MADE NEW

I about keeled over when my hubby Bert talked about selling his 1985 CJ7 Jeep.

He bought it used in 2010, polished the sun-damaged red paint until the entire Jeep gleamed, and worked on the engine til it purred. Aside from the occasional carburetor troubles, he loved this vehicle.

He’d talked about unloading it for a year or so, but I knew he wouldn’t do it. That Jeep continued to be his pride and joy. Neighbors would stop by to chat with him about it, and Bert would come in the house holding his cheeks – they ached from the grin he wore.

What price do you put on that kind of joy?

So, when he announced he was putting an ad in the neighborhood news, I threw my hand up and batted the air,  and went back to work. But then the calls came in and the Jeep drove away, and tears filled my eyes. Bert’s too.

A few days ago, our neighbor stopped by with the Jeep. He explained that a mechanic friend searched until he located the precise carburetor for this Jeep. Then he took Bert for a ride. Though filled with nostalgia at its parting, Bert loved that the Jeep ran better than ever before. “Like new,” were his words.

And isn’t that exactly what Jesus does for us?

2 Cor. 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

When we turn our lives over to Jesus, give Him ownership and allow Him to work in us, He makes us new. He washes us clean in His life-giving blood, searches for and heals the sin-damaged areas, and sets us free to live for Him.

Priceless joy!

And then, with Him in the driver’s seat, He takes us on an unforgettable ride. All the way home.

 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal.2:20, NKJV)

By author eMarie

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THE PAPER BAG FIGHT

While scouring material for my 1930s suspense novel, I accidentally came across this gem about Margaret E. Knight. Her life didn’t start with a silver spoon in her mouth. In fact, things went from bad to worse, and her story almost didn’t have a happy ending. Ah, but Providence had a way of allowing Margaret’s hard work, tenacity, and wonderful inventions to shine.

Born in Maine on February 14, 1838, Mattie, as some called her, never played with dolls but instead preferred tools and blocks of wood. After the death of her father, she, her mother, and two brothers relocated to New Hampshire. To help support the family, Mattie left school and began work in a cotton mill at age 12.

When she witnessed a co-worker’s severe accident due to equipment failure, Mattie invented a device ensuring its safe operation. Unfortunately, she never patented this safety measure and left the mill due to health issues shortly thereafter.

It’s said that if neighboring boys had problems with their gadgets, they sought help from Mattie. Her mill invention may be one of the reasons.

Mattie received her first patent for a “pneumatic paper-feeder.” She had moved to Springfield, MA three years earlier and worked for Columbia Paper Bag Company. Paper bags that could stand on flat bottoms were handmade and expensive. Mattie built a wooden prototype that cut, folded, and glued brown paper into the shopping bags we’re familiar with today.

To request a patent, however, she needed an iron machine. Charles Annan visited the shop constructing Mattie’s paper bag machine. Imagine Mattie’s surprise when she applied for a patent but instead had to file a patent interference lawsuit. Whether true or not, some records document that Charles contended that Mattie, a woman, wouldn’t have a clue how to make such a machine.

Mattie didn’t shrink from the fight. But their day in court, which cost Mattie about $100.00 per day for 16 days, proved Charles wrong. Not only did she have multiple witnesses testifying to her work, her blueprints, journals, and models detailed her remarkable invention.

Accounts vary, but at the end of her 76 years of life, Mattie had amassed an estate worth approximately $275.00. Paultry in comparison to the approximately 30 patents she’d acquired. These exclude her many unpatented inventions. Though she had received little formal education, her superior intellect earned her many accolades—one which dubbed her “woman Edison.”

In 2006, Margaret E. Knight was inducted into the National Inventor Hall of Fame. A small-scale version of the machine that earned her bag-making patent sits in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

If you’ve ever the notion to give up or walk away from a righteous fight, pick up a paper bag and think about what it cost Mattie. Then quash the naysayers. Work hard, stay in the fight, and do the impossible. *

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright rescues them. (Prov. 12:6, NIV)

By Author eMarie

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*Info Sources:
women-inventors.com
invent.org

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:10)

I entered my first writing contest four years ago, I had no idea what to expect. When the results became available, I didn’t want to look. Then, I almost fell off the chair.  Someone wrote the words “first place” beside my name.

Prayer, hard work, and lots of help from fellow writers helped polish those chapters. After resubmitting the story a year later, it earned a semifinalist award in a nationwide contest.

Later that year, another story that I helped co-author won a first-place award. The year after, the same story earned a semifinal award in a nationwide contest.

You might think, wow, amazing achievements. Where can I buy your book?

Ha! The humbling truth is, I’ve lost more contests than I’ve won. Worse yet, I have not had a single traditionally published book.  (A Snowflake’s Adventure is a self-published children’s picture book written for my grandchildren and donated to children around the world. To date, my hubby and I have given OCC/Samaritan’s Purse almost 600 books.)  🙂

Why am I telling you this?

An adage that I learned back in first grade, thanks to Mrs. Titus, a wonderful mother figure, went as follows: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Turns out, decades earlier, Mr. Thomas Palmer wrote these words in a Teacher’s Manual to inspire children to do their homework.

Seems Mr. Palmer’s life may have served as inspiration for his words. An immigrant from Scotland, he and his brother settled in Philadelphia where they established a print shop. Mr. Palmer’s interest in education led to his support for reform. When his brother passed away, Mr. Palmer moved to Vermont where, in his latter years, his accomplishments included farming, opening a school, setting up a library, and authoring textbooks. 

Mr. Palmer’s many achievements came because he took his own advice. He tried, and tried again, and tried again.

If we’re honest, repetitive failure pulls toward despair like the world’s largest magnet.

What do we do then?

For me, spending time with Jesus changes everything. His love brings life. And His Spirit transforms, equipping me to do His work. Motivating me to be all He’s created me to be.

Whether a tweak in attitude, a bigger dream, a different approach to a goal, or more muscle, go to Jesus! Work at what glorifies Him, and let Him provide.

By author eMarie

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HE CARES FOR YOU

This week, we celebrated time with two of our children and all four of our grandkids. I slipped away in my memory to the times my sweet little ones would slip and fall. They’d come running to me with teardrops on their cheeks, their injured knee or elbow extended, confident I’d apply a cool compress, then fix their boo boos and owies with a kiss, and hug them until everything was better.

If all else failed, a Band-Aid with a happy face or bright colors or super hero design would do the trick.

But those fixes don’t work for adult “slips and falls.”

When we examine the life of David, the scraps and victories, the brokenness and wisdom, the pitfalls and the profound faith, the man who God dubbed “after His own heart,” there isn’t a failure he endured or praise he lifted that we can’t relate to.

As transparent as his life was to God, so is ours. Our Heavenly Father sees every high and low. He cares for us, whether we’re down in the valley or high on a mountain. Whether basking in His love, or humbled and bruised and struggling to follow Him.

Like a balm to our wound, the words penned below can dry our tears, strengthen our faith, fix our hope, and move us closer to our Savior. To let Him be our Healer. Our Lord of all.

God bless you as you trust in His everlasting care.

By eMarie

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ICY, SLUSHY, MUDDY

Do you remember the thrill of washing your first car?

Mine was the best ever!! A 1968 American Rambler with a white roof, teal body, and matching teal seats. I couldn’t imagine owning a better car. To top it all, I’d emptied my entire savings account to pay for it.

At that time, winters in NJ were rough. But my little jalopy took me everywhere. So, with great joy one fine April morning, I hauled out a bucket of soapy water, a hose, and a sponge and gave my baby the first of many baths.

Here in Idaho, car washes occupy nearly every street corner – a far cry from do-it-yourself scrubbing. For a time, my hubby and I bucked the trend. But after many miles on icy, slushy, muddy roads, we yielded to this decadent convenience.

At the entrance to the car wash, a teenager with a bright smile waved us in. Though we couldn’t see them, he ensured that our tires fit perfectly into the tracks on the ground. As soon as we shifted the car into neutral, voilà, it began to roll into the tunnel. When a green light flashed, Smiley picked up a hose and squirted our car with a sudsy film. Then he disappeared! Actually, everything did!

To our surprise, we rolled into a soapy cloud that progressed to a torrential downpour with catastrophic gusts. Ah, but once the storm ended, we could see perfectly through a clean windshield. Little did we know, we had yet to endure a heat wave. Large red lights descended, then retracted as we neared a closed garage door.

Wait – shouldn’t someone open the door – soon!? As quick as a prayer, the door opened and we happily rolled toward a flashing green light that said “GO.” Once we shifted into drive, we left the tunnel and traveled down the road to home.

No longer car wash novices, we’ve learned to enjoy the experience. Safe in our little bubble, we sometimes bring coffee to sip while the storm rages around us. We’ve even taken our precious grandchildren with their frozen yogurts along for the ride. And always with excellent results—a squeaky clean car.

The more I thought about the car wash process, I realized how much it mirrors a Christian’s life.

We come to the Lord, and He graciously takes us just as we are—even if we’ve participated in icy, slushy, muddy roads. With a brilliant smile, He waves us forward, and by His Spirit He directs us onto the right track. Then, unlike Smiley at the car wash, He stays with us through blinding storms, harsh winds, and scorching heat. As we travel life’s road, the more we lean into Him, trusting Him for the things we can’t see (faith), our relationship deepens. We grow to love and praise Him, in seasons of plenty, pain, or problems.

One day, all the rocky ridges and slippery slopes will clear. We’ll come to the green light, the moment we’ll shift into “GO.” And we’ll head home, into the arms of Jesus!

