Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I’m continuing a series of blog posts with my sister Betty Haynie about what we believe. Our thoughts may be helpful to those who are uncertain about God. Betty wrote down her beliefs in detail several years ago. I’ll post her thoughts monthly and add my thoughts and beliefs to each one. Our thoughts are intentionally brief on subjects that could fill volumes.

By Betty Haynie
I believe the Holy Spirit lives within our hearts once we have accepted Christ as our Savior. He is the God that never leaves us nor forsakes us; the great Comforter who brings peace and joy.

The Holy Spirit is known as the Comforter. His role is to operate in time and space, but without the physical limitations of a body. His role extends through out all time so He can be with each person who accepts Jesus as Lord. It is at this time that the Holy Spirit enters into the new believer’s heart and becomes their Comforter.

From the time one accepts Jesus as Savior, he or she is a new person and the Holy Spirit is his or her guide and constant companion on the rest of life’s journey. As a coat cannot wave its “arms” on command, without a “body” on the inside to help it move, neither can a Christian function in Christ-like ways without the Holy Spirit on the inside directing his/her steps and activities from that moment on.

Bill Bright, in his book Blessed Child puts it this way:
“Everything in the Christian life involves the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ, to lead us into all truth, to convict us of sin, and to draw us to the Savior. We must be born of the Spirit. Only through the enabling of the Spirit can a person understand the Word of God and live under its power.”

Having had a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit on May 20, 1990, I can absolutely verify that the Holy Spirit is real. He came into my heart that day and I have not been the same since. I am a new creature, free from the sins of my past, (and present and future), free from all guilt, free from the burden of worry. The peace, joy and amazing love, through this grace of God fills my soul to overflowing.

The Holy Spirit is within each believer continuously, day and night, whether sought after or not; no matter what happens He is there guiding, protecting, directing the steps of the would-be righteous. He encourages us in every-thing that is of God - reading the Word, attending church, worshiping, praying, volunteering for church outreach or missions activities or any and all acts of kindness in our every day walk.

He is also there to remind us of our human, but “not-so-wonderful” attributes, especially our attitudes or tendencies, such as a short fuse with our kids or mates – or the guy who cuts you off on the highway! He is friend, advisor, assistant, comrade, instructor, - even a nuisance when you have your mind set on some counter-productive activity or mission (such as revenge or getting even!) He is a blessing beyond measure for all of God’s people.


God is in control, and I am on His side, and that means: ALL IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!!!  How’s YOUR soul today? 

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Blessings, Betty

By Dottie Parish

I love how Betty put it; "The Holy Spirit’s role is to operate in time and space, but without the physical limitations of a body. And a coat cannot wave its 'arms' on command, without a 'body' on the inside to help it move." The Holy Spirit is a great Comfort and Power for true believers.

Betty reported she had a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit on May 20, 1990. I also had a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit two months prior to hers - on March 18, 1990, and I, too, can absolutely verify that the Holy Spirit is real! The Holy Spirit led me in a variety of new directions.

For one, along with great joy and wonder at discovering God is real, I also felt great grief and sadness that I had turned my back on God and on his church for decades. I prayed for forgiveness and decided to make amends for this by giving a financial contribution to cover a small offering I might have given over 35 years. I also became more aware of others needs and more giving to others. The Spirit gave me an incredible lightness of being at times and great joy.

Over the years the Holy Spirit has carried out in me many of the activities Betty describes – restraining my need to control others, reining in my anger, and mostly feeding my soul. Two major leadings of the Holy Spirit impacted my life. In 1996 as we helped start a Christian Counseling Center at the church I felt God’s call to start The Third Option – a group that is designed to help couples with marriage problems. In organizing the Third Option I felt like I’d jumped off a cliff. It was so scary and beyond anything I’d done in the past. The Third Option helped many people with their marriages but it also taught me and grew me and ministered to me and led to many friendships. M and I led this program together and it blessed our marriage. We continued in this in two locations from 1996 to 2007. And we turned the two groups over to others to continue. The Holy Spirit also nudged me to write a book about changing churches. This, too, was a leap of faith and taught me much.

