Tuesday, May 31, 2016

INVISIBLE

I finally discovered my SUPER power---I am invisible!  I was not born with this super power--it is a "Johnny Come Lately" coinciding with my move.  Being in the Big City has helped develop this power.  




I am able to walk into any store and others look straight through me--or around me--or totally ignore me.  Why this could not possibly happen--unless I was invisible.

I stumble into a room where a group of people are sitting or milling around and no one looks my way.  I must be invisible since not one word is uttered to me.  The anti-dote for my invisibility is speaking a word.  If I say "Hello" the power disappears and I become visible--since most of the time I am answered.  It is truly amazing--walk in the room--invisible---say not a word--invisible---speak--and presto---I am visible.

The same thing happens even at church---walk into a room filled with a thousand or more people---sit in a seat in the middle of a row--with people all around me---I am INVISIBLE--no one says a word.  IF there is a greeting time, I am momentarily visible---I say something--but quickly become invisible again.  






I live in the midst of hundred of thousands of people--seven million if you included the entire two city --mid-city area and I can become invisible for days at a time.  It is amazing!

This has caused me to pause and think---how many more out there also share this super power?  How many more are walking around with no one seeing them--totally invisible?  It is quite amazing!

But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
I Corinthians 2:9

Monday, May 30, 2016

THINKING OF DADDY

Today is Memorial Day---and I honor and pray for those MANY Men & Women who are bravely defending our country and what we think is our God given right to live in freedom.  NO---read your Old Testament---there is NO promise for freedom.  We live in freedom because of the sacrifice of SO many now and in the past.





My Grandmother Gillespie told me before she left us--that Daddy's letters during World War II were filled with details of the shell attacks in the European Theater.  He described to her the sound of the shells as they closed in on their targets---and I am sure the fear that most have swept over you as you waited for the BOOM.  If you heard the boom---you had been spared--if you did not hear the boom----


I have thought of Daddy on and off all day and how this must have impacted who he was for the remainder of his life.  We call it PTSD today----they called it Shell Shock at its worst in those days.  I wonder what impact that had on Daddy and the choices he made for the reminder of his short life.  Did he drink to drown out those memories?  Was his depression caused by all he witnessed?  I will never know---but this I do know---I am proud of Daddy for serving and defending our great country.  His service in the European Theater during World War II are a source of great pride for me.  I still have a couple of the letters he send Momma during this time and their sweet love story warms my heart.


THANK YOU Veterans---I am glad I still speak English---and live in a land full of choices.  I hope to honor you by always speaking highly of you---with words filled with pride--for your faithful defense of the freedom we all enjoy.


We remember your Fallen Comrades Today---and you as well for your love for our country and courageous defense of the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

HOPE SEEMS TO

SPRING 

ETERNAL

HERE IN THE HOOD

STILL LIVING LIFE LARGE

HERE IN THE HOOD

Friday, May 27, 2016

GIVE ME YOUR EYES

FINISHING UP ANOTHER

YEAR TUTORING

AT THE

HOMELESS SHELTER

I SAY THIS

THESE CHILDREN

AS EXACTLY LIKE ANY OTHER CHILD

ONLY THEY DO NOT HAVE A HOME


THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN YOU OR ME


SOMEONE'S FATHER OR GRANDFATHER


WHO LOVE THEIR FAMILIES


AND THEIR PETS


AND LOVE TO LAUGH


WITH A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS

WE ARE NOT CALLED TO JUDGE OR QUESTION
WE ARE CALLED TO HELP

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
Proverbs 19:17

Thursday, May 26, 2016

LEFT BEHIND

I have a closet filled with family portraits.  The family no longer looks like this---those pictures are from the past.  What does God intend for me to do with my past?  It all happened--it is a part of who I am, but trying to decide what I should do with those portraits or any other remnant-physical or not-is a tough 

question.




LEARN FROM IT-All things can work for good for those that love The Lord.  Allow Him to use our past to teach us, admonish us, correct us, remind us of Who He is. What is that old saying, "Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me."  Learn from your experiences.  I have learned I will survive the unsurvivable--because He stands with me. Death is a part of life---we will loose those we love dearly.  We will survive.  God is teaching us in every difficult circumstance---He will stand by our side and help us survive. The true identity of God begins to dawn on us when we suffer.   The good---shows us the undeserved blessings which are heaped upon us --and gives us hope for more to come.   Life is filled with lessons as we walk the path---learn from each and every day and carry the truth you learn into tomorrow.

