Tag Archives: light

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT

You may never know who they are, but somewhere in this great big world

there is someone who will be uplifted by the light that shines from within you.

Let your light shine brightly and be a blessing to someone who needs you.

Tom Tatum –Author 2017

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Advertisements

BE THE CANDLE

You can make a difference… if you’re willing to try.

BeTheCandle

Are you willing?

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

MY OOOPS MOMENT

I had the unexpected honor to serve as an usher at the funeral of a friend on Tuesday September 8, 2015. Another gentleman ushered with me, but neither of us knew exactly what we were supposed to do. Do you sense a problem on the horizon?!?

Aisle

A nice lady told us there were three reserved sections up front and we needed to ask each person, “Are you with the family, SS class, or tennis group?” We asked and then directed people to the proper reserved section. That turned out to be the easy part of our duties, except for the looks people gave us when we asked the question. The church started filling rapidly, but there were enough seats available.

The family would be entering the sanctuary shortly. That’s when the pastor told me he wanted the ushers to light the candles on the altar and the one by the pulpit. I asked the other usher if he wanted to do it, but he declined. Therefore, yours truly had to do it. Sounds simple, right?

First, I had to find the official candle-lighter-stick thingy—done. Oh, but what about the butane lighter needed to light the candle lighter? Frantic search ensued and I finally found the lighter and lit the candle lighter. Now, all I had to do was walk down the aisle and light three candles. Easy, right? Did I mention that I’m a gray-haired-old man who wears bifocals? Hmmm, the plot suddenly thickens!

Candles

I started walking down the “ten-mile” long aisle toward the altar and the flame kept trying to go out. I paused to keep the flame glowing—many times, I paused! I finally got to the altar, bowed my head in prayer, and then lit the two candles with no problem. I turn toward the tall candle by the pulpit, and guess what? I couldn’t see the candlewick. The last person who extinguished the candle had pressed the wick flat. Great!!! This is going to be fun, I thought. At last, the candle started burning—that’s one small feat for a “professional” acolyte, but one giant leap for a gray-haired-old man. Old man then sighs at the sight of the flame flickering away. Success!

All I had left to do to complete my “extremely complicated” lighting task was return to the altar, bow in prayer, turn around, and walk back down the “ten-mile” aisle beyond the sight of two-hundred people. Easy, right?!? Well, not exactly! Here’s when the ooops moment occurred.

Remember those bifocals I wear. Well, they make walking down steps “be like” tough at times—this was one of those times! I turned, took three steps away from the altar, but thought I had to take four. At least that’s what it looked like. The line in my bifocals was hiding the all-important first step. My foot went down expecting to find the hardwood floor of the level platform, but what it found was nothing but air—an entire step-high distance of air!

Steps

Picture an old man walking proudly along and suddenly missing the first of three steps. What followed was an acrobatic, less than graceful attempt to maintain my balance while holding the lighted candle lighter in front of two-hundred people. Arms and legs went flying in four different directions.

After flying through the air for what seemed like several minutes, I somehow missed two steps completely and landed upright on both feet; I think the Lord definitely reached out His loving hands and kept me from falling spread-eagle on the floor. Thank goodness He did! I bowed to the crowd as if nothing had happened and said, “Ooops!” as two-hundred peopled laughed and clapped at my awkward, but successful gymnastic display.

Do you know how loud two-hundred people laughing and clapping in a quiet sanctuary can be? Take my word for it; it’s deafening!!! Thank goodness, the family members were not in the sanctuary at the time of my “ooops” moment. The ungraceful fall was bad enough, but the comments I heard during the reception… well, I’ll leave them to your imagination.

Into each life a little fall will come, and it will usually happen when you least expect it!

The point of this embarrassing personal experience is to show that the Lord is always there for us—in our big moments, as well as the little moments in our lives. When we place our fears in His hands, He puts His arms around us and helps us land on our feet when we fall. Have faith and trust in HIM; He will keep you upright on your path.

Be blessed…

Proverbs 24-16 (NIV)

… for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.

Ezekiel 3:24 (NIV)

Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me…

Psalms 134:2 (NIV)

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Christian Author On Trial Part 4

NEWS Report – 4 of 4

NewsFLashVerdictTwit

Suggestion: Before reading Part 4, please read Parts 1, 2 & 3 for background information. The scenario presented is fictitious, but could something similar happen in the near future?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JURY REACHES VERDICT

This is Mike Jones reporting to you live from outside the courthouse in Washington with the fourth and final report on the NAG vs Christian Author trial. The jury of four Believers and eight nonBelievers delivered their final verdict today.

This trial began four months ago when a group called nonBelievers Against God (NAG) joined forces with the Justice Department in efforts to remove all references to God in America. They charged Christian author Tom Tatum on two counts:

Count One: Writing books that support the concept of God’s existence

Count Two: Conspiracy to keep God in America

The twelve jurors returned to the courtroom today after deliberating for three days. When the judge asked the foreman if the jury had reached a final verdict, you could have heard a pin drop as Believers and nonBelievers anxiously awaited his response.

