Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CREASES AND WRINKLES ASIDE

                                                CREASES AND WRINKLES ASIDE
                                                                 T. Wieland Allen    
    Laughing at myself gives me the greatest joy a person can have at my age.  Maybe that is a benefit of growing older.  The older we get, the more forgiving of our own actions we become and also the more experiences we have in life which free us from getting upset at either major or minor situations.
    I took a trip to the west coast recently to see two of my children.  In planning the trip, I wanted to first stop by the residential complex into which my good friend Dorothy had just moved.  The building is in the same nearby town as the airport.   I left three hours early from home before I needed to get to my plane to check in and go through security.  It takes an hour to get to the Tulsa Airport but I needed extra time to have lunch with my friend in Bixby which is in the far south end of the Tulsa area from the airport.  I figured that two extra hours would be plenty of time to spare, other than the time needed to get to the airport, check in and go through security.   Maybe I should have considered the "catching up" conversation time that is necessary when good friends get together. I arrived at her apartment with two hours to spare before I needed to arrive at the airport. 
   We ate lunch at her facility, had good tuna and potato salads.  Then we went to her lovely two bedroom apartment on the bottom floor which is beautifully decorated because she was a professional home decorator.  After my viewing her apartment she wanted me to teach her how to text on her cell phone.  I told her that I needed to leave at 2:00 to get to the airport on the north side of Tulsa so I would get to the check-in counter at 3:00 before the plane left at 4:00. We agreed that I needed to leave at least that early.
     Dorothy had a terrible time learning how to operate her phone, as did I in the beginning of my experiences with IPhones.  It took us much longer than expected and I should have set the alarm on my phone in order to have the right amount of time to drive to the airport an hour earlier than the departing time of my flight.  During our tutoring time, I looked at my watch and it said the time was 2:45.  I should have left 45 minutes before that.  Oh, dear.  I wasn't even sure what route to take to the airport. 
     I rushed down the hall of the complex, ran to my car, praying all the way, asking for a favor from God that the plane would be late and I would get there in time.  That took great faith on my part, but I know about God's goodness so I knew I wasn't asking for something frivolously. 
     The thought came to me about a short cut I had heard about, so I got on a loop around Tulsa, hoping it would take me to the airport in plenty of time.  Glory be, it did, although not in "plenty" of time.  I pulled into the long term parking lot at 3:30 instead of 2:45 or 3:00 which was my original plan.  I quickly unloaded my two suitcases and boogied as fast as I could to check in and get my boarding pass, dragging my two suitcases behind me, one which contained a small sewing machine for my daughter's birthday.
     I made it to the Southwest check-in counter at 3:40 and breathlessly said that I was going to San Francisco.  The lady said I was fortunate because the plane was 15 minutes late.  Thank you, God.  I knew You would do it for me. Praise You forever!
      Then she asked for my ID.  Oh, my gosh, I had left it at home in my other purse.  I had no identity except for my Medicare card, my Blue Cross card, plus a credit card.   I needed a card with a picture ID, driver's license preferred.  After giving her an excuse why I had forgotten to grab my license, she apologetically informed me that I would have to go through a thorough search and pat down in order to board the plane.  That was okay with me.  I knew that Southwest had to let me fly because I had a ticket, but Homeland Security might be a problem. 
      Sure enough, when I got to the check-in at Homeland Security, the attendant  looked at me like I had robbed a bank.  He called a supervisor who drilled me about the reason I did not follow instructions and bring my picture ID.  I joked with him about my age, suggesting that he give an 80 year old lady some leeway since I was so late in getting to the airport.  He was not swayed by my jokes and logic. 
He informed me that I would have to take off my jacket and shoes, jewelry, etc., and be personally patted down by a female security guard.  Considering that that was the only way I would be able to board the plane, I willingly yielded to the instructions.
      I have traditionally carried on airplanes a large fabric bag which fits underneath the seat in front of me and it has always been filled with things I really never need, but thinking that there might come a time when I will need them, I stuff them in that bag.  Problem was, the Homeland Security supervisor had to go through that 2 1/2 feet by four feet fabric bag completely with its six compartments, wiping down everything in there with a swatch of material containing something that identifies explosives.  He wiped my three lipstick tubes, my three magazines, my hand wipes, my tissue case, my address book, my hairbrush, my compact, my small wallet containing money, and other total nonessentials that I always think I might need.  Not only did those things have to be wiped with the swatches, but also my shoes, jacket, my jewelry, and my compression sleeve that I have to wear on my arm for lymphadema.  After each item was wiped down, he put that swatch into a machine which tested for explosives.  None were found, of course.  I was glad that they are so thorough.  Then the blue gloved young lady patted me down from head to toe, front to back, inside legs and under arms with my arms stretched straight out.  That entire ordeal took a good 20 minutes. 
    After they decided I was no threat to society, they released me to go.  I quickly got into my jacket, walking into my shoes at the same time, grabbed my large fabric bag and ran to the proper gate.  The line to board was beginning to walk onto the plane.  I made it.  God saved me again!  Thank Him forever!!!
