Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Adoption Prayer


An Adoption Prayer
By Lorilyn Roberts



Jesus said in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" According to the U.N., there are approximately 145 million orphans in the world today.

Can we be like Jesus, opening our beating hearts and stretching our empty arms across the oceans to help destitute orphans who need our love?  Can we not risk a little to sacrificially give these little ones the knowledge of the Real Hope Giver? Can we not love until it hurts? Can we not remove ourselves from our comfort zone of blackberries, iPhones, plasma TV screens, and Starbucks Lattes to feel an orphan's pain and hear his stifled cries for love? If only for a moment, can we enter into the movement of the Spirit of God and allow Him to stir our hearts and move us in ways not our own and give us a longing to love one more precious child? 

But not for the grace of God, go I. Without Jesus, we are all orphans. Let's show the world that Christians are indeed known by their love—enough to change the world one life at a time.

Pray that God would lead you to adopt. Pray that He would prompt you to open your wallet to help. Pray that He would show you how to get involved. Let Him touch your heart as He whispers to your soul. Someday, when you stand before the Heavenly Father's throne, when all else has been left behind but the souls for which Jesus died on a cruel Roman cross, you will be able to say, "I surrendered my heart and mind to the endless possibilities You gave me, Lord Jesus. I saved a child out of hopelessness, just as You saved me."

Don’t let it be, if only. 

“I was moved by Lorilyn’s story of her going to the ends of the earth to find her daughters.” Jerry B. Jenkins, Novelist & Biographer, owner, Christian Writers Guild.



To purchase Children of Dreams on Amazon:

October 17 through October 19, Children of Dreams will be free on Kindle as part of a larger Christian 100% off promotion. To learn more visit http://www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com/100-percent-off-christian-books/



Monday, October 15, 2012

Why Did I Write Seventh Dimension – The Door?


By Lorilyn Roberts




It’s easy to think of my life beginning when I was four years old. A torrential storm sent lightening daggers through the living room and thunder shook our tiny apartment. It was on that night, awareness of life and death became real to me. Fear entered me for the first time and made me realize how small and insignificant I was. In a home without a father, I sensed there was something big and all-powerful that would protect me if I asked. That was my first awareness of God.

Love growing up in a broken home was lacking, but when you don’t know any different, you accept what is without questioning. God filled in those gaps later. Out of depravity, God provides abundantly. Those who have great need later experience great healing and great love, poured out and overflowing. Every child born into this world God loves just as much as He loves His Beloved Son. That gives me hope that no matter what our circumstances, we can overcome. We will overcome by the blood of Jesus Christ.

We can defeat those voices that tell us we are no good, we can rest in the arms of Jesus Christ, we can embrace the truth through Scripture, and we can share the love of God. Despite all the obstacles that have hindered me, God is now giving me the opportunity to share my passion for writing.

How does one come to know Jesus Christ if one is afraid of other Christians, afraid of the church, afraid of rejection, even afraid to go to Sunday School? (I failed first grade because I couldn’t read and never wanted to read out loud after that).

God sent a dog named Gypsy to me. Sadly, shortly after arriving on our doorstep, she was taken from me and dumped some place far away. For three days, I did nothing but cry. I lay in bed listening to another violent storm outside my bedroom, wondering if she was okay. I feared I would never see her again. For someone who had never known the Savior’s love, or the love of a close friend, or the community of a church, she was my anchor. For someone who didn’t own a Bible, who had never heard the words, “I love you,” from the Source of all love, it was a scary world that offered little security. I longed for something , but I didn’t know what it was.

As we were getting ready to leave on a trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving, I looked one last time up the hill from our small apartment. I dropped my pillow when I saw a speck of white on the street far away.  Was it Gypsy?  She was dirty and exhausted, but she was alive. We were reunited—never separated again until her death many years later.

That day, I learned something profound—God loved me and He would never leave me or forsake me. If He could return my beloved dog to me against all odds, He had to be real.

I went to an elementary school that was mostly Jewish, and so my school friends were Jewish. I was jealous they had that sense of community that I never had. Why couldn’t I have been born Jewish? My mother had recently married Gene Roberts and I asked my new father to take me to Sunday School. On Sunday mornings, he would climb out of bed and drive me to a church nearby we had never attended. There I learned about Abraham and Moses. I felt Jewish because I was learning about the Jewish God. For my eighth birthday, I asked for a Bible. My new father took me to the store and bought me the King James Bible.  I proudly wrote my name in the only Bible we owned for many, many years.

