Thursday, October 26, 2023

Be Like Jesus

Philippians 2:3-5: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:


My family often prays, “Help us be more like Jesus today.”


I like these verses from Philippians. I understand them. Be humble. Put others’ needs above my own.


But what about the part that says to have the same mindset as Jesus in my relationships?


That’s not possible. Look at the next verse.


Philippians 2:6: Who, being in very nature God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;


Jesus is God. How can I possibly be like him?


In my relationships? How did Jesus relate to people?


In John chapter 8, he was the one who stayed with the woman caught in adultery.


In John chapter 9, he accepted the formerly blind man, who was thrown out of the temple.


And, oh, what about the demon-possessed man in Mark 5? The violent man who could no longer be bound with chains?


Mark 5:15: When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.


That’s how people who Jesus has related to can be seen—dressed and in their right mind. That’s how Jesus can make me seen, after all my garbage.


That’s how he wants me to relate to others.


And no, I can’t do it in my own strength. But I don’t have to. There is a better strength I can draw from.


Philippians 2:13: for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Psalm 17, Confident Prayer

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;

    listen to my cry.

Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips.

Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me,

you will find that I have planned no evil;

    my mouth has not transgressed.

Though people tried to bribe me,

I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded.

My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;

    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Show me the wonders of your great love,

you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance.

They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.

They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;

    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.

By your hand save me from such people, Lord,

    from those of this world whose reward is in this life.

May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;

    may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;

    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.


Oh, Lord, David had a confidence to call on you when he needed you, the trust that you would help him. Teach me, help me have this confidence. Through any trouble, remind me of the hope and joy of one day seeing your face. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Guest Author, Angela D. Shelton

I really enjoy Angela’s variety of stories.



Ever wondered where authors pluck their story ideas from? I used to be just as curious—especially when it came to spine-chillers from the likes of Stephen King. (No offense, Mr. King. I’m just too chicken to delve into your realm of horror.)


Inspiration often comes from the most unexpected places. My latest ah-ha moment? Reading Peter Zeihan’s eye-opening non-fiction work, “The End of the World is Just the Beginning.” Zeihan, a geopolitical strategist who consults for big names like the U.S. Military, delves deep into the looming population crisis and its ramifications.


And let me tell you, the signs are all around us. Case in point: a local restaurant I love recently shut its doors—not because it lacked customers, but because it couldn’t keep staff. The owner spilled that it’s not just about hiring—it’s the nail-biting uncertainty of whether staff will actually show up to work—on time—every day.


This got me thinking: What if a catastrophic event changed everything we know? What if Atlanta got leveled in a war, and those who survived vowed never to let a population crisis happen again? And what if, at the heart of this new world, was a teenager named Lexi?


Enter “Rise of the Y,” my newest young adult novel. Meet Lexi—a seventeen-year-old who balks at the idea of government-mandated husbands, careers, and lifestyles, all in the name of ‘optimal genetics.’



I’m thrilled to share this story with you. Packed with suspense, sprinkled with romance, and driven by a narrative that holds a mirror to our society, “Rise of the Y” aims to captivate and provoke thought in equal measure. Can’t wait for you to dive in!


Buy link: 


About the Author


Tales of Courage, Love, and Faith from the Cattle Fields to the Battlefields.

Angela D. Shelton, winner of the 2023 Christian Indie Awards in the young adult category, crafts spellbinding narratives in both young adult and romance genres. As a healthcare accountant, her life extends well beyond spreadsheets and ledgers. Alongside her husband, Tom, she passionately manages a thriving cattle ranch nestled within Georgia's picturesque landscapes.

Her inspiration doesn't end at the ranch gates. Drawing from hands-on agricultural experiences and Tom's rich knowledge of military and law enforcement, Angela weaves enthralling post-apocalyptic worlds in her acclaimed series, Collapse. This collection spotlights a brave family from a charming Georgia town, who, faced with a crumbling global supply chain, finds salvation in farming just in the nick of time.

