Monthly Archives: September 2016

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #53

Normally, I LOVE storms – especially thunderstorms. The flash that hints at the clap to come. The rumble that leads to the boom. Pings against the roof and windows that says it is more than just rain out there. All of these things dig down into my soul and say, “God”.

Last night was a somewhat different. It didn’t just say ‘God’, it said, “GOD” – only in red, silver bold – double bold – CAPS! I think it shook the house from the inside out which is why it woke both me hubby. Not to mention that it sent the old dog scurrying out of her bed and off to the bathroom rug which I think she perceived as being much closer to her mom and dad’s bed.

She didn’t have the confidence to trust that all would be okay. Even if a tree fell on our roof (which is quite possible seeing as how trees are within two feet of our house on three sides), things would still be fine. Maybe, not easy, probably painful and at its worst – deadly – but still – in the end – fine because I have confidence in the One who created us and the promises He made.

Hubby got up to watch the storm from our front porch and feel the rain in his face. I lay back down to watch/listen as the storm – rather loudly and rollickly – lulled me back to sleep. It was a good night. A night to sleep in the expectation of a Living God who created a rainbow to light the way after the storm.

1942 Daily Ration: “Read: Philemon 4-21

” ‘Having confidence in Thy obedience I wrote unto Thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.’~Philemon 21

“It i said that before his most important battles Napoleon would retire to his tent and send for his generals one by one When they entered his tent they found him standing alone, dressed for battle. without saying a word he would grip their hand in his for one tense moment, then dismiss them. In that silence, each general in turn realized Napoleon’s great expectation of him.

“In this letter to Philemon, Paul appealed to the best and finest there was in his friend. He declared his confidence in Philemon, assured him that he saw elements of greatness in him, and intimated that this was the occasion for that greatness to assert itself. He lifted Philemon to greatness by expecting greatness of him.

“Jesus, likewise saw qualities in men which they did not know they possessed. Individuals found it almost impossible for them to disappoint him, not confidence in us, so much that he has given us wills in order that we might make our own choices. By giving us that freedom, God gave us the possibility to become great men and women- – -great in this sense of living up to God’s expectations of us. Jesus went to the cross to prove to us how high was God’s estimate of our worth. When we stop trying to live up to those expectations, we sin.

“Prayer: Our Father, we thank thee for thy great confidence in us. Grant that as children of thine we may not disappoint thee,, but rather try to live up to thy expectations through the strength thou dost supply. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[google images/Jana Tenley photo]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #52

The neat thing about technology is the swiftness at which I can access information. As a research librarian at the Ohio State University Music Library,I could spend days trying to access some minuscule fact for a faculty member or doctoral student.

I loved the process. It was like an unsolved puzzle, so I was never bored. Well – – -that is perhaps a small exaggeration. When I was stumped (or bored)I would walk around campus, find an empty practice room, bang a piano, kiss a boyfriend, partake in some impromptu quartets with random people who were also bored and walking around the halls, write some poetry, hang out with my choir director – or boyfriend, and then go back to the search.

However – technology can not do that with a few random click. (As a strange quinky-dink – off topic note – I keypunched a lot of those same music books into their first digitation form in the 1970’s when computers took up whole rooms at OSU) Today, as I read today’s Ration, I knew I recognized the words to the last prayer from somewhere. Needless to say, I went on a search and within a few keystrokes found them.

“O LORD, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.”~1928 Book of Common Prayer

Actually, I found it in several places. The above version of it was in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer which is probably where I read it or recited it since I made extra money in college by being a soloist for area churches or keypunching books into a computer. But as always – a search bring me new questions and gets me wondering.

However – for tonight, I am thankful for finding this night time prayer. A prayer with a long history of people reciting it and whispering it as they closed their day. A somewhat constant reminder in a chaotic world to thank Our Father for what we had, what we have, and what we will have as we continue to see Him with a humble heart.

1942 Daily Rations:
“Jesus knew what fear was, but he was never afraid He faced hostile crowds and he looked into the eyes of men who had murder in their hearts. The leaders of the day branded him as dangerous and said that he led the people astray. His own family thought him beside himself and tried to get him to stop his work and come home. His disciples could not understand his plans and ideas and fled from him in the hour of his greatest need. He literally sweat blood in the Garden with his heart courageous and eyes aglow. He never let fear master him; he mastered fear. On his lips were those quiet words which he still speaks to all brave souls who try to follow his footsteps: ‘Fear not…Lo,, I am with you always, eve unto the end of the world.’

