In the Beginning…The Power of Reading

One of the most popular and clearly most important prepositional phrases ever written is, “In the beginning.”  No matter the version; no matter the religious affiliation; no matter the belief, tradition, culture, or race…The Holy Bible, The Torah, and The Quran each credit God as being the Creator of Heaven and Earth….”In the Beginning” (Genesis 1:1).

However, you will not only find the prepositional phrase, “In the Beginning” written in the Book of Genesis 1:1, you will also find it written in the New Testament in the Book of John, chapter one, verse one: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God.”  A few verses later, in verse fourteen, you will read, “And the WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  Amen.

So, we learn that one of the names given to Christ Jesus, by God himself, is the WORD!  And, a study of Genesis will reveal that God spoke the Word to bring forth both Heaven and Earth.  Therefore, we can conclude that communicating (bringing forth speech in the form of word (logos)…both verbal and written) is an essential tool and foundation for life.  Therefore, since God placed such emphasis upon communicating with mankind through both the spoken and written Word, would you not conclude that “reading” is an essential tool of life?

While teaching middle grades education, I took a very extensive and rigorous college course in Reading and currently hold an Endorsement in Reading (grades K-12).  This course allowed me to meet all state and local requirements to not only teach reading but to test and evaluate students for both strengths and deficiencies regarding reading skills (from phonemic awareness to extensive comprehension and vocabulary).  On one particular day, while preparing a lesson in phonics, it occurred to me that in the Old Testament days, the Children of Israel used the Torah as their Basal Reader (so to speak) to teach their children how to read. Their children learned to read in order to sustain their lives; a life devoted solely unto God.  I realized that instead of learning simple words such as, cat, dog, mice, and hat, etc., these children were learning to pronounce, recognize, read, and comprehend words such as “Mahalaleel” and “Methusehal,” and “Arphax,” and “Hazarmaveth,”  A long way from Dick and Jane!

As I continued to ponder and meditate upon this concept, I concluded that “reading,” itself, is very much a Spiritual matter.  I believe Reading and the idea of reading come directly from God!  After all, this is how He chose to communicate with us!  We read, simply because God placed unparalleled emphasis upon the WORD as His chosen form or means of communication with his creation; man.

I explained my theory to one of my college professors who shared in my perspective and thought it might be a good idea to perform an experiment or survey to see if those children exposed to the Bible are more affluent in their reading skills and comprehension skills as opposed to children who were never exposed to the Word of God.  Even though I am now retired from teaching, I would certainly love to be a part of that survey and study; should it ever be conducted!

Back in January, 1979, at the age of twenty-three, I sit one night alone reading my Bible from the Book of John when I came across the verse, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  I suddenly realized that as I was sitting there on my couch reading the Bible, that I was in fact holding the Word that had manifested itself in the flesh as…Jesus Christ… who dwelt among us!  Ever since that day, John 1:14 has been one of my favorite verses in the Bible.  For me, it brings it all home to the fact that God and Jesus are One and were together, “In the Beginning!”  Then, one will read in the Book of Genesis, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  There it is…God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Spirit…Three in One…In The Beginning!! The picture of the Trinity.  Praise God.

This morning, aren’t you glad that when you hold and read the Bible that you are, in fact, holding the very precious Word of God who manifested itself into the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?  I know I am.  I am also thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides me to the Word that guides me to the Father.  “For no man can come unto the Father except through the Son.”  Amen.  I am safe with the Father, through the Son; the Word of God that sustains.

When our public school system began in the 1700’s under the leadership of Horace Mann, the Bible was used to help teach reading. Ponder the many outstanding accomplishments and inspiring leaders that our nation produced in those formative days.  Today, any classroom teacher will tell you that a child who possesses well-developed reading skills will most likely excel in all of his or her studies. Reading, even today, continues to be the very foundation of all learning.  Learning and reading begin with sound ( a phoneme, the smallest unit of sound).   How exciting is that!   God chose “sound” to create the entire Universe and Heaven….”And, God said…”  By his “spoken” Word, life as we know it began.  Oh, my friend the awesome mysteries of our Living God!

So, when you curl up with a good book of any type, you are conducting and carrying out the very gift of God towards mankind in the ability to read and to comprehend.  Maybe we should be more careful of what we read and study!!  Communicating through the spoken and written Word was and remains God’s way of expressing His love towards mankind.  So much so, that God chose His only begotten Son, The WORD, to become human flesh in order to live a perfect, sinless life, pay the ultimate penalty of death on the Cross for man’s sins, and then to be powerfully resurrected from the dead unto eternal life to live and reign with God forever more…Amen.  Amazing!

