I wanted to post this on Sunday, but I had not yet found what I was seeking. I have heard this Scripture set to music. The melody and part of the words were floating about in my mind and spirit. I could not find the song or the reference for it!
I had opportunity to listen to the book of Romans while sewing on Saturday. And POW! there was the verse! Just like that!
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
Romans 11:33 (NRSV)
And Monday I finally found the song again! This is what I am referring to when I say the Holy Spirit haunts me at times, leading me to Scripture and Scripture songs or hymns. All glory to You, Lord Christ!
Sometimes I find quotes that stop and make me think. How do these hit you?
“Keep life moving forward, looking backward is only for time travelers. “ -Rachel O.Washington (Dove chocolate wrapper) An especially fine saying is this time of our lives! Especially as the chocolate melts in your mouth while you ponder the meaning 🙂
“What can’t be cured, must be endured.” Yikes.
From Charles Miller Chasing Fireflies: a novel of discovery “His question pressed me against the railing. Men spend their lives asking Who am I when the real question is Whose am I? I don’t think you can answer the first until you’ve settled the second. First horse, then cart. Identity does not grow out of action until it has taken root in belonging.”
So whose are you? I am the Lord Jesus Christ’s sister, my Father’s daughter, child and sheep. I could go on and on.
From a very strange novel called iQ84 “And it was the kind of thing that loses the most important nuances when reduced to words. Everybody feels safe belonging not to the excluded minority but to the excluding majority. You think, Oh, I’m glad that’s not me. It’s basically the same in all periods in all societies. If you belong to the majority, you can avoid thinking about lots of troubling things.” “And those troubling things are all you can think about when you’re one of the few.” “That’s about the size of it,” she said mournfully. “But maybe, if you’re in a situation like that, you learn to think for yourself.” “Yes, but maybe what you end up thinking for yourself about is all those troubling things.”
Sadly, our society has become so polarizing that exclusion of others is more the norm rather than acceptance and inclusion. America has years of recovery ahead. I am beginning to think we are rotting from the inside out. Lord, deliver us, I pray.
Johnny Bench, famous Cincinnati Reds catcher – “You can’t hold your happiness in the hands of other people.” SO TRUE SO TRUE!
One friend quoted her Grandad as saying “Now let’s return thanks.” Isn’t that a neat way to think about prayer?
The ubiquitous Teenager prayer, “Rub-a-dub-dub. Thanks for the grub. Yeah God!”
Did I tell you about the raccoons? Oh my! We accidentally left the garage door open one night. Usually BOTH of us check to be certain it is closed before bedtime, but that night neither one of us checked.
Bob always gets up first in the morning. He found the mess! Shelves cleared off. Bird sunflower seed storage bucket all over the place. Cardboard box of suet ripped open. Storage bucket of dog food knocked over and spilled. Dog was going wild over the raccoon odor. It was hot and took Bob a long time to clean up. So frustrating.
That night we were careful to check the door was indeed closed. Bob got up in the morning. Same sort of deal. He was now livid! How in the world did the ‘coon get in? Where was it now? Dog was going wild in the closed garage and centering on his car. Bob backed his car out of the garage. Raised the hood and there was a raccoon looking back at him. Zoom! it disappeared into the bowels of the engine. WHAT?!?! Blower did not make it stir.
How do you get a raccoon out of a car engine? He drove it around the cul-de-sac. Looked inside. Yep! Raccoon eyes! Now. what …?
We looked on-line to the wisdom of the world. It said put an open can of cat food near the car, open the hood and wait.
Called our local mechanic. He said put an open can of cat food nearby. Open the hood and wait. geesh. Did he go online, too?
Had no cat food, but had those single portion tuna cans. So we put the car in the front yard on the dead dry grass, opened a can and waited. Nothing. Then I began wondering did we have to actually see the raccoon exit? If it did, then what was to keep it from going back in the engine? Had to move the can where Bob could see it while he ate lunch.