“Read: Psalm 23; Matthew 28: 5-10; 16-20

“Prayer: O Captain of our salvation, when all about us is darkness and we know not the way, teach us to find new courage in they comradeship. ‘Support us all the lay long…until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over…Then in thy mercy grant us…peace at the last.’ In thy name we pray. Amen.”

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #51

Well that’s it. Hubby and I decided watching the debates this year are worthless. Personally, I’ve thought they have been pretty worthless for the past couple of decades, but I kept hoping they would turn away from the ‘one-liner, notice me, gotcha’ format’ and really discuss issues. I guess classic debates went the way of classic, Socratic education and are – primarily – missing from our society.

“One must have the mental and moral courage to face facts honestly and without flinching. One must see his antagonist squarely if he is to take his full measure. Fear to know facts often makes the facts seem more terrible than they are”~1942 Daily Ration

God winked, and I wondered – once again, ‘How does He do that?”

At this point in my life, you’d think I’d know to trust Our Father’s timeless looping and weaving. Time doesn’t matter to Him. Last week, I got a flyer in the mail that said ‘Jesus for President’. It was from a church in a near-by town.. While this new church is too far away to really become my church family, the name caught my eye, New Hope Church of Hillsborough.

God winked again, and I smiled. God knows I miss my old church, the WORD, the Spirit, the music and my friends in OH. http://newhope.rocks/

The colorful flyer now resides in my war room. It reminds me every morning and every evening to pray for our leaders. Jesus turned down being a king in this world. I’m relatively certain that He would turn down being President as well. George Washington fought against being President – twice. That’s the kind of man we need. That’s the kind of President I am praying to see one day.

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.”~Ps 27:14

Read: Psalm 27

“One must have the mental and moral courage to face facts honestly and without flinching. One must see his antagonist squarely if he is to take his full measure. Fear to know facts often makes the facts seem more terrible than they are. Fear is a fog, that makes specters out of lampposts. It is sometimes desirable that one should admit unpleasant facts to others. Confession gives outlet to strong emotion that otherwise turns in and may often accumulate dangerously. Better tell a friend your trouble than to break, trying to cover it up and to carry it by yourself True pride that will not burden another should not degenerate into false face facts aloe and with others is the surest way to discover adequate resources with which to meet them.

“Prayer: O God, we desire above all else to be honest with thee, with ourselves and with others Give us sense and courage to look life in the face and to stand before facts without evasion. Deliver us from false pride and self-pity and give us the calm of those who put their trust in thee, the living God. Amen.”

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #50

We are half-way through this little booklet of Rations. Hard to believe it has passed so quickly. The booklet is getting a little more beat up as the journey continues. Opening easily now to the last page I read, its binding is jut as solid as it was in 1945 when my father received it and carried it to China.
The evil that took my dad to the other side of the globe continues to shake the world today. Many men and women sacrifice their own lives and desires to travel half way around the world. Others sacrifice their own lives and desires to serve in their own cities and towns. Fighting evil is a constant in our world – everywhere. But just like then, God’s promises continue to shine, lighting a road where there was no road, and reminding us that although evil seems to be rampant and undeniably strong, He is greater.
Almost a month ago, I discovered the prayer of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles. ‘Jehoshaphat was afraid.’ As I read more deeply those OT stories, the more I appreciate the humanness of each one. They were like us. They were afraid of the evil and struggling to understand this “God of Abraham”. Jehoshaphat called for a day of prayer and fasting throughout all of Judah. His people came from far and wide to join him as he prayed: “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”~2 Chronicles 20:12.
In America during every time of war, there have always been calls by people of faith for fasting and prayers. In 1942 it was called America’s Prayer Minute. Today it continues under various leaderships. People of faith remind us that Christ and His Father hear and rejoice when we open the door to Them. What miracles await when we humble ourselves and seek Their face.
1942 Daily Ration:
Read: Matthew 12:31-37
‘The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things; and the evil an out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.’~Matthew 12:35
“Not one of us can for very long keep a mask of piety and good will over the abundance of impiety and ill will within us. The minute we are off guard our mask falls off and there we stand naked.
“All of us have had the experience of realizing that on this or that occasion we have let down our guard and have been seen or heard for what we really are. We have known them, too, that the pity of it all is that we should have ever had the need of the mask in the first place, or that we could ever have imagined that in having the mask we could be a genuine friend, brother, or father.
“Christ’s coming into the world meant that a new note was struck in the life of mankind. He came and met mankind in order that we might all have the ‘Kingdom Heart’.

