Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Right to Life

Photo by Pam Williams

I hate bugs. They can ruin a good picnic, disturb my quiet time on the porch, creep me out when they scurry under the chair I am sitting on, and elicit high-pitched squeals when they drop onto me out of nowhere.

Why did God have to create them anyhow? I pondered this theological question while waving away gnats as I sat with a cup of tea on the back porch, trying to connect with God.

I had just read a meditation on the right to life. Do even pesky insects have a right to life? As I sat in contemplation I noticed a sparrow fluttering around following a moth. I love the subtle and stark variations in color of a bird’s feathers. Watching the antics of chickadees and nuthatches spreads a smile across my face. Listening to their chorus of praise in the early morning lifts my spirit. Birds bring me joy.

Suddenly the sparrow snatched up the moth and darted onto a tree branch to enjoy his fresh-caught meal--and I realized why there are bugs. Without bugs, there would be no birds. A world without birds would be less colorful, less musical, less fascinating—lessened in so many ways.

So maybe bugs do have a right to life.

It’s all a matter of balance. The bugs nourish the birds and the birds keep the bug population at an acceptable level. Everything living thing God creates has a purpose—even those whose purpose, like annoying bugs, can sometimes be a challenge to decipher.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Attitude Adjustment

“I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!” Matthew 25:40

How many times have I heard or read those words--in sermons, in infomercials, in pamphlets? However, over the course of our 40 years of ministry, I admit my attitude has become a bit jaded and my heart quite hard because of those who, although they have no love for Christ, have taken blatant advantage of the tenderheartedness of Christians. I have heard a lot of “hard luck” stories—some genuine, but many a rouse. After working in a ministry where folks in need refused to allow even a listing of our service times to be inserted into their free bag of groceries, a bit of anger and a measure of frustration mixed with a huge quantity of guilt in my heart.

Recently, as our church hosted a group of homeless men, these confused feelings resurfaced. While praying for direction, God led me to Matthew 5:44-45: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

In Matthew 5, Jesus describes perfectly what my attitude and actions should be toward everyone. I definitely needed an adjustment and God led me right to His Word to initiate that change.

To further instill what He expected of me, God highlighted Proverbs 25: 21-22: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; If he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head . . .”

But what does “heap coals of fire on his head” mean, Lord? I wondered. According to New Testament Greek scholar, Kenneth Samuel Wuest, heaping coals of fire on someone’s head was a great kindness, especially if the person had ill-treated you:

“In Bible times one needed to keep his hearth fire going all the time in order to insure fire for cooking and warmth. If it went out, he had to go to a neighbor for some live coals of fire. These he would carry on his head in a container back to his home. The person who would give him some live coals would be meeting his desperate need and showing him an outstanding kindness. If he would heap the container with coals, the man would be sure of getting some home still burning.”

God asks us to shower everyone with kindness, just as He does. This journey through Scripture cleared up my confused feelings and pointed me to the right path in dealing with those who come to us in need. Thanks for the attitude adjustment, Lord!


©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I would much rather read a rave than a rant. I love the posts and re-posts on social media about people doing good deeds for others or for animals. I thoroughly enjoy reading all the great things happening to my friends and family and vicariously sharing in the blessings God has brought into their lives.

It’s the rants, and re-posts of rants containing profanity that I find offensive—especially when posted by friends and family who consider themselves Christians! I understand the need to let off steam, but there are enough expressive words to cover our thoughts and feelings WITHOUT using language which is obscene, profane, or vulgar. Ephesians 5:4 says such talk is not fitting for God’s people.

Sometimes the person who re-posts hasn’t read the post entirely or noticed the source of the original post. I know this for a fact because I have asked close friends, church youth members, and family if they noticed there were offensive words in what they posted—and they hadn’t.

I realize people hear this kind of language all day every day. Even kids on school buses hear it from their fellow passengers. But that doesn’t make it acceptable for those of us who identify ourselves as followers of Jesus. We are called to a higher standard!

But what does it really hurt?” you might ask. Dr. Roger Barrier, pastor and columnist on summed it up well, “The Bible makes it very clear that we should clean up our speech. Why? Because Jesus teaches that unclean words come from a dirty heart. Our light to the world is extinguished and no one sees Jesus in us (Matthew 15:10-12).”

Yes, I know. I am ranting. But social media can be such a great platform for sharing our faith, why do we want to sully our witness with offensive language? There are so many programs like, Paint, and MS Picture Manager that we can use to manipulate, crop, adjust lighting, and erase what we don’t want to include. With a little editing we can borrow (with permission, of course) what others post to express ourselves in a tasteful and godly way.

Let's allow our light to shine on the avenue of social media untarnished.


P.S. I had my third chemotherapy treatment on August 11th. I survived! Should I be wearing "MR YUK" stickers? LOL! Halfway through now! Thanks for your continued prayers--I am leaning on them!
©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with celebration! Come before him with shouts of joy! Know that the LORD is God— he made us; we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his own pasture. Enter his gates with thanks; enter his courtyards with praise! Thank him! Bless his name! Because the LORD is good, his loyal love lasts forever; his faithfulness lasts generation after generation. ~ Psalm 100

Have you tried shouting to the LORD? Shouting is not something I do very often, no matter what the circumstance. I’m just naturally not a “shouter”. But the first two verses of Psalm 100 say, “Shout!”

In one translation of the Bible, I found 25 verses that tell us to “shout” to the LORD. Yet, I have rarely complied.

Occasionally in a church service a song leader will encourage us to shout a phrase from a hymn or song. When Dick and I attended the Jesus festivals there were times when we shouted praise. It felt natural! I mean, how could I NOT shout with praise in the midst of so many believers joining as with one voice?

Oh, yes, there are many other avenues of offering praise to the LORD--music, dance, art, testimony, prayer, writing, etc. But, not wanting to be disobedient, I decided to try shouting to the LORD. Admittedly, it felt weird—and yet good, obedient, and freeing! After all, I have many reasons to shout praise to the LORD!
  • For a loving, caring, kind, unselfish husband who constantly keeps my well-being at the forefront of his thoughts, words, and actions
  • For only minor side effects from the potent drugs being pumped into my body at three week intervals
  • For the encouraging words penned on dozens of cards, notes, Facebook posts, and blog comments from friends and family
  • For the powerful, loving prayers of hundreds of people around the world
  • For family both near and far who have assured me over and over of their love, concern, prayers, and support
For these, and so many more blessings God has poured into my life, I can shout, “THANK YOU, FATHER!!! YOU ARE SO GOOD TO ME, LORD!!! YOU ARE AWESOME, GOD!!!”

What praises are you shouting to the LORD today?


©2015 Pamela D. Williams