Tag Archives: God

THE BLESSING CUP

“I will give you the treasures of darkness…”

The first time I read this verse was in college. Like God’s first people, I was roaming a desert. A hot, dirty, messy and full of dangerous serpents desert. Hissing. Snapping at my heels. Catching my eye with all their flashiness serpents. Drawing me deeper and deeper into the wilderness.

“…riches stored in secret places,…”

Perhaps it was the prayers of my parents – perhaps it was because a job as a church soloist kept my eyes and ears opened – – perhaps I was just lucky I wasn’t completely pig-headed – – – or –
– – perhaps it happens to all desert wanders – – – – that there are always moments when water bubbles up, manna drops from the sky into a blessing cup and a voice calls out. “Here I AM! Here I Am!”~Is 65:1

“…so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”~Is 45:3

I found a blessing cup today when I went to Goodwill. I immediately reached out to touch it. It was a 1976 copy of “The Living Bible”. The soft green, leather was the same as the one that traveled with me when I wandered my own personal desert in the early 70’s. It had been a gift from a friend who had been lost in that desert with me. Over the years, it somehow disappeared from my bed-stand.

The blessing cup of my past had re-appeared. God never forgets His promise no matter how minimal or how large. Smiling, I needed this reminder today. I also wasn’t surprised when it kept popping up in my devotions and daily wanderings for the rest of my day.

His WORD is full of stories that remind us of this. One of my favorite “His-stories” is that of Zacharias and Elizabeth. You probably know the story – faithful, loving, Godly couple who never lost faith even though they had never had their dearest prayer answered – – to have a child.

Here’s the Jewish wisdom behind story. Zacharias is actually Zicharvah in Hebrew. His name means, “God Remembers”. Likewise, Elizabeth is Elishevah. Her name means “Oath of God”. When they married and became united as one, their names gave a message, “God remembers oaths of God”. Better yet, when Elizabeth gave birth, they named him, John or Yochanan, which means, “Grace of God”.

The blessing cup is full tonight. The daily water turned to rich, sweet wine. Drinking it in, I close my eyes and seek His presence. God remembers His promises and brings grace to the world.

It is good to find treasures in darkness – riches stored in secret places – because it is then we find the blessing cup. Blessing cups that are always waiting to be found even in a desert filled with serpents. [google images]Patricia Polacco Blessing Cup

42 SEGMENTS

Most mornings find me walking with the dogs and Hubby busy doing something important – like earning money for us to spend on the fixer-upper or bartering for mushrooms from a local grower in our neighborhood. Each of us on our own separate journey and yet – a joint journey as well.

“I remember how eager you were to please Me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved Me and followed Me
even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first of His children.”~Jer 2:2-3

Jewish traditions have the people studying the Torah and holy books every week of the year. They do it in order; each week dedicated to teaching and reminding them of the depths of the journeys – massei – that they have taken together as a people both in the past to the present day. The studies are taught the same week year after year.

The interesting thing for me is that rabbinical wisdom says these 40 years are the blueprint of each individual’s spiritual journey as well. Our own personal journey in the desert – the dry place far from the Source of Life. The blistering of feet on hot sand of choices. The parched throat from lack of not drinking from the streams of living water. A place where the physical challenges the spiritual – pushing the individual/tribe forward to fall – to find its knees of – teshuva/repentance – to stand once more in the shadow of the cross.

Jewish wisdom says that there are 42 segments of the tribal desert journey – good and bad – as there are 42 segments in our personal desert journey – good and bad – but all leading to a reunification between the Father and His prodigal children.

“But he who looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” ~Jm1:25

I really need to study this desert journey of the Jewish people instead of just giving it that cursory nod that I have in the past. Looking at the different segments of their journey and comparing it to my own faltering – stopping dead in the desert – throwing down the tablets of law – finding the stream of living water – energized enough to start the journey once more.

