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Friday, 29 September 2017

Connect and Trust

I read Psalm 22 this morning, which is so familiar because many of the phrases were wrung from the depths of Jesus’ soul as he hung in agony on the cross (for you and me). The commentator reflected that difficulties come uninvited and are unwelcome, stripping us of the frivolous and taking us to the core of who we are. And in that place, we have a choice. We can connect with God in a deeper way or we can do it on our own, kicking and screaming all the way.

The thought resonated with me as I tackle various issues involving my mom’s care. Sometimes I am kicking and screaming all the way. I can feel all alone. I can feel frustrated, heart-broken, because I am so far away I can’t physically go and do things for her. I can feel anxious about the costs. I can stress about my own confusion over insurance matters.

Or I can connect with God in a deeper way and trust him. I can let him walk Mom home, and join him on the road.

Jesus gave us the ultimate example of trusting God in a deep way, right through the worst trials and temptations of his life on earth. He doesn’t forsake us as we walk through the difficulties. In fact, the difficulties are opportunities to draw nearer to him and know his peace.

Be still and know that I am God. I heard him say that to my very soul yesterday. He says it again today. I’m going to be still, still in the midst.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

In the Moment

Laptop seems a bit sluggish today. I know how that feels. 

I hit a key and wait while I’m informed ...still working... I know how that feels, too. Gmail gives me a commentary ... we’ve encountered a problem ... oh, yes, that sounds familiar.

I’ve hit the jackpot this week with seeing four grandchildren, getting to spend time with them and get to know them better. They grow so fast. This is one of the things you know when you’re the gramma, and not the mama.

While I’ve gadded around with grandchildren, I’ve been aware of responsibilities unresolved: my mother’s insurance questions yet again, problems with her hairdressers and their billing...issues with shades of Groundhog Day. Well, like Scarlett O’Hara said in Gone with the Wind, I’ll think about them tomorrow.

Living in the moment: a wise concept, not always easy to do. Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is good. He is always good, in good times or bad. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


Autumn walk in the Enchanted Forest. Yes, it’s our family’s nickname for a wooded area which comes alive at this time of year, magically transformed by neon toadstools sprouting all over the place. 

Every season has its bonuses, and a sunny day in late September, with trees transformed into flaming torches with their autumnal finery, has got to be a major love of mine.
We saw no fairies in the enchanted forest, but the creative genius of the Master Artist is in lavish display. 

Enjoy the season.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Reel to Real

I am of the era when a movie meant a reel-to-reel projection onto a screen. Intermissions at the cinema enabled the projectionist to change to the next reel. As our family grew, we used to take quite a bit of ‘cine’ film, and nothing delighted the children more than to have a movie night where we would sit and watch their antics, the way they were in times gone by. 

The images travelled visibly between the projector and the screen, spooky holographs of people and events. A side view revealed a sort of tunnel of light in which these images were captured until they were displayed on a flat surface.

As Don threaded the film into the projector, the kids loved nothing better than to cavort in front of the light so that their shadows were dancing on the empty screen. When the movie started, the images wrapped over their bodies, which continued to cast dancing shadows on the screen and interrupted the viewing of the film. Everyone else would call out, ‘Sit down!’ and finally we would settle to watch a short film depicting the way we were. 

The kids in the present moment could not see themselves as they were in the present, except as outline shadows on an empty screen, or interrupting a film of the past. 

It’s so much easier to see ourselves, the way we were, than to see ourselves as we are now. Whatever our antics, past or present, when God looks at us he sees his daughters and sons.

When Jesus was asked who he was, he replied with the extremely loaded phrase, ‘I am’, signifying his understanding that he and the Father are one, and have been one from the beginning and until the end. 

It would be very healing and encouraging if we could see ourselves as he sees us, and that when we are asked who we are, our first thought would be ‘a daughter/son of the King’. Reel to Real.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Poly Tunnels, Alpha and Omega

Poly tunnels. A means of manipulating the seasons and extending production of yummy things like rasps and strawbs. A visitor from Ohio asked me yesterday if the soft fruit season was over in Angus and Perthshire, and I said no, not since the appearance of the ubiquitous poly tunnels. In the natural world of our own garden, the season ended a few weeks ago. We’re moving fast into autumn and then onto winter.

Jesus said he is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. There are no poly tunnels in Jesus’ timekeeping. No artificial means of delaying his return. But the great news is that when Jesus returns – the Omega – it will not signify a slide into winter but rather will proclaim a glorious new world as Jesus establishes his kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. No more tears and sorrow. No more violence and pain. A kingdom of love and peace. 


Monday, 18 September 2017

Round up

This may sound pretty random, but it’s all part of my renewed effort to open my spiritual eyes and ears and listen to what God’s saying to me. So this morning as I waited on him to speak, I didn’t hear anything but I did see the fences of a western-style corral. I didn’t see what was in the corral, just the fences on the corral. Then, galloping into view rode a cowboy on a horse, whirling a lasso over his head. He whirled it and whirled it, and then he let it slide down his arm and stop. He didn’t throw it.

Then I heard God. ‘You’re doing a lot of whirling the lasso without risking throwing it and bringing folk in!’ ‘How do I throw it, Lord?’ ‘Steady yourself in me. If you throw out words which aren’t coming from me, you’ll be off-balance and your throw will fall to the ground. You may get hurt; the other person may get hurt. You have to be absolutely secure, grounded in me.’

I think it must take a lot of practice to successfully throw a lasso while riding full-pelt on a horse. It’s taking a life time for me to get the hang of sharing the good news in a way that is relevant to my friends and others, so they are ‘caught’ by Jesus. Maybe I need to be more securely seated in the Word of God, and be more intentional in my conversations.

I’m thinking of Paul’s claim that he would become all things to all men so that he might win some to Christ. Successfully ‘lassoing’ someone for Jesus is as much about knowing the other person’s needs, fears, desires, hurts, so that the lasso can be tailored to pull them in gently, as it is about being securely seated in Jesus.

I’ve got a lot to practice.