woman at the well - Copy

We were camping and getting ready to go swimming. I was 13 and in the tent changing into my bikini. I started to pull up the straps of my top when my dad opened the flap. “Get out!” I screamed. He snapped back, “You haven’t got anything anyway.” I was devastated. How could he say such a thing? I had a pretty nice body for a 13-year old, but his degrading comeback hit me like a hammer. He dropped the flap down quickly and left. The End. For him maybe, but not for me.


The words cut deep. “You haven’t got anything” is what I heard and what I believed about myself for years. I felt like I could never be good enough, that my dad thought I was ugly and unworthy of love. So I saw myself that way. My teenage years were horrible. The seeds of rejection and self-hatred had developed deep roots in my young soul.


The most hurtful problems in our adult lives often come because we have experienced devastating things in the past and the results have rooted themselves deeply within us. They make us think, speak, and act in ways that aren’t even appropriate to the current situations. But something triggers a connection to the past and we react in the way we did back then. We need to get free of these old hurts and deep wounds. Jeremiah gives us God’s word on this: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, ‘This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after’” (Jer. 30:17).


Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The Greek word for “know” in this scripture is ginosko and it means to “know absolutely, to be sure of, to understand and be resolved.” Our past horrific  and hurtful experiences and their results need to be once and for all resolved and put in their proper place, where they no longer are a part of our present day life. So how do we facilitate that happening?


To annihilate the clinging noose of past negative experiences is going to take the supernatural touch of Jesus Christ. It was Satan working in the past, through people, often good people who had no idea they were causing such devastation, to bring the evil on us in the first place. The effects can’t be taken care of completely and thoroughly without the supernatural help of the one who “came to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).


Only Jesus can get to the root of any problem. He’s alive now and real and still doing the same things He did when He was in the flesh on earth: honing in on the sources of our anxieties, fears, hatreds, etc., exposing them for what they really are and giving us the clear deliverance we so desperately need. He said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). When the word “shall” is used, it is absolute, in contrast to the word “will,” which is less emphatic.


A great example of the type of freedom Jesus came to bring is in John 4. Jesus came to a well and asked the woman there for a drink. She asked him why He was talking to her since she was a Samaritan and Jews weren’t supposed to have dealings with Samaritans.


He totally ignored her question. He came with deliverance for everyone. It didn’t matter if she was Jew or Samaritan. Everyone has hidden hurts. He didn’t care what she thought of herself or the boundaries she’d set up to guard herself. He was there to set her free.


He told her that instead of her giving Him a cup of physical water, he could give her a different kind of water that would change her life.  She was hesitant and replied: “The well is deep,” and she wasn’t talking about the physical well.


Jesus had the power to go into that deep well of her soul, uproot the source of the problem and give her complete and lasting freedom. Psalm 42:7 tells us:  “Deep calleth unto deep.” There is nothing deeper than the insight, understanding and love of God through Jesus Christ.


As it turned out, the woman was broken. Her self-worth was about as low as it can get. She had gone from man to man looking for true love, but something was wrong. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, no matter what she did. How many people are stuck in that trap?


Jesus explained to her what was happening with her. He uprooted the cause and He showed her what true love was. She received it. I don’t know how long it took, but she was so excited about being free of her bondage to the past that she ran out to tell the men of the city and they came out to see.


Jesus ministered to them for two more days and they had the same types of things happen to them. “And they told the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ’” (John 4:42 AMP).  Why did they say “savior?”  Because they were saved—rescued—from the effects of whatever past life-changing negative experiences were still playing havoc in their lives too.


Jesus is real, alive now and able to work in many different ways to get to the bottom of our wells, or to the deepest sources of hurt in us. He is the answer to getting rid of them once and for all.


I learned that I could ask Jesus to go back with me to the incident with my dad in the tent. Time exists here on earth, but there is no time with the Lord, so He could show me in the Spirit exactly what was happening back then. I needed to see it through the eyes of the Lord Jesus. And He showed me the truth:


My dad’s angry words had nothing to do with me. Lashing out in anger was a defense he learned as a child when he was so often accused of being wrong. It was an automatic trigger reaction. When he opened the tent flap without asking, he did something wrong. When I called him on it, he lashed out at me just like he always did when he was accused of being wrong. I finally understood and I could let go of my own hurt and anger. I was totally set free. My wound couldn’t be opened anymore. It instantly became like a scar—a reminder, but without the attached emotions of the opened wound.


This worked for me; it’s worked for many others and it can work for you too.


I understand that some people won’t be able to take the Lord back to the incident because they’re angry with Him for allowing it in the first place. I have adult friends who have not yet forgiven God for things in the past. It’s more common than you might think—secretly blaming God for abandoning them in the past and not answering their childhood prayers.


