Sunday, December 15, 2013

Some Soup for Your Soul

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. Can you?
And since it’s been a rough year for a lot of folks, me included, I decided to veer off my usual course—give you something uplifting—and share a Christmas story. This originally published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas. (Check sidebar on the right for links to the books.) I hope you enjoy. God bless you all.

In My Father's Eyes
Deborah K. Anderson
It had been more than twenty years since my father’s death, and Christmas loomed a few months away. As always, I missed Dad terribly. Not only did I long for him, I needed to remember—things I was afraid of forgetting.
Dad had a way of making me feel special, smart, pretty—all the things I didn’t usually feel around others. The love was always there—in his eyes. And when I saw this, I knew everything was going to be all right.
Knowing Mom would have what I needed, my husband and I went to her place the next day. I hauled out a box of her old pictures, searching for photographs of Dad, while my husband read the paper.
Sifting through the box, I came across an old 5x7 photograph I’d never seen. Dad’s classic smile lit up his face. My gaze traveled toward his eyes, until something distracted me—moose antlers.
Huge antlers stuck out, one on each side of his head.
Can you believe that?
I finally figured out, thanks to Mom, that someone snapped the photo at the Moose Lodge with Dad standing in front of the mascot. Antlers and all, I still wanted the picture.
A few hours later, I hopped into the truck and flashed the photo in front of my husband. “Isn’t it great?”
“What’s up with the antlers?”
I flipped my hand. “Oh, it was taken at the Moose Lodge.”
“Oh… that’s too bad.”
“I still want a copy.”
I set the picture on the compartment between the seats. “Whatever you do, do not lose this.”
“I’m not going to lose your dad’s picture,” he said, as if I was accusing him of already having done the deed.
We arrived home and went into the house. And can you guess who went off and left the picture in the truck?
The next day, when I finally remembered, I called my husband’s cell phone. “Do you have Dad’s photo?”
“Yes, dear, and it’s fine.”
“Oh, thank God. Where is it?”
“I’ve already put it inside the compartment, so it will be safe.”
“Well, just don’t forget it when you get home.”
Ahem… like I did.
“I won’t.”
My husband came home from work, and I bolted into the kitchen, holding out my hand. “Well?”
“It’s out in the truck.”
“Is the truck locked?”
“Yeah, but I’ll get it the next time I go out.”
I jiggled my hand. “Give me the keys.”
“Oh for Pete’s sakes, Deb.”
He fished his keys out of his pocket and dangled them in front of me.
I grabbed them, went out and unlocked the truck, reached inside and flipped the compartment open. When I saw Dad and his antlers, relief washed over me.
After I returned to the kitchen, I pulled open a drawer on the china cabinet and slipped the snapshot inside, vowing to copy it later.
Did I mention that I’m a serious procrastinator?
A few days before Christmas, I remembered the snapshot, so I went to the china cabinet and pulled the drawer open.
The photograph was gone.
I fished through papers, trinkets, and more until I finally reached the bottom.
When my husband came home from work, I again bolted into the kitchen. “Have you seen Dad’s picture?”
He tossed his keys on the counter. “What are you talking about?”
“You know—the one with the antlers. Weren’t you standing here the day I put it in the drawer?”
“I don’t know. I don’t remember now.”
I rolled my eyes. I don’t know. I don’t remember now.
A few days later, and still no picture, I made the mistake of saying something to Mom.
“You lost your father’s picture?” she said.
Why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut?
“No, Mom. I misplaced it is all. I’ll find it.”
But I didn’t.
Ho. Ho. Ho.
I later wrapped the gifts for my husband, his family, my family, and then placed them under the tree. As I stood there, I noticed something.
Why weren’t there any presents under the tree for me?
Christmas Eve arrived, and we went to his parents’ house, as we did every year, and had a nice time with his family. They gave me gifts.
On the way home, a thought popped into my brain. I’ll bet he slipped my presents under the tree before we left for his mom and dad’s house.
We arrived home, and like a child, I went rooting under the tree—nothing there. I knew I’d receive gifts when my family arrived Christmas night, but knowing this didn’t help. A man should have a gift for his wife come Christmas morning.
Bah. Humbug.
Christmas morning.
I slapped my forehead. Of course, he was going to sneak it under the tree before I got out of bed. How silly could I be? I snickered with glee, like the child I used to be.
Christmas morning arrived, and my husband, who looked like the giddy child I was the night before, asked if I was ready to open gifts.