When I was twelve, I had a good friend with whom  I spent the night. Before she went to bed that night, she asked, “Do you mind if I read my Bible ?” I had not grown in my faith since I was younger as we had moved. My parents did make an effort to attend church a few times, but the fights they had on Sunday morning were horrendous. Much to my relief, we quit going.  The Sunday morning tirades  turned me away from believing in a powerful God. Satan seemed too strong for my family—where there were often scary confrontations that left me insecure and worried. My birthfather having left me, I feared my adoptive father might, also.

God never quit loving me, but I lost touch with Him until I met my friend who read her Bible.

I went home and started reading mine. I read Job first – I could easily read that name – followed by Proverbs. Then I decided to read something from the New Testament. Why not begin with the first book—Matthew?

I became a born-again Christian reading about Jesus in bed late at night under a tiny light when I was supposed to be sleeping. His profound words rung true with what I knew— the Old Testament prophets and the proof-texts. The Jewishness of Matthew resonated with me because of my past. His compassion for the poor, his willingness to risk everything, and His death on the cross when He had done nothing wrong overwhelmed me. I cried, humbled by His compassionate words that spoke to my heart.

I must have asked Jesus into my heart a hundred different ways. Fearful I didn’t do it right the first time, I did it over and over. When one is insecure and has little knowledge of the things of God, fear plays too big a role. Fear convinces you uttering the sinner’s prayer is insufficient for salvation. When you have lived in a world of conditional love and performance-based acceptance, it doesn’t seem like enough after all God has done.

My insecurity and low self-esteem kept me from growing as a Christian. I looked for value in worldly ways. I excelled academically, making straight A’s through high school. I became an accomplished classical guitar player, performing at major events. I was first runner-up in the Junior Miss Pageant for Cobb County, Georgia. I never smoked a cigarette, never drank, never hung out with the questionable crowd, never was promiscuous, and never once took a risk that would have compromised on my very personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

But deep down, I was hurting. As a perfectionist, I struggled to believe people would like me if they knew how “bad” I was. A flawed and distorted image of value crept into every aspect of my thinking. I wouldn’t read out loud, wouldn’t pray in public, wouldn’t do anything that could draw attention to myself outside of my academic and musical accomplishments. My fear kept me from becoming the person God created me to be.

At nineteen, I met the love of my life at the University of Georgia in chemistry class—who psychologists would call a rescuer. We later married and I put him through medical school, hoping when he finished, I could go back to college and get my degree and pursue my dreams of writing.

When I was thirty, he walked out on me after getting his girlfriend pregnant. Those dreams of writing crushed, I dropped out of the University of Florida and went back to the horrid world of court reporting, which I hated.

But something did change – I found a Bible-believing church, a Christian Counselor, and Christians in the church reached out to me with the love of Jesus Christ. I pulled out that dusty Bible and discovered the Book of Romans. I threw out those pills I almost swallowed after God spoke to me on another stormy night when I lay in a muddy creek bed. The Creator asked me how I could take my own life when He sacrificed His beloved Son for me. How could I stand before Jesus Christ if I committed this awful deed? His love for me compelled me to give up that “right.” That was in 1985.

Since that time, many of my prayers have been answered. My mother and Gene, who later adopted me, found Jesus Christ and started attending church (without fighting). Gene died a humble man fifteen months later after a valiant fight with brain cancer. I look forward to seeing him when I arrive at heaven’s gates. My brother and sister found a church and became believers. My family is no longer just a moral family—they know Jesus Christ. I believe God’s great work began with a stray white dog that found her way into my heart so long ago. She was lost but she found me and wouldn’t let go—just as God found me and wouldn’t let go of me either.

Today, I thank God for the opportunity to write and share His great love with a world that is desperately lost. Especially as we watch the news on television and the internet and see the scars of hurting people because of sin, unbelief, and godlessness. We have hope because God is a God of all hope.

While the Seventh Dimension – The Door is a Christian fantasy and fiction, many of the ideas come directly from my life. Today, God is still working out His perfect will on many levels—the birthfather I am estranged from, my desire to write full-time, fueling the passion in my daughters to have no other god but the One Living and True God. The world’s lure is great and I will never grow weary of praying for them. God, who brought them here from the other side of the world as orphans, has a wonderful plan for them. As a single mother, I know the battle for my children’s souls is great, but if I didn’t believe so passionately that God as our heavenly Father can fill that void of earthly fathers, I wouldn’t have adopted them. With one hundred and fifty million orphans in the world, God chose them. I am humbled and honored to call them my daughters.

For every young person who struggles with doubt, for every child who has been bullied, for every kid who comes from a broken home, and for every person who longs for the seventh dimension—Seventh Dimension – The Door is for you.


God does not leave us if we come to Him. Seventh Dimension – The Door is written for those who will not hear of God’s love in church because they don’t attend, or through Christians because they don’t hang out with them, or through the Bible because they don’t own one. To know the King, it helps to know His Jewish roots, so there is a strong Jewish element within the pages. Seventh Dimension – The Door is the book I wish I could have read when I was a teenager. Seventh Dimension – The Door is now available on Smashwords and Kindle. An audio version is on my website (free download for a limited time).







Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chapter One from Seventh Dimension - The Door, by Lorilyn Roberts




Prologue

A diary entry many years later:

“Long ago, a magical king was born in a kingdom where animals talked and intellect sparred with spirituality. It was a time when truth transcended culture, forgiveness won battles, and love conquered a young girl’s heart.

But lest I get ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning—which happened a long, long, long time ago. So long ago, I barely remember the beginning of my journey to the Seventh Dimension.



Chapter One

The Dark Secret of Shale Snyder


I hid in a closet underneath the stairs—my safe house. Nobody would find me in here. It wasn’t used because the ceiling was too low. After the accident, the closet became my friend. I wanted to avoid Judd, who came over to visit Chumana. She was not my sister but we lived together.
Guilt overwhelmed me. The door creaked as I turned the handle. I held my breath and peered through the tiny slit. Moving shadows darkened the room. Judd, Rachel, and Chumana stared into a small brown shoebox.
Chumana burst out crying. “I hate Shale.”
I cringed. She already hated me anyway, ever since we moved in with them a few months earlier.
Rachel stood and recited a Jewish prayer. “Barukh shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed. Blessed is the name of his glorious kingdom forever and ever.” With her unkempt hair, puffy red eyes, and flushed face, I barely recognized my best friend.
“Why are you praying?” Judd snapped. “We aren’t here to pray.”
“Accidents happen,” Rachel said.
“She should be cursed,” Judd exploded.
“Don’t say that,” Rachel said.
 “How do you know it was an accident?” Chumana asked.
I looked away. I couldn’t listen. My whole body quivered—what kind of curse?
Judd’s voice cracked. “I demand she tell us what happened.”
The three twelve-year-olds sat silently for a moment before Rachel responded. “She fell down the stairs with Fifi and she’s afraid.”
I swallowed hard.
Judd pulled his uncle’s Atlanta Braves cap over his eyes and clinched his hand into a fist. “I hope Shale never has any friends—for the rest of her life.” He covered his face and sobbed.
I bit my fingernail holding back tears. I’d never heard a boy cry. Could his curse come true?
Chumana’s red hair matched her fiery temper. “That’s not enough of a curse. She already doesn’t have any friends.”
“I’m her friend,” Rachel said. “Accidents happen.”
Rachel lived two buildings down from us in the Hope Garden Apartments. Would she still be my friend if I told her the truth? I didn’t just fall—it was what I was doing when I fell. I was too afraid. I rubbed my swollen ankle, a reminder of my foolishness. The doctor hoped it would heal, but Fifi lay in the box.
Probably God hated me, too. If I told the truth, everyone would hate me. I couldn’t even tell my mother. My father—he left me long ago.


