Tag Archives: #libearyn

Frustration and Example

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.
                                                ~Josh Billings
 
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”
                                                 ~ John 3:20-21
 
Nationwide Commercial.
 
     When I was little, I heard stories of my Grampy and his foul mouth.  I never experienced it, but I heard he liked to swear.  My dad did not.  He used made-up swear words.  Kay Arthur, Bible Study author and speaker, said her father used to say the first 5 books of the Bible instead of swearing.  
       I had my season.  My father and mother tolerated it, but one day my dad asked me to name several people I held in esteem.  So I did.  He then asked if they swore.  I was so ready to have an argument in defense of my father’s impending case, but all I could say was , “No,” because that was the truth.  He then said nothing and left me to think.
     Then, I watched this commercial and wondered where the kid who threw his phone (even though he was an actor) might have learned that behavior.  My imposition on this staged situation was that he had probably seen it somewhere, and perhaps the writer of the commercial had as well.
     The behaviors in the Nationwide commercial are supposed reactions to being treated unfairly, or like a child.  We should listen, take the time to hear the frustrations of a child.  We have all experienced the same treatment or frustrations in our own lives.  The key is that (hopefully) we are past throwing things, stomping our foot (uh oh!) and responding as the children in the commercial were prompted.  Because we walk in the God-light.
     Today, pray for the children, and their frustrations, and look for their teachers, and significant adults in their lives that they can show the way in spirit and in truth.
 
Because of Him,
Linda
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Devotional

Shards of Glory

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all. 

                                              ~Stanley Horowitz

 

     There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

                                            ~ Romans 5:3-4


     Isn’t this beautiful?  the contrast of the rising flames against the varied color blues for sky and sea or whatever thoughts are drawn from its viewing.  We pay little attention to the lead, or foil or copper that holds the glass in place.  We do pay attention to the light and its effect on the glass at different times of day.  

     Note that the pattern pieces here are not even. Each jagged or uneven piece adds to the uniqueness of the whole picture, but when you see the piece separate from the window, it is hard to imagine just how it is going to fit together. The panels have to be cut, using special oil on the cutting tool, they are cut from the bottom of the glass up, burnished, wrapped with copper foil, soldered and eventually, pieced together.

     And so it is with the trials, temptations, troubles, brokenness.  We cannot see where they fit in the prayers of our lives, we cannot know just where the Lord is going to shine through.  We don’t always get to see what we look like when the light is shining through us, we just know we were placed in a particular spot for God’s purposes.

     Today, as you find the broken pieces, decry the grindstone as it runs up against the rough edges, praise God for the light that is shining through, praise God for the solder, the foil, the flux that holds it all together, that it will form a complete picture that reflects God’s glory.

     Because of Him,

Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Devotional, Poetry

When I can’t, God can!

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. 
 
                                                           ~ Mary Oliver
 

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

                                               ~ Ephesians 3:20-21

      A friend of mine used to say that God was so much more willing to help us than we are willing to ask.  This goes for just about everything.  I have been plagued with what I thought was a friendship for most of my adult life.  Subsequently, I missed out on what a healthy friendship looks like.  There are many I love, but have not reciprocated their invitations with invites of my own.  I judge myself before I even give them the opportunity, or, worse, I judge what I believe they will think of me once they have been to my home.  All of this based primarily upon a life time of a disappointing “best friend.”

    After reading the advice by Mary Oliver, a treasured poet and a practical one as well, I believe I have passed the holding on by about three decades.  Today, I believe I will write a litany of letting go for this friendship that shaped my life and ways of looking at friendship.  I am so thankful for some precious sisters in Christ who show me the love of God with every glance, with every action, even if we cannot see each other always.

     Today, consider beginning to let go of that thing or person that holds you back.  And don’t forget to ask God for help.

     Because of Him,

     Linda

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Relationships and Parents

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
 
                                ~ Bertrand Russell
 
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
 
     I don’t remember what lead up to it.  I just remember what my father said.  “I don’t want to have an adversarial relationship with you, I want to have a good relationship with you.”
     I don’t remember how old I was, just the feeling that my dad recognized that things could be better between us.  He was already the smartest man I knew, and more important than smart, he was wise.  He thought things through, he looked down the road.  He flew over Long Island when he was considering a job here at Grumman Aerospace after using a compass and drawing a circle with a thirty mile radius. He then determined he did not want to drive into the sun, and that he wanted to live on the North Shore because it was most like home, home being Massachusetts.
       This man who designed planes with the pilot’s safety at the fore, was taking a look at our relationship and determining that it could be better.  And it was.  Better than before.  It also made me more conscious of my part of the relationship.
     Our Heavenly Father sent His son to improve the relationship between us and God.  And we also have our part in the relationship.  A part of that relationship is listening, looking down the road with the arm of Jesus over our shoulder.  And a part of that is keeping in touch.   If you are a parent, consider the word for today.  If you are a child, look to God for today’s roadmap. Let “G” in GPS be God.
     Because of Him,
     Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Devotional, Poetry

