Monday, August 30, 2021

Unbroken Circles

 


Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in m will live, even though they die." ~John 11:25

Pictured above is the memorial in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta to Kenny Rogers.  If you hover over the photo, you can see that the inner lettering states, "Will the Circle be Unbroken."

I must tell you that since my mother passed away, this song has played in my head on a daily basis.  If you are not familiar with it, I've linked to one of my favorite versions at the end of this post.  Let it suffice to say that, in listening repeatedly to this song, this poem emerged.

Unbroken circles whirling

In heart and soul and mind

Promise of reunion

With no one left behind

Joyful presence entered

A peace forever won

Rejoice in everlasting

Life is never done

Amen





Thursday, August 26, 2021

May Peace Be Our Gift

 


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ~Matthew 6:19-20

I love receiving greeting cards of all kinds, no matter what the occasion.  And certainly, I so appreciate all the sympathy cards that come our way after Mom's passing.  They are still on display, and will be for several more weeks.  After that?  Well, as I do with Christmas cards once Epiphany begins, I recycle them.

Honestly, I simply don't like clutter.  And if I saved each and every card I ever got, where in the world would I store them?  Would I ever dig them out to read them all over again?  The short answer is "no."  So, out they go.

With the exception of cards from my husband, Danny, none are retained.  That is until I receive this Christmas greeting last December from my mother.


This arrives before vaccinations against Covid are available, and we haven't been able to spend time in person for months, with the few exceptions of keeping our physical distance from Mom when we go to her house to deliver a load of frozen meals that Danny has lovingly prepared for her.  I'm sure many of you suffered the same frustration in not being able to see your loved ones during the pandemic.

This is what Mom writes inside:


May we all celebrate soon . . .

That phrase strikes a chord deep within me.  I hold the card tightly, reading this brief but poignant sentence over and over.

Then a startling, unwelcome realization hits.  This might be the last Christmas card we ever see from Mom.  I don't want to think it, or believe it, but instinctively, I know this to be true.  It has become more and more evident that she is slipping, physically and cognitively.  I have to face the probability that my intuition is correct.

Sadly, it is.

But from the moment I read this card, I know it's a keeper.  It now serves as a bookmark in my current daily devotional.  Always accessible, always available to read and reread as the years roll on.

May peace be our gift . . .

Mom, you have received that gift in full.

Now, celebrate!

Amen!

Monday, August 23, 2021

God's Treasure

 


For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. ~Psalm 66:10

When it comes to deciding which items in my mother's house to keep or discard, my brother, Bill, and I have only brushed the tip of the iceberg.  We not only have to claim what we would like, or even have room for in our respective homes, but also check with our children as to which paintings/books/knickknacks/furniture each one of them would value for themselves.

I am poking around inside a hutch in Mom's dining room when I discover this sterling silver cup.


Instantly, I realize, this isn't just any silver cup, but was presented to my grandmother's parents when she, Gladys, was born.  If you can discern in spite of the tarnish, here initials, "GB," can be faintly seen.  And below that, in miniscule print, is the year she began life on earth:  1897.  What a treasure!

I tell Bill that I recall occasionally drinking out of that cup when I was a little girl.  Oh, how cold and refreshing fresh milk tasted in its silver casing!  Immediately, Bill insists that I claim this historical item for myself.  I don't argue!  (I love my brother!)

Of course, this precious cup deserves a much-needed face lift to wipe away the grime and erase the discoloring that comes with age and neglect.  I use TarnX and a soft cloth to accomplish what I imagine will be a daunting task.


It's anything but difficult, and within minutes, the cup has returned to its original sheen and shine.





Isn't it beautiful?

And I am reminded that all the dirty stains of sin we accumulate over the years are impossible for us to erase, but it's an easy-peasy job for our loving and forgiving Father when we repent and turn to Jesus.  He will refine us, make us new creatures in Him, and give us a fresh start.

So, ask yourself today:  Do you need to regain your shine and sheen?  Run to the Lord, confess all your sins and seek His forgiveness.

God is waiting with open arms for His treasure - you!

Amen!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Singing for the Sake of Song

 


Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. ~Psalm 96:1


A trilling chord betrays its presence

Uninvited.  Frog caught

In chimney prison, pleads for help

We cannot see, cannot reach

To rescue, save, set free

And still, its cries of hope ring

Echoing in chambers bleak

Singing for the sake of song

Faith unbridled and unleashed

In life, in death, the same

Singing for the sake of song

Amen

Monday, August 16, 2021

Direct

 


Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live even though they die. ~John 11:25


In her memorial service

One word is repeated:

"Direct"

No bush beating

No mealy mouthing

Direct

Unfiltered thoughts

Brash and honest

Direct

Everyone knows

Remembers fondly

This one of a kind

Woman


Amen

Monday, August 9, 2021

A Very Happy Ending

 


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~Hebrews: 12:1

Do you spy that lovely green banner on the upper right-hand corner of the blog?  Yes!  Finally, I have an official sign-up button so all my readers can follow me via email.

As you might recall, when I first sign up for Follow It to replace the defunct Feedburner, I accomplish all the necessary steps except this one.  I just can't figure out how to make it happen, and wonder how everybody else skated through this step seamlessly.  I sigh, shrug my shoulders, and vow to keep adding the actual link to the body of my posts.

I do hate to admit that I choose to throw in the towel and quit the race that begins so smootly.

But the fantastic folks at Follow It wouldn't hear of such nonsense.  Imagine my surprise when one of these caring staff members contacts me via email, notifying me that I hadn't completed the process, and could she help in any way.

Wow!

Was this an easy race to run?  By no means, mainly due to my inherent ineptitude when it comes to all things tech.  But the good people at Follow It are determined to persevere until the button is successfully installed.

Several days, and 20 email exchanges later (see what I mean by perseverance?), I triumphantly make one of the Follow It crew a temporary administrator of my blog.  Boom!  She has a breakthrough, and what you see in the upper right corner is a testimony to these people's patience with me, and their determination to do what is right by their customers.

They encouraged me every step of the way to stay the course, and they helped me see it through to a very happy ending.

May we, as followers of Jesus, always encourage, help and support our brothers and sisters to never, ever quit along the race God has prepared for them to run.

And may God bless the sweet and caring team at Follow It!

Amen!

We are going back to Oxford mid-week as my mother's memorial service is on this coming Saturday.  There will be no blog on Friday, but I do hope to be back with you the following Tuesday.  Blessings, my friends!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

My Heart is Real

 


Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. ~Romans 8:26


My heart is wanting

More than I

Know how to 

Rightly ask

Words evade

Thoughts elope

Sorrows perch

On quivering limb

My heart is crying

Bleeding, torn

Seeking hope

Beyond the now

Where everything 

Seems silent

Voice of comfort

Passes by

My heart is healing

In the stillness

Steadfast, firm

Words unspoken

Convey with strength

The power beyond

My fragile mind

At last, I know

My heart is real


Amen


Monday, August 2, 2021

Four O' Clocks

 


So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil now spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ~Matthew 6:28-29


Four o' Clocks grace my mother's garden

Blooms to herald afternoon's entrance

Holding fast to evening's pathway

Closing only at the dawn of day

Bowing out to allow Day Lilies

To take their watch upon the towers

Assuring all that beauty never fades

Instead, the flowers lift their silken petals

Sustaining us in day, and into night

Amen




A Book Review and Give-Away!

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