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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

LESSONS FROM THE GRANDS-PLAY NICE!

I would say I am sorry if this post steps on your toes, but .  If the shoe fits ~~~


The Two Littles really get along great---MOST of the time.  There was an occasional rumble, spit fight, misunderstanding when I had to step in and remind them of the rules.  Missy would call attention to the momentary war by screaming, crying, or both.  She appeared ALWAYS to be the wounded party.  After all how could this little vision of goodness and light ever be the one in the wrong?


It took me a couple of days to figure out exactly what was happening.  The Princess was provoking the attack in almost every instance.  All seemed peaceful with a normal exchange of banter, until the "I need rescuing" cry went up.  As I began to be more attuned, I noticed she would poke the bear insatiably until he finally roared and sometimes bit her.  THEN she would set off the "Poor Me" Alarm.  She always came off as the injured party, when in fact, in most cases, "She Had It Coming".  Side note--could not resist naming that tune from "Chicago".  When I finally clued in to what was really happening, I was NOT quite so sympathetic.  Though physical retaliation is never the answer, sometimes we get pushed to the edge and finally fall over the cliff of lost patience.


I see a lot of this poking going on in today's world.  We have lost the art of civil discourse and agreeing to disagree.  We turn every difference of opinion into a verbal jousting match that leads to all out brawl.  We trade verbal jabs in an escalating crescendo until we are in the middle of a war.  It is ALWAYS the other side's fault, and we never admit to poking the bear before the subsequent mauling.

Every time, we had a little skirmish during the week, I would make them recount exactly what had been said and by whom.  We replayed how the all out war began before the mauling ensued.  Usually it was an escalation of verbal sparring where one of them could not stand to turn away and let it drop.  It would quickly erupt into a fierce battle with both sides claiming "FOUL".  The Littles are six and four and it is understandable that they will have sibling spars.  They are still learning patience and when it is enough.  I am not too sure the adults I see shouting "Foul" and "They Did It" have the right to this same excuse.  When there is a lot of poking going on back and forth, the bear is going to turn and attack.  When will we learn, it is acceptable for others to not always agree with us, when will the art of civil disagreement come back into fashion, and when are we going to learn to treat each other with respect.  I am truly sorry if the bear attacks you, but rest assured I am going to ask, "Did you poke him?"    Learn to play nice!

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
 as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

LESSONS FROM THE GRANDS---DANCE TILL THE COWS COME HOME


I will tell you a secret about these two sophisticates.  They can dance with abandonment with the best of them!  They learned from the time they were still babies to participate in the family "dance party".  Their mother has no inhibitions when it comes to cutting a rug and they are chips off the old block!  

While visiting with me, they discovered Alexa lives with me.  Poor Alexa, she got quite the work out last week.  One of their favorites is "It's Raining Tacos", but in a close second, was "Gummy Bears".  They would shout out to Alexa to play "Gummy Bears" and off they would go.  I am not certain where they learned all the moves they had, but we had a great time dancing and singing.  Invariably it would all go to a fever pitch about the time we should be winding down and getting ready for bed.  Running, swinging, hands in air, swirling, hips gyrating, and heads nodding we would go for it.  What EXCELLENT FUN!


Somewhere along the path of life I became inhibited about dancing with abandonment.  During my teen years, there was nothing I liked to do better than dance.  Somewhere along the path, the world told me I looked foolish, couldn't dance, and was ridiculous for dancing at my advanced age.  And then the six and four year old reminded me how exhilarating it can to be to cut loose and just dance.  The world is not the least bit concerned if I am dancing, and if it is~well I am going to dance.  I am thankful for the lesson in the joy of dancing with those you love.  Laughing and shouting the words of the song as we danced the night away~my heart was filled with joy.

The Word tells us God takes delight in our singing and dancing.  We choose to listen to the world and hide behind the sophistication of joylessness.  What would others think if we danced our hearts out and proclaimed the greatness of our God with song?  We dare not cross the line of abandonment and joy, but instead become satisfied to sit with our arms crossed and legs firmly planted, while our hearts yearn to sing and dance and shout for joy.  At this point, I plan to take a page from the Two Little's play book and enjoy a good dance occasionally.  It's good for the heart, physically and spiritually.  What a great lesson!