But we have to forgive God too, even though it wasn’t really His fault. Whether or not we understand it, we still have to just do it, to release our minds and hearts from all unforgiveness. Do it first, then get the understanding.


How to accomplish these feats starts with a decision to be willing to learn. Jesus takes our willingness and leads us to complete freedom.


I pray that if you are a person looking to be free from past wounds that are still popping up in your life, let the Lord guide you in going back to just one significant incident that hurt you and let Jesus show it to you through His eyes. We don’t need to let those old wounds be ripped open repeatedly in our lives, but to be healed once and for all and never hurt us again.


Love, Carolyn




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angel 2

Mario told me he drives 23 hours straight through when he takes his family to visit his relatives down in Mexico. I asked him why. He replied, “There are many robbers along the way and I am protecting my family.” It reminded me of Genesis 24, one of my favorite Bible records where Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for Isaac.


The servant had some doubts about the trip but Abraham told him, “The Lord will send his angel before thee and with thee, and prosper thy way.” What exactly did this mean?


The servant had to travel about 450 miles through rough lands carrying a dowry for the prospective bride. So, like with my friend Mario, there were robbers along the way ready to ambush the servant and steal his many precious treasures. Part of the angel’s job was to go ahead of the servant and make sure the bandits were not going to be around to attack and steal the goods. Abraham was extremely rich, so when his servant was going for a bride, he would have had many camels with loads of gold, silver, beautiful clothing, and other wonderful things.


The other part of “prospering thy way” was to make sure the servant actually acquired the treasure (the wife) he came for. And, indeed it did happen.


How do these scriptures relate to us? If you consider that our lives are a journey, then these verses from Genesis 24 relate to us in many ways and can be applied in many circumstances. We all have possessions; consider them treasures. We’d like them to last and not be lost or stolen along the way.


Jesus spoke: “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). In other words, we have the right to bind things here that God has already made unlawful in His realm. And we can unleash and let fly the wonderful things He’s already made available to us in His spiritual realm. We just need to open the Bible and see what those things are and believe them. When that happens, they go from the invisible and unattainable, to the practical and touchable.


We can utilize these scriptures to loose [declare] angels to protect our treasures—our homes, our bodies, our business acumen, our livestock, our thoughts, our spiritual insight and all our many precious possessions. The scriptures are true. They become true to us when we believe and apply them. They have been “tried” in both senses of the word: 1. They been put to the test of fire, like a metal is tried in a furnace, and it comes out even purer. 2. The scriptures have also been “tried” by believers for thousands of years in millions of circumstances and they have worked.


Just think about it. Name some of your most treasured possessions and include more than the physical things you have. Any of these wonderful things God has blessed us with, He’s also given us the permission to ask or declare angelic help in taking care of them and protecting them.


Psalm 35:27 says that the Lord “delights and takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Then in Psalm 103 we are told that it’s one of the angels’ jobs to carry out God’s pleasure toward us: “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word…all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure” (Ps. 103:20-21).


Considering all the goods that Abraham’s servant took with him, he most likely had other people with him also and the angel protected them too. We could use these verses when we’re asking protection for our loved ones, as well as our personal safety and the protection of our goods.


Part of the angel’s mission was to prosper the servant by making sure he got what he went for. In this case it was the right woman. Whatever things God has given you permission to go after, you could send angels on these verses to prosper your way by making sure you get what you are after too.


It’s also something to note that the angel was sent out to prosper the way of a servant. This guy wasn’t a king or a corporate giant. He was a servant. Every single born again person has access to angels, like it says in Hebrews 1:14: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” Galatians 3:29 says we are those heirs: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”


Today I am praying for you, that you will read this record in Genesis 24: 1-61, in light of your own journey, and think about how you can permit angels to prosper your journey as well.


Love, Carolyn


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Three years ago there was a trend in Las Vegas for employees to hold back on paying their workers. That’s serious business with God. He doesn’t like it when His children don’t get paid what they’re owed. But the Lord waits for us to ask Him, as our loving Father, to rise up to His full power to avenge us. He doesn’t just do it automatically.


We have to first know what the will of God is, and what the Bible says about the situation, to be able to call down what’s rightfully ours. James 5:4 says: “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” In other words, the money (hire) is crying out, trying to get to the workers and the people are crying out to get their money.


The Lord of Sabaoth (Greek for “Lord of Hosts”) hears and rises up from His throne ready to take action for us. Many times when the Bible talks about the Lord of Sabaoth or the Lord of Hosts, it’s God in His anger and wrath against the evils done to His people. It’s not a pretty thing when the Lord of Hosts is smoking furious!


