Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now

"I can see clearly now," my niece, Shanna's, facebook status read. Shanna just had Lasik eye surgery and can see great without glasses or contacts for the first time since she was eight years old. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) says, "Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely."

One day soon we will have full body Lasik surgery, physically and spiritually. Oh, what a day that will be! As I prepare for Easter the excitement grows for Jesus' return. As we walk through this world of trial and sorrow, half blind or impaired in other ways, we can look forward to the day we shall see Him face to face. We will be perfect and complete in every way.

"Just a-wearying for you,

Jesus, Lord, beloved and true;

You'll be coming back again,

Under all I say and do,

Just a-wearying for you."

"Some glad day, all watching past,

You will come for me at last;

Then I'll see you, hear your voice,

Be with you, with you rejoice;

How the sweet hope thrills me through,

Sets me wearying for you."*

*Poem from devotional, Streams in the Desert (March 27), by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman

Family picture of Shanna (before she threw away her glasses) with her firstborn child, Olivia, who was born 12/16/2009. Shanna can now see Olivia grow up with perfect clarity, without the aid of glasses. Praise the Lord for the blessings he gives while we wait for our full body overhaul!

Monday, March 22, 2010

From the Trash Heap to Fame

A black man, son of a sharecropper, wanted to buy a home in rural South Carolina. The neighbors worried that if he moved next door to them, he wouldn't take care of his house and yard. Determined to prove them wrong, he worked 12 hour shifts, 4 days a week at a can factory and bought a modest home on a few acres in Bishopville, South Carolina. With the exception of attending church, he spent most of his time working in his yard. To grow his treasured garden he went to the local nursery and asked permission to take home the dying plants they had thrown in the trash heap.

The art and beauty this man named Pearl Fryar created with these discarded plants is nothing short of amazing. A self-taught horticulturalist, his 3 acre yard now a famous topiary garden represents one of the most majestic and magnificent gardens I have ever seen. Pearl's garden is a picture of our Redemptive God, the Master Gardener. He seeks the lost and discarded and prunes and trains them to excel beyond their wildest imaginations. The Master Husbandman redeemed me from the trash heap of the world where I lived only for myself. He picked me up, planted me in Georgia and clips away the selfishness, anger, and bitterness that holds me back. He continues to prune me year after year causing me to bear fruit and accomplish things I never thought possible.

Pearl gives us God's perspective on life by saying things like, "There's always gonna be obstacles. The thing is, you don't let those obstacles determine where you go. With our God, "Nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:20). So today, welcome the Gardener's pruning. It may hurt for a little while, but the results are worth it all.

"Follow Me, and I will make you" . . .

Make you speak My words with power,

Make you channels of My mercy,

Make you helpful every hour.

"Follow Me, and I will make you" . . .

Make you what you cannot be-

Make you loving, trustful, godly,

Make you even like to Me. *

Pearl and his mastery of horticulture have given him much acclaim. So renowned for his topiary skills, he recently appeared in a John Deere commercial. For more information about Pearl Fryar rent the documentary, "A Man Named Pearl" or visit his website at:

*Poem from Streams in the Desert devotional by L.S.P. (full name not given)
Picture of one of Pearl's topiaries found at - Image results for Pearl Fryar

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Sleepless Night?

Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep? I'm sure you have. We all experience this problem every now and then. I can't remember who gave me this very effective advise, but it works. When you can't get to sleep, start praising God A-Z. You choose a name or word to praise God for from from A all the way to Z. You have to get creative in some spots. Here are some of my favorites: I praise you God for being . . .
ALPHA and Omega,
EMMANUEL, God with Us,
NISSI, our Banner of Victory,
The times I have made it to Z (and I have a few times), I am so encouraged. I know I can rest easy trusting God to do what he does best, without me worrying about it. I usually fall asleep in his arms soon after.

I hope this works for you, too.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Left Alone

Left Alone! These words conjure up different emotions in each of us. Some of us hate to be alone, others relish it. To be left alone without God, would be horrible. But when we get alone with Him, great things happen.
  • Jacob became a prince (Genesis 32:22-32).
  • The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place (1 & 2 Kings).
  • Joshua received successful battle strategies (Joshua 5-6).
  • Gideon and Jephthah were commissioned to save Israel (Judges 6:11-12 & 11:29).
  • Moses called to lead Israel out of captivity (Exodus 3:1-10).
  • Cornelius learns he must call Peter to hear the good news of the Gospel (Acts 10).
  • Peter learns he must share the Gospel with Cornelius and all gentiles (Acts 10).
  • John the Baptist grew strong in spirit alone in the desert (Luke 1:80).
  • John the Beloved closest to God on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1).

Jesus himself set this example. The Gospels record many times when he got alone to pray. Just like he did for the Patriarchs listed above, I trust he has mighty purposes in mind for us behind the command, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen" (Matthew 5:6).

This remains the goal of my ministry, to stay inspired myself and to help others to stay inspired to get alone with God and listen. Revisiting these old stories did it for me! There is nothing in this world like spending time with Jesus! Won't you stop right now and spend some quality time with our precious Savior?

If chosen men (and women) had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.*
*from Streams in the Desert (February 27), page 65