    Because of the stringent time consuming but necessary extra activities, I did not have time to go to the bathroom to empty my full bladder before boarding the airplane.  Dorothy and I had had two big glasses of peach tea, plus a glass of water.  Fortunately for me, the connecting flight was in Dallas, so I knew it wouldn't be long for the flight to arrive there and I could find a restroom in that airport. It was an uncomfortable flight to Dallas, full bladder and all.  
   When we landed in Dallas I was desperate, needing to empty from my bladder all of those liquids that I had unwisely consumed.  Fortunately, I was in the front of the airplane, and when it was my turn to exit, I ran to the closest ladies restroom, threw the door open, quickly hung my fabric carry-on bag on the hook on the door and crouched down over the toilet, straddling it because I didn't have time to get a paper seat cover applied.  I jerked my black trousers down to my ankles, pulled down my black panties to my knees, pulled my shirt up to my shoulders and started relieving my bladder into the toilet.
   I was so glad to make it there without urine running down my leg.  All of a sudden the weight of my carry-on bag somehow was able to swing the door to the stall outward.  I evidently had not securely locked the latch and so the weight of my bag caused the huge door of the toilet stall to swing outward, revealing me straddling the toilet in my crouched position with my bottom exposed for all the world to see.  There was a long line of ladies in front of me who were waiting in line to use the toilets and there I was, fully exposed.  The two ladies who were closest to the door had a birds eye view. 
    I said loudly, "Well, hello," without stopping the flow into the toilet because I couldn't.   One nice lady stepped over and closed the door and held it until I could grab the bottom of it and hold it until I finished my business.  I would have been so embarrassed if it hadn't been so funny. 
    Fortunately the two ladies who observed my entire bare lower anatomy in that crouched position while straddling the toilet had made it into a stall and I didn't have to face them.  I laughed at myself for an hour and decided it was material for a short story to put on my blog.
     I had to be patted down two more times for different flights so I got use to it.  All three times the Home Security officials treated me like a bank robber again.  How dare I go off without a picture ID was the attitude behind their stern looks.  I joked with them and they softened up a bit.  I had to be careful about the subject of my joking because they are very sensitive about that.
    It was an enjoyable adventure.  My son at home took a picture of my driver's license and texted it to my daughter in San Francisco and she printed out a big replica of it.  That got me through the two other Southwest check-ins, plus the first security check, but not the final Home Security ones.  I had to be patted down and the contents of my carry-on bag had to wiped for explosives again two times.  I became use to it.  I was just glad to know they are so efficient.  I thanked them for their efficiency and all three supervisors acted shocked.  Maybe no one has thanked them before. 
     Getting older means that one loses all sense of embarrassment.  We elders laugh at ourselves because nothing is that serious to us anymore.  Life is an adventure to be lived with joy and I have arrived at that point. 
     I have to give credit to God again for seeing that my flight was late and that the loop around Tulsa that He impressed me to take was the right one, getting me to the airport barely in time to get all of the extra duties done by Homeland Security.    
    I remained calm the whole time.  Hey, I had a ticket for a Southwest flight so they had to honor that ticket.  The problem was Homeland Security and their rules, which I appreciate because it makes me feel safe and secure.  Believe me, nobody will ever get anything dangerous past those supervisors.
    The experience has taught me never to leave my driver's license at home in my other wallet and also when in a ladies room to always lock the latch securely.  When in line waiting for a stall, I learned to look straight ahead in case one of the ladies in a stall has the same experience of the stall door swinging outward, revealing her complete lower anatomy.  I would be willing to close the door for her, like the nice lady did for me, but I would not relish the unpleasant sight of gazing on her exposed lower anatomy.
    Preparation is always the key.  I must remember to be fully prepared next month when I fly to the west coast again.  My anatomy is not what it used to be.  It has all slipped down several inches with lots of creases and wrinkles that I, myself, refrain from looking upon, even in mirrors.  Also, my driver's license will be in my bag along with money and necessary cards.
    "Always Be Prepared" was either the Boy Scout or the Girl Scout motto when I was young.  Great advice, no matter what your age is. I wasn't prepared this time but God saved me from my mistakes, like He always does.  I think "Be Prepared" is one of the instructions in His book of wisdom called the Proverbs. Of course He would think of it.  He's God.  He knows the mistakes that people make and He saves us every time from our own forgetfulness. Where would we be if He didn't?
     People only give each other three strikes and you're out, like in baseball.  Not God.  So far, I'm up to like four million strikes and he hasn't declared me out yet and He never will.  It's called forgiveness.  I think I'll practice forgiveness more.  As much as I've been forgiven, I owe it to Him for me to forgive others.  Forgiveness from Him and forgiveness for others clears our arteries and gives us things to laugh about. 
    Hey, getting older is a blast.  Refusing to fret about mistakes and misdeeds is a plus to a person's health and attitudes.  You've lived long enough to appreciate your own quirks and you don't sweat the small stuff, the medium stuff or the big stuff.  Why should we?  God doesn't. 
     I wish you happy traveling but don't forget your ID.  I didn't mind making the Homeland Security ladies work for their pay, as unpleasant as it is for them.  Be sure and appreciate their efficiency like I did.  They acted glad to be appreciated instead of being the subject of insults for causing delays. 
    Elderly people enjoy spreading sunshine around.  I do and it got me to my destination and home in a joyful and jolly mood.  Maybe I left a little sunshine at the security line.  They badly need it!  
    

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

 "WE NEED TO PRAY"
                                                        T. Wieland Allen
     "Praise God," "Glory to God," "Thank you, God" and "You are the greatest Father, ever," are exclamations of thanksgiving and joy that fell from the mouths of six ladies who had gathered together for our weekly prayer and study session.  We are used to having reasons to praise Him from the heart and we had just experienced another miracle that almost left us speechless.
      We always meet at noon on Tuesdays and are often referred to as the Tuesday Girls and at other times as the Prayer Posse, having been named the Posse by a friend in Wisconsin who knows about our penchants for going after healing and other solutions until we get the answers.  We rarely miss meeting together and, come hell or high water, we do manage to meet together, even if it's only one or two in attendance.   We know that Jesus told us that where two or three are gathered together, He is in our midst.  We regularly have six ladies with varying ages, from 55 to 85.  It makes no difference how many are able to come, we are called to eat lunch, pray and then study, laugh and occasionally cry when we marvel at His wonderful orchestrations in our lives.
    Such was the case when an unusal miracle happened.  It started with a mistake on my part.  The past Tuesday I had misunderstood that we were meeting at Marcia's house instead of Jane's house.   On Monday before the next meeting I called Jane and found that we had decided last week to meet at Marcia's house.  Even though it was Monday morning, I knew that Marcia would be amenable to meeting at her house.   I called her and she said what I knew she would say, "We will meet at my house.  We need to pray."  It was so gracious of her to offer, but that meant that she would have to fix a full meal for eight ladies who like to eat. 
    I suggested that she order pizzas and get a pizza dessert also. She was delighted with the suggestion and said that she had an engagement on the east side of town the next morning and it would be easy for her to swing by the pizza place and pick up the pizzas before going home.  The plan was for her to collect the pizzas at 11:30 in order to get across town in time to welcome the prayer partners into her house.  As they say, everything was copacetic. 
    You also know that good plans can fall through.  Well, suffice it to say that God knows all solutions to all problems.
     Early Monday evening I felt compelled to make an entire meal to take to Cathi, whose daughter had had hip surgery.  I knew that they would appreciate a meal and I had time to cook, so late in the afternoon I went into the kitchen and saw that I had spaghetti, two bottles of spaghetti sauce and a large package of meatballs in the freezer.  I had eight large cheese and garlic buns in the freezer also left over from last Tuesday's meeting at my house.  I remembered that I also had some tangerines in the fridge, too.  I had two packages of peanutbutter cookie mix and also had some icing I could put between two cookies and make special cookies out of by layering them.  There was the full meal and I didn't even have to go to the market.   In thirty minutes I had the full meal put into gallon ziplock bags, and placed into a large decorative basket to be taken to Cathi's home the next day after Bible study.  Yes, copacetic again!
       On Tuesday I had a busy morning so I had loaded the basket of food for Cathi's family into the car to be delivered later.  At 11:45 I had finished loading my Bible and the teaching material that I was teaching that day and I was on my way to Marcia's house for our Tuesday ritual.  My cell phone rang and it was Marcia who very calmly said, "Some man took our pizzas." 
      She had arrived at the pizza place at the appointed time only to find out that a man had picked up our pizzas.  She asked me if I could stop by the market and get some shaved ham and turkey and a loaf of bread and we would just have sandwiches.
      I had just passed the market so I said to Marcia, "I have spaghetti and meatballs in the back of my van to take to Cathi's family.  We will have it for lunch."  I must say, she uttered a sigh of relief. 
      When I arrived at her house, I saw that another Posse member named Kathy had arrived early and she was able to help with hostess duties, warming up the spaghetti, meatball and the bread while waiting on the other ladies to arrive. I needed to bring into the house my teaching material and Bible.
      It had all been orchestrated by God, who knew that the pizza would be gone when Marcia went to get it, so he compelled me the night before to fix a meal for Cathi's family so that we would have a new main dish delivered right to the door with no trouble.  It had been so easy on everyone, except maybe Marcia, who did have to handle the inconvenience at the last minute of not having a main course to feed six hungry women.  She had already fixed a salad, hot tea and cake for us.  She was so gracious to offer to be hostess at such a late time and she knew the importance of our gathering together to pray, so God just obliged her by sending her a main course to serve.
    He is such a wonderful Father. He sends answers to our [rayers to us from no where.  Dorothy said she thought maybe ravens from heaven had brought it.
When we expect the unexpected, it will show up.  It's called faith.
     Cathi's family did not miss out.  Marcia called the pizza place and had two large pizzas delivered to Cathi's house.  God meets the needs of everyone.   He's a great Dad! 
     And speaking of God being a great Dad, I am so glad that He is not the kind of dad who just waits until you mess up and then pounces with judgment and condemnation on you.  If He was, I would have been dead long ago.  In fact, human beings would have vanished from the earth by now if he was the judge.  The opposite is true.  He is the Father who helps people who make mistakes,   He helps people who miss the mark,  He is the rescuer, not the judge.  He is the problem solver, not the condemner.  He is the Blesser, not the judge.
     I messed up by thinking that Jane was having the Tuesday meeting.  Instead it was supposed to be Marcia.  My mistake caused a problem for Marcia, who had to rearrange a few things in her life to be able to host our meeting.  It also caused some confusion for her, having the center piece of her meal bought by the wrong person. BUT, never fear, God supplied the spaghetti and meatballs before the confusion set in by compelling me the night before to fix them for the family of another Posse member. Cathi. 
    That's the rest that he calls us into, knowing that He solves our problems and fixes our mistakes.  That is what it means when the scripture says that He knows what our needs are before we ask.  When we are in unity with Him with no strife, the problem is solved before it's apparent to you that there is a problem.
    Isn't that the most wonderful, loving, kind, generous, problem solving, solution providing Father!  I am so glad that we have that kind of a Heavenly Father, one who is completely involved in our daily lives.  That knowledge just takes your breath away.  Well, not really.  If we had no breath we could not praise Him.  His miracles are enough to praise Him continually.  That's what the songwriter David said, to let His praises be continually in your mouth.  The Posse has no problem doing that because His goodness to His children is everlasting.
    I thank him forever for fixing this problem before it began!          
          
            