Later he had to be some place. He moved his car to the driveway and moved the tuna near it. He took my car. The dog wanted out. I watched thinking she could not reach the can. As she lapped up tuna juice I raced outside to move the can further from her reach. She was still fascinated with the front wheel well of the car. We left it that way all night. I was hoping the entire raccoon hood would not move in thinkin’ “them was some good vittals!”
Next morning, no mess in the garage. And Bob raised the hood of his car to NO eyes looking back.
Trust me, we have been VERY careful every night since then to BOTH check that door. The dog occasionally walks past the car and checks his wheel well, but there is nothing interesting there now.
I just love this devotional collected from the writings of Amy Carmichael (1867-1951). The other day I was thinking of this one and having trouble remembering the 3 – and then it showed up again.
The Three Sieves “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? All of us who have tried to remember these three sieves, and have used them, know what a help they are. We are sorry when we ever forget them, and we are very grateful when we are reminded of them in time to keep us from saying something untrue, unkind, or unnecessary.
“Perhaps these three sieves will help to keep some words from being spoken that would grieve the Spirit of love and hurt someone whom our Lord loves. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?“
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
For many years I volunteered at the Butterfly Show at Cincinnati’s Krohn Conservatory. My friends, Betty and Dan, know this about me. Dan recently forward this article to me. Thought I’d share it with all of you!
The bubble of gas, known as NGC 2899, was spotted between 3,000 and 6,500 light-years away, in the Southern constellation of Vela (The Sails). It has two central stars, which astronomers believe may give it its “nearly symmetric appearance,” researchers wrote in a note on the European Southern Observatory’s website.
“It appears to float and flutter across the sky,” the ESO researchers wrote.
NGC 2899 had never been captured in an image before in such detail, as the “faint outer edges of the planetary nebula glowing over the background stars” can be seen, the ESO added.
“Faced with demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. Faced with brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. Faced with despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope.” -ROBERT EMMONS
Demoralization: The pharmacy workers where I get my prescriptions are exasperated by the rudeness of the public. The pharmacist cannot figure out if it is this prolonged pandemic or the way society has given up on being polite? Some of the techs have even quit. Some of the workers that are most experienced have had to leave to provide child care for their children. The new employees are green and new. They need time to find their way through the insurance mazes and medicare technicalities.
So we took them three balloons and a dozen donuts. On the balloon shaped like a gold star I wrote “Be kind.” Really, kindness does not cost us anything. Hopefully our gratitude towards them with energize them in their work.
Brokenness: Well I have a friend whose daughter is terribly ill. For several weeks they did tests and scans and more tests. Finally the surgeon said okay. He is very experienced and did the “Whipple” procedure. She had a tumor wrapped around several organs. The first few hours of the surgery went well and were done robotically. Then he found the tumor had almost completely blocked an artery and some veins around her liver. When they called in the vascular surgeon he had to open her belly. When it was all over, she had endured something like 14 hours of surgery. She remains in ICU. They had to remove part of her stomach, part of her intestines and part of her pancreas. There is great concern over the length of time her organs were exposed. She and her husband always like to watch Monty Python and have memorized many of the lines. When her mother finally got to speak to her on the phone the patient quoted the movie where they were loading bodies during the plague. One man being carried out lifted his head and said, “I’m not dead yet!” Both mother and daughter had a good laugh. This family has been broken and ground into a dust that now completely depends upon the Lord and His servant the surgeon. Surgeon said this was the worst tumor he had ever dealt with. Praise God, there is NO sign of cancer. The two teenage daughters are struggling with not seeing mom at all. Only husband can go in her room due to pandemic. She continues to get units of blood. This photo was taken the first time PT had her stand up. Still struggling with lots of pain. Father, help their gratitude heal their weary hearts, I pray. Heal her and strengthen her I pray.
