Monthly Archives: June 2014

Example of a long, loving Christian marriage

A dear sweet friend from church recently celebrated 50 years of marriage with her husband. I’ve known very few couples who have managed to accomplish that feat. What makes their anniversary so impactful to me was that their anniversary is on the same date as what would have been my wedding anniversary also – if I had not divorced. 

Looking at this couple, I am in awe of them. I hold them up as an example of a loving, Christian marriage.

I didn’t ask my friend the secret to a long marriage. I am sure she would have some sage advice and words of wisdom. But I didn’t have to. I saw it and see every time I see her and her husband. They pray for and pray with each other. They live as an example of a Christian marriage – loving and forgiving. As the old say goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”

God bless and congratulations to Wilma and Leo Scholl.

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God As My Shopping Companion

I get funny looks when I talk about taking God shopping with me.

I used to love to shop. I apparently received that talent from my mother. But I didn’t always make wise choices about how I spent my money. As I grew in the faith and knowledge and understanding of God (and continue to grow) I know He makes the best shopping companion.

Without fail when I pray before shopping or spend any kind of money, God blesses me beyond my wildest dreams. There are so many examples but I’ll share three.

I remember having a pair of living room chairs. I loved the chairs because they were this cool, funky pattern. But the dog’s hair loved it too. They were so badly covered in dog hair that I was embarrassed to have people over. As much as I tried to keep them clean, they were like magnets for the hair. So I knew getting rid of the chairs was necessary. But I didn’t quite know how to fund that. I prayed about how to get new chairs. Not only did I win a gift card to a furniture store, the chairs were on sale enabling me to get two chairs. And they match the couch beautifully.

Even more recently I was in desperate need of a car repair. I was dreading calling the mechanic because I just knew it was going to be costly. Praying for the courage to do it, I finally called, explained the situation to my mechanic and he told he worked on another vehicle with a similar problem very recently. He recommended an alternative permanent fix that was less costly than a straight replacement part.

My final story is about a craft project that I have been working on and I needed a soldering tool. I searched the internet and found one but the shipping and handling cost drove the price up. The S&H charges were almost as much as the tool. I prayed before venturing out to a craft store. I asked if they price matched an online prices and they did. I got my tool much cheaper than I could have dreamed.

My point is to include God in everything – every part of your life even shopping – and He will bless it.

Proverbs: 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Happy Father’s Day

I want to take this time to talk about my fathers – both earthly and heavenly.

Wayne Alexander Hitchens is a man like no other. Oh he’s not perfect. And I think our family had its share of heartache and heartbreak but I think he did a pretty amazing job.

My fondest memories of my dad go back to my younger days in Chillicothe. He was always bigger than life to me. He was a healer with big hands that took care of every ache and pain, every cut and bruise. He was a teacher teaching me how to properly throw and field softballs or how to put a worm on a fishing hook. He was an encourager telling me I could do and be whatever I wanted to be. He was a disciplinarian with the big homemade paddle. Though I was never spanked, I learned my lesson just from knowing the paddle was at the ready.

He taught lessons of tenacity and perseverance in the face of adversity. He was a trailblazer in the community and in the work place. He was a man who wanted to correct the injustices that racism brought. He and my Uncle Robert worked to desegregate swimming pools in the area. We were the first black family to live on our street when we moved to the east end back in 1967. And he was among the first black men to work at the paper mill.

But he was never one to let race define his life. He accepted people for who they were and not judge them based on their color. He helped develop many recreational programs in Chillicothe knowing that sports and healthy activities were ways to reach kids – white and black. He was that guy.

My heavenly father is like no other also. He is perfect. He is bigger than life. He gives life. He is a teacher, a comforter, a disciplinarian, an encourager, and a healer.

I thank my heavenly father for my earthly father.

I love you Dad.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”  Repeated several times throughout the Bible so it must be really important: Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4 (just to list a few.)

Preparation For the Journey

I admit it. I am as biased as any mother would be. I think I have a pretty wonderful child. He’s not perfect. He keeps a messy room and I have to tell him too many times to wash the dishes and to put out the trash. Occasionally I will hear a tone in his voice. But I’ve develop my ‘look’ for his unacceptable behavior (you parents will know what I’m talking about) and he straightens right up. He is a good kid. We laugh, sing, and dance together. And like every Christian mother, I want him to grow into a godly man. That is why he will be starting a spiritual journey this summer when he attends the Western Ohio Chrysalis program.

If you don’t know, Chrysalis is the youth version of the Walk to Emmaus. I attended my own Walk to Emmaus nearly a year ago. And for me it was eye-opening and life changing. I am praying the same for him. He knows that God the father created him and Jesus the son died for his sin. But that’s all head knowledge. I am praying for a deeper understanding and a soul conversion that lights a fire in him to follow and serve the Lord. I want him to know the Savior personally for himself. I can only help equip him with the opportunity to experience it.

Since my walk I have talked to several people who came away with different experiences. One lady told me that she didn’t feel moved by her experience until a year later. I know others who were moved right away. So somewhere between immediately and eventually, I am praying he understand the magnitude of this life’s journey and his responsibility.

To learn more about Walk to Emmaus or Chrysalis.

Praising Him Through the Trials

I have to tell you about something that happened to me this morning. I was at work and I was listening to my music as usual. Specifically I was listening Israel & New Breed sing Your Presence Is Heaven. I was overcome with joy and humbled by thankfulness.

I can only say that I had a breakthrough moment for me. You see I have been dealing with this car of mine. It’s nearly 13 years old and I just have a feeling it’s about on its last leg. And I just haven’t had the guts to take it to the mechanic. My checking account is once again low. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to pay for it. And I have been praying that whatever is wrong isn’t expensive. Here’s the breakthrough part. Despite all of that, I was praising God through these trials, in my little cube. It brought me so much joy. I was thinking about His presence; thinking about His love for me; thinking about Him.

I have heard ministers for years and years talk about rejoicing even in your trials. And I always thought ‘how can I do that?’ When I have a trial I don’t curse the trial, I just accept it and say OK. I don’t get mad or ask why me Lord. I would just say OK, Lord let’s move on. Certainly I wasn’t praising. But this time, all of sudden, I felt myself overcome with joy and thankfulness.

I started crying and feeling very humbled by His love for me. I understood what this trial was all about. And I knew that He was right there with me. I was in His presence and it was like heaven to me.

That’s what will happen if you let Him into your heart – into your life. You will be able to praise Him even in your trails.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Now that’s worth rejoicing.