How Can You Believe in God when...

I received this email yesterday from one of my best and closest friends. 

"Last night my daughter asked me basically how can Christianity be true believing that the world only began 6,000 years ago? I can’t answer those questions!"

The Bible directs us to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us and sometimes those answers involve the creation account.  It's important to know why we believe what we believe and not just to spout off with the old axiom: "God said it, I believe it and that settles it!"  A response like that is not going to do a thing for someone who doesn't believe when asking difficult but intellectually honest questions.  Here is how my husband responded to this email:

It is a legitimate and important question your daughter raises. You will find varying answer within the Christian church. There are some that argue the 6,000 year figure, though the Scripture makes no such explicit claim. There are others that argue that the Creation days speak of periods of time because the Sun was not created until the fuorth day! The fact is the Bible's specific claim is that God Created the Heavens and the Earth, all that is seen and unseen! The greater question is not to prove or disprove the 6,000 year figure, but to simply pose these questions: Is there a God? How could there be a creation without a Creator. The Genesis account speaks to authorship and order and not to Scientific process. What is time to the almighty to created it! He could have done it in a Day if he wanted to!

We all need reasons for Faith, even the Scientist, and the Scientist reasons change with each new theory. Some will use Science as a reason not to believe, but there are Sciences that give reasons to believe in God the creator. 
In anticipation of getting to discuss this topic with my friend's daughter to answer her questions, I began searching for and collecting fascinating information that might help to answer her questions and here below is just a small portion of the massive amount of information available to reconcile science with the Biblical account of creation. It is quite lengthy but also fascinating!

Anthropic Principle: The Design Is In The Details.

Excerpt from “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist”
by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek.

Anthropic Principle: The Design Is In The Details.Excerpt from “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist”
by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek.

Scientists are now finding that the universe in which we live is like a diamond studded Rolex, except the universe is even more precisely designed than the watch. In fact, the universe is specifically tweaked to enable life on earth. A Planet with scores of improbable and inter-dependent life- supporting conditions that make it a tiny oasis in a vast and hostile universe. The extent of the universe’s fine-tuning makes the Anthropic Principle perhaps the most powerful argument for the existence of God.

These highly precise and interdependent environmental conditions (which are called “Anthropic Constants” make up what is known as the “Anthropic Principle.” “Anthropic” comes from the Greek word that means “human” or “man”. The “Anthropic Principal” is just a fancy title for the mounting evidence that has many scientists believing that the universe is extremely fine-tuned (designed) to support human life here on earth.

It’s not that there are just a few broadly defined constants that may have resulted by chance. No, there are more than 100 very narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligent Designer.

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that these and other constants (122 in all) would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance (I.e., without Divine design). Assuming there are 1022 planets in the universe (a very large number: 1 with 22 zeros following it), his answer is shocking; one chance in 10138, that’s one chance in one with 138 zeros after it. 

There are only about 1070 atoms in the entire universe.

In effect, there zero chance that any planet in the universe would have the life-supporting conditions we have, unless there is an intelligent Designer behind it all.

Here are fifteen of them.

Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an Anthropic Constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25% fires would erupt spontaneously, if it were 15%, human beings would suffocate.

Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent we would be bombarded with far too much solar radiation down here. (In addition to atmospheric transparency, the atmospheric composition of precise levels of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and ozone are in themselves Anthropic constants).

Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. In either event, life on earth would be impossible.

Anthropic Constant 4: Carbon Dioxide level If the CO2 level were higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop (we’d all burn up). If the level were lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis (we’d all suffocate).

Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and, therefore neither would we. Talk about precision.

Anthropic Constant 6: Centrifugal Force If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun.

Anthropic Constant 7: Rate Of Expansion If the universe had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did, expansion would have stopped and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed. If it had expanded faster, then no galaxies would have formed.

Anthropic Constant 8: Speed Of Light Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to be 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.

Anthropic Constant 9: Water Vapor Levels. If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life. If they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth too cold to support human life.

Anthropic Constant 10: Jupiter. If Jupiter were not in it’s current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike earth.