I looked under the tree—still nothing.

How dare he?

I waved my hand. “You mean your gifts?”

I walked over, retrieved his presents, and dropped them on the coffee table in front of him. He patted the sofa. “Aren’t you going to sit by me?”

Did he want to survive to see Christmas next year?

I sat down.

He opened his first two gifts, ever so happy, while I sat there and pouted.

Hello? What was wrong with this picture? (No pun intended.)

He paused. “I have to go to the bathroom.”

I cradled my head in my hands, secretly hoping he’d fall in. The next thing I knew, a large package came sliding across the floor in front of my feet. I raised my head, and my eyes widened.

He smiled and pointed. “Open it.”

I ripped the paper off, gasped, and then bawled.

Right in front of me sat a large framed picture of Dad—the one with the antlers, only the antlers were gone. It looked like Dad had posed in a professional studio—a heavenly one at that.

“How did you do this?” I croaked.

“Thought I didn’t get you anything, didn’t you?”

His chest swelled, bless his heart.

“Oh, and I had it digitally re-mastered for you,” he added.

I stared at the picture. Memories of Christmases past, even those I thought I had forgotten, flooded my heart as I looked in my father’s eyes.

“Thank you,” I said, suddenly noticing the same love in my husband’s eyes as he looked at me.


I hung the picture, knowing everything was going to be all right.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: UnEmbraceable by Precarious Yates

UnEmbraceable by Precarious Yates

About the Book

From the author of "Revelation Special Ops" comes a terrifying, hauntingly real and daringly hopeful tale of betrayal and love.

Leonard, a computer programmer, has a unique gift: by words alone he can calm violent situations. Which is helpful with all these kids running around the streets behaving like zombies. He has his own set of sorrows to face, but he's prepared for anything. Anything except Tamar, and the thunderous inkling that she will be his wife. This doesn't make any sense to Leonard. She stole his wallet. And his heart. Painful circumstances ripped family and stability from Tamar's grasp, but with gutsy tenacity she faces life head on. Meeting the gorgeous and single Leonard changes everything. But surely a guy like him would never fall for a girl of the streets like her.
Precarious Yates 2 Precarious Yates lives in Texas with husband, daughter, sheep, dogs, chickens, rabbit, lizard and by the time you read this some other exotic creature her husband or daughter has brought home. She had studied the plight of and worked toward the abolition of modern slavery for over a decade before sitting down to write Revelation Special Ops. She was further inspired by the work of her sister-in-law, who helped to found Love146, an organization that works to raise awareness about human trafficking and builds safe homes in vulnerable regions. Yates spent several years overseas as a missionary in Ireland, and also did missions work in India and the Philippines. Her passion for literature has become her means of further educating young adults of the realities of modern slavery, while producing hope through the power of Christ Jesus in us.
Follow Precarious Yates Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Enter below to win a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Precarious Yates! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Found Adrift by Pauline Creeden

Found Adrift By Pauline Creeden

About the Book

Welcome fellow drifter. I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. If God set me in a rowboat on the water and told me to pay attention and not let myself drift too far from the shoreline, I’m sure I’d be in the middle of the lake before I realized I’d drifted from the shore. Then sitting in the middle of that lake, I’d realize I didn’t have a paddle. And sometimes I feel so far away that no one on the shore could possibly hear me. Have you ever been there? If you have ever been distracted by your daily life and suddenly looked up and found yourself far behind where you should be in your walk with God, then you are a drifter like me. This devotional is your paddle.