Most of the time when I am walking the dogs, I keep my eyes focused on the next hill, cars that are coming a little too fast down the our road, or how close I am to that promise land in the middle where I can sit on the swing on our neighbors’ porch and see the neighborhood world from a different vantage point.

Jewish wisdom also says that as the journey progresses, the less we see overt miracles. Hence the name – a journey by faith not by sight. As long as I don’t lose faith in that Land of Milk and Home/the Promised Land or the One who is preparing my room, I know that no matter how challenging or scary the journey is – how much my knees or feet hurt – how thick the dust storm is that clouds my sight, I will make it. The Living Waters supply the Word that keeps me from thirsting for I know ‘…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Rm 8:28

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me”~Jn 14:1

[google images]

KHANAN-YAH

I am – officially – my mom.
 
When I was little, all the drapes in the house would be pulled closed on freezing, snow-capped or sizzling, burn-the-feet-on-the-stone-tarred-road kind of days. I swore that would never happen at my house. In fact – who wants drapes at all? Who wants a darkened house when trees, the richness of the sky and flowers and critters are so much better?
 
[sigh. double sigh]
 
I do.
 
I’ve found that not only does it save me money on that dreadfully high end-of-the-month-bill, but it sucks me right back to being 7 or 9 or 15 or 18 or 66 – curled up in a scratchy, over-stuffed chair, reading a library book, Chico in my lap, and the soft hum of the fan lulling me deeper into whatever imaginary world caught my attention that day.
 
“The Grace of God touches our lives, that removes our blindness, and allows us to see.”~Rabbi Cahn, p195, Mysteries
 
Rabbi Cahn re-tells the story of Saul of Tarsus being blinded as he traveled to Damascus to continue his persecution of those who continued to follow Yeshua. I love reading Cahn’s stories of the New Testament because he always brings forward the Jewish wisdom that most of us have never heard – – – like a scraper that has come through, widened, smoothed and cleared the path I have been traveling for years.  My inner child takes over and makes me just want to skip down the path because I know home is just around the corner.
 
“Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “~Acts 9:10
 
Actually – Ananias is the accepted English translation of the Hebrew name Khanan-Yah. How many times have I read this story? Acted it out in Bible school? Sang it in song? Yet – I didn’t know the story behind the story. After all – how important is the name of the man that Saul saw after being blinded by the Glory of God? I didn’t know that Khanan-Yah in Hebrew means “Grace of God. Thus, the man who touched Saul 3 days later became the first person Saul saw was – – – wait for it – – – was named “Grace of God”.
 
Thus – Saul became new by the “Grace of God” in more ways than one.
 
Now really – how essential is that to the story? How powerful is this loving Father who never misses the smallest detail as He continually reaches out to us in every story recorded in His book? Again, I ponder those small details that rush at me and in wonder my breath catches deep in my soul.
 
Home – where there are no drapes on the windows.
 
“Then Khanan-Yah went to the house to him and laid a hand upon him and said to him, “Shaul, my brother, our Lord Yeshua who appeared to you on the road, when you came, has sent me so that your eyes would be opened and you would be filled with The Spirit of Holiness.”~Acts 9:17-18 Aramaic Bible in Plain English.
 
As we age, we realize that parents are much smarter than we originally gave them credit for. Tonight, the house is quiet. Hubby is riding the 4 wheeler. The TV satellite is quiet due to a nearby storm. The fan is humming, and I’m curled up in my recliner, kitty stretched out by my side, writing words on a computer, and drapes on the windows.
 
[sigh. double sigh]
 
I still prefer not to have drapes anywhere in my house, and as soon as this hot weather passes, they will probably come down and be stuffed in the linen closet until they are needed again. This summer has been full of surprises that reminded me of my parents. The century plant my mom gave me in college bloomed for the first time – ever. We hung a swing just like the one we used to have in our yard when I was a kid. We hung drapes to cover our windows.
 