In the meantime, I want to bring as many family and friends through the car wash. How about you?

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2, NIV)

By Author eMarie

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RESCUE US!

Before the world was formed, plans were set in motion for a rescue mission. The joint chiefs of staff weren’t consulted. No general assembly required. Just an earnest, heart-pounding, life-altering conversation between a Father, His Son, and The Holy Spirit. Jesus chose to become the sacrificial lamb. He willingly paid the penalty for our sins.

Preacher William Evans said, “Cut the Bible anywhere and it bleeds … the atonement is the scarlet cord running through every page in the entire Bible … it is red with redemption truth.”

If there’s any doubt, listen to Jesus’ conversation with two men on the way to Emmaus. The two were returning from Jerusalem where Jesus had been crucified. They poured out their burdened hearts to Him, thinking he was a stranger. Jesus took them through the Scriptures beginning with Moses and continued to weave His cleansing power through every prophetic passage. At last their eyes were open. They recognized the Messiah, no longer on parchment but with skin!

Jesus had accomplished every word foretold on every page.

The atoning work of the cross had been fulfilled.

Trace with me the scarlet cord woven throughout the Old Testament. It sews together the hides that cover Adam and Eve. Tethers each spotless, sacrificial lamb. See it in the garments of the high priests and in the fabric of the tabernacle curtains. Watch as the angel passes over the Israelites’ blood-stained doorposts. Feel the weight of the scarlet cord as it cuts into Rahab’s hands while she lowers the Israelite spies over the walls of Jericho. Rahab’s story becomes woven into the familial cord that binds and prompts John the Baptist to proclaim Jesus the Lamb of God.

This scarlet cord frees the New Testament woman caught in adultery, opens the eyes of the blind man, and welcomes a tax collector. And so much more…

Jesus sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. And on the cross, He poured out His life’s blood, extending the atoning scarlet cord to each one of us.

“Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22, NIV). Though our sins are as scarlet, Jesus’ blood washes them white as snow.

Whether a Rahab or a bystander at the tomb on Resurrection Sunday, this scarlet cord stretches through eternity. A completed rescue mission. For me. For you.

Happy Easter!

By Author eMarie

To leave a comment, please click on the title above, RESCUE US!, and scroll down.  Thank you for subscribing and sharing this site with friends. See you next week for another encouraging post. God bless you!  🙂

 

 

ARE YOU A RADICAL?

Some time ago, at the conclusion of our book club meeting, a woman began a different conversation with an interesting statement. She had been shopping in downtown Boise and encountered a street preacher. She said, “Why do people do that? I don’t understand these radical Christians.”

We’ve probably all seen or heard people who stand on a box while occupying a street corner and shout above the din of buses, cars, and passersby. They raise their Bibles or wave them in the air and, like preachers of yesteryear, present a hell, fire, and brimstone message. If they’re true to the Word of God, they preach the need to repent from sin and turn to the Lord.


| glanced around the room, wondering what the other women thought. Most wore smiles. Some toyed with book pages, others their bracelets, while a few looked at their watches-perhaps hoping it was time to leave.

Then I heard a voice speaking. And realized it was mine. But the words definitely came from the Holy Spirit. They went something like this:

God sent His son to receive the punishment my sins deserved. Jesus Christ paid a debt He hadn’t earned. And because of His death, resurrection, and ascension, He forever defeated satan’s power. And amazing as it sounds, I have the choice to turn away from Him, or live for Him and have eternal life. That’s radical love. I guess I don’t understand why we would be anything but radical Christians.

Well, our book club meeting became a prayer meeting. I’ve forgotten which book we discussed, but I won’t soon forget what the Lord had to say that day.

So, there’s just one question left to ask: are you a radical Christian?

That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to bring your box and Bible down to 1st & No Way and address a crowd.

But unlike those that waved palm branches one week and then yelled “Crucify Him” the next, Christians share the gospel (Good News!). Some as missionaries to foreign countries or here in America. Some fill the pulpit of small and mega churches; some foster children; some volunteer in shelters, nursing homes, and church nurseries. Some smile at strangers or pay for their coffee, or give blankets to the homeless. All pray constantly, earnestly, diligently.

Why do Christian people do that? Because of what radical love did for us.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV)

By Author eMarie

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A COURSE CORRECTION?

We watched our grandson Ty play in a baseball tournament in Kennewick, WA last weekend. What a thrill!! His skills had improved by leaps and bounds since we  saw him play two years ago. In one game, he made two outs by catching pop flies  and assisted in two outs.

Though every game had lows and highs, the second one stands out in my mind. Let me set the field for you:

At the top of the 6th inning, the score favored the other team – 10-2. Our pitcher was tired, and the count showed it: 3 balls and 0 strikes. With bases loaded, the opposing team’s at bat player looked hungry. Tension grew and fans for both teams slid to the edge of their seats.

