The Shopper: Anna Caison

Anna Caison

The God Dilemma 2
Posted: September 09, 2016 - 1:53 pm

There’s another interesting and profound aspect to God that is often overlooked. Luke 9:51-55 illustrates an example of this forgotten side of the Lord.

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Seize the Prize!
Posted: August 31, 2016 - 1:45 pm

As the Summer Olympics came to a close I thought about the first Olympic Game held in Olympia, Greece over 3000 years ago. The games were a part of a religious festival held in honor of the god Zeus. Zeus was the father of all of the great gods and goddesses in Greek Mythology. The Greeks valued physical fitness and mental discipline, believing that developing these qualities were pleasing to Zeus.

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In the World… not of the World
Posted: August 23, 2016 - 1:36 pm

This year’s presidential election has plunged me into more debates than I cared to be in. For me, neither candidate is desirable so the decision now is which is the lessor of two bad choices. Regardless of who wins the Oval Office, ultimately our hope rests in God. 

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A Still Small Voice
Posted: August 17, 2016 - 10:33 am

When experiencing unforeseen circumstances in life and/or ministry we often seek advice from our pastor or close friends. We strain to hear God’s voice of direction through a sermon, or a song. We’ll pull out our Topical Bible looking for passages that mirror our situation to explain or make sense out of what we’re going through. And many times God will speak to us through others and through specific examples from the Bible. But there are also times when God will speak through the still quiet moments of a seemingly mundane task.

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In the World… not of the World
Posted: August 10, 2016 - 11:14 am

This year’s presidential election has plunged me into more debates than I cared to be in.  For me, neither candidate is desirable so the decision now is which is the lessor of two bad choices.  Regardless of who wins the Oval Office, ultimately our hope rests in God.  

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Like Me!
Posted: August 04, 2016 - 2:44 pm

I seem to be stuck (or maybe mesmerized would be a better word) by the passage of scripture recorded in Hebrews 2:14-15, 17. I sense there’s something more the Lord wants me to see. At times I feel like I’m at the edge of grasping it, only to realize that I still don’t know what it is I’m trying to see! As I continued to meditate on this text I was reminded of an old movie I watched on TV many years ago. It didn’t seem important then, and I wasn’t sure if it was a true story or not, but it intrigued me now as it related to the human perspective of what I was trying to understand from Hebrews. My google search led me to the film in question. And yes, it was a true story.

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Like Light Through a Prism
Posted: July 27, 2016 - 12:26 pm

Whenever I see a prism I’m reminded of two things.

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Understanding is a Two-Way Street
Posted: July 22, 2016 - 2:11 pm

“How else except by becoming a Negro could a White man hope to learn the truth?” – John Howard Griffin, 1959

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God Revealed
Posted: July 13, 2016 - 12:40 pm

Ever wondered about some of the puzzling statements Jesus said?  

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Harbinger?
Posted: July 07, 2016 - 9:16 am

In his book “The Harbinger” Jonathan Cahn presents a prophetic warning of judgment to America from God.  According to the book, the 9/11 terrorist attacks happen because of a breach in America’s divine hedge of protection. This “breach” was caused by America’s turning away from God. The book argues that America entered into a covenant with God when the founding fathers incorporated Israel’s laws (from the Bible) into our laws.  When our government vowed that it would rise from the 9/11 attacks stronger and more powerful than before (Isaiah 9:10) it enacted God’s judgment against unrepentant Israel onto unrepentant America. 

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God Is With Us
Posted: June 29, 2016 - 1:07 pm

Sometimes the only way we know God is with us is when we find ourselves walking in the shoes of those who’ve gone before us.

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Tyranny of the 1%
Posted: June 22, 2016 - 2:05 pm

I recently watched the documentary “Requiem for the American Dream” presented by Noam Chomsky.  In the film Mr. Chomsky presents facts that show the founding fathers of our constitution designed our government to favor and protect the wealthy few (from the general population) by putting the control of the country in their hands.  The reasoning behind this being, the accumulated wealth of the wealthy proved they were more responsible; and, the fear that if the general population were given a real role in government they would try to create equality among all Americans that would weaken the power structure of the wealthy.  Therefore, America is not a democracy, it’s a republic (as our pledge to the American Flag declares).  In a republic, politicians are elected by the general population to determine what is best for the country.  Regardless of the promises campaigning politicians make to represent the views of the general population, once elected, the majority pursue their personal agenda and the agenda of the wealthiest 1% they sold themselves to.  According to the documentary, the only time the United States practices true democracy is through activism.  Again, this is additional proof that this country has never been by nature of its government a Christian nation. 