3 Let them praise his name with dancing
 and make music to him with timbrel and harp. 
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; 
he crowns the humble with victory.
Psalms 149:3-4

Monday, July 29, 2019

LESSONS FROM THE GRANDS-MONSTERS


The "Two Littles" came for a visit with Lulu last week.  When it rains, we play in the garage.  Poor Hero is the epitome of patience with them.  The Needy Old Man will tolerate almost anything from them.

While they were here, the subject of where to sleep was inevitable.  Three bedrooms--plenty of space---but somehow we all end up sleeping in the playroom with the trundle bed.  Not familiar with a trundle?  It is a medieval torture device not meant for adults.  The bottom bed is a mattress on wheels with wooden slats holding the mattress.  Look at the example above and you will probably figure out the rolling part of the bed has a mattress approximately 11" thick.  Thankfully the top bed has a REAL mattress.  I am a smart woman and quickly decide I will sleep on the top with whoever opts for it.  OF COURSE that would be the larger of the two children.

You will note in the picture above, not only does the trundle not have a very thick mattress, but it also must be stepped on to get on the higher bed.  SO here I am stepping over the small child on the thinner mattress to get on the comfortable bed.  FUN from the get go!  As we begin our nightly routine of reading and then prayers, the Little One wants to get in the bed with us to see the pictures.  HOW I wish I had a photo of that mash up!  One of them has to turn the pages for me since I am completely squished between them.  Did I mention, the Wonder Dog is also in the bed with us??  It just kept getting better and better!


We read our two books and say our prayers and time for LIGHTS OUT!  The Little One immediately declares---"THERE ARE MONSTERS!"  She will NOT be talked down and I end up in the bed with her---11" off the floor--with my bad hip begging for mercy.  Somehow we survive the night AND no monsters showed!


The next few nights, I learned my lesson.  I got in bed with her and waited until she was asleep and then slipped into the big bed.  This necessitates me getting up with nothing to hold on to (TRY IT--NOT EASY) and while stranding on the squishy mattress pulling all the cover, which is in a ball around the Bigger Little, back into some form of straight.  Poor Hero is staring at me as if to say--JUST GET IN BED!  Well now, a mattress that does not send my hip into spasms!  No need for counting sheep after a day of play, I am off to slumber land.



   AND THEN--about 2:00 AM the Little One realizes I am not in her bed and declares---THE MONSTERS ARE BACK!  Groan--back on the trundle.  This time, I just slowly fall onto the ground floor from the higher bed.  The need for a pretense of grace has flown out the door with the need for sleep. This dance goes on every night until they go home.  I am too old to be playing musical beds--especially with a bed inches from the floor!  Those darn monsters better not show themselves around here again or they are headed for a hurting!

How many nights do you go to bed and the monsters show up?  How many nights do you wake up in the middle of the night with the monsters in the room?  Our monsters as adults are the things we worry about.  For some reason, when all is quiet and the world should be shutting down, our minds can go into overdrive worrying about the monsters in our world.  Illness, financial problems, what if's, storms, possible losses, and on and on~the things of the world-especially those we have little control over plaque our thoughts in the deep of the night.  Why can't we believer there are no monsters?  Why can't we trust that we will be taken care of until the day dawns?  We forget Who we can trust in, we forget we are being watched over as we sleep, and we somehow think we have some control over our lives.  BUT GOD---He is watching, He is caring, He is providing, and His will is always best.  Turn to God and allow Him to chase those monsters away. 

 Sleep a peaceful sleep knowing there are no monsters big enough that He can't protect us.  A loving Father watches over us--in the daylight and in the night.  Shoo those monsters away and sleep!

6 Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
 for the LORD your God goes with you;
 he will never leave you nor forsake you
Deuteronomy 31:6


Sunday, July 21, 2019

NOBODY

GO AHEAD-
CLAP YOUR HANDS
AND TAP YOUR TOES!!

I'M LIVING FOR THE WORLD

TO SEE

NOBODY BUT JESUS!



