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The Best is Now!

Do you know what one of the most misquoted Bible verses is? It's found in John 2. You know, the account of the first miracle Jesus performed? He's at a wedding in Cana and they are running out of wine. His mother, Mary, goes to Him and asks Him to do something about it. At first Jesus seems a bit insolent, but Mary's not fazed by that. She just turns to the servants and says, "Whatever He says, do!" and walks away. Talk about faith! And you know what happens next. The servants, obeying Jesus' orders, fill six large pots with water, and take a cup to the master of the feast. He takes sip of the water-now-turned-to-wine, and says to the bridegroom, "Everybody I know begins their feast with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill, brings in the cheap stuff. But you've saved the best til… " Did you say LAST? Nope, that's not what the Bible says. It says, "You have saved the best till NOW."  (John 2:10—read it for yourself). I love that! He's saved the best until NOW!!! Now (adverb) 1. at the present time or moment: 2. without further delay; immediately; at once; at this time or juncture in some period under consideration or in some course of proceedings described: He's saved the best til this present moment in time! Jesus said to the woman at the well, “The hour is coming, and now is when the true worshipers…

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In the Place of Rest

  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Anyone who knows me knows that one of my happy places is the beach! The sand, the sun, and the waves revitalize me. I always feel such freedom and peace when I am able to just walk along the shore, feel the sun on my face, the sand between my toes and the waves dance around me as they ebb and flow. It settles me, centers me, and gives me a greater sense of God's love and grace. Yep, the beach is my happy place! I am grateful to once again have had the opportunity for some much-needed beach time. The day we arrived on Galveston Island, I must have walked a good 6 or 7 miles up and down the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, listening for the voice God in the waves, in the singing of the seagulls and egrets. It was pure joy to have Him kiss me with the sun and remind me that I need these Divine Pauses to be re-calibrated and strengthened for all He knows lies ahead for…

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Through the Open Door

“I know all that you’ve done. Now I have set before you a wide-open door that none can shut. For I know that you possess only a little power, yet you’ve kept my word and haven’t denied my name.”  Revelation 3:8 “Access, Acceleration, Abundance. These are the words the Lord spoke to me as we enter this year,"  I shared as I stood before my Heirs Covenant Church family. "Doors are opening, giving us access to places that had once been marked ‘Access Denied.’ When those doors open, we must boldly step through them.” I added God's promise of acceleration and abundance when we obey: “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree. “Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills."  (Amos 9:13,14 The Message) Three days later, I received this message— “Hi Deborah. I hope all is well with you…I have an opportunity for you to check out.  Are you interested in teaching on a 24/7 global gospel network?” I knew this was the Lord! This was one of those open doors.  And, yet I hesitated. I almost said no. You see, while I love to teach the Word of God and saw this as an opportunity to do what God has called me to do,  stepping onto this…

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Lessons My Father Taught Me

I posted this a few years ago, but wanted to share it again this Father's Day in honor of my father.   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 very 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…

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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.  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. (I attended college in the 70s. Need I say more?) I spent time these days leading up to Resurrection Sunday reflecting on the greatest event in all of history—the Death, Burial…

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A Thanksgiving Reflection

Keep on giving your thanks to God, for he is so good! His constant, tender love lasts forever! Psalm 118:1 TPT 2020—what can I say?  It’s been unlike any year we’ve lived through.  It’s been challenging on multiple fronts.  It’s been revelatory.  It’s been what I’d term a “good hard year.”  Good because it has allowed us to see and experience things that have opened our eyes to some truths about ourselves, our world, our faith, our God. It has taught us resilience and resourcefulness.  It's forced us to rethink how we do life, caused us to readjust and, in some cases, hit the reset button.  It's caused many of us to slow down and reexamine the choices we've made. It's caused us to appreciate life and value time more. It's caused us to look around and see what matters most. It's caused many to see if what they profess to believe is what they live out in real time. Personally,  it has anchored me more deeply, tethered more tightly to the One Who is my life. As I think about, it's been a hard year for those same reasons.  It's just our nature to resist change—even when it's necessary. This Thanksgiving I am filled with gratitude for both the good and the hard. Today, as I reflect on all I have to be grateful for, I find myself pondering this thought posed by the psalmist: What if God had not been on our side?  (Psalm 124:1a TPT) It’s…

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