While reading Romans chapter 12 recently, an old saying kept popping into my mind:
“Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”
While in the Word this last week, two words kept popping up on my radar: “guide” and “shepherd.” It caused me to think about the importance of guides in our lives. A guide is one who advises, provides information, and direction.
Have you been wondering if truth exists anymore?
Truth is to be based on fact and reality. “True” truth is genuine, accurate, exact and balanced.
My grandfather loved puzzles. Every Thanksgiving, out came the card table and a puzzle. Whoever stopped by would put a piece or two in the puzzle, and by Christmas the puzzle was complete.
2020 brought tumultuous times to all of our lives! “2021” seems to be no different. The loud, disorderly, confused, excited noise we hear each day is bombarding our minds and spirits! The last few weeks have found me calling out for God’s peace and mercy.
I love Valentines Day! Sending and receiving a Valentine is a simple way of letting someone know you love and care about them. Ed and I started a Valentine tradition many years ago of sending a $2 bill with each of our grandchildren’s valentines. Many of them have kept the $2 bills as a treasure; others have spent them. For Ed and me, it was a way of us letting them know how special, unique and loved each one of them is.
I love the joke my husband told recently about the two little boys who were misbehaving and had their mother totally frustrated on how to handle them. One day she was sharing this frustration with her neighbor. Oddly enough, the neighbor had the same problem once with her boys. So she offered some advice: “I took my boys to the pastor for some counseling, and it really helped.”
Francis Schaeffer once asked a question: “How then shall we live?”
Many times, we read God’s Word but have a hard time applying it to our lives or living out the practicality of it. While asking the above question, I decided to actually look up the meaning of the key words in Romans 12:9-21. This passage of Scripture left no doubt in my mind as to how we should live . . . as Christians and overcomers.
Counting the cost of our actions and words should always be a part of our daily lives before the Lord.
Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?” Is that really true? I do not believe so! Words can hurt as much as sticks and stones. There are consequences for both our words and actions, as well as ramifications. Those ramifications or consequences can produce good or evil, success or failure, love or hate, war or peace, joy or unhappiness.
My grandchildren love to go barefooted! In fact, I caught two of them outside shoeless after Christmas. During the summer months, shoelessness is the norm, but winter! Oh, my!
Last week I wrote about joy, which has led me to its twin – laughter. Just like twins, there are similarities, yet differences. Joy can be contemplative and even silent, but laughter is articulated orally and can be observed and witnessed.
Recently I found myself making a list and writing down Christmas Joy reflections! I thought I would share a few with you.
Car repair and mechanics are not my expertise for sure! While in High School I had 4 flat tires. Each time I had to call my dad to come help me. The fourth time, he told me that if I had another flat, I would have to fix it myself. Praise the Lord, I have not had a flat ever since!
Have you ever tried to walk backwards or watched your grandkids trying to do it? They end up going sideways while turning their heads trying to see where they are going. It’s not an easy task. It lends itself to a feeling of instability, awkwardness and insecurity. The destination becomes harder and takes longer.
This life lesson had me wondering how much of our spiritual lives are spent looking back, walking sideways, feeling unstable, insecure, moving backwards, not forward.
So much of life is about waiting! Waiting for the right partner, right home, right job, right doctor, right church, right thing to say or do. One of the definitions of waiting is to remain in readiness for some purpose, to stay where you are.
In John 4 Jesus was facing tremendous opposition from the Pharisees. He had just left Jerusalem and traveled north to Galilee. In order to get to Galilee, the shortest route took Him through Samaria. The Samaritans were a mixed race, part Jew and part Gentile. Jews wanted nothing to do with Samaritans because they could not prove their genealogy. The Jews had become prejudice. This prejudice was so strong that some Pharisees prayed that the Samaritans would not be raised in the resurrection! In John 8:48 it tells us that when Jesus’ enemies wanted to call Him an insulting name, they called him a Samaritan.
Growing up I was fortunate to have lived near lakes and water. Water and water activities were part of our family life. My mom never learned to swim. However, she knew living around water posed many dangers as well as joys and fun. Therefore, swimming lessons became a normal summer activity. Our first swim lessons were at CSU with the CSU swim coach, Mr. Solo. He was a no-nonsense coach. “Learning to swim is serious business,” he would say. “We are here to learn, not have fun! Fun is what you do after you have learned the skills of swimming.” If I could put it another way, he was telling us that you cannot save others until you can save yourself.
Recently I heard an interview with the United States Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He shared that when a new law clerk comes to work for him, he asks them to write their obituary. Why, you might ask? He did not want them to lose focus or forget who they were and why they were there. Oddly enough, he found upon reading the obituaries that it was not fame or fortune, but family, friends, and making a difference that they wrote about. He also asked each one to keep a copy in their desk and to look at it each month in order to remind them of who they wanted to be!
How we communicate with each other has been changing constantly from the beginning of creation. For example, God verbally talking to Adam and Eve in the garden, the Ten Commandments written on stone, God speaking through a burning bush, dreams given to men, clouds, fire, messages written on walls, plagues, donkeys, storms, written letters, TV, iPhones, texting, or person-to-person communication.
Recently while walking around a lake near my home, I saw a beautiful reflection of trees, sky, and ducks in the water around me. It got me to thinking about reflections. Upon further observation, I realized that the reflection needed light and calmness of the water to produce the image I was seeing.
My youngest grandson was asked to draw a picture of heaven at school. In his picture was the Tree of Life, River of Life, golden streets with mansions, and God sitting at His computer! When I asked him what God was doing, he immediately replied that He was controlling the world!
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord: my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. (Psalm 61:10 NKJV)
Recently my husband’s sister had to be hospitalized for an infection in her leg. She then had to go into rehab for several weeks.
She has two parakeets, which needed care. So every four days we would go to her apartment to take care of the birds. On one of those occasions one of the birds escaped from the cage. Oh, what a fiasco!!
My grandchildren love playing “Hide and Seek.” They not only like hiding themselves but hiding objects and finding them.
Our Christian lives can often find us playing “Hide and Seek” with God. “Where are you, God? Am I hot or cold? Give me a hint of where you are and what you are doing.” At times, we even wonder if He had given up on finding us!
From Kathy’s heart to yours
As I sit in my “meeting-God” chair each morning, I can look out at my garden. Every morning God sends the birds to bathe in the birdbath and sing. Every morning God wants to remind me of who He is and what He desires to do in my life.