***

Two Years Later

I felt a hand reach underneath my blue skirt. I spun around on my toes. Students in the crowded hallway blended into a blur of anonymity. Hurried bodies shoved past. Am I going crazy? Did I imagine it? I scanned faces and froze each one, like a snapshot with a camera.
“Shale, why are you standing there? Come on or you’ll be late to class.” Rachel was waiting at the hall lockers.
I walked towards her as the bell rang.
“Are you okay?” She furrowed her brow.
“I’m fine.” I smiled, pretending nothing had happened. I’d think about it later. “Did you finish your analysis of As You Like It?”
Rachel’s brown eyes bulged. “Is it due today?”
“Here’s mine. You can take a quick look if you need to.”
“Oh, thanks, Shale. I hate Shakespeare anyway. No copying, promise. Just a peek.”
“It’s no different from reading Spark Notes on the web,” I quipped.
When we walked into English class at Garden High School, I sat in the seat closest to the door and stared out into the darkened hallway. Who did it? What would I do if I caught him? Mrs. Wilkes’s voice brought me back to reality as she recited from a Shakespearean play.

“All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances
And one man in his time plays many parts
His acts being seven ages.”

What was my part? At fourteen, did I have one yet?

***

Later in the afternoon, I tripped while stepping off the school bus. My books scattered over the ground. My bum ankle from the accident two years earlier would catch at the worst possible moments—what I considered my eternal punishment.
Scrambling to pick them up, I wiped the red Georgia clay off my math book. The bus waited long enough to make sure it wouldn’t run me over before pulling away.
“Hey, wait up, ya’ll.” I walked faster to catch up as Rachel stopped, but Chumana and Judd kept going. We still lived in the same apartment complex on the south side of Atlanta—had for years.
“If you used a backpack, you wouldn’t have dropped your books,” Rachel chided me.
“Mine broke.” I scanned Rachel’s back. “Where’s yours?”
“I did my homework at school. This is all I needed.” Rachel waved a thick book with strange-looking letters in the air.
“Can you read that stuff?”
“Sure,” Rachel laughed, “but I don’t know what it means. You could too if I taught you.” Rachel flipped to the first page. “You start on this side.” Her finger pointed to a line of Hebrew and she ran her finger across the page from right to left.
 “Really?”
“Yes.” Rachel giggled. “So who reads backwards, the English or the Jews?”
 “I’d say the Jews. I can say that since I’m not Jewish, right?”
“Why not?”
“Writing would sure be easier if English was right to left. I wouldn’t smear my words.”
Rachel nodded. “I forget you’re left-handed. It’s crazy, isn’t it—like the Brits drive on the left side and we drive on the right.”
We walked for a while not saying anything. I glanced at my friend with her striking olive skin, almond brown eyes, and brown hair. “Do you like being Jewish?”
“Yeah, I guess. I don’t know any different.”
 “I wish I was Jewish.”
“Why?” Rachel asked.
“It would be neat to be able to say I was something.”
“You could go to church,” Rachel suggested.
“Mom and Remi would never go. Every time they talk about God or anything religious, they end up fighting.”
Rachel flinched. “That’s too bad. By the way, thanks for your help with English.”
“You’re welcome.” I switched my books to the left, thinking how much I hated the long walk home, especially since we now lived farther away. The new unit we moved into when Remi and mother married was at the very back by the woods.
Rachel frowned, noticing my musings. “What’s it like having a father now?”
I bit my lip hesitating. “At least I have my own bedroom and don’t have to share with Chumana.”
“That’s good,” Rachel agreed. “How did you ever end up living with her anyway?”
“Mother didn’t have any money when we moved to Atlanta. She found an ad that Chumana’s mother placed in the Atlanta Constitution looking for a roommate. It was a cheap place to live.”
I eyed Judd and Chumana ahead of us. “What are they talking about? They have been spending a lot of time together.”
Rachel lowered her voice. “I know.”
“Maybe they deserve each other.”
Rachel edged up even closer to me and spoke in a whisper, “You never knew your father, right?”
“No.” I clutched my books that now seemed heavier. “Mother couldn’t wait to marry Remi after being divorced for so many years. Then she cried all night when they returned from their honeymoon in the mountains. I couldn’t sleep. I wondered why, but was too afraid to ask.”
“Maybe it was a bad honeymoon,” Rachel chortled.
“Silly you. How can you have a bad honeymoon?”