HAVE A BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS!

Friday, July 19, 2019

YOUR SHRINKING BRAIN!



WELL NOW, it seems scientist have determined complaining leads to more complaining.  WHO PAID FOR THAT STUDY??  My sweet friend sent me THIS article from "Southern Living".  NOW I KNOW you are not going to go over there and read it so let me give you the "Readers Digest" version.



You need to STOP complaining as it can lead to brain shrinkage!  THERE WE GO AGAIN---SHRINKING!  As I told you yesterday, wash in cold water to avoid shrinkage.


It seems the more you complain, the more you are going to complain.  SOMEONE sneaks into the deep dark recesses of our brains and rewires them.  The rewiring causes us to automatically complain---without even thinking about it.  My sweet daughter and I have a saying, "First World Problem" when we start complaining about the mundane.  We do not have to worry about where our bread is coming from today, but if the bread is the least bit dry--we are off on a complaining tangent.  We can complain about the least inconvenience in our world filled with conveniences!


As I read this article, I wondered what others---and especially God think when they hear us complaining about things.  IT IS TOO HOT!, as we sit in the lovely air conditioning.  I had to wait for the doctor for an hour, as everyone can be treated in state of the art facilities with highly trained doctors.  I had to sit in traffic forever, as we drive an air conditioned vehicle with gasoline readily available and great roads open for travel.  ON AND ON--start being aware of what you are complaining about and stop to think is it really that bad?


One of my grandmothers was a complainer and the other was always smiling, laughing, and encouraging.  GUESS which one was my favorite?  Who wants to sit around and listen to a bunch of grousing?  AND NOW we find out our brains become hot wired to griping and as we gripe our brain is shrinking.  NO THANK YOU!  Wash my mouth out if you hear me complaining about ANYTHING!  What must God be thinking as I sit here in the midst of a great life and spend even one minute complaining about anything.  I am on a new diet---the no complaining diet.  Who needs their brain to shrink!

Give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessolians 5:18

Thursday, July 18, 2019

IS THE WORLD SHRINKING?

To avoid shrinkage, wash in cold water.  SORRY---I couldn't resist!

I would have never believed the world could begin to shrink, but as certain  as the sun rising in the morning and fading away with the evening it did.  HOW, you might ask could the world shrink.


 I am not speaking of a smaller physical land form, but instead the people withing.  I first began to notice my shrinking world when I moved to Texas.  You can live in the midst of millions of people and actually know fewer people than you did when residing in the middle of 20,000.  Large cities are not conducive to a plethora of relationships.  The void of common history also builds a natural barrier of mutual interest.  There is no picking up where you left off when you have only lived in an area for a brief time period.


I moved back to Ruston thinking I would once again be exposed to large numbers of friends and acquaintances.  It wasn't long before I found myself running in a rut.  I was doing the same things, with the same people on an on-going basis.  The friends I was in contact with are wonderful people, but I was not seeking difference in my life.  As I made the same circles day after day, the rut was growing deeper and deeper and my world was shrinking.



God began to open up new opportunities with a wide variety of people from all age groups.  The first meeting with the new ministry opportunity group found me in a room full of YOUNG people~the age of my children.  Half the time, in the first meeting, I did not know what they were talking about or as they threw around names--who the people were.  To my amazement, there is a bright new world full of young people with a passion for ministry.  I left invigorated and excited about new opportunities.




I believe it is a natural phenomena for our worlds to begin shrinking as we age, UNLESS we are careful to continue to expand them.  We begin to have tunnel vision when we see and hear the same things over and over.  Balance is always the key in keeping our worlds expanding.  Hopefully I will not wake up some day and have turned into one of these old people who tell the same old stories over and over.  The old stories are wonderful to hear, but how refreshing to add a new one to the mix occasionally.

Wisdom can come with age.  To have the opportunity to share your wisdom, there is a need to have cultivated friends of all ages.  My peers are not so interested in my wisdom~they have been there done that.  The younger people in my circle though are open and interested in life's stories and things I have learned.  The key to sharing is getting out of the rut and seeking new opportunities.  I am always amazed at who God places in my path.  It is a two way street of exchanging ideas~win/win!