MAKE PEACE WITH IT- One of the most important lessons from my past few years has been not to allow what has happened to control me by wasting energy on the "What if's".  What has happened in our past has happened.  There is not one thing we can do to change what has already occurred.  Accept what has happened and do not dwell on it.  Just as love is a choice, so is forgiveness--choose to forgive and leave behind the negatives and instead begin looking for the positives in today. We cannot control how others treat us, but we can control our reaction to their treatment.  We always come out on top when we choose to forgive.  Make peace with what has happened and leave it behind you where it belongs---in the history book.

LEAVE IT IN THE PAST-The past is just that--past.  Yes it played an intricate role in making me the person I am today.  Yes--it really happened and though my memories of the past may differ from others, they are my perception of what has happened.  Allowing myself to become mired down in the memory of the past will keep me from living in the today.  To allow myself to become so entrenched in the yesterdays is not God's intention.  The past can create a cesspool of depression, anger, hatred, envy and all the other negatives which we become so mired down in that we forget to live in the today and to look to the future.  Even those moments of great joy--great accomplishment--great elation--can hinder our walk in the present if we refuse to leave those glory days and allow them to become idols of what was and could never be again.


The Word is filled with lessons from the past.  The past is a great teacher.  Learn from it, make peace with it, and leave it in the past.  What has been--has been and there is no changing it--but instead live in the moment and be thankful for the blessing of today.

"Do not call to mind the former things,
or ponder things of the past."
Isaiah 43:18

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE SAME GOD




The Same God

Who created this vast universe we live within
Who created the sun to light the skies
And the moon and stars in the vastness of space
Who threw the planets into their orbits
Marked by precision and predictability
Never lost over the ages

The Same God

Who created the earth and the water
The vast oceans in between
Who made the highest mountain and
The deep unexplored recesses of the deepest ocean
Who created every climate and environment
And all the uncountable intricacies of life within each one

The Same God

Who created all life in all forms
From the smartest and strongest to the tiny one cell
Who knew the hierarchy of species
And the dependence of one upon another
Who understood the need for a food chain
Before the first pang of hunger began

The Same God

Who created life in a such a manner
To allow for the continuation of life through pro-creation
Who knew the need for male and female
And the miracle of the two being joined
Who witnessed the first birth
And every one since and knew it was good

The Same God

Who created man and woman
And the intricate body systems within
Who knew the interaction required to sustain life
And what it would take to make it all work
Who knit us together in His own image
And for His good pleasure

The Same God

Who watches over a world filled with souls
And yet still knows our every thought
Who counts our tears and holds them in his hand
And desires our laughter and joy as we delight in Him
Who protects us with angels and sends us saints
And desires to fill the God sized holes in our souls

The Same God

Who watches over this vast universe second by second
And knows long before it happens all that will occur
Who created us for His own good purpose
And will take what man intends for evil and turn it to right
Who is all powerful, all mighty, all knowing
And beyond our mind's ability to comprehend

The Same God

Has a perfect plan for each and every soul
Who are called according to His purpose
He is the fountain of life eternal and
The living water for today
He has us in the palm of his hand
And He is our hope for tomorrow

The Same God

Loves us beyond our mind's comprehension
Provides a way to live with Him eternally
Bears our sorrow and our pain
Watches over us every moment
May the will of This Same God
Be done in all those who call Him by name.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BUCKET LIST


Monday, December 2, 2013

BUCKET LIST

Have you ever heard a message that brought you to your spiritual knees?  As tears filled my eyes, I walked away this particular Sunday---convicted and inspired---a powerful combination.  I heard a direct question - with no fluff or excuse and not just a reminder--but a plea to do what we have been charged with.  



The evangelist was originally from Spain--he had such a clear --on point--interpretation of the Gospel---he told us to read it, take it for what it says without personal bias or bent, and then without excuse do it.  PERIOD! 




 As he began his message, he asked how many had a "bucket list" and then confessed to not understanding this and having to look it up.  He laughed and said, "OH these are things YOU WANT TO DO before you kick the bucket!"  I must confess, I am not a bucket list maker.  There are certainly things I would love to do---but why would I make a list with the possibility of finding out tomorrow I have a short time left here on this Earth.  The list would then be a reminder of what I set out to accomplish and did not.  I prefer to live life as it comes and when an adventure or opportunity presents itself--WOW--I have been blessed. 




My attention was grabbed from the moment he began speaking, but when he said, "Our pain can distort our perspective," my full consciousness and heart turned to what he was saying.  Grief can blur our vision and cause us to miss the true picture of what surrounds us.   He challenged me to look beyond my life, put the past behind, look to the future, and remember three important things:

1.  Be compelled to share the Gospel--because of the fear of the Lord--a healthy "Terror of the Lord".  Quoting from the book Meet Yourself in the Psalms by Warren Wiersbe, "That day long ago I was your Savior, but today I am your judge."  A poignant reminder of the tears that will flow the day of accountability for each and everyone.