“I don’t know,” Rachel replied. “I’m sure it’s happened.”
“I hardly knew Remi the day they married.”
“It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be at your own parent’s wedding. I mean, it might be funny if it could happen,” Rachel said.
“Like Back to the Future?” Then my thoughts darkened. “How would you like having a stepfather you don’t know?”
Rachel shook her head. “I wouldn’t.”
I’d never confided in anyone about my past but now I couldn’t stop. “Presents arrive twice a year from North York. I don’t remember anything about my father. One day he left and never returned.”
“I can’t imagine what that would be like,” Rachel said.
“Sometimes I get angry.”
Rachel’s eyes widened. “About what?”
“Mother didn’t ask how I felt about her remarrying.”
We walked in silence as my words hung in the air. I kicked a rock on the sidewalk and it skipped into the gutter. Rachel’s warm nature was comforting. She came from such a perfect family, or it seemed. I’d tell her things I wouldn’t tell anyone else.
Voices from the past mocked me. “Do I walk like a chicken?”
Rachel laughed. “No, you don’t walk like a chicken.”
“Do I have big lips?”
“Big lips?” Rachel stopped and stared at me surprised. “No.”
“You don’t think so? Every time I wet them with my tongue, I worry I’m making them fat—so I was told.”
Rachel examined my fair face. I pretended not to notice. “You’re beautiful. Who would say such mean things?”
I didn’t want to tell her. What was the point in making him look bad?
“I love your green eyes and long brown hair.” Rachel reached out and grabbed a couple of strands, flipping them over my shoulder. “I wish mine wasn’t wavy with all the humidity. I use an iron to straighten it but it doesn’t stay that way for long.” Rachel giggled. “Guys love long, straight hair.”
“Remi wants me to call him dad, but that seems weird.”
A few feet in front of us, Chumana knelt on the sidewalk.
Rachel squinted. “What are they looking at?”
An earthworm wiggled on the sidewalk, barely warm from the late afternoon sun. A few weeks after Christmas, it was the wrong time of year for creepy crawlers.
“It’s probably cold,” I said.
Judd lifted his foot to squash it.
“Wait,” I demanded.
Judd glared at me.
“Why kill it?” I asked.
He leaned down and picked it up, dangling the worm a few inches above the sidewalk. “Have you ever dissected one of these?”
I shook my head.
He stiffened. “I should make you squish it between your delicate fingers.”
I stared at the worm. Judd dropped it on the sidewalk. As he started to smash it again, I leaned over and shoved him. “Just leave it alone.”
Judd’s face turned beet red. “Don’t ever push me again. You hear me?”
I nodded. My knees spasmed like a jack-in-the-box.
“You don’t like squishing worms but you killed my puppy.” His icy eyes ripped at my soul.
Rachel said, “Get over it. You sound so hateful.”
Chumana glared through her thick, black-rimmed glasses. “Judd is right, though, Rachel. Don’t you remember?”
“I remember,” Rachel whispered.
My heart raced as I picked up the worm—its slimy body was cold to the touch—and stuck it in my pocket.
Judd shook his head and stomped off.
Ruefully, I urged Rachel and Chumana, “You two go on. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Rachel nodded. They continued walking, leaving me alone.
After wrapping the worm up in some brown leaves, I placed it on a warmer corner of the concrete. When I lifted my eyes, I saw the white dog for the first time. She sat nearby wagging her fluffy tail.
As I approached her, she stood and limped backwards. The scruffy creature was dirty and mangy, with floppy short ears and almond brown eyes. If she belonged to someone or was lost, the owner wasn’t taking very good care of her. A fuzzy feeling warmed my heart. Did she like me? Before I could get too close, the dog turned and ran away. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reflections on Cuba and a Cuban Poet’s Heart







“We need to show you how to get home from school in case we are attacked,” my father told me one night as he tucked me into bed.” The next day at school, the teachers instructed us if the sirens sounded, we needed to run into the hallway, get down on our hands and knees, and bury our head between our legs.

“Don’t eat any food unless it’s sealed in a can,” my mother said, “and make sure you wipe off the top first.” The next day my parents showed me the way home from school along a heavily-traveled road in case they couldn’t come to school to get me if the buses weren’t running.

 “What happened?” I asked. Fear struck at my heart that I might not see my parents again. Who would want to attack us anyway?