Anthropic Constant 11: The Earth’s Crust. If the thickness of the earth’s crust were greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.

Anthropic Constant 12: The Earth’s Rotation. If the rotation of the earth took longer than 24 hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be too great.

Anthropic Constant 13: Axis Tilt. The 23-degree axis tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth.

Anthropic Constant 14: Atmospheric Discharge. If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less there would be little nitrogen fixings in the soil.

Anthropic Constant 15: Seismic Activity. If there were more seismic activity, much more life would be lost; if there were less, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift. (yes, even earthquakes are necessary to sustain life as we know it).


WHAT ARE THE ODDS?.. Why is Only Earth Suitable for Life?[By Science and the Origins of Life]

The odds that such fine-tuning could have occurred by chance is not just unlikely–scientists say it is virtually impossible.

An article in U.S. News & World Report remarks, “So far no theory is even close to explaining why physical laws exist, much less why they take the form they do. Standard big bang theory, for example, essentially explains the propitious universe in this way: ‘Well, we got lucky.’ ” [1]

On Christmas Day in 2002, Jack Whitaker, of Scott Depot, West Virginia, got lucky, becoming the largest single-ticket lottery jackpot winner ever in North America. His prize? A Powerball jackpot of $314.9 million. Over a hundred million other tickets didn’t match. What are the odds of that? (And what are the odds that every time I go to the Quikie-Mart I’m stuck in line behind someone purchasing several dozen tickets?)

If someone won even two such lotteries consecutively, we would all assume the results were rigged. And yet, when it comes to life existing in our universe, the odds are far more remote than winning a hundred Powerball lotteries consecutively.
    Physicist Paul Davies comments, “The conclusion must be that we live in a world of astronomical unlikelihood.” [2]

    Donald Page of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study has calculated that the odds against our universe randomly taking a form suitable for life is one out of 10124, a number beyond imagination. [3]
To try and visualize the difficulty, imagine all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. Then encrypt one grain with a special code known only to you, and randomly bury that grain on a beach somewhere on Earth. (Maybe enjoy a vacation in Maui while you’re at it).

The chance a blindfolded person would ever discover that one grain of sand on their first pick is one out of 1020 (one chance in 100 billion billion.) Yet, scientists tell us that the likelihood of a big bang explosion resulting in a universe able to support life like ours is many times more improbable.

Now offer a reward to anyone who can find it on one pick, even though they don’t know which beach to scour, or how deep it is buried. But what if they did? Would anyone believe they discovered it by accident? Yet, scientists tell us that the likelihood of a big bang explosion resulting in a universe able to support life like ours is many times more improbable.

As we consider the odds for the fine-tuning of our universe, galaxy, solar system, and planet, let’s keep in mind just how extreme these odds really are. Not just one, but all of them require unbelievably precise fine-tuning. Can such precision be a result of anything other than design? Let’s take a look at why scientists are baffled.
    Force of gravity. If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, neither Earth nor our Sun would exist—and you would not be here reading this. [8]
    The balance of matter and antimatter. In the formation of the universe, the balance between matter and antimatter, and the excess of matter over antimatter, needed to be accurate to one part in ten billion for the universe to arise.
    The mass density of the universe. For physical life to exist, the mass density of the universe must be fine-tuned to better than one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion (1060). [9] Thus, the mass contained in all dark and visible matter, including stars, is essential for the existence of our universe.
    Space-energy density. The space-energy density of the universe requires much greater precision than the mass density. For physical life to be possible, it must be fine-tuned to one part in 10120.
According to the big bang theory, all of this minute fine-tuning was programmed into the initial conditions of the first microsecond of the explosion that began our universe. At that instant the rate and ratios of expansion, mass, density, antimatter, matter, etc., were set in place, eventually leading to a habitable planet called Earth.

In addition to the 35 different characteristics of our universe that must be just right for life to exist, over 100 characteristics of our galaxy, solar system, and planet needed to be fine-tuned or we would not be here. [11]

Galaxies are clusters of stars containing from millions to trillions of stars. Our own galaxy is called the Milky Way. It’s unknown how many galaxies the universe contains, but it may be around a trillion. Surprisingly, given the great number of these star groups, most galaxies are incompatible with life.

