Tag Archives: God

BREADCRUMBS: Little Things

For the past few months, we have not been able to figure out why the dogs go crazy when we let them out at night. They run into the side yard and start barking. The youngster, torn ACL completely forgotten, runs into the woods and comes back with the biggest smile on her face.

One of my friends came over last night and as we sat outside, kitties started appearing at our feet. One, two, three – We petted them and enjoyed their company as we talked. Later, I remained outside for a little bit and started counting again. There was a herd of kitties.

Our yard was a kitty amusement park.

You see – I haven’t taken down my last Christmas light that shines into our woods. It is one of those star projectors with dancing red and green lights. They roam all over the trees, bushes, shed and grass right off our porch. Hubby and I enjoy watching those silly lights bounce around. Apparently, the kitties do, too.

So last night, I spent some time watching kitties run hither and yon while pouncing on every light they could see. Laughter gurgled. I closed my eyes and let the little kitties tamp down the sadness of our broken world and resurrect that peace that the Shepherd always brings.

It is in the little things, right?

“He made everything beautiful in its time.”~Ecc 3:11

Prayer doesn’t come easy for me. Since I was little, I haven’t felt like I am good at it. My mind skips around to everything under the sun except being still. It even as the audacity to yak at me when I already told it a thousand time to shut up because I need to listen. Even after reading tons of – alright – maybe not tons – – but quite a few – devotionals on how to pray, I still end up with a stumbling tongue and a frustrated head.

It is then – in that choice moment – that I start giving thanks.

Thanks for a stumbling tongue that makes me work a little harder. 
Thanks for role models in my life who can string pearls as they pray. 
Thanks for the WORD who lifts me up from my bruised knees by His grace. 
Thanks to the Holy Spirit who groans – probably with a chuckle at how often she has to jump in for me – speaking the words I cannot find. 
Thanks for a millisecond of quiet from my brain every now and then when I can hear My Shepherd call my name. 
Thanks for a Savior who carved my true name in the palm of His hand and cradles me when there is sadness beyond explanation.

Thanks for the little things.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”~Phil 4:6-9 

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BREADCRUMBS II

“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me…” ~Jn 11:41b-42a

Sleeping-in on a dreary, rainy morning, picking up the novel of dujour, and snuggling under the covers has always been one of my favorite things to do. It just such a rarity these days that it has become a treasure chest memory of days long gone bye-bye.

First off, it is Sunday. I didn’t need to be sleeping in today. I needed to be up for church this morning. Didn’t happen. Instead my internal alarm clock that usually wakes me 15 minutes before I need to be awake, didn’t go off in my head until an hour and a half later. sigh.

Second, the book dujour that always has rested by my side during the night has been replaced by bouncy, smiley dogs. Dogs that are generally staring at me, tongues out, warm, smelly breath in my face, ready to drag me from sound sleep into their active world before I have even whispered my morning prayers.

In other words, my day didn’t go as I planned. So I do what I tend to do when things go awry, I followed the breadcrumbs. Went to my church via internet and worshiped with the people I usually worship with – only from my recliner. In fact, I could even share my pastor’s sermon with you tonight via YouTube. We live in amazing technological times even though the world often seems darker than ever before – literally and figuratively.

Later in the day, I followed the breadcrumbs back to John 11 as I have done most of this week. The last time I wrote, Jesus wept. He wept with compassion for Martha and Mary’s sorrow. He wept for Lazarus who had lain entombed for the past four days . He wept for His people who needed grace; grace that only He would provide. He wept as the foreshadowing covered them all in front of the tomb.

Then, He prayed.

A simple prayer. “Abba, I thank You that You have heard me…” Then in the same poor in spirit attitude that he taught in the beginning of his ministry, he continued his prayer. A prayer that was filled with faith in his Father’s love and mercy. “And I know that you always hear me, but for the sake of this crowd that is standing here I said these things, that they may believe that you have sent me.” ~v.42

Today, the breadcrumbs led me to see the full circle of Rabbi Yeshua’s prophecy from the beginning of chapter 11, “This sickness is not of death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified because of it.” ~v. 4, to Lazarus walking out of the tomb.

