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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I KNOW A GUY WHO KNOWS A GUY

My plan for today did not go as I intended.  I had an agenda--a carefully planned agenda with no down time included until late evening.  The day began as planned with walking the dog, shortly thereafter it completely fell apart.  Water began to pour from the ceiling in my laundry room and I went into overdrive.  THIS was NOT in my plan!  



Placing a mop bucket under the leak, I began to consider where the water could be coming from.  There was only one answer, I had to crawl up in the attic.  My vow to stay off ladders had to be cast aside in the haste of needing to stop the leak.  Up the attic stairs I go.



Perhaps you are better than me at figuring these things out, but all I see is the white pipes over to the right and no water.  Time to call the professional.  If you know anything about plumbers, you KNOW they are difficult to run down when you have an emergency.  BUT, I have a friend!!!  One call to my friend, Philip who is the office manager for one of our local plumbers and he sends two great guys to my rescue.  He laughed and said, "It's good to know people who know people in high places."  YES!  The beauty of living in a small town is if you don't know someone to call in emergency, someone you know will know someone to call.  



My day might have been ship wrecked, but it also did not end up being a total disaster.  All because I know someone I can call when the rain (water) starts pouring.

So--though I did not have direct contact with the plumber, I did have a friend who had direct contact.  So the plumber was once removed--and I was only able to get help because my friend stepped in for me.

I have GOOD NEWS--NO---GREAT NEWS for you.  With God, we have a direct pipeline.  No need for any go between, we can go directly to him.  When your day falls apart, when your plan goes awry, when the ceiling is falling in--God is ready and waiting for your call.  YOU KNOW THE GUY!


Because He has inclined His ear to me,
 Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:2

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

THE NO DIET PLAN

Recently I told my trainer, I seem to be getting thick through the middle in my old age.  He made the foolish comment, "You need to cut out all the carbs in your diet."  GASP!  Bless his heart--I thought to myself, "You can be replaced by a pair of spanx!" 



I LOVE my carbs!  Potatoes and rice are a main stay in my diet!  The bread I can do without, but my cookie after a meal is a must!  And then there is pasta--yummy!  Don't be messing with my pasta by making it with a vegetable base!  Somehow that is just sac-religious!

I am not a big eater, but I know what I like and prefer to eat what I love.  Veggies are OK--but give me the choice between Brussels sprouts and a baked potato and there is NO contest!


We all spend a great deal of time discussing our diets --whether we are eating everything in sight or eating only bananas--we are all fixated on our diets.  We are obsessed with what we put into our mouths to fuel our bodies.  No carb--high protein--no sugar--no whites--anything I can find to eat--we all have a plan of attack on what we are going to eat.

Our Bible Study this week is talking about the Israelites and the manna God provided.  GRIPE-GRIPE-GRIPE!  Same thing day in and day out!  God is providing all they need for their nutritional needs to be met and they want what they ate in Egypt.  It is like trying to convince a three or four year old they should eat asparagus every day.  NOT HAVING IT!  God graciously begins supplying meat too!  (There you go Vegans---GOD HIMSELF provides the meat!)  They are still grumbling and mumbling!

Forty years of the same old diet day after day ensued!  God is intent upon humbling them and teaching them that man does not live by bread alone.  Fast forward hundreds of years and what is Satan's first temptation of Jesus?  "You KNOW you are hungry-How about some bread?"  Jesus repeats the same verse found in Deuteronomy 8- "Man does not live by bread alone."  Jesus was human and after 40 days of fasting (he got my respect immediately when I read he did not eat--NOT EVEN  A SNICKER BAR for 40 days!)  he was HUNGRY!
See the symbolism?  40 years roaming around the wilderness--40 days in the wilderness--LOVE how God works all this out!  Does Jesus immediately conjure up a McDonald's--NO.  He refers to God's Word in answer to Satan as the true nourishment.

We all spend a great deal of time everyday considering what we are going to eat, preparing what we are going to eat, and sitting and eating.  We do not get finished with one meal before we are planning the next.  Food consumes a huge amount of our time.  We know we need to nourish our bodies and so we spend a a huge chunk of time thinking about and doing that very thing.

What about our souls?  Do not our souls need to be nourished?  Are we spending big chunks of time pouring over God's Word, being taught by God's teachers, praying and seeking the truth.  Are we feeding our souls?  Or are we spending great chunks of time on social media or planted in front of some form of communication device-be it a television, computer screen, tablet, or I Phone.  Our souls are eternal and our bodies are temporary and yet we spend far less time feeding our souls than feeding our bodies.  


BOY, this Bible Study is stepping ALL OVER MY TOES!



It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

Sunday, October 28, 2018

O PERFECT LIFE

MY PRAYER

FOR THE

NEWLY WEDS

AND ALL YOU

LIVING

IN HOLY UNION





BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, October 27, 2018

HAPPY DAY

I am in

Austin

Today






Celebrating

The Marriage

of Number Two

& His Beautiful Bride

OH HAPPY DAY!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

WHAT DEMONS?

This past Sunday the high Reverend taught the passage in Luke where Jesus cast out the demon from a mute man.  We all seem to think demons are fictitious creatures directly from Hollywood.  Even if we give them lip service, we certainly do not think this is



lurking around the corner.  This is a picture that went viral on Facebook.  If you notice the details, the figure is taller than a house.  When you read about "Fallen Angels" in The Word, you find that roughly a third of the Heavenly Host fell from Heaven with Lucifer the day of the great rebellion.  Heavenly Host are not mortal beings, but instead eternal creations of God with the strength and powers given to angels.  One third of the heavenly beings are called "Legion" in The Word.  SO--there are many forces of evil roaming this earth--looking for a victim!

ALSO--when we read of Jesus casting out demons, they are not described as having fang like teeth, scales for skin, horned, ugly beings.  In fact they are not described, the  ugly face of demons is a creation of man.  I suspect demons are disguised as beauty.  Only when the evil that fills them is revealed do we see the the truth of how ugly they are.  

SO--where am I going?  My first awakening to the dark forces of Satan and his army of evil came when reading Frank Peretti's trilogy concerning spiritual warfare.



Until I read this book, it had not occurred to me what the faces of evil which lurk among us looked like.  Fear, jealousy, hatred, deceit, misery, depression, shame, and anything which convinces us there is no hope.  "Evil spirits are normally viewed as 'influences' and their effectiveness in the lives of people is undetected because they are not seen as real personalities that are totally and unreservedly evil.  The ambassadors of Satan are busy doing the thing they do best ~ deceiving men and women both unsaved and believer alike."

There you go, Old Lucifer is still up to his old tricks, but he is more cunning than ever.  What then is our defense against these evil beings set loose to roam to and fro throughout the earth.  GOD---Lucifer does not triumph-GOD DOES! Even Jesus acknowledges in The Word using the mighty power in God's finger in casting out the demons. HIS WORD is our high barrier to keep away Satan's evil attempts. The truth of His Holy Word and the promises He has made us are our hope for victory over the forces of evil.  PRAYER--acknowledging when we are being weakened by Satan's attacks and asking God for help.  HE IS OUR STRONG TOWER!  We are not facing his attempts to attack us alone--God is our refuge and strength.  He will NOT forsake us!  He will fight AND WIN the battle!

So, Satan may not be overtly attacking us with a pitchfork, but his subtle-beautiful enticements are all around us.  Beware and remember-BUT GOD!


But if I by the finger of God cast out demons,
 then is the kingdom of God come upon you.
Luke 11:20


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

DEFINING



Defining is a B I G word!  Why there are defining moments, defining attributes, defining events, defining decade and on and on.  OF COURSE, my first step was to consult Mr. Webster and see what the number one definition of defining is-

 to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of

AND for all you English buffs out there, it is a transitive verb.  LONG AGO forgot what that meant, so had to look it up also.  A transitive verb requires an object--thus defining moment.