In order for life to exist in a galaxy, it needs to meet several criteria. [12] The following are just three of the fine-tuned characteristics a galaxy needs to support life:
    Shape of the galaxy. The Milky Way is spiral-shaped. Of the three types of galaxies—elliptical, irregular, and spiral— the spiral type is most capable of hosting human life.
    Not too large a galaxy. Our Milky Way is enormous, measuring 100,000 light-years from end to end. However, if it were just a bit larger, too much radiation and too many gravitational disturbances would prohibit life like ours.
    Not too small a galaxy. On the other hand, a stable Earth orbit that is necessary for life could not exist if our galaxy were slightly smaller. And a smaller galaxy would result in inadequate heavy elements, such as iron and carbon, essential to life.
Our Milky Way galaxy meets these and many other conditions essential for life. Most of the others do not. When we focus in even closer, on our own star and its planets, the odds for life being possible become even more extreme.

Copernicus’s theory that Earth revolved around the Sun, seemed to relegate our planet to an ordinary status in the universe. However, if Earth was the center of our solar system, as Ptolemy and 16th century Catholic Church leaders had taught, we wouldn’t be here. None of them, including Copernicus, knew that in order for human life to be possible, Earth needs to revolve around a Sun that has just the right size, location, and conditions as ours does.

But that is not all. We need other planets such as Jupiter and Mars to act as defense shields, protecting us from a potential catastrophic bombardment of comets and meteors. We also need a moon of just the right size and position to impact our tides and seasons. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many conditions in our solar system that are just right for life.
    The Sun’s distance from the center of the galaxy. Our Sun is positioned thousands of light-years from the center of the Milky Way, near one of its spiral arms. [13] This is the safest part of the galaxy, away from its highly radioactive center.
    The Sun’s mass not too large. If the mass of the Sun were a small percentage greater, it would burn too quickly and erratically to support life.
    The Sun’s mass not too small. On the other hand, if it were smaller, its greater flaring would disrupt Earth’s rotation rate.
    The Sun’s metal content. Only two percent of all stars have enough metal content to form planets. Too much metal in a star will allow too many planets to form, creating chaos. Our Sun has just the right amount of metal for planets to form safely.
    Effect of the Moon. The Moon stabilizes the Earth’s tilt and is responsible for our seasons. If it weren’t there, our tilt could swing widely over a large range, making our winters a hundred degrees colder and our summers a hundred degrees warmer.
When astronomers consider our remarkable solar system, they acknowledge that if it was slightly different, advanced biological life would be impossible. But it is not enough to have the right universe, galaxy, and solar system for human life to be possible. The conditions of our home planet must also be fine-tuned to a razor’s edge.

You may believe that aliens have sent life to Earth from a far distant galaxy (the premise of that memorable drama from 2004, AVP: Alien vs. Predator). You may believe that the government is hiding something outer spatial in Nevada’s mysterious Area 51. Or you may simply believe that there is undoubtedly intelligent life on other planets. In any case, we have all been raised on the assumption that, given enough time, intelligent life will spring up anywhere in the cosmos (with perhaps a few more eyeballs or reptilian features). Yet new evidence from cosmology is really saying the opposite.