And then – – why am I surprised??? – – another breadcrumb appears on my path. God is good and loves to drop breadcrumbs on my path, which is really great since I would be way overwhelmed with a full loaf of bread dropped under my feet.

In any case, my pastor was really stringing pearls today from OT to NT and back again. As he spoke, the treasure chest of memories opened up. Singing this blessing in my church choir – in my high school choir – with the All Ohio Youth Choir – with my college choir – on the marching band bus – on choir tour buses – in cathedrals – under bridges – small groups – large groups – mixed quartets – college party nights under the stars (seriously – that’s the kind of parties I went to in college – and yes, in all other ways it was a typical college party from the 70’s)…

God blessed me many times over today, and more than I deserved. Such is grace. I am so glad this day didn’t go as I had originally planned. God always does a much better job in the planning department.

‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’Num 6:24-26

BREADCRUMBS I

“Jesus wept.”~Jn 10:35

It is the shortest verse in the Bible and yet…it catches my breath every time I read it.

God wept.

I’ve been thinking of the story of Lazarus all week. It seems Our Father does this to me often. He plops breadcrumbs down in front of my feet – like I’m supposed to know what to do with them.

Eat them? Follow them?

Obviously, I don’t handle His hints very well. Sometimes, I crush them – mostly by accident…..I think – with the heel of my boots. Sometimes, I stoop down to study them where they are lying, wondering if I really want to deal with the mess of breadcrumbs in my pocket – you know – they crumble, right? Sometimes, I pick them up – popping them in my mouth – – duh, I’m hungry and the five second rule works for me. And sometimes – I pick them up and turn them carefully in my hands and wonder why they sparkle in the sun? Then I wonder just what in the world am I supposed to do with a sparkly breadcrumb?

It has been one of those weeks. The breadcrumbs have been plentiful – way more than I can handle – and I’ve been befuddled on what to do with all of them. My path littered with crumbs I’ve inadvertently crushed. My belly full of broken challa that feeds my soul. My pockets, a crumbly mess of wisdom that I wish I understood just a little more. My hands full of somewhat intact crumbs that sparkle and then I look up. The darkness thins, and He shows me why they sparkle. They are covered with tears.

As I’ve been reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg which led me at some point to the story of Lazarus. As if to drive the point home, I stumbled over to a podcast by a Messianic Rabbi on John Chapter 11. Till finally last night, there was a transforming catalyst of the breadcrumbs and that sent me to the back door slider in our home. A sunset. A ray of light reflecting off my tears. He always prepares me, I just am not so smart at realizing it until I look closely at those breadcrumbs that I hold tenderly in my hand.

Rabbi Yeshua was close to His followers and even closer to His disciples. He was their teacher for as long as He was given. His Father gave him a list, and He gathered them by calling their name or telling a story or by just a look over a crowd. He broke bread with them. He taught them with love. He patiently explained this new knowledge in different ways, over and over and over. He struggled when they struggled with their faith. He wept when they wept for great was His compassion – – – great was His love.

In our society, students don’t stay as long with their teachers as they did in Jesus’ time. However, like the rabbis of old, teachers today still share tiny bits of their lives, knowledge – and hopefully – wisdom with those given to their charge by the Father through a list typed out by the school secretary in some office. Before they know it though, the students are walking out the door and onto their own paths; their teachers sniffle a little as they wave good-bye.

As teachers, we don’t talk about it much. We act like it is just a job. Actually, I don’t think we understand the process as much as we think we do. We just know – that somehow – we grew attached. We gathered them at the beginning of the year. We broke bread with them. We laughed with them. Struggled with them in their struggles. We sweated in the heat of the summer that didn’t know when to quit. We froze in the depth of winters when old boilers couldn’t keep up with the below-freezing cold. We wept when the ugliness of life jumped out of the bushes and unto the path that we are walking together.

Overdoses.

Vehicle crashes.

Storms that break tree limbs.

Illnesses.

A national tragedy – a local tragedy – a familial tragedy.

The connection between teachers and students has been there since the beginning of time and will continue in the everlasting gospel (Rev 14:6). It has been modeled for us throughout the entire WORD. When Our Father gathered His people to Him. When He sat on Mount Sinai with Moses and the Elders to break bread (Ex 24:9-10). When He carved His law upon the tablets and told Moses what to write in the Torah (Ex 19-24). He struggles with His people when they struggle. He weeps with holy tears as His people weep (Jer 14:7).

Teachers – Students – breadcrumbs that sparkle with tears in every season of life. God is good and greatly to be praised. Amen and amen.

 

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SNOW DAYS 2018

SNOW DAY – PART I: A good way to start a snowy day is with a giggle.  It started to snow around 5 AM. The weather man said 2-3 inches over by 3 PM. An easy fun day of snow for NC since most everyone will stay home and play.jan 17 b
Teacher: How old is your father?
Student: 6
Teacher: What? How is that possible?
Student: Duh! He only became a father when I was born.

Hmmm…four inches later, we realize it might have been wise to keep up with the snow.  After all, snow bears (common alias used is choc labs) – one with a torn ACL – must have a way in and out of the home without slip-slidin’ away down the ramp. Brooms don’t work on such deep snow, and when you don’t have a snow shovel…rakes work quite well. Hubby and snow bears out in the snow often.

And I? By 5 PM, with 10 inches and counting, I loved watching the birds today. Filled the feeders twice, walked the paper to a neighbor and enjoyed our snow bears rolling and rolling and rolling in the snow.  Today’s wisdom:

  • “The Godly walk with integrity blessed are their children who follow them”~Prov 20:7
  • Queue is just Q with four silent letters.
  • “I’ve written all these stories without any pornography, without any obscenities.  I grew up among sailors and miners and lumberjacks and the roughest kind of men in the world, but I never found it necessary to use all that in the stories. I can make them real without that. I think that kind of writing is a cover up for lack of real skill.”~Louis L’Amour
  • Never trust a weatherperson who says says: “It’ll be a small snow fall”.

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SNOW DAY – PART II: Early morning view of Carolina blue sky – 10″ of snow – bright sunshine – highs rising to the upper 30’s. Can’t get much better than that on “snow” day part II” in North Carolina”.

Snow days Carolina style – snow bears (disguised as choc labs most of the year) love running and playing in snow, but they also love snuggling next to the fire. Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle rarely leaves the fireplace unless it is to lie on the back of the couch. While Hubby loves to explore the snow-covered roads, but sometimes the car has a mind of its own and locks him out. And I? I love reading my new devotional book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg as I look out the windows wondering what it would have been like to be Dorcus – or Mary – or Martha sitting at Yeshua’s feet – a talmidah – a female disciple sitting at His feet.jan 18 c

Wisdom gained:

  • “For the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”~1 Pt 3:12 
  • “You cannot separate life from work. The way you do the most insignificant activity in your daily life will reflect in your work.”~Masaaki Shibata
  • “I’m going there to meet my Saviour 
    To sing his praise forever more 
    I’m just a-going over Jordan 
    I’m just a-going over home”~Wayfarin’ Stranger original last chorus.
  • The weatherperson says that it’ll reach the high 40’s tomorrow, will it? I can only hope.  10 inches of snow will take a long time to go away if it doesn’t get warm.

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SNOW DAY – PART III. Hubby has been for his walk with the snow bears, and snowjan 19 a bears are now restless. There is sun but no place to lay in the sun without being cold and wet. Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle watches birds from the window with deep longing, but escape in snow is futile to tender kitten paws. Temperatures are almost into the 50’s. Roads have a hint of pavement peeking through. And I? I am contemplating my prayer list, my poor- in-spirit/failings list, my thankfulness for my haverim/haverat (peers that inspire and challenge me) and the gift of quiet days that interrupt my usual schedule of busyness that I might find His joy and laughter on His path that I so often screw up. #blessingsbe #righttolife #inprayer

  • “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I AM with them.”~Matt 18:19-20
  • Teacher: What is the chemical formula for water?
    Student: H I J K L M N O 
    Teacher: What are you talking about?
    Student: Yesterday you said it was H to O.
  • The weatherperson said: “High 40’s today”.  It is 49 and counting.
  • Walk in obedience, remember the past, respect all life, be in prayer always.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #12

“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

A King’s Day.