Psalm 18 gives us the picture of what happens. David cried out in his distress and it says the earth shook and trembled and even the foundations were shaken because God was so angry. “There went smoke out of his nostrils and the fire out of His mouth.” Usually we see God sitting on His throne, but not in this case: “He bent the heavens and came down with thunder and hail and fire” (vv. 9 and 13).


Romans 9:29 tells us it was the Lord of Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, who was behind the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah. If it wasn’t for God’s mercy no one would have been left alive. Psalm 46:7 says the Lord of Hosts “uttered his voice, the earth melted.” Psalm 24:8 tells us the Lord of Hosts is strong and mighty in battle.


No one wants to get in the way when the Lord of Hosts is teed off. When people consciously do wrong or are disobedient to God’s will, they’re walking on a dangerous mine field and will definitely get explosive results, either immediately or down the line.


In the Old Testament Law, people were supposed to be paid on the day they worked. Leviticus 19:13 says: “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.” What a worker was to be paid wasn’t even supposed to be held back overnight!


Deuteronomy 24:15 says: “At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.”

And Jeremiah says: “Woe unto him that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work” (Jer 22:13).

These days we usually don’t get paid on the day we work, but whatever the agreement is, whether weekly, bi-weekly or otherwise, it needs to be adhered to. If not, we have a perfect right to get the Lord of Hosts involved. And if we are the employers, we need to heed what the Word of God says about paying for services rendered.


My friend, Kathy, was promised her money on Wednesday or Thursday of the week we worked. She didn’t get it. On Friday I told her about the Lord of Sabaoth and she immediately said: “Lord of Sabaoth come down and get Johnson to pay me.” Within the hour she got a portion of her money, but not all of it, not what she was promised. I’m not sure if she ever got the whole amount, but I sure hope so, for Johnson’s sake.


When something like this happens we have to exercise our faith to get our money. Faith in what? Faith in the scriptures, that the Lord of Hosts will go after our money and get it to us. If you don’t know these scriptures that I’ve included here, then take them down and start saying them out loud until you believe and trust them.

Psalm 84:12 says: “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”


We have to trust in the Lord of Hosts, that He will do what He says He will do. Then we lock onto our money like a stealth missile and we pull it in. We follow any other instructions the Holy Spirit gives us as far as affirmative action we may need to take. I’ve been in this position a number of times and each time the action I had to take was uncomfortable but I did it anyway and every time it worked out and I got my money.


When we pray and claim these scriptures, the Lord of Hosts will put so much pressure on the person, they will probably want to pay us as fast as possible to get the pressure off. We keep the pressure on with faith latched onto our money like a pit bull. We do any corresponding Holy Spirit-inspired action. We can also pray for and loose angels on our behalf to facilitate what the scriptures promise—in this case, our rightful pay. We don’t let up.


But if our clients or bosses stay stubborn and stupid, the consequences will come. Isaiah 1 (vv. 24, 28 and 29) say if they don’t do what’s right they’re going to be consumed. Where they were strong like an oak tree, they’ll start to fade and lose things and life. They’ll be like a garden without water. My sunflowers would die in two days if I didn’t water them daily.


Believe me, clients and bosses would rather pay than suffer the consequences of holding out on the Lord of Sabaoth!


I hope you will take this message to heart and share it so that both Christian employers and employees get the blessing God wants them to have.


Love, Carolyn


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I thought I’d be married and have children by the time I was 25. By the time I was 35 I realized I might not be getting married at all—the guys I liked, didn’t like me; the guys who liked me, I didn’t like. So I determined to be happy being single. Then the Lord directed me to Isaiah 54 and showed me the scriptures to take into my heart that would be my “go to” scriptures ever since. If you or anyone you know is an older woman and single, don’t despair, the Lord has provided tremendous blessings for us. Even though these passages are Old Testament, Romans 15:4 tells us we should learn from them: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.


Here’s the section of scripture that the Lord gave me:


“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord” (Is. 54:1). A husband, children, then grandchildren, are a priority to women who have their own families, but single women can take on spiritual children, in prayer and I find that is true in my writing, as well.


“Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more” (vv.2-4).


Now this is amazing:


“For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (v.5). It doesn’t get much better than that!


If you take the time to look up “the Lord of Hosts” in a Concordance, it is the same as the Lord of Sabaoth. In this aspect, God is the powerful leader and chief of all the angels (hosts), including the warring angels, the prosperity angels, the protecting angels, all of them.