Found Adrift: 40 Days of Recovering Grace On Kindle Found Adrift: 40 Days of Recovering Grace in Paperback

About Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden picIn simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Follow Pauline Creeden

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Pauline Creeden! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Keeper of Reign by Emma Right

Keeper of Reign By Emma Right

About the Book

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it? For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema. Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.

Keeper of Reign (Reign Fantasy) On Kindle Keeper of Reign in Paperback


Emma RightEmma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one. Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

Follow Emma Right Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Emma Right!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Plans Within Plans

Please join me in welcoming Carol Peterson, a fellow writer from "The Network" of Christian writers. Carol is a dear lady, wonderful encourager, and a great friend. I know you'll enjoy her post. You can find out more about Carol at the bottom of the page.


Carol Peterson

The movie, The Passion of the Christ brought home Jesus’ physical suffering in a powerful, guttural way. Whereas we previously might have thought, “what a horrible way to die,” watching that movie helped us internalize the torture, the pain, the humiliation, the power of Jesus’ final day in his human, physical state.

But for some of us, the more significant sacrifice of Jesus was the one he made in heaven. He set aside his divinity and became human for our sake. This sacrifice is harder for us earthly folk to comprehend because we haven’t experienced heaven yet. We “know” that heaven is glorious, that it is beautiful, that being in God’s presence is exceptional in the extreme. But we don’t quite understand it.

That makes it hard for us to comprehend the sacrifice Jesus made when he left heaven; left the presence of being in the Trinity; left the place where he was God and was with God. So because we cannot comprehend that part of his sacrifice, we focus on the one we can understand: the physical torture, humiliation and death.

But when we focus on only one of those sacrifices do we dilute its power. Jesus was not only the Son of Man; he was also the Son of God.

Oswald Chamber’s head-whacking devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, pointed this out, reminding us that Satan was there at Jesus’ crucifixion, just as Satan was in the desert, tempting Jesus to use his power to save himself. After the time in the desert, “The Devil left to return at a more opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)

How much more opportune time is there than when Jesus faced torture, humiliation and death in such a cruel way? And how much more opportune than the last opportunity to do so in Jesus’ earthly life?

But Jesus was also the physical incarnation of God. He was the Son of Man—a flesh and blood human who was not only God, but man as well. Oswald reminds us: “The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man.”

There was never a question that God would triumph as Son of God. As Son of God, Satan could not touch or tempt Jesus.

But as Son of Man, Satan could attack Jesus on the basis of his humanity. And he did. But because Jesus, as Son of Man, was tempted and came through for us despite his humanity, we were saved. Despite Jesus’ humanity and because of it.

This point crystallized in my mind this morning. The sacrifices Jesus made as the Son of God (setting aside his divinity temporarily) and as the Son of Man (overcoming temptation and dying a human death) are both of equal greatness. Without the sacrifice as the Son of God, Jesus would not have become human and would not have been able to offer his human, physical life. Likewise, without the sacrifice as Son of Man, Jesus would not have been tempted and have overcome that temptation, to give his human, physical life for our sake.

Praise God for His plan and for His plans within plans.

And thank you, Ozwald for another head-whacking devotional.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Share your thoughts about the two different forms of sacrifice that Jesus made for our sake.

NOTE: (For other readers of Ozwald Chambers, this post was based on the devotional for April 5.)

More About Carol: Carol Peterson’s mission in writing is to educate, entertain, and inspire. Her published books provide busy teachers with creative ways to help assure compliance with curriculum standards. The goal of her blog From Carol’s Quill is to encourage faith in Jesus. She can also be found at



Monday, April 22, 2013


Have you ever wondered about the sensationalism in our world? If you have, you'll enjoy today's post. 

Please join me in welcoming Jon Stolpe, a fellow writer and guest blogger. His take on this topic will enlighten you. You can find out more about Jon at the bottom of the page.

It's a pleasure to have you, Jon!



   By Jon Stolpe 
The events of the last week had many of us glued to our televisions, radios, newspapers, and news websites. Every twist and turn in the Boston Marathon Bombing was broadcast through the news and amplified through social media until Friday night when the second bombing suspect was captured. I’ll admit it. I was sucked into the story.
The story was sensational. The Boston Marathon Bombing caused great public interest and excitement.
What other events come to mind when you think of the word sensational?
I think of the Space Shuttle accidents, September 11th, the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, the death of Princess Diana, the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, the Super Bowl, natural disasters, and presidential elections.
In our media saturated world, it’s easy to quickly sensationalize an event. Within moments, people around the world know about events happening on the other side of the planet. It’s a natural human response to place our attention on these types of events.
I wonder how the world would respond today if Jesus came to earth in our present age. Would we have noticed the baby born in a manger? Would an Amber Alert go viral when Jesus went missing after his family visited Jerusalem? And how about the miracles that he performed? Do you think he would have had the paparazzi chasing him through the streets of Jerusalem and the Israeli countryside? How would his trial, crucifixion, and resurrection have been portrayed?
It’s hard to know these answers for sure, but I would speculate that the story of Jesus would probably be misunderstood and misconstrued today just as it was two thousand years ago.
If you read the gospels, you would think that Jesus’ story is worthy of sensationalism (great public interest and excitement). But here’s the reality. Jesus seemed to skirt away from the center stage. Instead, he was intent on spreading his message through a relatively small group of men and women. And he led through humility—with a servant’s heart.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 3-11 NIV).
This is not the kind of person or event that is considered sensational in the world today. Sure, we occasionally hear stories of people doing good things, but the news is typically filled with violence, tragedy, or a pursuit for stardom.
But I would argue that the story of Jesus deserves great public interest and excitement. As followers of Christ, it’s our privilege and responsibility to share this excitement with others.
So here’s my question: Do you think the story of Jesus should be considered sensational? What can you and I do to share this excitement with others?
More About Jon: Jon Stolpe is passionate about small groups, missions, family, marriage, parenting, and Philadelphia sports. Jon is also a writer and blogs daily at Jon Stolpe Stretched. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wonderful wife, Leanne, and their two kids. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or his blog.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Leaping Back to Simpler Times

I decided to post one of my most popular stories for you today. I hope you enjoy.

I watched my brother as he lay in the hospital bed. A faint smile creased his face. After all the chemo he’d endured, I marveled as to how he could smile at all.

My mind wandered back to when we were kids, when the center of our universe revolved around innocence, laughter, and the love of family and friends.

Me, and my three amigos.

We played in reckless abandon, without fear of someone snatching us away, without worrying that bullets would fly at us from a random shooter. We hung out with our friends, yes, but we jumped rope, played kickball, softball, and more. During those times, we only stopped our activities for two reasons, one of them when a car approached.

The driver, usually a nearby neighbor, honked the horn as he came close. Like good soldiers, we cleared the deck, ran to the side of the road, and stood at attention. He slowed the car to a crawl. The only thing fired at us was a friendly smile, then the wave of his hand as he passed down the street.

The second reason for aborting our mission was when our mother called us home for supper. Mothers stayed home with their children in those days, and families gathered around the kitchen table for a home-cooked meal. There weren’t any drive-thru restaurants. In fact, we considered going out for a hamburger a treat, not a dinnertime ritual.

Things sure have changed. Everyone seems to be in such a hurry these days.

But we’ve advanced, haven’t we?

In addition to fast food, we’ve taken great strides in the electronics industry, not to mention other areas, too numerous to list here, each step intended to make life easier, more efficient. But these modern conveniences have also taken away from our time, especially when it comes to children.

