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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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I Shall Not Be Moved

Posted by admin in October 24th, 2018 | 6 comments 
Published in faith, Worship, Worship

This week our dysfunctional HOA board had four beautiful, healthy, 20-year-old Linden trees cut down. Their root systems were not a disturbance; they were not interfering with power lines. Without notifying the residents or even putting it up to a vote, the board made the decision to cut these amazing trees down. As it was happening, I was trying to contact the board, and no one would respond. So, I posted my protest on a popular social website “Nextdoor” and one of the members responded, “The leaves were getting in the pool.” (Which has been closed since Sept. 1). There is so much untrue about his statement and I don’t want to explain it all here, but this is what I have discovered in life: If something doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t add up, usually corruption is involved. Our HOA has cut most of our services and even stopped watering the common areas in order to “save money” and yet each of these healthy trees cost about $600 to remove. Four beautiful, joy-giving trees. I have never awakened in my house and not seen those trees. They have always been there to greet me each morning when I open our bedroom drapes. What is left behind are horrible stumps and bald spots on the grass and depressing emptiness. I understand Tolkien’s outrage better now, sadly.

Daryl and I grieved over the injustice and we struggled each time we pulled out of our driveway. I refused to open the bedroom drapes and I stopped taking Mindy out to the front. I don’t like it when things don’t make sense. I don’t like it when people act unjust. I don’t like it when I am lied to. In our world today there seems to be so much…well…craziness! It feels to me that our world is upside down, wrong-side out, topsy turvy. It feels like that because, in truth, it is.

And since the Garden of Eden, it always has been.

That’s why we need a Savior.

Last night lying in bed saying our prayers, grieving our trees and all the craziness of this world, Daryl quoted, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”(2 Cor. 4:18). We fix our eyes on what is eternal – Jesus. And we worship. WORSHIP! Of course. How easily I forget. We are told in Scripture to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are encouraged to give thanks in ALL things. We’ve been promised that God inhabits the praises of His people. WORSHIP! It is the anchor of our souls that holds us steady in rough and dangerous seas. WORSHIP! It focuses our minds and our hearts on that which is eternal and reminds us that God has a better plan. This earth is not our home and though we are to live here and declare justice and truth and hope, we are never to become attached to the things of this world. The temporary.

Our bodies ache and diseases weaken us, but we praise. Relationships hurt and there are misunderstandings, but we worship. Our hearts break and we lose the ones we love, but we are able to look at that which is unseen and say, “I praise You God because YOU are faithful and trustworthy!”

I am not moved by what I see or feel, but I stand on God’s Word which is wholly trustworthy and filled with promises of hope and better things to come. As the old hymn states, “This world is not my home…” Our Father God has promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us. He has declared that He will work EVERYTHING to our good! He is faithful.

And as Anna, my niece, wrote to me this week, “My cry has been, ‘Lord increase our hope and our praise.’ He’s been faithful to show me the connection between the two – I can’t have one without the other.” Praise and Hope. Worship and Faith. Thanksgiving and Peace (Phil. 4:6).

When all the world looks upside down and trouble is at every turn, we praise our God and we thank Him for each and every moment. We worship God and declare, “OUR GOD REIGNS!” This is the greatest weapon against discouragement, depression, and disappointment. “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones”(Isa. 49:13).

Because what is faith? Isn’t it the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things NOT yet seen? My faith is exercised and renewed as I praise God with all my heart and declare His truth in every situation. “God! You reign! You alone are my source! I love and trust YOU no matter what!!” Sing! Shout! Declare! Stand Firm! Because in truth, this world really isn’t our home and it isn’t the end of all things. And it is broken and fallen, but we serve a Risen Savior who has promised to come and one day, hopefully soon, HE WILL MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. And for that I am grateful. And He is worthy of my praise. Isaiah 6:13, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” The trees of righteousness will NEVER be cut down and are planted by the Lord’s own hand. Ain’t that good news?!? Don’t we serve a wonderful God? Isn’t the Lord Jesus amazing? Worship today and watch how God will release your spirit and give you hope, peace and joy. Worship allows us to take our eyes off of our circumstances and put our focus on what really matters most – Jesus. He alone can save. Peace.

Just over in gloryland
We’ll live eternally
The saints on every hand are shouting victory
Their songs of sweetest praise
Drift back from heaven’s shore
And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore
Oh lord, you know I have no friend like you
If heaven’s not my home Then lord what will I do
The angels beckon me From heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore
(Albert Brumley, 1936).

Cliff’s Notes: Practical Tips on Teaching

Posted by admin in September 12th, 2018 | 4 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

The small wiry Chinese university president pulled me to the side and whispered, “Hou Chi, Dr. Cliff look really, really stupid, but in fact, he really, really smart. When he open mouth much wisdom come out. Surprising.”