Homes are a reflection of us. Our pasts. Our needs. Our hopes. Our dreams.  Our future. And – I guess – until Yeshua Christus comes again, I will need drapes occasionally, need to enjoy the darkened quiet while a fan softly hums, need to skip down a path – a path towards home that has been prepared just for me. But sometimes – I sure wish I could skip a little faster.

 

“HERE I AM!”

“I live. I write. I watch old movies. I read. I watch the sunset. I watch the moon rise.”
― W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe
 
In the heat of a lazy, humid summer day, the above quote strikes a note. Hubby was up early working on the pergola. I got up (somewhat later) walked the dogs, did my God challenge thingy,. and, amid household chores, devotions, writing and doing a zillion and one laundry loads (working in heat and humidity is not conducive to wearing the same clothes for a whole day), we watched a couple of our favorite movies – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Field of Dreams (which is based on the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella ).
 
We’ve seen each several times. We know the plots. We know the dialogue (mostly). We know where to wait for the laugh to bubble up inside of us. We still get the goosebumps when Ray turns to see his dad for the first time on the baseball field. We feel tears swimming up to back of our eyes when Oscar turns the swing over and discovers the note his dad left for him to find before he died during 9-11.
 
No surprises – just an enjoyable way to pass some time.
 
The same can’t be said for reading the WORD. I have read chapters and stories and verses many times over, but when the Holy Spirit is at work, verses jump off the page and knock my logical brain for a loop. Verses that I have read more times than I can count, brushed over with a yawn, skipped with a glance – “suddenly” rock my world sideways with wisdom that I had no idea was waiting for me to find.
 
“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
to a nation that did not call on my name.”~Is 65:1
 
How can I not respond to a Father’s heartbroken cry, “Here I AM! Here I AM!”?
 
As if I could hear His voice ringing as I read this verse over and over. I read it in several versions. I copied it for my war room door. The wondering continues even now as my eyes grow heavy and yawns more frequent. Could Our Father be any clearer of how hard He has tried to catch our attention?
 
This is not an easy chapter to read in its entirety. The middle has the reader squirming in their seat because dealing with a righteous Father as disobedient children who continually rebel and reject.is not really one of those things any one looks forward to encountering. Yet – just as the Father in the story of the Prodigal, this chapter ends it with His eternal promise that is repeated over and over in both the Old and New Testament.
 
“Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
will be heard in it no more.”~Is 65:17-19
 
You may have noticed that the past few days, I have been ending every post on FB with the hastag: “Praying for Charlie Gard”. Charlie is an infant in England who has a serious disease. His parents have raised money to bring him here where several hospitals and doctors have offered to help treat him. Treatments that have helped other children with the same disease. Instead, England is refusing to allow him to leave the hospital and want to let him “die with dignity”. Please pray for Charlie and his parents. Please pray for the wisdom of righteousness to prevail. Please pray. to hear His voice crying out always, “Here I AM!” Here I AM!”
 
 

SCRAMBLED EGGS

I am SOOOOO TIRED, and I really need a revival of energy tonight so I can unscramble all these different messy eggs of thought into something edible.

“My child, listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble.”~Prov 4:10-12

Egg #1: When you are feeling better after feeling crummy – if you are like me – you tend to overdue it. Walk the dogs. Mow the lawn on of the hottest days of the year. Take a long nap. Alright – so that last one didn’t really take a lot of energy, but it did remind me that I need to remember “wisdom’s ways” so I don’t stumble and fall when I overdo it.

Right now, our Koay is curled under my feet, our Ryndi is in front of the fan (which is where she lays pretty much all day long on hot days) and tiny Shadow is curled between me and the side of the chair. Eyes are heavy, thoughts are like scrambled eggs, but it is a good tired since I got devotions done and spent time in my private place of prayer.