The next time you read (even if you are reading this blog!) just remember…the Power of Reading is a gift from God.  “In the Beginning God created…”  and “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh.”

Thank you sweet Jesus for the Word and for the blessed gift to read and comprehend thy Word.  Amen and Amen.

I think I’ll enjoy the day reading a good book!

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author

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Who Makes the Difference?

On one particular visit to my in-laws’ house, when my  adult children were still babies, my mother-in-law gave me a piece of sound advice.  As I was feeding our three daughters (all under eighteen months!), she said, “Linda, a mother loves all of her children the same, but it’s the children who grow up and make the difference.”

As a young mother, I really didn’t fully understand the meaning of her proverbial comment.  But, as my daughters grew up and later married, her words of wisdom rang out sound and true.  Children do make the difference.  Anyone who has ever raised more than one child under the same roof knows all too well how differently the same, identical upbringings can produce very different children. Sometimes, you are not sure they all belong to you!

Having my children so close together, twins and then another daughter eighteen months later, I did my very best to give each daughter the same identical love. clothing, schooling, and opportunities in life.  Actually, I tried to make a “state-of-the-art” event of it!  If one child didn’t get something; then the other child would not get it; and vice-versa.

Today, all three of our daughters are Christians, well-rounded, and successful wives and mothers.  They are very close one with another. Thankfully, no jealousies manifested between them as they are all each other’s best friends. I thank none other than Christ Jesus for having his hand upon their lives.  But, each one possesses a different and very unique adult relationship with me and their father.  Even though I see one more than the others, or see the others more than one, I have come to enjoy and respect the differences they bring into our lives.

With today’s busy schedules, it’s hard to get everyone together at once.  I know, by experience, that this can bring a painful hurt to a mother’s heart when all of her adult children and grandchildren can’t gather at the same time.  When this happens, you have to learn to have a good time and a blessed time in shifts!  These things just seem to naturally happen.

But, all of this reminds me of our Heavenly Father with all of his many, many children.  Some of his children visit Him on a regular, daily basis. They are eager to fellowship with their Heavenly Father, and I believe this brings joy to his heart.  Some of his children he might hear from on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  Others, maybe only once or twice a month. Some, he may only hear from on holidays or special occasions such as births and deaths.  Even though the Father loves all of his children the same, it’s the children who make the difference.

God plainly states in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (everyone!)  that He gave…” It didn’t read, “For God so loved this group or this individual…that He gave…” No, he loves us all the same; all of the time.  But, it is all of us who makes the difference in our relationship with God.  Personally, I want to be the child who visits the Heavenly Father every day or as often as possible. I want Him to know that I love him as I know that He loves me.  My Heavenly Father knows that I am not perfect (and never will be); yet, He loves to fellowship with me as well as all of his children as often as possible.

One day “all” of his children will be at home together at the same time in Heaven.  He won’t have to wait upon another child to pray or seek Him; we will all be there together at the same time!  I know, from a mother’s heart, that it will be a wonderful day in Heaven when all of God’s saints (His children) gather together around the banquet table to have eternal fellowship with God, Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and one another.  Praise the Lord….a true eternal day of Homecoming!

But, until that great and grand day, children will go on making the difference in their lives as well as the lives of their parents.  No two children are; or ever will be, alike.  But, that is OK.  As parents, we still love each one the same!

I sincerely thank my now aging mother-in-law who lives in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s and can’t even remember all of her children and grandchildren’s names.  Most of her conversations revolve around her childhood days.  A few weeks ago, I asked her, “Mama Rollins, do you know who I am?”  She replied, “Of course, I do. I saw you everyday when I got off the school bus.”  Sadly, I had no idea who she was talking about.  But, she joyfully laughed, and so did I.  I’m so glad that one day no one will ever have to face Alzheimer’s or other dreaded diseases that take away our minds and bodies.  Until then, thankfully, we have the blessed assurance that God loves each of his children the same.

Ask yourself today….How are you making the difference in your relationship with God, or with others?  Are you visiting often, sometimes, on special occasions, or barely at all?  Remember, it does make a difference.

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author

Surely I Will Dwell…

In the 23rd Psalm, King David confidently “brags” on His God. 

 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” 

David is telling the kingdom of Israel that he shall never want for any thing while on planet earth, because his LORD shall provide all of his needs. 

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

Here, David is saying that God is not only faithful in fulfilling David’s needs, but also careful and kind to give him rest from weariness and trials in this life.  A God who can be touched by the feelings of our infirmities.  Notice, David says, “the waters are “still.” Still waters represent calmness; an absence of stress and turmoil.  And, if anyone knew about stresses and turmoil it was King David; especially, since he had run from Saul, the former King of Israel, ever since God had anointed him to be Israel’s second King.

