Walk With You

Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.


                                                                                      ~ Ephesians 6:4
 
“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
 
                                                                             ~ St. Francis of Assisi 
 
     It was days after my graduation from college in 1974.  I was beaten, bruised, finished with school, and a marriage.  I packed up my life with my soon to be ex, and came home, only to have my dad try to counsel him as he sent him on alone.
     I was miserable, lethargic, full of self-blame, doubt, wounded more on the inside than out.  And then my dad.
     My dad walked me.  Oh, there was no leash, or collar, but my dad insisted that I come with him and just walk.  Under protest I listened.  We hadn’t gotten five houses up the street when I began to feel better, talk a little, even laugh a little.  My dad did not use words like endorphin, or exercise, or feel better, he just listened and walked.
     To this day it is my favorite form of exercise.  
     The bruises healed on the outside much more quickly than those on the inside. But they began the process of that healing during those walks with my father.
      I am so thankful for the Father above who walks with me still.
 
Lord, there are so many wounds that do not show. Help me walk with you and let the healing begin, continue.  In Christ’s name we ask it,   Amen.
     Because of Him,
      Linda
Walk With You  – Della Reese
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

More Than Anything


     “Making words slant across the page was like making rain. Flowers grew in ink. Hurricanes and revolutions were stirred up by the sound of pen scratching paper.”
                                                                        ~ Erica Jong
 
      Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
 
                                                                          ~Romans 15:1-2
     Help?  I look around and see my neighbors. They greet me every time they see me, they are busy in their lives, they are lovely people. If I ask for something, they do what they can to help.  I just do not feel as if I am a good neighbor. This year more than any other year.  I am not out working in my garden (though the rain has been so relentless!), I am not calling on them, or making phone calls, or even texting them. 
 
     I have invited no one over for so many years, other than the occasional barbeque and I mean occasional. Since the kids have grown, I have been less of an active neighbor.  The only thing I have continued to do for these precious folks, is to pray for them, pray for their children, their relationships, their knowledge of the Lord.  
 
    For years, I wanted to have a block party, or tea parties and I allowed all those other obligations to get in the way.  Some of it has to do with pride, some of it has to do with fear, neither of which are on the list of recommended friends for a believer. Insecurity also looks to sit at my table, how to compete with the great cooks, incredible community changers, amazing hosts and hostesses and then there is my fear of political argument. The last time I believed someone about having a discussion, I lost two friends, and that was just because I said I was excited about having the discussion!  Up until then, they had made assumptions about my political standings because I do NOT discuss politics.
     The answer? I know.  It is not about competing, or being a better volunteer or hostess.  It is about being the best me in Jesus that I can be. Jesus sits both sides of the aisle, caring not for standings other than with the Father.
    I am looking forward to retirement. (This year.) But I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.  I don’t want to say I’ll do all the things I have always wanted to do for my neighbors and then fall short once more.
 
More Than Anything
 
   Lord, give me the courage to reciprocate, invite, enjoy these people for whom I have prayed, hoped for and appreciated. Help me want you Jesus, more than anything.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

God of All My Days

“Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.” 

                                            ~ Alexander Pope

 
 I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.
                                               ~ 1 Corinthians 1:10
 
     Have any of you ever felt alone?  You’re sitting in a group, you see others sitting with friends, and week after week, you find yourself outside of that circle?  Maybe not just at work, but at church, at play, in group activities? You are welcomed…as you walk by but no seat is saved.  You sit down, and others sit around you, not with you…and you’ve taken a shower!?
     I recently described a situation to a writing group to which I belong and one of the women nearly leaped over the counter and said, “You’ve been called out by  God!”
    I found this article, and it seems to be spot on. I would love your responses. 
 
A Heart that is Set Apart for God.
 
    It is hard to consider getting along with each other when one does that and still feels alone. 
 
     Lord, you are the God of all my days, help me to see You in all, even separation.
God of All My Days
 
    Because of Him,
    Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

From the Inside Out

“By recognizing people’s contributions, you inspire them to bring new ideas to the table and to take it upon themselves to make this a better place to work.” 
                                                        ~ Betsy McLaughlin 
 
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
                                                         ~ Psalm 139:13-14
 
     There is someone in my circle of colleagues who has a wonderful manner with folks, says wise words, is great with approaches to problems.  He can recognize the good in people, is active in his house of worship, loves his family.  There is a gaping hole in his ability to affirm, recognize problems and deal with them professionally. He tends to think that things will all iron themselves out, when indeed, the iron is locked away.  
      When someone does get recognized, he tells others of their accomplishments, enjoys their reflection on himself, and doesn’t speak to the person.  
       It is hard to watch them reach out to folks for what appears to be the wrong reasons, it is hard to hear words and see actions that do not match.   
        Recently, I have returned to praying for this individual, for the factors that have contributed to his present state, remembering that as I point a finger toward anyone else, there are four pointing back at me.
        As I read the scripture this morning, I heard the strains of “From the Inside Out” ringing in my heart and mind.
 
