Believing in Something Good
By Marcella Simmons Meeks
My testimony today is a simple one: It is an honor to be a child of God. In life, there are many roads or paths that we can go down willfully – some good – some mediocre good and some just simply evil. I praise God for the opportunity to be His child – for I am blessed to be the daughter of Light.
Even though the Lord directs my way everyday, it is my choice to follow or not to follow Him. I’d rather be a Christian than anything else in this world. Sure – I am human, I have questions about this or that. But you know what, it’s better to believe in something good than nothing at all. God is good.
I was in Albuquerque a few years ago, vacationing with my family. I went downstairs of our motel and saw a young man sitting on a bench. He smiled at me and slid over and asked, “Would you like to sit down?” Out of politeness, I accepted and we talked for a spell. Apparently from his accent I could tell he was from another country. He started talking about his country, his mother and out of the blue, he dropped the bombshell that he didn’t believe in God at all, but his mother did. “She has always believed in God and is a good spiritual woman,” he said. “I went to church as a boy and had a good up bringing, but I just don’t believe in God. My mother says she prays for me all the time, so I guess in her way that is good.”
“How do you deal with ‘not’ believing in God when your family apparently does?” I asked.
“I have always told my mother that it is better to believe in something good than to believe in nothing at all,” he answered. He then started talking about his country and some of the places he’d traveled to.
Eventually, we both went our seperate ways and I never saw him again while we were there. But his words will stay with me forever. When he told me that “it is better to believe in something good than to believe in nothing at all” I saw a longing there that somewhere deep down inside this young man he wanted to believe but there was a dark shadow in his spirit that kept the Light out. I have always said a silent prayer for the young man and hope that someday God will be a part of his life once again.
I have had my share of tragedies and life problems. I got through all of it because of my belief in the Lord. He carried me every step of the way through my trials and placed my feet on a firm foundation at the other side of the way.. I’d rather face my life and all the trials and such that come my way with my God by my side rather than face it alone. So you see, that young man’s words are so true: it is better to believe in something good than nothing at all. When you’re struggling with what to believe in, and have doubts, just believe in God for He is good.
My Rock and Fortress
by Marcella Simmons – Meeks
It has been a hectic few months here at the office – my time has been evaporated and used up leaving me almost breathless day after day. I belong to everyone else except me.
My brain works all the time – nonstop. I leave the job but the job doesn’t leave me. In the wee hours of the morning, I get up to write an article like this one or edit a previous one – or I am mulling over some problem that needs tweaking the next day – sleep eludes me – the noise of everyday life comes rushing back and again, my brain goes into high gear. When does it ever stop, I wonder as the day breaks. Tired and weary from lack of sleep, my day begins anew.
But in the essence of the ‘noise’ that surrounds me day to day, there is a place in my heart that I retreat to for solace and peace – that place is with God – I can find Him any time of the day or night, no matter how noisy it is around me – He soothes and shushes my busy brain and gives me the comfort and strength to carry on.
We live in a fast paced world where people are wound tighter than a yoyo – meeting deadlines, keeping schedules and just working and going home each evening wears them out – some try and find comfort in a soothing bubble bath but that only soothes the outer part of the body – the inward is still crying out for peace and comfort that only can come from the Lord. That is why so many people are suicidal or look to drugs or alcohol for peace – they haven’t found that inward spiritual being that awaits for them in their hearts. That being is none other than the Lord.
My Lord and Savior (Jesus) lives within me and soothes and comforts me in my time of need. He is there in the midst of every storm, carrying me at times, and he shushes the storms of life that almost consumes me.
Jesus Christ, my Lord, is my Rock – He is my High Tower – my Lighthouse. And He wants to be yours as well. Just look deep within your heart and let Him in – if He can comfort and sooth me, He can do the same for you.
The role of a minister’s wife
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18.)
by Marcella Meeks
Wives (and mothers) have a challenging role just taking care of family and home but when you are married to a minister, the challenge gets a little harder. We have to be on call with our husbands at any given time when the need arises, and we have to be supportive, quietly listening to others’ problems and shoulder a lot of heavy stuff as we carry out our role. It’s something we do because we are who we are, and we love our husbands and try to be their strength, their silent partners, and most importantly, their friend. “Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife… She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, ‘Here is your maidservant, ready to serve you and wash the feet of my master’s servants.’ Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five maids, went with David’s messengers and became his wife.” (1 Samuel 25:39-42)
But there are the times when we wives need a sounding board or a hug or a friend once in awhile so what do we do? We pray all the time anyway and carry our burdens to the Lord. But there are times when we need a spiritual friend and another human to encourage or motivate us without judging us or thinking something is wrong with our lives. So where do we go and who do we talk to? We can’t talk to people in the church for fear they’ll leave the church if they think for one second the pastor and his wife are having problems. We can’t talk to our family who rely on us most of the time for a spiritual blessing, and we sure don’t want to alarm them with curious thoughts as I mentioned above. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck… Keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind then on your heart forever… When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over you.” (Proverbs 1:8-9; 6:20-22)
We can’t talk to our husbands because they’re too close to us, and will think we’re either falling to the wayside or having a mental breakdown or something! (Just kidding, Guys!!!) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
Many times, I pour out my heart in my journal and let go of the feelings that is creating the havoc in my life. It can’t talk back and give me advise or judge me in any way. When my husband pushes every button of mine and I want to walk out and just be angry, I reside to my little corner and let it all out. Instead of beating myself up with feelings of anger and hurt, I lash out in my journal where the words are not heard and I don’t have to apologize later on. My husband respects my feelings and my privacy so instead of complaining about how I write all the time, he knows this is my secret pal that lets me tell all, and it keeps me from burdening others with my problems.
It’s better than going to a psychiatrist or trying to talk out my problems to someone who wouldn’t (or couldn’t) understand in the first place. If my husband ever breaks his word and reads my journal, he will just have to forgive me if there are heated moments when I lash out at him. Being a minister’s wife puts us in positions that we have to carry a lot of our burdens ourselves and we have to find something or some kind of outlet (like a journal) to use as a sounding board.
People see us as happy and sweet and loving all the time, and they think that we should be that way twenty four/seven, but what they don’t see or understand sometimes is that we are as human as they are – cut us, we bleed, attack us, we hurt, or be mean to us, we cry. Sometimes, just being human is hard enough but minister’s wives are expected to be super human. Sometimes the smiles we wear are just as imitation and unreal as the fake jewelry you buy at the department store for $19.95. Our smile is there because it is necessary. No one sees our hurt and pain because again, we serve the people of our church and our burden is greater than they know. But since we are the ministers of the Lord, and our minster husbands’ significant other, we hold our heads up, put on a smile and pray for those around us because that is how we’re made. Our hearts are right and we are walking in the straight and narrow, but our burden is great sometimes and our smile is forced. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8, NIV)
Daily we try to live our part, overcome the obstacles put in our paths daily and smile and bear it, but sometimes that is hard to do. There are so many different people out there who are willing to judge us because we don’t measure up: our hair is too short, or too long, or we don’t dress the part, or they just don’t like us for whatever the reason. I can only tell you from my standpoint the times I have cried myself to sleep because of something someone said or how they made me feel at church. And it is hard not retorting and saying mean things. But because I love the church and serving the Lord and doing a service to His people as a minister’s wife, I carry my tears to my pillow and my words in my journal and my heart and soul unto the Lord.
When you see me on the street and I forget to smile, stop me a second and give me a hug, offer a blessing and soon the real smile will return filling the emptiness and long face with love, compassion and the happiness that is still in place in spite of my heavy load. After all, I am only human. When my smile returns, lighting up my eyes, only then you will know my burden has been somewhat lifted for awhile, and my blessings fulfilled yet another day. “In the same way, deaconesses are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” (1 Timothy 3:11. See also the example of Phoebe, a deaconess in the early church who may have led a house church; Romans 16:1-2.)
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God bless you and have a blessed day!
What Would Jesus Do?
by Marcella Simmons – Meeks
“…Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” 1 Corinthians 4:5.
This past week, Brother Meeks and I visited a little country church that I had been a part of in my younger days. We were treated with utmost respect until the end of the service and just as we were leaving, a lady I knew from days gone by came up and was talking to me. She asked me how I was getting along, especially after tragically loosing three of my older children during the past fifteen years.
My response was simple: I just put everything in God’s hands because otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten through the losses without Him. You see, I lost a 19 year old son in 1999 when a drunk driver ran over him and killed him; two years later I lost another son, 23, in a logging accident; and a year after that my 17 year old daughter was killed in a car wreck. The Lord has been my strength through every tragedy and through every battle or hardship I have faced throughout the years, and for that I am grateful.
This lady that I was talking to took the floor at that moment and rudely let me know that I was to blame for these tragedies because I had let sin in my life, and that I was responsible for all that happened. She went on to say that because of me allowing sin in, everything else that happened after that was my fault as well. She said that all future happenings was my fault and that it was only going to get worse for me. She basically let me know that I would lose everyone in my life in some way because of the sin that I committed. “…You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” Romans 2:1.
She had already placed judgment over me without God’s consent. What’s the purpose of me serving the Lord if my life is already doomed to a devil’s hell because of something I may have or may have not done at some point in my life? “…Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Luke 6:41
What gives her the right to judge me? Why did she think I was to blame for their deaths? I raised my children in the church and was a Christian for many years. She had no idea about my life for the past twenty years except that I was married to a minister, and that I have been living for the Lord for many years.
With hurt feelings and a bruised ego, I climbed in the truck and left that night vowing never to go back there again. Number one: this person had no right judging me so harshly about something that she knew very little about. The death of my three kids may have been public knowledge but they were at the hands of someone else, not me. This woman has hurt me, and it’s hard not to think about her without having remorse in my heart. She wronged me in front of my friends and in front of the Lord. Just because she has a role in that church didn’t give her the right to stand before me and make an unfair judgment against me that way. “…Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it” James 4:11.
I turned the other cheek and let it pass without saying anything to her, but I came home and cried. This woman has no idea what I have been through and the suffering and pain that not only I but my family have been through. It was sheer stupidity on her part for the things she said to me that night, and the feelings she sent me home with. I dedicated my life to raising my children in church and though we weren’t perfect, as children they rarely missed a service. When they grew older and chose to walk away, it was not my decision.
This lady stood there pointing her finger at me for some wrong I am supposed to have committed or did commit, but needless to say she has four children and fourteen grand children and not one of them was sitting on the pews of her church. She has had several mental break downs at some point, so she said. What sin did she commit? She is divorced and is trying to force her ex-husband to start church so they can get remarried, or so she says. What sin did she commit to cause divorce and division in her own life? “…When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” John 8:7.
If she treated me this way, there’s no telling how she treats other guests that come to their church? Since her sister is the pastor, if I said anything, would it go unnoticed?
I’m just venting because of the pain that she handed me this week. I went to that church hoping for a blessing but came away with tears and a feeling I can’t shake too easily. What if I were a sinner coming to make my life right with God? It would have been a disastrous thing, and she’d be responsible for possibly sending someone to a devil’s hell.
“…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister” Romans 14:13.
Forgiving her is easy but I will never return to that church again. I will not subject myself to further pain because of someone else’s ignorance or lack of spiritual knowledge.
What would Jesus have done in a situation like this? What would you do?
“…But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” 1 Corinthians 2:15.
We Are the Fifth Books of Apostles (Unrecorded)
by Marcella Simmons – Meeks
Don’t be shocked when you read my title – I am not changing the Bible in any form or fashion. In our generation or those of future generations to come, we are the fifth books of the Bible that have not been recorded yet. “…Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, know and read of all men” (II Cor.3:2). We are the apostles who are preaching God’s Word and sending it out in the byways and the highways of modern day times. We just haven’t been recorded in history yet, nor have we written the future books of the Bible to come, adding to the existing 66 books already recorded. We are the distributors of God’s Word of this day and age, the apostles of our generation.
Being a Sunday school teacher, a youth group leader, a children’s minister, musician or the Pastor of the church makes us apostles of our generation. Whether we teach, preach or write, in some small way we are preparing chapters for the years to come. We are preparing chapters and books of life in our hearts whether you accept it or not. Each of us are adding something of value to future Bible readers to come. We are recording our history now which will passed on through the world for generations to come.
“…Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD…” (Deuteronomy 12:11)
The title above really inspired me in the knowledge that people are reading our books, our testimonials and devotionals – our day. Someday, in futures to come people will still be reading our work.
We may be the only link to the Bible as we know it, sharing it with a world unknown to us.
So many people think the Bible is outdated but what they don’t understand is that we have the knowledge and understanding set before us in His Word. Because of our love for Christ, and our desire to live right, we can apply the principles and standards set forth in the Bible to our lives today. We have the blueprint in front of us already laid out by the prophets, apostles and writers thousands of years ago. “…Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold” Proverbs 8:10.
And because of our preaching, teaching, singing and writing abilities, we are laying that foundation for future generations in the same way our forefathers did for us.
Whether we write, teach, sing or preach, we are paving the way for others and laying out the blueprint and proving the Bible just as others have done for us. And we are preparing our own generational gospel to share with the world. As I said earlier, we’re not changing the Bible. “… For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you…” 2 Corinthians 9:1. We’re carrying it on and spreading it into the land and telling others about it, as well as creating our own apostolic verse, chapter or book for future readers.
Technology has afforded man a wonderful outlet to share our gift (God’s Word) with a Godly and ungodly walk of people. We are blessed because we can present the Bible in places people would never otherwise have a chance to become acquainted with it. If you are talented and can sing, or do puppet shows about Jesus for audiences, or whatever it is you do (I write), each of us has our own way of preparing our future book for the Bible to come. “…For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13 – 4:15).
Two thousand years from now, who knows if there want be a futuristic section of the Old and New Testament with our book named in it. I can see it now – the book of MARCELLA. Just a little humor! The Bible does not speak of anything like this but the future hasn’t happened yet so who knows what will be out there thousands of years down the road. But in the event this could happen, I want my testimony, my chapter, my book, (or my computer!) to be filled with the blessings of God and all that He has done for me in my life. I want mine to read of good, and happy times and how much He has blessed me. I want to show the world that living a Christian life is living a true and good life, done both easily and happily, even with the sacrifices we make. “…And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
We choose the life we live, the life we want and we strive daily to make it better. We sacrifice some worldly things to keep from getting corrupt. We choose the things we do and don’t do, and how we live. No one is to blame for how we live our lives. No one is responsible for our salvation but ourselves. We choose to live for the Lord, or not. He never forces Himself into our lives and He never leaves us unless we shut Him out. “…I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live…” Deuteronomy 30:19. We choose to sin or not. Through choice, we do the things in life that is good or bad. We can’t blame any one else for the choices we make because it is not only wrong, but deceitful. You can’t make me sin no more than I can make you sin. I choose, you choose. You either do right or you don’t – no one can make you do anything. Influences are all around us, yes, but the ultimate decision we make is our own choosing.
At the end of life’s way, my little chapter in my book will read: Marcella made a choice to live for God and she did all the way through. Will you? What will your little chapter say?