Popular Posts

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

One Blessing after Another

It’s so easy to moan. It’s a lousy summer here and that is enough to slide a cheerful mood into depression. 

But it is so shallow to allow myself to be influenced by something like the weather, which is beyond my control. 

This morning I read about Jesus, that from the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. How true that is. I am convicted that as I sit here in peace and quiet, able to eat or drink when I want, to speak to a friend or even drive to see one, or walk alone with the dog in the woods, I have a life overflowing with blessings. 

I am so aware that someone reading this might be struggling with health problems, marital discord, loneliness, unemployment, bereavement...the list goes on and on of dire situations common to the human condition at one time or another. But Scripture says we have all received one blessing after another. All. 

The old song, ‘count your many blessings’ comes to mind. I think I’ll do that.

What about you?

Monday, 30 July 2012

90 Years Young

We were privileged to be invited to a birthday afternoon tea to celebrate a dear friend’s 90th birthday today. 

Hilda is not like most other 90 year olds. She radiates a deep inner joy as her sparkling smile lights up any room. 

She’s had her sad times, but moves through the decades with a joyful dignity, accepting her circumstances and enjoying things as they are now.  Although she likes reminiscing, she doesn’t wallow in her past but uses it as a springboard for her future. She’s a delight to be with, always up for a game of cards or a singalong.

She is living out the advice given by St Paul when he wrote his letter to the church in Philippi. He advised them ‘Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead’ ... press on toward the goal. A future with Jesus is a magnificent goal.

I pray that if I live to be 90, I might be as full of life and joy as dear Hilda is today.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Set a Spell

Set a spell.

No, not something from Harry Potter. 

The American backwoods way of inviting someone to take a seat and have a chat. 

Today is Sunday, and we have tried to ‘set a spell’, doing yesterday’s Crossword together (not altogether successful, as usual), walking Dusty together through the Enchanted Woods and past the Haunted House, talking a little, watching the rain through the sunshine (rainbow somewhere, I reckon). 

Everyone needs time to do very little. I’m not advocating laziness, but many people, including us, just keep on working, doing, going, talking, checking emails, etc etc.

In fact, perhaps I shouldn’t be on my emails and blog today. It would probably do me a lot of good to fast from those particular addictions every Sunday.

So I’ll cut this short. Tomorrow is another day, full of work, but also including a birthday party for a 90-years-young friend. 

For now, I’m just going to go over to the couch and set a spell.

How about you?

Friday, 27 July 2012

Dancing Shoes

It’s a lovely summer morning here – could be a little warmer but hey, I’m not complaining. The sun brightens up any day.

Walking along with Dusty, I was prayerfully putting on the armour of God (Ephesians 6), and when I got to the ‘shoes of the readiness to share the gospel of peace’ I suddenly thought of dancing shoes.

Usually I think of Roman sandals. Big and protective, clumpy with studs underneath perhaps, useful in a fight. But today I thought of the joy of knowing God. And that made me think of dancing shoes. Little white pumps like our niece’s toddler wore for a wedding last week. Dainty and light and pretty.

Too often being a Christian seems to make people frown with concentration on how to do it. How to be good. How to help others. How not to criticise or gossip. But really, the essence of the gospel is joy. 

God loves us so much he wants us to live with him forever. He loves us as precious sons and daughters even when we mess up. He is a good God, in a good mood, with a smile on his face when he looks at us.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and love and laughter and life.

I’m putting on my dancing shoes today. No more clumpy work sandals for me.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Honeysuckle in the Wild

I walk the path to the ‘fort’ every single morning, but today for the first time I looked left just at the point where a honeysuckle bush, lush and heavy with fragrant flowers, clings and climbs up a tall pine.

We’ve been admiring the one in our garden this year. It seems to be flourishing despite the weather. A few years back, Don took rootings and put one halfway down the drive, and along the road right by our turn off, and both of them are also heavy with blossom and rich with scent.

He didn’t plant the one in the woods. Neither did I. Probably a bird did it, or the wind. 

It has just made me think about the seeds we sow. We work at it with our children, planting seeds which we hope and pray will mature into character traits we are trying to instil in them. We may sow seeds in other children’s lives if we are teachers, or in other colleagues’ lives if we are team leaders, or unknown persons’ lives if we are writers. 

But some seed will be sown with no intent on anyone’s part. 

Except God’s.

Good to know that when I fail to sow a seed where perhaps I should, God has it covered.

His grace is astounding.

Like the smell of honeysuckle in the wild.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bleeps and Buzzes

Who would have thought that a grown man or woman could move so quickly in response to a short bleep? 

But go anywhere these days and you can’t help noticing how many folks are responding to a variety of ring tones, bleeps and buzzes. 

My response is not always eager; it is often more akin to the way I answer the telephone...quite happy to let it ring but then slightly anxious that it might actually be someone I love needing me urgently.

Come away with me, Jesus invites us. Come away and just be. Be in the moment. Don’t be anxious about anything. Focus on me. 

I asked a young woman the other day what she thought about a certain church she had visited. Her response was an eager, “It changed my life.” She then proceeded to tell me about her close encounter with the living God, and how, as she focused on him, she realized just who he was, and just who she was. 

He is our Father, who loves us so much he sent his only son who he loved so much to save us. We are loved, even though we don’t deserve it. Even when we mess up. Even when we miss what he’s trying to tell us. 

And maybe we miss what he’s trying to tell us even more these days, because our ears are more attuned to certain bleeps and buzzes than they are to the voice of God. How sad he must be.

Today I’m leaving my phone inside when I go work in the garden for a wee while. And I’m going to listen for that still small voice, trusting that God can take care of the bleeps.

So if you’ve sent me a text and I’ve not responded – you know why.