Tag Archives: Galations

HOMESCHOOLING YEAR

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth,….Enlighten the people, and tyranny of the mind and body will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”~John Jakes

The above quote was written in the front of one of my old journals from 1989. Hard to believe that 30 years ago (officially on August 29), these kidlets were starting their first day at school in our new home right in the middle of Covenant Woods. Even though we were homeschooling that year, we took the first-day-of-school pictures, but somehow over the intervening decades – all of those originals disappeared into projects or frames that traveled into the kidlets’ new worlds. So I substituted pictures from a few months earlier and later. Actually, this probably was more indicative of our days anyway.

Miss that table and the Light that shined in through all those windows and into our hearts.

The fun part? I kept a daily journal of our activities. Of course, as the year progressed, the writing got shorter and shorter, and by February – – – what can I say? I was way too busy having fun teaching them and loving every second of it, than to spend time writing it down. It was a special time in my life as I watch these precious souls given to my care begin to read, write, figure, absorb new things and pray together as we started and ended the day.

I had forgotten how much we did. Our school was full of Bible, art, theatre productions (that I wrote and directed) at various churches and schools, Loudonville/Mansfield library times, music lessons, Roscoe/Zoar Village, Cols/Clve Zoo, COSI, Kingwood Center trips, excursions into Mohican State Park, canoe rides and state-of-the-art computer education (You can remember what computers looked like in 1989, right? Radio Shack, go.)

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.”~1 Kg 8:23

30 years later, life is j-u-s-t a little quieter. Still a chocolate lab at my feet, but the home is different. The state is different. Even the energy level is different. What can I say? The kidlets are grown. And that kitchen island and time spent there? Just a very special treasure chest memory.

Sarah Young wrote a devotional back in 2004. I pulled it out earlier this year meaning to spend my year re-reading it. However, life sometimes gets in the way, and with all the emotional craziness of the past couple of months, I haven’t even gone back to sit at my desk until today. So when my neighbor gave me a desk chair, I took a minute and sat down. It is then I saw the 1989 journal, photo album and this tiny devotional book..

“Wait with Me for a while. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment.”~Sarah Young, Aug 22

God winked. I blinked.

I love how He works. For whatever reason, I was meant to see this 2 paragraph devotion tonight.  Meant to pull out that old 1989 journal. Meant to re-watch the movie, Invincible. Meant to cry a little. Meant to laugh at all the energy and love that went into that year. Meant to observe all the changes that have occurred. Meant to absorb all the wisdom garnered. Meant to remember the One who never leaves or forsakes.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”~Gal 5:22

30 years brings changes. Some of them, make one smile. Some of them – – – not so much – – – not so much at all. But it is the wisdom – the love – the passion – the Grace and Light of the One who places His rock under the feet and shelters the injured under His wings that carries us through the decades when we continue to seek His face.

“Stay on the path of Life with Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.”~Sarah Young-August 22. 

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #89

Thankful for a Grandson’s birthday today. Thankful for another Grandson who loves to cuddle, read stories, play pretend, do puzzles, and a Granddaughter who can’t wait to call me after school to tell me what she wants me to sew on her Christmas stocking.
Thankful for our little neighbor who loves to play with our dogs, make up silly songs to sing to them and play with my 50+ year old plastic horses. Thankful for a toe that – while still swollen – doesn’t shout unless a silly puppy walks on it, or I doing something really stupid. Thankful for a Father God who swore never to be angry again.
“To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.”~Isaiah 54:9
Daily – as this ugly election draws to a close – I remind myself that God’s got this. He sees the tapestry on the finished side, and I – silly me – only see it on the reverse side. I see the tangled threads, the mistakes, the knots – dull colors that seem jumbled.
However – when I strain my eyes and my wobbly faith – I can almost see what the finished tapestry might hold – until I blink. Tears cloud my eyes, and I sigh. One day, I will no longer see through the glass darkly. I will see the finished tapestry in all of its glory.
Now that is a lot to be thankful for today.
1942 Daily Rations: ” ‘I bear branded on my boy the owner’s stamp of Jesus.’~Gal 6:17, Moffatt’s translation
“Read: Galatians 6:11-18
“St. Paul had no doubt often stood in the midst of the Roman slave markets. Among other never-to-be-forgotten sights he had noted how the slaves were branded with the owner’ tamp so that they could always be identified. Perhaps Onesimus was one of those- – – Onesimus, the runaway slave who was led to Christ by Paul in Rome and sent back to make amends to his master, Philemon. His story is told in the letter in the New Testament which bears the name of Philemon.
“The devotion of St. Paul to his Master and Lord is so complete that he speaks of himself as the slave of Christ, not by compulsion but by free surrender. So for himself he says: ‘To me to live is Christ,’ and to all Christians he cries out: ‘Ye are not your own. . .ye are bought with a price.’ The only way a Christian may be identified is by the owner’s name indelibly impressed upon his life.

