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Saturday, September 21, 2019

SEASONS

My sweet niece sent me this song last week when I wrote about seasons-





Thursday, September 19, 2019

TRANSPARENCY

It never ceases to amaze me how I can read one sentence, one word, see one sight, or hear one thought and my mind is off racing.  I am reading another historical fiction --based upon real events. The author embellishes fact with a free hand of dialogue and interpretations.  Without revealing what I am reading, here is the quote that began the wheels turning~

"If transparency is a sign of true love"

There was more to the sentence, but this one phrase caught my eye and challenged my ideas.


One must begin the process by deciding exactly what is transparency.  We need to go back to the root word- transparent and explore.   Mr. Webster tells us this~

Definition of transparent

1a(1)having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly PELLUCID
(2)allowing the passage of a specified form of radiation (such as X-rays or ultraviolet light)
bfine or sheer enough to be seen through DIAPHANOUS
2afree from pretense or deceit FRANK
beasily detected or seen through OBVIOUS
creadily understood
dcharacterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices

As you would expect I am writing today on the second definition.  I have certainly been very forth coming on this blog, but there is a part of me that I have not revealed.  For many reasons, there are deeply hidden secrets, I have not revealed to anyone.  I would dare to say most of us have secrets we are not ready to share.  Why?  Why would there be anything about ourselves that we would not share with anyone?  Fear drives us from sharing these deep secrets.

We fear we will not be liked, we might shock someone, the world will turn away and reject us, and on and on.  We have talked before about the power of secrets in our lives.  There is no denying the hold they can have over us.  The question becomes, if we love someone deeply enough--completely enough--are we transparent?  Do we reveal all?  Is there anyone who knows it all about you?  I can only answer for myself, but for me--No--there has never been anyone who has known it all.  My insecurities drive my lack of trust in revealing it all.  It has not gone well, in the past, when I have opened up Pandora's Box of secrets and revealed parts of the inner most me.  Past experience drives today's tightly held truths from being brought out in the open.  Man and his feet of clay create a deep distrust of our fellow man.  We don't trust him to keep our secrets, to not judge us when we reveal our secrets, and to not turn from us when he knows the truth about us.  Fear of being ostracized is a powerful force and can shape who we are and how we act, without us even realizing it.  We need relationships.

BUT GOD, we forget or ignore the fact that God knows it all.  NOTHING is hidden from Him.  AND YET, He still loves us, He is faithful to us, He not only does not reject us, but embraces us.  But God--we are transparent in His sight and He really understands us, and there is no deceit or pretense with Him---AND HE STILL LOVES US!  So thankful!

God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.
Psalm 44:21

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

BEGGARS



One of my favorite things to do while hiking is hike all the way to the top of a ridge or pass and sit down to have lunch while enjoying the beautiful view.  Almost every place we have ever hiked, these little nuisances on my friend's foot show up for lunch as soon as we take the food out of the back pack.  NOW--before all you animal lovers get up in arms---bear with me while I tell my tale.


OH, YES, He's cute, but they do not know the meaning of scram and you cannot eat your own lunch for them begging for food.  It is a BIG NO NO to feed the wild animals, but they sit there on their haunches and make these squeaky little sounds and before you know it someone has fallen for their act and given them a morsel of food.  "GAME ON", says Mr. Chipmunk.  If the picture had been taken with a real camera instead of a cell phone, you could see that his cheeks are stuffed to the brim.  He quickly takes a bite, stuffs it in the side of his cheek, and is back begging for more.  They are professional beggars.  It is NEVER enough--for you see at some point he scampers off to put the banquet in his den.  He is using you to supply his winter provision stash.  The little beggar is not going to work, he has learned to just wait for a hand out.  There are usually plenty of hikers on the trail and he has come to rely upon handouts instead of scrounging for his own self.


And then there he stands in the middle of the group, waiting for anyone to supply his needs.  He will not go away (well unless you threaten him with a hiking pole like I am prone to do) until you pack up and walk away.  He might even try to follow you down the trail, unless he sees another unsuspecting hiker headed his way.