Egg #2: I’ve been reading Rabbi Cahn’s devotional book that confounds me almost everyday with Jewish wisdom and how the prophecies of the Messiah and all the stories of the Old Testament confirm and enhance Christus Yeshua in the New Testament. I’m still turning today’s thoughts round and round – examining them from all angles and wondering some more on how perfectly they point to the perfect path of the Messiah’s journey. and His journey to return.

Journeys never go smoothly in my life. That is probably true for most of us. However as long as they essentially get me where I want to go, I’m okay with a few crazy detours that God or my stupidity might throw into the path along the way. I have a feeling the Founders of our country might have agreed.

Egg #3: On this day in HIStory, a year prior to the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress issued another declaration to King George on why they would be carrying arms in the future. Like many other baby steps the Founders took, they mentioned the foundation upon which they rested their arguments from the beginning sentence where they called Him the “divine Author” to its final conclusion..

“With a humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and impartial God and ruler of the universe, we most devoutly implore His divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, and to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”~Jefferson/Dickinson

I guess since I’m yawning and kitten is stretching her claws into my thigh, I need to whisk these somewhat scrambled eggs of thought into a nifty conclusion.

I wish I had one.

Instead, I think I will finish with this – while governments and laws are necessary in this crazy world that has been colored by our sins, it is good to remember that Grace and Truth take those colors and wash them clean – which of course – makes journeys so much smoother and scrambled eggs much easier to swallow..

“For The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Yeshua The Messiah”~Jn 1:17 [google images]

 

NUDGES

Journeys are definitely interesting – especially when they are layer upon layer of the same theme. Since retirement, I’ve been on a crazy journey of revival. Revival of obedience. Revival of faith. Revival of love. Revival of body.. Come to think of it – it actually started before I retired and suddenly – today when I was writing a FB response to a couple of people about “revival”- it finally fell out of limbo and aligned itself with one of those moments that almost seem like it was highlighted in a blinding white..

God has been answering my prayer – – – and in His usual form – – – not at all in the way I imagined.

“For high have the heavens been above the earth, So high have been My ways above your ways, And My thoughts above your thoughts.”~Is 55:9

Before I retired, I kept getting these nudges to pray for revival in our country – in our world – in ourselves. When God nudges sometimes, they ain’t so gentle. His nudges can appear as a soft blink in the cosmos of the brain where everything snaps into place and . other times – – – more like sliding full speed into a snowman that has become a solid block of ice.

The great news is – He is always there to pick me up when I bounce off that sled, face first into the snow.. I may have a few dents in my head, a broken nose, and a lapse in linear time, BUT He’s there. Dusting me off. Wiping off the blood. Carrying me until I can stand. Answering prayers.

God nudges are just powerful things that are meant to move us forward in our faith journeys. Revivals are the same thing. A powerful force meant to move us forward in our faith journey.

“He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”~Ez 9:9

On July 2, 1776, the thirteen colonies voted to declare independence. The debates were over. The wrangling of aligning all pro’s and con’s to sway the pendulum was pushed to the back of the tables. Voices fell silent. A silence weighing the change of balance in the world as they knew it. A revival of of a dream that started in a Garden.

Document signed. Copies to be made and posted. John Hancock broke the silence by reminding them all the price on their heads had doubled.

Samuel Adams reminded them about the foundation upon which they cast their vote: “We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and …from the rising to the setting sun, may His Kingdom come!”

Restored sounds an awful lot like revival.

Journeys tend begin with an idea, a thought, a nudge. It all depends on whether we follow the nudge or ignore it. I’m thankful that our Founding Fathers didn’t ignore the nudges despite of what their logic told them would happen. Since I don’t think I am anywhere close to being as brave as our Founding Fathers were, I’m thankful that I had no idea of how God would answer my prayers for “Revival” because my logic never saw all these answers to prayer. But now that I’m here – emerging out of the density of my own logic – I am continuing to pray in the name of Yeshua Christus for revival – for our country – for our world – for ourselves.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”~Jn 14:11-14 [google images]

THE HEDGE

In 1966, The Singing Nun won the Oscar for Best Musical. Greer Garson, Chad Everett, Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban – and one of my favorite movies. Tonight seemed to be a good night to watch an old movie. A movie filled with music, stars I loved to watch as a child, and tied to many memories in my treasure chest.