Thursday, January 7, 2016

ANGELS IN THE RED ZONE

     Here I go again with a miracle testimony that is, again, difficult for me to believe, and I saw it develop with my own eyes.  It is about sports, which I had somehow previously determined that God did not really care who wins a game since he is no respecter of people.  He doesn't cheer for any team to win except in battles against the devil and then he always cheers for His children to win.  But in sport games, I was, and still am, convinced that He does not care who wins any sports game.
    So I have some theories about why he helped a certain team win in a nationally televised game.  I think that more insight will come to you as I write the scenario of how the thrilling game ended.  It was a game against two very well matched teams, one which had, unfortunately, had a stroke of bad luck two days before the game.
    The game was between the Oregon Ducks and the TCU Horned Frogs.  It took place at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.  It doesn't matter which team was favored because in this college sports battle it involved special help from heaven.
     My sister and her family were at the game because they have special interest in TCU, hoping that their grandchildren will some day attend the college. That will be a few years in the future, but the game took place not too far from where they live so all the people in her family who lived close by attended.  I had no knowledge that they were in the stadium because I had been on the West Coast at the time and was not apprised of their plans to attend the game.
    Speaking of the West Coast, two days before the Alamo Bowl game, I was sitting in a classy breakfast restaurant in San  Diego with one of my grandsons and one of my sons.  It was early in the morning because my plane left early in the morning headed for Phoenix and then on to Tulsa.  We had already ordered very creative and delicious breakfast meals when my grandson looked at his smart phone and announced to us that a young man whose name was Trevone Boykin, the quarterback for TCU, had been arrested at a bar fight in the early morning hours and taken to jail.  He reported that the quarterback of the TCU team had also assaulted a police officer and was still in jail.  Of course we came to the conclusion that Boykin would not play in the bowl game. 
     Sure enough it was all over the papers the next two days.  Soon it was announced that he certainly would not play. That was a pitiful situation because he had previously been considered for the Heisman trophy..  News analysts began to draw and quarter him, questioning his morality and his intelligence and any other area they could use to fill their air time on the TV airways.  I began to have compassion for the young man, knowing that everybody makes mistakes and he was unfortunate enough to be in the eye of the public so he was fair game for judgment and condemnation for doing such a stupid act in sneaking out after curfew and going to a bar a couple of nights before the big game. 
     Compassion and sympathy for the young man grew heavier and heavier in my emotions so I began to silently pray for the young man whose life was ruined, as was proclaimed by the sports analysts.  I began to feel the load that the young man was carrying, knowing that not only was his football team disappointed in him, but also his family, the entire college and his coaches.  It wasn't only limited to the named college but also the entire football sports world was  crucifying him in their minds and verbally for making such an unwise decision which not only cost him his football career but also might cost his team winning their bowl game. He was a lamb for the slaughter.  I truly felt his emotional pain.
     When game time came, I watched sporadically and found that TCU was losing big time.  They could not get anything to work for them.  At half time they were losing 31 to 0.  As I said, I did not know at that time that my sister and her family were at the game, but I had a very strong urge to text her and inquire if any of them were in attendance.  Sure enough I received back a text that told me that seven members of their family were there and that it was a sad, sad affair because their team was so far behind.  Since it is very unusual for a team to be 31 points behind to come ahead and win, something dramatic had to happen to help them.
      My sister reiterated how sad it was.  I began to think more and more about Trevone Boykin, the suspended quarterback who was not playing and leading his team to victory, which he had done in most of the games.  He had had the attention of the sports media all year and was hailed as one of the best players in the college football world at the time.   With his team losing by that huge a margin, my compassion for Boykin reached 100 on the leader board of my emotional activity.  If the team lost by a huge margin without scoring a point, the crucifixion of him in the media and in the minds of the fans would be unmerciful.  I could feel his apprehension at thinking about what he faced in the media and from people in the future.  That unwise act would follow him all of his life.
     After the halftime was over and the teams took their positions, the announcers of the game commented that the Oregon Ducks didn't seem to come out of the dressing room with the same gusto that they had in the first half.  A gift of faith  began to rise in me, with the thought that with some spiritual help maybe the TCU team would be able to at least make a good showing, although it would take a while to make up the 31 points that were on the scoreboard for the Ducks.  I texted my sister and said, "The game is not over yet." 
      She texted, "We're hanging in here; in the stands, I mean,"
      I texted, "Praying for a miracle." 
      She texted back, "Me, too." 
      I must confess that my concern was not for the TCU team itself. It was for the suspended quarterback, Trevone Boykin.  I knew the outcome of the game had a dramatic influence on the rest of his life. 
      As we prayed, suddenly, within just a few minutes, the TCU team had scored 17 points.  It was as if their opponents could not do anything right and everything the TCU team did was right and when they did they put points on the board. 
      I texted, "Where two agree, 17 points show up on the board."
     She texted, "Amen."
     I began to think about the movie, "Angels in the Outfield."  I began to pray for there to be angels in the red zone helping TCU score more and more points. When they did, my sister texted back, "A miracle happened again," as the team scored again and again.  As the 4th quarter ended, the teams were tied.  It had certainly been a miracle to behold.
     I texted back, "I knew it would.  Prayer works when two are in agreement." I was in agreement that they would win for Trevone Boykin's sake and she was in agreement that they would win for the team's sake.  The objects of the win didn't matter, the fact is that we were in agreement for God to do a miracle for the TCU team and He did. 
     There were angels on the 50 yard line, the 40 yard line, the 30 yard line, the 20 yard line, the 10 yard line and in the red zone helping the TCU team win in three overtimes. 
     TCU ended up winning the game 45 to 41.  They overcame a 31 point deficit.
     I know that God's heart was also aching, like mine was,  for Trevone Boykin, the young man who had made such a life changing mistake.  I knew that God wanted to add energy and momentum to his team so that they would be determined to win.  Their substitute quarterback was the hero of the game.  He had supernatural ability and it was apparent that something happened to him in the second half that was not apparent in the first half. He seemed to be empowered.
      Was God on the side of TCU?  I think He was, but only because of His compassion and love for Trevone Boykin.  He wanted the team to win to take the pressure off of the suspended quarterback.  I know that Trevone was praying to God to rescue him from the effects of his mistake and God did.  He had apologized immediately to the team, the fans and the university, so we know that he was contrite.  God merely used two ladies to agree with his prayers and prove that where two or three agree a thing is established.  We had faith in God's miracles and because of the multiplied faith a miracle happened.
      It was the best game of all of the bowl games, as declared by the sports analysts.  The TCU team got the attention and the acclaim instead of the media continuing to crucify a young man who merely made a mistake in his choices. 
      Who hasn't make a mistake in their decision making?  I have.  You have.  Everyone has.  Our mistakes were just not visible to the entire sports world.
      I know that Trevone Boykin is grateful to God, just like we are.  His failure is no longer news.  The team's victory is news.  That's the way it should be.  That's the way God planned it.  He always produces good news.   
     

