We had all come together for one purpose, to celebrate the goodness of God with worship and praise. God came to heal…..
I watched her come to the front area and the young man gave her the microphone. In the background, all were still singing, “our Dad is the greatest Dad in the world”. Without skipping a beat she began to sing in sync the same words. Then she spoke of her life while she danced a beautiful dance before all of us.
“When I was 50 I couldn’t walk. I had to crawl to the bathroom. My x-rays said I can’t do this.” She began to kick up her legs as high as they could go over and over, and sang again about our Great Dad. “Now I dance, I am walking without any help. I am now 54! My Dad healed me!”
Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness
I awoke before the sun could break the horizon and realized where I was. This wasn’t my home but I was comfortable here. I slipped out of bed and gathered my journal, a bible and my music player. Trying to be quiet so I wouldn’t wake my friends, I snuck out a sliding glass door where my faithful, furry friend panted, happy to see me up. He’d been with me many years and we’d become quiet companions.
My heart hurt when I looked into his warm eyes. Petting him, I called him to come walk with me one last time. We walked down the sloping drive to the gate and I had him come outside the fences with me to sit in the grass. I was still in my pajamas and my feet were bare so I didn’t wander too far, but sat alongside a pasture filled with huge oak trees and wandering cows with their playful young calves.
My companion lay down beside me as he had done for years. He moaned wanting us to go play, but I sat still and so he shifted some to find his own comfort spot. Side by side we sat alone and watched as the sun rose behind the tall trees, lighting up distant hills. I wanted to linger in this moment. The sun would not stay down and time would not stand still, no matter how much I wanted it to. Soon it would be time to leave, and I felt the moment slipping away. One last time I lay down beside my friend trying to comprehend when I would see him again, healthy and fit.
I took a walk this afternoon before coming home just so I could think for a bit. My favorite haunt was deserted, probably due to the heat, so I got to be alone without distractions. While I listened to the crunch of gravel beneath my feet, I kept thinking about Lot’s wife and wondered what she might have been thinking before she turned to look back, becoming a pillar of salt.
My wee little brain had often had superiority mentality, thinking often to myself how I would have never even been tempted to look back. Today I have been humbled in that thinking. For the first time I started to truly give more than a passing glimpse at this woman. I actually feel like I can understand what might have made her falter.
As the end of an era approaches and I am facing a changing lifestyle, my heart longs to rewind the clock a couple of years. I have to say this has never really crossed my mind before but when love is involved, an ache pulses within that I’d desire to assuage. This is where I started to wonder about the backward look of Lot’s wife.
Did she miss her comforts, her familiar home and friends? Was going into the unknown without any preparation too much of a faith walk? Did she simply think to look back one more time at “the way it was” before she could steel herself to continue to move forward? I suppose at the end of the day our lesson is to always be ready to move forward without second thoughts about it. I had wondered if I might put some salt in my pocket tonight in remembrance of how I want to end up in my own journey…
Pride can be defined in many ways and lived out as such too. Self-confidence, self-respect, self-trust and even self-worth are all synonymous with pride. None of these can be considered bad character traits given a healthy outlook. Where pride takes a left in most people is when the character trait isn’t so humble and more like a bully stick to others. Ego, self-glorification, self-love, self-regard. This side of pride has an outward effect on those nearby. For these left turn traits to be seen, it’s usually at the expense of another.
What would the headlines look like without the pride of self-serving attitudes? I’d love to not see somebody’s face on a magazine but hear through the grapevine how much they are serving the poor. Wouldn’t that be better gossip then any “entertainment” magazine could offer or do I dream of a better world alone?
Ever had something on your mind you would never give over to speaking aloud? Yeah, me too! There are a million reasons for me to hide my thoughts but only one reason to speak them. Go ahead and ask me what that one reason is?
Truth! There is virtually no one on this earth who hasn’t heard the phrase, “the truth shall set you free” but I have learned how few understand the reality of this statement. I have been living the reality of this statement and I no longer doubt its ability to break down the most elaborate of prison walls!
Song of Solomon 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
I love to rise early when all is still and quiet; seeking my first love, my Lord, my King. I open His word and with anticipation I wonder at what He will speak to me. This morning I enjoyed the most intense love song I have ever read and realize its full meaning is yet to be revealed to me. I am left to ponder and meditate of the deeper things.
With a full heart of longing, I hiked in the lower hills of my city in the early breeze. An ache dwells within to be with my Lord. To be so close I can feel His heartbeat as one with my own. He loves me with a love everlasting. He draws me near. I am His.
Complimentary treats are something everyone loves; those special gifts of unexpected freebies. We can generally associate this with a material aspect, like the meatball on a toothpick at Sam’s Club or perhaps a crab cake delicacy at some high end restaurant. Hey it’s free, so we take it and eat of it don’t we? It doesn’t cost us anything right?
Ever have someone give you an unexpected compliment treat? They just happen to speak to you with the right statement, flattering your ego. I have had a few of these, but I need to assess the cost. Is it an encouragement to go forward in my calling or is it an ego inflation to call me out? Going forward needs some strengthening and definitive help, but drawing me aside only has me turning my head in another direction. My eyes drop from the heavenlies to me, myself and I.
Sometimes I have to pass on digesting any complimentary treats because the cost is too expensive.
Taken once more into your quiet
Hidden, I am free to cry
Nothing more do I need to say
Your love is speaking over me
Hush daughter, be still
A famous Stephen King novel made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson, put forth a modern day idiom….”all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. I’m not one for scary flicks so the rest of the movie never caught my memory, but the sentence stayed with me.
Our society could use a readjustment for what work really is, an opportunity, and how we can do it better. Realizing we all need to be able to make a living is not a new concept, but a concept being drummed out of our reality is “enjoying ourselves when we work”. We may not all have a choice about how we make our living, but we certainly have a choice about enjoyment.
I have had some miserable days on my job but none of these would ever keep me from my enjoyment. When I remember I am not what I do for a living, I am refreshed in my real purpose for being where I am. While I make my wages, I have the opportunity to share the joy I carry inside with those around me who have yet to experience this kind of hope. By doing this, my wages are increased by heaven alone. It’s a good trade off!
My husband and I both have full time jobs and maintain a full time life in our off time so we try to purpose a getaway when we can. We are pretty low key people so it doesn’t take too much to entertain us. A cozy atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the joy of laughter in our conversations. These are our favorites.
We did a road trip this most recent holiday, staying at one of our favorite classic hotels in the Redwoods. In the early morning hours we sat at a corner table with fine white linen and beautiful flowers on the table. Everything available to make one feel spoiled. Not something we have in our lives every day and it was nice to enjoy this very special treat.
I am rarely (okay, never) without my journal and after taking in the view and enjoying the ambiance of our surroundings, I could only write of the simple things that mattered. I thanked the Lord for His love, beauty and hope.
No matter what beauty the world entices me with, nothing measures up to what He is offering me. Truth, wisdom, salvation and eternity; these really are the finer things in life.