Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Mark 12:29-31
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this:  'Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'  The second is this:  'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  There is no commandment greater than these."

My husband, Danny, and I do not have a pool table in our home.  So, when we visit a mountain cabin which provides one, we take full advantage of the fun, the game, the competition.

The concentration . . .

It certainly takes that for me, in so many ways, both obvious and subtle.  A wobble of the elbow, the cue stick braced incorrectly upon my left hand, a too easy or too hard delivery against the side or forefront of the desired ball . . . All are recipes for disaster when it comes to dunking  a ball successfully in the corner pocket.

Any pocket . . . .

Game after game, I lose to Danny's precise, disciplined approach.  Gently, he notes where I need to tighten up, to focus, to control the thrust of the pool cue, and take time to measure the shot.  His advice falls upon ears wishing to hear and understand:  How can I improve my game?

And, mercifully, I find that when I am fully engaged and aware of previous shortcomings, my focus increases by leaps and bounds.  I actually end up winning so of our matches!

But, only when I am mindfully attentive and aware of each facet where I miss the mark do I realize success.

It takes effort.  Multi-tasking effort.

Not at all unlike what our Lord, Christ Jesus, ask of us in Mark 12:29-31.

With every fiber of our being, we are called to focus upon the Lord, our God.  To hear, O Israel, that our Lord is one.

Can we steady our hearts?  Center our souls?  Keep our minds alert?  Ready our strength to love and serve the Lord as Jesus requires?

And, then, with the precision of landing that pool ball in the corner pocket, can we love our neighbors as we love ourselves?  Perfectly?  Without a moment's hesitation?

Staying focused?  No wobbles?  No indelicate delivery?

To accomplish anything in this life, we need to call up the Lord's help and presence to guide us.  For with Him, all things are possible.

And, in knowing this, perhaps, one day, I might beat Danny at pool more than he defeats me!


Are you loving the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength today?  Please share in the comment section!

Will you pray with me?
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for showing us even in times of recreation and fun how we can relate to and be in relationship with You.  Help us to continue to focus upon You and Your commandments, and to love others as you would have us do.  Amen.


  1. What an interesting post, Martha. It seems I fail more than I succeed in loving the Lord, my God, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. My prayer is that I'll indeed do this. The Lord is patient, thankfully!

    Love and blessings,


    1. And, thank goodness, Kim, that our Father is so patient! I fail in that department, too, and have to pick myself up and vow to do better for His sake.
      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!
      Love and blessings!

  2. "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practice, practice, practice."

    True for the arts. True for many games. Doubly true of following Christ, where the challenges aren't always dictated by mere physics.

    Thanks, Martha!

    1. Lol, Rick, I love the Carnegie Hall quote! You are so right, it all takes practice and, as Kim stated above, I'm so grateful for God's patience with our progress or lack thereof.
      Thanks so much for visiting today!
      Many blessings to you!

  3. wonderful and very helpful. Thank you.

    1. So glad you enjoyed the post, Portia! Thanks so much for coming by!

  4. What a wonderful post Martha! Sometimes, when we get caught up in our busy routines we fail to include God in our activities, much less put Him first. It is a trial that we must go through, training ourselves every step of the way, learning that He is always with us and will never leave us. It is us that need to learn to depend on Him throughout each and every day. Many times, we stumble, until we learn that all we need to do is call on Him. Thank you Martha, for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much, Mary, for coming by today!
      We all struggle with keeping our focus on God and seeing Him in every little thing. It does take training, and we need to be as pliable as putty in His capable hands. He will steer us in the right direction. :)
      Love and blessings!


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