The Lord of Hosts is also the commander and chief of all creation, all the elements that make up the earth, and that make up our physical bodies. All the laws of physics, chemistry, microbiology, all of that is under His direction. It is the Lord of Sabaoth who brings the elements together for miraculous healings. He is the one who created those things and He orchestrates, directs and pulls together what is needed in any situation. He is the mighty fixer.


In the New Testament, James 5:4 tells us the Lord of Sabaoth is the one who makes sure the rightful payment for work we do, gets to us: “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” You do not want to mess with the Lord of Sabaoth.


It is the Lord of Sabaoth who caused the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. “And as Esaias said before, ‘Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah’” (Rom. 9:29).


But the other side of the Lord of Sabaoth is His extreme kindness. His fire and His might is extreme, but so is His kindness. His mercy rescued Lot and his family, even though they had compromised on His Word and were living by choice in an evil place and by evil ways. God sent his angels to bring Lot out of Sodom before the destruction hit it.


The name for God, as the Lord of Hosts, is the one He chose to use here in Isaiah. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”


So what else does the Lord have to say on the subject?


“For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God” (v.6). This part is a little hurtful, but not to worry.


“For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (vv.7-8).


The next few verses have some great things to say too, some that I understand and some that I don’t, but I want to go on to the last four scriptures.


“In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee” (v.14). What a great promise, right?


“Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy” (vv.15-16). The Lord of Sabaoth will not let anyone hurt us. This is an awesome scripture to take hold of and believe with all our hearts!


And the last verse of Isaiah 54 is monumental: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord” (v. 17).


Don’t fret or be sorry you older single women. Our God has prepared an amazingly wonderful life, hand-crafted just for us. We are not forsaken, but chosen and favored.


Love, Carolyn








pool of bethesda

It was Saturday and I got up early as usual. I told myself God loves me and started my day. I wasn’t feeling top notch and didn’t know exactly what was bothering me: upcoming doctor appointment? No. Looking for a new work project? No. I went through a list of things that could possibly be bringing me down, but there was nothing specific. I just was feeling somewhat deflated, discouraged and sad. Satan would like to keep us all that way as long and as often as possible so we get so discouraged we give up on all we’re doing for the Lord.


But it’s not going to happen.


I started off by telling myself Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  I also told myself: “I’m going to have a great day.” I had to say it three times before I even partially believed it. I felt like just crawling back into bed, but instead I just started doing things. I went outside, swept the patio, did some paperwork, cooked some vegetables for my best friend, and I started to feel better.


We all get disappointed and discouraged at times and sometimes want to indulge in a bit of self-pity over one thing or another. It’s just human nature. We get tired of always fighting and working and fighting and working and it just gets us down sometimes.


Jesus’ disciples had the same problem.


Jesus took them to the Mount of Olives just before his crucifixion. He told them to pray while he went off a little ways to pray by himself. But when he “rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow” (Luke 22:45).


That’s just how I felt. Midway through the day it was still heavy and I just didn’t want to do anything but take a long nap and escape the blues.


But Jesus “said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation” (vs.46). And isn’t that just so true? If we stay in our “poor me, I just want to sleep” state we’re much more likely to fall into deeper temptations that get harder and harder to escape. Satan is definitely looking for that. “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).


A great example of someone who let the “poor me” temptation escalate into years of sorrow was the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. He’d been coming down to the pool to get his healing for years on end, 38 to be exact. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to become well? Are you really in earnest about getting well?” (John 5:6). The man didn’t say yes. Instead he answered by blaming other people, saying it was their fault he wasn’t getting healed.


It’s easy to blame others for our lack of joy, health and happiness. But Jesus told the crippled man he had to take the forward action himself. “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked” (vs.8-9).


When there’s no one around to lift us up out of our slump, we have to do it ourselves with God’s Word. And because God already knew we’d have some problems with this, He put lots of scriptures throughout the Bible to help us. I call them cures for the blues.


Hebrews 12:12 is a good one: “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet.”


And 1 Timothy 1:6-7 says, “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”


Isaiah 61:3 tells us the Lord gives us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” But we’re the ones who have to put it on. When we’re feeling burdened, the last thing we want to do is get up, go to the closet and put on something bright and happy. But I’ll never forget the words of Rose Marie, a secretary I once met. I complimented her on how pretty she looked one day. She replied, “I always try to look my best when I feel my worst.” Great advice.


Nothing really spectacular happened during the day but I just kept moving and at the end of the day God gave me a great reward:


Jane and I were coming home from doing some errands and a young couple, Mayra and her husband (20 and 21 years old) were walking down the street. Several months ago it was raining and I gave Mayra a ride to her job over at the Circus Circus Hotel. We had a great talk about Jesus and she told me her husband was starting to believe in Jesus too. She said they didn’t have a car anymore and were going to move across country to live with her dad and go to school.


And here they were today, walking down the street (God’s perfect timing) with two big suitcases, a guitar and their little Chihuahua dog in a pink carrying case. I waited for them to get to our driveway and asked, “Are you leaving now?” She answered, “Yes.”


“To the airport?” I asked. “How are you going to get there?” She looked at the ground and barely whispered, “We don’t know exactly.” Jane instantly spoke up, “We’ll give you a ride. Just wait a minute and we’ll be right back.”


We went inside, gathered some snacks into a bag and came back out. Mayra started to wipe the tears from her eyes, as she clutched the snack bag. I hugged her and told her we were happy to give them a ride. She said, “Nobody is this nice after only meeting someone one time.” They didn’t have a car so they were used to walking, but ten miles to the airport? That’s crazy!


We were so blessed to be able to help them start their new life. Then on the way home I got a text message thanking me for some help I gave another friend. God gave me a really spectacular and rewarding end to a day that started out sad and discouraging. I’m so thankful for His Word and His love.


This event happened over two and a half years ago, but I was actually feeling a little discouraged today. When I came home from work and opened my folder of articles and read this one, I had to smile at myself. It was just what I needed and now I’m feeling way much better! Praise God!


Love, Carolyn


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paul off horse

The car was perfect. It was a Jeep, just like Jane wanted. It was the right price. The owner of the place was a Christian named Angel, and when we went there I saw a wonderful plaque on his wall about trusting God and being thankful. And the model of the Jeep? It was a Liberty! And we loved it. What could be wrong? EVERYTHING!! The day before we went to pick it up, one of the workers called to tell us, “Angel wanted me to call you and let you know it has a “rebuilt” title. What?! That is the same as a salvage title, which means it was in a wreck. Jane would have never pursued it in the first place if she’d known that. She had waited two weeks in excited anticipation and now this? I cried myself to sleep that night and cried again a little bit when I told the guys at work the next day.


The guys told me God had something better for us and I knew it was true but wow, it still hurt. In a few days I realized we had learned a lot from the experience. It was kind of astronomical as far as our new knowledge on buying cars and the details of what we needed to know up front. In the end, we refused to look at the whole thing as a bad experience, but rather, a training exercise.


Our “training experience” was only two weeks, thank God. I have friends who have endured much greater. One friend, Larry, had his heart set on being a fire fighter. He took classes in college that were recommended, and then he went into the training itself. All together it was three years. Then at the end, they did a physical exam and found a heart murmur. Larry told me: “They couldn’t accept me because of the policies they have. According to their policies I would be a liability.”


WOW, how devastating was that?! But Larry went on to be very successful in two more careers. When I asked him about it, he said, “God had other plans for me and I’m still being blessed.” Larry is one of the kindest people I know. He carries no bitterness about what he went through.


The Apostle Paul had everything going for him. Everything he was and everything he did, looked so good to him. By the flesh, he was at the top of his game. He tells the Philippians:


“If anyone else thinks that he has reason to be confident in the flesh [that is, in his own efforts to achieve salvation], I have far more: circumcised when I was eight days old, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews [an exemplary Hebrew];


“As to the [observance of the] Law, a Pharisee; as to my zeal [for Jewish tradition], a persecutor of the church; and as to righteousness [supposed right living] which [my fellow Jews believe] is in the Law, I proved myself blameless” (Phil.3:4-6 AMP).


But the Lord had other ideas for Paul. Paul was literally kicked off his high horse.


“As he traveled he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him [displaying the glory and majesty of Christ]; and he fell to the ground.


“And heard a voice [from heaven] saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting and oppressing Me?” And Saul said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:3-5 AMP).


Paul was blinded when he fell and was blind for the next three days. The men who were with him took him by the hand to Damascus [no longer on his high horse], and he started on his new career. He was baptized and began learning from a simple man, Ananias. What he had gathered from his previous “career,” he was able to use later on, but the ultimate job God had for him, was so much greater than before. Instead of marking Christians for execution, now he was bringing people into God’s family. One of the things the Lord gave him to do was to write letters. Those words are what form a major part of the New Testament today.


Jane’s experience with the car taught us what things to look for and we know that a much better car is in her near future. Larry’s experience of being denied the career he sought, helped to make him the strong and faithful Christian he is today.


We learn to be grateful for those past experiences. The lessons we accumulate make us valuable assets to others in God’s family for the future. And we have already been assured by God that our future gets brighter and brighter as we grow in Him.


Love, Carolyn

(painting by Caravaggio 1601)