Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can do.

Arthur Ashe

“Arthur Ashe is easily recognized as the first male African American tennis player to win the US Open and Wimbledon singles titles. Before he was ranked, there was no other African American man in the world’s top 10. He was also the first individual to be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.” He believed that we can each do great things, but we must begin where we are. Thomas Merton is quoted as saying,

“It is important to know where you are put on the face of the earth.”

Thomas Merton

So where are you? What service can you provide for the earth and people of the earth?

Our pastor urges us to join God in what He is doing. What can we do about Ukraine and the suffering there? Of course, we should be praying. We can give money for the millions of refugees who will lose everything in the bombing and fighting. Our pastor also said as part of our reach to Ukraine we should “get in the game,” meaning become active in our church community. Share how we walk with Jesus and make disciples. I try to encourage others to authenticity. As the power of God moves in and through us it will reach to the ends of the earth.

Use what you have. Do not dream about a someday to come. Right here, right now! wrote Jason Gray in the song Good to Be Alive. Part of the lyrics read:

Is this really the life I’m living?
Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take You’ve given
So right here, right now
While the sun is shining down

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive, yeah

The video below is an interview with Jason.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Be grateful and joyous throughout life.

There is a female goldfinch on our feeder at this moment. She is still in her drab winter feathers. She will never look as glowing and bright as her male counterpart. She is doing her best to be a female goldfinch in February. Are you as grateful as this finch feeding upon the seeds Bob just put out front?

I pray that you may be strong enough to grasp what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth and to KNOW the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, being filled with to all the fullness of God and then do His Bidding – walk in obedience to Him.

Remember Rooted and Grounded in Love?

Reading the poetry of Mary Oliver I found this concise stunning description of those roots …

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

Of unobservable mysteries – roots and sealed seed

And the wanderings of water

Mary Oliver Fall Song from her American Primitive Collection
“Black subterranean castle” I just love that!

That is why she won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Makes me not want to post my stuff. But I know each of us has talents and must be willing to share those!

I was recently challenged by lines on a TV series of all things! “Newsflash! Life isn’t fair.” “Try to DO something about it.” “You can’t win the fight unless you get back in the ring.” “We are the change we have been waiting for.”

The next morning, looking to the Lord, I composed this:

Hollow © 2022 Molly Lin Dutina

Chronic illness and pain
    Is a lonely place
The hollow of a tree trunk
    Never saw the hollow before
Though I’ve looked at the tree for 9 or 10 months

He keeps me
    In the hollow of His hand
His palm
    Never alone - with me always

Each day may be a new struggle
    The reward is in the shelter
Let myself be sheltered
    Yield to being held

When I cry out “O Lord”
    Do I mean I can’t take it or
O Lord be with me in it?

Sheltered by the Almighty
     Nothing quite a secure as that
Stay. Yield. Rest.
Isaiah 49:16