Deborah@70

“… I have come with the sole purpose for you to have life in its most complete form.”  John 10:10b   The Mirror  “Life is a one-time offer. Use it well.” Unknown Today, I turn 70 years old.  Just writing the number causes me to marvel—70!  When I was ten, sixteen, twenty-one, thirty, even fifty, 70 seemed so distant, almost ancient.  And here I am, entering my seventh decade of life. How did I get here so quickly?  I guess the adage is true…you know, the one about time and tide! Life is a divine gift, and 70 years of life is an absolute blessing.   I embrace it with all that I am, thanking God for each moment of grace that has brought me to this new phase of life. I praise Him for the promise that 70 brings—one of perfection, fulfillment, restoration, fullness, wholeness, and a new level of authority. I am eager to live the truth learned over the past 69 years; to be fully present, fully awake, fully engaged in all of life; to take the wisdom gained over these decades and apply it in every area of my life; to love, to laugh, to BE, to show my shine. To the casual observer, I suppose these 70 years seem pretty “ordinary." Not to me. I've lived an extraordinary and blessed life, a life filled with love, wonder, tears, laughter, joy, adventure!  These have been extraordinary years of growth, transformation, discovery, and I wouldn’t trade my 70…

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Read more about the article Giant Slayer!
Biblical vector illustration of David and Goliath ready for a duel in dramatic scene
Giant Slayer!

Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" 1 Samuel 17:26   "My Child, in this season, you must take out, once and for all, the enemies that have hindered you from moving into the new place I have prepared for you.  Fighting is not an option.  And just as I said to My Children as they entered the Promised Land, I say to you: But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell (Numbers 33:55). You can no longer refuse to face the giants in your life. You can not ignore them, placate them, or act as if they don't exist!  You can no longer refuse to drive them out of your "land."  You have thought you could peaceably co-exist with them.  But I tell you today, they will continue to vex and hinder you until you no longer allow them to exist in your land, in your mind, in your emotions, in your soul!  You must utterly destroy them. Fighting is not an option!  But fighting for you will not be strenuous…

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Lessons My Father Taught Me

William Elder Gaston was born in Sheffield, Alabama, on May 7, 1913, the youngest son of William Henry and Lena Gaston. To some, he was Brother; to some, Uncle Brother. To others, he was Deacon Gaston, and yet others called him “Professor.”  A few called him Bill.   My mother called him “Babe.”  I simply called him "Daddy." Daddy was all of 5’8,  an unassuming man with a gentle and quiet spirit.  Some may say he was reserved.  I remember a man full of jokes (he was the King of Corny), and when he got tickled (usually by his own corny jokes), his whole body vibrated with laughter. I remember a man of prayer, a man who cherished family.  He was a giving man.  He was a man who trusted God. My father was a man full of wisdom, a man full of love. Yes, I was a “Daddy’s girl.”  My father couldn’t leave the house without me tagging along. It didn’t matter where he was going—the hardware store, the post office, the gas station—I was right by his side.  To this day, hardware store smells stir memories of Daddy and me shopping for hammers, nails, paint, and sundry DIY items. It was on many of those excursions that I learned the most from him—invaluable lessons that are indelibly etched in my soul.  It wasn’t always by what he said to me but by what I observed in his interaction with the people he encountered. Daddy was a very intelligent…

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As He Is…

 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.   1 John 4:17 Easter Sunday was a big deal for the Gaston household when I was growing up. My mother, the quintessential celebrator of all holidays, went all in! Dying eggs and egg hunts, jellybeans, chocolate bunnies, and Peeps (my sister would only eat them if they'd sat out for a day or so and were hard) to fill the Easter baskets. I'd have a new dress with ruffles and lace (I hated ruffles and lace), new patent leather shoes from Thom Mcan, Easter bonnets (which I hated more than ruffles and lace) with fresh Shirley Temple curls cascading beneath. I knew, though, chocolate bunnies, eggs, and Shirley Temple curls were not at the crux of Easter. I knew what the day truly represented, though as a child, I didn't fully understand the implications of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. I knew He suffered for me; I knew He bore my sins for me. I knew that my belief in Him and what He'd done meant forgiveness and heaven when I died, but what did His death and resurrection mean for me in this life? What were the present implications and, yes, benefits for me— every believer—in this life? As we celebrated Resurrection Sunday 2023, my pastor John W. Stevenson shared this thought: He is Alive! As He is, so are…

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Read more about the article Reflections at the Foot of the Cross
Three crosses on the mountain Jesus Christ on a sunset background. Generative Ai
Reflections at the Foot of the Cross

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” -- Luke 23:34a At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!” ― Isaac Watts I will never forget the day I gave my life to Christ.  It was a sweltering Sunday morning in June—Children’s Day—and our little Baptist church was packed.  I sat fidgeting on the front pew next to my father. I was eight years old, and I had made up my mind—this was the day. And so when Pastor Lewis offered the invitation to discipleship as he had so many other Sundays before, I leaned over and whispered in Daddy’s ear, “I want to be saved.”  He smiled and nodded, and I nervously stepped forward. Pastor Lewis knelt down, cradled me in his arms, and, after a series of questions, welcomed me into the family of God. I was saved! That was the first of many “salvation” moments in my life.  My seeming inability to "get it right" made me think that perhaps it hadn’t taken the first time, and over the years, I’d rededicate my life to Christ and then rededicate my rededication.  It seemed everyone lived this Christian life better than I did (but that's a subject for another blog post). I've spent time these days leading up to Resurrection Sunday…

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Eye Language

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8 NKJV   When I was a child, my mother had a way of communicating with me without speaking a word!  You may be familiar with— the look!  You know the glance says, “Girl, you better sit down now!’’  or “Just wait ‘til I get you home!” My mother had mastered the art of “eye language.”   With a single glance, she’d say, “Don’t play with me!”  or “Get over here right now!” When I sat at the dinner table, staring defiantly at the Brussels sprouts she’d piled on my plate, a simple glance at the plate and then back at me said, “You’re not getting up until you eat every one of them!”  With one glance, she said, “You’re doing a great job!  I’m so proud of you!” or “Yes, you’re on the right track!” or “No need to be afraid; I’m here!”  With one glance, she simply said, “I love you!” Understanding my mother’s “eye language” was easy because of our close, intimate relationship. She knew me; I knew her. She watched over me, kept her eyes on me, and I learned to look to her for guidance, assurance, and even correction. I studied her ways, and I learned to keep my eyes on her. I knew because she loved me,  she wouldn’t steer me wrong. She only wanted what was best for me. I trusted her,…

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