Where will We be When it's all Over
By Billie Marie Zal
     I saw the sweetest movie last night and I don’t even know the name of it. I couldn’t sleep and as I tried to find something decent to watch I was shocked (though I shouldn’t have been) to see that most of the TV commercials have sold out to the god of sex.
     For the life of me, I can’t see how a CAR could be called “sexy.” I don’t even know what they mean by calling a car sexy unless they have a perverted notion of what sex is. We have taken the idols of ungodliness and embraced them, and yes - the Church which is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ has embraced these idols in “Christian broadcasting.”
     As far as religious broadcasting goes, it is just that: and religion is not evidence that we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is all in all, and if we have never been transformed by His indwelling Holy Spirit, all of the religion in the world will never save us, and win our Heavenly Father’s favor.
     But back to my discussion of the TV ads which, by the way, now take up at least half of every segment of programming. Once in a while, however, we do find something worth watching. Last night I couldn’t sleep and I used the remote to try to find SOMETHING that was decent. And I found a really good movie.
     The movie that I was watching was so inspiring that I lay awake long after it was over and thought through on the theme. The story revolved around a young girl of twelve who lived in a small town during World War II. Her innocence caused me to ponder on the difference between her and a twelve year old girl in today’s society.
     Her mother had died, and she and a little boy cousin who had been orphaned were supervised by their black friend who had been with them since birth. The real object of this movie was to present the confusion of a young girl who is entering her teens. She adored her older brother, a soldier who came home to get married, and she tried to be a part of that bond between her brother and his sweetheart. I felt myself remembering my own confusion, and how I wanted so much to be a “part of the whole.” No matter how rebellious a teen might act, beneath all of the veneer is a frightened soul.
     The movie ended finally with the little girl trying to run away when her brother left with his bride, and took no note of her desperate pleas for his attention. Of course she had nowhere to go, and finally as she sat in a saloon with her suitcase, her daddy found her (the police had called him to come and get her, they knew she needed her daddy).
     When he arrived, she was looking out of the window and there he stood in pouring rain, a look of pure love and acceptance on his face. I don’t know why, but I began to cry. I was remembering, perhaps, the many times that I wanted to run away even though I was blessed to have attended the same school during all twelve years. I had so many friends, but I felt as this little girl felt - I could never be part of a whole. We are all alone if we face this reality. That is the way life is.
     When my sister left home at a very early age, I faced a real emotional upheaval. Even though she was three years older than I was, at least she was HOME. And we were sisters. She taught me without realizing it how to play, how to dress, how to do the things big sisters do and little sisters copy.
     But once she was gone, I was alone and not a part of anything anymore. I was devastated and of course by now I had begun to date. Because I was so lonely, I had a “steady boy friend” whose dad had already given him a car, and every Friday and Saturday night, I knew I had something to look forward to. We went to movies, ate south Arkansas “Barbecue” sandwiches, and I felt safe and happy.
     Then my boy friend issued the ultimatum. Either I have sex with him or else.
     I chose the “Or Else” and now I was truly alone. I had all kinds of boy friends, we had all grown up together; but this was another reality I must face: either I give up my own morality or I am abandoned. So I was abandoned.
     But thankfully I survived, and went on to enjoy the life which God had given me. The world was a huge question mark in my mind. And I knew there was something more. Surely there was someone, somewhere with whom I could bond and belong “forever and ever.”
     Humans, being what we are, this never really worked. My mama who expected great things of me, was angry because I said all that I ever wanted was to get married, have a child, and “live happily ever after.” God had His hand on me, even then, and I had no great ambitions.
     I believe the scene in the movie where the little girl’s daddy came to her with open arms is the answer to the need of all of our hearts. And no one, not even our earthly, fathers, can give us that “eternal security” which the human heart so longs for.
     As for me, I longed for that eternal security from infancy. It was my task every day to take my daddy his lunch to the oil refinery across an open field. It did not matter that the blistering sand burned my feet, the joy of seeing him was worth it.
     It was one of my golden moments, knowing I would be permitted to climb the stairs of the “gasoline loading truck” where my daddy handled the task of getting the gas into the huge railroad cars. When I got to the top of the stairs, there he stood, heat waves shimmering around the blistering metal railroad car. He knew how much I adored him, and he would always reach out his arms to me and hug me.
     But one day, as I ran barefoot across that field, I heard a voice ask me, “Where will you be one hundred years from now?” I don’t know if it was an audible voice or not; I only know that it happened and these many years later, I can remember how I felt.
     An emotion of sheer panic gripped my heart. I would run back to our “company house” and ask Mama what it meant - where would I be in one hundred years. She would know, she knew everything.
     Mama was at the kitchen sink. I called out to her, “Mama tell me - where will I be in one hundred years?” She turned to me, wiped her hands on her apron and stood for a moment before she replied: “Billie Marie, I have no idea where you will be one hundred years from now.” Then she said, “you’d better get that lunch to your daddy.”
     I was emotionally exhausted. It was the first time I knew that Life was not “forever.” From that day on I treasured each hour, and life itself in every creature became so precious to me. I began to drag in half dead cats, dogs, anything that needed attention, and asked mama to “fix them up.” Life was a gift and if I had a chance to save one, I would do it.
     I have always lived, from that day until today, as though each moment counts. I won’t waste the life that is mine, and on that frigid, snowy night when I walked into Moody Bible Church and met the living God, I knew then where “I would be one hundred years from now.” I would be alive, and well, and a part of God, my Father’s great loving family. It was real. Life CAN last forever.
     When I was living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, so many years ago, I was ironing in the kitchen with all of my windows open. Although it was early February, Spring had made her appearance and the scent of Azaleas, Tung Nut Tree blossoms, great purple clusters of Wisteria blooms, and all of the Spring flowers filled my kitchen with Nature’s own Potpori. I was thinking of the wonders of our God and suddenly I heard the verse, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life. . .” I looked it up in my Bible and it is found in I John, 5:13. The Apostle John was telling me that I would not receive eternal life at a later date - when I died a physical death. I ALREADY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
     It was a moment of revelation which gave me my answer to the question God asked of me on the blistering, summer day as I ran to take my daddy his lunch. I would be with my Father in heaven forever. By faith, I was already there, and as Jesus told us, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. . .” (John 11:26).
     The truth has held me fast to the path which God has had me walk throughout my earthly life. No one else ever took my place and paid for my sins, and pardoned me except Jesus Christ. No on else ever made me clean and able to obey His Word which gives us that sense of “everything is going to be all right.” No one else loved me as the Son of God loves me, giving up His own life and shedding His precious blood, that I might be saved from the penalty, guilt, and power of sin. “Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
     In an age where everything is literally falling apart - where people are lost in a sea of uncertainty, of technology, of bewildering circumstances which threatens our existence and our world, we need this “knowing.” Knowing who we are, and why we are here, and that God has a plan for every one of us who want to know that plan.
     We are beset daily with temptations, with filth, with the threat that life as we know it can come to an end at any moment. And the ONLY hope we can have is “that blessed hope” which saves us from the fears that could destroy us.
     Sharing this story is my way of assuring you that there is a “forever and ever” for us if we seek God with all of our hearts, and make that step into the reality of His eternity. I know now that it was unusual for a child of five to be given a revelation from God that Life counts. And He will certainly lead us to the assurance that if we are His, then we already have eternal life.
     {From the November, 2000 Wingspread}

Click picture to ZOOMA letter from Billie published by The Angolite in 1999:

September 25, 1999

The Angolite
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712

Re: An open-letter regarding the Death Penalty.

I am a bit puzzled by the prevailing cry of “an eye for an eye.” It’s the only answer we get. But does anyone out there ever stop and think about the rest of the Law, given to the nation Israel by Moses, through the very Word of God?

For example, in the same content of Law, we are commanded “not to oppress an hired servant who is poor and needy, whether it be of thy brethren or of they sojourners who are in they land within thy gates.” We all know the history of the “South,” and it’s attitude toward minorities. Right?

We also read, “if brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside the family unto a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go into her, and take her to him as his wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother to her.” We can imagine the result of the good Bible thumping Christians obeying THAT law. On the other hand, the welfare system would not have any takers; families would take care of each other.

Now come the really BIG admonitions, based on God’s knowledge of human nature, and what sin is. First, we are told that if a man curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; also, concerning incest (which is prevalent in all of our society today, even religious society), we are told that the death sentence is to be imposed on any man who “lies with his father’s wife,” or if he lies with his daughter-in-law, both shall be put to death. Incest, then, has to be “out” if we are going to set ourselves up as judges and point to that one law, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” as our basis for killing a man by execution.

Then things get heavier. The Law of God says that “if a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Next, the matter of a man taking his wife AND her mother - we are told it is wickedness and they are to be burned with fire, both he and they. So incest should be “out.” But we all know it’s here. Then in the Law we are admonished “not to put our money out to usury,” or charge our brother interest on a loan. Banks would go broke. We can’t take that seriously, now can we?