The reality is that we live on an extremely rare planet perfectly positioned in an extremely rare solar system, ideally located in an extremely rare galaxy, within a highly improbable universe. Let’s look at our rare Earth.
    Water. Earth has an abundance of water, which is essential for life. Mars once had water and therefore might have harbored life. But water is only one of many requirements for life.
    Oxygen. Earth is the only planet in our solar system in which we can breathe. Attempting to breathe on other planets, such as Mars or Venus, would be instantly fatal, Mars having virtually no atmosphere and Venus having mostly carbon dioxide and almost no oxygen.
    Earth’s distance from the Sun. If the Earth were merely one percent closer to the Sun, the oceans would vaporize, preventing the existence of life. On the other hand, if our planet were just two percent farther from the Sun, the oceans would freeze and the rain that enables life would be nonexistent.
    Plate tectonic activity on Earth. Scientists have determined that if the plate tectonic activity were greater, human life could not be sustained and greenhouse-gas reduction would overcompensate for increasing solar luminosity. Yet, if the activity was smaller, life-essential nutrients would not be recycled adequately and greenhouse-gas reduction would not compensate for increasing solar luminosity.
    Ozone level in the atmosphere. Life on Earth survives because the ozone level is within the safe range for habitation. However, if the ozone level were much greater, there would be too little UV radiation for adequate plant growth. Yet, if the ozone level were much smaller, there would be too much UV radiation for adequate plant growth, and life would be impossible.
For life to exist, these, as well as many other conditions need to be just right. [15]


The End of Life as We Know It

Below are just a few of the headlines I have been reading off the Drudge Report and Rapture Ready sites; and they are truly sobering...
  • Israel TV: Netanyahu 'determined to attack Iran BEFORE US elections".
  • Billionaire George Soros has sold off some $50 million in corporate stocks and has purchased over $100 million in gold.
  • Prison Planet's Alex Jones reports that globalists have planned a staged bank collapse for late October in an attempt to bring in their dream of a new world order, one worldwide government.
  • Government agencies have been of late purchasing enormous amounts of hollow point ammunition with no reasonable explanation of why. The Department of Homeland Security alone has to date purchased over a billion rounds and is now redacting their purchase documents to hide what kind and how much of ammo they are buying.
  • ‘Mark of the Beast’?: Elementary School Mulling Plan to Scan Kids’ Palms in the Lunch Line
According to the Mayan Calendar and some other ancient civilizations, the world will come to an end exactly four months from today on 12/21/12. While I don't personally believe we will experience anything like what happened in the movie 2012 with Nicholas Cage I do believe that world events are all pointing to something enormous upon our horizon.

People are stocking up on nonperishable food stuffs like never before and under the current lawlessness administration we are seeing our constitutional freedoms destroyed and no one seems to have the backbone to stand up against it for fear of being labeled a "racist".

With the U.S. and other nations around the world experiencing total financial melt-downs, recording setting drought (even the mighty Mississippi River has dried up to the point where they had to stop shipping traffic),bizarre weather, the increase of radical Islam taking over Egypt and other countries in the Middle East it isn't difficult to see that we are teetering on the brink of events that could only be described as Biblical in proportion.

Unless our nation turns back to God in massive whole-hearted repentance, America is doomed to suffer the fate of ancient Israel when it was captured by the Babylonian Empire. I have a horrible feeling that severe persecution is coming to the church in America and very soon.  We have been luke-warm and compromised so much that we as the church have no longer been able to stem the tide of evil and depravity that has swept over our land. Judgement begins at the house of God and I believe the church is in for a very thorough "house cleaning".

I also believe the rapture of the church is very near. It could be as soon as this September 27th the day on which the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashanah occurs.

Are we living the way we should? Are we being salt and light in a dark world? Are we sharing the Good News or are we going along as in the days of Noah? 
For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. - Matthew 24:36
We all need to examine ourselves and make sure we are living the way God wants us to and being salt and light to a dying world!

God, Am I Nobody? Interview with author Sheryl Young

Author Sheryl Young has written a new pocket-sized devotional called God, Am I Nobody?
It’s subtitled: Yielding Our Desire for Success to God's Will for Our Lives, and deals with how Christians might be conflicted between wanting “success” as the world defines it, or following God's plan for their lives. The big question is, why does God use some people in the spotlight, and others in the shadows?

Sheryl’s been a freelance writer since 1997 for newspapers, magazines and websites. This is her second book. I interviewed Sheryl about her journey with this project.

What made you write a devotional on how “worldly success” might differ from God’s plans for us?
It was so hard for me to give all the glory to God when first accepting Jesus as my Savior. I grew up doing modeling and musical theatre where there was lots of applause, so I suffered from what I call "attention-itis" - the need for recognition. Even after finding the Lord and starting to write on Christian issues, it took many years to become conscious of giving all praise to the Lord for my endeavors.

One day, I brushed against a shelf in a Christian bookstore. A book tumbled to the ground, and landed open to a short sermon by Hudson Taylor, A Higher Calling.

Taylor, a 19th century missionary who devoted his life to serving the people of China, wrote about Christians needing to fully turn themselves over to the Lord, no matter the cost, and to put our pride aside even if we had to work in obscurity. This really touched me and made me feel like a self-absorbed fool! It became the basis for the devotional.

So how is the devotional structured?
It’s a convenient, carry-anywhere little book consisting of 17 chapters. Each chapter includes segments of Taylor's sermonette, along with parallel Bible verses and thoughts for everyday application, like those I discovered during my own journey. The chapters are short enough to be studied one per day, but can also be absorbed at a reader’s own leisurely pace.

Who is this devotional good for?
This devotional is good for many kinds of people, starting with those like myself who’ve wondered when their personal success might come, even while doing good works for the Lord! But also, for people preparing for missions; Empty nesters who are wondering what’s next, how can I be useful? Stay-at-home moms who wonder what their career friends’ lives are like; or on the contrary, people whose careers haven’t given them the fulfillment they wanted; teens and young adults who aren’t decided on their careers or future ministries; pastors or pastors’ wives who’ve become discouraged in the ministry; and it’s also good for small group Bible studies on topics like pride vs. humility, waiting on God’s timing, etc.

About Sheryl Young:

Sheryl's writing has been seen in: Yahoo News, The Christian PostThe Underground Online Christian Magazine,Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Tampa Tribune, St. Pete Times and Florida Baptist Witness Newspapers; Better Nutrition and Today's Christian Woman Magazines

God, Am I Nobody was released in November 2011 by Treble Heart Book’s nonfiction division, MountainView. Although it’s not in bookstores, it’s available at many places online:

-At the publisher’s website in paperback or e-book:

By the way, Sheryl’s first book, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People (she’s a Jewish believer in Jesus), is still available in paperback at the publisher’s website:

Sheryl blogs about politics, faith and entertainment at
Follow her on Twitter: @sheryltruth 

Winner of Kimberly Payne's book!

Sandy - you are the winner of this book! Please email me at: with your contact information

Interview and Book Giveaway with Kimberly Payne

Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
Jesus  showed Himself to me in 2001 and I immediately fell in love with Him. He has been my constant companion and friend since then, helping me to get through some pretty tough years.

How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about?
I wrote poems since I was a young child. For 1st Communion I wrote,
“We walked up the aisle
Hand in hand
In our gowns so white
To receive the body and blood
of our Lord, Christ.”

I kept a diary and journaled all our family travels. It felt natural for me to write.

Where did you get the idea for your latest book?
I like books that encourage and inspire and so I put together a book that I myself would enjoy. Women of Strength includes encouraging devotionals with practical health & fitness tips.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
I would love them to make small changes in their lifestyle to enable them to improve their spiritual and physical health.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I love bread. My husband jokes that I’m a cheap date because I’d love to eat at a subway joint over any fancy restaurant.

What are your hobbies other than writing?
I love to bike and hike the woods around my home. Nothing beats a day trekking through the woods along trails with a friend.

Which movie has inspired you the most and why?
There is something about Forrest Gump that has a timeless quality that inspires me whenever I watch it.  Forrest made a profound difference in the lives of those around him, just being himself.

Where do you get most of your ideas for your books?
From everyday life.  Watching television, talking to family, travelling to work, grocery is wonderful fodder!

Out of everything you have written, do you have a favorite and why?
I’d say this latest work, Women of Strength. It combines my love of health and fitness with my passion for God.

To win a copy of Kimberly's book:

1) You must be a follower of this blog.
2) Leave a comment.
3) Post links to this interview on all your social media (twitter, facebook, your blog.
4) Leave your email address so I can contact the winner.

