Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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May God bless you in your journey of faith.
Warmly,
Fran


This Month's Message

FIREFLY NIGHTS
By Fran Caffey Sandin

During sultry East Texas summer nights, the family often gathered on the front porch of my grandparents’ rambling farmhouse. Ma and Pa sat in their wooden rocking chairs, swaying back and forth hoping for a gentle breeze. We watched bright stars that twinkled like diamonds against the black velvet sky. Firefly’s flited back and forth, drawing fascinating designs in the air. Sometimes I captured a few of them to get a better view of their flashy lights, and marveled at their brilliant, tiny lanterns glowing inside the clear glass container.

While recently reading the Biblical account of Gideon’s encounter with the Midianites, I thought about my firefly experiences—only Gideon’s story was even more intriguing with a lesson I needed to learn. As they moved into the promised land, the Israelites obeyed God’s command to destroy the evil, idol-worshipping Midianites.

The Lord gave Gideon instructions to decrease the size of his army to 300 men, because 300 men with God are more powerful than thousands without Him. God knew, humanly speaking, it was impossible to defeat the Midianites, and He wanted to show Gideon that with God, all things are possible. During the night the enemies were camped in the valley just below, and the Lord told Gideon that if he was afraid he could take his servant, Purah, go down to the camp, and listen to what they were saying.

When Gideon and Purah crept through the darkness to the enemy camp, they saw the enormous number of armies gathered there, like the sand on the seashore. As Gideon tiptoed beside one of the tents, he overheard a man saying to another soldier, “I dreamed that a large loaf of barley bread tumbled into our camp, hit our tent, and knocked it flat.” The other soldier responded, “That means the Israelis will come and massacre all the allied forces of Midian!”

When Gideon heard that, he just stood still and worshipped God. Empowered by the news, he and his servant returned to camp and Gideon shouted to his men, “Get up! For the Lord is going to use you to conquer all the vast armies of the Midianites.”

He divided the 300 men into three groups and gave each man a trumpet and a clay jar with a torch in it. Then he explained: “when we arrive at the outer posts of the camp, do as I do. When men in my group and I blow our trumpets, shout “’We fight for God and for Gideon.’” About midnight, the men quietly took their places outside the camp.

Suddenly they blew their trumpets and broke their clay jars so their torches blazed in the dark. The other 200 men joined and they all shouted, “For the Lord and for Gideon”! Then they watched the enemy army rush around in a panic, shouting and running. In the confusion, they became disoriented and began fighting and killing each other from one end of the camp to the other and fleeing the campsite. What an unbelievable victory for Gideon and his army!

This true account from the Bible (Judges, chapter7) teaches me that God is greater than any situation I face. Through my relationship with God, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, I have victory. It may not come in a way I imagine because as in Gideon’s battle, the Lord is very creative. When it happens, I can only worship God and give Him the glory.

Dear Heavenly Father, Your creativity, your vision, your all-knowing ways, and your power, are truly awesome. You light our way one step at a time when we trust in You. You are able to do more than we ask or think and to You we give all the honor and glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen.