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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'll Be Back!

Remember that scene in The Terminator when Arnold Schwarzeneggar, as the "terminator," comes into the police station, looking for the good guy and the good woman? (The police have them in custody.) Arnold says, "I'll be back."
Based on his activities in earlier scenes, we thoroughly believed that he'd "be back."
Sure enough, good (or not so good) ol' Arnold returns, drives right through the police stations walls, gets out and starts blasting with his machine gun. I'll bet you saw that coming. Because the terminator didn't mince words. And because Hollywood wants you to sweat it, knowing that the bad cyborg is never gonna give up coming after the the good guys.

My parents didn't use those same words. But when they went out on a rare evening date and left us five children to our own devices, we knew they'd be back. As soon as we heard the old Buick pull out of the driveway, we kids knew we only had a few precious hours to run amuck. Aw, we didn't do anything bad. We knew we had to stay indoors and we weren't allowed to use the stove. That's about the extent of their prohibitions.
First, we dragged in all the chairs in the house, turned them upside down and covered them with blankets. The construction looked like a patchwork, space station. Then half of us became the space aliens and the other half the good American astronauts.
After that got boring, we divided up into two teams --oldest brother Jay teamed up with Lori, and oldest sister teamed up with littlest twins, Royce and me -- and played a very scary form of "hide-and-seek-with-all-the-lights-out."
Unfortunately, that game usually ended up with one of us kids (usually the youngers ones) getting slightly injured or terribly traumatized by having a bigger kid popping out of a closet, screaming like a banshee, and scaring the begeebers out of us.
But around ten PM we knew my parents' return was imminent. We set the house back in order, folded all the blankets, dried our tears, and promised we'd never, ever tell what happened that night. When mom and dad walked into the house, they found us happy and relaxed. "No Dad, the house didn't burn down and no one broke a leg."

Arnold said, "I'll be back."
My parents said, "We'll be back sometime around ten."
Jesus Christ also said, "I'm coming back."
Too bad we don't know the exact hour when He'll return.
Or not.
Maybe the Lord will be more pleased that, when He arrives He'll find us minding our p's and q's. Isn't that a better indication of our real devotion to Jesus Christ: being good even when He's not standing over us?
Seriously though, do you believe Jesus when He says, "I'm coming back?"  As much as the Terminator and your parents?
And if you knew Jesus would return tomorrow morning at precisely 8:30 AM, would you be doing anything different today?
What would you do?

 "Be dressed ready for the service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when He comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for Him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when He comes. (Luke 12:35-37)


  1. Hi Dena -

    When Jesus said He was coming back, the disciples lived each day full-tilt for Him. May I be living full-tilt for Him, whether He returns or I depart to Heaven's shore.

    Susan :)

  2. Thanks, Susan. I guess we all work better when there's a deadline and the boss is coming around the corner. But I'd like to be motivated to work for the "boss" simply because He's wonderful and I love to please Him.