Tag Archives: Ephesians

VISION 2020: Fisted vs Open

If you haven’t figured out by now to hit your knees and begin to pray for our country, you need to open your spiritual eyes and ears.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

This is not a just a physical war.
It is not about flags, statues or new names or even the destruction of landmarks. Those are only the outward manifestations of the heart.
It is about spiritual warfare. The inward manifestations that destroy the soul.
It is evilness versus righteousness.
It is birth pangs.
It is decision time that gives birth to choice.

Raise the fisted hand in rebellion on an earthly tower – – – or raise an open hand in His garden?

It started with my generation. Sorry. I screwed up. We screwed up. My father and mother both tried to tell me. Others also warned and were killed for their efforts. While the best of our generation were over seas fighting an enemy and getting spat upon when they came home, some of us sat in brick and mortar buildings and knew. Deep in our souls, we were sick to our stomachs and knew we were seeing the hazy face of evil.

Evil that was no longer hiding behind the curtain but only a thin veil.

We watched strong, wise, non-violent leaders murdered. We watched protests, and while we did not join them, we did not stand against them either.
It was the Age of Aquarius.
It was the Summer of Love.
It was the “Don’t trust anyone over 30!” generation.
Drop some acid. Head bangers’ psychedelic haze swirling round and round and round.
The Harrad Experiment.
The challenge to the rock of righteousness that had – even though flawed as all human endeavors are – protected our feet from the serpent’s bite.

Many Pied Pipers continually asking a simple question. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen 3:1b

And the beat went on.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:4-5

We listened to the protest leaders in the 70’s at the end of that time of violence as they basically said they wouldn’t go away. They would go into our strongholds. They would demolish our rock of ages’s morality. They would whisper their question over and over and over until they wore us down. For they were sure we would reach for the apple they offered just as so many others before us.

They were right.

It was an age old story. Repeating because we do not learn from history very well – even though He gave a Book of Life to guide us. We still reach for that apple. What can I say? It is easier. Who wants to chose warring existence when we can chose a peaceful one instead?

But – – –

There are time when we are required to find our knees.
Repent that we ate the apple.
Pray to Our Father that loves us with such Grace and Mercy that He helps us stand.
Stand on our sacred honor.
Stand as we put on His armor.
Stand in prayer as He taught us to pray when He stood among us.
Stand in prayer with open hands raised to the Father.
Stand in prayer with open hands raised to the Pied Pipers who offered all those apples – just in case they need a hand to stand with us.
Stand with His cloud before us, among us, behind us as we learn from our mistakes and walk forward on the dry rock bed that He has provided for our feet.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ep 6:10-11

Humans are flawed beings. If we’re lucky we do some things that are great. Things that will be remembered by those who love us and by Our Father who is righteous in Light, Love, Mercy and Grace.

December 23, 1776
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Thomas Paine

We can not be summer soldiers or sunshine patriots anymore. It is time to stand as Thomas Paine and all the other Founding Fathers did.
Stand on our sacred honor.
Stand in righteousness.
Stand as we open our rebellious hands.

For who knows? Perhaps we were created for such a time as this. (Esther)ap 8 2020 e [personal image]

#theReturn #HeisWorthy

VOTE – OR NOT!

The first time I remember voting I was in my daddy’s arms. I think it was at the Youth Building, but memories get mixed up in those back-storage files, so it is hard to tell. At first, I remember standing on tip-toes trying to see what he was doing. Then he lifted me up and told me which circle I could color. I’m sure he probably broke the protocol for such things – maybe even the law, but I never forgot.

Mom took me another time. I was a little older, and I think it might have been at the Fire Department. She told me we were going to vote, and that I had to be quiet because it was very important. For some reason, I remember looking at my black patent leather shoes and seeing my mother’s face reflected in one of them as she concentrated on her choices.

Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that voting was pretty important to our family. There were always political buttons being passed out at the Loudonville Fair, being worn on clothes until the first Tuesday in November, and later when they landed in the sewing baskets, I could play with them and put them on my dollies.

President Eisenhower was the first president I remember. When President Kennedy was running for office, it was huge. There were lots of discussions at home about voting. After all, being the first Catholic person to run for president was a big deal, and everyone had an opinion on it – even in our small village. I listened to a lot of it. Yawned through even more of it. But it sunk in – voting was important.

