“Criticize by creating.”
Teach me how to live to please you,
because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit
into cleared and level pastureland.
~ Psalm 143:10
Oh how the words spring to my lips! But the Lord held his gentle hand over my mouth yesterday, when yet another interesting encounter came. Instead of reacting to the person who expressed an opinion meant to sting, I responded as kindly as I could. No tears, no crazy talk, there was an actual discussion. And then, moving on. My uncle often says that you can only help those people who want to be helped, and you cannot help those who don’t want to be helped. I was able to able his wisdom yesterday, and I had a great day.
The kids are so excited to be in school, and happy to be in the Library. The love flowed back and forth all day long.
What would have been a stumbling block last year, became a stepping stone.
Today, create, clean, get ready for something wonderful. God is with you.
Lord, thank you for being the balm for my soul, the covering for my brokenness, the defender you have always been.
Because of Him,
Above All – Michael W. Smith
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
~ Arthur Conan Doyle
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
~ Galatians 5:13
I sit in the corner, if given the chance.
Back to the corner, I can sweep with a glance.
The room full of people, relationships bare.
A room full of strangers or church members there.
Then he enters in, and all I can see,
is his reflection, the room is all free.
The gift is not opened by all in the place.
But this day, I open it. That pendant marked Grace.
A New Hallelujah
Because of Him,
1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
(I will praise thee with an upright heart,
when I learn thy righteous ordinances. 119:7
…all by itself from Revised Standard Version.)
We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.
~ Ben Sweetland
I have a friend whose Ojibwe name means lighted path. He walks gently. He observes completely. The hospitality of his house is generous beyond measure. Anyone passing by is offered a seat, some food, some refreshment. If you are a friend, your friends are as well. He is a confident man, an accomplished cook, an loving husband, father, grandfather. His focus is on the path.
When he was a young man, he brought his grandfather to his new dwelling. “Look Grandpa at what I own!” And his grandfather replied “But who owns the sky?” My friend was humbled and enwisened all at once.
Today, as you spread light along the path, take stock of what you own, and indeed, the One who owns the sky.
Because of Him,
When I am in the country I wish to vegetate like the country.
~ William Hazlitt
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit[a] to those who ask him!”
~ Luke 11:13
I was showing my third graders a short clip of the Discovery Education channel’s series on the Great Wall of China, because of the largeness of the iconic wall, and because of the motivation of the first emperor of China. After showing the footage of the history, I showed a short clip from Disney’s Mulan. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpYRZdw0UpA
) . We listened until the enemy uttered his single word answer to “Now all of China knows you are here, ” which was “Pefect.”
We moved on from there to the emperor himself. Qin Shi Huang was afraid. He was afraid of death to the point that he sent details of explorers out to find the secret of youth, swallowing ground jade, mercury in his food so as to live longer and avoid death. He built the wall to protect China, but out of fear of dying because of invading nomads. He built an elaborate tomb with booby traps that kept the deliverers of his funerary capsule prisoners until death so that the whereabouts of his body would never be revealed. He believed in the afterlife, but there was no hope, no joy, no peace for this ruler.
By contrast I showed the footage of Lord of the Rings (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKy7JwRNJb4
). We join the footage just after the first fire is lit. The perspective changes so that one can see the fires lit right across the mountains. This call to alarm gave hope, a sense of unity against the enemy for all that was good in the kingdom.
Because of Him,
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.