Angela's latest literary undertaking, the riveting Rise of the Y, escorts readers into a dystopian realm set among the ruins of Atlanta, Georgia. Her storytelling mastery, combined with real-life insights, makes her novels not just compelling reads but immersive experiences. Whether it's a tale of resilience, romance, or rebellion, Angela's words resonate with readers, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Quite A Full Trip West

We decided to make this trip a little longer and visit with more family than usual. Because we’re the kind of people who do that, we left at 1:00 a.m. Friday, headed for Omaha.


A short time after we left, I realized I couldn’t find my purse. We stopped, and Murray searched thoroughly. No purse.


We called Sarah once it got light, and she searched carefully inside and outside, but couldn’t find it.


Because of all that was in the purse, this started us canceling bank cards, moving bills connected to the cards to others, changing the locks on the doors of our house, and other such fun vacation activities.


Rebecca and Steve took us to their favorite bagel restaurant Saturday morning, and I told Rebecca about the lost purse mess. “Every time I think about it, I want to cry, but I’m sure a time will come when I don’t feel that way.” Fortunately, I didn’t let it spoil our whole trip.


We had such a great time just spending a couple days with Rebecca and Steve. We ate out, talked, watched two movies, including “Princess Bride,” always a favorite.


On Sunday morning, Rebecca and Steve took us for a walk on a pedestrian bridge in Omaha, across the Missouri River. Murray asked, “What’s on the other side?”


Steve said, “Iowa?” So we walked far enough across so that we could say that we walked to Iowa, then turned around.


On Monday, we drove to visit my mom in Missouri. We have started a great tradition of playing scrabble with her, and to my surprise, I actually won this time.


My brother Rodney and his friend Marilyn came to Mom’s place on Tuesday, and we played dominoes. Murray and Rodney won most of the games. “A game of skill,” Rodney said.


At about 2:30 that afternoon, Mom said, “Oh, I’d better get back to my room. It’s time for Kathy to call.”


That evening, we had dinner with Murray’s brother Myles and his family, Heather and Melissa, and Murray’s brother Aaron came, too, for grilled hotdogs.


Heather and Melissa showed us their newly-hatched chicks in a cage where they keep them during the day, and I was telling them how we used to get baby chicks in the mail when I was a kid. I loved listening to them cheap and sticking my finger in the wholes in the box to feel how soft they were.


While I spoke, Heather took out one of the babies and let me hold it in my hands. So cute.


I told Myles about this, and he said, “Yes, they’re just a little bigger than a McNugget.”


On Wednesday we drove further south in Missouri to visit Murray’s sister Sherill. She’d fallen the week before, broke her leg, and had to have extensive surgery.


When I heard the name of the town where she’d gone for rehab, I thought it sounded familiar. When I mentioned it to Mom, she said that was the town where my cousin Michelle had just moved to from Florida.


I contacted Michelle, and she visited Sherill. We had lunch with Michelle and her husband Keith on Wednesday. Michelle and I decided we hadn’t seen each other since 1977, at our grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely talk and said we should try not to wait 46 years to see each other again.


We visited Sherill, and although she has a long way to go with her rehab, I’ve never seen anyone who has such a positive attitude. God bless her.


Wednesday night we drove to Branson, Missouri, to visit Murray’s aunts Melody and Elena, and his uncle Larry. We hadn’t seen them for six years.


Melody was generous and let Murray and me sleep at her place, even though she’d just had surgery the day before. Elena baked brownies and cooked homemade Chinese food, and showed us a quilt she’s working on. We also had a nice talk with Murray’s sister-in-law Sandra.


Melody shared her doggy Mini with me. Mini was wonderful, putting her feet up on me so I could pick her up and hold her on my lap. This, and the dogs at Myles’s house, helped me with my missing our kitties.


Because we are just like that, we started our drive home at nine Thursday evening, and were pretty exhausted when we got home Friday afternoon.


Such a beautiful time, traveling to a bunch of towns, spending time with a lot of family, just talking and visiting. Lovely.