More important than a special call on your life to do something is the daily awareness of the presence of God and the comfort and assurance that gives you.

The Holy Spirit changed the disciples dramatically, too. Prior to Jesus ascending to heaven he told the disciples Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Acts 1:4-5, 8 

After Jesus left them the disciples and followers, 120 men and women, prayed continually and on the day of Pentecost they were filled with the Spirit. This small group of ordinary people turned the world upside down. Following this these previously fearful men were bold and powerful. There is no limit to their hopes or their resolve. Read Acts Chapters 1- 4 to get the picture of this miraculous event and of the changes in the disciples as a result.

 “With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and abundant grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33

As a result of this small group of Holy Spirit empowered men and women, within a century half the then-known world came to Christ. 

Verses about receiving the Holy Spirit are thrilling to all true believers. Are you inspired by them? “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Acts 1:8  These are the words of Jesus! Seek him and he will fill your heart with his joyful spirit. 

Blessings, Dottie

Watch for the next Reasons to Believe post on WHY I BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION in late October by Betty and Dottie

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Q. My four year old daughter has occasional nightmares. She will wake up crying and calling for me. When I go to her it is obvious she is terrified by whatever she has dreamed. Sometimes she will tell part of her dream, that a tiger was chasing her, for example. (I tried to convince her there was no tiger there, but she wouldn't believe this.) Often she remembers the nightmare the next day and seems upset. What is the best way to handle her fearfulness? What causes nightmares?

A. Dreams are messages to us from our unconscious. They help us solve a problem. A nightmare is an urgent message about something troubling us. Although some people are rarely aware of dreaming, everyone dreams four or five times each night. Dreams help us integrate the big and little problems or feelings we face on a daily basis. They help us stay asleep - except when they are nightmares.

The dream or nightmare is a metaphor for some feeling or conflict we have experienced the previous day. It may have more than one meaning and may also refer to conflicts or traumas in the past. Children often have nightmares when they are angry with a parent or a parent is angry with them. Hence the tiger might represent angry feelings. 
A dream is a picture of our feelings. It is not logical or rational. It also is not direct. It teaches us in the same way a story does and is as creative as any story ever told. Some early American Indian tribes taught their children to share their dreams every day. The Senoi Indians of Malaysia also used dreams in their culture. They were nonviolent, had no crime, no major family disharmony, no mental illness and no police force, perhaps for this reason! They resolved their dream conflicts rather than acting them out.
When your child has a nightmare it is important to comfort her until she is calmed down.  Respect your child's fear; don't dismiss it, ridicule it or punish it. A book titled Nightmare Help by Anne Sayre Wiseman details a fascinating approach to children's nightmares. 

She would suggest that the child ask the tiger not to come any more tonight because everyone needs their sleep. The book teaches how to help children face their fears and master them. This involves having the child draw the nightmare. Drawing it is easier for some children than telling it.  Also, details may be omitted verbally but included in a picture. Either drawing or telling someone the dream helps make the inner conflict conscious. And this leads to mastery.
The author emphasizes respecting the child's need to feel safe and then encouraging him or her to reenter the dream and find solutions to the problem posed in the dream. "Close your eyes and see yourself getting help. What do you see?"
Since there may be some stress in the parent-child relationship, your child may not be willing to work on her dream with you. The problem depicted in the dream may have to do with you! Don't press her to talk about it or to draw a picture of it if she doesn't want to do so. Also do not offer meanings for her dream. Listen carefully, instead, to any meaning she suggests. If your child has frequent nightmares and the ideas in this column or in the book don't relieve them, I recommend family counseling. Many pastors are trained in counseling or could refer you to a Christian counselor.

“All your sons shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

God’s Will, Change and Letting Go of Stuff

God surprised us this year! Our life has changed dramatically. My husband and I just began a new chapter in our life. After living in family homes all our life we have moved to a retirement community. This is a surprising and unexpected decision as we’d always said we wanted to live in our home ‘til the end of our life. I wrote a book called Changing Churches published in 2012. Now I could write a book called Changing Houses! 