Then, our grandson’s coach did the unthinkable. He walked to the pitcher’s mound, placed a consoling hand on the pitcher’s shoulder, and called Ty out of the dugout.

My heart sank. I couldn’t help wonder, why this course correction now?

As our grandson strode to the mound, he held his head high. But knowing him as I do, he bore this Jose Conseco or Nolan Ryan-sized challenge on his shoulders. His warm-up inspired confidence, and even brought a smile to his lips.

But when the batter slammed the first pitch just inside the fence, the umpire called the game at 14-2.

We stalled at the car while the coach rallied the team, and then our son-in-law talked alone with his son. By the time we greeted Ty, though his tone ached with disappointment, he acknowledged he’d done the best he could.

Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened had the coach switched pitchers sooner than later. Would it have changed the outcome of the game? Or would the end have come as swiftly, painfully as it had?

When I finally stopped wallowing in the woulda, coulda, shouldas of the game, the Lord gently pulled back the curtain, so to speak, and revealed His life application: before time runs out, He graciously motivates us to seek Him; to change direction; to listen to that still, small voice; to obey the Holy Spirit’s prompts and tugs; to turn to the One who is able to keep us from falling.

Our God never fails. He’s perfect, infallible. His timing is never early, late, or slow. He holds our times in His hands. And His urges, warnings lead to our good and His glory.

If you’ve sensed that something’s missing, that you’re on the wrong path, today is the right day to change course. Run into the Lord’s open arms, and ask Him to direct your life and lead you home.

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jerm. 29:11-12, NIV)

By Author eMarie

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WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8.)

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg , TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, ‘I hope he doesn’t come over here.’ But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.
‘Where are you folks from?’ he asked in a friendly voice.
‘ Oklahoma ,’ they answered.
‘Great to have you here in Tennessee ,’ the stranger said.. ‘What do you do for a living?’
‘I teach at a seminary,’ he replied.
‘Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a really great story for you.’ And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.
The professor groaned and thought to himself, ‘Great … Just what I need ….another preacher story!’
The man started, ‘See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, ‘Hey boy, Who’s your daddy?’ Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’
He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad. ‘When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’
But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast that he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.
Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, ‘Son, who’s your daddy?’
The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’
‘This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy.. ‘Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now, You are a child of God.’
With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, ‘Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.’
‘With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, ‘Who’s your Daddy?’ he’d just tell them , ‘I’m a Child of God..”
The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, ‘Isn’t that a great story?’
The professor responded that it really was a great story!
As the man turned to leave, he said, ‘You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!’ And he walked away..
The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over & asked her, ‘Do you know who that man was — the one who just left that was sitting at our table?’
The waitress grinned and said, ‘Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s governor of Tennessee !’


Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they’re one of God’s children! Go share the Good News!  🙂

(DISCLAIMER: This was a FB post from an anonymous source)
Author eMarie

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WHO IS LIKE HIM?

More than two years ago, I set a course to write a weekly blog. I am so grateful  you’ve subscribed, and I enjoy getting to know you through your kind words and comments. THANK YOU!!

I imagine you looking into your computer screen while reading these blog posts, sometimes laughing, sometimes tearful, but always filled with awe because God loves you!

Mind if I share a secret? Here are two more reasons for each blog post:

  • God is our Encourager. I can’t fathom a time when we’ve had a greater need for Him and His words of encouragement. When we share His word, we encourage and build each other up in the faith. (Those are Paul’s precious words in 1 Thes. 5:11.)
  • My time with the Lord. Here’s a visual for each post … a brief glimpse at the person whose fingers hit the keyboard, heart-pounding, reveling in the presence of the Lord. Quiet and humbled before Almighty God—Him searching my heart, me chasing after Him like a thirsty beggar—then plunging deeper into that time where He takes captive every thought. Where He burns away my foolishness, examines every motive, and lightens my burdens. Where I come away knowing in my knower, if not for His loving kindness, His life-giving Word, His forgiveness where would I be?

Isaiah 40:12 tells us that God can measure the oceans in His hand! Do you know anyone else who can do that? He’s created the Heavens and the Earth. He’s named and placed the stars in the sky, and yet He knows the number of hairs on our heads! How awesome is our God!  🙂

Though we cannot comprehend all that God is, we get what David says in Psalm 113:5. “Who is like the Lord our God…”

David hit the nail on the head again when he penned these words:

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? (Psm. 8:3-4, NIV)

Today, let’s consider who God is! Let praises flow to him for the love He lavishes on each of us. Because that’s who He is!

Isn’t that reason enough to share His fame with others?

by author eMarie

To leave a comment, please click on the title above, “WHO IS LIKE HIM?” and scroll down. Thank you for subscribing to this website and for sharing it with friends. Please come back next week for more encouragement! God bless you!  🙂