Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ Lost!

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest blogger, Carol Heilman   @CarolHeilman

It's a joy to share Carol Heilman with you again. We've never met in person, but I just love this woman. She offers much wisdom through her sense of humor, making the lessons digestable - if you know what I mean. She is a treasure in the Body of Christ. Carol and I pray that the words of her heart will encourage you and give you strength for the journey.

Welcome Carol!

Have you ever been lost and not know which way to turn? Since I was not blessed with a sense of direction, I have been lost many times—especially before cell phones and GPS. I can get turned around inside a building; I have learned to make a mental note of the shopping-mall door I enter, so that when I exit, I can find my car.

On a recent trip to Kentucky, my husband and I thought we were following road construction detour signs correctly, but two hours later we were almost back to where we started from: near our home in North Carolina. Talk about confused!

We didn’t want to get in the same traffic jam again, so we created our own plan, which included traveling narrow, curvy back roads toward Hot Springs, NC. It was further than we thought, but in several more hours we arrived in this tiny town. We were desperate for a restroom, and choices were limited. When we spotted a restaurant, we rushed inside. The ladies room was for one, and had a line, which I quickly joined. A very pregnant lady zipped in behind me. When I asked her if  she wanted to move ahead of me, she smiled and shook her head. I could have hugged her.

On the road again, our plan was to follow Highway 25, a two-lane road, into eastern Kentucky where we would pick up the Interstate again. All went well until we reached Middlesboro, where we stopped for a mid-afternoon hamburger. Our waitress said we could go no further because the road we needed to travel was totally blocked by an overturned tractor-trailer. The road was closed, and probably would be for hours. She gave us directions, and we thanked her profusely.

We thought we followed her instructions, but we ended up in Tennessee, on a mountain road, literally in the middle of nowhere, that had to be the worst road ever. Finally, we pulled over, engaged our GPS, and arrived in Jellico—where we found the Interstate. By this time, we were low on gas and crept though a heavy rainstorm to find a station.

We arrived in Midway, Kentucky nine hours after leaving home. Our trip normally takes five. We were thankful to be there.

At different times in my life, I have not known which way to turn, or which path I should choose. Sometimes I use my own logic and reasoning and run down one or the other. Other times I don’t even think about what I should do, but take the path that looks the easiest or the most attractive. I don’t always consult the Lord or pray for Him to guide me. 

When I’m left to my own devices, I can make some terrible choices, and end up traveling in the wrong direction.

Each day you and I face a myriad of decisions that will ultimately determine the paths we take in our lives.

Buster Brown, a pastor in Charleston, South Carolina, once said, “Spend time with me (the Lord) and I will restore your sense of direction.”

Spending time is not a quick-fix. It’s reading His Word, praying, abiding in His Presence, giving Him honor, and thanking Him for always being beside you. Our Lord is better than any GPS ever invented, and His way is always the best one.

A favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:5 & 6 (English Standard Version)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Meet Carol:

Carol Heilman, a coal-miner s daughter, married a farmer s son, her high school sweetheart, over fifty years ago. She and her husband live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Their children and grandchildren live near the east and west coasts where they often visit. Carol enjoys traveling, reading, writing, hiking, and cooking for friends. She is a recipient of two Carrie McCray Awards for writing excellence. To find out more about Carol, visit: carolheilman.com
Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar 
by Carol Heilman
Summer's steamy haze coats North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but feisty Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the heat isn't the only thing causing her blood to boil. After a kitchen fire destroys her home, Agnes moves in with her daughter, Betty Jo. Three months later they come to an understanding: neither can tolerate living with the other. So on a sultry August morning, Betty Jo drives Agnes and her few belongings to Sweetbrier Manor, a local retirement home and former house of ill repute.
And this sets the stage for a hysterical, yet tender, story that will delight you on every level.
Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar is available on Amazon


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