Prayer: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within e. Cast me not away from they presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold e with thy free spirit.’ Amen. “

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #49

Prepositions are the words no one notices. They are hard to describe because they are not people, places or things. They are not the fancy words that add color to our world. They are not the strong words that can accomplish anything. They are the humble words. They are the connectors. The word in a sentence that joins all the others together to form the perfect picture in our minds.

“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing….Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.”~Gal 3:13-14

Rabbi Yeshua knew the power of a tiny word just as He knew the power of the humblest person. As He taught His parables, he carefully placed these tiny words, painting a picture, connecting the imagery, pulling the people to His Father – – – just as His Father carefully place Him in this muddied world to break the ‘curse of the law’.

It is Sunday, A day to serve, to be humble, to listen or look for those connectors that we usually don’t even notice.

1942 Daily Rations:   “Read:   Matthew 20:20-28

“Jesus here contrasts two types of power. He bade his disciples seek not power ‘over’ people, but power ‘with’ people. Power over people spring from money, position, authority. Power with people springs from service, helpfulness, kindness. Jesus had no power over people, but no one has ever had such power with people. Here is a realm of power within the reach of the humblest. The ambition to exercise power among our fellows is a normal one. Few can occupy positions where they have authority over others, but every person may aspire to have influence with others, and influence is mightier than eminence.

“Prayer: ‘Inspire us, O Lord, with thy divine call to helpfulness, that we may with loyal heart live the life that seeks not to be ministered unto, but to minister. To it we would devote our love, our thoughts, ourselves; for this is the spirit of Christ, our Lord. Amen.’ “

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #48

It is late. I’m tired. A front is moving in so my sinuses are complaining. But – – – it has been a productive day – and it was good.

Pulling out an old recipe to make a Grandma Mickey cake. Fussing with a “new” stove that doesn’t register the correct temperature or time. Laughing at a silly chipmunk who thought “daring” the dogs was a good idea. Taking time to read a few snippets from Madeleine L’Engle’s “Herself”, a book on the craft of writing.
There are many books about the craft of writing. There are few books that talk about “serving the craft” and the “Creator” who inspires our bumbling attempts to serve Him and the gift He has given us.
Today’s Ration is one of those few books that does both as well. This pocket-sized book served its craft during the war years, just as it can still serves us now. It also inspires us to seek the Creator who sustained them during the war years and challenges us to continue to seek Him still.
Great books don’t have to be thick tomes to impart wisdom that can last ages. Sometimes they are just 100 page in small print that can fit in a pocket of a person who has chosen to serve.
And it was a good day.
1942 Daily Rations: Read: St. Mark 12:28-34
‘Thou salt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’~St. Mark 12:30,31
“Many people have recently asked, ‘How can I believe in God with all this cruelty and suffering in the world?’ A keener thinker has said, ‘Had this world crash not come, I must have doubted God.’
“In a newsreel we saw the magnificent Tacoma bridge swaying ad buckling in a high gale. At last the tortured roadway cracked in two and whipped down into Puget Sound like a pair of giant flails. Why?
“The engineers know why. Nothing wrong with the great towers. The powerful cables held, but the sidesway, the tendency of the roadway to ripple under rhythmic beats and wind stress had been miscalculated.
“With biting cleverness Chesterton says: When a fool jumps off a cliff, he doesn’t break the law of gravity; he illustrates it!

“Our civilization had plenty of materials – – – more than any other age – – – but erected contrary to God’s purpose. The crash has cost untellable millions of lives. But what if the crash had not come? Could we still believe in a wise and good God, a God who is not mocked?”