Social Media, designed to "connect" with others, is lacking some vital aspects—the sound of a voice, a shared laugh, a tender touch. Kids are even texting on their cell phones to each other as they sit in the same room. As a result, some of them have become disconnected, unable to socialize in a public setting. And it’s not just the children. The same thing is happening with adults.

Thank God for for modern medicine though. Without it, my brother might not be here.

My brother. Would our relationship have been the same if we had grown up in this new society?

I turned to my sibling and smiled, thankful for memories of simpler times in the past. Although we’ve taken giant leaps, many of them a blessing, our time spent together can never be replaced.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Benefits of Truth

Hello! Please join me in welcoming Terrie Thorpe to my blog today. I first met Terrie in a writers' group. Since that time, I've come to consider her a dear friend.


Benefits of Truth
 Terrie Thorpe

Have you ever been lied to? It’s amazing the amount of lies that have infiltrated our thoughts and actions. Acting on what we thought was truth, then discovering it was actually a lie. It leaves us with a sense of betrayal and void.

Reading the story of the first couple, Adam and Eve, we find how a mere twist of words caused a poor decision. Once Adam and Eve believed a lie, there was no turning back. They couldn't tell God “We're sorry we didn't take your word seriously – please forgive us!”

The unfortunate truth was the consequences of disobedience became true. God said, “If you eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die.” Eve was the first to exchange the truth for a lie and was the first to feel betrayal and void. The truth of who God is and how much He loves us would be revealed in the course of time.

Redemption is a prominent theme spoken throughout the Holy Bible. Redemption means, “to buy back, retrieve something that was lost.” Since that day in the garden, God is about redeeming His treasure, you and me. He promised to redeem and restore His people to their former glory. The blessing of the New Testament scriptures is this redemption came through Jesus Christ and our glory comes through the Holy Spirit of God living in us.

To this day, God has never stopped speaking truth to the people of the world. He speaks truth through all He has made. Revealing His power, nature, and guiding anyone who would listen to him. We can only receive the benefits of truth when we believe the author of truth.

Have you taken God at His Word? Have you accepted Jesus' offer of forgiveness? Think on these things this Resurrection week. Let the benefits of truth fill you.

“God is not a man, that he should lie. He is not a human, that he should change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried through?” Numbers 23:19

More About Terrie: Terrie is an author, blogger and writer of Christian Living articles. Her books Am I Really Saved? Answering Questions of Christians and Footsteps of Jesus Becoming a Disciple are available online. Terrie enjoys hiking with her husband, gardening, reading and sharing Jesus with the world!

Follow her blog:
Light for the Journey

Follow her on Twitter:
Twitter @TerrieThorpe

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Through the Eyes of Bear

Several years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. At the same time, my elderly mother suffered a second mini-stroke, followed by a fall. In addition, I was going through personal trials of my own. I desperately needed a touch from God.

No matter what I said, though, or how hard I prayed, I couldn’t hear God’s voice or feel His presence. I pressed on anyway, hoping to move the heart of God.

“God, where are you? Why do all these things keep happening?” I hung my head and wept.

A few moments later, my cat Bear sashayed into the room, bellowing. I adore my cat (and all other animals for that matter), but I didn’t want to be bothered. I felt as though I was ready to snap.

I looked down at him, and as usual, the black ball of fur tugged at my heart with one glance.

“What are you crying about?” I picked him up, scratched behind his ears, and kissed the side of his face. I knew if I coddled him a bit, he’d go back about his business. Soon, he began purring, so I put him on the floor. Within seconds, he started meowing again.

“What is wrong with you?” I said. He just looked at me. I was sure the poor critter was sensing my feelings, so there would be no shutting him up any time soon.

My two boys, Bear and Tuncie. Bear is on the right. I get such a kick out of this picture because Bear's paw is on the Word of God, you know, like we're supposed to stand on God's Word. Also, that cat could always sense when the presence of the Lord came into the room. The first thing he did was meow. I swear, sometimes he was talking to God.
I headed downstairs, hoping to find a quiet place to pray. As I reached the last step, Bear’s paws came padding down the stairs behind me.

