Children Are Like Berries

Children are like berries

They start as lovely flowers, perfect and pure.

They grow then, in clumps and the oldest ripen first;

Some ripen faster than others.

When picked and appreciated, it seems the others rejoice and grow more delicious.

The picking season may only last a few weeks, or moments.

Sometimes, we are too busy to pick the ripe ones.

We miss their little successes in life because of interest in our own!

It is a sad thing if they are missed and fall to the ground, unappreciated.

Eighteen Summers. That is all we have with them.

Turn around and they are grown, over-ripe for appreciation and honor then.

Today, they are ready to be used and appreciated in a delicious way, don’t miss it.

Be observant and check the bushes everyday lest the prime of their offering be missed.

This is their first chance at the pie of life. If this experience is soured with neglect, or indifference…

It takes a huge work to make the second growth become a promise.

Love those little berries while they blossom and ripen in your care.

Watch closely for their individual perfection and praise them with heaps of love.

This life is your pie, this is your second growth, parents…make it sweet for them, and count your summers as well as your blessings!

WARNING…

Often berry bushes send out long thorny suckers that discourage harvest. These unproductive, branches reach for the harvester as they grow; hanging down over the ripe berries with painful little spikes just waiting for a target.

Such are the wiles of the Enemy that seeks to thwart loving, patient parenting so little berries turn sour, fall to the ground and are crushed.

Cut off those suckers in prayer Mom and Dad, and treasure each moment as your little berries grow and ripen under your care.

Today We Honor Fathers ~ Two Chances at Life

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Hebrews 12:9

A short, yet profound message I have for us today…a little nugget to slip into the pocket of our heart, treasured and held for the days we need it most.

Here it is:

We all get two chances at life. The first chance, we are the child. We have no say in the situation. We did not choose our parents. We are simply the recipient (in fact the victim) of whatever life they choose to live. If our Father or Mother leaves, or hurts us or hurts others, we can do nothing about it. If our Mother is loving and tender and forgiving and our Father gentle and protective, we are blessed beyond words; yet we have nothing to do with that either. We are the child, remember.

The second chance at life comes when we have our own children. Now, we call all the shots. We make all the choices. We determine the quality of their first chance, and we determine our own eternal destination. The choices we make in our second chance at life cannot ever be excused away as the results of our early childhood experiences when we take this nugget out and really examine it.

As adults, we are responsible to be the very best we can possible be right now in this moment. Many others are watching us and the little ones are learning from our behavior. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of Spirits and live? It will be worth the effort to do what is right on our second chance at life and attain that Great Reward from a God who may say, “Well done, thou Good and Faithful servant, enter ye into the Joy of the Lord.”

Happy Father’s Day!

Is it ok to do Nothing?

Twelve years of hurry hurry get to school

Followed by who knows how many years of hurry hurry earn a living

Now is it ok to do nothing?

Can we ever really relax enough to be non productive for a whole day?

And if we do, can we do it without scolding our lazy self about it?

Working on this today, and God says, teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Hmmmmm

CATCH IT!

EVERY DAY IS A POEM

 

Yesterday

The wind is asleep

Cottonwood snow lays drifted

Edges of grass white like winter

And the sky blinks blue

It will be hot today

 

Today

The sky spans white

Wind whispers and ripples through

So small drops echo on the leaves

And bunnies hop in grass

It will be cool today

 

Tomorrow

God will throw the day

But will we catch it?

Shh, listen to Him

 

I have a cat. Her name is Pippy, and she understands me. It is amazing how we communicate. For example, I give her food in the morning because it has been a long time since dinner. She may take a bite or two, but then patiently (sometimes not so patiently) she waits until I sit with mine. Once I have bowed in thanksgiving and begun to eat, Pippy hungrily joins me.

She awakes with the light so five am is her first attempt to rouse me. If I say, “No, Pippy, just a little more sleep,” she dutifully curls up at my feet and rests. She lets me know when she needs to run and play, and when she just needs comfort. She wonders at my loud prayer and comes to me when I cry.