  “He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

 Oh, the sweet joys of ones’ soul being restored unto God.  After living a sinful life or after commiting a sin or transgression, one can find full restoration in God…And, enjoy the godly Peace that passes all understanding.  Then, God can and will lead us down the paths of righteousness; for His Name sake. Praise the Lord!

 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

David possessed a sustaining faith that even in physical death God would be with him to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”  Let me ask you a question. Would you rather be hit by a train or by the train’s shadow?”  Praise the Lord, I will take the “shadow of death” over authentic death and separation from my God!  God will lead us safely on to the other side when it comes our time to cross over, or the crossing of a loved one.  

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

Ponder this; how would you like to simply sit down and eat a pleasurable meal in full fellowship with God while your enemies stand around and watch you joy in the awesome splendor and pleasures?  That’s exactly how King David felt about his relationship with God.  He was not apprenhensive.  Let his enemies taunt and rage; it mattered not to him, because he knew who he was in God.  David never allowed the fresh anointing that God had on his life to be dimmed or darkened through the many attacks from his enemies. Praise the Lord!

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD FOR EVER!”

David is ending his prayer to God by confirming that no matter the circumstances…God would work ALL things out for goodness through the mercies of God.  This reminds me of Romans 8:28, “And, we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called (mercies of God) according to His purpose.” Amen!  But, note one very important statement that King David made in closing out his prayer….

“And, I will DWELL in the house of the LORD for ever.” 

I believe that King David is not only speaking about his future eternal abode with God in Heaven (God’s eternal House), but he is committing himself to faithful attendance in God’s House (the Temple in those days) while living here on planet earth. 

Today, ask yourself this question. “How many people do you personally know who once faithfully attended church (the local assembly) who no longer attend church for one reason or another?” Now, mind you, I’m not speaking about those who are suffering from an illness, immobile, or residing in assistant care or nursing homes. I’m talking about those who are still vibrant and healthy enough to attend church on a regular basis, but have chosen to live a life style in the absence of church attendance.  I refer to these people as non-committers to God. They enjoy the perks of God and the daily benefits of God, but choose not to Honor God through faithfulness.  King David was not like that.  No matter what he did;  and believe me if you have ever studied the life of King David he did quite a lot;  one thing he did NOT do was to turn his back on God.  He repented unto God; he fasted unto God; he waited upon God; he suffered through God; and he triumphed over sin and evil through God.  No matter what took place in King David’s life, he didn’t turn his back on God; and God never turned his back on King David!

  Today, ask yourself….Are you living a life style that promotes your faith in a Faithful God? Can others see Jesus in you?  Even though you fall and fail at times, as we all do, are you consistently carrying your faults, failures, uprisings and down-sittings to God in full faith and assurance of His mercies, and that He will lead you down the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake?  I pray that we all are.  Today, if you have wondered away from Jesus; come back to Him in full assurance that He can and will forgive you of your tresspasses and restore unto you the full joys of salvation (your relationship with God).  King David did.  Follow the blessed example of geniune, authentic prayer from the heart of the second king of Israel found in Psalm 23.  “The LORD is my shepherd…”  Is he your’s?