Despair: In this prolonged isolation and rapidly spreading pandemic we each need more gratitude to help us combat despair. To me, it seems this despair is being poured over the earth like hot tar. Robert Emmons says gratitude has the power to being hope. Are you familiar with the lyrics to “Great is Thy Faithfulness”?
His faithfulness will see us each through this weird year of 2020 and beyond. Gratitude can heal and restore us, energize us and give us hope. Find three things each day to give thanks for. Be kind. Give thanks.
I have often called this man my knight in shining armor. Journaling March 31 of this year I wrote.
“I had an emotional break through of sorts. This morning I noticed my scene out the bedroom window that I have looked at for years. Clearly I saw split rails that were missing or had fallen from the neighbors fence. I thought “fences are broken down.” And in this weird thing we are living through fences are down! During my meditation time I saw the photo of me the day of my dad’s funeral when I was eleven years old. Remembered the grief and fear of being left alone (especially with my mother and sister because I am so much like my dad). As the meditation continued I realized that Bob is the one who for most all of my life has kept me from the alone-ness of that grief and fear. And THAT is why I have been feeling I cannot bear the possibility of ever losing him. Jesus touch me in that place, I pray.
“Later John Eldredge confirmed all that pointing out that places in us from childhood may be calling out during this stay at home season. We need to have mercy and grace for ourselves and others.”
So he is my knight, but also my husband of soon-to-be fifty years. Yep, 50! Here is a cartoon he handed me recently. Did I mention he is the oldest of five and a terrible tease? Click the link below to see what I mean!
During a recent rain shower I saw a child playing in a water-filled ditch. As a mom I first checked, and no, there had not been thunder or lightning that day. My second thought was how delighted I was to see her and how she reminded me of myself at that age. Once I found a crawfish in a puddle and brought it home as a pet. It was about 3/4″ long. I put it in the bathroom sink with a little water while I tried to find a container for its home. My sister unstopped the drain, not noticing my pet and all was lost. I was sad and mad. Fast forward to today!
“Maybe what God really wants are grown-up kids who dance in the puddles, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, who dare to ask why a whole lot. Maybe we are far too proper. Maybe it’s time to take a page from Dainty doodlebug’s story and give in to the way we’re created to live—for our sake and for the gospel. Little else is as compelling and glorious as a giddy child, mud-covered and grinning, because they know how loved and safe they are even while thunder sounds in the distance.”
Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst
Giddy child of God, relax and enjoy creation again! Don’t those boots just remind one of Mike Powell?
“You were made from dust and to dust you shall return.”
“Dance in the puddles, get your hands dirty, ask why a whole lot more.” Recently I had the opportunity twice in one week to counsel two different women on the fact that we are allowed to get angry with God. He can take it! He would much prefer we be genuine with Him than pretend some sort of proper piety. After all, He reads our hearts and knows our thoughts and our words before they cross our lips.
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
Psalm 139:104 NIV 2011
Why not make an effort this week to get real with God? And if you have the opportunity, try jumping in a puddle, just for fun!!
Bob passed a page from the New Yorker to me that had some funny definitions on it such as Covid-19: Formerly Covid-15; the amount of weight gained by an average adult during quarantine. Sometimes related to a pan-demic.
Pan-demic: A potentially dangerous increase in the baking of bread in a quarantined home.
Maskhole: An individual who wears a mask in a way that makes it completely ineffective – e.g., below the nose, under the chin, on the back of the head. See the link below for more humor and the complete lexicon!
And these photos on July 31, 2020. Same corn field!
Other things have been growing, too. I have never tried to grow a Hibiscus, but some around here do. One person had a ditch full of pink, white and red ones! This is one Lucky and I found while walking the street.
I think the red is my favorite!
Remember this photo of the milkweed from May 14th?
Look at it today! The tall ones in the back are about 5’8″!
Has your spirit grown and prospered so far this year? Are you feeding upon the Word of God?
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.