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He’s Coming!
Posted: June 15, 2016 - 10:54 am

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Lord returned in our lifetime?!  Just imagine, the trumpet of God sounding from heaven, announcing His coming. I wonder if all the inhabitants of the earth will hear the sound of the trumpet or will only His followers hear it?  And then, in a twinkling of an eye, we whose names are written in the Savior’s Book of Life (preceded by the resurrected dead in Christ) will be changed from mortal to immortal and will be caught up to meet Him in the air!  

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Anticipating The King’s Arrival
Posted: June 09, 2016 - 10:08 am

The day had finally come. Crowds of people were gathered at the outer gate of the Kingdom anticipating the arrival of the King. A flurry of questions filled the air, “When will the King arrive?” “How do I look?” “Am I presentable?” “Do you think He’ll be pleased with our service?” 

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Sins of A Nation
Posted: June 01, 2016 - 1:53 pm

Every year in April, my sisters and I get together downtown in Chicago to celebrate our birthdays.  With each trip into the city we’d see a few homeless people scattered up and down State Street.  This year was different.  Everywhere we walked (Clinton, Randolph, Washington, State, Lake, Wabash, and Michigan) there were masses of homeless people.  A few were in cardboard makeshift shelters, some crouched in clefts under viaducts, and others were just sitting or lying on the ground. In the past, the homeless were mostly elderly men.  But the vast majority of the homeless people we saw were young adults, male and female, white and black.  We met a grandmother with her 2 young grandsons.  Her apartment had caught fire due to faulty wiring-----she lost everything.  She’s on a 6 month waiting list for another apartment.  On our way home we gave our leftover food to a group of homeless young adults who asked if they could have it because they were hungry.  

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Knowing God through Time Management
Posted: May 25, 2016 - 1:51 pm

Do you ever feel like you never have enough time to do all the things that need to be done? Have you ever wished you had more time? What a blessing to know that God is wiser than we are. If He gave us an additional hour or two more a day we’d kill ourselves trying to cram into it more things to do.

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Righteous Judgment
Posted: May 17, 2016 - 1:21 pm

Recent headlines regarding LGBT people brought to mind a conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders.  The religious leaders had accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath law because He often healed people on the Sabbath (a day of rest from all forms of labor).  Jesus responded to their accusations by asking them why is it okay for them to break the Sabbath law to circumcise an infant on the 8th day when that day fell on the Sabbath.  Stop judging by appearance, He told them, but judge with righteous judgment.  

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Knowing God As...
Posted: May 12, 2016 - 12:44 pm

My favorite Mother’s Day scripture is found in Isaiah 49:15-16. Here the Lord personifies His love for His people as a nursing mother!

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The Matrix
Posted: May 04, 2016 - 12:29 pm

When the 1999 movie “The Matrix” debut, it frightened me. I remember going to see it with my mom and sister. Halfway through the movie, my anxiety level was so high I had to leave and wait out the movie in the lobby. However, thirteen years later, watching the movie with my granddaughter, I began to see hidden “spiritual implications.”

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God Revealed Through Scripture
Posted: April 27, 2016 - 1:00 pm

In honor of my 61st birthday I decided to resubmit the following article...

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The God Dilemma 2
Posted: April 19, 2016 - 10:05 am

There’s another interesting and profound aspect to God that is often overlooked.  Luke 9:51-55 illustrates an example of this forgotten side of the Lord.

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The God Dilemma
Posted: April 13, 2016 - 9:49 am

During the past few weeks there has been numerous articles appearing in various online newspapers (including Morgan Freeman’s upcoming movie documentary) pondering questions about the existence of God. Is God real? Is God a man, or is God a woman? Is God different to each individual? Or, is God just an ideal concept people grasp for when experiencing traumatic events?

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Thy Word...
Posted: April 05, 2016 - 1:17 pm

“Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.” “In the world, but not of the world.” “The Just shall live by his Faith.” “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me.” “In the world you will have tribulation, but fear not for I have overcome the world.”

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Afterthoughts
Posted: March 29, 2016 - 9:36 am

Another Resurrection Sunday has come and gone. The props from the plays have been taken down, and the children’s speeches have been filed away till next year’s presentation. But if we look with our spiritual eye we will see the message of the gospel with all its drama and passion re-played every day of the year. And each of us (both Christian and non-Christian) plays a starring role in the ongoing saga.

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A Resurrection Day Thought
Posted: March 29, 2016 - 9:14 am

I remember years ago many churches, for Good Friday Services, did mini preaching presentations on the last 7 sayings of Christ. The forth saying, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” was always explained as God turning His face from His Son because a Holy God can’t look at sin.