Here is something we all need to keep in mind---HE IS A RODENT!  That would be part of the rat family!  If a rat came up to you and begged, he would be pummeled with rocks, but this little fellow has the advantage of being cute.  He is still a rat and a beggar.  He has come to rely upon handouts from the Big Hiker coming up the trail.  He has lost the incentive to work, and might even lose the ability to provide for himself if enough is handed to him.  We all enjoy the chippies on the trail, but the chippies are not helped by our handouts.  Instead they become dependent upon man, who will soon disappear with the change in the season to winter.  We enjoyed his antics, but he also bit the hand that was handing him the food.  OH--NOT TO FEAR---skin was not broken, but they can carry disease and it is not a good idea to have one bite you.  Serious consequences can come from a bite riddled with germs and possible disease.

I was reminded of God's own chosen people wandering in the desert waiting everyday for God to give them a handout.  AND THEY COMPLAINED about what He was providing.  Same thing day in and day out--only manna, God!  So God then provides them with meat.  The only stipulation is only gather enough for the day and two days when it is the Sabbath.  But were they happy, satisfied, content?  OH NO!  Gripe-Gripe-Gripe.  40 years of griping!   WHEW!  God is definitely a patient God--who could stand 40 years of day in day out griping ?  ONLY GOD!  

Here we are all these years later and are we content with where we are, what we have, with an abundant life?  I'll let you answer that question.  Are we content and joyful in all circumstances or are we like the little beggar and always coming back to the table for more.  Is it ever enough?  Food for thought---pun intended.

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13

Monday, September 16, 2019

WINTER IS COMING

 I have been off on another adventure in the beautiful mountains of Oregon.  The change of season is beginning to appear high up in the mountains.  With low temperatures in the 40's and high 30's, there is definitely a sign of fall in the air.  Winter will quickly show its face-especially high up on the mountain.  Snow fell one of the nights we were there on the top of Mount Hood.  A few of the trees had begun to show their vivid fall colors, but the slopes were still green as you can see in the picture above.  The last of the wildflowers gave a beautiful contrast to the verdant green of the grass carpeting the mountainside in the tree line.

We become so accustomed to a long summer and a fall in the deep South that we only experience a couple of months of moderate winter.  We experience season change, but nothing like our friends in the upper latitudes and higher altitudes do.   Winter is surely coming, for all of us, but winter can look very different depending upon where you are.



These beautiful wildflowers will continue to show their color until the first deep frost of the season.  When winter finally comes, the color will disappear, but until then the hardiest flowers continue to bloom and paint the mountainside with glorious color for all to enjoy.  Winter is coming, but summer and fall fight to hold their grip until winter finally wins the battle for dominance until Spring.  The Mountain Ash berries will make a beautiful backdrop when those first snowflakes begin to fall, but they too will soon disappear as winter comes to stay.


As I hiked those mountain trails, I thought how similar to our lives this changing of seasons is.  Winter will come for all of us at some point, but we cling to fall as long as we possibly can.  Fall and winter are not always completely devoid of fruit and flower in our lives.  Many are able to continue to bloom and show their colors even in the midst of the winter of their lives.  Even in the deepest and most barren of winters, there is often great beauty to be found.  Often we see brightly colored berries from holly bushes in the deepest winter and birds of all colors can grace the most barren of scenery.  Winter is coming, but winter does not always mean complete dormancy.  Often winter can be the most beautiful of all the seasons.  It is all in how you look at what surrounds you and how you meet the day.  Come on winter---we are ready!



16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
II Corinthians 4:16

Sunday, September 15, 2019

BLESS HIM

BE CERTAIN

YOU LISTEN

TO THE FINAL

WORDS OF CHARLES WESLEY

"JESUS, MY ONLY STRENGTH
THOU ART"




SABBATH BLESSINGS,

DEAR FRIENDS!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

GOOD AND GRACIOUS

BY YOUR LOVE

I AM ACCEPTED

YOU'RE A GOOD

AND GRACIOUS KING





SABBATH BLESSINGS,

DEAR FRIENDS