Friday, September 20, 2019

Ancient Bones


Ezekiel 37:1-3
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.  He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.  He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "Sovereign Lord, you alone know."


The heat oppressive
Descends and lingers
Far beyond longing
For ancient bones
To welcome warmth
Disorienting
Words without
Meaning emerge
Disconcerting
To those discerning
Listening, praying
Because the time
Remaining? Uncertain
Stakes are high
Beyond knowing
Tenaciously touching
The face of God
And sadly wondering
If that is the aim
Or even want
Of ancient bones.

Amen

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Thirsting for God


Psalm 63:1
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

As I pen this post, we, here in Kennesaw, Georgia, have experienced 64 summer days with temperatures over 90.  Yes, summers are hot in our part of the country, but not to this extreme.  We are on track for the hottest September on record!

All last week, with no rain in sight, my husband, Danny, has to resort to watering our moss to keep it from decline.  He's worked so hard to help it thrive during and after the droughts of 2010, 2012 and 2016, he's not about to give up on it now.

Our current crop of squirrels is adding to Danny's frustration.  They think it's fun to claw up the moss and roll around in the dirt revealed by such activity.  Hey, Racer!  Can you come and teach these upstarts a lesson?  Danny is spending as much time tamping the moss back into place as he is with timing sprinklers.







One step forward, two steps back . . .

Oh, how we crave a genuine downpour of refreshing, rejuvenating rain!  Gazing at a hazy blue sky, day after day, reminds us of how parched and dry the land is at the moment.  A land longing for a substantial cloudburst to revive it.

And it begs the question:  Are we thirsting, too?  Not for the rain, but for the Living Water?  The only water guaranteed to quench our longings?  Our hearts' desires?

How many moments in our day are we dedicated to prayer, to studying God's Word, to submitting to His will?  In my experience, when corners are cut, we become thirsty.  Parched.  We have disengaged from the one spigot that can hydrate us in both body and soul.

So, my hope today is that we pray for refreshment that only the Living Water can provide.

Drought on the outside can be remedied by human hands.

But drought on the inside can only be cured by our Father and His Son, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.

Let us drink to that!

Amen!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

9/11


Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

School room trailer separates
From all visual communications
Radio on at planning time
Keeping company, until it's not
The buildings struck, unbelief
Shrinks in reality's evil presence
Thoughts of family, hearts and minds
What are my children thinking, suffering?
How I long to be with them!
I pray as stunned students drift
Through door, craving comfort, calm
The peace passing understanding
I have no words to offer, to fill
The void created by wanton acts
Of malice, violence, hate manifest
Because I'm speechless; choose to listen
We hug, we cry, we freely vent
And everyone hears, grieves.  Everyone
Because we need each other more
Than we imagined or intended
But God knew always, all along.

Where were you on 9/11?  Please share your thoughts and prayers in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Heaven's Door


Jonah 3:1-3
Next, God spoke to Jonah a second time:  "Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh!  Preach to them.  They're in a bad way and I can't ignore it any longer."
This time, Jonah started off straight for Nineveh, obeying God's orders to the letter.

My husband, Danny, and I have talked for years about replacing our 25-year-old garage doors.  They are not efficiently insulated, as is the rest of our home is, and well, to be honest, they make a racket when opening and closing.  It's a soul-jolting, alarming sound that reverberates not just in the garage, but throughout the entire house.  Think living too close to frequently traveled train tracks.

However, new garage doors are not high on our priority list.  After all, the old ones still work, and new ones are definitely not cheap.  We choose to procrastinate.

Until . . .

That fateful night when a lightning bolt strikes two of our backyard pines.  Yep, the same one that knocks out our internet for almost three full days, fries the garage door sensors on Danny's side.  We can still open the door electronically, but closing it?  That's a whole other can of worms.  When Danny needs to leave, I have to stand in the garage, and hold the control button firmly in order for the door to shut completely.

This is not convenient for either one of us.

So, you guessed it!  Danny and I are up on our feet, ordering new doors for the garage.  Thankfully, they are installed this past week.


What an improvement!!!  I love the flat black finish on the steel doors; they match our roof and our front door perfectly.


And the added bonus?  The doors, when opening or closing, barely emit a whisper.  What an amazing difference!  Makes me wish we had done this a lot sooner than we finally did.

~

Jonah, the penultimate procrastinator, though called on a mission by God, refused to accept the invitation, seeking Tarshish as his destination instead of Nineveh.  It took three frightening, repentant days in the belly of the whale for Jonah to finally see the light, and follow God's instructions to the letter.

And it took a bolt from the blue wreaking havoc for Danny and me to wake up and realize that replacing the flimsy, raucous garage doors was a long-overdue necessity.

Drastic wake-up calls are not always the way God tells us to change our ways and obey Him.  His might be that still, small voice, that unanticipated thought nudging our conscience, or a door of opportunity revealed.  We must learn to listen, to heed and to follow when God beckons us forward.  Calls us to walk closer to Him.

When we accept the mission God is giving us, we can rest assured we are truly knocking on Heaven's door.

And that door is sure to open.

Amen!

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Work of Our Hands


Psalm 90:17
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands.

Man is never truly himself except when he is actively creating something. ~Dorothy L. Sayers

Our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, loves working with her hands, be it drawing or manipulating ordinary objects into extraordinary creations.  Do you recall these unique items she makes last April?



Since we are having Virginia over for the long Labor Day weekend, I decide it's time for this not so artsy-crafty Gammie to come up with an actual project for us to tackle together.  I think Christmas ornaments.  I know, I know, we're still months away from celebrating Jesus' birthday, but by starting early, I can rest assured that Virginia will have the time necessary to produce enough decorations to serve as gifts for her family.

Sure enough, I find a Christmas tree craft on line that is simple and colorful, and a trip to our local Michaels procures all the materials we need.


Virginia wastes no time in opening the packages and getting right to work.



I choose the pre-colored popsicle sticks to save us from having to paint our own.  Less mess, and more variety for our trees.



Virginia opts for the tradition green for her tree.




She is cutting out a small square for the tree trunk that I've traced on card stock paper.  In the meantime, I trace stars from a metal cookie cutter I have and save Virginia time by cutting those out myself.


Here come the pom-poms!




I let Virginia complete my rather unconventional Christmas tree.

And here are the final products!


The trees turn out just as we had hoped, and we give thanks to God for blessing the work or our hands.

Amen!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

All in the Moment

Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus said to her, "Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted."  And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Coming and going
Winning and knowing
Losing and grinning
All in the moment
Living and dying
Failing and trying
Again and again
All in the moment
Anguish and tears
Troubles and fears
Heads ugly, to rear
All in the moment
Hope of salvation
Divided nation
Healing from hurt
All in the moment
For in a moment
Past and future
Placed at odds
What has been
And what can be
Overshadowed
All in the moment

Amen

Ancient Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-3 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it ...