Sunday, January 3, 2016

BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLIES SIGHTED

                                  BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLIES SIGHTED
                                                                 T. Wieland Allen
      The most amazing thing about appearances from the heavenly dimension is that they happen all the time but people are blind to them, or maybe they see them but do not relate them to reality.  I was blind to them for many years, choosing instead to only believe what was material to this world, what I could touch, feel, smell, hear or taste.  Even when things appeared to be from another dimension, I chose not to be "spiritual" or "mystical" as is the label attached to people who are aware of heavenly occurrences.  When I began to appreciate the messages of hope and faith that come from the heavenly world, I found that their appearances became more and more frequent and much more apparent to me.
      Such an occasion happened to me recently at the home of my daughter and her family.  Their home is a loving home with an appreciation of the uniqueness of every member of their family, my daughter, her husband and their daughter Edan.  They are a family of many talents and varied interests.  It is in such a setting that messages of hope and faith come easily because of the lack of conflict, drama and chaos.  Heavenly visitations frequent the homes where an atmosphere of heaven is already present, homes where love, peace, joy, kindness, goodness and patience are already well established.
       I must lay the background for the message of hope, assurance and faith that came to me on a recent visit to such an earthly atmosphere, the home of my daughter and her family.  The background involves the life of my husband Steve who fought a valiant battle with a rare form of cancer and lost the final battle, which broke the hearts of every member of our family.  After his death, our grand daughter Edan, at six years old, told me that she used to be afraid to die, but now she's not afraid to die because she will get to hug Pop-Pop again.  The reality of the heavenly dimension around us is very real to children.  Often as adults we lose that childlike faith.  I think that Edan's secure belief in the heavenly dimension is part of what allowed it to be manifested to me so easily in their home.
      Three years ago, during the last months when Steve was fighting an especially difficult battle, we had the occasion to be at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for his treatment.  Things were beginning to look pretty grim, though we were riding on a high wave of faith for his eventual healing.  I was perusing a gift shop while he was having tests and my eyes were drawn to a journaling book whose title was "Just When the Caterpillar Thought the World Was Over, It Became A Butterfly."   I knew that Steve was entertaining a little hint of defeat so I bought the book for him to journal the rest of his adventure toward becoming a butterfly, free of the cancer.  He loved the image of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
      When we arrived home from Houston, I emailed a friend about the book and she immediately sent a cartoon via email to us of a blue morpho butterfly attempting to fly up a flight of steps with a large stone trailing underneath it which was attached to the butterfly by a thin cord.  That picture was the exact way that Steve felt at the time.   He felt like he was dragging a boulder up a hill, knowing that at the top he would be able to release the boulder and become as free as a butterfly.  The blue morpho butterfly became a message of hope and faith for my friend and me.  We began to send blue morpho butterflies to each other in jewelry, in pictures, in anything, just to remind each other not to give up.  Steve bought into the blue morpho butterfly obsession, too, appreciating every time we shared the butterflies.
      Even after Steve went to heaven, blue morpho butterflies have continued to be a mutual obsession between my friend and me.  Any time we see a trinket that resembles the blue butterfly, we send it to the other person.  I never knew anything about blue morpho butterflies until Steve's illness, but now I see them everywhere.
     That is the background for my story.  Currently it is now Christmas time and I spent four days of the Christmas holiday with my daughter, her husband and my grand daugher Edan who had recently recovered from strep throat.  Edan had never been sick enough to have an antibiotic in her nine years of life, but there is always a first time for everything. With strep throat, antibiotics are standard cures.  She took her medicine like a trooper and had a ten day supply, which the doctors said she must complete to effect the cure.  I arrived on the fifth day of her taking the medicine and she was tolerating it nicely, also having a big bottle of a probiotic drink to ensure the replacement of good intestinal bacterial in her digestive tract.  She was full of Christmas excitement and holiday cheer. 
     On the seventh day of antibiotic intake a small indistinct rash appeared on one of her cheeks.   By the next morning, which was Christmas Eve, the rash had traveled onto her entire body, even causing a fever of two degrees.  Edan began to be lackadaisical, not the excited and energetic nine year old who was so active when I arrived to visit.  She laid on the couch off and on, slept a little, and only ate a little bit of food.  There was still a little bit of excitement about Christmas but not to the degree as on previous days.  Her face began to swell and turn bright red.  Even her ears were swollen and bright red.  The rash was also on her scalp and all the way down, covering her toes.  After a call to the doctor, which was accompanied by email cell phone photos of the bright red rash on all of her body, it was determined that the antibiotic should be stopped immediately and Benadryl should be given to relieve the itching and discomfort caused by an allergic reaction to the antibiotic which was given to cure the strep throat.  Her temperature had climbed to 103 plus, and so the doctor said to also give her Tylenol to lower the temperature.

      She had a restless night but on Christmas Day she felt like opening a few gifts.  Then she ran out of the energy necessary to complete the task of opening gifts and went to bed to rest.  We had been warned that we should watch for labored breathing or her throat swelling closed and a temperature of 106 degrees because those symptoms would be a sign of anaphylactic shock, which can lead to instant death.  She slept peacefully for several hours and I volunteered to sit with her because her parents had already had ten days of her sickness in recovering from strep throat after having been misdiagnosed originally by a nurse who did not administer the test properly.  They had already spent emotions and time caring for a sick little girl with strep throat for ten days and, here again, she required watching for worse symptoms of the allergic reaction to the antibiotic which was given to cure the strep bacteria.  I volunteered to sit with her while she slept.
     Grandmoms just know how to pray because of our years of practice while raising our own children.  I sat on a chair beside Edan's bed and watched for a change in her breathing or a sudden rise in temperature.  I prayed and prayed for the disappearance of the rash and prayed that the temperature would not climb any higher.  It kept coming into my mind that patience would produce a good result. 
     As I felt her chest for any sign of labored breathing and watched her throat for any sign of difficulty swallowing, my eyes suddenly landed on her sheets, which I had not noticed.  There was a blue butterfly imprinted amidst the flowers on her sheets.  How did I miss it previously?  I didn't need the faith previously when I saw her in bed, but I needed the hope and faith now that she was so sick, so red and so swollen. 
     I continued to pray for her but with a new sense of hope for a complete healing without the possibility of the serious shock to her little body.  As she slept, I became chilled and reached for one of the four quilts on her bed.  She was wrapped in three of them and I grabbed the only one that was loose and available.  It was a quilt made for her by her mom's best friend, a brightly multicolored quilt.  I threw it around my legs and noticed something that I had never noticed before about the quilt, although I had seen it many times.  The lining to the quilt was imprinted with hundreds and hundreds of dark blue butterflies and the edging around the lining was imprinted with larger blue morpho butterflies.  They were everywhere. 
     I got the message loud and clear that she was going to be fine.  How could I not believe that God and her Pop-Pop had not provided the butterflies as visual images to me that our precious grandchild was going to be fine as soon as the antibiotic was out of her system.  It was as though the butterflies had been spotlighted to me so that I would not miss them.  All fear left me and I was at peace.
    That evening, Christmas night, I took a notebook out of my luggage, a notebook  that my daughter, Edan's mother, had given to me several years ago in which to write the miracles and revelations from God.  As I got it out of my luggage, I saw what I had missed seeing in the past.  Among the many kinds of butterflies on the cover of the notebook were five blue morpho ones.  I had not noticed them in the past.  Where had those blue morpho butterflies been all of my life? I never knew they existed and  I had never seen pictures of them until the last few years.
     The miracle continued.  When I arrived home from the trip I picked up the large journaling book from the gift shop at M. D. Anderson that I had given to Steve that had as its title, "Just When The Caterpillar Thought the World Was Over, He Became a Butterfly."  I wanted to move it closer to my bed.  A clipping fell out of the book.  It was a cartoon that showed a butterfly emerging from its cocoon and it is saying, "I'm free."  The cartoon had been sent to me over three years ago by..... guess who?  The friend of my daughter who was the maker of Edan's quilt.
     I know we are all connected in a supernatural way and the blue morpho butterflies are the earthly and visual representations of the heavenly visitors who come to help us in our time of need.   There is something really thrilling and encouraging about that!  When I looked up the word "morpho" I saw that it means to change forms.  Yes, now I understand.  Angels can change forms and become strangers in our midst, coming to bring us faith, hope and healing.
    Thanks to God and Pop-Pop for giving me faith and hope for the complete healing of Edan.  I don't know how many angels it took, but they were adequate for the task. When I think about the migration south of the millions of Monarch butterflies, I can envision the angels that were sent to do the job.  In fact, the butterflies on the lining of Edan's quilt are probably only a small representation of the angels sent to do the task of healing her without the dreaded shock. 
    Until three years ago, I never knew anything about blue morpho butterflies.  Now I see them everywhere, in reality and trusting in their being present as angels in the heavenly spiritual dimension around us to do God's great works in our lives.
    We must pray for eyes to see and ears to hear the wonders of God's miracles.  They are everywhere.  He even sends them to give us faith and hope.  We must have eyes of faith to recognize every one of the zillions of them.   
       