“Prayer: O Christ, we thank thee for the last full measure of devotion given by St. Paul to his Master. May we too so yield to thy mastery that there may be no reserves or withholdings in our devotion. We make this prayer in thy name. Amen.”  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #67

“He cometh not a king to reign; “
The world’s long hope is dim;
The weary centuries watch in vain
The clouds of heaven for Him.”
In 1866, John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem called Our Master. It is a long poem by today’s standards. 152 lines of rhyme and thought. A prayer. A tribute. A gift.
“Our Friend, our Brother, and our Lord,
What may Thy service be?—
Nor name, nor form, nor ritual word,
But simply following Thee.”
I remember memorizing many poems during my youth and even as a teacher. Sometimes, I would memorize classics just to recite to my students so that I could show them the power of the spoken word. I don’t think this is done much any more.
“Deep strike Thy roots, O heavenly Vine,
Within our earthly sod,
Most human and yet most divine,
The flower of man and God!”
After all, why memorize when you can find it within a few keystrokes. Such is the advancement of technology. Which begs the next question – how many people read past the first couple of stanzas unless it is required?
People may be able to find information quickly, but how much time do they spend digesting that information? People can find any Bible verse in a blink, but how much time do they spend breathing in the essence of the gift they have been given? All-in-all, I guess that is alll the author of this Ration was trying to say.
Take the time to jump in a little deeper. Read all the stanzas and get to know Him more than you ever thought possible.
1942 Daily Rations: Read: Galatians 2:16-21
“I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”~Gal 2:20
“A student at a well-known university told a visiting minister that he had worked out for himself a religion which was his own patterned by no denomination. Lord Charnwood’s biography had made Abraham Lincoln very real to him. He began to look at things as He though Lincoln looked at them. He attempted to meet circumstances and people as Lincoln would have met them. He felt himself possessed by his spirit.
“This experience led the young man to think that in a similar way he could come to know and follow Jesus. By reading the Gospels, Jesus soon became a new more vital character to him. “Do you think religion is anything like that?’ the student asked eagerly. The minister quickly assured him that religion is exactly that, supremely that.
“This earnest youth, without realizing it, was having fellowship with Jesus. Any person, young or mature, can have a similar experience if the same simple method is followed persistently. Read the Gospels again and again to become familiar with the words and thoughts of Jesus. Try to look at things the way he looked at them. Attempt to meet circumstances and people as he met them. Do this faithfully. From your sincere effort and complete faith will come the rich experience of Christ.
“But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
A present help is He;
And faith has still its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.”~Whittier 

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #62

It has been a busy day watching the weather channel and rain gauge. Matthew has blown through the Carolinas – well – mostly. There is still more rain, more wind and more flooding to make it’s way towards us, but people are relaxing a little and the stories about the day “Matthew” came to town will start to blossom.
Rabbi Yeshua loved use stories to teach those who came to listen to him. At 65, I haven’t even begun to dig out all the wisdom buried within those parable and don’t think I ever will on this side of the divide. It is never a simple surface story. He built layers and layers of sub-themes lying just beneath the obvious – waiting for eyes to see and ears to hear. Seems to me that is His hint that Our Father is like that as well.
A thousand lifetimes will never be enough to understand His character and His love for each of us.
There has been lots of bickering this election year and even more anger rising against this candidate or that candidate. Perhaps the winds of Hurricane Matthew will help blow some of that out to sea and remind us to seek the goodness in each other instead of evilness in each of us. While Matthew brought death and destruction in Haiti and the US, he could also bring unification and compassion. It is my hope we start there. It is my prayer.

 

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…”~Gal 6:9-10a
1942 Daily Rations: “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain; and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him; and he opened his mouth and taught them. And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching; for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”~Matt 5:1,2; 7:28
“As you read and think upon the Gospels you can fancy yourself back in Jesus’ time standing in the crowd listening to him.
“He is a fascinating teacher and storyteller. His stories are always so vivid and simple that you never forget them. They always are a clue to the riddle which puzzles men; ‘What is God like? How can I have dealings with God?’ You get a deep impression that God is more of a reality to Jesus than you yourself standing in front of him.
“The story ends and the crowd melts away. But you feel that the story is not really ended. You begin to think, ‘Isn’t this what I’ve always been searching for? Isn’t this what I’ve always been searching for? Isn’t this the answer to my great question?’ You look up and find the Speaker’s eyes fixed on you. He seems to say, ‘I now what you are thinking. Give me time and I’ll help you.’
“So you don’t leave like the crowd.”