Check out her website:

She's With Jesus Now

I got a letter in the mail today from the mother of an old friend. A letter I have been expecting to receive for quite a while about a very dear friend of mine. Her name was Kathy Butler and she passed away on July 20th of this year. Kathy and I met when we were both in our early twenties and only got to spend a few times together but it was a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Next to my first love, Barry Henriot, who died of a brain Aneurysm when I was 22, Kathy was the most devoted Christian I ever met. 

She was my age (52) when she passed but we had distinctly different lives. All her life all she ever wanted to do was to be a medical missionary in India to help spread the Gospel. Probably the last place on earth most Christians would admit to want to go to in order to serve the Lord (if they were being honest). That dream was cut short along with everything else most normal people do. She contracted Lyme's disease which went undiagnosed for over ten years and it took a devastating physical, mental and emotional toll upon her. 

Kathy never married, never had children and couldn't even hold down a job. She lived with her mother until the very end; hardly able to dress or get out of bed and function but I could never tell from the cheerful sound in her voice whenever I would call to speak with her. She spent every waking moment mostly alone, reading the scriptures, doing Bible studies. I visited her whenever I could (she lived 700 miles away from me), called (when she was able to come to the phone) and wrote letters and sent her my books since that was her only form of entertainment: reading. She never forgot my birthday and would always send a cheerful letter, never complaining but wishing with all her heart that she could just be free of all the pain and loneliness and be with Jesus, her precious Savior. The last time I got to see Kathy was a several year's ago on New Year's Day. We were already in Northern California and made a special trip to see her (pictures below).  She was her usually bubbly self and I knew then that it was probably the last time I would ever see her again because of the distance between us.

When I was writing my second book, Make a Wish, I so wanted to include a wish fulfillment story for Kathy because I knew her days were limited and she had so few things in life that she could enjoy.  I really wanted the Lord to speak to her through this story.  I wanted to bring her comfort and meaning for all the years she had suffered what seemed to be (on the surface anyway) a life devoid of purpose.  The Lord gave me exactly the inspiration I needed and here below is Kathy's story.  She wrote me after she received it that it was perfect and how no one had ever "got it" so perfectly.  I had exactly captured what she so needed to hear.   

Kathy - I know you can't hear me or read this but I want you to know how happy I am for you that you are now and for all eternity finally sitting at the Master's Feet!

Here is Kathy's wish fulfillment story:

            I have known Kathy since we were both in our early 20’s. Kathy is the most faithful, long-suffering child of God I have ever known.  All her life, all she ever wanted to do was to serve God as a medical missionary in India, helping the poorest of the poor. Instead, 20 years ago, she contracted Lyme’s disease which went undiagnosed.  The disease has made it impossible for her to work a job or have any kind of normal life. She has never been married nor had children and lives and still lives with her mom who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Despite her complete isolation (now going on several years); Kathy remains cheerful, upbeat and faithful. She has thrown herself into Bible Study and reading is the only pleasure left to her.  This is my wish for Kathy and this book would not have been complete without it.  If you feel so inclined, please pray for my friend and all the people in this book who are hurting in one way or another.

“At the Master’s Feet”

