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Article Samples from our November 2017 Senior Beacon

 

Give Something Special This Year

(NAPSI)óThis holiday season, remember, the more thought you put into the gifts and greetings cards you choose, the happier the recipient may be.

First, take your time by planning ahead. Is the purchase for a man or woman? Consider the recipientís personality and interests. Does the person do jigsaw puzzles or love books? Make the effort to ensure the gift you choose is presented as attractively as possible. Give thought to the words you write on the gift tag. Consider adding a photo to the card and a heartfelt, handwritten message.

Second, choose a gift or card thatís a bit different, such as those created by the talented artists who belong to Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA).

This year, the MFPA celebrates its 60th anniversary since its formation by Erich Stegmann, who painted by mouth from childhood, due to polio. His vision was to form a unique, international self-help group of disabled artists (those without the use of their hands), seeking financial independence and a fulfilling life through art. Selling reproductions of their mouth- or foot-painted images in the form of Christmas greetings cards, calendars and a range of other products, the artistsí motto is "Self-Help, Not Charity."

One of these talented painters is Chicagoan Mariam Parť. She became a quadriplegic at age 20, when, already an art student, she innocently took a stray bullet to the back in gang cross fire. She then retaught herself to paint by holding a brush in her mouth.

Today, her paintings reflect her love of art and the freedom of expression it brings her. Many of her images have been exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and in Europe. Parťís greetings card images are popular around the world and her talent has brought her a number of high-profile gigs, including appearing on "The Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee and a visit to the Malibu home of actor and keen artist Pierce Brosnan.

How To Purchase

In early October, selected households across America will receive, through the mail, a collection of greetings cards and calendars for purchase. These items and other seasonal products are also available online at www.mfpausa.com and at (877) MFPA-USA.

 

Light for the Journey

"DONíT MESS WITH GODíS "PERFECT"

There is a "perfect." In spite of all we know of God, we humans keep messing with His perfect plan. I have manipulated, intervened, and meddled too many times to number because Godís plan wasnít what I thought it should be. Or might I add, what I wanted it to be.

Through the ages, beginning with Adam and Eve, humankind has attempted to re-arrange the perfect plan laid out by a wise and all-knowing God. The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and to watch over it. But the LORD God warned him. "And God said, "ĎSee, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for foodí" (Genesis 1:29). "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ĎOf every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely dieí" (Genesis 2:7).

We will assume that Adam did what every husband should and passed Godís instructions to his wife and she should have known. However, satan convinced Eve that God was withholding something good from her and if she ate the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil she would be like God. So, she listened to the deceiver and took the bite of death. With that one bite of rebellion, she brought, not only upon herself but to all mankind: sin, death and every form of evil, sickness, suffering and discord. "Then God said, ĎLook! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food...í" (Gen 2:29). They could eat of ANY fruit in the garden with seed in it but they were not to eat fruit from this tree. The fruit from this tree was the fruit of rebellion. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry" (I Sam 15:23).

The rebellion continues. Dissatisfaction is fueled by the rabid me first entitlement mentality which permeates our culture. An expecting couple requests a daughter from God and the ultrasound reveals God failed to comply with their wishes. In fact, He really blew it. "He didnít get our order right! What was He thinking!?" "We can fix this!" So they manipulate Godís perfect plan. The babyís life is snuffed out by abortion because God messed up.

Two men or women swallow satanís bait, believing God was mistaken when He said marriage shall be between one man and one woman. So they manipulate and mess with Godís perfect plan. "We can fix this!" Really? "Then the LORD God said, ĎIt is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him. . .í So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the manís ribs and closed up the opening. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. . . Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!" (Gen 2:18; 21; 31).

Teenagers become confused because of lies of the media, government and society and what they are taught at school. Persuaded that God obviously made a mistake when he created them and they are surely trapped in the wrong body. So, they manipulate and mess with Godís perfect plan. "I can fix this. I will have a sex change!" Really? "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherís womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13-16).

I am convinced that no matter what we do to mess with the "perfect" body God created, no matter how much effort or expense goes into manipulating His perfect plan, on the inside is still the man or woman He created in the womb. Changing the outside doesnít change who God created us to be.

Still, when I find myself dissatisfied, even in small things, I must guard against messing with Godís perfect! He always knows what He is doing and what is best for me. All things still work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose!!! (Romans 8:28). Itís in the Bible. It is Godís Word and His Word is still in effect even in todayís world with a self-centered and confused generation that refuses to settle for Godís best! His perfect plan. Can I remind you that in the end . . . every knee shall bow to His plan? ". . . And so, in honor of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11 Good News Translation).

©2017 Jan McLaughlin

All rights reserved. Jan McLaughlin is Director of Prayer For Prisoners International and can be reached at 719-275-6434 or by e-mail, Jan@PrayerForPrisoners.org.

 

 

 

 

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