26 You will come to the grave in full vigor,
 like sheaves gathered in season.
Job 5:26

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NO NEED FOR PRACTICE

Recently I woke up in the early hours of the pre-dawn (I seem to have forgotten how to sleep all night in my old age) thinking "Practice the Presence of God".  NOW when the first thought that pops in my head, without any previous coaxing or thought, is unexpected, I usually pay attention to it.  


During the day that played out before me, I kept thinking of how with practice we could become conscious of the presence of God continuously throughout the day.  By keeping my eyes open and my ears tuned, I can become more acutely aware of God being by my side.



Later the same day, our small group gathered to continue to discuss chapter one of Ephesians.  Our group discussion leader reminded us of something which set off the bells and whistles~we are repeatedly told we are "In Christ" in the first chapter of Paul's book.  

Look over in Paul's letter to Corinthians~

Therefore, if anyone is IN CHRIST,
he is a new creation, the old has gone,
the new has come.
II Corinthians 5:17

We are reminded over and over that we are IN CHRIST.  One of the group members beautifully explained it by comparing it to being in the womb.  You are warm, provided for, protected, and always present with the mother.  So it is when we proclaim Christ as our Lord, we are In Him.  If Christ is part of the Trinity Godhead, it stands to reason, we are constantly in His presence by being In Christ.  

OH~What a beautiful and reassuring thought.  We are constantly in God's presence by being in Christ.  No need to practice~just remember who you are.


And you were also included in Christ
when you heard the Word of truth.
Having believed,
you were marked in Him with a seal,
the promised Holy Spirit
Ephesians 1:12

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

SINNERS AND SAINTS

Most of you know I saw "Hamilton" this past weekend.

I bit of advice before proceeding with the blog subject---read the book Hamilton or have a good friend read it and give you the history of Hamilton before seeing the play.  If you attend cold turkey, you will miss much of the message behind the play.  Our friend Margarita not only acquired tickets for us, but also gave us the history lesson~THANKFULLY!  I must admit I thought I was doing enough to listen to the music before attending--NOT enough!

There is one of the songs, "Wait For It" which was sung by the actor playing Aaron Burr.  When I read history, I usually stop at the facts and never consider the people behind the facts. {SIDE NOTE~ I have been inspired to leave behind the genre of "Historical Fiction" and begin a reading plan of "Biographies".  What made those who made history tick?  What were the personalities behind the faces in the history books. } "Hamilton" does an excellent job of giving a small glimpse behind some of those who were instrumental in forming our great country.  One small tidbit to whet your appetite~Hamilton's widow helped form the first orphanage in New York that was instrumental in raising many orphans BECAUSE her husband was an orphan. 

Back to the song "Wait for It", the chorus is this~

Death don't discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
Yeah, we keep living anyway
We rise and we fall and we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I'm willing to wait for it
Then I'm willing to wait for it, wait for it, wait for it

WOW~did this every immediately hit me as profound!  The message---YES, death is coming, but don't sit around waiting for death, but instead, continue living until it arrives.  We make mistakes, but we also only succeed when we continue to try.  Another day I will write about shrinking worlds, but for now, the word is keep on living.  Don't get stuck in the past, don't fret over tomorrow, but look at today and live your best.  There is a reason we are alive, there is a path to walk down, grasp every opportunity and live out today.  The words love and life are substituted for death in the first line in the refrain of this song.  The message---live to the fullest while you still have the gift of life.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


Sunday, July 14, 2019

ENDLESS MERCIES

AFTER AN EXHAUSTIVE STUDY

OF PSALM 23

THIS FEEDS MY SOUL



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

THE VEIL OVER TOMORROW


NO, this is not a book report.  I recently finished this book and it was a great book, but the blog is not a blow by blow retelling of this World War II historical fiction story.  Instead one small fraction of this tale inspired this post.  It is a mystery why one isolated incident will cause the wheels to start spinning.  I am thankful for the lessons I am shown in almost every aspect of life.