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T. Rollins, Author

My Journey of Faith

Today, is our identical twin daughters, Wendy and Stacy’s, thirty-sixth birthday.  Even though I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior at the age of eleven,  it wasn’t until I was eighteen years old and told that I was carrying twins that my true, authentic Journey of Faith began.   I married my husband one month after graduating high school and two weeks after I turned eighteen.  We had only been married for three months when I awoke one morning to a terrible sick feeling and vomiting.  Believing it was a virus, I called my employer and took a sick day.  The sick feeling lasted well into the middle of the day.  Believing the “virus” was over, I planned on returning to work the next day.  However, the episode repeated itself the next morning and the following morning.  This was taking place in 1974 when there was no early, at-home pregnancy tests.  So,  on the third day, I called my physician’s office to make an appointment.  I had now missed three days of work in a row.  Immediately suspecting a pregnancy, my doctor ordered a urine test.  I was told the results would be called within the next two days.  I continued to be sick each day way into the middle of the afternoon.  I could not make it into work. There were no laws in the 70’s to protect women from losing their jobs due to family emergencies or medical leave.  So, on the fifth day of being absent from work, my very “unloving” and “unmerciful” boss called to tell me I was fired due to being out all week.  Even though I told him that I was awaiting news from my doctor, it didn’t matter to him. He had a business to run and my being sick wasn’t going to stand in its way.  I recall hanging up the telephone receiver, going back to bed, and crying as I vomited every few minutes.  That afternoon, my husband came home from work early.  I met him at the door. He had a very concerned look on his face. I knew the recession was hitting hard all around us with inflated prices and people  losing their jobs.  I hated to tell him the bad news of my being fired.  But, he had bad news of his own.  He had been given a “pink-slip” from his employer.  There we were, both suddenly unemployed, with a house note, car payment, insurance, and utilities  due each month.  When I shared with him the news of my boss calling, naturally, he became upset.  I was weak and couldn’t stand up anymore, so I headed off to the bedroom while my husband made calls searching for employment.  That evening, the telephone rang.  It was the doctor’s office calling with the results of my urine test; positive.  I was pregnant.  We were both excited when we suddenly realized that due to our work status, we had no medical insurance.  All the programs offering aid to expectant mothers and their families were not even invented at that time.  After a few weeks and using what little savings we had, we moved in with my parents.  We stored our furniture in their basement and moved back into my bedroom. Not what I had been hoping to do.  My husband found a job not paying too much money, but at least it was work.  My parents helped us out by not charging rent, but we offered to help with extra utility costs.  I met with both the hospital, gynecologist, and pediatrician to set up monthly payments.  It wasn’t the best situation, but we were making it work.  We both possessed a positive outlook on the situation.  At the time, we were also attending the church where my husband had gone as a boy.  The people were very kind to us.  I was now four months pregnant and getting used to our living arrangements.  Everyone around us, including my mother, suspected that I was much farther along than four months. I was already  in maternity clothes and showed a great deal. At my next check-up, the doctor was concerned about my weight gain.  It was also time to hear the baby’s heart beat.  Lying down on the examine table, he took his old-fashioned stethoscope and placed it on my tummy.  Seeming to take forever, he told me that he was sending me over to the hospital next door for an x-ray. (Ultra-sounds were not around in those days!).  Since my mother had driven me to the doctor’s office, she accompanied me to the hospital.  After the x-ray was taken, the technician escorted both my mother and I into a viewing room. We waited patiently.  Then, a doctor entered the room. I could tell my  mother was getting nervous; so was I.  He placed the large x-ray film on a white-lighted board and turned out the lights.  With a pointer, he outlined Baby “A” and Baby “B.”  There they were in front of my eyes…Twins!  He told me that they looked healthy but I would be considered a high at-risk pregnancy from now on.  Sad to admit, but one of the first things that I thought about was, “How are we going to pay for two babies!”  We were already living with my parents and my husband was making barely over minimum wage.  Plus, we had no health insurance to pay for any added expenses.  It was hard to believe that only eight months earlier I had been prancing around my high school without a care in the world.  I was sent back to my gynecologist’s office.  There, my doctor informed me of all the risks involved in a multiple pregnancy; especially it being my first pregnancy, and my being at a younger age.  We needed a miracle.  That evening, I shared with my husband the fantastic news that we were going to have two babies; not just one.  Actually, he was thrilled, and so was I.  How exciting.  Over the next few days, I started to look for a place for us to move.  There was very little room in my bedroom at my parents’ house for one baby, much less two. I found a very spacious apartment not too far from where my parents lived.  My husband sold his car for some added money.  With my not working any longer, we didn’t need the two cars.  