Our High Reverend spoke of What Defines You? this past Sunday.  WELL NOW--that started the wheels turning!  I began thinking of all the hats I have worn and labels which define who I am.  What are the essential qualities of who I am?

Daughter

Until 2001 I was known as Louise's daughter.  That certainly has played a center role in who I am today.  I still  frequently repeat lessons from Momma and especially laugh at her sharp critique of my short comings.

Mother & Grandmother




One of the largest contributors to who I am today has come with raising three children and being blessed with six grandchildren.  I now call myself an inactive duty mother.  The point of raising children is for them to leave and cleave.  Thankfully this is now accomplished.  And as for these grands, WELL, they have reintroduced me to my childhood.

Friend



This picture is of the running group I was privileged to run for years with.  It is a small sample of all the wonderful friends God has placed in my life.  This past weekend I spent hours with the friends from my childhood.  Every Sunday and Wednesday I spend time with my Spiritual Community.  Friends from all walks of life and various common interests have helped to define who I am. Life-long friends who know me better than I know myself have walked by my side all these years and never strayed.  

Athlete



There was a day, I truly was an athlete of sorts--endurance athlete--running long distances.  That ship has sailed, but the lessons I learned and the discussions I had while pounding the pavement have not been forgotten and played an intricate part in defining who I am.

CPA



Retired now, the quest for certification and the years of actively working as a CPA defined who I was professionally.  Are there ever any clear cut lines in our lives or compartments to neatly close away from our other roles.  I think not.  My years as a CPA defined my conservative tendencies.  Those tendencies were not limited to my profession, but bled over into all areas of my life.

Volunteer



Perhaps the hours I have spent volunteering have been the most satisfying and defining of all those outside of family.  I have learned a great deal while sitting with a child and reading, painting houses after devastation, pulling nails while dismantling homes, cooking meals, working with the homeless, and many varied other  volunteer activities.  The compassion I have learned while serving others has helped define who I am today.

There are many others, but as I thought all of this over, I began to realize many of those attributes and labels which now define me were gained by roles which I no longer play.  We are being defined every day until we leave this terrestrial ball by the roles we play.  The one role which never changes--and I will always play the largest role in defining who I am is

Believer


This role--this choice--is ever changing and I am always morphing.  God is using life to bring me closer to Him.  Jesus is teaching me daily what true servant hood looks like.  The process of sanctification on this side of Eternity is an everyday process.  I am so thankful God continues to define me and mold me into the person He wants me to be.  What greater compliment than for someone to recognize me a Christian?  Of all the defining labels and characteristics, none could be more important or desirable.  

What are you labels, what are your defining attributes?  A good exercise in introspection is thinking WHO AM I? 


 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
I Corinthians 5:17

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

BEHIND THE SMILES


Friday night my high school class had a joint 70th Birthday party.  We all turn 70 this year--some earlier than others, but by December 31, we will all have entered a new decade.  When I boldly spoke the truth that this could possibly be our last new decade birthday, I was almost booted out of the room.  The facts are that about a third of our class has already left us, and we have now all lived the three score and ten mentioned in The Word.  I am NOT a pessimist--a realist perhaps, but do not look upon this as tragic news.

If you look closely at the picture, you see a happy group celebrating the latest milestone together.  Smiling faces with laughter twinkling from our eyes reflecting a group with much to be thankful for.

What you cannot see in this picture is the story behind each smile.  Almost everyone of us have lost our parents, and some have lost siblings; some have lost their spouse of many years; one has 26 stents around his heart; one is suffering from chronic lung disease; some are helping to raise grandchildren; some have divorced after long marriages; some are estranged from their children;  some are nursing others with debilitating-chronic illnesses;  some are battling cancer; and the list goes on and on.  Though the picture reflects a happy group, life has thrown devastating bomb shells at many of us and yet we smile, laugh, and reflect over warm memories of growing up in a Mayberryisque childhood.



Here are the hikers at the top of some mountain on one of our many trips.  We all seem very satisfied and happy to have reached this pinnacle and relishing the view.  Every face has a smile, some are even posed as if they are models on a photo shoot.  You would never guess we are more than likely standing on exhausted legs covered in the dirt and grime of the trail, and wondering if we have the strength to get all the way back down to the trail head behind us on the lake.  Sometimes going down is much more treacherous than hiking up as evidenced by all of my multiple falls having occurred while going down.



Here is a picture of a happy group working together after the flood in south Louisiana.  We spent a great deal of time laughing that day in the midst of some of the worst devastation I have ever seen.  The smiling faces are hiding the grief, dismay, and sheer exhaustion suffered while trying to dismantle a house in a couple of days that took a lifetime to build.  As you filter through and toss to the street all the material possessions of a couple in their late seventies, it weighs you down with compassion and an over whelming sense of being helpless to fix it for them.  

And yet, we all stand and smile, laugh, and bond together in the midst of the sure knowledge that life has been difficult, kicked some in the gut, and knocked the blocks out from others.  The human spirit is able to look for the best, hope for a better tomorrow, and bear the unbearable.  God has created us with eternal optimism and abundant hope--even when we have lived through or are living with some of the worst of things.  What a gift!

SO--point of this story--when you see smiling faces that look perfectly happy and content with life in pictures all over the internet---there is ALWAYS MORE TO THE STORY!  You are not alone in having endured difficult times , you are not the only one who is living with back breaking hards, and life is never all peaches and cream for ANYONE!  Look at those pictures and remember there is story that you are not hearing.  Look at those pictures and be thankful we can all cling to the rock of our salvation and know the hope that comes only with Jesus.  Look at those pictures and reflect on the good, learn from the bad, and remember the sorrows of today will fade with the dawning of eternity when there will be no more tears--only joy.


He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6

Monday, October 22, 2018

NOT FOR ME, BUT MAYBE FOR YOU

You will be happy to know I have finished the book and this will be the last post concerning it.  As I read the next to last chapter, something really big dawned on me--just because I am not jumping through hoops does not mean there is not a message for many of the readers out there.

The author is a highly successful millennial author, blogger, and CEO of a big company.  She has pulled herself up by the boot straps and gone from small potatoes to a really big spud.  Her message seems to be resonating with a GREAT MANY other millenniums. 



I started her book, from page one, with a jaded opinion because of her age.  I must admit, there were some real pearls of wisdom in the pages, though much of it I only gave the quick scan.  Rachel is a believer and refers to this quite a few times in the book.  I was disappointed that she did not feel like every thing she addressed could not be answered through the filter of The Gospel.  NOW, I know a much larger number of readers can be reached with a more secular approach to the information.  I know this book is a self help book meant for a wide spectrum of readers.  My bias should not influence  or keep anyone else from at least giving the book a glance over.  Perhaps it will really speak to you.



My   AHA MOMENT  was there is a great deal of difference in the season of young mothers/professionals and retired seniors/grandmothers.  I can promise you many of the books that speak to me would not resonate with a 30 something.  THERE YOU GO---God has created us all different--many of us are in different seasons of life.  What speaks to me--may not speak to you and vice versa.  So if I rate this book a "6", you might rate it a "10".  The author is an excellent writer, holds your attention, and gets her point across.   She is speaking though from a season that I passed through long ago.

SO--I am thankful for every season God places us in.  I am thankful for mentors, life coaches, counselors or anyone else who speaks truth about the season you find yourself.  I am thankful for young women who are thinking, discussing, and working for a better life and world.  The media would have us to believe we are all headed down the slippery slope, but I see great hope as the generations behind search for answers and work to improve the world we have been gifted with.  Don't follow my recommendation or lack thereof, instead decide for yourself if this is a book you can learn from.


For as in one body we have many members,
 and the members do not all have the same function, 
so we, though many, are one body in Christ,
 and individually members one of another
. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
 let us use them
Romans 12:4-6


Sunday, October 21, 2018

PSALM 13

I WILL REST

KNOWING YOU'RE ENOUGH

I WILL TRUST

YOUR UNFAILING LOVE



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, October 20, 2018

FALL AND ALL IT HOLDS

A FALL TRIP
TO VAIL
A FEW YEARS BACK





HIKING TO 
HANGING ROCK
ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
A FEW YEARS BACK



WITH FALL COMES
HUNTING SEASON IN LOUISIANA

ALL THESE PICTURES 
ARE FROM
A GOOD FRIEND'S
GAME CAM

SHE NAMED THIS
PLEASE DON'T SEE ME


THANKSGIVING LUNCH


EAT YOU OUT
OF HOUSE AND HOME


HEY,
DO I KNOW YOU?


SELFIE

LOVE FALL!

Friday, October 19, 2018

BITS AND PIECES


The author of our Bible Study has begun stepping on my toes.  Between Sunday's lesson at church and this week's work in this study of Psalm 107, my toes are black and blue.  First I am challenged to examine the time I spend in prayer and now I am being asked "What have you not turned over to Jesus?"
GROAN!!!



This is not easy to write as I am exposing my inner most failings and flaws.  The process of sanctification requires my submission to God's will for my life.  Just when I think I am ready for Him to take me, mold me, make me into what He wills, I discover bits and pieces I am holding back.  There are parts of my life I still seem to think I know best and this week's work on the lesson has me questioning my wiliness to submit to His plans.



As I searched my soul for what I was holding back from God, it occurred to me I had made the decision that I should be single for the remainder of my life.  I have grown to enjoy the life of being single.  I eat what I want, sleep when I want, plan activities I enjoy, and have to consult no one about my comings and goings.  Sadly, being single encourages self indulgences.



Though all that sounds good, I must admit there is much more to my being single than being selfish.  I have a huge-high fence around my heart protecting it from being hurt again.  I have had a few encounters with some really nice men and a couple who I had much in common.  I find myself running for the door before we get firmly grounded on square one.  Though I loved being in a relationship for a long time, I also realize the emotional cost of a deep and long relationship.  Someone is going to be hurt at some point.  Either divorce or death will eventually leave one of you heart broken.  I am not willing to endure that pain again, so have made a choice to live alone.

BUT GOD, wants me to be willing to turn that over to Him.  He wants me to be willing to turn every bit and piece of my life over to His will for me.  Allowing Him to determine the status box I check is a really big thing for me.  There is a really good chance I will be alone for the rest of my life (I'm no spring chicken), and Heaven knows who could put up with me.  But God, wants me to be willing to enter another relationship if that is His plan.
THAT is not easy!  




We all have places in our lives we want the control.  The need to turn every facet of our lives over to God's plan will deepen our relationship with Him.  Every bit and every piece--100% of it all is a BIG DEAL!  What are you holding on to-holding back from God?  Have you given Him total control?


"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
 that he may lift you up in due time. 
 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:6-7

Thursday, October 18, 2018

LIVING IN POVERTY

Before today's post, I once again encourage you to either become a follower on the right side of this post or sign up to get an email when there is a new post below that.  You do not have to put your real name, and no one see your email address.  I noticed yesterday on Facebook the link was not showing up on news feeds.  There is no way to correct this as Facebook determines what does and does not show up on your feed.  SO if you want a guarantee to get the latest post, you will be guaranteed this only if you sign up.  





I love to wander over to the dictionary and see the actual definitions of the words I casually throw around-


Poverty-the condition of being extremely poor:
                                                   a lack of something or when the quality of                                                          something is extremely low:

Here's a surprise--we can live in poverty--in want--in need of things other than financial resources.  We can have a poverty of relationships, a poverty of experience, a poverty of wisdom, and on and on.  When some basic need of mankind or in fact anything is lacking or in extremely low supply, we are in poverty.

While listening to this week's lesson in Church, I was convicted of living in a poverty of prayer.  OH, sure, I pray, but sometimes those prayers are a quick Hail Mary when someone asks for prayer and at others, it's the Readers Digest Condensed Version after a long exhausting day minutes before my mind wanders off to Dream Land.  And then there is the intentional prayer time when my mind wanders to the grocery list, my list of to-do's, the cob web in the corner, or any other minimal distraction.



I have a really wonderful friend, that I think the world of.   We have a long standing relationship and I know her life story backwards and forwards.  I have even read her diary.  Unfortunately in this busy world, we never have time to talk anymore.  In fact, except for the brief text occasionally in moments of crisis, I have not had a long conversation with her in years.  I love her--really I do--but I just don't seem to have time to communicate with her anymore.  Our relationship has suffered and with each passing day, I feel further and further away from the closeness we once shared.  Without communication, we soon will only have the memory of a once beautiful relationship.

So it is with God.  Without prayer we will not have a relationship with God.  It is not enough to read the book, know the story, we actually have to communicate with Him or it all becomes one sided.  As the High Reverend said, "If we don't pray, we either think too highly of ourself or too lowly of God. "  OH GROAN--kicked me right in the gut!  

We were challenged to go back to the basics as demonstrated in Luke 11.  I loved his proclamation to pray with shameless desperation or bold rudeness.  We should become immodest in our request when a need is settled in our heart.  We have no choice but to ask, seek, knock with persistence.  We will not necessarily received what we ask for, but instead will receive what we truly need.

Pray with full confidence in God's goodness, we should remember He withholds no GOOD thing from those who walk in integrity. (Emphasis on good!)  In fact, "God is more willing to give than we are to ask."  Convicting!  God is willing to give us Himself when we pray.  The question was asked, "Why does He make us ask if it is good for us?"  Another of those Holy mysteries, BUT the asking, the seeking, the knocking, the waiting, the crying--all that goes along with pleading to God are all good gifts meant to transform us as we recognize the Giver of All Good things and our need for His provision.



We pray because of The Gospel.  The gift of prayer should be carefully stewarded and practiced with regularity.  We were encouraged to commit to one week of twice daily prayer time.  Go back and read the Lord's prayer and model your early practices after the model given by Jesus.  Pray for God's Glory, God's Provision, God's Forgiveness, and Spiritual Protection.  Find a closet, a corner, a quiet nook and begin to form the habit with a one week's commitment.  Writing my prayers has proven to be a great way to keep my mind on what I am doing.

Time to leave the need of poverty behind and live in the riches of a deeper relationship with the One who loves you best.  I am thankful for the challenges God places in my life through the words and wisdom of others.  Now to live the rich life of excessive prayer!

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation
Luke 11:2-4


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

HEADED FOR THE GOAL LINE


In a long ago time, I was in a season called Parenthood.  As we recently talked, I have spent a great deal of my life being stretched thin and this season may have been the thinnest--as in flat  as a flitter that has been run over by a steam roller. (You are welcome for not sharing my research on what is a flitter-suffice it to say they are only found in the South).



During this super busy period of time, the father of my children and I had a mutual client who loved to talk about his goals.  He had short term goals, mid term goals, long terms goals and impossible but hey maybe goals.  He actually wrote these things down and checked them off as they were accomplished.   We both would laugh when comparing notes on the latest "What are your goals talk?"  My goal was to drag myself out of the bed, get the children out the door, work a full day, go home cook supper, do homework, continue with the unending laundry chore, put the house back in a semblance of order, get the kids bathed and in bed, and fall in bed myself at late thirty without killing anyone or having the neighbors call the police for the disturbance next door.  I had a simple goal-- make it through the day.



I am back to "The Book".  I just read her chapter on goals.  You will be glad to know I am only picking the chapters which really speak to me and have jumped right over the chapter on sex.  There is certainly not one thing in this world wrong with goals.  As I thought through goals, it became clear to me I have had goals--although I never wrote them down (defense mechanism in case I never reached them I suspect).  

My take away from her chapter was goals are good--not bad, but give yourself a break when you do not reach those goals when you thought you would.  Life is not over and there is always tomorrow.  My current goal in life is to finish well.  The completion of that goal will not be known until the fat lady sings and at the moment she is still back stage dressing.  The best thing the author had to say was "God has perfect timing, and it's highly possible that by not being where you thought you should be (Goals), you will end up exactly where you were meant to be."  She recognized the goals we set for ourselves may not be God's goals, and God's goals are always best.  

So, in my old age my goals have become shorter term (I am no spring chicken) and more centered around seeking what God's plan is for me.  No, I am never going to be a famous author,  I am never going to run faster than the 8 minute mile I accomplished once, and the Prince Charming ship has sailed.  What is still to be seen is how God will use me in the lives of others, the impact I will have on the lives of my grands, and how good a friend I can be to those I am blessed to call friend.  My ultimate goal is to run the good race, fight the good fight and finish while keeping the faith.  If I am able to achieve that goal, all the others will pale in comparison.


“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, 
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

THE STORYTELLER

Recently in Small Group we were discussing the labels each of us wear-
Wife/Single, Sister, Daughter, Cook, Gardener, Athlete, Mother, Grandmother-
on and on all the things we are and do identify who we are.



Without our labels we are a black and white flat picture on a page.

One of the group looked at me and told me when I think of you I think "Storyteller".  I must admit I love to tell (and sometimes retell ad nauseum) a good story.  Occasionally I give a valiant effort at telling a story on this blog.  Many times it falls flat, for you see it is almost impossible to convey your voice inflection, facial expressions, and all the other nuances which make a story more than a collection of words on a page.  The mark of a great writer is the ability to convey the emotions held within the story.  I have a tough time getting the roll of my eyes high into my head down on the page.



Recently we were discussing on Social Media the book I am reading Girl Wash Your Face.  I made a comment that though the author certainly had some great points, I wondered what the book would sound like after a lifetime of living not from the perspective as a 30 something author.  A young friend said, "Write your book."  I have not thought much about tackling writing a book again, except for the occasional brief desire to write my mother's story.  She had quite the life!  Born in the beginning of one century and living to the beginning of the next, it certainly would qualify as historical.  My hesitation is wanting to really do all she experienced justice and knowing how very difficult that would be to get it down on paper.  It is a lot of difference in verbally telling the story and writing it down.  The flatness of a piece of paper filled with type is a huge obstacle to trying to convey the real story, and when the reader does not "get" the emotions behind the story.

This past week in Small Group one of the girls was talking about the Old Testament and how she had felt for a long time reading of God's wrath.  When we read the flat words on the page and not understand or stop to consider the emotions behind the story, it can be daunting.  One of the group had the most wonderful explanation for all of the death and destruction passed out by God.  She explained it was an indication of how far God would go to protect us and to keep us in a relationship with Him.  He desires to be in fellowship with us and will go to great lengths to ensure we do not stray.


Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Psalm 107:4

Are you guilty of reading those words without considering the emotion?  Go out to the wilderness and spend even one day without food and water and reread those words.  You begin to understand the desperation of the situation and the utter despair which lead to your soul fainting.  

Read Job and tell me you don't understand the emotion of the story.


Therefore I will not restrain my mouth,
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 7:11

Or does Paul's deep passionate care for the brethren in Corinth not jump off the page when you read this?

For out of  much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears,
not so that you would be made sorrowful, 
but that you might know the love which I have especially for you
2 Corinthians 2:4


So perhaps we should read The Word with the question of what emotion is being used with the story?  If the storyteller was standing before you, how would the story sound?  I dare say this would give a whole new meaning to the reading of His inspired Word.  Read it aloud after looking for the emotion on the page.  Understand the intent of the storyteller and draw closer to God as you learn who He is.


For the word of God is alive and active.
 Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
 it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12