Monday, December 21, 2015

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO RANDY TRAVIS

                                     THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO RANDY TRAVIS
                                                                                    T. WIELAND ALLEN
     Everybody wants to hear good news.  Nobody wants to hear bad news except a few people who are addicted to bad news and get an adrenaline rush from hearing it.  Good news gives a different adrenaline rush.  It gives a joyful rush that comes from the joyful adrenaline in the body.
     Gospel means good news.  Anywhere we hear good news we are hearing portions of the gospel.  Good news can come through testimonies, through the news media, through reading stories, through movies and through the good news shared by people who have experienced a production of the good news of what God has done in their lives. 
    A wonderful friend told me a testimony not long ago which sent a rush of joy through my mind and body.  She had been emotionally wounded by a person in authority in her church and she was disappointed in the person as well as wounded emotionally.  She prayed and prayed for the person and herself, but still had the soreness of a wounded heart that remained.  She heard a song on the radio in her car and it was a song written by Randy Travis, also sung by him.  The words to the song that she heard were ,"Don't sell your saddle 'cause life's a long, long ride."  My friend knew by that song that she should never let anyone rob her of her peace, because she will need it eventually on the long, long road of life.  That good news did the work in the mind of my friend so that the burden lifted from her and she was able to forgive the person and move on.  I immediately called it The Gospel According to Randy Travis because of the immediate working of a miracle in the mind of my friend, changing her thoughts from negative and judgmental to positive and forgiving.  She was unburdened, which is what good news is meant to do. Little did I know at the time that the Gospel According to Randy Travis would help me in my life and also help other people in their lives.
     I was so thrilled with what the song had done in the life of my friend that I used the story to teach at a Bible Study that week.  I used the words of the song to emphasize the truth that we should not let anyone be the lord of our lives by allowing them to steal our peace.  It was a huge lesson to all of us and all of the ladies grabbed onto that truth fiercely.
     On the way home from teaching about that spiritual truth on that particular day I started down the small incline in the street that leads to my driveway.  At the top of the hill I started to look at the back yard cater-cornered across the street from me that has been in disarray for at least five years.  The fence had once been downed as a result of a tree falling on it, and the neighborhood association had paid for that to be fixed.  We appealed to the owner of the house, asking him to reimburse the association for the cost, which he graciously did.  After a few more years of looking at the horrible mess in his back yard, I began to plan to buy eight feet long and six feet high fencing sections, just enough to hide the debris that was the result of an ice storm five years ago which had been piled high in the corner of the yard for that entire time, which included downed trees, limbs, overgrown grass, etc.  It was an eyesore.   I am so glad I did not purchase the sections of fencing because there was a better plan in the working because of the Gospel According to Randy Travis, the truth in his song about not allowing anyone to rob you of your peace. 
    Coming home from teaching my friend's story and the truth in the song, I was meditating on the truth in the song.  While driving home, as I started to look again at the debris which was piled high, as was my regular habit to do, the thought came to my mind, "Why are you looking at all of that debris when you can turn your head just a little bit to the left and look at your own beautiful yard?"  That thought didn't originate with me because I had never thought of that solution before.  I had regularly been thinking bad thoughts about the doctor who owned the house, but I had never thought about refusing to look at the debris and instead looking at my own beautiful flowers and well trimmed lawn.
      Also, the thought crossed my mind that if I should bless the man who owned the house instead of having bad feelings for him because of his back yard, and if I would pray for him instead of being impatient with him, in a very short time the man would be influenced to clean up his yard.  Somehow, in my mind,  I began to believe that would actually happen, all because of the Gospel According to Randy Travis, never letting anyone rob me of my peace.  Yes, I had actually allowed the debris in the yard to rob me of peace of mind every time I glanced at that yard, which was several times a day.  After hearing the story told to me by my friend, I knew that I would need the peace that I had lost many times in my life. 
      I obeyed that still small voice of wisdom that had spoken truth to me, and I did not look again at the debris in the neighbor's yard; but, instead, I gazed at my beautiful flowers in my own yard every time I drove up and down the street.  While mowing my yard, every time I started to look across the street at the debris I stopped myself and looked at my own flowers.  I also regularly blessed the owner every time I chose to look at my own beautiful yard.  Somehow, it wasn't hard to do because of the truth in that song by Randy Travis.  I was enjoying my peace of mind and was determined not to let that debris rob me again.
     Interestingly, I was kind of excited at the prospect that maybe the thought in my mind was right and because I had changed my attitude toward the owner of the house, choosing to bless him and pray for him instead of entertaining judgmental thoughts about him, maybe, just maybe, the day would come when the huge back yard with the piles of debris would be cleaned completely.  I had an excitement along with the peace that came from not looking at the debris.
     After blessing the owner several times a day and refusing to lose my peace of mind over the five year long collection of debris in the yard, one morning I rose from bed early and heard a strange sound.  It was a beep, beep, beeping sound, Thinking it might be my smoke alarms, I tested them and they were fine.  The thought came to mind to go outside and check to see if the sounds were coming from outside.  Sure enough, they were.  Even thought it was seven o'clock in the morning it wasn't difficult to follow the sounds.  They were coming from the doctor's yard, the one filled with debris.  There were two front loading tractors in that yard scooping up all of the piles of debris and depositing it into huge trash receptacles that had been moved onto the property.  I was astounded.  I was elated.  I was dumbfounded.  I was grateful.  It had only been a week since I had stopped thinking judgmental thoughts about the owner and had started blessing him.   The debris had been there five years and after I stopped judging the owner, started praying for him and blessing him, the cleanup process had begun. 
    I was in awe of God.  I was in awe of the Gospel According to Randy Travis.  I was in awe of the Spirit of God who gives us wisdom and insight into how to let go and let God do His work instead of us trying to do his work in our own meager, ineffective ways. Obviously my previous ways had not worked since the debris had been there for five years.  But, after only a week of letting go, refusing to look at the debris and instead looking at my beautiful yard, praying for the owner and blessing him, it only took God a week to start with the cleanup of the yard.  It was so simple and yet so astounding.  One week of being positive instead of negative had paid off with a huge reward.
     There was so much work to be done that bigger tractors were also brought in.  It took two weeks to completely rid the yard of that debris.  I was so excited that I wanted to go stand and watch the work being done, much like a little boy watching and imagining himself driving the tractors.  I didn't, but I sure wanted to. There is a new fence already installed.  I don't know what the owner has planned to do in that huge expanse of a lot, but it looks beautiful to me just cleared out and cleaned up.
      The lessons I learned were big ones.  One is that God cannot answer our prayers when we are judging someone for something that is none of our business.  I also learned that I have a choice of what to gaze upon, either something good or something bad and if I constantly gaze at something bad I will lose my peace of mind and eventually get into conflict with someone.  In addition, I learned that God can work so much more efficiently and expeditiously when we forgive people and bless them instead of judging them in our minds.  I learned that I had bound the debris to myself by thinking judgmental thoughts about the owner of the property, but when I let go of it and stopped judging the man, God took it into His own powerful hands and accomplished what I wanted all along, which was to get the property cleared out and cleaned up.  He gave me the desires of my heart after I let go, regained my peace of mind, and allowed God to do His work without my negative help. 
     I love to call those truths the Gospel According to Randy Travis because it is good news, good news that started with the words to one of his songs dedicated to his daddy, "Don't sell your saddle, 'cause life is a long, long ride."   I will remember the truth of it and will endeavor not to let anybody or anything rob me of my peace of mind.  God works so much better when we get out of the way and  give him permission to do His mighty, powerful works.  How God moved on that owner to begin clearing the property is not any of my business.  That's God's business.  I'm just enjoying the peace of mind that I am determined never to lose again.
    Life is a long, long stretch of time within which lots of things that will happen.  Don't let anyone or anything rob you of your peace of mind.  Keeping your mind at peace with everyone while strolling on the paths of life releases the power of God to work in your behalf.  Just think, you'll retain your peace of mind, plus you'll have the benefit of receiving the answers to all of your prayers, as proven by the Gospel According to Randy Travis.     
   
