It’s no secret I am not for beating people up. Matter of fact a very dear friend of mine once called me a fence dweller in not so many words. At the time she was basically stating that I didn’t seem to want to take anyone’s side in an argument. Her words cut me deeply but not in a painful aspect, more in the sense I wanted to understand why she viewed me in that way. At the time it made me feel as though I was “weak” and wouldn’t take a position. This was many years ago and in that time both her and myself gave ourselves to Christ.
We have not had that type of conversation since but her words still haunt me. I wonder about them in metaphorical aspects. Am I a “peace maker” or a “coward” so to speak? It may be shocking to others that a person would be so blatantly honest in looking at the “inner man” but isn’t it time to let go of the shadows which try to keep us captive? I even have a family member whom I drive crazy because he can’t understand my continual search for truth and the confession at how this can change with our experience.
One of the areas that he misunderstands is my changing face. What does that look like? Humble. How many of us can admit the mistakes of our youth?
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
The roads are starting to back up around local neighborhoods, which means mom and dad are carpooling for the kids who are in school again. As an adult I can honestly say I remember what it’s like to be fearful of meeting classmates for the first time. My first day of kindergarten was so traumatic I have never forgotten it. I can remember crying for a long time as a teacher, whose face is now a blur, tried to help me find the box with my name on it. Since I didn’t yet know the alphabet, this took a while. I still get nervous around groups of people I don’t know, I suppose that is a good reminder for what our children face at this time of year.
I was thinking about loving parents and the desire we have to desperately want to protect our young There are the other kind of parents too. The one’s who are eager to drop of their disciplinary blunders for the chance of having a free babysitter for some hours in the day. When such worlds collide it makes for quite the social soup don’t it?
How does the caring parent really protect their own child without judging another’s? With the rise in “home schooling” you have to wonder at the balance being offered in our classrooms. I have no answers to this dilemma, only questions.
The game is afoot so to speak. McCain has announced his running mate to be Sarah Palin. Having been so turned off by the political bashing being done in the news media I have to admit I hadn’t been digging too deep into who the VPs were going to be so this announcement surprised me. I have a vague remembrance to having heard something a while back about some bridge to be “built to nowhere”, but it’s not real sharp in my recollection so perhaps I am imagining remembering the story. Either way the simple fact we have a political candidate who questioned a boondoggle that could have benefited her state grabs my attention. Why would a politician try to be fiscally responsible? So what if the bridge didn’t really make financial sense? She still could have pushed forward with the project, taken the money and when the project came up short, offered the usual…”Oops, we erred in our figures, please Uncle Sam, may you offer more nickels from your pockets lined by the tax paying citizens?”. So why didn’t she?
I have an answer…..common sense and perhaps some of what we rarely think politicians possess; integrity! Do we have a bona fide rational candidate who really takes their oaths to serve “the people” seriously?
She’s a woman. Well let’s talk about that. Being a woman myself I don’t feel compelled to vote for her because of her gender. I have worked with and befriended many women who I wouldn’t trust with my sandwich. No one should get a free vote simply because of gender or color so we need to look under the hood for what she really represents. Like any candidate, if their car is only “representing” but doesn’t “deliver” then vote your conscience.
I am steeling myself for the inevitable smear campaign, but I am ever hopeful truth shall prevail, and may the best leadership team come to power. Have you read your money lately? “In God We Trust”.
2 Ch 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
Last weekend I was up in Redding and participated in singing a powerful song called “King Of Glory”. It rang deep into my soul and I found tears running down my face. Music can move us like nothing else here on earth. Some music revs us up and some relaxes us. This particular song hung in the air like a cloud and gave me a reason to look at myself and who I am. What I am.
“King of glory, have your glory.”
As these words were sung out over and over, it started to really get deep into my heart. If I am His glory than what am I giving Him? This is when the tears came. I realized I am nothing without the blood of the lamb to cover me. The only way I can bring Him glory is to accept the grace He died for me to have. His perfect gift of life, that I may never die even when I pass beyond this world.
Psalms 24:10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory
My husband has been working overtime the last couple of days to groom our yard and fix those “things” needing attention around our house. I was quite pleased about this since our “built in” sprinklers work again. We have a habit of mowing them down on a regular basis. I’m sure this is to dull the blades on our mower so no real harm can be done to the thicker weeds.
With all the extra activity I am sensing some guilt attacks. I can hear a voice saying, “So what are you doing?” As I enter my driveway and pull up in front of my garage I keep seeing that big white door taunt me. It’s been so long since we opened it I fear what would roll out if we did.
Time for some loving tender care on my part. Besides being good for our home it would release me from being tormented by that voice dripping with self-righteousness. Yep, tomorrow I will have a new plan. My body will don a pair of those perfectly folded sweats I have been saving for future strenuous exercise and I will take a field trip into the unknown, otherwise known as my garage.
Even thinking about it now makes me feel pro-active. I like organization for sure. Speaking of organization, perhaps it would be best to have a game plan before I tackle the actual project? It would be a shame to start clearing the shelves without knowing where I plan on putting everything. I wouldn’t want to make a mess of the mess. I know……I will come home tomorrow and write out what I am going to do. That’s organized!
She woke early and try as she might there was no drifting back off to sleep. Her mind kept chattering despite any effort to quiet it down. Her husband lay sleeping beside her and although she wanted to snuggle up closer to his warmth, she thought it best not to disturb him. Extracting herself from the covers she tiptoed out into the living room. Her friend’s home faced the river and looking out she could see it would soon be sunrise.
Stepping closer to the screen she could hear the sounds of nature waking up. Finches flew in and out of the leafy oaks overhead. Slowly she opened the screen and stepping outside she slid it shut behind her. The patio was covered by an evergreen pine of some sort and an oak tree with bird houses nailed to its side.
There was a huge beam sitting upon cinderblocks providing a makeshift bench, so sitting down she relaxed in her surroundings. Breathing deep she sucked fresh air into her lungs and let her mind wander in its hope. Her eyes scanned back and forth trying to absorb every detail of beauty. She lived in the suburbs outside major metropolises of cities so her experience was becoming quite limited to any trees that were taller than 20-25 feet. Her heart ached remembering every old growth tree that was cut down only to be replaced with what she thought of as “tract trees” to make room for strip malls in her own neighborhood. Here, she could look up and see the expanse of old growth that provided an abundance of shade and character.
The sky grew lighter and her attention was drawn towards a particular bush where the color was different from everything around it. All the other trees were clearly benefiting from being so near the water and everything around had deep hues of green. The bush she saw however didn’t look like the rest, matter of fact it looked to be gold. Shaking her head she wondered if perhaps she were seeing things and refocused her eyes upon the leaves of this bush whose fullness was partially hidden behind a tree’s trunk. The color of gold was intense.
Was this a sign? Like Moses who saw a burning bush, could she be seeing something spectacular in this golden colored bush? Its color was so stunning. Something inside her gave way to caution so she went inside to get her camera. It had a decent long-range lens so she wanted to get a photograph in hopes of capturing this wonder. Taking the camera out of her bag she zoomed in tight to the leaves of gold. Under the intense focus of her lens the truth was at hand. These golden leaves were a “fool’s gold”. What looked so gorgeous from the distance was nothing but a ruse. Under closer scrutiny this colorful bush was nothing more than dead leaves with great lighting.
The truth in this experience was not to be lost upon her. She knew instantly there was a lesson to be had. Giving thought to how easily her eyes could fool her, she’d have to be careful of what looked to be gold on its surface but was truly dead. It was important not to be misled. Her willingness to put this bush under scrutiny and intense focus brought out its real character. She would be careful to study other such “golden” items or people in the future just as carefully as this bush.
1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Well it’s moving toward the end of August and I keep hearing all my friends and co-workers talk about their kids going back to school. For myself, I have recently ended a class that kept my attention for the last seven plus months. Isn’t it funny how we want to reach a goal and yet when we do, there is that momentary pause where you wonder, “What’s next?” I’d love to be in that category of people who just know what they are supposed to do; but I’m not.
As I take time to rest and relax, my mind is also wondering, “Where do I go from here?” Now this is more than just figurative. I have noticed my job is changing, my personal life is changing and my mindset is definitely changing. Add to that my husband’s changing life too makes for some interesting conversations. Faith in what our Father has in store for us keeps our sanity level in one piece, otherwise we would have been impulsive and bought a boat this weekend to live the perpetual life of “no boundaries” to shuck our responsibilities.
With the inevitable ending of summer days we must once more prepare ourselves for the changing season. How does one prepare for something if you don’t know what’s coming? Well, all we can do is what we already know how. We will clear the gutters of old leaves and gunk that would stop up the flow of water in coming rains. We will clean up around the outer part of our house, especially near the foundations where bugs or rats might want to seek refuge. We will cleanse the inside of our home for comfort when we cannot be outdoors because of weather. It may seem a bit early for this preparation but we like to live ready.
Ecc 3:1 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven
Relaxation can be so stimulating to our mental creativity. Once we are able to drop out of the “rat race” for a moment, we can see clearly again. I spent the weekend on water and realized once more how refreshing this is; to be absolutely soaked from head to toe in clean and pure water. For a short time I put on my snorkel gear and enjoyed the fish swimming beneath my feet.
I am reminded of the importance for restoration. Realizing how that starts with “rest” I must be more diligent to set aside the time meant for resting and not fill it up with chores and errands. Our society is such a busy atmosphere it really does keep our minds distracted from why we are here in the first place. Our rest should be a soaking from head to toe and through such resting our strength returns.
When we ourselves have been restored we can offer our strength to others in need, a brother or sister who needs help and a strong shoulder to lean on for a little while.
Php 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength
We have friends who live right next to the river and it’s breathtaking to watch all that fast moving water flow by. I wanted to sleep in this morning but the opportunity to see the sunrise was something I had to take advantage of. As I sat outside listening to the birds sing I felt such tremendous peace while I watched the water. I wanted to stay there as long as possible. Our own home does not afford this type of view and it wasn’t to be dismissed too quickly. I think it’s important to open our eyes and recognize beautiful moments.
While my gaze was focused on this scene, up out of the water popped a head and then the full body of an otter. He just floated along with the current looking as though he had no cares in this world. I think we could take a hint from this small creature. Instead of constantly striving so hard to make things happen we should just relax some and enjoy the life around us.
Psalm 116:7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
I was thinking about an old song this morning in my special place to think….the shower. It was by Jim Croce who was hip before my time but also dead before I had ever heard his music. The song was called “Time In A Bottle”. The words are interesting….
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you
I reflected upon the importance of what this man was crying out for and it touched my heart. He was so desperate for love and wanted always to stay in its presence. So many of us experience this deep kind of love for the first time when we meet that special other person and yet so often the human experience can leave us wanting in its afterglow.
I wonder if Jim Croce ever found his true love who really could save time in a bottle?