“Dominique, nique, nique, over the land he plods
And sings a little song
Never asking for reward
He just talks about the Lord
He just talks about the Lord”

The album played over and over on the little gray stereo that sat on our porch until eventually the scratches outnumbered the the playable rings of melodies. Loosely based on the true story of a nun from Belgium who achieved the number one Billboard ranking for her song “Dominique” in 1963, the movie hints at the serpent that waits in every hedge. Waits for an opening into his world.

“…and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”~Ecc 10:8

In real life, the Sister who became famous in 1963 broke the hedge and the serpent bit. Pulled between the two yards, the “Singing Nun” became more and more discontented. In the movie, the Sister reached her hand out to break the hedge, but turned away at the last minute to return to what had led her to build her tent in the first yard.

I have to admit, I loved the Debbie Reynolds’ version better than the real life story. The Singing Nun never had another song reach the pinnacle of “Dominique” and eventually, she drifted from the minds of all the people who lived in those two yards. The venom of the serpent blinded and deafened her to the peace of the covenant that was still there surrounding her. She just forgot the ancient prophet and the words of a resurrected rabbi that still cried to her to bend down and wash her eyes in the pool to find His peace.

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”~Is 54:10

Life is like that. We build those hedges around what we love – – hoping to keep the serpent out of our yards and far away from our tent. Yet sometimes, we forget and break that hedge by our own choice. It is then we need to pull up the mustard plant, harvest the seed into our hand, close our eyes and walk back through the hedge to the pool by our first tent.

God has promised He is always there. Yeshua Christus repeated the promise – “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” – the humble – the broken – the poisoned – the outcasts from their own yard – the ones who tore down the tent and broke the hedge but somehow – by faith – remember the faint rambling of an ancient promise – “…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matt 5:4

The songs from the movie are still singing in my head. My eyes are heavy while the growing kitten is already out for the night (still mad that I gave her a bath today to kill some fleas). Our Chocolaty dogs are complaining because I haven’t taken them back to the coolness of the bedroom (but they are happy to be clean once again – for a little while), and I open my memory chest. A memory chest that holds the mustard seed necklace my parents gave me when I was a child. It is time to yawn, stretch and spend some time with He who always fulfills His promises.   [Google images]

“Grant us now, oh Dominique
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly life and truth on earth.”~
SOEUR SOURIRE, NOEL REGNEY (Jeanne Paule Deckers)

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

What can I say – it’s a High School Musical type of night.

Some nights are just designed to kick back, forget the aches and pains, the troubles of the world, and just sing – (come on – I know you know the tune) –

“We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true.”

Were you clapping your hands? Moving to the music? Couldn’t you just see – somewhere – in a magical moment out of time – the world rolls out the marching band – joins the curtain call – harmonizes chordal nuances until the the body just can’t sit still – fingers tapping, toes dancing – souls reaching hand to hand – making “all of our dreams come true.”

Can’t help but smile, can you?

And yet – – – some of you are sighing.

The world’s people could choose to dance instead. We could choose to find the hidden talents in each other. We could choose to not bully others to think the way we do. We could choose to throw away the team playbook or the dramatic clipboard. We could choose to reach out our hand to those standing beside us.

We could choose to sing in harmony and create our own movie musical – – a World Musical – – a Garden Musical.

“For we also from the first were without intelligence and without conviction. We were deceived and Servants to changing lusts and were employed in wickedness and in envy. We were despicable and hating one another.” ~Tiitus 3:3

It is easy to get caught up in the sniping these days – the undermining – the possessing of things – the bullying in relationships – the anger boiling in our bellies. Much harder to to be still and listen. Listen to the words. Listen to the pain. Listen to the dissonance. Listen to the soft voice inside of each of us that is still singing… “We’re all in this together…”

“But when the sweetness and the loving kindness of God, Our Lifegiver, was revealed, Not by works of righteousness that we had done, but by his own love [when] he gave us life, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of The Spirit of Holiness, Whom he poured upon us richly by Yeshua The Messiah,Our Lifegiver, That we would be made right by his grace and we would be heirs by the hope in eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Tonight, kitten is burrowed deep in the corner of the chair beside me – purring and occasionally stretching her claws to knead my leg. Dogs are snoring and Hubby has already retired into the coolness of our bedroom. Since i’m yawning, I know I’m not far behind all the other creatures of our quirky home. But tonight, after prayers have been said and I crash on the bed, I think I will go back to that magical moment out of time once again. When I will close my eyes, listen to the harmonies and remember…

“When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it – – –
We’re all in this together…”~Nevil/Gerrad

ERRR….CRAP!

‘s a sad fact of life. Touchstones break. We call them “stones” because they have weight in our life. It is the “touch” part that we sometimes forget. Weighted stones that have touched our lives at some point We can look at them – or touch them – and they release the memories – the smells – the sounds – the music – the faces.

Most of the time a smile may cross our soul as we hold it in our hands. Sometimes a laugh may escape the confines of the binder that held it trapped inside. And sometimes – when we drop them – – – they break.

Errrr…

This morning I walked the dogs as soon as I woke up. We picked some flowers, threw some sticks, and enjoyed the cool of a perfect spring morning. Since I had only picked two small flowers this morning, I pulled out the two small shot glasses that probably were some of my first touchstones ever.

Mom had special glasses for party nights. They were colorful. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. They also had matching shot glasses. I can still see Dad and hear his laugh as he was telling jokes or getting ready to play his guitar and holding one of those glasses. Other times, when I would pick violets for Mom, she would take out the shot glasses, and we would fill them up with the purple and white blessings. She would pull the doilies she had made out of their drawers and place the glasses around the living room. Just thinking about those violets bring back the smell of her hugs, the smell of her perfume and her red-lipstick smile.

Over the years, all the glasses disappeared. And by the time, we moved Mom out of her house, there were only two shot glasses left. Yellow. Green. Today the yellow one dropped into the sink as I was running water to hold a small rose. Errrrr…I don’t deal well with breaking things that have touched my life. But – I reminded myself – they are just things. I rolled my eyes, looked out the kitchen window while having one of those — half prayer — half talk – conversations with myself.

Errr…I looked at the fragments scattered around the sink and said, “Crap!”

A short time later, I broke a tiny winged, patriotic figure that I bought the summer my mother died. I think Mom must have been born to be a politician from birth. She had all the smarts, charisma, and charm needed. She just was a slow starter in the field. However, once elected as village clerk of our small home town, she rose through the state ranks and on to national organization of clerks.

The figurine I broke – out of a set of six – was the one that said held the banner that said, “God Bless America”. So this was a double touchstone. Mom sang “God Bless America” so many times, that I knew all the words by the time I was 5 years old – – – including the introduction. “When the storm clouds gather…”

Errr…I picked the pieces up off the floor and said, “Crap!”

I decided it was more than time for devotions. Needless to say, they shattered my bad mood completely. I read about the “hupogrammos”. An ancient Greek word that basically means example – but more deeply – it is a concrete, hands-on way of teaching someone how to do something. In this case – Christ became the “hupogrammos”. He set his actions, his steps, his manner, his love before all of us that we might easily follow His steps if we just put our feet and heart where He put His.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example (hupogrammos), that you should follow in his steps.”~1 Pt 2:21

As the tears pushed the corners of my eyes, I read this last devotion. “You answered me, when I called You; with Your strength, You strengthened me.”~Ps 138:3

The lesson of the day? Forget the Errrr… and the Crap!
Touchstones of this earth break and easily.  They fall apart. Our Christ Touchstone is just the opposite. He is an eternal cornerstone that hold everything else together when the world seems to be falling apart. He is the “hupogrammos” for our lives.

BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

Ever had one of those days with your nose buried in a book, and you just don’t want to leave it alone…but you just have-ta?????

It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I just love to read. I love learning new things, pondering them backwards and forwards and inside out. It can be a fiction book – like right now – Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons – a Southern writer who blows me away with her in-depth narrative. A type of writer that you don’t want to skip even a sentence, let alone, a paragraph. She constructs a temporal porthole into the depths of the mid-1900’s South that has been dissipating with the influx or Northerners and the times of which we live.

How better to understand the culture of this new place I’ve chosen to plant roots? Re-reading earlier narratives to see an even older culture of the South is pushing at the back of my mind – even though I’ve read many of them before in college and high school, I may just have to re-read them. Hmmph – – -perhaps I knew that someday, I would have a need for a basic understanding to this culture. And if that premise is so – can’t wait to see how my scroll unfurls in the future since I’ve also been endlessly fascinated by books on Native Americans and the Holocaust.

Like usual though I can’t spend my entire day reading. First, I got interrupted by checking on the eldest daughter’s dog – only to discover Redding (aptly named for her beautiful coat) had caught a squirrel and was proudly carrying it around for all to see. Couldn’t quite catch her to get a picture of that moment, but did get one when she laid it at my feet.

Then, off to get the youngest Grandson who bibble-babbled all the way home about many things including a request that I write the makers of Cracker-Jack and tell them that he wants prizes like the ones Grandma used to get when she opened her boxes of Cracker-Jack. Can’t say I blame him. My prizes were definitely much better than the stickers that he gets every time he tears open a bag. Stickers that are usually the same.

I guess I have just added one more assignment on my to-do list tonight. I wonder if Cracker-Jack has a FB page?

By the time we ate lunch, read one of my old Golden Book about a shy, little kitten (which I just gave to him), watched lego cops endlessly and humorously catch lego bad guys, the neighborhood duo was at the door and Grandson was flying out the door. At least he remember to fly back in and hug me goodbye with a “bushel and a peck” phrase in my ear and a holler at his father that he was going to the neighbor’s.

I gathered my things and smiled. That part of my past hasn’t changed in my daughter’s neighborhood. Kids running outside – cutting through the neighbors’ backyards (who don’t seem to mind in the least) – bikes lying at their appointed drop-off places, laughter and screams from the creek (crick, to some of us) or tree house – and games of pretend that internalize their thoughts and perceptions of this crazy world…not to mention…the give and take of everyday interaction with friends.

It is good to be interrupted sometimes.

When I come home, I tackle the reading again. Pulling out old books – reading copied notes – googling new sites. Right now, it is the resurrection of Christ that keeps me seeking. I’m not sure why. Perhaps because I have noticed little things that I never noticed before. I’m sure that somewhere or at some time – a teacher-preacher mentioned these things, but they got lost in the crevices of the overall amazing change that shook the world 2000+ years ago and my innate awe of Our Father.

No matter how many times I’ve read the story – the verses – the words – I continually learn something new. Perhaps, after yesterday’s blog, I should say – that the scroll continues to unroll a few new things to enhance the goodness that I see in my day at this moment. However, I am glad I have books and websites to research. Can’t imagine how much more complicated it would be to have to unroll a scroll to find that tiny piece information that I can’t remember or hadn’t noticed before now.

So – with head spinning with new thoughts – I went out and collected some of God’s beauties. Put them in one of mom’s old vases while absorbing the song of the birds and the panting of tired dogs in the stillness of a late Southern afternoon. The smells and sights after a few days of clouds and rain always seem like a miracle in themselves. That old hymn rose to my thoughts as I arranged the flowers, and I felt blessed all over again.

“For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.”~Pierpoint/Kocher [google images]