Friday, October 29, 2010

Wait Upon the Lord

Psalm 130:6 - My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, yes, more than those who watch for the morning.


Waiting is difficult for most of us and, most of the time, we do so grudgingly. We wait at the grocery store, irritated that the person ahead of us picked up an item requiring a price check. We wait in snarls of rush hour traffic, frantic that we will be late for work or furious because we are so late getting home. We wait with pregnant anticipation for mountain getaway without technological frills to distract us and, by the end of the vacation, can't wait to pounce on our computers. In a society grown accustomed to instant gratification, neither waiting nor patience are desired virtues.

In my life, I am waiting to hear positive news about two things that I know in my heart of hearts God has led me to pursue. There are days when I wallow in my own dark doubts and insecurities: "Lord, was it really you pushing me toward these goals? Was it not your voice I heard? Yes? Then, why must I wait so long for something wonderful to come of this?" And then, there are days when I take joy in the watch, certain that all is God's time and hands and knowing He will bring the good work He began in me to fruition.

The darkest hour is just before dawn claims the old adage. Like the verse from Psalms quoted above, it reflects the void in our souls when we cannot feel God's presence in our lives yet, paradoxically, offers us the assurance that He, the light of the world, will shine on us once again if we, with the psalmist, will wait with patience and hope.

Psalm 27:14 - Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Psalm 37:7 - Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Never before has there been and, I pray, never again will be a time in this country's history when elected officials have so brazenly ignored the will of the people and our rights under the Constitution. The politicians have wrecked havoc with our deficit, have passed the health care bill that, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "must be passed before we can see what's in (it)" (WHAT???), and have handed our children and grand-children a debt that is nigh impossible to pay. What we have endured with losses of homes, jobs, and economic opportunities have been due in large part to those in office who regard power, not legitimate legacy, as their utmost goal and driving force. The continued failures in the private sector hail more dependence on the federal government which is funded, in large part, by the high-achievers through taxes. Those on the government dole either can't or don't understand that the higher taxes go, these high-achieving creators of jobs will simply take their businesses to other countries more friendly to their agenda. When this happens, what happens to the poor, the middle class, in this country? What happens to the country as a whole? Politicians, up to this point, have certainly succeeding in their wicked ways and, worshiping the idols of power and control, have neglected the economic and moral health of our nation.

While we can blame the politicians all we want, the responsibility for our country's destiny lies ultimately in our hands; we, the people, must repent and return to the roots our founding fathers who so meticulously, with copious thought to the needs of future generations, gave to us our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. For whom did we vote in the past and for whom are we voting now? Who are we re-electing that just might not deserve another term because he/she has not been a good and faithful servant? Have we researched the candidates carefully before entering the polling booth? Are we more interested in "Dancing With the Stars" than knowing who is waltzing with our hard-earned dough in Washington? What are we going to do about it? Are we going to take a stand or will we simply stand by and sit this one out because "my vote really doesn't count"? It counts beyond measure because you are an American; if you think it doesn't, you are listening to the words of the enemy.

With this being said, before you take the first step or make one more decision, be still with the Lord, our God, and seek His council. If God is first and foremost in your life, then, evidently, the government must, of necessity, take a backseat. Jesus admonished us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. As a child of God, you are not a puppet of a government that has strayed from the principles of its Constitution and its Judeo-Christian heritage. You have a voice. You are "We, the People". Listen to the voice of the Lord and let your voice be heard.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

En-deer-ing


Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and meet my God?

Our house is surrounded by a forest, so it is not unusual to observe the occasional deer traipsing through our yard. I particularly treasured a moment this summer when a doe led her frisky fawn up the trail in front of our house. I took great care to stand very still as they passed by, not wishing to startle them into flight that would prematurely curtail my enjoyment of this scene. After all, since I didn't have my camera handy, I had to rely solely on my mind's eye to capture the moment. Fortunately, that wasn't the case this past Saturday.

Danny and I were watching college football that afternoon when a doe ambled into view. We watched quietly from our living room window as she proceeded to nonchalantly lick birdseed from the ground; I never knew deer liked birdseed. We chuckled as she, more than once, arched her neck toward the feeder and thrust her tongue in the aperture to procure more food. After several minutes of this, she calmly turned away and strolled leisurely toward a copious patch of English ivy where she promptly laid down to rest. Dissatisfied with the quality of the photos he had snapped through the window, Danny decided to risk a venture outside to see if he could manage some better shots. Moving slowly and deliberately so as not to alarm the doe, he crept as close as he dared and, this time, nailed some phenomenal photos. The one at the top of this blog is one of the best!

Danny was amazed at the doe's indifference toward his presence. Although not tame by any means, it was obvious to us that this deer was accustomed to humans, roaming the wooded neighborhoods as she did. She had never experienced a reason to be wary, cautious, or fearful of people. Luckily for her, the only shots she would ever encounter would be fired from a camera.

After resting for about an hour, the doe rose on her slender, elegant legs and sauntered down the forest slope toward the creek which runs through our neighborhood. The presence of this reliable water source sustains mammals and birds in abundance. Without it, they would be forced to live elsewhere and we would be deprived of the marvelous creatures that attest to the beauty and wonder of God's creation. He is present in it all and we can meet Him there any time we choose.




Thursday, October 14, 2010

Matthew 19:14 - Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

I had the delightful task this week of babysitting for my granddaughter, Virginia Rose. Her parents, John and Sarah, were gone for over four hours, so "Gammie" had quite a stretch of time to get better acquainted with her darling almost-three-month-old. Naturally, I doted on her every smile, her laughs and coos, and marveled as I watched her roll from her back to her stomach repeatedly, becoming frustrated only when she momentarily forgot how to extricate her arm from beneath her (I had to intervene a time or two). She has also learned to grab a particular ring on her play gym because it rewards her efforts with a variety of perky tunes. Music, most definitely, has a calming effect on her!

Not everything, however, was sweetness and light that afternoon. Virginia fights sleep with a ferocity that manifests itself in boisterous cries. The only way I found to soothe her was to walk the floor with her in my arms. She quieted especially promptly when I carried her outdoors where the trees, sky and wind held a particular fascination for her. As much as I coveted holding her, it wasn't long before my arms began to protest at the unaccustomed weight, and I was ever so relieved when her blue-like-Gammie's eyes closed at last and I could ease her into the seat of her swing for her much-needed nap.

By the time her parents arrived home, I felt like I was the one who needed a nap! I thought about other grandparents my age and older who, for whatever circumstance, are raising their children's children, and my heart ached for them. For even the most energetic of us, bringing up a second family, while being the right thing to do, would never be the easiest. The infant, toddler, child, teen are all, at their different stages, dependent upon the adults in the lives to nurture them, love them, and meet their needs. Observing Sarah and John with Virginia, I know she is one blessed little girl!

I, too, am blessed, and so are you. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us, cares for us, comforts us and, thank goodness, is never too tired or distracted when we need Him to hold us, speak to us, or walk with us. Come, then, before Him as a little child, wholly and completely dependent upon Him, leaning not on your own understanding but trusting in His. Therein is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Pray!

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