      
            

Thursday, November 5, 2015

THE ULTIMATE PROMISE KEEPER

                                            THE ULTIMATE PROMISE KEEPER
                                                                                        T. Wieland Allen
   Very few people are known to always keep their promises.  Parents often promise things they will never be able to keep.  Children promise to do things for their parents that they can't do.  Wives and husbands promise to love their partners the rest of their lives but end up divorcing.  Business managers promise raises for their workers that they cannot give.  Everyone breaks promises as a regular part of life. 
   I have found through the years that God never, ever breaks His promises.  A few things in the earth depend upon His ability to keep His promises, one of which is our following his request for us to clean up our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Recently I was overwhelmed with His promise to me and how He kept it so quickly.
   I previously wrote a story regarding the situation and God's instructions to me, but I will repeat the pertinent facts in order for you to understand His recent promise and His keeping His promise to me.  It involved a silly thing of a neighbor's unkempt yard.
   The corner of a neighbor's yard had been the dumping ground for all of the broken, rotted trees, huge stumps, broken tree limbs from the past years of storms and high grass.  Unfortunately, that corner of his yard was in view of my home.  I could see some of the unsightly scene from my windows but when I drove by the yard I got a full view of the portion of the neighbor's yard which his workmen used as a dump for debris. The neighborhood association had fixed the chain link fence when it sagged and pulled the posts out of the ground.  That helped, but the piles of huge limbs and stump was an unsightly mess and cheapened the image of the nice area in which I live.
    I had decided to buy some sections of wooden fencing and pay someone to put the six feet high fencing onto the existing fence, hoping to conceal the mess from eye view from the street.  I had even priced fencing and was willing to pay for the eight feet long sections of fencing.  Now, mind you, it was none of my business, but I made it my business by being perturbed about it.  Every time I drove by the area my eyes immediately were drawn to the huge piles of broken limbs and stumps in the yard of the neighbor.  
    A friend of mine had had a situation come up in her life that was causing her much mental turmoil and one day a song came to her mind that said "Don't sell your saddle 'cause life is a long, long ride."  That song put into her mind by God had encouraged her not to let anything take away her peace of mind, the result being that my friend eliminated some responsibilities from her life.  I even taught a Bible study lesson on her testimony, warning the other ladies to also not allow anything or anyone to take away their peace. 
   On the way home from teaching that lesson, as I drove my car onto the section of road that passed the corner of the neighbor's yard that had become a problem in my mind, that still, small voice of God inside my mind said, "When you pass his yard, don't look that direction at the debris; but, instead, look to the left at your own beautiful yard."  I had never thought of that before.  I did it.  I merely turned my head and looked at my well manicured and beautifully planted yard instead of looking on the debris in the neighbor's yard.  What an easy solution.  That is what I did every time I drove down that section of road, looked at my yard instead of the corner with its mess.  It's interesting that when the instructions came from God to stop looking at that yard, I knew that if I would do what God said to do, that I would have peace of mind; and it also occurred to me that some day I would look over there and the yard would be completely cleaned up.  I got real excited about that, and every time I drove by I diverted my attention from the neighbor's yard to my beautiful yard,  I had an excitement in my spirit about some day looking over there and seeing that all of the debris was gone. 
   Little did I know that God's promises can quickly be fulfilled when we do what he asks us to do.  Was I ever in for a surprise.
   A week after God told me to stop looking at the yard in question, I rose early one morning and kept hearing a loud beep, beep, beep.  I checked my smoke alarms.  Their batteries were okay.  I opened the door and the beeping was loud.  I stepped out the door and followed the beeping.  Lo and behold, the beeping was coming from the neighbor's back yard, the offending corner in particular.  There was a tractor picking up the giant dead stumps and dead limbs, depositing them into huge commercial trash bins.  The tractor was also digging up old, dead trees, scoops of dead grass and also depositing them into the bins. 
   God's promise was being fulfilled.  It came to me that all of my efforts to fix the problem took it out of God's hands and put it in my hands.  When I stopped being concerned about it, stopped looking at the yard and praying all the time to bless the owner of the land, then God was able to do His mighty works.  AND IT WAS SO SOON, much sooner than I anticipated. 
    Sure enough, in one day, the entire large back yard was completely cleared of all the yard trash and the ground has been sheered of all the dead grass.   After I got my attitude right toward the owner and the yard, God was able to quickly solve the problem that had been an eyesore for five years.  All of my concern and efforts to solve the problem myself were useless because it wasn't my yard.  It was none of my business. When I stopped making it my business, forgave the neighbor for allowing his yard to become a dump yard for broken trees, dead stumps, etc., it didn't take long for God to do His mighty work.  That little tractor was like a mighty angel, scooping up cares and depositing them into the trash bin. 
    I learned my lesson of never allowing anything to rob me of joy and peace.  It all came through a song that translated to mean to me, "Don't let anything rob you of your peace of mind because in the future you will need it."  I was blocking God's ability to do His work by making something my business that was none of my business.  Loving the neighbor and doing good to him was my only business.  It took my friend to alert me to that admonition by God. 
    Today there are two tractors in that yard looking like two huge angels completing the work they started yesterday.  That yard will be, to me, a testimony to God's keeping His promises.  I can look at it now with joy and delight that My Heavenly Father does all things perfectly.  AND SOONER THAN WE IMAGINE.        