Within two weeks, we were living once again in our own place.  The apartment seemed like a castle after lodging five months  in my old bedroom.  But, it did help us to save up money towards all the added doctor expenses.  After we moved into the apartment, I started focusing on what all was going on in our lives and how fastly everything was moving and changing.  I realized that we were going to need all the help we could to raise our babies.  But, I wasn’t referring to physical, human help, I was talking about divine, Spiritual help; God’s help.  I wrote down a list of our needs, starting with the babies’ need.  I asked God for three specific things.  First, that the twins would be born on my original due date sat as July 27th.  Second, that the twins would both weigh over five pounds each.  Third, that both twins would be healthy.  I also wrote down the other needs we were facing.  Each day, I would sit in the beautiful black rocker that my husband had bought for me to rock the babies.  Then, I would pick up my Bible from the table beside the rocker, and I would begin to read from the book of Psalms.  Without actually realizing it, I was beginning to build an “adult” faith in God.  After reading the Bible, I would kneel down beside our bed and read over my list of needs to God with faith that He would meet each one.  Everyday, I practiced this same routine.  Then, it came to July 26th.  My doctor was absolutely amazed that I had carried the babies full-term without a single complication.  The morning sickness finally subsided in my sixth month.  I actually felt very strong and healthy.  The 26th was on a Saturday.  I awoke with a spurt of energy.  I dusted the furniture, cleaned the bathrooms, mopped the kitchen, vacuumed the living room and two bedrooms, and cooked a delicious meal consisting of roast and potatoes.  That night, I walked into the smaller bedroom where we had set up two “borrowed” baby beds and my old chester-drawer from when I was a child.  I didn’t have a changing table or any other added fashions and furniture.  Simply two beds, one chester-drawer, and one rocker.  I already had my suit-case packed with two matching outfits; one for boys and one for girls.  Hanging on the closet door was a diaper-hanger holding seventy-two clean, pressed, white diapers.  Thankfully, I had been given three baby showers.  Knowing that I was expecting twins, everyone purchased two of each item they gave to me.  How thoughtful.  Finally, it was nine o’clock PM, and I was getting tired. I climbed into bed and fell quickly asleep.  At 4:10 AM on July 27th, I felt my first birth-pain.  Not wanting to wake-up my doctor, I slipped out of bed, went to the bathroom, and took a shower.  After all, I wanted to look good!  The pains continued steady for the next three hours. At 7:00, I called my doctor who told me to get straight to the hospital.  At 8:10, the doctor entered the room.  He wanted an x-ray before taking me to labor and delivery.  After the x-ray, he ordered pain meds.  The next thing I remember  was waking up in recovery being told that I had delivered two healthy baby girls.  God had done it!  It was Sunday, July 27, 1975. . Twin “A” (Wendy) weighed five pounds, two ounces, and Twin “B” (Stacy) weighed five pounds, ten ounces!  The three things on my list had all been answered.  However, that evening the pediatrician was called.  Wendy’s blood count was starting to drop to a dangerously low level.  He entered my room and told me that it looked as if she was going to need a blood transfusion.  My heart nearly stopped.  When he left, I crawled out of my hospital bed and slowly walked to the bathroom; unattended.  I closed the door behind me and lowered myself to the floor on my knees in front of the tub.  I closed my eyes and with tears falling down my face, I thanked God for answering my prayers. I also reminded God that he was not a two out of three God and that He could heal Wendy’s blood count without her needing a transfusion.  After my prayer, I pushed myself up from off the floor and returned back to my bed.  A couple of hours later, the nurse told me that they were keeping close eye on Wendy’s blood count.  I continued to pray as I fell asleep.  The next morning, Dr. Cluckman entered the room and said, “Mrs. Rollins, I just came from re-checking Twin “A’s” blood.  I got a call during the night that her blood level was increasing.  This morning, I can tell you that her blood level is normal and it doesn’t appear that she will need a transfusion after all.”  This new mother knew exactly where that miracle had come from….God!!  God had honored my faith and the things I had written down on my list.  My Journey of Faith had begun.  Within the next year my husband found a new job paying more money and I found a part-time job as a secretary working for a very nice man and his wife.  We continued attending church on a regular basis and watching God move in our lives.  Seventeen months after the twins were born, I gave birth to our third daughter, Kristy.  Three daughters under eighteen months!  Once again, I made my list and God met every need.  Today, all three daughters are serving God.  Our youngest daughter, Kristy, is married to a Baptist pastor.  Wendy and her husband are co-directors for AWANA’s at their church, and Stacy and her husband serve God through their church and the business they own.  My husband and I have nine wonderful, healthy grandchildren.  Today, I can still recall the “list” I wrote back in 1975 that began my Journey of Faith. God is so able to hear and answer our prayers.  Today, you may be concerned and apprehensive about the needs in your own life.  I would like to suggest that you, too, make a  list.  Write your needs down on a list, take out your Bible and study God’s word , and pray for God to meet your needs. You’ll be amazed at what all God can do.

