"the joy of the LORD is my strength” nehemiah 8:10

Dec 7, 2019

unsung hero

A while ago, her place of work was situated on a four-lane highway, at the foot of a mountain, with cars zipping past at considerable speed due to the steep descent.

At the close of the day, as she walked out of the store, two cars crashed head-on just yards in front of her.

She ran to the nearest car and saw the two occupants were deceased. She then ran to the second car, where a hysterical young pregnant woman sat pinned by the steering wheel and smashed dashboard. She crawled into the wrecked vehicle and began to talk to the young woman and to comfort her.

When the rescue squad arrived, she sat under the protective covering they provided, holding onto the woman, praying and comforting her. She maintained her vigil while rescue personnel used the jaws of life to free the woman and her unborn child from the mangled wreck.

She watched and prayed as the woman, placed into a medical evacuation helicopter for transport, left the scene. I’m sure if allowed, she would have been on the journey with her. On the ascent, the tail of the helicopter got caught in power lines and struggled to continue, but was finally on its way.

She learned later; the young woman had fallen asleep behind the wheel. The car she crashed into was that of a mother and daughter vacationing in the mountains. Sadly, the two precious women passed immediately on impact. The young woman lost her baby and suffered other physical injuries.

She kept in touch with the young lady and her family.

Would I have had the courage to do what she did? Or would I have hesitated, afraid to crawl into a car that could potentially catch on fire? I have no clue. But, one thing I do know, and she demonstrated that day, is that true courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to proceed in spite of it.
 . . . . .

More recently, she was at Walmart. She noticed an elderly lady struggling with her cart. She offered to help her take the purchases to her car. When they got to the older model vehicle, she noticed there was a flat tire. She phoned and had someone come to replace the tire. The mechanic informed her that the remainder of the tires had dry rot, and it was dangerous to drive in that condition.

She felt she was to help. She called her husband to see if her plan was okay with him; it was. She had the woman follow her to the garage and had all of her tires replaced, at her expense.

The woman, in her nineties, was in tears and wanted to repay her in some way. Of course, she told her there was no need; it was a gift from Jesus, and to thank Him for it.

. . . . .

An unsung hero is a person who has committed acts of bravery or self-sacrifice, yet, is not celebrated or recognized. An unsung hero might be someone who acts bravely, compassionately, or kindly in an unexpected situation without notice or someone who sacrifices him or herself, for good, without recognition.

Unsung heroes are not always in uniform; some of them dress just like you and me.

The “She,” in my stories above, is an unsung hero. Until today, that is. And, she is not only one of my heroes, but she also happens to be my precious daughter-in-law.

She, herself, would not be telling you these stories unless directly asked about them, and may not like the idea that I am sharing them. But, it is scriptural, so how can she argue with that, right? Proverbs 27:2 Let other people praise you--even strangers; never do it yourself.

‘til next time,

~ Betty Jo

Aug 11, 2017

seeing others

A few days ago Father sent two of the most annoying people I know to help me. Both showed up without me asking either of them for help. So, there was no doubt Who sent them.

The first man noticed a problem with my truck. As he began to look the situation over, the other saw him looking under the hood and wandered over.

One is a millionaire. An extremely prideful man who doesn’t have Christ; yet. I’m praying for him, so I expect any day now, he will meet my Father, and be welcomed with open arms into the kingdom.

The other is a brother in Christ, who verbally judges everyone and everything. I’m probably at the top of his list because I refuse to fit into his theology and belief system, or submit to his authority. In his thinking, women should always submit to men.

These two men don’t even like each other, but there they were, helping me with a potentially big problem. I just stood back and watched them as they worked together, thanking Father silently for sending them in my time of need, and praying they didn’t kill each other in the process.

I sometimes struggle with loving others unconditionally. And here were two of those others, come to my rescue. I silently asked Father to help me see both men through His eyes.

The problem was solved successfully. No one died in the process. And I was genuinely grateful to both of them for the help and expressed that from a sincere heart. To my surprise, our time together actually ended in laughter.

Father is determined. It seems the people I have the hardest time loving; He keeps sending my way. So, I choose to allow Him to work through me, to see each one as He sees and love them as He loves.

Will the-hard-to-love stop coming? It’s doubtful. But, what difference does it make? As I see through His eyes, I’ll welcome each encounter, each person, and might even be allowed to share something beautiful of Him with those He sends.

‘til next time,

~ Betty Jo

Aug 8, 2017

life is crap

She was angry.

She walked up to the cashier from the opposite direction of those of us waiting in line with our grocery carts. She clearly didn’t care she was stepping ahead of several people.

The young cashier was courteous and a true gentleman; although I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him.

I was too far back in the line to hear exactly what the problem was, but the body language was easy to read.

As I observed the scene through the tunnel created by the M&Ms on the right, and customer elbows to the left, I could see she was wearing a tee shirt that read “Life is Crap!”

I instantly thought; Perhaps life is crap for her because she works overtime to make it crap for those around her. She should be more grateful!

Would I have challenged her to wait her turn, or calm down, if I had been closer? I’m quite timid when it comes to confronting angry people, so probably not. Besides, in her state of ire, that might have been as healthy as trying to floss the fangs of a rattlesnake.

It only took a couple seconds after my initial thoughts for Holy Spirit to nudge me. I silently confessed my judgment of the angry stranger and then prayed for her, the cashier, and the whole situation. It was soon resolved, the waiting shoppers continued moving forward, and all seemed right in grocery land once again.

But; it wasn’t right in my heart.

Although I’d never make such a fashion statement with “Life is Crap!” stretched across my chest, haven’t I been just as guilty of saying the same thing in various other ways. Rather than being grateful during difficult times, thanking Jesus for providing for my needs; an inexpensive home to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, heat, the fact that I can still walk, the ability to help others, and most of all, the love of family and friends. Haven’t I often grumbled and complained, not only internally, but to others willing to listen?

I read this recently: If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this, you are more fortunate than 3 billion persons in the world who cannot read at all.

Those statistics put things into grateful perspective.

Even though, it can sometimes feel like crap, Life, is incredible!!

‘til next time,

~ Betty Jo