2.  Be compelled to share the Gospel--because of the Love of the Lord.  Demonstrate the same love for the Lost that we were shown when we were lost.

3.  Be compelled to share the Gospel--because of the act of God of entrusting us with the ministry of reconciliation.  We were reconciled and became part of God's team and now we are charged with sharing the message of reconciliation. 

What does all this say--I was loved so much that Jesus died for me in order that I would be reconciled with God the Father----I am charged with spreading this Good News---and I have NO excuses for not boldly speaking the Word of Truth---I am NOT charged with the outcome of speaking The Truth, but I am accountable for the attempt.  There will come a day of judgement for us all--I will have to stand before a Righteous Judge and hear my story recounted--I will enter His Kingdom--BUT how will I fare before His Righteous Throne?  

Perhaps it is time I did make a bucket list---a list of the Lost and a plan for begging them to be reconciled---in ALL THINGS including this---
Always For The Cause of Christ.

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:18

Monday, May 23, 2016

MALFUNCTIONS

---I had a wardrobe malfunction after spin yesterday---GROAN!  You Girls ALL understand--and do not try to deny it.  We have ALL had those moments!  The current malfunction occurred after a sweat fest in spin class.  I am taking a brief stop before heading out to run errands--in the little girl's room.  Sweaty tight spandex type clothes lead to difficulty in getting things up and down--well in reverse order of course.  I walk out of the rest station and head down the hall--only to discover that various layers have not ALL come up.  Clinging to my sweat drenched legs things had gotten a little bunched up.  OH SNAP---thank goodness for my jacket to wrap around my waist.  Thankfully I was not on national television!




OH STOP---you know you have had those moments---I have seen them happen---walking around with your skirt tucked in your tights----a broken strap--vitally need for support---something as simple as a slip showing-(BACK IN THE OLD DAYS)---or the dreaded run in your pantie hose or the GASP tail of toilet paper hanging to the bottom of your shoe.  Be HONEST-We have all suffered wardrobe malfunctions.




All those years of running created GIANT wardrobe malfunctions.  Thank goodness for dri-fit finally coming along!  LONG years of chaffing, while wearing cotton, to the point of 1st degree burns were no fun.  Some of my mis-adventures in wardrobe included wearing the wrong socks the first marathon I ran.  I had blister upon blister on the bottom of my feet---the entire sole was a group of huge blisters-requiring a visit to the first aid tent and feet completely bandaged.  Then there was the marathon in a brand of shoes-NOT proven over years of running.  WHAT possessed me to run 26.2 miles in any shoe but my tried and true brand is beyond me.  I ran across the finish line and threw them in the trash can. 

It is amazing -KNOWING a blister is forming that we continue to run mile after mile with the offending sock-shoe.  All the while complaining--or not---but there being NO doubt the consequences of continuing.  Then there are the chaffing bouts---hot sweaty days--knowing the offending garment is rubbing me raw, I continue on.  I almost forget--but then I jump into the shower and squeal in agony.  Sheer stupidity!

Runners do NOT have a corner on this market---tell me you have not worn a pair of shoes which gave you a blister---tell me you have not worn too tight clothing which rubbed-wedged-chaffed.  Heels too high---clothing too sparse for the weather---no rain jacket in the rain  --on and on.  What could possibly cause us to endure all these mal-functions--leading to indignity-embarrassment--and flat out misery?  WHY PRIDE- OF COURSE!

We are prideful creatures and pride DOES come before the fall!  


First pride, then the crash—
    the bigger the ego, the harder the fall
Proverbs 16:18
The Message

Sunday, May 22, 2016

HOLY

THIS IS

THE FIRST HYMN

WHICH SPOKE TO ME

AS A CHILD

TRULY

HE IS HOLY





BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE



Those who know me well--will tell you that I am not hung up on possessions and almost anything I have if you asked me, I would give to you.  One of the things I cherish deeply is my mother's pearl necklace.  A timeless piece of jewelry, every time I wear it, I find myself reaching up and stroking those beautiful pearls and remembering.  Is it a piece of great expense--I really cannot tell you, but I can tell you it is of immeasurable value to me.

How are pearls created?  An oyster has a wound---to heal the wound it releases substances which create a pearl sac around the wound to aid in the healing process.  Without the wound, the pearl would never secrete the two substances necessary to form the pearl sac--and with time layer after layer of pearl is built to create this beautiful stone.  This thing of great beauty would have never been created without first the wound.


So it is with our hearts---a thing of great and unimaginable beauty can be created after a great and painful wound to the very source of our being.  God provides the balms that heal our hearts and the resulting beauty of the healed heart is a reflection of the Great Physician's work. With each re-opening of the wound, another layer of balm is applied and the resulting gem grows larger and more beautiful.  Our heart begins to take the shape of the Savior's love and is buffed to a high sheen with application after application of grace.

