Words of Wisdom . . . Thoughts of Hope Kindle Sale! Four Days Only

Wanting to purchase a Kindle version of the book but waiting for a bargain? This is it!  Purchase Words of Wisdom . . . Thoughts of Hope for Kindle today for $0.99!
Sale lasts for four days
September 28 $0.99
September 29 $1.99
September 30 $2.99
September 31 $3.99
October 1 back to full price — $4.99

A little nibble :

Simple Faith

I was about ten years old, maybe nine, when I heard the “angels’ songs.” Alone in our row-house kitchen on a warm summer afternoon, I heard some kind of music through the window. Stepping out on the back door stoop, I looked around to find the source of the music. In the back of my mind I knew they were wind chimes, but there, in the alleyway between the houses, to me the sounds were divine, angels playing music in worship of God. Enraptured by the song of the chimes I stood there for several minutes, singing to God myself and enjoying God’s presence there in my backyard.

Children have an awesome way of recognizing the miraculous and the beautiful in life.  They see with different eyes and hear with different ears—senses that have yet to be tainted by the world’s harshness.  Children simply believe.  . . .


New Book! Words of Wisdom . . . Thoughts of Hope

Now available on Kindle and Amazon.com, my new book of meditations, poetry, and inspirational image:  Words of Wisdom . . . Thoughts of Hope!  Click here for a free preview.  Black-and-white and Kindle versions are currently available on Amazon and on CreateSpace E-Store.  Full color version should be available shortly.  And because you are my friend, you can get a $2 discount on the black-and-white edition at the CreateSpace store using this code,  74LJKB5M, for the next two weeks.

Kindle EditionWords of wisdom icon

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A collection of original meditations and poetry, along with inspirational images, this book brings hopeful and comforting thoughts, along with encouragement and challenges to faith.   Available in three editions:

  • Full color edition.  This edition, priced at $18.99, contains full-color illustrations and would be a wonderful gift or coffee table book.
  • Black-and-White Edition.  The same as the full-color edition, but in black and white, and at a lower price.
  • Kindle Edition  Full-color Kindle file.  Also available in Kindle Unlimited.

Thanks for checking out this new work and for posting a review.


Mary Kay



What Do You Say? How Do You Live?

Sermon: What Do You Say? How Do You Live?”
Luke 17:11-19
November 22, 2015
Woodland Heights Presbyterian Church
Rev. Mary Kay Glunt

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.” Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, “We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.” Daily Bread, August 26, 1989.

Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it.
Terrified, the one shouted to the other, “Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!”
John answered, “I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life.”
“But you must!” implored his companion. “The bull is catching up to us.”

“All right,” panted John, “I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ‘O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.'”

Source Unknown.

Thanksgiving. For many it is the name of a holiday, a time to gather with family and/or friends, and a time to get ready for an insane shopping experience. Like many other holidays in our society,–Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, etc., the background and meaning of the observation has been greatly lost on us.

We’ll gather together, eat our favorite foods, maybe watch football and laugh, or even argue, but in many cases, prayer and thoughts of God will be forgotten.

The first recorded thanksgiving meals on this continent were in the newly established colonies. We are all familiar with the meal the pilgrims shared with the Native Americans in 1621, when the latter helped them plant indigenous crops and so saved their lives. But even earlier, in Jamestown, the winter of 1610 had decimated their group of 409 settlers to 60. They prayed for help, and when it arrived on a ship filled with food and supplies, they had a prayer meeting to give thanks to God.

Over the years Thanksgiving has taken many forms. Each home has different traditions and different menus. But will we, this week, be like those who took time out to thank God for their blessings, or will we be like modern society, enjoying our blessings with no thought of how we received them?

In our gospel reading today, Jesus was traveling toward Jerusalem. He came upon ten men in a camp outside of the village. They were there because each of them had leprosy. These men would have had bandages and wounds because of the lack of sensation caused by the disease. They may have lost appendages, noses, ears, because of the disease. Whatever it was, they were ostracized from common society to prevent spreading it to the healthy. Today we would call them “marginalized.”

Each of us, at one time in our lives, has found ourselves in a place where we are on the outside, feeling left out, abandoned, outcast, whether by friends or family, or even by God, we felt as if we had nothing, no strength, no help, no hope. Until we heard about Jesus. Until we realized that God just might help us, and we called upon Him. Likewise, these men had heard of Jesus, and they called out to him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (v. 13). They approach Him because it was forbidden for them to approach the healthy, but Jesus heard their call and He told them: “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” Now I can imagine these men struggled for a moment with that command, because they weren’t to go to the priest or to be in the village at all. What to do? Trust in Jesus and be healed, but take the chance that by approaching the priest they would break social conventions? In faith, they started off in obedience, and as they went, they were cleansed, healed, delivered.

How many times have you prayed for God’s help in your life? How many times has God blessed you beyond what you were able to achieve? When have you recognized God’s hand in resolving a situation you couldn’t rectify? As they walked they realized they had been healed. I can see it now. They were dragging their feet, stumbling, perhaps using crutches, hunched over and weary. They were wondering what they were doing. Then one foot was easier to pick up. An arm no longer drooped to the side. One man stood a little straighter. Another was able to drop the crutch. Soon they were all walking without impediment or pain, and they probably jumped around, rejoicing and celebrating, as they did what Jesus told them to do.

On realizing he was healed, one man disobeyed and took a detour, first coming back to thank Jesus for the miracle. This man was a Samaritan, and he was so grateful that he set aside his own gladness, his own restoration to a normal life, in order to give thanks to Jesus.

There is an old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. But sometimes, there are no disciples in victory. Let me explain. When times are tough, we pray. When we can’t see a way out, we call on God, sometimes shouting to be sure He hears us! When we have needs, we take them to the Lord. We make commitments: Lord if you do this, I will . . . “ But sometimes, when the answer comes, we get so involved in the blessings that we forget about the One who blessed us. We forget how bad it was and how needy we were, thinking ourselves to be strong on our own once again and in no need of anyone else.

What does it mean to be thankful? Dictionary.com says it is feeling or expressing gratitude, which is defined as warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received. We are thankful, perhaps, and we shoot off a quick prayer of thanks to God and continue on our way, unchanged by the blessing, still going our own way. We forget to give God the glory He is due. I believe being thankful is more than just saying “thank you,” as if God had just opened the door for us, but being truly thankful is being changed, letting God’s mercy and grace change who we are as we go forward doing what Jesus has asked us to do.

Why did only one cleansed leper return to thank Jesus? The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine did not return:
One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, “O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
One said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”
One said, “I was already much improved.”
Charles L. Brown, Content The Newsletter, June, 1990, p. 3.

All of the men were healed. They were doing what they had been told, but one returned because the gift was so great, so amazing, that he had to give thanks to Jesus. The man who returned was not only healed physically, but upon returning he received a second blessing from Jesus, that of salvation. “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In three of the four chapters of the book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul links being thankful with our relationship with God, how we live the Christian life.

Colossians 2:6-7–6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 3:15–Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 4:2–Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

So being thankful is so much more than a quick prayer, but it is a lifestyle that expresses gratitude to God for not just the answer to prayer, but for the mercy and grace shown to us.

And there’s more. You see, being thankful to God should flow out in our interactions with others. The Apostle Paul also modeled this when he said to the Ephesians: 15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

Some call it, “an attitude of gratitude,” a way of living that looks for the good instead of the bad, an attitude that seeks honor instead of punishment, one that lifts up instead of tearing down.
G. K. Chesterton once said, I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

According to Dictionary.com, “gratitude” comes from the word “grace,” and so living with an attitude of gratitude is living a grace-filled life, a life so full of grace that it cannot help but pour out on those around you. It isn’t indebtedness to the other. It isn’t just appreciation either. Gratitude includes a feeling of awe, of wonder, as to why God or that person did that for me. Gratitude takes our eyes off of what is wrong with our lives and fixes them on what we have received. Psychology Today says that gratitude opens us up to connect with something that is fundamentally good and reassuring and inhibits painful emotions such as anxiety, heartbreak, loneliness, regret, and envy. It changes our perspective. It changes us.

This Thanksgiving week, I challenge you to consider which of the ten lepers you are. You may be following the directions, but are you thankful? You may be healed and moving on in life, but are you being changed by the grace God has bestowed upon you? Be ye thankful, not only to God, but to one another. Let God’s grace change you.  Look for the good in those around you and affirm it, as God has affirmed you.

Link: Josh Groban, “Thankful” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5nNckK5Tmc

A Message To The Church of The Hurting

john pavlovitz

Everyone you meet is broken.

Whether you realize it or not, every single day you rub shoulders with people in great pain.

They are among the growing multitude of walking wounded in your midst, many presently laboring as they try to take that most excruciating of steps: the next one.