Now the term ‘comfort animal’ makes total sense. Soon it will be half a year since my life mate left for Glory. Six long months of tears and sorrow and many more to follow they tell me. But I have a cat!

Funny how grief and hope coexist. My Pastor shared this concept with me and pondering this odd coupling of emotions gives me strength. With Jesus beside me, grief and hope do coexist. When God says ‘no’ and healing does not come, the wicked one does. Doubts and fears and giant ‘WHYs’ plague my mind. When God says ‘no’ and walking by faith is all I have, His Word fights for me and hope grows like a budding flower in my heart.

My hope flower needs water and fertilizer and tender care for it is fragile and easily wilted. Time in His Word nourishes. Time in prayer waters. Hope grows and the joy of sharing God with others returns. Grief always lurks behind every tree in my garden of life ready to leap out as a smell, a picture, a song, a thought or a thousand memories flood my moment. So, I let it leap on me and I steal away and weep knowing hope will be there when I return, diffusing its fragrance once again.

God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Every day is a poem if we take the time to catch it; and besides, I have a cat!

Gramma’s Sugar Spoon

Gramma’s Sugar Spoon
And
The Dogwood Tree

They were moving north by two hours and, in my heart, I knew time was short. Some things in this life seem to last forever, though. “Take this, honey…” Over and over she said those words as the van was loaded, and end-of-life decisions made. Bruce was her second husband and he was a hideously selfish man, so whenever he was out of ear shot, Gramma would say those words and push another treasure in the direction of my box. It all happened so quickly; the men carrying the big items, the boxes closing, whisked away by strong arms; my Gramma was moving away.

Sometime during my twelfth year, my Grampa died. He taught me how to tie a hook, thread a worm, and wait for the unsuspecting dinner to take the bait. We fished together. That was the only time in my young life it felt like I had a daddy. I loved him deeply for that, and his death left a greater void in my already-empty heart. Yet, joy of joys, Gramma moved in with us!

We were the three musketeers! Three generations of women struggling together in school, work and housekeeping. Gramma made my pre-teen bed and washed my clothes, much to the consternation of my mother who thought my training was interrupted by this kindness. But I loved this arrangement! She spoiled me as only Grammas can do, and I was loved. These years hold the oldest memory of her sugar spoon.

Cinnamon toast! Remember that? Gramma would mix equal parts of cinnamon and white sugar and then lavishly dress hot buttered toast with goodness falling from her sugar spoon. The smooth silver bowl and the ornate decoration on the handle became the welcome sight of my after-school time with the lady who loved me the most. Sure, the toast tasted like heaven in my hand, but the love of this fine lady was far sweeter.

We would sit on the piano bench and laugh as my little fingers tried to copy her rhythm and style. “NO! She will have the piano, take it to her truck now!” She could even make the selfish Bruce shake in his boots when she meant it! So, I got her piano, her china, her special friendship cups and a box of her silverware on moving day.

Mother married when I was sixteen. Grandma got her own apartment not far away, yet I still missed her! We visited often and during our times together, she would share stories about our family history, Grampa and God. Always she would sprinkle her stories with the sweetness of her Savior and read the 23rd psalm to me. Lavishly she loved me all through the rebellious years of my sojourn, never condemning; always sweetening.

One spring day she took me for a walk. As we came to a lovely tree with white flowers on every branch, she stopped and gently lowered a branch. “This is the Dogwood tree…” And thus, began the family legend each of my own grandchildren hear every spring. Would you like to hear it?

The Dogwood tree is a distant cousin of the very tree used to make the Cross upon which Jesus gave his life for all. In those days, this tree and all it’s cousins were strong and had very large, sturdy trunks. The tragedy of Calvary broke the heart of this tree and from that day until this, the Dogwood will always have a weak trunk, so it can never bear the weight of a man again. Furthermore, the once full and many-peddled flowers changed to a flower of only four peddles; and those in the shape of a cross. Each peddle has a spot of red on its tip signifying the precious blood of Jesus, and in the center of each flower we see the replica of a crown of thorns.

Gramma died alone, as did my mother, my unknown father, and the man my mother married. Bruce died, too, and only three people came to his funeral. He was such a hideously selfish man; poor thing. So, today, in my seventy-first year, I thank God for the dogwood tree outside my window, for the husband I loved for 40 years, for the love God brought into the life of a lonely little girl and for the sweetness lavishly sprinkled on the bread of that life.
Jesus found me. Gramma prayed that he would, and He did. He gave me the Holy Ghost and led me to a haven where Truth is spoken. He became my Lord, my Father, my Friend and now my Husband. Knowledge of Jesus is the sweetest gift of all; even in the brokenness of grief and grip of earthly sorrow, He sprinkles love and stays close to me. It is hard to eat alone, yet, every meal I eat from Gramma’s sugar spoon and each year sweet memory will chase away the broken-hearted loneliness; I hope.

AN ATTEMPT AT BEST

Many months since an entry here. Perhaps no one cares…perhaps no one reads. Nevertheless, writers write, and blocked or not, this one must emerge once again.

He died December first. It was the beginning of another month and the day he would have read Proverbs 1. Steve Lyman was a very wise man, ” a prince of a man” as one friend penned. Proverbs by the day brought such depth of wisdom to him; if only I could have told him so more often. One really doesn’t accept this kind of a loss with clarity of mind and focused purpose. Human emotions drown out reason. Fear wins. Now 20/20 hindsight flashes big red letters …REGRETS, REGRETS, REGRETS.
These will be the fuel of anointing and hopefully the beacon of warning for younger, equally distracted wives who might listen to my stories and benefit thereby; as the Lord allows.

Love them while you can.

More to come, stay tuned, and please let me know if anyone out there reads this. Thank you.

An Admonition to Christians

Remember Korah? His whole family and all their possessions were swallowed by the Earth as punishment for his accusations against God’s man. Even Miriam was struck with Leprosy because of careless words. God has a temper; and when lines are crossed, the results can be devastating. Hebrews 10:13 tells us, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. We would do well to ponder this aspect of The Ancient of Days and apply some Godly fear and wisdom to our daily walk.
When things happen in the church that could have been handled better, (in your opinion, at least) and you are tempted to scoff at or demean the decisions and actions of the leadership. Take heed to yourselves and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. We are just too close to Glory for foolish missteps. See what Psalms 105 teaches as it recounts I Chronicles 16:22

He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

One commentary states: God’s anointed prophets are dearer to him than anointed kings themselves. Jeroboam’s hand was withered when it was stretched out against a prophet.

God has an anointing on the men and women of God that deliver the preached word in our hearing. They are His Prophets of today. Even kings need to be careful how they treat these folks.
How Satan would love to turn us against them! The enemy of our soul knows that when we reach to touch or do harm to one of God’s anointed ministers we have committed a misstep. The principles in God’s Word are eternal. He is the same always and what mattered in the early days, matters today. When the enemy tries to pull a trick on us in this area, choose instead to entreat the ministry in a humble fashion and speak no unkind or critical words with your mouth. Remember Zipporah.

Care is also needed when sharing the Gospel with others because there are certain areas of revelation so precious and so valuable that extreme caution must be used less we lessen their value in the eyes of the unlearned. The Covenant of Baptism for example carries with it deep revelation. In order to fully understand the significance of this portion of doctrine, the student must be carefully taught the Covenant of Circumcision. (Colossians 2:1-15) Also, explanation of shedding blood to cover sins must be foundational. (Hebrews 9) These concepts take time and attention to unwind. If we pass over this too quickly, we could misstep and lose a soul instead of win a soul for Jesus. We are admonished to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and while sharing the Gospel, careful steps and prayerful steps must be taken.

We are handling the precious Word of God, and the responsibility is great, serious and a little scary. We dare not misstep in word or deed. We must watch and be vigilant to the wiles of the enemy who would love nothing better than to see us in a melt-down in front of someone close to revelation. When you are working with a new person, be evermore watchful! Drink from the brook with only one knee bent, drawing the water up to you while watching for the enemy at the same time. (Judges 7:4-7)

The Spirit of God draws people to repentance; His spirit brings the increase. Then HE expects US to harvest the grain with tenderness, carefulness, wisdom and knowledge.