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #47

When the hint of the first breath invades my dreams, I know it will be an uncommon day. Off and on it continue to swirl through out my day like puffs of cinnamon and pine at Christmas, imprinting their message somewhere deep within me. A breath of a word without diction – an eternal groaning somewhere deep beyond my understanding – a.squeeze-the-eyes-tight-to-shut-off-the-water day.
Prayer days are beyond me, but I try. Sometimes, it is for one person. Sometimes the images are layered – one upon another till the colors scratch my eyes with their brilliance. But it doesn’t matter. Most of the time, I never know why these days happen. I just know they do and so – I do.
Prayer is important. Just as these Rations seem to be more important everyday.The election is 45 days away. A journey that begs a little silence before the first step – – -or if we are strong enough to follow Rabbi Yeshua’s lead – – – 40 days of prayer. We already live in the wilderness, so we’re half way there.
Blessing!Be!
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness.’~Matthew 4:1-11
“Read: Matthew 4:1-11
“The six weeks which Jesus spent in the wilderness has been called the period of temptation. But it was more than that; it was a period of preparation- – -a time of concentrated thought and calm meditation. Never were quiet hours more needed than they are today. ‘Whirl is king,’ is truer than when Aristophanes uttered the words. Our minds have been likened to a railway waiting room where people bound hither and thither are assembled. It is hard for our distracted minds to attain unity of purpose and to select a destination. There is an old Russian custom according to which a person before starting on a journey sat down and spent half a minute in silence. We need daily quiet ties that we may reduce life to order and reflect on whither we are going.

“Prayer: Eternal God, who dost reveal thyself to those who earnestly seek thee, let our hearts be still that we may hear thee speak and may discern thy wise and holy counsel for our lives this day. Amen”

RATIONS 100 DAY! #46

Been writing more or less every night for 46 days, but today Writer’s Block stood leering between me and the computer. It had been a busy day – errands to run, dogs to walk, devotions to read. So many things on my heart.
A family who watched their earthly father cross the eternal bridge as he did everything in life – with love, dignity and confidence.
A young girl fighting her body to get to work everyday before another seizure hits.
Cancer crusades on several friend fronts attacking not only the body but the family and pocketbooks.
Violence between brothers, against children, amid families.
Politics raging across the screens of my mind.
The birth of a new child into this world.
Amazing what a difference one rose can make in your day. As I read today’s Ration, I thought about the lump of clay in one hand and the roses in another. Both important. There are many of Our Father’s lessons wrapped within clay’s physical textures – after all it is the essence of our world. But then there are roses – a gift of beauty planted within the heart – a reminder of the sweet aroma and joy of what awaits us beyond the clay that we call Terra.
Again- Hashem, Hashem – I bow my head and thank You for teaching and reminding me that there is wisdom in all things – clay – and roses – – and even roses made of clay – – – and, of courses,1942 Rations. Get behind me, Writer’s Block! God’s got this!!!!!!!
1942 Daily Ration: “I want only a lump of clay until someone planted roses in me.”~Persian Proverb
“It is no accident that the age of the dictators was immediately preceded by the age of the debunkers. Before men are willing to hand their destinies over to others, they must first lose faith in themselves. Writers who had for a decade been trying to persuade common men and women that they were nothing but dolts contributed much to the mood that caused humanity to lose faith in its ability to maintain its free institutions. Freedom is born of such thoughts as spring from the soul of John: Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God…Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be.’
“If men are to realize their highest possibilities, someone must plant roses in them. Much of Jesus’ power grows out of the fact that he enables us to have some hope for ourselves and to undertake such adventures as men dare not attempt without the aid of the Divine.
” ‘And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon they feet, and I will speak with thee.’~Ezekiel 2:1
Read: Genesis 1:22-28; 1 John 3:1-12
Prayer: Forbid, O God, that we deny thee by failing to serve and believe in our fellow men. May we find some way today to bring new faith and hope into every life we touch. We ask through Christ. Amen.”