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T. Rollins, Author

“If My People…”

Anyone living in America who saw our television programs interrupted last night for the President’s emergency address to the people, then followed by the Speaker of the House’s immediate response, has been acutely and keenly made aware of how really bad things are running (or, not running!) presently in our nation’s capital. Whew! As I posted on FB last night, this brought reality TV to a whole different level.  This is very sad for our nation.  As citizens we have voted for our representatives to represent us to the best of their abilities and to be the “voice” of the people.  It seems the process is being challenged at a unpreidented level.  However, I feel, as a Christian, there is an answer. There is a solution. But, it can ONLY be found in one book; the most popular book still being published and sold around the world today, the Bible.  And, before the effective answer can be diligently found within its Godly inspired pages, one must FIRST believe in the Book, and what it says, and be willing to apply what it says to our daily lives. The answer is found within the pages of the Old Testament in the Book of II Chronicles.  In fact, it is found in the seventh chapter and 14th verse:  “If MY PEOPLE, which are called by MY NAME, shall HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY, and SEEK MY FACE and TURN FROM their WICKED ways, THEN WILL I HEAR from Heaven, and will FORGIVE their SIN, and WILL HEAL their LAND.”    First, please notice that God is NOT calling for those who do not believe in HIM or know Him as their Lord and Savior to pray.  No, he is only calling those who believe in him.  For without faith, it is impossible to please God.  God is not instructing the habitual bank robber, murderer, liar, adulterer, drunkard, rapist, drug dealer,  prostitute (male or female), or reprobate to pray.  For the only prayer that God can and will hear from their lips would first be a prayer of repentance.  God is giving instruction for those of us who claim to be Called by His Name…Christians, those who testify of being washed and regenerated by the Blood of Jesus Christ…He is instructing us to PRAY!  To be able to pray an intercessory prayer on behalf of our nation, God instructs that we must first HUMBLE ourselves. Let’s be real…how popular is it today to be a humbled person? For decades, we have taught our nation’s children that humble people simply come in last place. To get that job, to get that promotion, to get that raise, to get that dream-house, to get that car, or truck, or 54″ TV, or Ipod, or IPhone, one must be competitive and PROACTIVE in his or her aggressive attempts to make it to the top; don’t look back, don’t look down, always reaching forward and higher for the golden prize…The American Dream!! We are a nation that fills our sports arenas and stadiums to pay men and women thousands and millions of dollars to entertain us by juggling a ball, stick, or puck.  I love watching sports, but the salaries for the players have become overwhelming.  We sit and watch Hollywood programs, such as Entertainment Tonight and TMZ, to find out which “stars” are getting married, divorced, or going to jail today.  We uplift drunken celebrities like Charlie Sheen to believe that he can put on a traveling show across the country where people will pay good money for him to walk out on stage, take a seat, and spew out babblings of nothing and gross profanities.  Yet, people are actually paying to watch this type of entertainment….Entertainment?  We’ve accepted everything that Hollywood has thrown at us because that is who we have become…a nation of  COMPETITIVE, PROACTIVE, AGGRESSIVE PEOPLE who will stop at nothing to reach their SPOTLIGHT OF SUCCESS, AND GRAB THE PRIZE.  In all honesty, I don’t feel this depicts the definition of being humbled.  Being humble is opposite of being self-centered and self-seeking.  Yet, it did not bother God at all to tell us that before He would step in to heal a nation, the people of that nation would first have to humble themselves. A humbled person looks out for the wellbeing of all  “stakeholders” involved; not just what he or she can get out of the matter.  Next, God instructs us to pray. But, notice he is not interested in our praying until we have first met his prerequisite to humble ourselves; being grateful to a Holy God for His Holy protection and provisions within our land.  You might wonder what do we pray once we have humbled ourselves?  I truly believe that after we humble ourselves before God that the Holy Spirit will fervently place upon our hearts exactly how to pray for our nation, our families, and our individual lives.  I also believe it will be a personal prayer from the heart of each citizen according to how the Spirit leads.  But, this I do know, that many examples are given throughout the Bible of people praying for God’s PROTECTION, PROVISIONS, AND PROMISES to be showered down from Heaven upon their land (nation).  After we have climbed down from our ladders of pride and self-sufficiency, humbled ourselves before God, and the Holy Spirit has directed us on how to pray, then we are to SEEK His Face.  In the Old Testament, Noah was called a Friend of God. It also tells us that Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord.  To see into one’s eyes, you must be face to face with that individual.  Noah only became a friend of God and found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord through His personal relationship and obedience unto God. I believe to seek the Face of God we must be willing and obedient to APPLY the teachings of the Scriptures to our daily lives.  In other words, if the Bible plainly teaches us NOT to steal…then we must be willing and obedient to NOT steal.  If the Bible plainly teaches us to “Do unto others as we would have others do unto us,” then we must be ready to show love and forgiveness one to another.   Has it ever occurred to you that NOTHING has EVER occurred to God??  He knows our hearts and motives in all things. Lastly, God says TURN from our WICKED ways.  I truly believe that if Christians will humble themselves, pray as the Holy Spirit leads, seek God’s face…Then, and only then, will our actions be anointed and an example in such a way as to lead others away from practicing and doing evil!  We, as believers,  must first be the Light to a dark nation before our nation can turn from its current darker days of wickedness.  I believe it is sort of a “trinkle-down-effect” of righteousness.  But, currently, the unrighteous are not seeing many Christians living godly, righteous lives.  In today’s society, there is not too many differences at all between the ways unbelievers conduct themselves and many believers conduct themselves.  For the true promised effects of Christianity to spread, the lost must first see the “difference” in our lives!  Next, after we have followed all of these instructions, God then says that He will HEAR from heaven, and HE will FORGIVE our SIN, and HE WILL HEAL our land.  People, this thing is not going to get any better without God’s divine intervention.  In the Old Testament, Israel’s victories were based upon their relationship and obedience with God.  God’s formula for “blessings upon the land” is plainly spelled out in the Word of God.  For a nation to thrive, to be productive, and to be healthy and sound, the people of that nation must FEAR God.  For, the Fear of the LORD is the Beginning of Knowledge and Wisdom (Proverbs 1:7).  We were once a nation whom feared and honored the Lord. Our forefathers BELIEVED in God through Christ Jesus and they fervently PRAYED and sought God’s guidance and leadership in the building of our nation.  Their knowledge and wisdom to write one of the greatest documents, our US Constitution, ever written by mankind was a heavenly gift of inspiration given to them directly from God.  We will not find this same wisdom, knowledge, strength, or courage until we turn from our wicked ways and seek God’s ways.  I believer that We are a people under God… “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  Today, let the words of our Lord and Creator ring loudly through our hearts, minds, and ears that any nation that turns its back on God shall not, will not, and can not prosper and thrive; but it shall perish.  Like the great Republic of ancient Rome that eventually saw its doom and destruction, so shall we as a nation see our ruin if do not humble, pray, seek, and turn from our evil ways unto a Holy and Righteous God.  I want to challenge everyone to set aside ten minutes a day (longer if you can) for the next seven days to fervently seek God on behalf of our nation and its leaders.  It appears that we are facing a national crisis in more ways than we can handle on our own.  I do believe that God can turn this whole nation around…Don’t you?

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author

Sleepless Nights…Pray!

The clock on my computers reads 4:18 AM. Yet, I have been up since around 3:00 AM.  Those “Sleepless Nights” when the sweet, peaceful slumber of dream-time seems to pass you by.  When I can’t sleep I pray.  I allow my mind to ponder and meditate over the issues in life that I am concerned for and even worried over.  There, I said it. I admit that even as Christians we find ourselves apprehensive over the outcomes of certain matters, situations, and circumstances within our lives and the lives of our loved ones and friends.  Maybe, it’s not worry as much as it is concern and “bowels of mercies” that God will come on the scene and make everything right once again.  I mean, after all, it’s hard to just shut out the world and all of its woes.  At times like this, I am glad that I am not alone.  The Bible gives many examples of great men and women of  faith in God who meditated and prayed upon their beds weeping and calling out to a Holy God on behalf of their lives, the lives of others, and the circumstances surrounding them.  We read in the Book of Daniel that while in captivity, Daniel prayed three times a day.  Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet” for he cried out to a Holy God day and night on behalf of Israel.  Jesus, himself, is recorded as weeping at the death of his own friend, Lazarus, even though He knew at the very time that He was going to demonstrate a great miracle by bringing Lazarus back alive from the grave.  Nevertheless, Jesus wept and had compassion.  And, Paul and Silas, while locked up in prison, prayed and sang songs at midnight.  Prayer time just doesn’t come between the daylight hours of nine to five!  I think about one such man of great faith, King David, who was called the “Apple of God’s eye.”  Let me ask you a question; How would you like to be referred to as the “Apple of God’s eye?”  What an amazing and awesome relationship King David had with God.  Amazing.  Young David, even before he was anointed King of Israel, was so courageous and zealous of the mighty works and Hand of God in so much that he marched unto the battle field of Israel and the  Philistines to fearlessly challenge their great giant, Goliath, that in the “Name of the Lord of Hosts,” he would defeat him. (I Samuel 17) Then, we read that little David took five small stones (five representing Grace) from the riverbed and placed one stone in his sling and thrust it forward striking the enemy of Israel to the ground where David then proceeded to walk over, take the giant’s own sword from its sheath, and behead the fallen Goliath; enemy of Israel.  Wow!  What an amazing story of faith, power, might, and love.  You say, Love?  Yes, love.  David possessed an AGAPE love for God and a devoted love for his country.  David was no longer going to stand around listening to the stories of the Giant taunting Israeli’s army and making fun of their God.  Don’t you wish that we could gallantly march out on the battlefields of our minds, take up our “stones of faith,” and thrust them towards the giants of discouragement, defeat, and concern knocking them down and forever defeating them from our lives? Oh, what sweet victory.  Yet, we read that David boldly spoke to the Philistines, “The Lord saveth…for the battle is the Lord’s.” I earnestly believe that the victorious secret with little David is that he was so engulfed with Faith in God that he charged forward in full assurance that God would be there to defeat his enemies no matter what.  He was that assured of God’s love for him and for the nation of Israel.  I believe that David’s assurance of God’s love was what delighted God in so much that God, himself, referred to David as the “Apple of His Eye.”  I want that.  Don’t you? I want to be so filled with faith and assurance in God’s love for me and all those I love that all the battles in my life are won by the unseen Hand of God.  I, like you, have experienced these types of victories in my life.  But, tonight, or this morning rather, I am not as concerned about me right now as I am concerned about others around me.  I am praying for them and for their lives to be accomplished and protected by God.  I believe that when we are willing to stand in the gap-of-prayer on behalf of others, we will find ourselves sacrificing a few nights of sleep here and there.  Yet; I think it’s ok.  I believe God will honor our heart’s desire for His Hand of Protection to be upon the lives of our loved ones and friends.  Don’t you?  So, what the Devil may have us to call “worry,” can actually be a time of great supplication and prayer when we say, “I come to you (all of my concerns) in the Name of the Lord…for the battle is the Lord’s.”  What powerful words little David used to face his enemy.  This morning, I come to all of my concerns and supplications, “In the Name of the Lord.”  I take up my five stones of Faith and cast them towards my enemies in full assurance that God will overcome and win….Afterall, “The battle’s not mine, I give it to you, Lord, it’s thine.”  I wish for you a great victory today.  Amen. 

