by Tammy Phillips
It was so tall. My sisters and I had to rear our heads back to see the star on the top of it.
For years, my parents took that artificial Christmas tree out of its worn old box. Then we would put it together, pile on the tinsel and bulbs and lights, cover each branch with fake snow and then illuminate the tree with the spinning four-colored wheel. Our tree was Phillips, pretty and warm. It looked like it was touching the ceiling.
Then something happened. Our old tree shrunk?
I did not have to maneuver my head to the see the top star. My toes did not have to tippy to put the garland and ornaments on the top branch. My sisters and I had grown almost as tall as our tree. I remember when I was in my early teens being amazed that our tree and our Daddy were not tall at all.
My nephews continued the tradition of being in awe of the tall Phillips tree, pretty and warm, until they too shot up near the star. But even when our perspective changes, it was comforting to know some things stay the same.
Daddy was no decorator. But, Mommy was gone, and we were grown and he decided to try, so… Continue reading
by Sharman J. Monroe
2017 was a year full of events in our lives. Some events we loved, some we just liked and some we could have lived without. We lost some people dear to us and we welcomed new people into our lives.
As a result of these events, we are each a different person than who we were on January 1, 2017. How so? Because all the events we experienced changed us into the person who is reading this message.
Hopefully, the events made you stronger, more courageous, wiser than you were before they happened. If they did, you experienced personal growth. If they didn’t, I invite you to revisit event and reassess them and their effect on you. Now that time has passed, I bet you see them in a different light.
We are all busy running here and there doing holiday stuff. Continue reading
By Joy T.J. Riley
Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Have you ever felt the need to justify your actions to God? Have you ever said: “Lord, I only did this because of X” or “I can’t do this because I don’t have X or know how to do X?” There is no justification for our actions or the lack there of when they are against God’s will. Job with probed by God for his belief that there was no reason for him to endure the pain brought upon him and the thought that God should end his life to remove the pain. God is sovereign, therefore, our opinions don’t matter. He created the universe. Continue reading
by Elder Sarah Branch
Have you ever said to yourself or anyone ever said to you, “Stop trippin’.”
“Stop trippin’?” you say with a blank look on your face.
Yes, stop trippin’!
It’s when you seemed to have bumped your head and forgotten who God really is, a problem arises in your life and you say that you are okay. You let people think that you are fine, but underneath all of that you are ready to fall apart. The enemy really begins to come at you with all kinds of stuff: “See, I told you that you were not good enough” or “I told you that you were going to mess up again” or l told you that God would not allow this to happen.”
It’s happened too many times that we allow the enemy to creep in and steal our joy, peace, and happiness. We allow him to say what he will say and roll right on off the scene, leaving us sitting there looking like a deer in headlights. What happened to us fighting? To just come and take something, especially when it wasn’t given to him or by him. Continue reading