Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Place At the Table


Fifty years ago when a mother called, "Time to eat!"

Everyone came running to the table.

Remember that?  People eating around a table, talking about their day, being trained in conversation and manners.

When our children were growing up, we did the traditional--sitting together around the table.  During those formative years, our table was a place of instruction, laughing and sometimes tears.  We prayed, told stories and met with friends and family--all around the table.

The years quickly passed and one by one our children left our table to establish family tables of their own.

We as the family of God gather together at His table--Communion.  It's a place to bring His family together around the table and remember all Christ did for us through His body and blood.

If you are feeling alone...disconnected...longing for family...I have some great advice:  be faithful to church--your family awaits you, also make a place at your table.  Don't hide behind excuses...God made a place for you--now you go make a place for someone!

Christ is the perfect picture of hospitality and His sacrifice gave you--a place at the table.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bottom Dollar

Our son, all grown up!
When our eldest son was in kindergarten, he came home from school and told me that his class watched a movie.

I responded, "Did you like it?"

He confessed, "Well, there was a bad word in the movie." 

I immediately was ready to call the school.  The words formed in my head--how dare they show that kind of movie to my child!  Heads will roll!

I took a breath, calmed down a bit and decided instead to press my son for a few more details.  I asked, "What was the bad word?"

He began to sing this song, "The sun 'll come out tomorrow bet your..." He stopped and whispered the next word "...bottom..."  Then he started back at his regular volume and finished the song.  "...dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun."

The movie was Annie.

This happened when our boys were  6 and 4.  It was those years when the sound of bodily functions send boys and minions into fits of roaring laughter. 

In our home it became necessary to remove a few trigger words from the boys vocabulary.  I don't remember why now, but Bottom was one of those trigger words.

This little story happened 32 years ago, but I still remember it as if it happened yesterday.  There were a few things in this story that I found interesting.  First, that my child actually remembered something I taught him.  Second, he actually told me the truth.  And third, how quickly I was ready to react to the information before getting all the facts...annnnnd there's the stinger!

I wish I could say that 32 years ago I closed the book on this particular flaw,  but if you bet your "bottom dollar" on it...you'd lose!  I am still a work in progress.

Philippians 1:6 (LB) says this:  "I am sure that God who began the good work within (me) you will keep right on helping (me) you grow in his grace until his task within (me) you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns."

God is helping me grow in His grace and will continue to help me all the way to the end of my race.  Now that's a truth worth betting your Bottom Dollar on!


 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Breathe His Name

I've been working on my second book, Hillbrooke The Healer, and this has caused me to be in writer-mode. 

Writer-mode helps me take notice of the smallest of things in my surroundings; a tapping pencil, a creaking swing, a shadow on a wall or a certain way someone turns their head.  When I see or hear these things, I think...that would be perfect for the book. Then I make a mental note.

Being sensitive to Holy Spirit is similar to writer-mode.  When my thoughts are focused and turned towards the Lord, He usually has a much better chance of gaining my attention.  The Holy Spirit will gently lead me, often using my surroundings or a still small voice.  It was during a recent group prayer time at church that I felt the Holy Spirit gently remind me--Breathe His Name.   

My thoughts immediately turned to the power of that Name.  I knew whatever the situation "His Name" had the ability to bring peace.  In seasons of rejoicing, fear, sorrow and pain I could Breathe His Name. 

...Jesus
...Jesus
...Jesus

Why breathe?  Why not shout His name? 

Breathing represents life and breathing the Name of Jesus brings life to the Believer.

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him 
and given Him the name which is above every name, 
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
of those in heaven, and of those on earth, 
and of those under the earth,   
and that every tongue should confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  
Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV

This week whatever circumstances may come--Breathe His Name--that name--the one above every other name--the name of Jesus.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Be Kind


I'm on the JV Team.  I'm second string.  I willingly gave up that star position the day I became a grandparent...well...actually the day my children married.  My input has changed greatly from the person doing the child-rearing to being a consultant on retainer.

So...now...I happily cheer on my children and their spouses as they are "in the trenches" training future responsible members of society. 

There are many lessons to be taught: honesty, obedience, purity, respect--just to name a few.

Our son, daughter-in-law along with three of our ten grandchildren have been staying with us for three months.  Soon they will be returning to a place far away to serve the Lord.  But for now, we love having them in our home.  This gives me a front row seat to see wonderful parenting in action.

Which brings me to my daughter-in-law.  Our daughter-in-law has sonar hearing.  The other day she spoke in a controlled tone from the upstairs bedroom to the family room in the lower level these words, "Be Kind."  She was speaking to her two oldest children ages 7 and 5.    They were headed in a direction she knew was not productive.  

Be Kind...two very powerful words yet simplistic.  

These two words are so powerful that many Christian books are fully dedicated to them.  Some of these books wholly focus on all the "Be's" of the Bible. 

Here's a few Be's:
  • Be strong and courageous.
  • Be merciful
  • Be on your guard
  • Be devoted to one another
  • Be joyful
  • Be patient
  • Be thankful.
  • Be wise
  • Be self-controlled.
  • Be hospitable.
  • Be obedient.
  • Be content with what you have.
  • Be Kind
In Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV) it says to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

Yup...Be Kind...when I heard these words spoken as a loving reminder to my grandchildren--they resonated in my own heart.  I too need to be reminded of this very thing...Be Kind.  I no longer have a parent instructing me--I am my parent.  

So...today...I'm yelling down the stairs...Be Kind.  I hope I heard me! 

It Takes Time

Years ago, I was counseling kids camp and about midway through the week, I received a phone call from my husband.  He informed me that o...