When mom decided to run for village clerk after driving the dry cleaning truck around town for several years, that was also a big deal. Dad and I would go to meetings with her. Help her practice her speeches. Walk around town to hang up posters. Ride around in a car with a great big sign on it. On on that first Tuesday in November, I got to see first hand how important voting could be. Mom won and worked harder than I ever saw anyone ever work.

Someday, I will have to write something “profound” on how that job changed our lives, but tonight’s focus needs to remain on this – voting is important. The last two rounds of campaigns have been ugly. But from what I have read in history and through biographies, this has been true ever since President Washington gave his farewell address.

Today, I was reading lots of history trying to decide what books I would be using in my library class. Our character word for the month is “gratitude”. Makes a lot of sense since we have Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day coming up. 6 Nations prayers and stories [Iroquois]. Pilgrims first few years. Magna Carta. Plymouth Rock. Crispus Attucks. Moina Belle Michael. George Washington. Then got a little sidetracked by a stack of fiction books all piled in a corner waiting to be catalogued.

That’s what happens when you work with a bunch of books – ya get sidetracked.

Luckily, I know a Father who doesn’t get side-tracked ever. Ever since we walked in a garden and got lost, He has kept His focus on opening a narrow pathway back to Him. As I read several Native American stories today, I couldn’t help but marvel at how similar stories always seem to be pointing at a pathway – a pathway leading home. Be it the Great Spirit or the Wise One, GOD speaks to all of us in language that we can understand because He wants us to “come home”. We have that freedom to walk the path – or not.

Today, we had the freedom to vote – or not. We had the freedom to pray for our choices – or not. We had the freedom to post positive memes – or not. We had the choice to listen to the Spirit speak to hearts – or not. While the seen and unseen principalities are always warring with each other, we always have the choice to believe – or not. Voting is important. But faith? Faith is beyond important.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.d 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”~Ep 6:12-19 

  [personal/google images]

BREADCRUMBS: Owl Wisdom

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.”~Ep 6:18a

Finally.

Years of camping – girl scouts and beyond. 
Years of living in the country. 
Years of sitting outside, listening and watching.
Years of listening to them at night as they hooted me to sleep.

Finally – – – I saw a real life owl in the wild.

Luckily, my life hasn’t been devoid of seeing owls. I’ve seen owls many times on trips to the zoo. White owls, brown owls, gray owls and even saw one up close and personal on a writing retreat while it sat on a park ranger’s arm. But I have never seen one as God created them. 
Soaring.
Sitting.
Looking at me.

“Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”~Ep 6:18b

Our gimpy little girl who isn’t supposed to run and yet never stops running when she is outside, actually startled it as she raced through the woods. I turned to watch what she was doing when the owl took wing to another branch. It was facing the road away from me, and then it did that awesome cool owly thing that everyone loves. It turned its head all the way around to look directly at me.

I know it was only a moment, and yet – it was one of those moments that takes your breath away and lasts for a lot longer. I can still see it. My own personal miracle and a childhood prayer answered in the best way ever. Koay yipped and off it flew out of sight.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.”~Ps 40:1

Lately, I’ve noticed that many times my devotions dovetail each other as if they were written by the same person. And if I’m paying really close attention, I notice that they address those really hard things that I’ve been praying in the Spirit for as well. Duh! Throwback time. Back to the times when I used to sit in choir practice and make mistakes. Hit myself in the head – DUH – literally. While they may have been written at different times by different people, they were inspired by the One who spoke the WORD into being.

“I was dancin’ in the dark when I saw your open arms. Barefoot on the cross, and now I hear you in every song. When my life was still a mess, You saw something beautiful, and I don’t deserve it, but Your Grace is perfect tonight.”~Phillipa Hanna, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

Answered prayers don’t come when we expect them. Often, they don’t come how we expect them. Sometimes, we don’t even know they have been answered. Then again, some may be not be answered until way after we’ve gone home. But all in all, prayers are always answered. We just don’t like all the answers because they aren’t answered OUR way.

Tonight, the kitty that answered a prayer I didn’t know I had keeps sitting on the keyboard batting my hands. For whatever reason, she wants a little extra attention tonight – and I indulge her until she hops down to chase the mousy sounds she hears in the kitchen.

I like to think Our Father God and His Son and Spirit are much the same way. Our prayers sing in Their combined heart – begging for a little extra on some nights – a little more cuddling – a little more encouragement until we hop away to chase after the next thing.

The good news – The Trinity is still there. Waiting for those prayers. Waiting for us to jump up into their laps. Purring a little louder for a little more attention. Kneading their hands with our tiny claws until they smile and sing a new song in our heart with their love.

I look at the breadcrumbs on the road before me. They are no longer abundantly covering the road. They have dwindled to few and far between. The destination that seemed so far away is just ahead. Passion Week – just days away. And I wonder at the journey I have been on for 32 days.

The journey of the owl into my life. A life-long prayer answered. A time to continue to pray with precise language – a time to look forward in prayer – a time to open my eyes to the miracles around me and rejoice. A time of breadcrumbs.

“When I’m dancin’ in the dark, I will raise my weary arms, and thank you for the cross, and the Grace that’s enough for anyone. When you found me in a mess, You saw something beautiful, and I don’t deserve it, but your Grace is perfect. I don’t feel worthy, but your Grace is perfect tonight.”~Ibid.

 

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #30

Another month of memories is almost in the treasure chest. Some of those memories were regular stones – precious because of their shape or texture or beauty. So regular that I sometimes tripped over them. Others were gems – ranked precious because of the clarity of their composition, the hues of wisdom they radiate, and their rareness on my path. Obviously, I don’t trip over these instead, I usually have to mine them . . . very carefully.

The blessed healing of a sick furbaby.

The joy of writing my Gratitude – day after day throughout the month.

A Daughter-in-law and son living in a wintry state (you know – that state up North that must go un-named to anyone from OH) who remember to send us a picture of our Grands who are growing up so far away from us.

Laughter and singing with the Grands on our trips home from school. Serious conversations, too, that sparkle with their hints of what blessings they will bring to the world.

Another son who sends me a song he is listening to because he knows I will love it. Then I cry a little bit as I listen, missing him even more than usual since he too is far away.

Laughing days and activities spent with the daughter and her family. Sitting on patios, watching a fire or a OSU/MI game, sharing a meal, plotting the next adventure together.

Long conversations with the other daughter who is following her dream and who, so much like her mama and yet so different, likes living in such a big city like NYC.

Moments spent in the war room. Looking at answers to prayer, praying for those in need, absorbing the quiet that comes deep in my heart and reading over and over the verses given to me for this month – finding something new each time.

Gratitude is a garden. Growing exponentially as manna and living water are applied. Blossoming, bearing fruit, and adding even more shine to the memories circling in my treasure chest.

So as we enter the last month of the year, I will carry my Gratitude Attitude forward with me. I may not write about it every day, but it will be there. Shining in my eyes, sparkling in my words, hitting the high notes of my song. That is the real Gratitude Attitude – one that travels with me every day of my life.

“…be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father…”~Ep 5:18-20 [google images]henrywardbeecher1

 
 

JUST SPECIAL

Somedays are just special.

That’s it. Not anything miraculous. Not anything to stop traffic. Not anything that anyone would notice. It just is.

Maybe it is the way it started – before I even rolled out of bed. Lazy. Slow. Cat-stretches. Prayerful praises that turn into dream-remembering. The sound of the shofar. The words of Abraham’s servant circling in amongst it all,  “Lord…make me successful today…”~Gen 24:12a

Jewish tradition says that during the times of Noach (Noah), it would only rain once every 40 years or so. Life was perfect. Never too hot. Never too cold. Comfortable. Restful. Did you know that Noah’s name in Hebrew means rest, comfort?

Anyway, it was always comfortable because the seasons never changed. In fact, it was so perfect that humans had no reason to reach out to their Father. They didn’t need anything. They were comfortable. So they thought they could do anything by themselves. Sound familiar?

That has been rolling around in my mind for a while. How many times – when things were going well in my life – did I just ignore spending time in the WORD – ignored my prayer closet – ignored seeking His face? Way more than I care to remember, and like the people in Noah’s time – in all times – I, too, drifted further from My Father.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”~Gen 8:22

Christian tradition has us look at this Bible verse as meaning that God would never destroy the earth by water again. Jewish sages believe that it is YHWH reaffirming that He needed to change things up a little by adding different seasons to the world. Hot. Cold. Storms. Drought.

A little discomfort. A little less restful. A little reminder, that prayer reunites the Creator with those He loves and allows Him to always give back more than anyone could ever request. A time to remind His Beloved just how much He loves them.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”~Ep 6;18

A special day to wake up from a dream with four shofar notes echoing. A special day to wake up with a praise hymn on my lips. A special day to get a picture from the Grandson that made me cry because he said he drew it just for me. Not anything miraculous. Not anything out of the ordinary. Just special with angels singing in the heavens. Just special with a “little Jesus” smiling in the heavens with them. Just special with the Cross of Salvation in the middle of a family filled with love.  

corso oct 17 2017 (2)

APOSTASIA

Sometimes you just have to find light in the darkness. Darkness that continues despite the sun’s warmth. Despite the brightness of the blue sky. Despite the spin on society’s faces. Despite all the busyness of daily life. Despite that you just don’t feel like looking for any kind of light whatsoever.

I feel like I have been doing that all week. I hadn’t put a word to it until today. It started with a dream and has continued to dog my steps throughout the week.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not depression although tears have dribbled down my cheeks.  It’s not anxiety though there are lots of payers. A devotion here. A song there. A book pointed out by a stranger. A search for information. A search for truth. A search of the WORD. A light that exists in the darkness.

Apostasia.

It is that dark word that has haunted and darkened my week – darkened the world. Since before I could ride a bike, I have known depth of this word inside of me. It haunted my childhood nightmares – some which have occurred over and over and over – varying little in detail. It echoes on the wind howling outside my windows when my armor is misplaced. A word known by the images in my mind even before I could conceptualize just how it would eventually materialize to darken this world  – – – our world.

Obviously, it’s not one of my favorite words. Greek in origin, it basically means “to depart from a stand” – – – “to fall away from sacred values held at the core of self” – – – “to abandon truth”.

Who would have thought it would come to this? Basic truths thrown under the bus in the name of tolerance or political correctness or love or defiance. Today is the Eve of Yom Kippur.  Simply put – the holiest day of the Jewish faith.  For, after 30 days of repentance – 10 days of introspection and atonement (known as the 10 days of Awe) – they stand on the rock of renewed faith.  In the days of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, a red thread would mysteriously turn white to represent their change in the eyes of the Father and being sealed into His Book of Life for the next year. I like to think of Jesus (Yeshua] making this yearly journey – even though he was without sin. Shepherding us, His followers, even then.

“Because of this, put on all the armor of God that you shall be able to confront The Evil One, and when you are ready in all things, you shall stand.” Ep 6:13

It is not easy to stand when the visible rock is crumbling under the feet. As you age, you think – you hope – things will never “REALLY” change. Tweaks here. Re-direction there. That right will always triumph in the end. After all – strength is in numbers – education – military might. But as history has proven over and over and over again, history does repeat itself – especially when the defiance demon starts digging its claws into unprotected skulls willing to believe lies covered by the facade of something entirely different.

A wistful melancholy steals over me as I type. While I have always known that I was born for this time and to be in this place and to speak these words, it doesn’t mean that it is always where I want to be – in fact – – – tried my hardest to ignore it – – – tried to run the other direction – – – tried my hardest to prove I am worse than King David – – – tried to be defiant. It just comes down to the fact that I have always understood Jonah all too well. Never wanted to go to Nineveh and still don’t.

But like Jonah (thankfully without the whale), I have figured out how to be a servant even while I may drag my feet or try to cushion the words or wish I could find any way but this way. Yet – as I read the WORD, I am more and more convinced that we are here. I am here. Apostasia in all its ugliness is here, and although reluctant, I have picked up my staff and turned my feet toward Nineveh. When society confuses kneeling with standing for a physical symbol and doesn’t see the deeper spiritual metaphor hiding in plain sight, my heart hurts and the paradigm grows even larger.

“Behold, The Day of Our Lord has arrived.” Let no man deceive you by any means, to the effect that surely no revolt will first come and The Man of Sin, The Son of Destruction, be revealed, He who opposes and exalts himself against everything that is called God and religion, just as he will sit in the Temple of God, as God, and will show concerning himself as if he is God.” 2 Thes 2:2-4 (Aramaic in Plain English translation)  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #83

“It is strange how you can know something – know the pointy, sharp truth – but still want to bend and blunt the edges so it fits better in your mind.”~Veronica Rossi, YA adult author.

I like reading YA books. It is as if these authors tap into a deeper vein of precious ores that are just waiting to be discovered. Little nuggets of truth buried in the depths of a story written for children. Aesop’s Fables. Faerie Tales. Wrinkle in Time. The Dark Is Rising. Giver. Under the Never Sky.

There is another book written for children – His children. He buried so many little nuggets that it is impossible to find them all until they are needed. Then – if you are a persistent and patient miner – they appear beneath you eyes, and you shake your head in wonder because you know you have read them time and time again. You just didn’t “see”.

“…speak ye truth each one with his neighbor…”

How is it, that as we approach the final days of this election cycle these 1942 Rations become more and more pointed as they wrap around the current topic of each day. I’m am so thankful for this little booklet that has spoken so much truth on this journey of 100 days. I continue to pray that Martin Luther King, Jr was right “…that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Until then – I will keep mining books, looking for His buried truths and bringing them to the surface to reflect the Light of He who guides my days in truth. Blessings!Be!

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ For the sensitive Christian who remembers Jesus’ emphasis upon the motive which under lies the deed this Ninth Commandment means more than just a prohibition of slander and malicious gossip, though it certainly does mean that. And how much more! There should be no perversion of truth in all the ranges of human intercourse!

“False propaganda is the most conscious offense against the Ninth Commandment in our day. When newspapers governments, partisan groups or advertisers pollute the wells of truth and betray the public mind by subtle half-truths and misleading statements, they are really bearing ‘false witness.’ Our whole social fabric breaks down if we cannot trust responsible men to honor and to tell the truth. We need to be as true in these days as Washington and Lincoln were in their day.

” ‘Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor; for we are members on of another.’~Ep 4:25

“Read: Exodus 20:16; Psalm 13

“Prayer: Almighty God, unto whom all heart are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy Holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #65

Perfect. Today’s ration is totally perfect for today

AND – – –

it should have been yesterday’s Ration. Once again, God winked, I blinked, and Rations were suddenly all out of sync.

The Bible verse is shouting at me through that tiny page. In fact, it has been shouting at me all day, I just didn’t realize it was a Bible verse that was tidal waving me. I should have. After all, when I finished writing yesterday’s Ration, I prayed last night that God would manah (appoint – prepare) my day today.

I grew restless listening to election news/ads/post. So I turned them off and turned on music while I cleaned the house. Grew restless again and decided to make a grocery run. Radio had on more of that bitterness, evil speaking,wrath, malice, anger clamour that was driving me crazy earlier, so I hit the button to change stations and hit the CD button by mistake. I cried on the way to the store.

God prepared my day. He reminded me to pray for the grocery clerk whose body is broken in so many ways. He opened my door to pray for my neighborhood a little more in-depth. He laughed softly when I saw that I had flipped the Rations. He played a song that made me look up and remember His promises as I went about the rest of my day.

An appointed day by Our Father is so much better than a day of my own devising. Kindness, tenderhearted, forgiving is a much better day. Oh – and the song that surprised me and completed today’s journey – maybe – it will start your own when you let Our Father manah your day..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RtcAYru-Pw

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’~Ep 4:31,32

“We do not have many red-letter days in our lives. Most of life is made up of humdrum duties. Our Lord was aware of this. His life tells us that God is interested in life’s little commonplaces. We need to watch the daily details. Trifling irritations if unresolved pave the way to divorce courts. Minor incidents precipitate great wars. Fidelity in small matters is the guarantee of reliability in larger undertakings. ‘Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.’ (Matt 25:23)

“Neglect of church attendance makes it easy to forget God. We cannot be good Christians in critical moments if we have been poor Christians in ordinary times. People crack under pressure because they did not build up resistance before they need it.

“In this epistle on the glory of the Church, St Paul reminds us to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving. But abstract kindness will not do. I must be kind to somebody. Forgiveness is too general. I must forgive somebody. I cannot begin too soon- – -for Christ’s sake.

“God trusts me beyond what I now am: I trust him beyond what I now see.”

TEACHER FRUITS

img716I am now the proud owner of a snowman spoon holder, several pictures, a pink, batman-beaded bracelet that says “Thanks for being my superhero”, and several things that seemed edible – but who really knows. It is teacher appreciation week, even in the after-school programs.

teachers day 2016“By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”~Matt 7:16

 

It’s strange – but I don’t think there was such a thing as teacher appreciation day, 1st gradeor week, or even teacher of the year..although, back in my school days, I didn’t really pay much attention to teacher things, so I could be wrong. But, because of how we were raised, if we had extra apples or oranges, one found its way to a big person’s desk. If we passed pretty flowers on a tree or in a garden, they might have ended up on another teacher’s desk. A simple card made out of colored construction paper and crayon or a letter written in pencil and splashed in tears. A Valentine candy heart was enough to bring a smile to both our faces.

Nice thing about small town was that our teachers were generally involved in more than just our school lives. They read us stories in the morning – usually Bible stories – prayed with us – led us in the pledge, became our Sunday school teachers, our church choir directors, our boy/girl scout leaders, our coaches, our advisors, our safety patrol leaders, honor society leaders, our – extended family.

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.”~Ecc 7:8RF McMullen staff 62 63

One of my “extended family” danced into heaven this past year to join her husband who had also been a part of my extended family since he was in the church choir and a drummer for every minstrel I can remember. I didn’t have her as a “school” teacher, but she still touched my life with hers. Over the years, we would re-connect, visit in the grocery aisle or at the annual street fair and exchange Christmas cards. Still my teacher – still inspiring – still sharing her light with her student.

“Walk as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.”~Ep 5:9

As I look at the pictures of these special people from my own student days, I see the fruits of the spirit. Love wasn’t a noun – it was a verb. I know we say that teachers don’t get paid much, but back in the day – they made even less and did much more. (I know because my beginning salary was $7,600 in C-bus public schools, and my mom thought that was a fortune) As hard as I worked, I know I never did as much as they did, but I tried to give my students as much as they gave me.

I am thankful that G-d put each and every one of these teachers on my life path. In their own way, they helped shape the person I have become. It is the little things – more than the paycheck – more than the things that can be bought. It is the fruits of the spirit offered. It is the fruits of the spirit accepted and passed on to the next generation.

“But the fruits of The Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith,”~Gal 5:22img717

LEFT HAND TWIST

lefthandedaFirst – you have to love a place where you can browse 30-50 free books whenever you want.

Second – you have to love a book that is titled “The Left-handed Book”.

Third – you gotta LOVE a professor named Dr. BRYNg BRYNgelson of the university of Minnesota who says, “Left-handed people tend to be more creative, more imaginative than right-handed people.”

Well – you do have to admit that if you were a left-handed, retired English teacher/reader named Bryn you would definitely have to consider “loving” these three things.

Somedays, you just go where ever the road takes you and just chill. Today I didn’t unpack one box – – – or move things around – – – or decide where to “permanently” place things for the remainder of our duration in this home. Didn’t clean anything. Didn’t blow leaves out of the garage. Didn’t do much at all.

Instead, I picked up a Grand, spent some time with squirmy-glad-its-Friday kids, started a new book that I picked up in our free space in Saxapahaw, and laughed my way through another little tome from the same place – a 1966 classic on being left-handed. It even comes with a Lefthanded Manifesto: “Be it resolved that all LEFT-THINKING citizens, mindful that their BIRTHLEFT has been denied them, shall henceforth stand up for their LEFTS! We call upon each one of them to support this BILL OF LEFTS, and specifically to….”

I’m not sure where this day was supposed to lead. I’m not sure I accomplished anything that I was supposed to accomplish (except I did get the Grand to his mother safely). What I do know is that it was a good day. It was a day to enjoy the sunshine, dream/plan/wonder about the gardens that I need to get under way and just enjoy a silly little book

Being left-handed was never a problem for me – except for one teacher in elementary school – who made sure I knew that she thought all left-handers should have been changed back in kindergarten – never did get above a “C” in handwriting in her class. I did have to work hard at learning how to use scissors, sit in right handed desks, write in straight lines on a chalkboard and twirl a baton good enough to match the other girls. And when frustrations turned to tears,I had a mother who slapped me upside the head and said, “God made you exactly the way you are supposed to be in this life, and if you quit you aren’t trusting Him enough”. Can’t argue with that kind of logic. Can’t give up with that kind of mother either.

Some day, I will pass this funny little book on to my left-handed granddaughter. Together, we can laugh as I explain how it was in the “old” days. Always such a fun thing when we can pass on our history or share how to do things with a leftie twist. It is another link in Our Father’s family chain of life that just keeps growing longer and longer and longer.

New things to learn.lefthandedb

Old things to discard.

Memories to treasure.

Rainbows to follow.

“For we are his creatures who are created in Yeshua The Messiah for good works, those things which God had from the first prepared that we should walk in them.”~Ep 2:10

PS – I wasn’t making up that professor’s name either.https://www.mnsu.edu/…/ku…/pioneers/bryngelson/bryngbio.html