Friday, August 16, 2019

Be Joyful!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I haven't needed a mouse pad for ages.  But the surface of my one-hundred-plus years, former drafting table upon which my computer perches has worn to an unresponsive sheen.  The answer?  Order that mouse pad, pronto!

Here is what arrives only two days after I place my order.  Are these deliveries fast, or what?

So far, I'm loving the gel-packed wrist pad that cradles that most vital part of my body when engaged in web surfing.  Such comfort!  Even more important than that, however, is the Bible verse featured that reminds to always be joyful, no matter what life slings at me.

Be joyful . . .

This has nothing to do with being happy in the moment to moment, the day to day.  Happiness is a feeling.

Joy is a promise.

It may be cliched to say, "Life isn't easy," but it's the truth.  Jesus said we would have troubles in this world, and oh, boy!  He wasn't kidding!

But Jesus gives us His peace, which passes all understanding, when we trust in Him.  It is in that secure, safe place where my joy resides.  Flourishes.  Even when the world unleashes its tempests, threatening to swamp my little life boat with gloom and sadness, my happiness may vanish, but my joy remains anchored to the One on whom all my hope rests.

Yes, troubles of all kinds may visit us in this lifetime, but they need not rob our joy.

And one day, we will know the ultimate joy and peace when we dwell in heaven with God forever.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Cheerful Giver

2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided with your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

My husband, Danny, balances his mind, in careful financial preparedness, with his heart that leans toward generosity.  That can be a precarious tension at times for many of us, but he has honed it to a fine art.

When Danny announces his monthly trip to Costco, I expect no more than the items on his list to make their way home to our pantry.  Was I blindsided!  He enters the kitchen with a gorgeous bouquet of 24 roses, which he presents to me "just because."

Just because . . .

Danny wants to surprise me, which he successfully does.  He values my love for him.  He cherishes the blessings God has granted to both of us through our marriage.

He loves me!

A cheerful giver describes Danny to a "T."

It's so easy to love someone who loves you back, isn't it?

But Jesus told us that the pagans and tax collectors do that.  In following Him, we must do more.  We are to love our enemies and pray for them.

We are to be gracious and forgiving toward them.

Gulp!  Now that's something, I would dare say, none of us find easy or desirable.  Especially in the contentious environment we currently experience in our nation's culture.

YET . . .

It is a command from our Lord.

So, how and where do we start?

Simply in simple acts.  I'm reminded of the importance even the seemingly insignificant gesture of kindness shown to another can go a long way.  A smile offered.  A door held open for the person behind us.  Allowing someone with fewer items to jump in front of us in the grocery store line.

Each of these are acts of love shown intentionally with people we don't even know.  For some of us, if we ourselves are feeling hurt, forgotten or unforgivable, this can seem like a monumental task.

Yet, if we make the effort to reach out in genuine care to a fellow human being, who is possibly going through a difficult time in his or her life, we could make all the difference.

Not just in their lives, but in ours.

You don't need to break the bank to be a cheerful giver.

You only need to be present, offering your heart, one small, sincere step at a time.


Friday, August 9, 2019

God's Glorious Creation

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

If you've followed Meditations of My Heart for any length of time, you know that the suburban, yet heavily forested, area in which we live provides not only for people, but for a wide variety of wildlife, coexisting peacefully with their human neighbors.  Here is just a sampling from my husband, Danny's, photos.

And just when we think our backyard couldn't possibly get any wilder, look who shows up!

Turkeys!  Danny can hardly believe his eyes!  He used to spy turkeys years and years ago, before the apartments were built behind our house, but none since then.  Where in the world, we wonder, did these two lovely specimens come from?

No matter from whence this mother and juvenile have originated, we are thrilled to have them roaming freely through our neck of the woods, partaking of the feast we leave on the ground for the birds and squirrels.

God's glorious creation never ceases to amaze and astound us.  May we all resolve to be good stewards of the many blessings He has so graciously bestowed on us.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

I Never Knew

I never knew, Lord
If I did, I'd stay
At home, safe from fray
But I chose to go
The school supplies I need
For my children, calling
Compelling me to move
And suddenly, no more
I won't be going home
To them.  Alone they are
Except for Your promise
That You will never leave them
For Your faithfulness
Reaches to the skies.

I pen this poem on the day of the horrific shooting in El Paso, Texas, only to wake the next morning to read about more mass casualties in Dayton, Ohio.  Let us pray for the innocent victims who are now with the Lord, their grieving families and friends, and for the healing of our nation, one torn and heartbroken by these recent tragedies.  May God heal and restore our country, and strengthen our resolve to serve Him.


Friday, August 2, 2019

Covered by Love

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

One of the inevitable pitfalls of getting older is the onset of facial wrinkles.  I'll be the first to admit I don't like them taunting me every time I look in the mirror, but I can't deny their presence.

Yes, I use various lotions to try to minimize the situation, and I employ make-up to help soften the look of age.  But nothing I can do will ever erase them completely.  Believe it or not, I'm okay with that.  As Mrs. Fairchild says in my novels, they aren't wrinkles, they're "life lines."

I like that!

So, in light of this, when my senior high school photo emerges at my mother's house, I'm not envious of the youthful, supple face that was once mine.  Do I feel a bit nostalgic for the bygone days?  I suppose so, but never do I feel the longing to turn back the hands of time.

When granddaughter, Virginia Rose, and I travel to Mom's house earlier this summer, Great-Nana thinks it a grand idea to show her this picture.  Oh, no!  What will Virginia think about her ancient Gammie now?  What will she say?

Virginia takes one look at the photo, then turns to me with a broad smile and states the last thing I'd ever expect to hear:  "You look just the same, Gammie!"

WHAT???  And immediately, I wonder if this child needs her eyes checked!  But the second thought I entertain is the why Virginia views my appearance in this way.

I glance over at my ninety-one-year-old mother, and the answer hits me like the proverbial ton of bricks.  I don't see an aged woman, I see her!  The person who raised me, cared for me and loved me with a deep and abiding commitment.  A precious love we'll always share.

It's the same kind of love Virginia has for me, and I for her.

A love guaranteed to cover over a multitude of sins.

And wrinkles, too!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Will You Converse With Me?

I'm weary of the words
Used against my thoughts
I'm tired of being told
Who I am by those
Who have no idea
What God's love created
When He made me
Unique, one of a kind
You who label me
As clueless, racist, hater
Deign not to understand
Dialogue not an option?
Would you reconsider?
Will you know this truth?
You are God's child, too
And in His grace and love
Enduring peace is yours
Yet question resonates:
Will you converse with me?


Friday, July 26, 2019

Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Psalm 77:18
Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.

(The event described here occurs last Saturday evening.)

We've been enjoying pleasant and generous rains off and on for four days now.  Such a blessing to the thirsty earth!  Yes, there is thunder in the distance, yet no serious storm has yet to materialize.  But nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare us for the ear-splitting, ion-charged blitz of simultaneous lightning and thunder that we later learn strikes two towering pines in our own too-close-for-comfort backyard!

And in a twinkling, >POOF< goes the internet!  (Why our electricity doesn't follow suit will forever be a mystery.)  We are right in the middle of viewing a favorite program via computer when all is lost.  Naturally, we are frustrated, but oh, so much more than this, we are shaken to the core by the electrical vibes permeating our bodies.  What a disconcerting and alarming sensation this is!  It's as if every cell in our beings is on reset, and in desperate need of renewal and reaffirmation.  Praying to God is, for me, the immediate move!

Once we sense we are in recovery, my husband, Danny, contacts our internet provider via phone.  The advice to reset our router is useless.  We than decide to play several rounds of backgammon to pass the time before he gives our provider another shout-out.  The courteous woman who answers the phone tells Danny he will be on a brief hold.  Brief???  Are you kidding?  Danny is still waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

When he finally gets through to a helpful human being, the answer is, even though we have Comcast Business Class, we won't be back on line before Tuesday.  What?  Wait a minute!  You people can't work faster that this?  Our contract promises we are guaranteed to be up and running within three hours of the outage.  What's up with that???

Hmm . . .

I guess an act of God supersedes whatever promises a company can make.

And just maybe, that's something all of us should ponder.

After all, who is large and in charge?  What idols draw us away from the realization that we are connected to God, always and everywhere, no internet required?

Yes, a powerful lesson is learned, and the omnipotent, omniscient Father whom we serve is the source of all wisdom, love and grace.

And for us, miraculously in light (no pun intended) of what has transpired, He is our faithful protector and shelter in the storm.

Could we ask for anything more?

I don't think so!


Be Joyful!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ...