How Telling is Your Transformation?

The news alert came across my car radio. A huge bolt of lightning had struck a California beach out of the blue in the middle of a beautifully sunny day, leaving one person dead and more than a dozen injured, one critically.

lightening

I listened as the desk anchor cut to the scene where a field reporter was waiting to interview an eye witness.  I’m still shaking my head over what happened next.  Apparently, the guy being interviewed saw the whole thing as an opportunity to grab his 15 seconds of fame for he opened his eye witness account with a joke. Yes, he did. He stuttered and stammered as if he’d been struck by lightning himself. As you might imagine, his joke fell flat.  I couldn’t see the reporter’s face, but the dead air was a big clue. The wannabe comedian chuckled self-consciously and said something about how you just have to laugh to get through things. To his credit, the reporter continued the interview as if it hadn’t even happened, only it got worse. Within seconds the fellow was actually plugging a movie he was producing. I couldn’t believe my ears.

Grasping now, the reporter opined on the life-altering experience it must have been for all involved. The guy’s response said it all, “Oh, absolutely,” he said. “I know it changed me– for a minute.”

That’s what he said. It changed him for a minute. Telling isn’t it? Whatever else impact the near death experience had on him it was temporary. Once you sit with that a while, the truth of it settles in. We’ve all had experiences that we think will change us forever–and now I’m thinking about our first encounter with Jesus– only to discover that it was temporary, a moment, a season. I can’t count the number of times that happened to me. Today, I remember eternally grateful that Father God taught me how to stay in His pursuit because it is His abiding Presence that changes us forever!


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A Tailor Made Proposal

It would’ve been physically impossible for the young man who stopped by our table to smile any broader. Having heard that he was engaged and having already noted that he was with an attractive young lady we hadn’t met, my husband and I felt sure we knew who was responsible for his big grin.

Phil and I exchanged greetings with the couple and we all began to make small talk. During our conversation our young friend continued to smile ever so broadly as he looked at his date, back at us, and back at her again. Anyone could see he was eager to share his good news with us, if only he could figure out what to say. I was trying to decide if I should help him out by bringing up the subject myself when the his sweetheart nodded good-bye and turned as if to join their friends who were waiting at checkout.  Something about her move, jolted him into action. Out came the sweetest, most gleeful wedding announcement I’ve heard in some time.

“I’m going to marry her!” he said. It was clear, concise, and charming to the max.

That scene played out several nights ago, and it brought back sweet memories to my man and I of our own courtship. Here’s an image I made last week to celebrate our 33 years and counting together!

33yrs

The guy’s obvious enthusiasm also  came back to me this morning and I was reading Scripture.  Isaiah 62:5 says, “And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.”

The Bible calls Jesus our bridegroom. One day all who believe will take His hand at the marriage supper of the Lamb. As hard as it is to fathom, we make His heart glad. The joyful announcement has gone forth in the halls of heaven. “He’s going to marry us!”

The shy young man in our story may have been at a loss for words, but our Jesus never is. Even now He continues to extend His tailor made proposal. It is clear, concise, and charming to the max. And here’s the best part, it begins with “Whosoever will…”


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The Voice that Soothes Mens’ Souls

For better or worse, this is the only voice I have. I couldn’t get away from it if I tried. My voice comes with me and by all accounts, it seems to linger when I’m gone. I’ve had people tell me they hear my voice when they’re reading my columns or my books. Bless their hearts. Makes me want to apologize for being in their personal space.

People are quicker to recognize me by my voice than they are by my appearance.  It’s not unusual to meet someone and have them say something like, “Hey! You’re Everything Southern!” or “I know you. You’re the All Southern Girl”, but nine times out of ten this happens after we begin conversing, and not before. I see no need to correct ‘em on the actual title. If they’re anywhere close to All Things Southern, I consider it a win.

It’s worth noting I’ve been on the radio for almost a decade, at least in northeast Louisiana, meaning the people recognizing my voice are those who’ve been exposed to it on a regular basis.  My voice is identifiable to them only to the extent that is has become familiar to them. There’s an eternal truth here for all who will hear it and thankfully, it has nothing to do with this southern twang of mine. Our conversation is just a good jumping off place.

We all long to hear from God. (Don’t even try to be the odd man out and tell you aren’t interested because frankly, I won’t believe you.) So, why is it that so many people live their lives without hearing and recognizing His voice? I’d like to humbly suggest that it’s because we often fail to listen for Him on a regular basis.

restoration

God speaks. He speaks through nature, He speaks through His Word, and He speaks to our spirits. Recognizing His voice is about setting our hearts on His channel and choosing His instruction as our go-to Source until we come to know the Voice that calms the waters and soothes men’s souls.


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