Perhaps the reason that Jesus tells a parable using a pearl of great price is for this very reason.  He knew what  was necessary to create this beautiful gem.  A beautiful pearl is only created after a great wound and the deeper the wound--the more beautiful the pearl.  The Master also told us to not cast our pearls before swine--I finally get that---do not give your heart to things of this world for they will tear it to pieces and cast it aside.   I cherish my pearls and my heart--both are priceless treasures--which belong to Him.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BLESSING BOOMERANG

Could I even begin to explain to you how much more I am blessed by volunteering than I ever bless?  It is impossible to put it into words.  It is a proverbial blessing boomerang--you thrown it out and it comes right back to you.  I ended the school year yesterday with my sweet Ruby.  How I wish I could show you a picture of this precious child--but we are pledged to protect those in our care--which means no exposure on the WWW.




Ruby made this poster as a thank you gift and presented it to me.  It represents her sound trouncing of me in "Go Fish" and "Sorry" almost every time we played this year and our funny attempts at crafts.  You do remember the this should be a turkey project



How we laughed!  I left her a little teary eyed yesterday--but expectant over our last year together come the fall.  What a blessing to watch this child grow up over the past three years.  

We are blessed with the Gifts of the Spirit by the Father.  Gifts which are given to empower us to do what He calls us to do.  While the biggie gifts are the listed in I Corinthians 12, we also find a sprinkling of other gifts Romans 12.  And this reminder:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
Romans 12:6

And the exhortation following this verse to use those gifts.  I am reminded of the old saying--



There will be a day of accountability and we will be reminded of how we used our talents.  Did we take what was lavished upon us and stick it in the sock drawer for a better day or did we pour out the endless stream of blessings?  Did it grow or did it wither and die?  

Pondering--always pondering--How He would use me today---and bless me yet again.

There are different kinds of gift, but the same Spirit.
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
There are different kinds of working,
but the same God works all of them in all men.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit 
is given for the common good.
I Corinthians 12:4-7



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES

One of the things I daily pray for is to have the eyes and ears of Jesus.  I am asking God to make me aware of what He sees and hears through out the day.  There are days this prayer seems to go unanswered--one would think the signal had dropped.  



It somehow slips my notice, that the problem could be on my end.

As I was reading today in Psalms it struck me what may be the stumbling block in my prayers being answered.  It was there as clear as day as I read through The Word.  The idols in my life have clouded my vision and deafened me to the truth.  I am a spiritual Helen Keller.




By allowing things of this world to take precedence in my life, I have forsaken The Truth.  When I examine the time I spend thinking of earthly matters versus heavenly treasures, my earthly longings and desires win hands down.  How is it I expect God to show me what He sees and hears, when I am busy peering through the screen of narcissism?  The smoke screen of the world has clouded my vision and the roar of earthly longings has caused my deafening.  I am convicted.

The good news---HE IS the God of Second Chances.  I can start anew from this very day and seek to change.  Thank God for second chances.


The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,
shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak,
and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear,
and mouths but cannot breathe.
And those who make idols
are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.
Psalm 135:15-18

Monday, May 16, 2016

RITES OF PASSAGE

This time of the year brings 

to all the high school and college graduates.  I found myself congratulating the grandchildren and children of my peers as they walk across the stage and receive that piece of parchment (I think I might have actually gotten a sheep skin).  It is a rite of passage---the successful completion of your education.  Why there are even the children of old neighbors being hooded this coming week.


She has achieved the ultimate degree in her chosen field and from now on I will address her as Dr. Macy.  What an accomplishment for her--and now her life begins.

That is the way we live our lives--in segments of "When I finish this".  I still remember the thrill of completing high school.  Then the goal was college--check.  Then if I can just pass my CPA--check.  Of course, I need to open my own practice--check.    If I can finish the forty hours of continuing education each year--check.

The same thing with our relationships and families.  If I can only find the right spouse---check.  If we can just have 2 children---check.  If we can just get those children through school---check.  If we can just get them married to the right person---check.  If we can just have grandchildren---check.  

I have a tendency to live from check mark to check mark.  And the day finally comes when you are retired and most of the check marks are behind you.  And then what?  We make a bucket list.


Things we want to see and do before---

Somehow we have made life a list of things to accomplish instead of living in the day.  As I sat on my front porch with my neighbor and her daughter today, I cherished the sweetness of the moment.  In the simplicity was joy.  No need to plan and plot the next thing---only the sheer happiness of a child squirting a water gun and laughing with unbridled glee at being wet from top to bottom.  As my swing creaked as I slowly swung back and forth, and we chatted about nothing special--I was reminded--to live in the moment and cherish the present.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
James 4:14