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Knowing God through Personal Weakness
Posted: March 15, 2016 - 10:51 am

Throughout my childhood I always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a circular mold. No matter how hard I tried to fit in – I’d always end up being the object of someone’s joke or prank. I remember one event where God turned the table on a group of pranksters.

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God Revealed Through Nature
Posted: March 08, 2016 - 9:16 am

In 2012-13 all of the weather forecasters in the Chicago area predicted that winter would be filled with dangerous blizzards and snow storms; “worse than what we’ve seen in years!” I just love it when God confounds our trust in all of our modern technology. In honor of forecasters’ predicted March 3, 2016 snow fall, I resubmit the following: 

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Knowing God Through TOTAL Surrender
Posted: March 01, 2016 - 11:43 am

The journey to knowing God is a daily surrendering of ourselves to Him. It takes almost a life time to get to that place, where we trust God with everything concerning us.

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True Perspective
Posted: February 23, 2016 - 10:01 am

Perspective is a funny thing.  There’s a tree outside my apartment window.  When I’m sitting at my desk, the tree appears to be to the right side of the window.  When I lay at the foot of my bed the tree looks like it’s in the middle of the window and its outstretched branches fill the entire window.  And when I lay at the head of my bed, the tree seems to have moved to the far left side of the window and only the ends of its outstretched branches are visible.  Curious, I decided to go outside to get a true perspective of the tree in front of my window.  Once outside I discover that the tree isn’t in front of my window, it’s to the right of the building. The tree’s outstretched branches are above the roof of the building and is not visible to me from inside my first floor apartment.  The outstretched branches that filled my window are actually from the tree that’s positioned directly behind the tree that’s to the right side of the building!  What appeared to be from 3 different views from inside my apartment was a distorted view of the actual position of the tree when seen from outside my apartment.

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A Celebration of Love
Posted: February 23, 2016 - 9:36 am

I once read an interesting article about a cancelled wedding dinner that reminded me of a parable Jesus told about a Great Supper.   The article spoke of a couple who had planned an elaborate wedding and dinner for their daughter.  Forty days before the ceremony, the wedding was called off.  The parents were upset to hear that the lavish gathering they had planned and paid for at the Villa Christian Catering Hall was not going to happen.  Then, according to the article, they had a “genius and generous idea.”  They invited 200 of the city’s homeless to enjoy the 4-course meal that would have been part of their daughter’s wedding reception; renaming it, a “Celebration of Love.”

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Ah…. Love is in the Air
Posted: February 15, 2016 - 10:12 am

Romantic love, many crave it and passionately pursue it in their relationships. But romantic love that is not an out pouring of a life that is deeply rooted in the Author of Love is nothing more than a vapor or a withered flower at the end of the day.

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The Body of Christ
Posted: February 03, 2016 - 1:55 pm

Last year I went to see the much talked about movie “Selma.”  My eyes were filled with tears as I thought about what my race had to endure to access freedoms and rights that were theirs as American born citizens.   I normally don’t watch movies like this because of the deep emotions it evokes, stirring memories of personal encounters with racism.  But a dear friend asked if I’d go with her to see the film, and I’m glad that I did.

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Like Light Through a Prism
Posted: January 28, 2016 - 1:12 pm

Whenever I see a prism I’m reminded of two things.

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Like Me!
Posted: January 28, 2016 - 12:58 pm

I seem to be stuck (or maybe mesmerized would be a better word) by the passage of scripture recorded in Hebrews 2:14-15, 17. I sense there’s something more the Lord wants me to see. At times I feel like I’m at the edge of grasping it, only to realize that I still don’t know what it is I’m trying to see! As I continued to meditate on this text I was reminded of an old movie I watched on TV many years ago. It didn’t seem important then, and I wasn’t sure if it was a true story or not, but it intrigued me now as it related to the human perspective of what I was trying to understand from Hebrews. My google search led me to the film in question. And yes, it was a true story.

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God’s Dwelling Place
Posted: January 14, 2016 - 9:21 am

My personal devotions last week led me to the book of Nehemiah.  To those who maybe unfamiliar with this section of the Bible, Nehemiah records the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by the Jews who survived the captivity.  The book begins with Nehemiah’s grief for the condition of his people and the ruins of his community.  After praying a prayer of repentance to God for the sins of himself and his people, he requests permission from King Artaxerxes to return to Judah to lead in the work of rebuilding the wall.  When the work was completed a revival took place and the people reaffirm their commitment to God, and to each other.