My dad replied, “Cuba has aimed missiles at the United States. If they launch them, they could reach Atlanta.” I had never heard of Cuba and had no idea what missiles were, but I was frightened. At seven years old in first grade, that was my first indoctrination into the possibility of war and my own vulnerability to the unthinkable—my parents or I could be killed.

Fortunately, the danger passed, thanks to President Kennedy’s strong leadership and standing up to Fidel Castro, but I learned later, that wasn’t my family’s only encounter with the communist dictator. When I was older, my grandparents told me about their wonderful vacations in Cuba during the 1950s, how beautiful the beaches were and how much they loved the island. They never took another vacation anywhere in the world that came close to the tranquility of those they took in Cuba before Fidel Castro seized power.

In more somber moments, they shared with me their final vacation when Castro overthrew the government and the revolution took place. The hotel workers deserted the hotel, the bar was raided, the food stolen from the kitchen, and total anarchy covered the countryside. It was a story I never got tired of hearing. I only wish I had written down in detail their experience so I could write about it today.

Varadero beach

Sadly, I never thought much more about the people of Cuba until we had an author to join the John 3:16 Network recently. As I read his emails on our private forum, I became keenly aware of how difficult his living situation is and how much I take for granted in a country where freedom and opportunity have always been the norm.

Here is a short interview of Roberto Ornan Roche

* You are a Christian writer in Cuba. Please tell me a little about your life.

Life in Cuba is somewhat routine and boring, though to be a Christian makes it worthwhile. I work as a small business landlord for computer facilities. My wife and I have a baby of ten months, and it is very difficult to make ends meet. For example, some strained fruit for our baby costs 25 pesos (about US$0.95), but the average wage of a worker in Cuba is less than four hundred pesos a month (about US$15.00).

When I have some free time I go on the internet to see how things are going with my books. But the internet is expensive and difficult to use, and sometimes I spend more money checking my books than I make from them. The internet is prohibited in Cuba, but we can pay to obtain some hours, and hope that the State does not take reprisals. 

It is important, amid all that, to maintain our spiritual life and not lose sight of the Lord.

* How did you start writing?

I began to write because I felt that it was the best way to express my feelings about my life, and as an expression of my faith. For that reason my writings are devotionals, testimonies and simple stories. I wanted to express my devotion to God, who has a purpose for my life.

* Is it easy to be published as a Christian writer in Cuba? 

The churches and denominations in Cuba have small magazines, but with few pages and very low circulations. These magazines are the only means for a Christian writer to say something. A national seemingly Christian publishing house exists, with the possibility of printing a great number of copies. This Publishing House is named "Roads." 

However, they also mix in politics, and they live ostentatious lives, backed up by donations from overseas Christian organizations. But that type of "Christian" is known well and the true churches don't mix with them, although they are powerful and can offer useful opportunities, because they enjoy the privilege of the State.

* Is it easy to be a practicing Christian in Cuba?

I remember when I was a schoolboy that our teachers made us stand at the front of the classroom, so that the other students could make fun of us, because we didn't believe in Darwin's Evolution or in the ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin. We were simply Christians, and the other children were trained to hate us. 

This was not an isolated practice. Rather, it was mandatory for the teachers to embarrass the Christian children. Likewise, it was necessary for parents to deny their faith, so that their children could study in the University. 

Currently, with the decadence of the socialist society, the State has been allowing certain freedoms and has been taking advantage of Christians to heal our society, although in no way do they want a Christian society. They simply want us to participate in the formation of a solid society – taking the good of the churches, but without giving much ground.

* Are there many churches in Cuba?

Yes, we have many churches, although we are not allowed to open up or build new churches. This has always been forbidden. Our local church is more than eighty years old.

* Please tell me a little about your church.

Our church is small, but after waiting decades for a construction licence, and jumping over thousands of bureaucratic barriers, the construction of a new church building, on the site of the old church, is almost finished. 

Due to the construction work, some church activities have been rescheduled. But normally we have men’s, women’s, children’s and youth worship. We also have prayer groups, Sunday School in the morning and evening worship.

Our Pastor is a very good preacher. He is very inspiring and his sermons attract a lot of non-believers. We also have home prayer groups, and fasting and prayer in the mornings.

People in our church are simple and humble, very poor and unpretentious. Over many decades a lot of very good Christians have left their imprints on the hearts of the congregation. These were church brothers and sister who always stood up and gave moving testimonies.

A brother who traveled overseas remembered us with a donation that we used to buy an electronic piano for the church. We call these brothers and sister the Pillars of our church, and although they have moved to be with the Lord, we always have other older men and deacons who are the new Pillars of our church.

My mother Migdalia has been a very active person in the Ladies department and a teacher of Sunday School. In her youth she traveled hundred of kilometers to study and also to teach at Summer Schools in small towns.


I hope you enjoy this short poem by Roberto. My heart is quickened when I see lived out the profound truth of God – He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and in every country throughout the world, we are one in the Spirit.





The Perfect Story
By Roberto Ornan Roche

They wanted the “perfect” story, without miracles and without churches, so that sin did not seem so bad, nor the Christians so good; where the suffering one, the abandoned one, and the ordinary one did not count. A story to give meaning to the vanity of the World and to open the doors equally to all the experiences.
They wanted clearly understood the reason why evil covers and overcomes good so easily; the reason why the man who has abandoned his wife can hardly remember her affection, her tender care, and her love without measure; and while she is thinking that she is present in his mind, she is for him only a vagrant and uncomfortable memory that never appears in the most meritorious moments of the day.
They wanted a story full of peace and harmony; with a God who does not abide by all His promises; and with many children who claim not to believe in Him; but with capable men who are willing to substitute Him with their songs.
They intended a story of long roads without shade, all of them built by man's hands and with the blood of others, they also intended to step on the grass without noticing the dead butterflies. They thought the forbidden fruit would be a trophy, and the mantle of iniquity that human beings take inside would be similar to their own freedom.
They imagined a story where sinners and their blasphemies were applauded and fully accepted because there are always new rights to conceive. A story of new experiences, without prodigal children, which never forgives the past, and follows a new road without looking backwards. A story where errors did not count and they were taken as lived experiences.
They wanted a story without tears or pain, without cancer, without thorns or angels.
They wanted a story without me, without my brethren, without regrets or redemption; a story without Heaven.
They wanted a “perfect” story, without Psalms, a Godless eternity, but they only had the story of the Saviour who died on the cross of the Calvary, and they did not really like that story very much.


This poem and more of Roberto Ornan Roche’s writings can be found at :


"The Lighthouse of Asaph: Unforgettable Christian Reflections":
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0987901117 (Print)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VWQ3E0 (Kindle)

"The Cuban Christian Writer: Redemption, Encouragement & Restoration Stories":
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055ECG0I (Kindle)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Americans Deserve Better


"There are two ways to conquer & enslave a nation.
One is by the sword.
The other is by debt."  John Adams  1826

 

THE campaign poster to end all posters...
This is too good... Be sure to check out where the "quote" came from

 

The Quote of the Decade:

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006 Pass it on 'til eternity... 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

They Stood Alone, 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference, by Sandra McLeod Humphrey, Review by Lorilyn Roberts






They Stood Alone instantly captivated me. The stories inspired me to see how one person can make a difference. As a mother, I noted most of these men and women had Godly parents who encouraged their young children never to give up on their dreams. The theme of They Stood Alone appears in this beautiful quote from the last chapter: "Live your own life as only you can live it. Do what you love and love what you do. Discover your passion and have the courage to follow your heart. Remember, you, too, can make a difference. May you always follow your heart and never give up your dream!"

Some of my favorite stories included Jackie Robinson, Neil Armstrong, Henry David Thoreau, and Leonardo Da Vinci. I saw a part of myself in them and enjoyed seeing how they achieved their dreams, oftentimes in spite of insurmountable odds.

So it is for all of us. Those who go before us pave the way for those who follow, instilling hope that we, too, can reach our dreams. In the process, we can build a better world for those who come after us.

Be inspired by the lives of these heroes who were at heart down-to-earth men and women. Enjoy a trip back in time as you read in these pages the amazing stories of passion, hope, determination, and courage. These are people who lived life to the fullest despite the obstacles or status quo or prejudices that beset them. These are lives worth reading about and honoring in a day when true heroes are hard to find.

They Stood Alone would be an easy read for children over ten and an enjoyable book for a parent to a younger child. In time, I expect this book to become a classic because it's so well written and presented.