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SNEAKY JUDGMENT
                                                       T. Wieland Allen
   Judgment sneaks into our minds silently like the snake that it is.  Once, it had silently and slowly invaded my mind, hidden from my realization, for almost a year.  It involved something that was none of my business.  Things that we judge are rarely any of our business.  We disapprove of someone's actions, beliefs, customs, looks, etc. and we form a judgment over something that should not even concern us; that is, should not be any of our business if we are God's kids.
    The situation was a normal situation that goes on in the lives of everyone.  No wonder when Jesus taught His followers His ways He taught so much about forgiving our neighbors, doing good to our neighbors and loving our neighbors.  Sometimes it's our neighbors that give us the most trouble.  Courts are full of disputes between neighbors.  Sometimes they even escalate into fights and killings.  Thank God, the unjust judgment that I made against a neighbor did not result in anything other than robbing me and me alone.  However, God loves me so much that he alerted me to the problem within me before I really became either mentally or physically sick.  The judgment only caused me distress and anguish over something that was none of my business.
    The problem was that a man had bought a deserted house, one that had been glorious in its prime and for years afterward.  The original owners had died and you know how that plays out sometimes, the children of the owners had not seen that the property was sufficiently maintained.  The sale price was too high for the area but eventually it was lowered enough that a buyer was found for it.  The buyer was a doctor who was building a clinic at the time and his time was spent on the problems that present themselves when building a huge building.  As he gave more time to the building of the clinic, the residential property that he had bought lay in disrepair.  After the completion of the clinic, the doctor gave some time to the house he had purchased.  He hired a few men to cut down trees, dispose of them, and clear the area around the house.
    The problem was that the men dumped all of the dead trees, the dead limbs and stumps onto the corner of the property, far from the house.  Unfortunately, that corner is visible from the street where I live. Also, throughout the year, grass grew up several feet high and some of the chain link fence fell, parts of it detached from the posts. 
    Our neighborhood is an old neighborhood and our neighborhood association has worked hours and hours making sure the area stays manicured and presentable to visitors and potential buyers to the area.  We got busy and hired a person to fix the chain link fence, asking the doctor to please share with us in the expense, which he was graciously willing to do. But, there was still the problem of the dump ground in the corner of his property which is visible from the street.
    I am very motivated and goal oriented.  Okay, to be truthful, I am too motivated and goal oriented sometimes.  I knew the situation with the doctor and didn't want to add to his burdens, so I decided that I would find a way to screen from view the area of concern with its dead trees, branches, stumps and tall grass. I tried several things which did not work.  Slowly, thoughts crept into my mind of disappointment at the doctor for not having the large area of concern hauled off and the grass mowed.  Like the snake that it is, concern turned into judgment of the doctor who probably doesn't even know what that corner looks like.
    I thought I had found the perfect solution. I was going to purchase three sections of six feet high, eight feet long wooden fencing and have someone attach them to certain parts of his chain link fence at intervals.  It would not cost much, and I decided that I would pay part of the cost and ask the neighborhood association to pay the rest of the cost.  My attitudes of concern, as I gave too much thought to the horrible looking corner, grew into an attitude of judgment toward the owner of the property.  I was oblivious to the slow and sneaky growth of the snake of judgment.
     One day, a friend told me a testimony of how she had gotten too involved in something that totally consumed her time.  She lost her sense of peace and her loving attitude toward everyone.  She became consumed with her new responsibilities and soon became burdened with them.  She told me that a song came into her mind that started, "Don't sell you saddle, cause life is a long, long ride."  Through that song she knew that God was telling her that she had allowed the added responsibilities to rob her of her peace, which affected her love toward others.  In other words, she had sold her peace, and in giving up her peace she was deplete of emotional power to endure something that might happen in the future.  She began an exit move from some of her responsibilities in order to regain the peace that comes from being in unity with God.  I thought that was a fabulous testimony and even taught about it at a Bible study.  It was filled with wisdom.  I had no realization at the time that I had lost my peace to the spirit of judgment of the doctor who owned the property. 
    When I was driving home from that meeting, I passed the fence.  Instead of looking into the chain link fence and seeing the ugly sight, I heard God tell me in my mind not to look at that area behind the fence but, instead, to look at my own beautiful yard which is visible across the street.  In doing that, I didn't have the same thought pattern of judgment and thoughts of wondering how long I would have to endure seeing that messy sight.  Refusing to look at his yard was an easy cure for me.  It was an easy way to stop the judgmental thoughts I had for the doctor. 
     God showed me that I had allowed that yard to rob me of peace.  He impressed upon me that that particular yard is none of my business.  He told me to pray for the doctor and that that yard would miraculously be manicured soon.  In other words, God wanted me to stop handling the situation and allow Him to handle it.  He told me that somewhere down the line I would need the peace that I had lost.  In fact, he reminded me that that same scenario had happened to another house which had been a matter of concern.  Instead of complaining to the owner, we had prayed and one day there it was, cleaned up neat and tidy.
     The way we "sell our saddles," or lose our peace, is by assuming responsibilities that should be none of our concern. As a result of God counseling me on that troublesome matter, His ways took all of the burden off of my back.  I can look at the owner with new forgiveness.  After all, he still probably doesn't even know that that area of his yard is so unsightly.  I could feel the difference in my mind after I followed the thoughts that God put in there of not looking on the debris, but instead to look at my own beautiful yard. 
     I am determined to remember this lesson and that I will not allow myself to be robbed of peace again, because I will certainly need it somewhere down the line; like tomorrow probably, the way things happen in the world. 
     God's peace is too precious to lose and too valuable to allow ourselves to be  robbed of it.
     Keep on the lookout for when problems invade your peaceful thoughts.  Kick them out quickly and ride God's saddle of peace into the future.  There's an absolute guarantee that you'll need it.