Thy Will Be Done

We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box. 
     ~Robert Fulghum
 
 
Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
     ~ Matthew 7:13
 
     Recently I heard about someone getting picked up with 10,000 dollars in cash and tickets.  A couple were selling tickets to Heaven and promising prime seats.  The sad news is that they had $10,000 dollars that showed someone believed them.  They were saving up for money for drugs.   Oh the folly!  We see right through it don’t we?
     Yet, I watched my mom fly my ailing father to Mexico for miracle cancer treatments, see countless prayer requests on social media that suggest that God is a magic wand to be waved over illness, depression, bankruptcy, abuse and it will all magically disappear.
    My father died of a cancerous brain tumor, people get sick, depressed, become bankrupt…while believing in God and so many don’t give up!  Perhaps they prayed the prayer that never fails, a prayer I saw popularized, or “came to light” while reading the Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  Whenever the character got to the corner of Rock and Hard Place, the prayed it.  Simple, tough, flawless “They Will Be Done.”
 
     You are facing that impossible situation, living through the nightmare, looking for any sign.  You have tried everything.  You have missed the last clue you recognized.  He is there.  In the midst of it, in the light, in the darkness.  This song by Craig Courtney is one of my top five choral anthems we have ever sung.      
     Our accompanist plays like she was at the crucifixion, waited the three days, and saw the light of the third morning. Our director of music conducts as if he saw the whole thing, and sat down and wept into the music of his life. They pull the essence of the composer’s intent and pour it through their bodies and souls.   And then we sing.  Or, at least the rest of the choir does. 
     Try the prayer that never fails.   Sing. Cry. Praise His Holy name. 
Thy Will Be Done – sung slightly slower that we sing it, but oh the words!
 
Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Working Together

All in favor of conserving gasoline, please raise your right foot 
     ~Author. Unknown
 
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 Cor. 1:10
 
     A helicopter landed on our school property.  We all thought it was a car accident.  The field had to be evacuated, and the police and the ambulance were at the ready.  A man had injured himself with a chain saw and had to be air-transported to a local university hospital.  All we knew was, we were to say inside. 
     There was a flurry of activity and there were children concerned about the injured party (who no one ever saw).  The principal lifted the “all clear” signal and school life resumed as “normal” as normal can be at this time of year.
     Everything went smoothly outside because of cooperation between the police, security, staff and children.  My dad used to say that there are rules in place for our protection.  The same is true of the church.
     We must get along. The toe doesn’t have to be in love with the eyelash, but they must all work together for the body to function properly.   If you injure a foot and compensate, the rest of the body suffers.  Today, step out in Jesus Christ, using your human body which must look before it leaps, and your sense of community that walks by faith.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5exvfbnFMUg
Cooperation Makes it Happen
Almighty God, thank you that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Help us to act as one body in community, one healthy body that just wants to work together, praising You.
     Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Devotional, Poetry

Celebrating You.

In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy. 
 
      ~ Robert Brault
 
The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!
 
      ~ Proverbs 31:30
 

Full Definition of FESTOON

1
:  a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points
2
:  a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing a decorative chain
See festoon defined for English-language learners
See festoon defined for kids
Origin of FESTOON
 
When I saw the word festoon,  I wanted to know more.  I looked up the definition and got caught on the first one. 
A decorative chain or strip hanging between two points…instantly I saw a life, birth to death, and all the adventures of that life strung as a garland between.

Each piece is an individual representation of an experience, and occasion, much like a charm bracelet. Usually the bracelet is made up of charms that remind us of our travels, special occasions, gifts.  I don’t usually hear folks having a charm bracelet that represents pain or darkness, but I am sure that they exist.  What is on the garland is important, and so is the material upon which it is built.  The material must be strong, resilient, flexible and it must be durable.
Like Jesus.
Today, male or female, take a look at your garland.  See what the Lord has brought you through, what you have beaten, what joys you have afforded others, and yourself.  Indeed, an occasion for a festoon and for celebration.
Sometimes the Seed Fairy is you.  Rejoice in your garden!  Even the weeds have taught you, have given you depth, color, a reason to stop on the path and rest.
 
Lord, help me to celebrate the light and the dark, the bulb pushing up against the cold winter earth, to bloom into joyous builds, the dandelion whose roots are strong and seeds are like prayer, covering the earth.  Lord, thank you for me.
Because of Him,
Linda

Leave a comment

Filed under Devotional, Poetry