"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

January 9, 2013


"No amount of darkness can overcome the light, but the smallest light can break through the darkness."

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

I recently read those two statements posted on Facebook by two different people. It made me start thinking about the power of light.

Do you realize that in Genesis chapter 1 the Bible begins by speaking of light? Verses 2-5 says, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night'."

On that first day, light was the second thing God spoke into existence, after creating the heavens and the earth. Then on the fourth day of creation, He made the sun, moon, and stars in order to give even more light to the earth. The existence of light was important to God.

With light being so significant that God created it on both the first and fourth days of creation, is it any wonder that He referred to Himself as the "light of the world"? Just as He created light to break through the darkness of the earth, He sent His Son as the light to break through the spiritual darkness in the heart of all mankind.

In John 8:12 Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Sin can be the equivalency of the darkness. It is evil and prevalent in the heart of people. But Jesus entered the world as the Light in order to illuminate the darkness and bring hope.

Long ago I read that in those areas, such as northern Alaska, that have very little, if any, daylight during the long winter, that many people who live there often suffer from acute depression. Some areas have winter days as short as 5-6 hours, while the extreme north have days with absolutely no light. I cannot imagine a place where there is 24 hours of darkness, day after day.

I have noticed that people are often in better moods and happier when it is sunny outside. People seem to get snippier and more short-tempered when it's dark and cloudy out; especially if it's been like that for several days in a row. When individuals can get outside and walk and enjoy the sunshine, or picnic, or do yard work, or sit and read a book, or play or whatever -- they feel more energized and happy. Most want to just stay inside and hibernate when it's dreary outside, but as soon as the sun comes out they feel like getting out and doing things.

People who live in spiritual darkness are the same way. When you live with no hope for the future, struggling to get by on your own, trying to rationalize your sins and guilt on your own, trying to get through each day by yourself, and not having the peace of having your sins forgiven, you are going to feel depressed and stressed and despondent. The darkness of sin presses down around you and makes you feel as if life is hopeless.

But when we allow the light of the world, Jesus, to penetrate the darkness of sin and bring the light of life into our hearts, then we will have hope and joy and peace. We will feel more energized and happy.

Just as Jesus came to be the light of the world, when we accept Him as our Savior, we are called to become lights.

Matthew 5:14-16 says, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

When Jon and I got married, we started using nightlights because it was a new house to me and that way if I had to get up during the night I could find my way around. Over seven years later, we still have a nightlight in our bathroom and one at the end of our stairway. Most nights I don't even notice them anymore. I've grown accustomed to them, and even though I know the nightlights are on, I no longer think about them. But if the power happens to go out during the night, and the house is in sudden darkness, it will immediately wake me up. Even though the nightlights are dim, when they go off and the house is in total darkness, it makes a huge difference.

We are called to let our light shine so that God will be glorified. Sometimes we may feel like our light is dim and we're really not accomplishing much or not doing as much as others. We may feel as if our dim little light is not making much of a difference with there being so much sin and darkness around us. But we do make a difference and our lights do count. If they were to go out altogether, then the darkness would be even greater and more noticeable.

A few years ago, a big ice storm hit Oklahoma and we lost power for a few days. It was inconvenient to not have electricity, but we did have candles and were thankful for them. They may not have illuminated the darkness as well as electric lights, but we could see fairly well and were not in total darkness.

The first quote I wrote ended with "the smallest light can break through the darkness". It's not a contest on who has the brightest light or the most powerful light or influences the most people with their light; but it's each of us letting our own light, however small it may be, to break through the darkness and shine before men, that others may be pointed towards Jesus and see Him in our lives.


If you touch a lit candle to an unlit candle (assuming you are reasonably careful about it), the unlit candle will be lit. And then you will get twice as much light.


Pinto Beans

2 cups Pinto Beans

Salt, to taste

Ham, Bacon, or 1 Tbsp. Bacon Grease or Oil

Rinse and sort beans into a large pot. Add 8 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the water and rinse the beans. Add 6-8 cups of water to beans; add the salt and ham, bacon, or grease/oil. Simmer about 2 hours until beans are done and juice it thickened.

Golden Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal

4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup flour

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar (optional)

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup oil

Stir dry ingredients together; add egg, milk, and oil. Mix until smooth. Bake in greased 8-inch pan or in cast iron skillet if you like crusty bread. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.


This is a favorite picture of ours that Jon took when we were in Celle, Germany. The last weekend we were there, we rode the train and visited a couple of castles. We got back after dark and had to walk quite a ways from the train station to our hotel. When we entered the old town center, the church tower stood out against the dark sky, with just this one star shining beside it.


Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Watch your words, for they become actions.

Watch your actions, for they become habits.

Watch your habits, for they become character.

Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. (author unknown)


We love you!

Loretta & Jon