            It was noon and Kathy woke up slowly.  The medication she took to dull the constant pain made it impossible to wake up any earlier.  She opened her eyes to find large male feet in a pair of sandals on the floor directly across from her. Her gaze traveled up, up, up…her heart thumping; until they froze upon the face of Someone she had never thought to see on this side of heaven.
            “Kathy” He said, offering His hand to her. Unable to tear her eyes from His beloved face, she put her small hand into his large warm one and felt a thrill run through her body. She felt lighter, wide awake and completely free of pain.
            “Come,” he beckoned, opening her bedroom door.
            “Is this my time to-to…uh you know…?” she couldn’t quite say the words.
            Jesus looked at her. “No – not yet,” He answered. Kathy nodded and followed him through the door.
            She suddenly found herself standing in a dwelling made of stone. There was a bustle of activity as men and women rushed to and fro, carrying baskets of dates and figs and large clay pitchers. A dark-haired woman with a flustered look on her face was pointing and directing all her servants while at the same time, kneading dough and minding a spit upon which a lamb was slowly roasting.  Kathy looked about her in awe realizing that somehow she had gone back in time and was seeing a familiar scene from the Bible played out before her very eyes.  She looked down at herself and found that she was no longer wearing 21st century sleepwear but long flowing robes of hand woven linen and her hair was down past the small of her back but covered in a veil. She no longer felt any pain or exhaustion; just a sense of wonder and awe.  ­She went off to do a little exploring and found a middle-aged man pouring wine into vessels and talking to some other men.
            “Yes, it is just as you have heard.” He was saying. “I wasn’t asleep or unconscious…I was in Abraham’s bosom.  I saw and heard things that I can’t even begin to describe to you.  I saw our Patriarchs, Isaac, Jacob and Moses and I even saw the gulf fixed between Sheol and Abraham’s bosom with our rich neighbor on the other side who died shortly after I did. He was begging for someone to go to his brothers and warm them but Moses assured him that none would listen…” at that moment he turned and noticed Kathy standing there with her mouth agape. So the story of the rich man and Lazarus wasn’t a parable… she had been thinking.  To her surprise Lazarus opened his arm and beckoned her closer.
            “This is my sister, Mary,” he said to the others, meaning Kathy. “She can vouch as to the validity of my death. Isn’t that so, sister?” Kathy wasn’t about to contradict a biblical character and ruin her daydream so she just nodded her head up and down in agreement. Lazarus gave her a brotherly hug and she took that as her cue to go.  She moved on to other rooms of the house which were still bustling with activity as more and more guests flowed into the house. She eventually wound up in the room where Jesus was reclining and decided to sit down at his feet. He offered her some warm pita bread and hummus.  Kathy was hesitant to eat it. It had been years since she had deviated from her simple and wearisome diet of plain chicken, oatmeal, and peanut butter.  The thought of putting anything else into her stomach and what it might to do her later was terrifying.
            “Do not fear,” He comforted her. “Eat.”
            Kathy popped it into her mouth and closed her eyes with pleasure. It was delicious if only because it was such a complete change of venue but mostly because it had come directly from her Savior’s own hand.  Might as well enjoy myself while I’m here! She thought to herself and began to help herself to everything with relish. While she ate Jesus lay reclined on the cushions that were spread across the floor and Kathy followed suit, not knowing what else to do.
            Then He began to speak to her and tell her stories. Stories that had never been recorded in the Gospel accounts. Kathy was transfixed not only by His words but by His face and eyes as well which never left hers. Eyes that were deep, bottomless wells of infinite love. All else in the room faded away into insignificance as He spoke.
            “Master!” came an irritated voice from across the room. All activity in the room paused to stare at the lady of the house who stood sweating with her hands upon her hips in exasperation.  To make matter worse she was glaring at Kathy as if she had committed a grievous social faux pas. A weird feeling of déjà vu came over Kathy. The woman continued, pointing an accusing finger at Kathy. “Do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Tell her to help me!”
            “Martha! Martha!” Jesus said, shaking his head and laying his hand upon Kathy’s shoulder protectively. “You are worried and bothered about so many things but only a few are necessary; really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part which shall not be taken from her!”
            Suddenly Kathy found herself back in her bedroom, in her bed clothes with her Bible open upon her lap. She blinked a few times then looked up and was amazed to still see her Savior sitting there.  He was looking upon her with such love and compassion it made her want to weep.
            “My daughter,” He said, cupping her trembling chin in His warm hand. “All thy life you have grieved the fact that you have been unable to serve Me as a nurse in a foreign land but I am here to tell you that I have chosen the way of Mary for you.  Do not regret the long years of pain and isolation for in them you have been given the gift of sitting at My feet and learning of Me. There is no greater sacrifice I could ask or gift I can bestow than this.  In all thy trials you have proved thyself a good and faithful servant and in thee I am well pleased.”
            Kathy bowed her head, overwhelmed. Tears dripping from her eyes. When she lifted her head again He was gone but she could still feel His presence in the room.  No matter what lay ahead in the days to come, she knew she was in the center of His perfect will…and that was enough.