TODAY: THE WIND

Here lies a word portrait, painting the sound and sensation of the swelling swish of wind in tall evergreens. Beginning as a whisper from some direction unknown one almost discerns a large truck approaching. Immediately, however, eyes and ears turn skyward identifying the sound by movement in the branches. Here it surges, there it fades sometimes whipping the tree tops; other times bending them gracefully lower. Dramatically swells the wind on a sunny day as beams of light fight their straight way through the churning shadows creating dancing yellow splashes here and there; and the birds sing with delight. Like a surfer waiting for the perfect rise in the sea, these feathered angels call back and forth poised to meet each other on the crest of the next wind-swell. They must have a great time on days like this.
Power in the wind-swept trees thrills the human soul. At times the lull of a gently swaying pine portends quiet and an end to the gusts. Then, seemingly from nowhere, another pushing, pressing whisper becomes a roar and you can’t help but smile at the sky. Similar exhilaration happens when very fast race cars speed past your place in the stands; or when the finish of an Olympic run excites your admiration and you join in the roar and applause. Words fitly spoken or written also thrill those inclined to adore the gift of reason.
Regarding wind, there is a point where awe shifts to fear. When the whisper becomes a roar, and the very structures seem to bend with the onslaught, we feeble human things cower beneath this power; even if only for a second or two. One loud surge rumbles through a sound sleep in the early morning hours and we lie suddenly wide awake in a flash of wonder. Those who experience the dash to basement shelters as hurricanes threaten know this instant fear only too well. God can show us His dominion in many ways. Nevertheless, in my relatively safe domain, I can honestly say, “I love the wind in all its many manifestations!” Look up!
John 3:8
2 Samuel 22

Season Changes

How we long for the spring time in the midst of winter chill and dark evenings! Much like we long for God’s grace in times of soul darkness and cold. Seek the Lord while he may be found; work while it is day, for the hour soon comes when seasons will change, windows of opportunity slam shut, and the search for his face and grace proves fruitless.
Even when we feel cold in our relationship with God, there are reasons to pray hard! A dearly beloved brother clinging to life after a horrific automobile accident needs YOUR voice lifted to heaven. A dear brother or sister caught in the grip of cancer and fear needs YOUR scream of intercession. A sacred Nation facing extinction needs YOUR prayers for survival.
Pray HARD for others; for needs higher than yourself, and your sweet relationship with Jesus will return. PRAY NOW! Step into YOUR new season change.

As we navigate the road of life…

Dear Readers;

This journey we call life is moving faster than we expected, isn’t it? Daily our challenge is to rein in the galloping moments. Our focus on the eternal destination must be protected.

We will never forget Reverend Johnny King’s message at West Coast Conference: Sing Me One More Song About Heaven. That message drove home the truth: many of us have lost the focus on Heaven. Our worship songs no longer speak of the streets of gold or the Lamb as the Light. We do not focus on how everybody will be happy over there, or how they tell us of an unclouded day.

So, the tragic result is that the next generation are raised up know worship as the beat of a fast song instead of the depth of verse after verse of memorized lyrics about the glory land way. And we sleep as it happens.

I am writing this note so those who get it will search for the old hymnals and pull them out for their children and grandchildren. Let them learn to speak the words and sing the melody of the songs about our eternal home. Give them hope of the victory in Jesus of which we will one day partake. For, when the role is called up yonder and we are there, we will understand it all by and by. The children need this hope and the joy these lyrics impart.

Please do not let these great songs die with the baby-boomer generation of Christians nearing their reward. Soon and very soon we are going to see The King, and we want to see you all, young and younger, cross the mighty Jordan on that great homecoming day. We get what we think about. Energy follows thought. Let’s think and sing about heaven.

I love the modern songs, many of them are very edifying; it is the old paths, the ancient landmarks that we must look to, however if we are to preserve this great truth, and triumph in these great and final days.

Please, sing me one more song about heaven, and teach them to the children. We are running out of time. Look up.