We had not thought of moving, yet I prayed in my journal on January 1, 2017 “Father, let me live more simply in the coming year.” Also on January 10th I wrote “Let me know what you want me to do at this point in my life. Guide me in getting rid of stuff and in leaning on you.”  Be careful what you pray for!

The decision to move had to be God inspired as we made the decision out of the blue and both of us felt good about it. (Most of the time.)

Well, if you decide to go into a retirement community you HAVE to get rid of stuff big time. So for the last four months – from April 21 to August 31st we got rid of 50% of our belongings. This is no exaggeration. It has been quite an interesting process of letting go. And it has mostly felt good.

Of course I let go of clothes that no longer fit me properly. Why do we delay this when we have lots of closet space? We weeded out every category of belonging. It never occurred to me before this that we didn’t need four or five casserole dishes, or we didn’t need to keep a set of 36 glasses we never really liked. It never occurred to me we didn’t need ten individual wooden salad bowls when we only used them when eating alone.

I was surprised to realize how much stuff we had. For example we had 15 lamps and used them all in our former house. We let go of four of these (our new house has fewer windows so we still need many lamps). We also had twelve small rugs to wipe your feet on at entries. We kept six.

Some adaptation is required with any change and especially when you move to a new home. Usually a new place is arranged differently. Well, I discovered the new place has only two drawers in the kitchen. My former kitchen has eleven drawers!! So…I’ve had to adapt. I made sewing kit out of a very sturdy box and things fit in their perfectly! Similarly, I made First Aid kit to hold band aids, gause, ointments,and so forth using a sturdy I-Pad box.  

I enjoyed giving away things that we could not take with us. I had friends over for lunch and gave away several vases and two pitchers. Another friend is now enjoying my Precious Moments figures. We provided some furniture for our grandchildren’s college apartments, and for our daughter and a missionary couple. And a neighbor loved a pair of my pajamas and my ivy plants growing in water. It felt great to have someone else enjoy the use of these items. Good Will also received many items from us!

We no longer need so much stuff, nor do we need such a big space. We have used our house to entertain and to help a few people over the years – using all the finished basement space for wedding party guests twice and for storing missionary furniture. We are so glad we could do this.

God led us to our last house and blessed us with it. I’m convinced he led us to our current home and we already feel blessed to be here. It is especially freeing to me as the detail person in the family. I have so much less to take care of now. I can be more relaxed and more involved with others. I believe that’s what God wants for now.

Blessings, Dottie

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21 NIV

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Psalm 119 Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God

This is the seventh section of Psalm 119 – the longest chapter and the longest Psalm in the Bible. There are 8 different terms referring to Scripture used through out. These are: law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, word and ordinances. I continue to meditate and journal on this amazing Psalm.


49 Remember the word to Your servant,
In which You have made me hope.

Dear Father, Remember your promise to me, I’ve been rejoicing in You for many years – your word gives me hope and joy.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
That Your word has revived me.

Father, You are my comfort in every trial and affliction, big and small,
When I’m down Your Word lifts me up and fills me with your Spirit.

51 The arrogant utterly deride me,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.

Father, the arrogant world derides my belief in you and love for you,
But I hold fast to my belief in your word, law and promises.

52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord,
And comfort myself.

Father, I do remember your ordinances from of old. But do I really think about them much? The Ten Commandments are sure needed in our culture where killing and sexual acting out is rampant and people have NO God. It’s sad, Lord. I do know and study your commandments. Help me grow in living these and especially when I fail to keep them. Your Word is a comfort to me. Your Word is Truth.

53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked,
Who forsake Your law.

Dear Father, I am very upset about the wickedness in our culture and around the world in many places. My country used to know your law. Now they have forsaken it and forsaken you.

54 Your statutes are my songs
In the house of my pilgrimage.

Dear Father, Your statutes are my songs – I love to think of this. Trust and obey – When we walk in the light. We sing songs from your Word in my church, my house of pilgrimage.

55 O Lord, I remember Your name in the night,
And keep Your law.

Dear Father, My Lord and Savior, I recall your name at night as well as during the day,
And I cherish and keep your Word.

56 This has become mine,
That I observe Your precepts.

Father, your Word has become my inspiration,
I follow your precepts. Keep me close.

Blessings, Dottie