Don’t worry, I told Cliff about the conversation and he cracked up laughing. The fact of the matter is, Cliff knew he was the Columbo (Peter Falk’s TV detective) of education. He always caught people off guard. He always stunned them with pure genius from a much unexpected source. I sat anonymously among crowds that snickered as he approached the pulpit or lectern and watched those same crowds come to their feet cheering and applauding when he had finished. I have seen hardened teenagers with folded arms and chins stuck out melt under the anointing as he spoke; I’ve seen them wipe tears from their eyes and bow their knees. He moved people with his authenticity and his powerhouse knowledge. He was awesome.

Dr. Cliff Schimmels was a professor of education at Wheaton College for over 17 years. He was also a football coach there. He wrote over 30 books, won the Mark Twain International Award for fiction three times, spoke often […] Continue Reading…

Jesus the Model Teacher

Posted by admin in September 4th, 2018 | no comment 
Published in Uncategorized

How Would Jesus Teach?

Many professions or vocations today lack an exact model of how Jesus would work in specific fields. We can see in Scripture that Jesus prepared breakfast for his disciples. However, we don’t know his recipe, if he used marinade, what his filleting technique was, or much about his presentation. (But I bet it was delish). We know that Jesus was a carpenter, but the Bible doesn’t give us a detailed explanation of how he actually built things. Interesting though, Os Guinness reports that a plow bearing Jesus’s and Joseph’s trademark was found still being used near the Sea of Galilee over a hundred years after Jesus’s death. Wow. That’s some good workmanship! But what else would you expect from the Creator of the universe?

But teachers take heart! In the Gospels, Jesus is addressed as “Teacher” more than any other title (Friedeman, 1990). He is considered by a wide-range of people from diverse cultures, political thought and world religions as an excellent teacher. For those of us who are his followers, he is THE Teacher.

Scripture has a lot to say about Jesus as a teacher. Matt Friedeman (check out the book reference at the end […] Continue Reading…

Teaching Well Is Teaching Good

Posted by admin in September 3rd, 2018 | 2 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

It’s back to school time! Swoosh…summer’s gone. Unbelievable. We are now looking at the 2018-2019 academic year. Exciting stuff.

Some folks who read this old blog of mine are teachers, college professors, university instructors, and even homeschoolers. To celebrate this back-to-school season, I want to share a four part series with you on teaching like Jesus, which is actually an excerpt from Mike’s and my book. Hope you enjoy. Hope it encourages all the teachers out there. Here’s part one.

In 1991, Dr. Cliff and Mary Schimmels left the US to go and teach at Kiev State Pedagogical University in Ukraine. Communism had just collapsed and living in the former Soviet state wasn’t all that easy. Cliff and Mary knew times were tough, but they believed God had called them to teach, work alongside colleagues and do all that they could to encourage both administrators and students in Kiev.

Within the first few weeks of living in their new home, the Schimmels made friends with their students, colleagues and neighbors. They were like that. Friendly. Warm. Nice to be around. They even had a few occasions to share their faith and love for Christ with people, but they were never preachy or […] Continue Reading…

When Salt Loses Its Saltiness

Posted by admin in May 21st, 2018 | 9 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Every Tuesday night I have a Bible study in my home for two high school girls. As soon as they walk through the front door I feed them a homemade meal. Around the kitchen table we talk about whatever is happening in our lives and fill each other in on what has happened from the week before. When we are done eating we move over to the sofas and study the Word of God. Right now, we are “just reading the red.” We are taking on the Gospels for the sole purpose of reading the recorded words of Jesus. If you want to get to know a person better, spend time with him and listen to what he says. That’s our guiding principle.

Last week we were reading Matthew 5 where Jesus is telling His disciples to do the opposite of everything that comes to them instinctively through human nature. Jesus’ words were revolutionary for that time, and for our time as well. Someone hits you in the face, be sure and offer them both sides; someone wants to borrow something, give ‘em more than they ask for; if a creepy Roman soldier asks you to carry his military equipment […] Continue Reading…

Part IV – A Shocking Solution

Posted by admin in March 28th, 2018 | 6 comments 
Published in immigration, prayer, Revival

Hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for ten years. Quite honestly, today’s post is a tough one to write. Dealing with immigration issues is hard. I think this is one of the reasons people try to avoid the topic. But should we? Should we as followers of Jesus avoid difficult issues? Probably not.

Long before March 7, and my first post about the World Relief video, I’d been struggling, wrestling, praying, debating with myself over the topic of immigration–not just illegals, but poorly vetted refugees, and random lottery visa winners. I’m not going over the stats and specifics on these matters again. Please read the three previous posts – they are filled with facts, figures, and information on immigration. In this final post on the topic, I want to think about the heart of the matter.

What does it mean for those of us who are Christians, as one author puts it, to “live a truthful, meaningful, and responsible life” in a world filled with landmine issues and topics too hot to handle? Let me answer this in a roundabout way…

Back in 2002, Daryl and I went to Scotland to meet with Christians who had experienced the Great Hebrides […] Continue Reading…

Part III – The Truth About Illegals in Our Nation

Posted by admin in March 14th, 2018 | 4 comments 
Published in immigration

Have immigrants done harm to anyone here in the US? Aren’t they just here to live out the American Dream? Aren’t they just Dreamers? Unfortunately, as one reporter put it, “Not everyone has melted.” Assimilation is vitally important to a nation of immigrants. That’s why the USA has been referred to as a Melting Pot. Adaption to language, cultural norms, and standards of law are vitally important for a nation of immigrants to succeed.

