hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you. I know for certain He will.”

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smile of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night. He had given me the best Christmas of my life.

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Don’t be so busy to not share this inspiring message. …. May God richly bless you in this season of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – & – Merry CHRISTmas ……..

Until next time,

Red

Here we are again, smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season … and isn’t it so joyful! .. mall mayhem .. sneaker slugfests .. road rage .. advertising overload .. personal debt skyrocketing .. increased personal & family stress & anxiety .. having to spend time with people you don’t particularly care for .. Isn’t it all so joyous?! .. and think of this .. a classic example that pretty much sizes it all up is “Black Friday.” .. We, especially Christians, know what the color black stands for .. darkness, sin .. the opposite of light …… well? …

Of course the real tragedy is that the true meaning has all but vanished from our society. .. In fact. it has evolved to the point that the Cross has become offensive to many & the mere mention of Jesus Christ is now all but against the law in the public square. .. The sad truth is that the atheists & satanists have gotten their way. ..  Hence, ‘post-Christian’ America is now upon us. ..

Every time we enter this season, I promise myself that I am not going to get negative & try to just focus on the positive & true meaning of what it’s all about. .. But then, here I go again railing against all the incredible nonsense that has replaced the true meaning. .. I mean everything we see is totally out of sync with the real truth! … And we wonder why so many people get depressed this time of year? ..

SO …. Now because of all this, let me stop for a moment & share this poem I received from a close friend. .. It is a pretty good summation of just what is taking place. .. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did ……

“Twas two months before Christmas – when all through the land
Not a Christian was praying – not taking a stand
Why the PC police – had taken away
The reason for Christmas – no one could say

“The children were told – by the school not to sing
About shepherds and wise men – and angels and things
It might hurt people’s feelings – the teachers would say
December 25th – is just a holiday

“Yet the shoppers were ready – with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor – just to get it
CDs from Madonna – an x-box, an i-pod
Something was changing – something quite odd

“Retailers promoted – Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books – by Franken and Fonda
As Targets were hanging – their trees upside down
At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found

“At K-mart and Staples – and Penney’s and Sears
You won’t here the word Christmas – it won’t touch your ears
Inclusive, sensitive – di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used – to intimidate me

“Now Daschle, now Darden – now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather – on Kerry, on Clinton
At the top of the Senate – there rose a clatter
To eliminate Jesus – in all public matter

“And we spoke not a word – as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak – of salvation and grace
The true gift of Christmas – was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season – stopped before it started

“So we celebrate ‘winter break’ – under your ‘dream tree’
Sipping our Starbucks – listen to me
Choose your words carefully – choose what you say
Shout Merry Christmas – not happy holiday!”

Possibly a bit political, I would say, but hey … many of the words in the poem ring truthful ….

OK, enough. .. I need to keep this one short because it is the last few days before .. and we are all so busy ‘getting it all done’ … Let me just say this … I wish each of you a truly joyful & happy time as you celebrate the birth of the One who came & freed us from the bondage of sin … Jesus Christ. .. I pray that as each of you & your families join together, you will experience only happiness & unity .. a time of refreshing & renewal. … We know this ..  that we will soon return to the reality of the days we are living in soon enough! …… Many blessings to you all ……..

Until next time,

Red

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