The foreman appeared confident as he stood, cleared his throat, and replied, “Your Honor, we have reached a verdict on both counts.”

The bailiff handed the jury’s verdict form to the judge who read, “As to Count One: Writing books that support the concept of God’s existence, how do you find the defendant?”

“We, the jury, unanimously find the defendant guilty.”

The courtroom erupted with cheers of victory from the NAG members who were present. Those who support Mr. Tatum were shocked by the verdict and lowered their heads in disappointment. The judge banged his gavel to restore order and continued reading from the verdict form.

“As to Count Two: Conspiring to keep America a nation under God, how do you find the defendant?”

“We, the jury, unanimously find the defendant not guilty. Your Honor, please note that our verdict for Count One is based completely on a caveat that this court must execute if the verdict is to be considered final. Otherwise, this jury asks the court for more time to continue our deliberations.”

Murmurs filled the air of the courtroom in anticipation of what was likely to follow. Again, the judge called for silence and asked the foreman to explain the jury’s position.

“Your Honor, the caveat attached to our guilty verdict for Count One is in the form of a request. Unlike the punishment the prosecutor demanded this court impose on Mr. Tatum, this jury unanimously requests that you set Mr. Tatum free and reward him by making his book available to every person in America. We think everyone should have the opportunity to read his story, and that includes ALL nonBelievers who choose to do so—nonBelievers are the very individuals who need to read it most. We also hope every person in the world has an opportunity to read Mr. Tatum’s inspiring story.”

The judge seemed amused by the jury’s unorthodox request and remained silent for a several minutes. His silence seemed to last for hours as everyone in the courtroom awaited his response.

I must admit to you that in my thirty years of service as a judge, this is the first time I’ve ever had a jury make such an unusual request. The twelve of you found the defendant guilty, yet you seek to reward rather than punish him. Please tell this court why you are making such a request.”

Without hesitation the foreman responded, “Your Honor, during the course of this trial, all members of this jury started having doubts about the Justice Department’s motives for supporting the NAG organization. It didn’t make sense to us that our government was attacking the Constitutional rights of those who choose to believe in God. As a nonbeliever and American citizen myself, I do not want the government restricting any of my rights, nor do I want the rights of Christians to be restricted because their views are simply different from mine. I respect the rights of ALL citizens to express themselves without fear of “big government” reprisals.

“Furthermore, each juror took the opportunity to read Mr. Tatum’s book during the long holiday break and realized the prosecution’s case had many flaws. The prosecutor was not being truthful with his statements and attempted to mislead us. The demon in this courtroom is not Mr. Tatum—the true demons are NAG followers, our government leaders, and the attorneys who accepted and chose to bring this case to trial.”

DevilThe prosecutor’s faced turned as red as the stripes on the American flag as he jumped to his feet shouting, Your Honor, I object to you allowing the foreman to speak in this manner! This is highly irregular! I demand you strike the foreman’s comments from the record and force him to sit down and remain silent! This court must punish Mr. Tatum in the manner I stated.”

“Mr. Habeeb, your objections are duly noted, but you are not in charge of this court. Now, please sit down before I have you removed from this courtroom. The foreman is making more sense than anything presented thus far from the prosecutor’s side during the course of this trial. This court should be allowed to hear what the foreman has to say. Please proceed with your statement, Mr. Foreman,” replied the judge.

The prosecutor reluctantly sat down, but it was obvious he disagreed with the judge’s remarks. The foreman then continued with his statement.

Thank you, Your Honor. As I was saying before being rudely interrupted, “Mr. Tatum is guilty of writing about God, but he has every right to do so. No court should deny his right to write about his beliefs. Yes, I am the spokesperson for this jury, but my comments are the thoughts composed by all members of this jury. With that said, we all feel that America was created as a nation of God—the founding fathers were wise enough to create documents that were supposed to prevent trials such as this one. Nowhere in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence do the words, ‘separation of church and state’ exist. Those words originated in an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. They were in Jefferson’s written response to an inquiry addressed to him about Connecticut’s law being oppressive to their religion.

“Jefferson’s statement was, ‘I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law regarding an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

Constitution“The wall is to protect citizens from government intervention. The Constitution of the United States denies the federal government the ability to interfere with the religious rights of ALL the people for which it was written. The words ‘separation of church and state’ is not a legal decree. It’s simply a talking-point phrase promoted by the biased media, nonbelievers, and others who are ill informed about the law in order to support their efforts to remove God from America, willfully persecute Christians and all who believe in God. Anyone who understands our Constitution knows the government is over-stepping its bounds in this regard, and the biased media ecstatically supports their efforts. America’s foundation supports a nation of God and she should remain such. We want America to continue to be a great place to live—the land of the free and the home of the brave, with liberty and justice for all. May God continue to Bless America!”

The judge smiled, stood, and started applauding, as did all those in the courtroom. The judged thanked the foreman for his well-informed history lesson and said, “This court agrees with your statement, and I hereby grant your request to reward rather than punish Mr. Tatum.”

