TRANSFORMATION -by Lois Macdonald

Is my newly reformed lifestyle sending friends and family running to take cover? When l was still a lost soul, I conformed to the ways of the world. Like a ship without a compass, I was forever searching for a glimmer of light in the fog that engulfed me. My soul was spiritually blind according to Scripture. “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe.”  2 Corinthians 4:4.  Wanting to reform my ways, and live a more purposeful life, I tried breaking old habits but failed miserably. These failures finally sent me on a quest for a Higher Power. Some promised enlightenment but could only take me part of the way. Creating a false sense of security, I was left visualizing home, but actually never reaching it. God warns us to test these false prophets and spirits. One of the most sobering verses in the Bible is the following one. “…Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” [1 John 4:3]. These false teachers of peace, promise that with meditation and gentle living, the soul will reach a higher level of spiritualism. I question such practices, to fight off evil, does the idea of emptying one’s mind really sound like solid advice? In the end, any lost soul that has not received Salvation through the saving Grace of God will perish. No level of spiritualism or righteousness has the power to save souls. Only Christ can offer the gift of everlasting life. As He empowers us we will begin transforming into His likeness. Rather than being blind to the needs of others and judgemental of their shortcomings, we will begin to see those around us in a “brand new way.” The more we follow Christ’s example, the more love we will have to offer. A love that will draw family and friends back from their hiding place.

When transformation occurs; the Holy Spirit breathes new life into the heart and soul, until a miracle happens! The believer begins to love even their enemies with a Christ-like love. The love for God empowers the soul. From this place we can, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” [Matthew 22:37. NIV]. 








THE CHURCH PEW -by Lois Macdonald

The pew stretched across the heart of the church making room for visitors and members alike. The ageless oak frames stoically bore the weight of last week’s sins and hollow promises. It also supported, much to its delight, the squirmy behinds of the wee children whose polished Sunday-best shoes barely dangled over its curved edges . All-the-while, anxious parents up and down the rows secretly cross their hearts and prayed fervently that little Johnny or Jessie would mind their manners as pre-instructed on the long drive there. It was just the previous Sunday when a neighbor’s youngest son had proudly held up his hand during the “Children’s Story Time,” to answer Pastor Rick’s poignant question, “Where we can pray to God from?” Engaging the entire congregation, the boy proudly announced with a sly grin, “Why even on the toilet Pastor Rick!” A hush fell over the entire chapel. For myself I thought it was the highlight of the service, but not so for our neighbors, or the devout, sour-faced spinster Ms. Hatcher. Her perfectly aimed stare was as frightening as any sermon on hell or damnation..

None-the-less, the Pew had been a place where I had felt safe and loved as a child. Other than that fateful Sunday when I accidentally tipped the collection plate from my father firm, but apparently not firm enough grip, sending all the coins clanging unceremoniously under the pew in front of us. This to my horror, left spinster Hatcher’s impatient hand suspended in mid-air, as she waited for Father to make things right. Her fixed glare left me wondering if the Wrath of God might strike Father and me dead, right there in our Pew! With eyes held shut in embarrassment, I prayed my first honest to goodness prayer. That was the moment I sensed that God was a God of great compassion, for not only did he forgive my clumsiness, but he seemed to forgive my father’s soft muttering as he knelt on the floor in his best three-piece suit retrieving every last penny. This God was also a God of miracles, for Ms. Hatcher never graced our pew from that day forward.

Snuggled like a baby chick wrapped in mother’s warm embrace, I was shielded from any sanctimonious members , by her spontaneous sense of humor. This plus sized beauty could find the fun and joy in almost any situation which was truly a Gift from God. The entire Pew would begin vibrating as something would strike her funny then explode into a barely concealed fit of laughter. No-one ever knew what might set her off. One time it was a sleepy spider bobbing up and down from a fine thread, threatening to land in Ms. Hatcher’s updo , who now sat purposely in front of poor Father. Undoubtedly a snicker would erupt as we gripped our pew and prepared to ride out another choir anthem with Mrs. Butts leading the battlefront, singing at the top of her lungs, the entire piece sharp. To add insult to injury, the sadly out of tune piano, which could have worked to their favor, was flat and a few measures behind. As mother shook and father softly murmured, a less than attractive snort would sometimes slip out of me, and I would wish I could slide off the pew and disappear, leaving someone else to take the blame. Our beloved Pew now includes my husband, children, and grandchildren. Mother and father would be proud to know that we continue to add new life each sermon with our giggles, snorts, spills, and love for its wonderful traditions.

Enjoy this video link below! It is one of my favorites. 

Ray Stevens – The Mississippi Squirrel Revival

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