This story revolved around a circus in Germany during the War.  The two main characters are a trapeze artist who was divorced by her Nazi officer husband because she was Jewish and a young aspiring trapeze artist who ended up with the circus after a series of life changing events.  An amazing accident of fate that they become teacher and student in the art of flying.


Another side car of the story was the Gypsy fortune teller who traveled with the circus.  She gave a glimpse of the future to one of the main characters.   The future began to unfold exactly as she predicted and it was not a pretty prophecy.  The next time the fortune teller tried to give her another glimpse she walked away with a NO, thank you.

How many times have I wondered, "If I had only known what the future held."  When I began to think about the possibility of having the means to know what the future held, it occurred to me we are better off not knowing.  Had I known some of the things that were to come, would I have spent all my time trying to prevent the inevitable?  Would I have lived in dread instead of hope?

God in His infinite wisdom, wants us to live in hope.  He assures us He will be with us, sustain us, and hold us in the darkest of times.  If we knew what the tomorrows held, we would begin to think we were the masters of our future.  God uses each and every thing in our lives for our good and His glory.  If we looked in the magic glass and knew what the future held, would we run for the exit or work feverishly to change what is coming around the bend?  Our unawareness of even the next moment, encourages our dependence on God.  Our hope is built on nothing less than His perfect plan for our time here on this terrestrial ball.  "Don't be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.'


Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
 You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
James 4:14

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

WHAT WILL THEY SAY?

I attended a funeral this weekend celebrating the life of a great woman. How often do we attend a celebration of life and come away inspired?  As person after person testified how this wonderful woman had impacted their relationship with God, I was amazed.  Her son told us she wore the trappings of this world loosely.  She was the epitome of living in the Heavenly realms while still on this earth.  She shared that with a wide variety of people and prodded and encouraged them to seek a deeper relationship with Christ.  She described her deep relationship with these words, "I am His favorite."  


I have heard several stories over the years of a favorite grandmother telling each grandchild, "You are my favorite."  They do not realize until she is gone, she told each one that.  So it is with Christ, we can all believe we are His favorite because He loves us so deeply that no one of this earth will ever compare.  We can become convinced we must be His favorite because of the deep love we experience as we seek to know Him better.


As I left that funeral, I wondered, "What will they say about me someday when my life is celebrated?"  Will anyone report their relationship with The Father was deepened because of my urging?  What a sweet legacy to leave!  I must say I am very doubtful I am living up to this challenge.  As I discussed this with a friend, she told me to not be stressed with trying to be that person, but instead be content with who I am.  As I thought this over, I realized she is right.  What we all should strive to be is the best at what God has called us to be.



We are all not called to be an encourager.  God has a unique calling for each of us.  We are His splendid and varied creations with gifts showered upon us with an individual formula for each and every one of us. We should be striving to live the best life possible based upon our uniqueness.  Also we are charged to interact differently with different people.  Our relationships with others is based upon unique personalities and needs.  While we might be an encourager with one friend, we might be called to only be a listener with another.

So hopefully when the day comes, the reports will be varied when others speak of our relationships.  I am praying, based upon the leading of the Spirit, I fulfill a variety of roles with each unique individual.  At the end of the day, I pray others see me as a gift from The Father.  If He gifted me with life upon this earth, I should reflect who He intended me to be.   I am striving to be who God wants me to be in each and every situation He places me.  

What will they say?  Most importantly, they will say, she loved The Lord and He loved her.  I was His favorite.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10  

Sunday, July 7, 2019

CRY OUT

THERE IS HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS

AND REST FOR THE WEARY

HE WILL MEET YOU,

WHERE EVER YOU ARE



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Friday, July 5, 2019

THE SIMPLE THINGS


As we continue our summer series on selected Psalms, we recently studied the 23rd Psalm.  For certain the best known Psalm, it also was the first Psalm I memorized as a young child.  Beautiful~poetic imagery of Who God is and how He cares for us, this beloved Psalm is often quoted.  Our teacher used this book to highlight exactly what the Psalmist was telling us and I came away intrigued and immediately ordered the book. 



In the introduction to the author, this book above was also mentioned and I decided to order it also.  Having raised sheep as a 4-H project during my young years, I am very familiar with sheep and have always been fascinated by sheep dogs.  We had a half border collie long ago and the combination of the collie and a poodle was a really smart dog.  When traveling in Ireland almost 20 years ago, we saw a demonstration of a sheep herder and his dog with a herd of sheep.  Absolutely spell binding, I walked away knowing these dogs were bred to herd sheep by obeying their master's commands.  This sweet book did not disappoint, I sat and devoured it in one reading.  What great lessons about our relationship with God were gleamed by the author.  Fundamentally spot on!

GUESS WHAT!  This post is NOT about sheep, sheepherders, nor dogs.  Although I could go on and on about that, I came away with another impression I wanted to share.  God uses the simple things, the things we are familiar with to teach us daily.  I am often asked how I come up with the analogies I write about from day to day life.  I told someone this very morning, "Unless you are listening for the song, you won't hear the birds singing."  I am always looking for what God is teaching me throughout my day.  NOW, every moment is not teachable, but there are always lessons to be had in almost every day.

The Word is filled with Jesus using the day to day to teach us how to live.  The widow's mite, the potter's clay, wine skins, children, and the planted seed are only a few examples.  Why read over The Beatitudes again and remember the times you were wearing the shoes of the poor in spirit, the mourner, the persecuted, the merciful.  Jesus was an expert in the use of analogy.  The Word is filled with examples of day to day life when teaching us how to live.  It is not necessarily a profound, deep philosophical concept, but instead something from day to day life such as a shepherd keeping his flock that God uses to instruct us.
The simple parts of life are great tools for discovering God and deepening our relationship with Him.  



God knows most of us are not philosophical giants, but He also wants us to have a deepening relationship with Him.  What better way to draw us, teach us, and remind us of Who He is, but in the simple things of day to day life?  

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father,
and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:14-15

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

SAINTHOOD

I heard on the news last night that the Founder of Instagram is considering doing away with the "Likes" button.  I predict the popularity of Instagram will immediately go down the toilet.  We ALL want those "Likes".  Why else would we spend time posting anything on social media.  We identify the "Likes" with how we are regarded by those bothering to read.  OH, and speaking of readers~if they do away with the Followers, they might as well commit social program suicide.  Let's face it, we are all guilty of basing our self worth and esteem on our followers and likes.  Facebook goes so far as to give you a count once a year of how many likes and loves you have had.  We have a need to be held in high esteem and regard, and somehow social media seems to have become our Regard Barometer.


All businesses and non-profits know they must have a presence on Social Media these days to thrive.  The very essence of who we are, for many, has become wrapped around our social media presence.


One thing is for certain, when we die, there is no social media in Eternity~at least I don't think there is.  So after we leave this terrestrial ball, the essence of who we were while here becomes totally wrapped up in the memories of those we have left behind.  In my observation, there are usually two extremes in how our loved ones remember us--they either villianize us or sanctify us.  SO if you want to be sanctified--just go ahead and die and have immediate elevation to sainthood. 



We all have had the conversation with a loved one left behind by the dearly departed.  As they relay the sainthood of their loved one, those who are more objective are shaking their heads and wondering who in the world you are talking about.   I must admit to being slightly relieved that perhaps my loved ones will remember the good things about me and have amnesia about my bad.The fact is we are ALL fallen and we live in a fallen world.  We are NOT saints in our actions.  I, myself, leave a lot to be desired in the sainthood department.  My halo is tarnished and my sainthood mantle is tattered.  I get myself all tripped up in the fallen world and the next thing you know the thing I am doing is exactly what I know I should not be doing.  (Slight paraphrase from Paul)  There is no perfect man, except for One.  

Because of that One, we can claim the title of Saint.  It has nothing to do with us and our behavior, but everything to do with Him and what He did for us.  Our sainthood begins the moment we become Believers.  What a glorious gift~what a blessing and NOT because of what we have done, but totally a gift from Him.  So polish your halo and put on the mantle of sainthood, His priceless precious gift to those who believe.

  To the church of God that is in Corinth,
 to those sanctified in Christ Jesus,
 called to be saints
 together with all those who in every place
 call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 both their Lord and ours:
I Corinthians 1:2

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

GREAT POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY

In case you can't tell from this "selfie", this grand is a mess!  He keeps me laughing.  Often I have to turn my face so he won't see, because at times he is a little naughty.  He DEFINITELY enjoys the spotlight!

He and the big brothers attended day camp last week.  At the end of the week, his mother asked him, "What was the Bible Verse for the week?"  Without hesitation, he quoted directly from "Spiderman".



I will give him credit for quoting a Super Hero, but NOT the right one. (Originally this is a quote from Voltaire, the famous French philosopher) What is amazing is he said it so convincingly, that you might think he was quoting The Word.  When we don't know the answer to a question, giving an answer quickly and with authority can often convince those listening we know what we are talking about.

As I thought this over, after my initial fit of giggles, I began to recognize the truth in it.  We are told in The Word~


11 God will strengthen you with his own great power 
so that you will not give up when troubles come, 
but you will be patient
Colossians 1:11

SO, the little man is correct, God strengthens us with HIS own great power.  The power does not come from us, but instead God is the source of all power.  We are weak and mortal without His great power.


Searching for our responsibilities as Believers can lead to a long list.  Paul once again puts its all in a nutshell in the same letter to the Colossians~

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
 as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 
24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance
 from the Lord as a reward.
 It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

So perhaps the little man is on to something.  He might have instinctively known these words from one of his favorite super heroes could well apply to our lives as Believers.  With the great power which we are gifted from God, Himself, indeed we have a great responsibility.

Monday, July 1, 2019

CRACKING THE EGG

I recently heard someone comparing a performer to an egg.  Of course we all know that famous egg~ Humpty Dumpty



This nursery rhyme would have you believe once Humpty had his great fall, he was of no use.  I am not sure I agree.  Even in his cracked state, he serves to entertain, teach,  and amuse us.

While thinking about eggs, I thought of one of my first cooking feats, scrambling eggs.  Believe it or not, I taught myself how to cook.  As a young girl, I developed a fondness for scrambled eggs, and there were always eggs around to scramble.  My mother worked, so it became necessary to learn to cook or eat bologna sandwiches.  Thankfully I was extremely picky as a child (DEFINITELY got over that!) and so the things I would eat were very limited.  Long story short, it was a very short list of the things I needed to learn to cook.

Somehow I had to figure out how to get what was on the inside of that shell into the pan without also having a pan full of shell.  It took a few eggs to finally figure out the trick to cracking those eggs.  Today I am an expert, but the learning curve involved digging through the yolk to remove shell fragments inadvertently dropped plenty of times.  The good part of the egg, the part that was edible and of use was the soft inside, not the shell.  You can certainly find uses for the shells, but when it comes to cooking we only want what is inside the shell.  A firm crack and a well placed finger were the answer to dropping the yolk into the frying pan.  BUT what a fix we would be in if the egg did not have the protective covering of the shell.  Have you ever seen frog or fish eggs floating in the pond?  Try collecting them with no shell around them.  It is like separating water from oil---NOT an easy task.

So the lesson is to get to the good stuff, we have to be willing to crack the egg.

As I thought over the egg, I began to circle back and compare all of us to eggs.  How many of us have a protective shell around us?  Does the shell get thicker with life or are we vulnerable enough to allow ourselves to be cracked and expose the soft inside~the very heart.  I recently came across this quote, "You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart."  That my friends can be a tall order.  BUT if I am not willing to take a chance, even risk heart break, what am I missing out on?  Hero loves to have his soft underbelly rubbed, but he is reluctant to turn over on his back for fear of being at risk.  When he finally trusts me enough to allow me to turn him over and give him a good scratching, he is so happy.  But first, he had to trust me and be willing to take the risk.


We studied Psalm 23 yesterday in Sunday School.  I was struck by the promise of the shepherd's care once again.  I came away remembering that God has promised His goodness and love.  SO fear not, be willing to expose the soft inner side ~the heart~ and KNOW His rod and staff protect you. 

I know that your goodness and love
will be with me all my life;
and your house 
will be my home as long as I live.
Psalm 23:6