The judge wrinkled his brow and looked toward Mr. Habeeb as if awaiting a vigorous response. When the prosecutor said nothing, the judge dismissed the jurors and banged his gavel to end the trial. The fuming prosecutor and his NAG assistants stormed out of the courtroom. The silence in the room erupted into cheers as everyone in the courtroom started singing God Bless America

GodBlessAmerica

Gretchen, I interviewed two of the jurors off camera, both nonBelievers, and asked if their views about God had changed during the trial or if it was more about first amendment rights. Both said it was more about rights, but they now have more tolerance for Christians and all Believers. They said the story and statements made by the defense attorney in his closing arguments were very compelling. However, they acknowledged they had a long way to go before they could say they were Believers. It appears Tatum’s story and this trial had a few twists that NAG and the Justice Department didn’t anticipate. Both jurors also suggested that everyone should read Tatum’s book before rejecting God.

I also managed to talk to Matthew Jackson, the defense attorney. He said, “I am pleased the jury found Mr. Tatum guilty on count one and applaud their suggested reward. This jury of four Believers and eight nonBelievers sent a powerful message to the government and NAG’s who wish to delete all references to God. AMERICA IS A NATION OF GOD!

“Satan and his evil followers lost a small battle in this courtroom today, but his efforts to win the war will certainly continue. He will always tempt people to follow him, and it is unfortunate that most of them have no idea what is happening. Their beliefs about life and morality are leading America on a path toward destruction.

“I pray that this is the beginning of turning the evil tide that flows against Believers and serves to start spreading tolerance for God throughout America? It could very well be, but only if all Christians and Believers start raising their voices in harmony by taking a stand for their beliefs and becoming proactive in the war to sustain individual rights. Believers must start speaking out against the direction nonBelievers are taking America and help reverse the trend before it is too late. The ‘Devil’ has already taken prayer out of schools—Merry Christmas is now Happy Holidays—nativity scenes, Ten Commandments, and other religious symbols can no longer be displayed on public grounds. The list of efforts to remove God from our nation continues to grow. All these things happened while Christians and Believers silently did nothing to stop the insanity. Join the effort to HELP KEEP AMERICA A NATION OF GOD. Flood all elected government leaders with demands for them to wake up and fight the evil. Don’t stop until they take appropriate action. It’s time to Wake Up America!

Gretchen, I also asked Mr. Jackson about the story he shared in his closing arguments, and if he had any regrets about being a Christian. Listen to his response.

“Regrets? Yes, I have one. I regret that I wasted so many years of my life before RaysI finally saw the ‘light’ that reflected off a tiny glass in the desert. You see—the Christian who survived the desert experience with me was Mr. Tatum. It was long before he wrote his book. God placed Mr. Tatum in my life and he helped me find the Lord. Having the opportunity to represent him in this trial was a blessing for me, and is evidence that God truly does work in mysterious ways. I am proud to call myself a Christian.”

This has been Mike Jones reporting live from Washington. Now, let’s go back to Gretchen in the studio.

Thanks for your reports on the trial, Mike. I bet that verdict surprised many folks out there. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the future. Folks, I understand you can obtain a copy of Tatum’s book If Tigers Were Angels: With God, All Things Are Possible from most online bookstores. Check it out and let us know what you think about the book and the trial. Now, stay tuned to ATILBnews with Barry Brown. I’m Gretchen Jones wishing you a great day. God Bless America!

Twit Tiger

Tom Tatum – 2015

Author of faith-based novels

(1) If Tigers Were Angels: With God, All Things Are Possible

(2) On Green Diamonds: Pursuing a Dream

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Blog: http://www.atimeinlife.wordpress.com

Charleston Strong

ChangeThisToThis

I have never before experienced A Time In Life when I was more proud to be a South Carolinian and yet feel such overwhelming sadness also. The range of emotions created by the horrible event that took the lives of nine Christians last week in a Charleston, SC church covers the full spectrum.

I’m saddened because one man was so full of evil that he chose to go into a church and visit for an hour before killing nine people who had welcomed him to join them. It makes me want to ask the question, “Why would God allow this to happen in His house?” However, I know that is the wrong question. I also know the reasons for this tragedy may never be fully understood, but through my faith, I realize the event will serve a greater purpose.

I’m proud how the families of the victims have responded with such amazing grace as a testament of their true faith and belief in God. They have forgiven an accused murderer of their family members and have asked him to repent for his sins. They want him to find the Lord so he may have everlasting life through the grace of God. In their time of great sorrow, they have shined a bright light on South Carolina and our nation. The character and faith of these Christians should serve as beacon for all to follow.

I am proud how South Carolinians have joined together in peaceful events in Charleston and throughout our great state. The blue and white images have become icons across all social media platforms to show a united outpouring of love. This love has now spread around the world.

I pray for the victims to rest in peace in God’s house of many mansions, and for their families to find comfort and understanding as they continue to spread His word through their thoughts, words, and deeds. I pray that our nation will stand united by this tragedy and God continues to bless America. Amen.

Tom Tatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum