Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!


We wish you a Merry, Merry Christmas and God's blessings in the New Year!

Martha and Danny Orlando


Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus until Friday, January 3rd.  See you then!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Birthday!


Luke 2:10-11
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

My father was born on Christmas Day 85 years ago.  I'm sure his coming into the world brought great joy to his mom and dad, aunts and uncles, siblings and grandparents.  What birth of a healthy child doesn't?

But, on Christmas Day?  When everyone is receiving presents anyway?  When the celebratory birth of Jesus overshadows the day?  

How do parents make this day extra-special each year for the birthday child?

Dad's parents tried.  They really did!  Always giving little Billy that special gift above and beyond what brother, Phil, and sister, Mary Jane, enjoyed beneath the Christmas tree.

One story Dad told us when we were growing up was the Christmas/birthday when he, and only he, got a brand new bicycle.  Oh, how the paint gleamed and the chrome shone!  It was hard for Phil and Mary Jane not to feel a wee bit jealous.  As for Billy, he was thrilled and couldn't wait to take it for a spin!

Bundled up against the cold, Billy mounts his treasured bike at the top of their steep driveway and hurtles down without a moment's hesitation.  Wind whips his face.  Frost reddens his cheeks.  It's full and exhilarating speed ahead!

Until, the unthinkable happens.

Billy's bike tires hit a slick of black ice.  He loses control.  The front fender careens into the curb.

Feeling as bent and forsaken as his now damaged bicycle, Billy limps home with tears in his eyes and an ache in his heart.  Phil and Mary Jane are so livid about their brother's carelessness, they refuse to speak to him for the rest of Christmas Day.  It was a memorable Christmas, to be sure, but not because it was a joyful one.

In all the years I can recall since childhood, our family has always given my Dad those extra-special gifts at Christmas.  We've faithfully held a party in his honor on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and have continually celebrated his privilege of sharing in the Lord's birthday.

If Dad has ever been let down on any of these Christmas birthdays, he's never let on.  Not once have I know my father to be discontented with what he has or who he is.  And, through his example, I have learned so much about what it means to truly live a fulfilling life.

And, now that Dad is in the last stages of Alzheimer's, this may be the last Christmas/birthday card I choose for him and the last special gift I buy.  I stand before the reams of cards which tout the exemplary qualities of fathers and thankfulness for their gifts of wisdom and love.  Can he read this?  Will he understand?  Does he somehow remember in his heart and soul all the cards with similar sentiments sent on birthday past?

My tears flow.  My heart breaks.

This is the hardest birthday.  The hardest Christmas.

But, in the harsh reality of now lies the everlasting hope.

Hope, born in a lowly, smelly, miserable manger.

Hope, which understands the lowliest, smelliest, and miserable parts of our lives.

Hope which conquers all our fears, our doubts, our sins because it invites us to look beyond the present circumstance to see the everlasting promise.

The promise Jesus made to be with us always.  Not just on His birthday.

With us always!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

~

Do you know someone who shares a birthday with Jesus?  Will you send them an exceptional gift or greeting today?

Will you pray with me?
Loving Father, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Your Son, our Savior, Christ Jesus, let us not forget those whose birthdays may be overshadowed by all the activities this holiday brings.  May we make their birthdays ones to remember and cherish; ones that remind them how much they are loved as Your precious children.  Amen.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God of the Impossible

 Photo taken by Danny Orlando at Fontana View 2 cabin in the Nantahalas

Isaiah 11:1
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit.

Pastor Wallace tells us the story of his visit years ago with Jim, one of his church members, who recently purchased a farm.  As he turns his car from the main road onto the long, gravel driveway which winds its way to the house, Wallace is duly impressed by the expanse of the place.  Acres and acres of fenced pastures sprawl on either side of the road where cattle, too numerous to count, graze peacefully.

When Wallace finally pulls up to the farmhouse, Jim is sitting in a rocker on the front porch.

"Quite a place you have here, Jim," Wallace calls as he exits the car.  "Hope you're planning to give me the grand tour."

"Sure thing, Preacher," Jim assures him.  "But, there's something I want to show you first.  In all my born days, ain't seen nothing like it."

The two men stride to the pasture gate with Jim leading the way.

"It's a bit of a walk, Preacher, but I promise it's well worth it.  Just watch where you step.  Cow dung."

Wallace doesn't need to be told twice to keep his eyes peeled for that pitfall.  They stroll in companionable silence through the seemingly endless sea of grass.  Cows pause momentarily in their cud-chewing to eye the men as they pass by.  But, unruffled by the unexpected company, they quickly and calmly resume their dining routines.

"Not much farther," Jim says.  "It's just over that rise yonder."

When Wallace and Jim reach the top of the hill, the spy the fence not 20 feet away.  

"Do you see it?"  Jim asks.

"See what?  What am I looking for?  You haven't told me."

Jim grins broadly and points to a fence post.  Wallace's jaw drops.  He can't believe his eyes!  Rising up from the supposedly treated lumber is a living shoot, a small branch green and supple.

"Well, I'll be," says Wallace in amazement.  "I've seen shoots spring up from stumps, but never anything like this!"

"Kind of a miracle, don't you think, Preacher?"

"A miracle it is, indeed, my friend.  And, what a wonderful reminder for us that with God, nothing is impossible."

~

During this season of Advent, will you let the God of the Impossible work His miracles of new growth in you?

Will you pray with me?
Father, as we celebrate Advent, graft in our hearts the growing, thriving branch of Your peace, Your love, and Your hope.  May we all bear good fruit and spread Your good news of great joy to all we meet, not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.  Amen.


Friday, December 6, 2013

The Twelve Pathways to Christmas, Again!


Last year, about this time, I shared the review of my friend, Andy Wood's, beautiful and inspiring book, The 12 Pathways to Christmas.  Today, I'm sharing this once again with my readers.

As 2013 has progressed, I have found new friends and new followers.  Advent would be remiss if I did not share this splendid book once again with you.

I hope you will enjoy the post here, and order Andy's e-book.  It will make your Christmas season merry and bright, guaranteed!

Love and blessings to you all!

Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus the week of December 9th through December 13th.  Personally, I will be internet-free from the 9th to the 13th of December.  However, I will be spending some of my vacation time rereading Andy's book.  Can't wait!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Walking in the Light of the Lord


Isaiah 2:5
Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Last Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, a season in the church year of hope, love, joy, and peace, but most of all, expectation.  As Christians, we not only look forward to the celebration of Jesus' birth on Christmas Day, but cherish this time in which we prepare our hearts for His coming again in glory to redeem this world once and for all.

In his sermon, Pastor Wallace focuses upon the light which has come and is coming into the world once again.  And, he reminds us, most importantly, of what Jesus told us:  While He is the Light of the World, He grants this same blessing to us.  God gives us our own personal, unique, and irreplaceable light which we can shine into hearts troubled and torn by the darkness of this world.  A world devoid of hope, love, joy, and peace.  A world desperate and longing for the light of Christ.

At home Sunday evening, we light our Advent wreath's first candle after praying together.  As we do so, I relive Pastor Wallace's words from that morning.

They hit home.

And, I ponder . . .

What can I do this Advent season to truly shine "this little light of mine?"  How can I "let it shine, let it shine, let it shine?"

With this year declared "Love" drawing to a close, I think I know.  At least, for me.  But, what about you?  In what ways, during this Advent, can you shine your God-given light upon others?

Can you give to a local charity?  Volunteer at a homeless shelter?  Spend time at an assisted living home?  Babysit for free while your neighbors go Christmas shopping?  Take an elderly friend to the doctor?  Donate a toy for children in need?  Let someone ahead of you when traffic is a snarled standstill?

The list goes on and on and on.  So many ways and opportunities to shine our lights!  

~

How will you share your light with the world this Advent season?

Will you pray with me?
Father, it is with great joy and anticipation that we prepare to welcome Your only Son into this world.  May these weeks of Advent be filled with Your blessings, guidance and love.  Help us to reflect the Light of the World into the lives of others.  Amen.

Interested in receiving daily devotions for Advent?  Click here to sign up!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Battle Rages On . . .


2 Chronicles 20:15
He said, "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem!  This is what the Lord says to you:  'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God's.'"

Our house sits in the middle of a forest populated mainly by deciduous hardwoods.  We are smack dab in the middle of fall, and you know what that means.  Leaves!  Tons of them!  Raining from the sky.  Covering our decks.  Smothering our yard.

Fall isn't called 'fall' for nothing!

And, when it comes to keeping the decks cleared and the yard clean, we have our work cut out for us.  I whisk away the broom while my husband, Danny, wields the leaf blower.  Together, we tackle the onslaught.  Battle back the blitz of leaf troops which seems to gain ground (literally) daily.  Here is a pile I'm in the midst of sweeping up the other day after heavy winds and rain brought in reinforcements.





And, here is what the deck looked like a day later.






The battle rages on . . .

And, many days, I feel like the leaves are winning.  Even when I know that, eventually, all of them will have dropped.  That I will, at some point, sweep the last soldier off the deck and Danny will blow the last warrior from the yard.  The losing battle turned into a war won.

Wouldn't it be splendid if every battle we face on life's journey had a guaranteed winning outcome?  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  We lose a job, go through a divorce, lose a loved one, endure a chronic illness.  And, sometimes, the fallout from our wounds can leave us feeling hopeless and helpless.

It doesn't have to be that way.  All that can change when we stop clinging to our own methods for waging war against the enemy, and hand the battle over to God.  Waving our white flags.  Surrendering to His will.  Trusting in His ways.

"And, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

He is with us.  He cares.  He is able, ready and willing to aid us in every battle we face.

God will make it a win-win.  Every time . . .

~

What battles are you facing in your life today?

Will you pray with me?
Let us, Father, in hope and trust and humility, not be afraid of or discouraged by the battles of this life, but hand everything over to you with praise and thanksgiving.  We know the ultimate battle belongs to You.  May we ever raise our white flags in surrender to Your will.  Amen.

To listen to the song 'White Flag' by Chris Tomlin, click here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Love Your Enemies


Matthew 5:43-45
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your father in heaven.  He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous . . .

I subscribe to a daily post hosted my former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, called Godfruits.  Everyday, I know I can open this gift and find Biblical encouragement, good news videos and stories, and vital inspiration for my daily faith walk.  It has been both boon and blessing to me in a myriad of ways.

So, today, instead of sharing my own reflections with you, I choose to offer this commentary from Godfruits as a "guest post."  I hope you will read and be inspired!

An Armenian nurse had been held captive along with her brother by the Turks.  Her brother was slain by a Turkish soldier before her eyes.  Somehow, she escaped and, later, became a nurse in a military hospital.

One day, she was stunned to find that the same man who had killed her brother had been captured and brought, wounded, to the hospital where she worked.  Something within her cried out, "Vengeance!"  But, a stronger voice called for her to love.  She nursed the man back to health.

Finally, the recuperating soldier asked her, "Why didn't you let me die?"

Her answer was, "I am a follower of Him who said, 'Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.'

Impressed with her answer, the young soldier replied, "I never heard such words before.  Tell me more.  I want this kind of religion."

~

Is this the kind of religion you want, too?

Will you pray with me?
Father, how can we ever thank You enough for sending Your precious Son, Christ Jesus, to teach us the power of love and forgiveness?  May the lesson taught to us by this devoted nurse help us to search our hearts and souls, and to forgive readily with humble and grateful hearts.  Help us to forgive others as Jesus forgave us.  Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bearing Much Fruit


John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know that our home is nestled deep in a forest.  This makes having a vegetable garden impossible, and growing flowers?  Problematic at best.  But, we manage to find some which thrive in partial sun/mostly shade, and enjoy them throughout the summer when, and where, they add color and cheer to our deck.

As fall looms and cooler temperatures are in the offing, the plants are not simply surviving, they are thriving!  The first hard freeze is threatening, yet our impatiens have more promising buds than ever.  We cannot bear to see them meet and untimely end.  So, we decide to bring them into the house along with the Dragon-wing begonias.  The "hot house" environment does wonders for the impatiens, but the begonias wish to wilt.  We usher them back outside as soon as conditions are agreeable.

When the next freeze warning is issued, we carry all the plants inside again.  This time, however, the impatiens rest on our hearth as before, while we place the begonias in the garage which is cooler.  This works so much better for both species.  The begonias stay perky.  The impatiens produce seven blooms on one plant and three on the other.  In November?  Unheard of!

Begonias

Impatiens











These plants are both bearing much fruit because we choose to care for them.  From inclement weather, we protect.  In balmy weather, we encourage.  When it rains, we let them soak up nature's moisture.

Doesn't God do the same for us?

Jesus promises us that when we trust and find our rest in Him, He will always be there for us.  Some of us may require more pruning and nurturing.  But, with the Lord as our vine, our essential root in life, we can't help but bear good fruit in His name.

~

Do you have a "green thumb" story to share here?

Will you pray with me?
Help us to ever remember, Father, that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.  May our lives be faithfully grafted onto His that we might always bear good fruit in this world.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Safe and Sound


Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

My granddaughter, Virginia Rose, has a favorite stuffed animal, a worn and somewhat bedraggled kitty, which she takes with her everywhere she goes.  "Tatty," as Virginia calls him, is her constant companion, whether she is awake or asleep.



I've been babysitting frequently as of late, and have learned just how important Tatty is to my grandchild.  He accompanies us to the park, to the indoor playground nearby, and even to the grocery store where he sits next to her in the buggy seat.  Of course, when play is involved, this Gammie winds up holding Tatty so Virginia is free to do her thing.

One day, when I'm buckling her into her booster seat, Virginia points to Tatty.

"Gammie!  Tatty buck.  Tatty buck!"

"Oh, you want Tatty to have a seat belt, too?"

"Yep!"

Dutifully, I strap Tatty securely in his place.  "Okay, Virginia, he's fastened in and ready to go."

Virginia heaves a sigh of relief.

"Safe and sound," she says.

Naturally, I get a tremendous kick out of Virginia's precocious statement.  But, it also starts me thinking.  I'm old enough to remember the days when cars didn't even have seat belts.  When they finally did, many people, including my grandfather, refused to wear them.  Over the course of time, though, as traffic congestion increased and the interstates became more like racetracks than freeways, people began to see the sense in wearing a safety belt.

And, then, my thoughts take another turn.  Make a quite unexpected analogy.

That's what my life was like before I accepted Jesus as my Savior - riding around recklessly, wearing no seat belt.  Not safe and sound, but scared and scarred . . .

But, the Lord changed all that the moment I climbed into the car with Him and fastened His loving safety belt around me.  It hasn't always been an easy journey in this faith.  I've had my share of detours, potholes, traffic jams, and fender-benders.

Yet, no matter what has happened or will happen on this road trip, I know one thing for sure.

With God, I am always safe and sound.


~

Are you buckled up with Jesus?

Will you pray with me?
Father, thank You for being our refuge and strength when troubles come, keeping us safe and sound in Your loving embrace.  We pray to feel Your presence and Your grace each and every day of this earthly journey.  All this we ask in the precious name of Jesus.  Amen.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Time of Uncertainty


1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.  
~C. S. Lewis

Back in October of this year, the federal government shuts down.  My husband, Danny, who is the Region 4 coordinator for Energy Star at EPA, is laid off.  We don't know for how long.  We don't know if any back-pay is in the offing.  So many economic uncertainties to face!

Danny, always practical, sits down to take a hard look at our budget.  After a careful assessment, he shares his ideas.

"This month, no eating out, no internet orders, no matter what, and we need to cut back on what we're spending on groceries.  I think we can survive this."

"I know we can," I assure him.  "Just let me do all the food shopping."

Why should I handle the groceries?  It's been a long-standing joke at our house that if I let Danny loose at our local Publix, I can expect him to buy anything which catches his fancy.  And, never count the cost!  Because, when you endure lean times in your twenties and thirties and have to pinch every penny, once you have a stable, generous income, you tend to allow frugality to go the way of the dinosaur.

"What?"  Danny sounds disappointed.  "Don't you trust me to look for bargains now that we're in this fix?"

"Why, of course, I do.  I know you will.  Let's put our heads together and think of meals that will stretch before we head to the store this week."

And, that's precisely what we do.  We even stop buying the flavored vitamin water we love.  Instead, Danny buys the much, much cheaper bag of fresh lemons to make lemonade.  Amazingly, our food costs plummet by nearly $70 a week!  Wow!

The good news?  Even though the shutdown is long over and we now know Danny will get his pay for that lost time, we have maintained, and will continue to maintain, our savings mentality when it comes to budgeting for food.

The better news?  This time of uncertainty actually brought us closer to God and to one another.  A day didn't go by when we didn't pray together.  When I would see those furrows of worry crease Danny's brow, I'd immediately remind him that God is with us and will see us through, no matter what.  The relief which would flood his face was priceless . . .

And, God, through one unselfish and loving angel, touched us even deeper during this trying time.  We peruse our mail as usual one day to find an envelope addressed to us, but with no return address.  The postmark is metro Atlanta.  We open it to find this:



A most unexpected blessing.  And, because of our careful stewardship during this month of hardship, we were able to use it to bless others.

~

Have you gone through a time of adversity which resulted in unforeseen blessings?

Will you pray with me?
Father, we will no place our hope in the riches of this world, but in the riches of Your heavenly glory.  Remind us each day that You alone are enough to supply all our needs, the ones You know of before we ever know how to ask.  May we, with thankful hearts, always share our blessings with others.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Voice of the Lord


Hebrews 3:7
So, as the Holy Spirit says:  "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . ."

I begin writing my novel in the summer of 2007.  And inexplicable do-or-die, now-or-never urge possesses me.  I wind up with thirteen chapters, and am pleased with the story's direction by the time school starts up again.  Too busy and distracted by teaching, I reluctantly shelve my novel until the following summer.

It takes two more summers to complete.  And, the most amazing thing about this whole process?  I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt that God, through His Holy Spirit, has sat right next to me the entire time.  Because, as odd as it may sound, I don't write the book.

It writes itself.

And, I know it's good.  Worthy of readership.  Yet, every agent I seek out is not interested in representing me.  No publisher takes the bait.

Rejections take their toll . . .

At the gracious invitation of my brother in Christ, Dusty Rayburn, I am posting on his blog, Devoted Conversations today.  I do hope you will visit and become a fan of Dusty's writing.  Thank you, Dusty, for this opportunity to share with your audience.  God bless always!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Give Me a Break!


Psalm 62:5
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

When I began writing this devotional blog over two years ago, I never could have dreamed of the amazing friends and fellow bloggers it would bring into my world.  How my life has been enriched and blessed by your caring, sharing and encouragement!  You have all helped me to grow in my faith walk and in my writing.  I cannot thank you enough!

That being said, I realize just today that I need a rest from blogging.  Just as God prompted me those years ago to begin Meditations of My Heart, I hear Him just as distinctly say, "It's time to take a break."

Not a forever break.  No way!  I love this blog, and all of you, too much!

But, a break, nonetheless.

I haven't set a length of time for this period of rest.  I'm leaving that up to the Lord to decide.  I am confident He will tell me, loud and clear, when it's time to resume.

And, will I continue to write?  Ironically, that's exactly why I'm certain God wants me to take this hiatus.  My blogging style is quite different from my fiction voice as those of you who have read my novels have more than likely realized.  I feel called to immerse my self in the land of fiction once again as I begin work on the sequels to The Glade Series, tentatively titled Adventures in the Glade.  I can't do that successfully unless my sole focus is on the novel.

Will I continue to make the rounds of your blogs?  Wouldn't miss it for the world!  So, though I'm temporarily dropping out of the scene as a blogger, I'm certainly going to stay in touch with each and every one of you.

And, I will, on occasion, post a Friday Moment or a poem or reflection on my alternative blog, Moments and Musings.  But, the pressure to post two blogs a week will no longer haunt me.

Whew!

May God bless you and keep you always!

~

I don't think I've ever asked this here before, but I'm asking now:  Will you be so kind as to pray for me as I shift gears and return to fiction writing?

Please join me in prayer:
We thank You, Father, for Your constant care and guidance in our lives.  May we ever be prepared to hear Your still, small voice prompting us and leading us on the paths You would have us travel.  May our souls ever find rest in You.  Amen. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Make Straight My Paths


Psalm 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

In January of this year, a postcard arrives in the mail.  It is an advertisement for Main Street Pharmacy, a new business in Kennesaw slated to open in the spring.  I see it as a great opportunity for a book signing if I can hook up somehow to their grand opening.

I e-mail the contact person on the card to inquire about this possibility.  He responds in the affirmative, assuring me he will be in touch as the opening nears.

Spring arrives.  Flowers are in bloom, but Main Street Pharmacy has yet to show any signs of life.  Summer comes.  Still, no opening.  And, no word from the gentleman I contacted.

Then, in early September, I see from a post of a friend on Facebook raving about how amazing a store Main Street Pharmacy is.  They're open???  I search for their page on Facebook.  Sure enough.  They opened on the last day of August with the grand opening planned for September 4th.

I've missed it . . . I am so disappointed!  I was really hoping I could be included in that event.

But, when another Facebook friend tells me she has spoken to the supervisor at Main Street and found out they are very much willing to host book signings, I march myself right down to the store.  Grand opening or not, just an opportunity to sign and sell books in my hometown is good enough for me!

The supervisor greets me warmly.  She pulls out the store's calendar.

"Choose any date you like," she says with a smile.

Since I already have three signings in September, I flip to October.

"Would Saturday, October 12th, be all right?  Say from 1:00 to 3:00?"

"Sounds perfect!  Just make sure you bring us some posters about two weeks in advance so we can advertise the event."

"I'll do it!"

It is two days before the book signing.  I visit a free on-line advertising service we have in town called Kennesaw Patch.  My plan is to write a blurb announcing my gig at Main Street Pharmacy.

That's when I see their ad.  I click on it.  What???  Their Grand Opening is this Saturday?  The day I'm there?  Oh, wow!  I can't believe it!  I didn't miss it after all!

~

I've written many times on the theme of God's perfect timing.  In learning to trust Him instead of leaning on my own understanding, I see Him setting my paths straight again and again.  When it seems things just aren't going according you your plans, are you stopping to ask God what His plans are?  Are you waiting?  Watching?  Praying?  Trusting that He will make straight your paths?

Will you pray with me?
Father, let us trust in You with our whole hearts.  May we lean not upon our own understanding, but submit to Your will and Your ways in all circumstances.  We know only You can make straight our crooked paths.  Amen.

Here are some photos my husband, Danny, took of the Grand Opening.  Enjoy!


Outdoor fun!


This is truly an beautifully designed store.









This young lady had the voice of an angel.  Believe it or not, she is only 14-years-old!




Here are some photos of me interacting with some amazing folks at the signing.









Kudos to Main Street Pharmacy for your hospitality!  Grey and I loved every minute of it!


Friday, October 11, 2013

And, Don't You Remember?


Mark 8:18
Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?  And don't you remember?

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder. ~E. B. White

My granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is delight in action.  I never cease to learn something new from her each time she visits.  At age three, she is markedly more aware of the world around her, but she largely remains in her own small one.  That finite world which defines her as the center of the universe.

What do I mean by that?  Let me offer an example.  We are in the same room.  I'm watching her tossing a tennis ball with her Papa, aka, Danny.  She makes a great catch.

"Look, Gammie!  See?  Ginya caught the tenna ball!"

"I see," I assure her, wondering how she was unaware that I was watching the entire exchange.

Then, it hits me.  Whether or not we are standing right there, intently observing, without Virginia's perception being explained outside her immediate involvement, nothing has transpired!  Her affirmation of the action which just took place is the only thing which enables others to share in her experience.

And, it hits me again.  Hard!  How many times had God said, "Look, Martha!  See?  What a marvel I've made of this moment!"  Have I assured Him with an, "I see, Lord," or have I missed it because I'm too caught up in the cares and worries, the fears which Satan would have me fall prey to?

Have I missed this one-of-a-kind opportunity?  Have I ceased to wonder?  Did eyes and ears fail to see and hear?

Did I forget how much He loves me?  How He is present and close and available to me every second of the day?

Did I dare take for granted His mighty power and majesty shining through even the smallest of details?

"Look, Gammie!  See!  Hear!"

Let me see, Lord, let me see and hear . . .

So, that in everything, in every place, in every time, I stand in the presence of Your wonders.

~

Are you standing in the presence of God's wonders today?

Will you pray with me?
Loving Father, may Your will be done in all things.  Let us remember, even when we don't feel Your presence, that You are there with us.  Open our eyes and ears to the glories You have in store, that we might praise You and bring Your Kingdom that much closer to fruition in this world.  Amen.

The Best Laid Plans

Isaiah 48:17 This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is b...