Tag Archives: children

Prickly Pears

A child’s hand in yours–what tenderness and power it arouses. You are instantly the very touchstone of wisdom and strength
                                      ~ Marjorie HolmesWords from the Wise

 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

I and my Father are one.

                                        ~ John 10:28-30
     Oh to walk with the my hand in the Father’s hand.  I cannot imagine that my hand would even be seen in ridges of His fingerprint.  But just the thought gives me comfort.  The comfort that tiny ones have when they encounter us.  
     Just to walk with my daughters’ hands in mine gave them strength, and gave me a feeling of oneness with them.  When we walked as a family along the beach, hand in hand in hand in hand, oh the joy!
     But what about the prickly pears?  The ones that work hard to be unlovable but need our love even more?  They are among the ones I am praying for now. Not only the child prickly pears, but the adults who spend most of their time imitating sand paper going against the grain.  They make us better people, better Christians and even more tender.
    I am glad that the Lord loves me no matter how prickly I get.  And how much more I can experience that love when I let my shoulders relax, let down my guard, and let Him love me.
    Today, lift up the prickly pears, young and old.
Lord, you know the sweetness of the fruit inside of each prickly pear. Help me to love beyond the prickles. Help me to be less prickly.  Hold my hand Lord.
Because of Him,

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Let There Be Peace on Earth

Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. 
                                                              ~James Baldwin
If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
                                                                  ~ 1 Peter 13:18
     I saw it on social media.  “Supporters of ______ not welcome in this loving home.”   How can you use not welcome and loving in the same sentence?
    My point is not about the candidate.  My point is that the person who posted it has a young son who already knows that his mom “pretty much gets what she wants,” and is paying attention.
     I saw so much re-posting of hateful statements that I just stopped looking.  If you re-post hate, it is just another way of spreading it.
     Today, spend some time telling someone what you like about them.  I was so happy to see that my publisher posted this
We need to uplift each other and choose love over hate.

Like this status and I’ll tell you something I really like about you. Then, if you want to, repost this on your wall so you can spread the love. Choose love 

I love this! We shouldn’t need a prompt for loving, but no matter, I’ll take this one!
    Today tell someone something you like about them.
Let There Be Peace On Earth – Voices Without Borders
     Because of Him,

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A Mighty Wind

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.  
                                                                      ~ Seneca


 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
                                                                    ~ Romans 8:1-2
Mothers Day brought a mighty wind. 
It blew blue haired, lace stockinged moms
sun-dressed, barebacked moms,
mother-daughter pairs in too short shorts,
hair wrapped moms,
stand-in dads,
bless-ed aunts,
a plethora of children,
and those who wanted for them.
It blew the petals from 
past-bloom tulips, flame red and yellow
in our path, chocolate ice-cream drips
from an over-packed cone
and an under-quick tongue.
The sparkle came from moistened
eyes, pregnant good-byes,
warming words, longing sighs,
mothers gone, children far
and near, meals shared.
Some say it was the mighty wind 
blew through Mothers Day.
I say the wind began with You.

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When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. 

                                  ~ Leo Burnett

He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.
                                   ~ 1 Tim 2:5-7
     What I loved the most was the cross, wrapped in chicken wire, adorned from the first service.  It was the children’s moment, and Pastor Rachel went big.  A six foot cross wrapped in chicken wire.  Two baskets of flowers, and room, plenty of room to decorate.  
     The children were invited to come forward, consider the day, and that they were a part of it.  The next thing I knew, all the children were grabbing a flower and placing it on the cross, from the smallest to the tallest.  The older ones, adding design elements to “help” the smaller ones.
      Here’s my take away:  
  • children are a BIG part of the church.
  • they model what it is we should, that working together, we can build something beautiful.
  • that being a part of the cross is for the young blooms, and for those who are dying, as every flower that was placed on the cross was a cut flower.
  • that when you cannot reach, there is always someone who can help you.
  • this was no “cute” children’s moment.  It was vital and well planned for and the kids swarmed like bees once they were set forth with a job.
Thank you Pastor Rachel, for celebrating the children and their role in the church, in such a big way.   It was all I could do to stay seated.
Because of Him,

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Time and Love

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly      
      merry Christmas. 
             ~ Peg Bracken

     While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:

Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).

~ Matthew 1:20-23

     One of my third graders raised her hand at the end of class yesterday.  When I called on her, she began with, “Mrs. D., you seem like a person who has traveled the world. ” (Wow!) ” My dad told me to pick a place to visit for Christmas (double wow), and I was wondering where you would pick.”

     I thought quickly but before I could mouth my first choice, it was sung out by a little boy in the class.  “Hawaii!”  (That was my first pick!)  Then I mentioned Italy, but where my grandfather was born in Sava, not the amazing regular tour that folks go on (that I would still love to do,) and Ireland,  and France.  Because I have never been. 

     What a gift she is being given.  And she is being given two tickets, so that she will be getting the gift of time, which is how most of us spell love.

     Whether you give the gift of a ticket around the world, or running errands with a loved one, it is the time you spend with the recipient, not the $$.

     I am challenged to give the gift of time.  To the Lord.  To my family.  To myself.

Dear Lord, I thank you for the gift of the children, their openness with me, their willingness to share. their love.  Help us to give the gift of time and love to those we cherish, to those who don’t know that gift.  Help us to put feet on our faith.

Because of Him,


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Just the Way We Do

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

       ~ John 6:35
Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. 
     ~ Robert Fulghum
     The two sat at table.  She went about making “breakfast,” he sat down to “read” the paper.  She served him, he ate behind the paper and then folded up and got up.
“Bye, have a good day.” he walked out of the play kitchen.
“Bye honey, have a good day.”  She cleaned up the dishes and picked up the phone. “You can come over now, he’s gone.”
     This conversation was between two kindergartners where I first started working.  We all thought it was a funny story, and a sad one because the children were mimicking their parents.
     He was used to seeing his dad buried behind the morning news, she was apparently used to hearing her mom call her paramour after her father left for work. 
     They watch texting and driving (my students report in all the time when I ask them not to read and walk down the hall, followed with “Don’t text and drive either.”)  They watch as their mom claims it is their birthday just to get free cake. They watch you holding the door open for another, freaking out in traffic, speak harshly to each other.
     And, speaking for myself, I am thankful that my daughters remind me to love people the way they are, just the way I taught them, and sometimes seem to forget.
     Today, I am thankful for all those whom I have not loved the way they are, and my children who keep me in check by reminding me.
Lord, help us to see others the way that you see them, and to love the way you love.
Because of Him,

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Just Be Held

Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. 
     ~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969
God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.
   ~ Hebrews 4:12
     I serve some amazing children.  They come from affluence and poverty, joy and pain, struggle and flight.  When I sit in the choir loft on Sunday and look out at them, my heart is full.  They are kind and fidgety, compassionate and curious and they explode in joy at the most unusual times.  I am amazed at how they come up smiling after seeing, or knowing what they go home to every  night…what you go home to every night.
     I think my pastor chuckles at me for wanting to go and sit with the children every Sunday, and I know that it comes from an honest urging to go because I am a child of God. I see the child of God in him, in the congregation aging and otherwise.
      You are a precious child of God.  A God who knows the secrets, who knows why you blame yourself for things that you had no control over, a God who see the jewel you are, and the shine you are developing.  Sometimes, one just has to let go and be held.  Today, let the arms of God enfold you.
Just Be Held – Casting Crowns
Because of Him,

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