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #45

“Oh, Holy Father of life, You who cause things to grow, prune me. Cut and trim as you will.”
Retired teachers never quit teaching. Even their dreams are filled with new classrooms and students. Last night’s dream found me in a cavernous room, stuffed full of students at large tables. I was told I was being sent there because they didn’t understand their material and had failed to advance numerous times. What they failed to mention was that I had to teach them – – –  but math – – – seriously????
“Lord, let Your Spirit come up within me like the living sap of a tree. Let it be Your heart that beats within my breast.”
Now – y’all who know me well – know that I hate math with a passion.I can usually do it (as long as it is not beyond algebra I) and feel fairly competent in geometry and down. But I could see the boredom and distaste in their faces as soon as I opened the door, so I went into teacher mode and the “sap” flowed once again. Laughter, interaction, excitement bubbled – even in me. I found myself chuckling (can you chuckle in a dream?) – math made sense and the ideas twisted into accomplishment
“Let the fruit of my life be a reflection of Your love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.”
Heads bent over projects. Papers littered the floor with A’s marked in red at the top of them (as you probably know – time passes strangely in dreams). And when it came time to leave, none of us could believe that our class was over already. A dog was whining outside the door and I smiled (it was really my puppies who were hungry for breakfast). Time to go, and maybe, I could teach math (puppies began licking my face, begging loudly  and my eyes popped open).
Father, I can’t do anything without You. I don’t even want to try. Be the gardener…”~Francine Rivers in “Leota’s Garden” p 188.
God is always planting new ideas in my head. I have no idea why this particular idea was planted, but I intend to think on it for a while longer. There is something in the garden that I need to figure out. In the meantime – looks like this weekend will be a perfect time for going out in my physical garden and preparing it for fall crops. Lettuce, spinach, herbs, late tomatoes – love NC fall and a Father who says, “Here I am”.
1942 Daily Ration: Read: Isaiah 58:17
“Answer: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, ‘Here I am’.~Is 58:17
“All men cry unto the Lord in trouble. Even infidels have been known to do it in moments of sudden and serious danger. Great trouble has a way of driving people to God with desperate supplications.
“That’s something, of course – – -the prayer of desperation. It is something to believe that there is a Helper whom we can call upon in times of crisis. Blessed be trouble if it drives us to our knees and reminds us of a God we had forgotten! And many there be who are thanking trouble for having shaken them into living faith in the Almighty. They learned to pray when the storm was raging, and now that the skies are clear, they are still at their prayers. They have stopped waiting until trouble comes to break them up and lay them low.
“After all it is not danger, but detail, which test us most We need mettle not only for the big emergencies of life, but for the minor needs of every day. And if by habitual and daily prayer we can keep God real to us while the weather is good, we will not tremble when the storm breaks.

“Prayer: O blessed Creator, who knowest our frame and rememberest that we are dust, mercifully hear us when we pray, ad give us the mind of courage and faith, the mind of Christ. This we beg in his holy nae. Amen.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #44

I was rummaging around in my office today. Trying to dig through the huge box of pictures and “stuff” my mom had accumulated in the later years of her life and handed over to me, has not been easy. There were fragments of her life story written on legal size yellow notebook paper. Aged, multi-colored-stained note cards covered with hand-written recipes (this from a woman who hated cooking). Pins, postcards and pictures from various conferences across the country. Dad’s stuff – her stuff – my stuff all mixed together. Memories that will take a long time to categorize since there is almost a half a century of “stuff’ with no year designation in sight.
I love it.
I set a goal. Grab one handful and that is all I do for the day. It may take forever, but saves on the frustration level. Best yet – that ‘push to finish’ isn’t around, and I can actually feel their presence as I work. Their voices talk as I read their words, this fear-filled world falls away, and it is as if I find them and our home all over again.
God is like that.
‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’~Jer 29:13
During the day, I try to remember to reach in my life “box” and grab a hand-full of things that God left in there for me to find. As I read His words, His voice takes over and I bask in His presence. The neat thing is that presence tends to stay with me during the rest of the day. Cooking in the kitchen, listening to the news full of angst and fear, walking the dogs, reading to the Grands, crying over the picture of my mom when she wore a queen’s crown.
God’s presence is with us always – just up to us to seek it and turn away from the fear that the world wants us to feel. No surprise – today’s Ration, written in 1942, was written just for me.
1942 Daily Ration:           Read: II Timothy 1:1-12
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee…For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’~II Timothy 1:6,7
“Almost everyone we meet is fear-ridden in some way. Fear of germs, fear of hunger, fear of assaults, fear of losing a job, fear of harm to loved ones- – -the list is endless. Make a list of your individual fears, and the group fears you have taken over. Look at them squarely. For most of us, the list will be long. How do we ever manage to enter any new day with such a burden on our spirits?
“The New Testament ‘good news’ is that we do not have to hear such a burden. To be free from it is the gift of God- – -not only to be free from fear, but to save in its place power, and love, and a sound mind.
“We want this gift above all else, and God is offering it to us- – -yet we do not reach out and take it. We will not let God give us his gift.
“Prayer: O most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee, who cares for us, preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no cloud of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

[Akiane/google images]