Monthly Archives: November 2011

Senselessness

I listened to the trembling voice on the other end of the phone.

I gasped.

Senselessness.  Horrifying. Murder.

My friend’s aunt murdered.  Another family torn by senselessness.

Thou shall not kill.

Why?

Beaten.

Fear.

Death.

Senselessness of it all.

Tears of sorrow mixed with tears of anger.

Questions follow.  No answers yet.

I shake my head.  The senselessness of it all.

God wants all of us to be givers of life not takers.

Words can not form immense with shock.

As a friend, all I can do is listen, share the loss, and pray.

Proverbs 20:22  Do not say ” I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. 

My prayers with my friend’s family.  May God bless you……..

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To Be or To Buy?

That is exactly what Ann Voskamp asked me today from the screen of her blog….

Yesterday’s icky-sticky humidity made me grumpy.  My hair (trying to grow it out) fell limp against the heavy moist air.  My bangs drove me crazy.  Actually it is the cow licks I am blessed with that is actually driving me crazy.  Bobbi pins didn’t help.  Hairspray?  Nope.  A good tease?  No…. thought I was going to break the comb, though.

Deciding to live with it, I stepped into the closet.  Ugh! Sticky, sweaty, yucky…. Jean?  Too hot.  T-shirt?  Too frumpy.  Blouse?  Not in the mood.  Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

I grabbed insecurity and settled down with a Good Housekeeping Magazine. Within the pages of “Perfect Hair Techniques” and “The Perfect Fall Fashions,” insecurity whispered and I was ready to head to the store.  What those pages had, I wanted.

I wanted to buy beauty.

That simple.

Thanks Ann.  Thanks for being the venue in which God thumps me hard.  Your words this morning struck a cord with what I battled yesterday.

So often we are in the business of separating the materialistic and spiritual sides of our being.  My heart sometimes looks like a Wal-Mart floor plan.  On one side I have ministry.  The other, my addiction to soda.  There’s God’s Word here and my love for shoes there. God’s part and MY half.

What does it mean to be beautiful?  Is it clothing?  Is it a hair cut?  Is it goop we slap on our faces?

Or is it…… helping a friend in need?  Sending a I Love You note to a loved one?  Feeding the hungry?  Holding a fragile hand? Helping an injured creature?

Is beauty bought? Or is it to be?

Is it a selfish want?  Or is it a humble state of being?

Is it packaged and sold?  Or is it living a purposeful life?

Jesus said, “And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28-29

Oh, yeah…… lilies….. being beautiful.  They don’t buy their beauty.

Be beautiful today….. God bless……

Don't Hold On

“Star light, Star bright, First star I see tonight…..

I wish I may, I wish I might, Have this wish I wish tonight……”

I whispered while resting my head on the cool car passenger window.  My heart cracked and leaked with sadness.  My aging grandmother had fallen once again.  Mom had already left me.  Grandma was her replacement in my mind.  I needed Grandma.  Life questions jumbled my mind.  The answers she had.

She looked frail in that hospital bed.  Years of life and the death of her child had beaten her down.  Her feeble body reflected the fragile state of my heart.  I already had lost mom and a baby.  My heart couldn’t take another loss.

I breathed those simple words to the lonely star up above.  I felt like it understood my loneliness and yearning for a mother figure.  We connected that star and I….

Star light, Star bright, First star I see tonight……

My warm breath fogged the cold window.  Sorrow filled words released.

I wish I may, I wish I might, Have this wish I wish tonight…….

Eyes brimmed.  The thought bled my soul out.

Keep Grandma here….. Please don’t take her…….

A call would come.  I would go.  Then find my starry friend and wish as hard as I could.  I couldn’t let her go.

Selfish.

God allowed it.

Grandma suffered.

My leaky heart patched.

Selfish.

She cried out, “God, take me home.”

I whispered, “Star light…..”

I held on tight to that wish.

*****

Mary Magdalene saw the risen Christ.  Her first response was to grab Him.  She had suffered the loss due to His death.  Her heart leaked like mine.  Can you imagine the joy when she saw Him standing there?  Much like the joy I selfishly felt each time my grandmother recovered.

Jesus must have known how clingy us women can be.  He told her not to hold on to him but to go tell the others.

Here is where we differ.

She didn’t hold on.  She went and told.

I held on.  I refused to let go.  I wanted Grandma to stay here with me.

When we cling, we get stuck.  Stuck on the amount of loss.  Stuck on “Why me?”  Stuck.  Clinging on what we once had keeps us from growing and enjoying what we are given in the present.

I wish I had Mary’s strength to not cling.  You know she had to want to.  She could have easily clung to the past experiences with Christ.  But she didn’t.  She did what she was told.  She went.  She told.  She lived in the present.  She realized the future.

It wasn’t until I realized what my selfishness had done to Grandma…..it was then I  began to loosen my grip.  I stopped the wishing.  I started praying for God to take her.  Oh, my heart leaked.  My soul grieved.  But, Grandma lived….. not here on earth but in heaven.

Don’t hold on…..go and tell.  God bless……

Two Weeks!

Two weeks until Advent begins.  I am so excited!!  I just love the Christmas season.  I sing.  I dance.  I wrap.  I decorate.  I celebrate.  I love.  Yay!!

So like….. I went way back to 2009 and found my post about the Advent wreath.  Hope you enjoy it today…… Hope it inspires you to participate.

The most common symbol of the Advent season is the Advent Wreath.  It can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be, but it will have 4 candles around the perimeter and if you choose, one in the center. The four candles represent the four Sundays or weeks of Advent and the center one is known as the Christ candle.

On the first Sunday, the first candle is lit and each Sunday following you will light the previous Sunday’s candle(s) along with the current Sunday’s.  The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve. The colors and the names of the candles may differ by Christian denominations.

Regarding the colors I have found 4 variations:

  • Four white candles and one red as the Christ candle
  • Four red and a white Christ candle
  • Four purple and a white Christ candle (these are the colors I use)
  • Three purple,  a pink (for the 3rd Sunday), and a white Christ candle

The candle names also vary but the one I have found in the majority is :

  • First Sunday:  The prophecy candle, with a theme of planning
  • Second Sunday:  The Bethlehem candle, with a theme of preparation
  • Third Sunday:  The Shepherd’s candle with a theme of sharing
  • Fourth Sunday:  The Angles’ candle with the theme of joy.

Think of the Sundays in these terms:  God planned for Christmas, then the prophets announced his plan, He made preparations centered in Bethlehem, the shepherds shared what they had seen and heard, and the angels announce,  “Joy!” To simplify:  We plan for Christmas, prepare for it, share it, and rejoice in it!

Our wreath becomes the centerpiece for our table.  It becomes a nightly tradition to openly discuss Advent and the celebration of Christ’s birth.  We have scripture readings and a small devotion each night.

God Bless……

I've Got the Power!

Can you imagine the possibilities?  To have Christ’s power?? I imagine there would be a lot of us behaving like Bruce Almighty did when he discovered he possessed God’s power.

What if I told you that all believers have that kind of power?  Grab a cup of java and watch!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8KufIgBSvk

And for my Deaf friends out there……

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYPQcVOyI_E

May God’s perfect love change you and the people around you….. God bless…..