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author

Be Still and Know

Good Morning, Good Day.  Psalm 46 is one of my favorite Psalms of assurance.  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, Selah…..Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Have you ever needed a place of refuge (a place of rest and protection)?  Have you ever needed strength when every ounce of your own human strength was gone and you felt as if you couldn’t go on for another second? You might be feeling that today.  Have you ever experienced troubles in your life that made your world shake apart and your tears began to fall so hard and so quickly that it seemed they could reach to the sea? Have the waters of your life ever been so troubled that they seemed to roar over your head and all around you?  And, the once high mountains of joy, love, and laughter in your life suddenly turned into dark valleys of despair? I know you have; some more than others have experienced these life-shaking tragedies.  In these times, it’s hard to “Be Still and Know” when the world around you seems to be falling apart.  Know?  Know what?  KNOW that God is and always will be God.  God assures us time and time again in the Bible that it is HE, and He alone, who can sustain us through these valleys of despair.  God sits HIGH above the clouds of darkness and reins high in the LIGHT of Day.  No storm that has ever hit your life took God by surprise.  Though, he hurt for you and wanted so badly to protect you from all of life’s casualties, we are living in a present world that is cursed with a curse.  Death, disease, illnesses, disappointments, discouragements, sorrows, fears, wars and rumors of war, and unexplainable complexities are all around us. Yet, once again, God reminds us to “Be Still and Know.”  KNOW that God will and can bring you through the storms of life.  God can and will restore unto you the Joy of thy Salvation. God can and will bring comfort to you troubled heart, soul, and mind.  The joys of the Lord are our strength.  When you face such troubling days that it is hard to breath without being conscious of every breath, God knows what you are going through.  He can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.  He isn’t a God who is just sitting on a throne somewhere high above watching us being tossed to and fro from the ranging winds of destruction. He is a God who will GO WITH us through the storms.  A few months back, I was talking with my primary care physician, whom I also consider my friend as well as my doctor, about possessing a real life-sustaining Faith in God. He provided me with this very strange scenario.  He said, “Linda, what would you do if after your arrived in Heaven God looked at you and said that Heaven was all filled and there was no more room to live in the wonderful city of Glory, so your eternal abode would have to be Hell?”  My immediate response, with a smile on my face, was, “I’d start begging God to find a place for me!”  Then, I asked him what he would do if that happened to him.  His very calm, faith-filled, simple response was, “I’d look at God and say Let’s Go.”  In other words, his faith was so determined that no matter what might be ahead, God would always be by his side; even if it meant the pits of Hell.  Of course, we all know that particular scenario can never and will never take place for those of us who have entrusted our hearts and lives unto a Holy God.  After his response, I smiled and replied what a blessed assurance and reminder of God’s everlasting love that was.  It is calming and assuring to know that we can “Be Still and Know” that God will never leave us nor forsake us; even unto the end.  Today, you might be facing troubled waters, or there was a time in your life when you were overtaken by troubled waters and dark, sinking valleys, if so,  I pray that you will find strength, courage, and refuge in the amazing words of God found in Psalm 46…Be Still and Know… Know that I AM GOD.  Thank you Heavenly Father for this promise of assurance that You are and always will be GOD.  Amen.

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T. Rollins, Author