Tag Archives: good



By Carolyn Dale Newell

Iva and I enjoyed three days in Gatlinburg alone. Why is this a big deal? It is the first time in my entire life I vacationed by myself. Last year, I made a few trips without my husband, but someone was always just in another room. My new independence feels unreal especially since we have only been together for less than a year.

In March, we spent a weekend learning routes to the Gatlinburg Convention Center, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. After another trip in May, I felt confident we could tackle this solo trip in August.

Being alone in a hotel room requires sticky dots on the microwave and AC unit to make them accessible for the blind.

People ask me how Iva knows where to go in a busy vacation area. We teach her to target certain places, and she remembers. The hard part is I have to keep a mental map of our surroundings.

We train Iva with a clicker, plus a treat and praise. This makes a spot memorable for her at the convention center, she took a right off the sidewalk. Next came the steps and then the door.

Navigating inside the convention center was challenging. A long corridor with many doors provides many opportunities to make the wrong choice. I cannot depend on sight to choose the correct door. The hum of escalators and drink machines whisper to me, “turn here”. Of course, Iva knows her turn, but I need to recognize them too.

Once we enter the exhibit hall, Iva learned one way to the auditorium. Then Iva targeted my seat with a luggage tag hanging on it, out of the four thousand possible seats.

We teach Iva to target the door at businesses using the same technique. A sighted person must work with me to ensure we are at the correct place during Iva’s training. Iva mastered six businesses and several crosswalks and curbs.

The first time we stayed at this hotel, I knew it was a lovely place for a writing retreat. The beautiful Smokey Mountains towered over our balcony as I pounded out words on my laptop. Iva made this writing holiday possible. God has blessed me with the wonderful gift of Iva. The freedom to walk the crowded sidewalks and go places with no one except Iva is exhilarating.

Of course, everybody loves Iva. Not one day passed without people inquiring about her. Many people offered assistance to us. Waitresses, store clerks, and hotel staff went above and beyond their normal duties.

A guide dog can be a handful. Juggling water bottles, collapsible bowls, and my Starbucks treat. People offered a helping hand when I gave Iva water. One man passed us, and I heard his prayer, “Be healed in the name of Jesus.” Only in Tennessee.

In a world filled with evil, good people still exist. As a disabled person, I could have been a target for the criminal element, but God did not allow that. Some people behave rudely, but good-hearted folks outweigh them.

If we listen to our TV’s and radios, they never cover the story about the nameless faces who stop and love their neighbor. How can we offer a moment of kindness to someone today?

They Meant Evil, God Meant Good


By Carolyn Dale Newell

 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Gen. 50:20 (NKJV)

Joseph was a godly person who was always plotted against. He experienced much evil, but he looked past it to see God’s hand at work.

First, Joseph was hated by his own brothers. They abandoned a plan to kill him when they sold him into slavery. Joseph was purchased by Potiphar in Egypt. God was with Joseph, causing everything he did to prosper. Therefore, Potiphar made Joseph overseer (Gen. 39:1-6).

That was not the end of Joseph’s troubles.  Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him; But Joseph honored God and fled. Her false accusation of rape sent Joseph to prison.

Joseph held an administrative position while imprisoned. He also interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Upon his release, the butler did not mention Joseph as promised. Two years passed before the butler told anyone about Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams.

Pharaoh had experienced dreams that no one could interpret. Joseph was brought from prison and through God’s wisdom; he gave Pharaoh the warning concerning the upcoming famine which was pictured in his dreams. Joseph also gave Pharaoh a plan to collect food during the years prior to the famine. Pleased with Joseph’s discernment, Pharaoh made him second in command over Egypt.

Joseph realized that if he had not been sold into slavery, falsely accused, and imprisoned, he would not have been able to spare the lives of many people, including his own family. Thirteen years of evil and betrayal, though not condoned by God, were weaved into God’s plan for Joseph.

God can use our bad circumstances by over-ruling them through His providence to bring about good (Rom. 8:28). Friend, take comfort in God’s providence. What others meant for evil, God meant for good.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Joseph and this reminder that You are working through Your providence to bring about good from the evil that others inflict. Amen.


Read Gen. 50:15-22.


Can you recall a time when God providentially worked something out in your life? Give Him thanks.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.