Most of them don’t wear their damage so that it can be easily seen, though. To be vulnerable like that is to risk further injury, and so they gradually learn to conceal and cover the tender, throbbing, torn-up parts of themselves from others. Though they surely suffer in the solitude and silence, at least there they find some illusion of control, some measure of safety.

And if you aren’t really looking closely at people as they cross your path, you might likely mistake them for the confident, together, secure, unaffected successes that they so desperately want to be seen as. You might well be fooled by their carefully crafted veneers of…

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Why do evangelicals like Trump? Because he’s one of us.

Great words!

Ben Irwin


Donald J. Trump the leading choice for president among evangelical voters right now. This isn’t going down well with some of the gatekeepers.

Russell Moore, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, summed up nicely the problem with Trump:

He’s an unrepentant serial adulterer who has abandoned two wives for other women. He’s someone who has spoken in vulgar and harsh terms about women, as well as in ugly and hateful ways about immigrants and other minorities. I don’t think this is someone who represents the values that evangelicals in this country aspire to.

Moore is right. Yet for now at least, a plurality of evangelicalswant just such a man—a serial adulterer who disparages women, immigrants, and minorities—to be their next president.

Sure, a lot can change between now and the first primaries. But how did so many evangelicals come to support a man whose values are so very…

View original post 718 more words

Facing Uncertainty

The past few days have brought tension and fear to many people as we followed the news reports about the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France and today’s hostage situations as well. While we are safe here in the United States, we know only too well what can happen as we remember the events of 9-11. Even discounting terrorism, we hear daily of shootings and attacks, many by family members, and we wonder, God, how can we live with these possibilities?

The situations today, with the possibility of harm, either by terror groups or by gang members or random individuals, is not that much different from the early days of the church. Only then the terror that was being inflicted was often from the state—whether the Romans or the Jews’ own leaders. There were no assurances of safety in the days of Jesus and the apostles. Each day could bring danger or death.

So how do we face the news reports each day? Do we just ignore them and pretend there are no dangers in our world today? Do we hide in our homes to be safe? How can we live with the possibilities that face us?

The Apostle Paul knew about danger. He had been beaten, stoned, and imprisoned. His own people sought to kill him, so that he had to be let down outside the walls of the city so he could escape. He knew that wherever he went there was the possibility of success in spreading the gospel of Jesus, alongside the specter of persecution, injury, or death.

Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth:

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-26).

So why did he continue on? How did he have the courage and the strength to persevere in the task given to him?

First of all, Paul viewed this life, his earthly existence, as only a portion of his life overall. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 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 Corinthians 4:17-18).

No matter how much we love our earthly existence, the truth is that, outside of new discoveries in science, each of us will die one day. We will leave our family members and our friends, our possessions and our problems, to join Him. Therefore, Paul held loosely to the things of this world. Corrie ten Boom once said to Charles Swindoll, “I’ve learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!” (Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.114).

Second, Paul lived each day fully, serving His Lord with anticipation, commitment, and contentment. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Paul learned the secret of facing challenges and dangers, of celebrating successes and achievements: Whatever the situation, God was with him and would carry him through.

Finally, Paul had the assurance that God’s love would always be with him:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-29).

Paul knew that the main thing in his life was his relationship with Christ. Whatever happened to his body was only a passing thing. Did he suffer? Of course. Was he at times frustrated? Most definitely! But he had faith, faith that this situation would pass and that, one day, he would be found whole and complete in His Savior’s presence. Until that time Paul dedicated himself to living for Christ and preaching the Word of God, fulfilling the Great Commission to preach, teach, and disciple.

What about you today? Are you suffering? Are you living in fear of what might happen—whether danger, illness, or some other catastrophe? Take some time today to consider your life, its meaning and its purpose. To what are you holding on tightly? Do you know the love of God as shown in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus? Have you found meaning in the gift of grace given by God? A song I learned many years ago says:

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus:
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus,
and He will turn your sorrow into joy! (© 1975 Justin Time Music)

The night of His last meal with His disciples, knowing he was going to be crucified soon, Jesus told them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). The peace that the world gives is transient and based on this life, but the peace that comes from God supersedes this existence, as it is based in our relationship with a God who is above all things and more powerful than anything this world can present.

We don’t know what the future holds, or even what the next minute will hold, but we do know this, that if our lives belong to God, God will hold on to us and will deliver us from fear, carrying us through every situation. We need only to trust Him to bring us through this life to the one where we will live with Him forever. Be ready each day for whatever comes by being strong in the Lord. This is where we find victory in the midst of stress, joy in the midst of challenge—our faith!