We have the Law concerning food intake, too. We are not to eat anything with blood in it. So that’s out, right? But of course McDonalds and all the fast food biggies would go broke. Also, those fancy

restaurants famous for their prime rib, steaks, etc., would go out of business. So let’s ignore that one.

There are of course other smaller matters to be dealt with and this includes putting a man to death if he steals a man and uses him as a slave or sells him. What would the South do if we took that one seriously? Southerners bought and sold Africans and thought nothing about it. Right?

In addition, we can’t seek out psychics, or “suffer a witch to live.” The population could be greatly diminished if we obeyed that one.

So where do we stand? Well, we all stand before God almighty and we answer to Him. We have obviously seen that if we obey the aforementioned laws of God, much of our society would be wiped out - kids who rebel, gang members, “alternative lifestyle advocates,” abortionists, murderers, thieves, adulterers, hypocrites (this was mentioned, too, if you want to look it up).

It’s a good thing God gave us Jesus Christ. He took the place of each of us and bought us back, if we want to choose to believe it. We are equally guilty before Him with the murdered, and all the others mentioned above. We haven’t a chance to make it, apart from His enabling power.

Its time people stop and take a good look at what capital punishment involves. . . How it is an insult to the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. And then, maybe - just maybe - the atrocity against HIM will be stopped. Does anyone out there really care what God says?


Billie Marie Zal

Society proceeds sovereignty to eliminate the evil ones from her midst as if she were virtue itself. Like an honorable man killing his wayward son and remarking: “Really, I didn’t know what to do with him” . . . To assert, in any case, that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no one in his right mind will believe that today. GREGG VS. GEORGIA, 428 U.S. 153 (1976)

News Notes Vol XXXIX NO VI
Memorial Day - Gail took the most beautiful pink lilies to Billie’s grave. Margaret and I are taking some wild flowers and a little angel statute that a friend gave us. With regard to this holiday, I think Ms. Scott summed it up best by simply saying that of course we’re thankful for the people who lost their lives fighting for this Country; “but every day should be Memorial Day because of what Christ did for us.” We should be thankful to our Veterans and we should be especially thankful to Christ, and we should remember EVERY day, not just at family picnics in May.
     Brian & Gail - A lot has been done on the house. New carpet was put in the other day, all the painting (and most of the cleaning) is finished; Brian is opening old windows that haven’t been opened in thirty plus years and basically remodeling the basement. Everything is looking really good. They’ve been busier than usual because of all this, but we are hoping that they will be moved in by the end of June.
     Ed & Shirley - Pray for Shirley. She has knee problems and will get an MRI later this week. We don’t know if ligaments are torn, or what, but the doctor did mention a “spur.” Pray that Shirley doesn’t have to have surgery and that whatever the condition is, that it will improve with therapy. I know a person can be miserable having to “stay put,” but Shirley has to stay off of her leg as much as possible until we find out what’s going on; and for Shirley this is hard. No news is good news, so unless you all get a “general letter” from me, or read it in the next Wingspread, then you’ll know that the report from the specialist was good.
     Jay - Jay asked me to thank all of you who sent wishes on his birthday - his 50th. I don’t think he ever received so many cards and notes. I assure you, he appreciated each one, and I appreciate you all for remembering him.
     Our Animals - The dogs are all well. Hugo, though, has all but lost his sight. His weight has stabilized and his sugar level is under control, and he seems happy. It’s sad that he can’t run and play anymore but he sure hasn’t indicated that he’s ready to leave us yet………Margaret and I have seen a road-runner twice now in our driveway. The last time Bruno was all set to make the kill and Margaret rescued the road-runner. Birds, raccoons, woodchucks, possums, and squirrels are EVERY WHERE. We am thankful and can report that all the animals are happy and well.
     Margaret & Myself - It’s pretty much the same ole same ole, which is good. We’re putting up a new privacy fence out in our yard near the bluffs (more about that next month), my tomatoes are flourishing, grass and flowers are growing, and we’re keeping busy with the mail. We take more time to study the Bible and we hope to have more time to spend with each of you now. Life is good. We are blessed.

Click picture to ZOOM
May 29, 2005 - We wanted to share with you how beautiful Billie’s Monument looked

Click picture to ZOOM
This is Maggie (we think related to Bruno) who lives with Brian & Gail

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