Waking up early to bake Mama Mick’s 3-layer choc cake is always a celebratory way to start the day. I pull out my notebook that holds the recipe. 3 note cards filled with Mom’s beautiful cursive from different stages in her life. One cake recipe that is supposed to be the same, but somehow – appears different on every card. I always end up using bits and pieces from each card to make one cake.

Devil’s food chocolate cake.
Choc fudge frosting for the layers.
7 minute frosting on top (that the Grands call marshmallow frosting)

It takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Best yet, when I get to the last part of making the 7-minute frosting, I get to pull out Grandma Mac’s double boiler. It is getting old, and I dread the day when the rust spots in that blue-spotted, enamel pot completely finish the work they started.

Touchstones on a King’s Day.

“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 12 drummers drumming.”

Drummers drumming are often loud, bombastic, full of sound and rhythm. Seems like the composer of the 12 Days of Christmas had an epiphany for Epiphany. The day celebrated in honor of the Magi who made their way to the infant newborn King in Bethlehem. The first hint that Gentiles would be welcomed and loved as a part of Our Father’s family.

“…the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” ~Matt 2:9-11

Traditionally, the 12 drummers represent the 12 points of the Apostles Creed. 12 points of faith in the fulfilled destiny of the infant king that the Magi found in a house under a star. 12 points of faith that remind us what that baby modeled for us everyday of his journey on this planet. 12 points of faith that we should let resound with rhythm and sound deep into our hearts.

A King’s Day.

A day when I woke up to make a cake. Felt my parents and grandparents’ love around me as I mixed the ingredients. Rejoiced over the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that I have been given throughout Christmas 2017 – even the cold weather and “cold” cough. Brought my gifts to a young lad who is in the early stages of his journey and hugged my “1st baby girl” who also celebrated a birthday this week. Laughed with the Grands as I tried to play Bop-it with a tiny figure named Groot. Drank the remainder of a NYC son-in-law’s perfect bloody mary mix. Re-affirmed the 12 points of faith tonight as I yawned one more time.

It has been a King’s Day to ponder in my heart and file in my treasure chest of memories. A King’s Day.

“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.”

*the true Christian church of all times and all places

Blessings!Be! on this King’s Day. 

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #9

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

SNOW!

They said, it wouldn’t reach us. They said it would dance east of us. They said if we saw any – it would just be a trace. “They” don’t always know what they think they know. I have one hope left. That “they” are right about it getting above freezing tomorrow.

Knew I should have gone to the store today.

I did get the most of the outside lights off the house. So tonight when the dogs did their “I- wanna-go-outside-dance”, there were still a few lights to guide their ‘slip, slidin’ away’. Lights on the grape vine tree – a snowman light in the corner of the porch – a couple of lamp posts lining our snow-covered ramp – and wire lights on the fresh greenery and ivy berries that have decorated our porch through Advent (although – I have noticed that the berries are half gone since the birds discovered them ripe for harvest).

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: nine ladies dancing.”

Dancing through life has always seemed like the best way to tackle the journey. Ever since I took dance classes and dressed up in old lace curtains to dance around the living room, dancing has appealed to me. As a teenager, I liked understanding my body and being able to make it move exactly the way I wanted – most of the time. Having a bad knee did curtail the trickier dance moves.

But the fruits of The Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith, Humility, endurance; the law is not set against these things.”~Gal 5:22-23

In traditional symbolism, the nine ladies dancing refers to the nine “Fruits of the Spirit”. Dancing away from the world and dancing to the inner notes of the Holy Spirit. A dance that will lead us closer and closer to our One True Love. The Bridegroom who sings the song just for His Bride.

A new song. A new dance. A new life.

Nine ladies dancing into your life clothed in bright colors of love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith, humility, endurance to wrap around you. All you have to do is join the dance, then dance and dance and dance – bad knees, stumbling steps, tired feet and all.

See you on the dance floor.

For the WORD of God is living and all-efficient, and much sharper than a double edged sword, and it pierces to the separation of soul and spirit and of joints, marrow and of bones, and judges the reasoning and conscience of the heart.”~Heb 4:12  
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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #7

“On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

Yes, I know today is the first day of the world’s new year.

2018.

You know, when I was growing up, my parents said that “time flies”. I totally didn’t believe them, since it took forever to get to get from birthday-to-birthday or Christmas-to-Christmas or Labor Day-to-Memorial Day. But make no mistake, we continue to swim closer and closer to the end of the 12 days of Christmas 2017 and then 2018 will begin in earnest for me.

“On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: seven swans a swimming…”

I haven’t really made any resolutions this year – mostly because cold-fogged brains do not lend themselves to clear thoughts. But as the fog clears, and I start to swim in a straight line again, I’m beginning to organize my thoughts and figure out just where Our Father is wanting to lead me.

A friend and his family members chose a word to meditate on during the year. Another friend chooses a Bible verse. Others have chosen business or family goals. One friend has even chosen an author and wants to re-reads all the books, that person has written.

Truth be told, I’m not big on January New Year Resolutions. I suppose it is because for most of my 67 years on this earth, my new year has started with the beginning of school. Whether as a student or a teacher, that is when I set my direction for the year. Even now – almost 5 years into my retirement – I still find myself gearing up in August and preparing mentally to swim up-stream into a new adventure.

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.”~Is 11:1-3

There are 7 swans swimming in the living waters when we sing the 12 Days of Christmas. 7 fruits of the Spirit that Rabbi Yeshua modeled for us as He walked among us.

Wisdom
Understanding
Counsel
Fortitude
Knowledge
Piety
Fear [Awe] of God

Swim in the Living Waters. Harvest the Fruits of the Spirit. Now those are some resolutions that I think I really need to set my eyes on as I swim into this new adventurous year of 2018. I may have to push hard over the rapids. I may have to be patient in still waters. I may have to weather a storm or two. But if I wait for the breath of His promises under my wings, I can gain more power to swim a little closer to those Gifts of the Spirit and feel His peace surround me.

“I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Vine, and you are the branches; whoever abides with me and I in him, this one brings forth much fruit, because without me, you can do nothing.”~Jn 15:5 web-seven-gifts-of-the-holy-spirit-public-domain [google image]

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #5

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

5 golden promises.

“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”~Num 22:27

“Do not be afraid…since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard…”~Dan 10:12

“In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.”~Ps 4:8

“Your faith has given you life, go in peace.”~Lk 7:50

“The grace of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah be with all of his Holy Ones. Amen.”~Rev 22:21

“On the 5th Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, 5 gold rings.”

Gold rings often symbolize a covenant. A vow to be kept between two parties. A promise. Many believe the five golden rings in this song are the 4 written gospels and the existence of the Jewish people. Old Testament covenant blended with the New Testament covenant.

Just a song. A children’s song. A song sung in the backseats of cars. A song knocked off so many times in so many ways. And yet – perhaps – it is so much more.

12 Days to ponder the true Gift of Christmas. 12 Days to honor the True Love who sent the Gift. 12 Days to remember to whom all honor should be given.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”

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ADVENT 2017: LOVE #1

”Cause I alluz been with you, children. An’ whenever you sing, I’m goin’ to be with you still. An’ you know how I can say such a mackulous thing?…Why, ’cause we in Jesus…”~Odessa Williams

This is the week that I pull out my favorite Christmas stories. The ones my mom and dad read to me. The ones that were read to me in school or Sunday School. The ones I read to my children. The ones I read to my students. The ones that my NC Grands missed out on last night, because they were way too busy to read books.

Sad grandma.

Regardless, Grandma, pulled those stories out today and took some time to just read to myself. Like always, nothing puts me in the Christmas mood like these special stories. One of my favorites is The Manger Is Empty by Walter Wangerin, Jr. This is the same author who wrote the “Ragman” , a story that has been portrayed in many churches over the years.

This particular Christmas story revolves around the 7 year old Mary, daughter of an African-American preacher, and one of his elderly parishioners who is in the hospital, Odessa Williams. No spoiler alert – you will have to read it yourself.

Full of laughter, smiles, memories, and lots of tears. I finally tore myself away from those enchanted lands on the premise of getting something done (which didn’t happen). Instead, I napped in front of the fire between my two dogs on ‘their’ couch with Shadow Spooky Sparkle cat stretched out on the rug right in front of hearth. Sweet dreams of Christmas stories dancing in my head – prayers of gratitude in my heart.

“Babies, babies, we be in the hand of Jesus, us in his hand, and ain’ no one goin’ to snatch us out. Jesus, he don’ never let one of us go. Never. Not ever – -“~Odessa Williams

Before the Grands left today, they shook their packages one last time, argued over the beanie babies, re-arranged the village people and peeked in the creche. “Grandma, where is baby Jesus?” the Granddaughter pulled at my hand to make sure I saw the empty creche. I laughed and explained that Grandma Mickey always kept the Baby Jesus out of the creche until Christmas Eve. We did the same thing when our kidlets were little.

Old traditions die hard.

However, after re-reading Wangerin’s short little book, I think the seven year old Mary in The Manger Is Empty had a much, much better explanation.

“Jesus, he doesn’t have to be in the manger, does he? He goes back and forth, doesn’t he? I mean, he came from heaven, and he was borned right here, but then he went back to heaven again, and because he came and went, he’s coming and going all the time – – right?”~Mary

He’s coming and going all the time. He grabs us by the hand and “…don’t let one of us go. Never. Not ever.”

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”~Is 41:13

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ADVENT 2017 – PEACE #6

Four random thoughts of Light on this 4th night of Hanukkah.

Thursday or Friday is usual my “run errands” type of day. If I go on Thursday, I can hit our local grocery that gives senior discounts. Fridays are just – maybe – a get-out-of-the-house day. In any case, today was the latter.

Walking around some of my favorite out-of-the-way shops. Small town Christmas window shopping. Picking up a few random things in preparation for our kids coming to visit next week and the week after (not everyone can make it at the same time). Praying for random people along the way that looked harried – or sad – or hurting – or worn out – or the smiling person whose smile doesn’t quite reach their eyes.

It was the surprise Light that caught me as a car pulled in front of me at the grocery store. In NC – we don’t have a license plate on the front of our cars. The sports – college – military – God Bless America – plates are typical replacements. But today – I saw one I hadn’t seen before. It was black. The writing dulled to almost blending in with the background – a tarnished gold. All it said was Psalm 82.

“But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for you shall inherit all nations.”~Ps 82:7-8

One of the shorter, bodacious Psalms. Powerful salt for Christmas Peace.

The second Light of the day was a meme in an e-mail from a friend: “Be a Maccabee”. Be a person that holds to a line drawn in the sand, based on God’s Truth. Be a fighter with your sword molded of faith. Be a person not of this world, but of the eternal world that brings His peace.

The third Light came when I was on FB. One of my friends posted a quote from R.A. Torrey. The quote was a good one, but it was the picture that really caught me. It was of a family. A family kneeling in prayer in church. Since I go to a contemporary church, we don’t have kneeling rail in front of the church – let a lone a kneeling pad in the pews – wait a minute – we don’t have pews – we have chairs.

“The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle…fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory.” R.A. Torrey

How long has it been since I humbled myself before the altar of God? Something I used to do quite often. My Peace in the battle of dealing with my earthly father’s illness. My Light in the darkness when he died 9 years later. My redemptive peace when I found my way home to my heavenly Father.

The 4th Hanukkah Light that lit in my mind tonight was the peaceful joy of my decorated house. Sitting quietly. Listening to choral Christmas music. Grandma’s nativity. Mom’s nativity. My nativity. A reminder that the Lights of Hanukkah are just part of the Star that pointed to the coming of the Messiah 2000+ years ago. They continue to point the way for His return.

Be bodacious salt. Be a Maccabee. Be prepared in humble prayer. Be a Light in His menorah that points the way to His Son who brings peace and grace when we enter the stable. [R.A. Torrey image/personal]