Please, God, make him go lie down or something. I can’t take much more.

But the little critter persisted following me through the house, no matter where I went.

I finally ducked into the living room, thinking I had lost my private-eye kitty. Seconds later, he jumped in lickety-split behind me.


I threw my hands up. “Okay. That’s enough! What are you crying about? I’m standing right here in front of you. Why do you keep howling at me?”

As I looked in my animal’s eyes, something strange happened.

I’m standing right here, in front of you, too, daughter, so why do you keep crying and asking where I am? Why do you keep wandering around looking for me?

Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Bear. He had suddenly grown quiet, his golden eyes wide in wonder. I then noticed how he’d tugged at my heart without ever making a sound—the same way I had tugged at God’s heart, only I didn’t realize it at the time.

I picked up Bear and rested him over my shoulder. I began stroking his fur. Soon, he was purring, content in my arms.

“Father, forgive me,” I said.

It still amazes me how God used my cat's eyes to open mine. Perhaps it was because of the love I had for this beautiful creature. God knew how to get my attention. Whatever the reason, I’m so glad that He did.

When the storms of life come our way, it can be so difficult to see, especially when the rain begins pelting us. But God is always there, even when we don’t think that He is. It’s during those times we can find rest in His arms.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

(Psalm 46:1 KJV)
Note: Today's post is part of the CW blog chain. The topic is "Open". Please check out my sidebar, further down on the right, to see some great posts by other writers.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Opportunity or Obstacle?

When I think of the word opportunity, a few things come to mind: a job promotion, an open door to a new venture, or doing something that’s never been done before. But not every new opportunity is a good one. In fact, some might be better off missed.

Years ago, a friend of mine asked me to travel to Chicago to see a talk show. She all but waved the tickets in front of me. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.  Her enthusiasm grew contagious, so I agreed to the trip.

The morning of our departure, I got out of bed, put the coffee on to brew, and made my way to the bathroom to take a shower. As soon as I stepped in front of the tub, my stomach churned. Not in a physical sense, but in the way it’s always done when something’s not right. I pressed my hand to my belly, hoping the feeling would pass.

But it didn't. As time wore on, it felt as though a boulder had lodged in my gut. What is it, Lord?

No sooner had I posed the question, than a knowing filled my soul. I knew I couldn’t go, but I had no idea why.

I picked up the phone to call my friend. She answered on the first ring. “Hey, you about ready? This is going to be great.”
“We’ll stop and eat breakfast first.”
“Listen. I—”
“I’m heading out the door in a few minutes, okay?”
“What’s up?”
I took a deep breath. “I can’t go.”
A sigh traversed the line. “Are you kidding me? Why?”
“I don’t know. I just have a feeling—”
“A feeling? Yeah, right. If you didn’t really want to go in the first place, you should have told me. I can’t believe you’re doing this.”
“Look, I’m sorry, okay?”
“I’ll catch you later.”
She ended up taking her sister instead.
A few days later, her sister phoned me. “It’s a good thing you didn’t go, Deb. I know how you are about God and stuff. You would have crawled under your seat if would have been there.”
“What do you mean?”
“The show was about male strippers. They came out into the audience and everything. One guy walked right in front of me, which is where you would have been sitting, and gyrated his hips in my face.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Do I sound like I’m kidding?”
I heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank you so much for telling me this.”
My friend didn't call for several days. When she finally did, she asked, “How did you know?”
That was the whole point. I didn’t know anything. God did.
If this ever happens to you, no matter what type of opportunity comes up (and no matter how good it might seem to be), follow what the Spirit of the Lord puts on your heart. It may not make sense at the time, but if you’ll listen, it will save you a whole lot of grief in the process. Like I said before, some "opportunities" are better off missed. 

Note: Today's post is part of the CW blog chain. The topic is "Opportunity". Please check out my sidebar, further down on the right, to see some great posts by other writers.