Philips Craig and Dean – From the Inside Out
     I realized that it must be my prayer, my hope, my goal, not only for my colleague, but for myself.
     Lord, let your light so shine.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

Come as You Are

Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.”

                                                                          ~ Salvador Dali
 
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.                                      
                                                                         ~ Ephesians 4:32
 
     There is a professor that I had to whom I confided my lack of knowledge of classic poetry.  I am sure that I read many poems when I was younger, but whatever clarity I had about them left my consciousness when I went back to school.  She did not miss much before she said “Start where you are.”  
I purchased a book of 500 classic poems and began to copy them, one by one into a notebook.  I still don’t know them all, but I have a better understanding of the timeline of poetry.
     I had another professor who taught “The long poem.”  One of the students in our class questioned a poem that she mentioned in passing and her response was “You don’t know that poem?  Even my 12 year old son knows that poem!”  The student was discouraged, I was incensed, even though I knew the poem about which she was speaking.
     Sometimes we can use God in that way.  We know so much over our walk, and learn so much that it becomes second nature, and yet when someone comes to us in need, it is tempting to use the approach that the second professor used with my class.  Oh to hear the sweet words of the Master saying, “Come, follow me.”
Come as you are today church.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

Try and Try and Try Again

“You must never feel you have failed. You can always come back to something later, when you have more knowledge or better equipment, and try again. I’ve done this and it worked.”            

                                                                            ~ Gertrude Elion


 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

“As I live and breathe,” God says,
    “every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
    that I and only I am God.”

So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

                                                                               ~ Romans 14:11

 
     When facing a tough situation that involves others, it is so very easy to see what they should be doing, how it should happen.  What you might do. All of those things tend to make us God if we don’t first ask God “What would you have me do, Lord?
 
       Of course this came home to roost this week, and while the details need to remain veiled, I see that my role in this “situation” is to remember to ask God what God wants me to do, not how can I get involved and do God’s job.  
      The picture of me, being on my knees next to ______, _____, or _____, is a bit laughable, incredibly humbling, and helps my focus improve.  And I just love the encouragement to “tend to my knitting.”
 
Lord, I lift my situation(s) to you, and implore your help in assisting  in knowing our role, as your wisdom directs. I may fail, but try, I must, to keep turning to you till we all get home.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

Booed? You?

“I don’t care who you are, you hear those boos.” 
         ~ Mickey Mantle
 
 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
 
           ~ Corinthians 1:18
 
     After the attacks on September 11, 2001, there was a big gathering in New York City. It was a four hour concert or more.  There was a lot of anger, a lot of unity, a lot of tears.  During the concert, Richard Gere, an American actor, got up to the microphone and spoke about understanding, and forgiveness for the terrorists.
 
 “In October of 2001, just  a little over a month after 9/11, at a Concert in New York City to raise money for the victims of 9/11.  Richard Gere was one of the celebrities lined up to sing or say something to the crowd.
     When he came out, the crowd applauded until he said, “The horrendous energy that we’re all feeling, and the possibility of turning it into more violence, and revenge, we can stop that. We can take that energy and turn it into something else. We can turn it into compassion, and to love, and to understanding …”
     The crowd went nuts and started booing and jeering his pacifist stance, but this only made Gere say, “I know that sentiment isn’t popular right now, but that’s okay.” And yes, he was booed off stage.”

     When I saw him take the stage, I did not know what to expect.  When I heard his words, I knew that the sentiment was sincere, and that he would not be heard.  And Richard Gere, icon of so many wonderful films, was booed off the stage. His message of love could not be heard.  Whether or not one agreed with him, it did not stop him from trying to put love out there, it did not end his career.  He simply walked off the stage.

      It is so hard to be the object of anger, deserved or not. It is hard to be the one who says the thing that no one wants to hear, even in the name of love. To be clear, Gere is professed Buddhist, so to say he was preaching the gospel would not be completely accurate, but to say he had the heart of it, would not be completely inaccurate.
 
     How we deal with rejection says as much about how we understand the love of God as the way we deal with acceptance.
      I would love your thoughts on this one.
 
Because of Him,
Linda

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized