Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hmmm...what shall I write?

When I sit down to write, I don't always know what is going to be on the paper or what the finished product is going to be. This morning I reminded myself, it is past due for a blog entry. Some have asked me about it, since they follow more closely than I realized.

Do I want to be a little lighthearted or serious today? Do I want to share stories of family or make a point about God? Easter is coming and the death and resurrection of Jesus is always a focus point for this time of year.

But the way I look at it, doesn't it all fall together all the time? Life itself can be lighthearted one moment and serious the next. We never know from one moment to the next what is going to be going on in our lives. 

Life itself is fragile, just like a piece of glass. We can see fingerprints, spots and streaks on glass. We clean it off with the best purchased, streak free cleanser. It is at that precise moment we see the permanent scratch which the cleanser will not remove. In our lives, we have times that have caused us grief, mostly by our own choices. We have spots and streaks of unhappiness. We clean up our life, pray and ask forgiveness, start over with new beginnings. Then, we feel the permanent ache that we have left in our life, just like the scratch on the glass.

But, look again, you can still see through that scratch on the piece of glass, your view is not blocked out completely, nor is the glass broken or useless. It is the same with our life. It is still useful if we would only move on, one step at a time. Then one day, we will realize laughter has bubbled up from deep within. 

It is the same with the Easter story, but we have forgotten something. Yes, the story we read is of Jesus' death on the cross for us. The story goes on to His resurrection, which is the power of our salvation. The Easter story should not end there for us! Jesus arose from that grave so He could come again! 

Family, yes, today I shall write about family. My brothers and sisters in Christ, my heavenly family, shall all be gathered up, from around the globe, to a grand reunion. It will be the day of great rejoicing to see that not only the spots and streaks are gone, but the brokenness of our earthly lives will be made whole. 

My rejoicing will be on that day when all my earthly children will join with us in that heavenly place. They shall meet my earthly parents and we shall all kneel at the feet of Jesus together. My prayers are that we pray together today for our children, grandchildren and family that have not accepted the free gift of salvation. That the Holy Spirit will touch their hearts and they will know that only He can cleanse and give the peace of eternal life in heaven. 

Hmmm....what shall I write? 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Encourager and the Tree

Early one morning, as I listened to the boys playing outside, I thanked God for the blessing of our children. I thanked Him for giving us a Christian husband and father and having a place they could always come to that was secure out of the storms of life. We had provided food, clothing and how to share, but most importantly, Who was God.

Then, as I listened more closely, through the second floor window, it seemed as if one of the boys was talking right outside. Now I knew this was impossible, since the younger ones were only four and five years old at the time. But it was so clear, one shouting to the other, it was like he was right there. I stopped what I was doing and ran to look out of the window!

There was Todd, the five year old, climbing for all he was worth, almost as high as I was on the second floor of the house. The big old, magnolia tree that sat in our front yard had been the perfect, shady place for them to play, but here was Todd, going higher and higher. Little brother, B.J., just stood underneath shouting up encouraging words, "Wow, you sure are getting high!"

Afraid to shout out to him and startle him, I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer simultaneously. Then, slowly, but firm and precise, I said, "Todd, what do you think you are doing up so high? You better get down before you fall."

I will never forget the 'full of confidence' look on that little fellow's face, as he asked proudly, "Mom, do you know Who God is?"

"Yes Todd, I know Who God is," I said as I nervously watched him dangle from a limb. "Well, Mom, you see all these sticks sticking out of this tree? (he was talking about the limbs)," he asked.

As he continued to climb he said, "Well, Mom, God put all these 'sticks' on this tree so little boys can climb it!"

My heart burst with fear and pride at the same time! How can I question God, when this little child has either more faith than me or no sense at all? I breathed in slowly, "Ok, Todd, if you fall...God is going to have to catch you!" His little smile shot across his face and he started to inch his way down the tree.

As he approached the bottom limbs, he jumped the rest of the way down and landed right in front of his little brother. They both were proud of themselves, one the climber and the other the encourager. I overheard the comment, "God made this tree just for us, didn't He?"

Well, I am not so sure about that, but the thought did occur to me that God does give us all our own tree to climb. Sometimes we climb it proudly, sometimes we need an encourager. In any event, we need to know that the 'sticks' can scratch, break and we can get hurt, but if it is God's tree for us, we are going to be safe and He will catch us if we fall.

The innocence of children and the simplest things of life could be lessons we all could learn from. I was just reading about Casting Crowns singer, Mark Hall, and his cancer surgery today. Mark has a big tree to climb right now and his family and friends are his encouragers. We need to keep them in our prayers.

We know of many who are going through hard times, death and grief, illnesses, finances, job loss and the lists go on and on...their tree gets higher and higher. Let us join together as Christian men and women and be the encouragers for those around us. Let the love of Christ pour out across this nation like never before! Let others look around and with wonder as the Glory of God washes over them. Let His Spirit fill the air and His Presence be felt across our land.

Col 3:16 " Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."

Let the 'sticks' on their tree, turn to blooms of love.

Let it be a sweet aroma to our Lord.