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God is with us
Posted: January 06, 2016 - 12:36 pm

Sometimes the only way we know God is with us is when we find ourselves walking in the shoes of those who’ve gone before us.

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A New ______
Posted: December 29, 2015 - 1:15 pm

“New” is defined as fresh, recent, and newly made.  As we approach a new year I’d like to think of new as “fresh”

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Christmas Thoughts from Readers
Posted: December 29, 2015 - 12:51 pm

The following was submitted by one of our readers. 

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Christmas Thoughts from Readers
Posted: December 22, 2015 - 8:56 am

The following was submitted by one of our readers. 

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Christmas Memories (from our readers)
Posted: December 15, 2015 - 9:11 am

Last year I asked readers to share their memories of Christmas. I’d like to re-share their stories as we begin the Holiday Season. If there are others who would like to share their memories of Christmas with our readers, you may submit them to the address listed below.

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Immersed In His Love
Posted: December 11, 2015 - 9:39 am

As I sit here pondering what God would have me write this week I’m reminded of the various pastors/leaders I’ve served under.  Sometimes well intentioned leaders make loving and serving the Lord so hard.  Every year the congregation was bombarded with numerous books to study that teach different methods and strategies for engaging the church in ministry.  A majority of the materials brought out good points, especially those that focused on the life and ministry of Jesus, the apostles, and the early church.  After each study we increased in busyness, but remained unproductive, unfruitful, tired and burned out.

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Emmanuel: God with us
Updated: December 03, 2015 - 10:22 am

Emmanuel, one of many names ascribed to Jesus, was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah centuries before He came, meaning “God with us.” (pleaseeeeeeee read!: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25) He identified with us when He became like us in birth and grew up among us. He experienced our life, with all of its drama, overcoming every situation without sin by living in relationship with His Father.

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Don’t be a Castaway!
Posted: November 24, 2015 - 1:05 pm

When I was in training for ministry, my trainer-mentor was a hard person to understand. She would encourage me, and give me opportunities to practice what I had been taught; but, when the outcome of my assignments proved successful, in the midst of praise and approval from others, she’d come up to me with a plain look on her face and say, “Don’t be a castaway!”

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This Little Light of Mine
Posted: November 24, 2015 - 12:58 pm

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”

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God & the Least of Men
Posted: November 24, 2015 - 12:49 pm

The day had finally come. Crowds of people were gathered at the outer gate of the kingdom anticipating the arrival of the king. A flurry of questions filled the air, “When will the King arrive?” “How do I look?” “Am I presentable?” “Do you think He’ll be pleased with our service?” 

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Kingdom Amenities
Posted: November 05, 2015 - 9:25 am

One of many benefits that a citizen of the Kingdom of God enjoys is the ongoing protection from spiritual predators.  Christians aren’t perfect sin-free people, they’re imperfect forgiven people.  We struggle with temptation, and at times we fail miserably.  But because of our relationship with Christ, we experience forgiveness and victory over our weaknesses (sin) when we come to Him with a repentant heart.  Below is a short devotional that illustrates this truth.

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Knowing God through Time Management
Posted: October 29, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Do you ever feel like you never have enough time to do all the things that need to be done? Have you ever wished you had more time? What a blessing to know that God is wiser than we are. If He gave us an additional hour or two more a day we’d kill ourselves trying to cram into it more things to do.

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A Still Small Voice
Posted: October 19, 2015 - 3:06 pm

When experiencing unforeseen circumstances in life we often seek advice from our pastor or close friends.  We strain to hear God’s voice of direction through a sermon, or a song.  We’ll pull out our Topical Bible looking for passages that mirror our situation to explain or make sense out of what we’re going through.  And many times God will speak to us through others and through specific examples from the Bible.  But there are also times when God will speak through the still quiet moments of a seemingly mundane task.

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God Revealed
Posted: October 06, 2015 - 9:23 am

Ever wondered about some of the puzzling statements Jesus said?  

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A Celebration of Love
Posted: September 25, 2015 - 2:12 pm

I’m reminded of an interesting article I had read about a cancelled wedding dinner that made me think about the parable Jesus told of a Great Supper.   The article spoke of a couple who had planned an elaborate wedding and dinner for their daughter.  Forty days before the ceremony, the wedding was called off.  The parents were upset to hear that the lavish gathering they had planned and paid for at the Villa Christian catering hall was not going to happen.  Then, according to the article, they had a “genius and generous idea.”  They invited 200 of the city’s homeless to enjoy the 4-course meal that would have been part of their daughter’s wedding reception; renaming it, a “Celebration of Love.”

Comments (0)

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