Thou Shalt Know Him

 
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
 
                                                                                                   ~ John 15:5, 8
Here are the lyrics to what you are about to hear:
 
Thou Shalt Know Him When He Comes
 
Thou shalt know him when he comes,
Not by any din of drums,
Nor his manners, nor his airs,
Nor by any thing he wears.

Thou shalt know him when he comes,
Not by a crown nor by a gown,
But his coming known shall be,
By the holy harmony
Which his coming makes in thee.
Thou shalt know him when he comes. 

Amen. Amen.
 
Thou Shalt Know Him When He Comes by Mark Sirett
 
Let the lyrics softly sink in. Do you ever wonder how you will know Him? Do you worry about missing his voice, his step, his call?  Fear not.  He is in your very veins. 
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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How do you solve a problem?

“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”
                                                                  ~ John 11:25-26
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved. 
                                                                   ~ Barbara Johnson
 
     It happens.  The problem, like a small dragon, is in the room. It is not dealt with.  The dragon grows. We’ll “get to it later.” And the dragon grows. Pretty soon we’re tripping over it, but still not dealing with it.
     We don’t know what to say, the dragon is too big, we don’t know how to deal with it. The child in the story, There’s No Such Thing As a Dragon by Jack Kent, sees the dragon. 
     He tells his parents about it.  They ignore it, they don’t see it.  It grows.  Billy pets the dragon and it makes him happier.  But Billy is sad because his parents don’t believe him.  The problem fills the house, but still, no one believes Billy.
     Have you ever had this experience?  You KNEW something, but no one believed you?  It seemed as if folks ignored you for the sake of proving their point?  But then the problem grew, and you got ignored for the sake of the problem?
     Sometimes, being kind is much more important than being right. Suspending our concept of reality to consider another just might be the “love” that the other person needs, and it just might change your perspective. If I believe in you now, the benefits for later will grow. If you believe in me now, I am able to either let go of, or absorb the thing you are trying to tell me.  Sometimes we just need to be heard.
 
     Jesus hears you. He is the life in you right now, no matter who else cannot hear you.  Stand on that, right now.  You are the person who needs loving, not a problem to be solved.
Maria
    Because of Him,
    Linda
     
    
     

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Corrections?

Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself. 
                        ~Elbert Hubbard
 
“I am the Good Shepherd and know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
                ~ John 10:14-15
 
     I have noticed an increase in being corrected.  During library class.  By my students…of any age.  In many cases, I begin a sentence, and cannot even get to the comma before I am interrupted, the young one too impatient to wait, or not able.
     I can remember being the student, in the 7th grade, sitting at the end of a row of “good readers,” waiting my turn, keeping track of EVERY mistake they made.  Why?  I wanted to be the FIRST in that row.  I thought if I kept track of the “good” student’s mistakes, I could advance myself.
     Let’s move that forward, a few decades.  Meals at my in-laws, where even the time was a debate, let alone the English used in describing whatever came next. Meals with friends whose spouses feel compelled to correct them over some minor detail.Pretty soon, folks dropped out of the conversation.  It escalated, there was no room to move on, but for me, perhaps move away.
     What was the point?  Personal advancement?  Sibling rivalry gone awry?  Being right? What happened was, the conversation stopped because it quickly escalated into something  more than the story being told.
      When my students correct me, I ask them if they appreciate being corrected, I ask if it was crucial for them, I ask them if they understood what I was trying to say.  In every case they did NOT like being corrected and they did understand.  They also knew I would ask, “Did you understand?”
 
      Gigi – I Remember it Well
 
     What was important here, was the looks in their eyes as they spoke and what they took with them.  There was no national security issue, to Regents paper due, just a conversation between two former sweethearts who still held some regard for one another.
     What atmosphere do you want at your table?  How do handle corrections?  Please feel free to share.  
      Young ones all over are waiting for the answer, and a few young at heart only.
    Because of Him,
     Linda

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Repent?

Wisdom is not what you know but how quickly you adjust when the opposite proves true. 

                                         ~Robert Brault

 

 …so he explained it to them.
 
“I am the Gate for the sheep,” he said.
“Yes, I am the Gate. Those who come in by way of the Gate will be saved and will go in and out and find green pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
                                          ~ John 10:7, 9-10
 
     So amidst this always different holiday season, I find myself needing a cleansing.  Of all my old thoughts, old ways of looking at relationships, pain that I have been tending like little sheep.  And sure enough, our Pastor makes a connection between the purple in the candles harkening back to repentance and an “unwelcome guest”at the Christmas party.  
     Good ol’ cousin John the Baptist.  The “repent” scripture was in the lectionary and discuss cleansing we did.  Immediately after service, I encountered someone with whom I had years of experience.  I heard an exchange that she had with another member of the congregation and thought, “Wow, all that acid you have been sharing is rooted in jealousy.”
    Which of course made me look inward.  I have lots to look at again. And the perfect season to remember that my sins will be made white as snow, as long as I shovel them toward Jesus.
 
Mercy Me – All of Creation
 
     Because of Him,
      Linda

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Gratitude

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. 

                                               ~Author Unknown


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.                                    ~ John 1:1-3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLqrIOI86hg

In the Beginning – Rosephanye Powell

    Read the scripture. Simple. Words.  One “voice”, one layer begins this powerful, textured, wonderful anthem. It begins quietly, builds, adding layers as it moves to a crescendo ending in one word: God.  Even the word God is almost like a piece unto itself.  It begins quietly, opens wide then fades as if God has just passed.

    Gratitude.

    For the simplicity,

    For the complexity,

    For the crescendo of creation.

    For the silent contemplation,

    For the footprint He has left 

    As He passed in a crescendo.

    Imprint.

    Gratitude.

Because of Him,

Linda

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Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. 

                                               ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

     The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up.

     And so since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives we should be living!

                                                               ~ 2 Peter 3:10-11

                                                 
Look closely at the little boy’s hands.  Can you see that he is holding the light?  I saw him in a market in Maine, crouching down, chasing the light.  I asked his mom if I could take his picture, and took a chance on missing the moment, but, permission secured, I took a series of photos.

    “Mom! I caught a fairy!” He crouched there, not defining it any further, not trying to capture it, not moving, fully immersed in the experience.  He was, for me, an aspect of what pure worship might be. He followed the light, he “captured” it in his hands, and reverently soaked up the experience.  He did not question whether or not a fairy should be in a farmer’s market in August, or cry because he could not take it with him.  He immersed himself, and indeed not only did he take it with him, he gave anyone who was seeking more than a colorful bunch of carrots, something to behold and model.

    Lord, be our path.  Let us be led by you, your word, your Spirit, your light.  

Because of Him,

Linda

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