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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.’ “

RATION 100 DAYS! #25

Dreams are interesting. They jump in all sorts of weird ways, and as hard as I try, I can never truly remember all the details even when I try to write it down immediately after waking. Whiffs of smells, colors and pictures swirl into a stew of emotions and conjecture.

Actually – there were two dreams last night. The first dream was full of dark clouds forming shape after shape. (This popped back into my mind when I saw a dark horse galloping in the storm clouds today). The second dream was much more fun. I was running and running and running. Gotta admit – it was probably the most exercise I’ve had in years, and since I can’t run anymore due to a cranky knee, I loved it.

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?”~Jer 12:5

As I was praying (for our country, leaders, military and first responders) during the America’s Prayer Minute at six o’clock, I noticed that we only have 67 more days till the election. We are running out of time to figure this mess out without all the hate and bickering interfering with our run.

Needless to say, I was not surprised to see the today’s Ration’s Bible verses were so strongly in-line with my dreams and thoughts today. I wish they had written it all out in the old KJV, but if you look it up for yourself, you can see Our Father is reminding us to serve the Spirit and not our “sinful nature”.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” ~Gal 5:22-24

1942 Daily Ration: “Out of the welter of war and revolution a world is being rebuilt. How can it be reconstructed to make it foolproof, gangster-proof war-proof, depression-proof? We want a world in which revenge and hate and greed have no place in international or in personal relationships. The human race must be one family and intolerance impossible. he strong must bear the burdens of the weak, the wise must be the servants of the not so wise must be the servants of the not so wise and every man and every nation must live as a trustee of God. Is that kind of world impractical? Compared with the wast and folly of our war-ridden civilization, to pray for and work for. Do Christians will to have such a world?

READ: Galatians 5:16-26

PRAYER: O God of all life, open my eyes to discover thee in the common, ordinary ways of life. Rule and overrule in the ways of men, and remove from us all the sins which breed the curse of war. Help hose who bear the name of Christian all over the world to pray and work for a new way of life for human society, and out of the fiery agony of war and revolution mold and make a newer, a better, Christian society. In Christ’s name. Amen.”

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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

MASTER PLAN

Despite the first snow of the season, the coldest temps of this new year, a day that kept us pushing and pulling and driving forward, we are still alive and functioning. Our plan seems to be working. Daughter, Son-in-law, Grands, four large dogs, and crazy elders are still together as we are planning to sleep in daughter’s spare bedroom tonight. Grandson said, “Oh goody. Grandma, you can sleep with me tonight.” Needless to say, my heart melted.

last day 1 18 16Stuck truck (wasn’t the 4 wheel drive one, of course) in back yard did not take off the corner of the shed or the rounded edge of the stone patio (it did put a few ruts in the yard), hot tub is setting comfortably in daughter’s garage until we can fill it up again or sell it. Tractor waits to straighten out the ruts in yard, driveway, and then carry our giant eagles four miles to the new property in 30 degree weather. It will be another busy day tomorrow.

Dogs are feeling a little less than comfortable. Koayah is completely off her game and pooped in the kid’s playroom as she played with Redding, daughter’s youngest furbaby. Ryndiyah refuses to let either of us out of her sight. (The screams, giggles and running around after that smell kinda spoiled a quiet bedtime) While Cheyenne, daughter’s oldest furbaby, just looks at everyone with big eyes and love easing out of every pore.

Life is great even with a stuffy nose. Life is great when muscles ache and the list of things to do tomorrow seem as huge as the list we did today. Life is great when you’ve got a plan. Life is even greater when your plan lines up with Our Father’s plan. Our plan at this point is to claim one room in the new house to sleep – after all we have a toilet and a shower – what more do you need?

No matter how you look at it, G-d’s challenges are often where we learn the most. Knowledge, wisdom and discernment are the blessings behind everything that Our Father asks us to do within His plan for each of us. All we have to do is to weave “our” plans within the “Master” plan and enjoy the “fruits of the spirit”. I think I need me some fruit.fruit-of-the-spirit-tree11