Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quicksilver Days

The years tumble by like colored blocks from a toy box. The green ones of youth, white of innocence, the blue of maturity, red of passion, and yellow of mellow age. The thirties turn like a square on a Rubik cube and, click, it’s the sixties.

Now, see the bright flashes of light that tiptoe across the lake in the late morning light of October. Stop and savor; when the wind shifts, all is gone except the dark shadows of the pine trees.

Late summer roses burst forth in an annual celebration of Indian summer days. Lean over, inhale slowly, feel the fragile pink petals which spill into my hand on your wedding day.

Come to the window, can you hear it too? Holding my breath in the winter air, I listen to the music of the wild geese until it fades away in the black velvet night.

Tiny fingers close around my large extended finger, then they release. I count all ten little piggies and marvel at the miracle which is my step daughter’s child. And I recall the sweetness of other babies’ necks.

It seems just last year that Mother was in her kitchen, making her navel orange holiday cake. Full of oranges from Dad’s grove, raisins, and nuts, the cake’s rich, dark, color was highlighted by the crystallized sugar glaze over the top. Now her hands are folded, still and cold. Yet I remember the brief hours, oft repeated, around the festive family table.

Only now can I realize how precious and singular are the days that remain. I reach - to fill my soul with the beauty of God’s world and the joy of family affections. Even as I try to grasp each moment, it slips through my fingers like the water of a mountain stream, quicksilver and cool.

Psalm 121:8 New Living Translation - "The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."

May you always have the Lord's peace and joy!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For the Children

May your world be so large that all your words won’t fill it up.

Words are magic, I’ve been told-
Little treasures, pots of gold.

They can take you anywhere-
Over the moon or under the stair.

In your brain they make an itch.
Follow your doggie over the ditch.

Words can be both sharp or kind.
Make the pictures in your mind.

Words are sticky, smooth or sweet.
Run in the tall grass with bare feet.

In a silver airplane I shall fly
With my Daddy through the sky!

Moon comes after the sunbeams yellow.
Mommie’s lullaby; I feel mellow.

Luke 18:16 New American Standard - But Jesus called to them, saying, “Permit the children to come to me, and do not hinder t hem, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who is He?

Luke 2:25, 27-32 (New American Standard Bible)

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."

Simeon confirmed the identity of Jesus when he was 8 days old. In his life, Jesus fulfilled all the law and the prophets and took upon himself the wrath of God against all sin of all people. He finished the task on the cross, was resurrected by God and will return to gather unto himself all those who believe that Jesus is Lord.

We celebrate in this season the glorious love that God has for all humanity. He sent his very Son to make a way for each person to have fellowship with Himself. I don’t know why he loves me, I just know that he does. It is equally true that He loves you. Who can deny such a love that sacrificed so much for you and me to have a relationship with Him and for you and me to spend time (eternity) together with Him?

In this season, let us praise God for his gift of love---Jesus.

Blessings to all during this season!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walk with Me

Abba, Father, teach me;
My spirit is quiet before your throne.
All my words strung together from all my years have come to nothing.
Give me, Father, your words to speak,
Your words to inspire,
Your words to guide me.

And it came to pass that the Word became flesh and lived among us.
Jesus alone was clean and pure, without sin.
How humbled I am, knowing deep in my soul that Jesus loves me.
Because of His finished work on the cross,
Now I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ.

His love has become the light to my path.
It is His light that glows within me.
His love teaches me to trust Him implicitly.
Jesus comforts me with His peace.
It is as if He puts His strong arm around my shoulder and walks beside me.

Galatians 6:10 - So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Proverbs 22:1 - A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Tale of Two Trees

Once upon a time there were two trees in a magical garden. No people had found this place and so the trees and plants grew undisturbed. One cool, breezy morning the taller tree, El, began moving his leaves in such a way that he began to speak. The other tree, Si, understood and he also began to communicate.

Both trees were quite stately and beautiful with luscious fruit hanging low on strong branches. Each tree took pride in producing perfect fruit. And so it was that they began to proclaim the astonishing qualities of the fruit they each bore. Si, feeling most confident, declared that his fruit would produce superior knowledge in anyone who ate of it. With knowledge, he reasoned, one could choose wisely between the good and the bad.

El listened patiently and thoughtfully replied that his fruit had a radical, supernatural power to give life to those who partake of his fruit. And so the matter stood. Each tree had fruit with incredible power for those who ate from it.

Epilogue. The tree El is the tree of life who is Jesus. He has within his power to give eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Si is the tree of knowledge, both natural and scientific. One can have extraordinary knowledge and wisdom and still miss the gift of life everlasting.

It remains a choice for each human to this very day.

Romans 10:9, 13 - Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Six AM in Edinburgh

How excited I was on my first trip to Europe in 1986. I had joined a small group of teachers and students, and we had experienced a tiny bit of London & Bath, England. Thursday night we left London on a train bound for Edinburgh and haggis and other delights of Scotland. Someone had procured a small bottle of wine, and after much ado the bottle was opened and paper cups materialized. All the adults received a bit more than a sniff as the train roared out of the city and across the inky landscape. Before dawn the train attendant knocked on our door and thrust a tray holding 2 cups of Hot coffee into my hand. Now, I’m awake, still lying on the bunk. Ruth clambered down from the upper bunk, took her coffee, and started down the hall. I elected to brush my teeth first using the lavatory in the compartment. All my toiletries and first aid supplies were in plastic bags so they were easy to find in the semi-dark. Shaking my head from the cobwebs, (maybe a little wine) I squeezed an ample amount of toothpaste on my brush. Only after 2 seconds did I realize, “Something’s wrong here!” I had brushed my teeth with Ben Gay!

At this Thanksgiving time, we can all find some reason to be happy.

Proverbs 17:22 - A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit and Self An Imaginary Dialogue

H I’m starving! Growing weaker every day. Won’t you help me?

S If I can. Who are you? What do you need?

H I need the Bread of Life.

S Is that wheat, Italian or rye? Chuckle

H Not exactly. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Feed on the Word.

S Wait a minute. Explain yourself.

H I am the Holy Spirit of God. I have been given to you to help you in this life and to bring resurrection to your body at the last day.

S Oh! My! Oh! Humbled

H Because I live in you-I see through your eyes, walk in your shoes, hear through you and sometimes speak through you.

S You see what I’m looking at? You read what I am reading? Hum

H Yes. I need for you to read the scriptures; that is the Bread of Life.

That is how I gain my strength, my power to move in your life. (voice grows weaker) Forgive me; I grow weaker every day that you neglect to feed me that Bread.

S Oh, no. Forgive me! Father, forgive me. I did not realize that I was quenching the Holy Spirit.

(Starts reading a Psalm)

H Do you have any wine for me?

S I don’t understand.

H Do you have new wine in new wineskins?

S I don’t know. I suppose not. Should I?

H Let me put this another way. Do you love the Lord?


H How do you express that love to him?

S Well, I go to church. I appreciate earth’s beauty. and His blessings.

H Good. But how do you really show that you love God? It is the first commandment, you know. Do you praise and thank Him for the things you just mentioned?

S Uh. Sometimes.

H Would you like to do that just now? Practice a little?

S (bowed head, reverently) I praise you, most holy God for out of your beautiful perfection, you have created a world full of great beauty, in infinite variety- on land, sea, and air. Thank you!

H That is the wine that nourishes me. The praise of the Father that glorifies Him. Now I can pray for you with greater power through my utterance, not your language.