As Christians, how are we to respond to the questions about illegal immigration? It’s really difficult to pilfer through the definitions, clarifying terms, and crazy statistics all related to illegal aliens, undocumented workers, DACA Dreamers, and refugees. UGH – sometimes it gets to be just too much!

World Relief’s “Welcome the Stranger” video released last month is directed by Jenny Yang. Yang is a staff member at World Relief in charge of their political arm. World Relief lost their way a long time ago and sadly, church organizations around the nation (including SBC), jumped on the WR bandwagon and bought whatever they were selling. Jenny Yang is their hawker of wares for everything immigration. And BIG surprise!! Jenny Yang is a Democrat who supports […] Continue Reading…

Part II – Was Jesus A Refugee?

Posted by admin in March 12th, 2018 | 2 comments 
Published in immigration

“JESUS was a refugee. If He came to earth today, He’d be cast out by anti-refugee policies! As a Christian, are you okay with that?”

This is a myth. Jesus was NOT a refugee. Ever. He also was not an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, someone picked up on this untrue story a while back and started blasting it throughout Christendom. In fact, one family I know wanted to celebrate Christmas Eve last year at their church. Instead of celebrating the wonderful birth of Jesus, their pastor showed a rather lengthy film (pro-Palestinian) on how unwelcoming “Jesus the Refugee” would find Israel today. “Nothing but a wall would welcome him.” Hmmm…. that and the fact that Palestinian-occupied Bethlehem doesn’t allow Jews inside the city. Israel gave Bethlehem to the Palestinians in 1995.

If Jesus wasn’t a refugee, what was He? What really happened? Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth. Nazareth is a city in Israel. The Roman Caesar, whose armies occupied and controlled Israel, called a census and required all Israeli citizens to return to their home city for a head count. Registering citizenship – wow! That’s a good idea.

Joseph and Mary (pregnant with Jesus) OBEYED the law […] Continue Reading…

World Relief and the Strange Video

Posted by admin in March 7th, 2018 | 8 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Am I the only person who has been frustrated by the use of Matthew 25 by pro-DACA groups to bludgeon American Evangelicals over the head? Jenny Yang and her World Relief video “Welcome the Stranger” sent me over the edge. Watching it, my heart grieved as well-meaning, but ill-informed women leaders with condemnatory tones and moral superiority read the words of Jesus. As I watched women that I’ve admired such as Kay Warren and Joni Eareckson Tada, speak these words into the camera, I just kept thinking, “Do they know what they are doing? Have they been tricked? What bill of goods has Jenny Yang sold them?” Misguided at best; theologically off at worst, where are their accountability partners and wise counselors?

It is difficult for me to put into words how I feel when men and women, everyone from World Relief to Christianity Today, misuse Jesus’ words from this important passage in Matthew 25. It is an attempt by these left-leaning people to make a case for illegal, undocumented immigrants to stay in the US. It is their belief that we should coddle, protect, and defend (as followers of Jesus) all DACA and illegal border crossers. […] Continue Reading…

The Obedience of Standing Still

Posted by admin in January 26th, 2018 | 6 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

When we got our pup Mindy two years ago, our lives changed. Yes. For the better. Mindy brings us a lot of joy and laughter. She is a funny dog. Because of my previous experience of dog ownership, training of little Mindy is primarily my job. Potty training, leash training, stop licking training (haven’t got that one down yet), taking treats like a lady training and the all-important command of “stay.”

Hand out flat, voice firm and low, eye contact and then the command, “Stay!” pause, “Stay Mindy! Stay!” And I am very proud to say that she obeys. In fact, on those occasions when she is dying to go with us (she LOVES car rides), or we have the grandkids with us, or when we are leaving for church, I turn around with my back to the door facing our eager little puppy whose tail is wagging, whose tongue is flapping and ears all perked up ready to go and I say, “No Mindy. Stay. Stay.” And she sits down very disappointed, but compliant. Even though every fiber of her being wants to go with us and she longs to be with us and she hates being left […] Continue Reading…

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  • I Shall Not Be Moved
  • This week our dysfunctional HOA board had four beautiful, healthy, 20-year-old Linden trees cut down. Their root systems were not...
  • Cliff’s Notes: Practical Tips on Teaching
  • The small wiry Chinese university president pulled me to the side and whispered, “Hou Chi, Dr. Cliff look really, really...
  • Jesus the Model Teacher
  • How Would Jesus Teach? Many professions or vocations today lack an exact model of how Jesus would work in specific fields....
  • Teaching Well Is Teaching Good
  • It’s back to school time! Swoosh…summer’s gone. Unbelievable. We are now looking at the 2018-2019 academic year. Exciting stuff. Some folks...
  • When Salt Loses Its Saltiness
  • Every Tuesday night I have a Bible study in my home for two high school girls. As soon as they...

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