Tag Archives: Hebrews

FANTASTIC GIFTS OF FALL

“Pastor Phil had a farm…”

Yesterday was just what I needed. A day on the farm. The smell of freshly baled hay. Two hayrides out into open fields with parents, teachers, and students. A petting barn full of animals. Dogs, goats, horse, however the cows, chickens and quinea hens were a little stand offish – especially with all the excited kidlets running around, so I couldn’t quite pet them all. (Goats are still my favorite – even if there weren’t any Nubians.)

It was a true “harvest” festival. Pumpkins got decorated. Stories were mixed with songs. Long tables set with picnic lunches. Laughter and smiles on every face – except maybe for Pastor Phil when his tractor got a flat during the hayride. All in all – a day to give “Thank you, GOD, for everything praise in our loudest voices.”

“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.”~Heb 6:7

It reminded me how much I miss being on a farm. Born and bred as a “townie“, I was surprised at how well I took to farm life. My in-laws were the perfect mentors for me. Mom K. took me under her wing and taught me to feed chickens, gather eggs, cook, can and freeze. Pop K took me to the barn and taught me to feed the cows, throw hale bales (if they weren’t the huge ones) and stack them in the back of the wagon. I even learned to milk the cows – although, I was never good at it. My one claim to fame was milking out a cow with mastitis when everyone was sick. Pop would laugh every time he told that story, but his voice told me how proud he was that I did it well.

OK – I think I got a little side-tracked into my treasure chest of memories in that last paragraph. What I really wanted to talk about was that being on the farm reminded me of how close it always makes me feel to Our Father. It is one of my “happy” places – a gem in a treasure chest. A place where I sang Pop’s favorite hymns and songs as I cleaned the milk tank. A place where I walked in the cow pasture or the hay field to sit under a tree just to watch the cows, write or pray. There is just something about a farm that opens up my eyes to how blessed it is to be truly known and truly loved by Our Father.

Yesterday, was our own version of Sukkot and full of “Fantastic Gifts of Fall”. it was a blessing to all who were able to be there to enjoy the hayrides, stories, songs, food, fellowship that filled our harvest cornucopia. Throw in the sounds of a few animals, the laughter of children and adults, and it is as close to perfect as you can make it on this earth. 

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 
‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. 
In quietness and confidence is your strength.’ “~ Is 30:14-15

#fivedaystoelection #Godisgood#prayforournation

 

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  
NINE-LADIES-DANCING[google images]

ADVENT 2017 HOPE #1

“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.”

“I don’t like to say, God, Grandma.” (I think my jaw had started to drop to the steering wheel before she added) “I like to say, G – O – D.”

I wish I could have seen her face when the Granddaughter said those two sentences – I wish I could have seen mine. Then Grandson asked, “Why?”

“I just thinks it sounds better. More like G – O – D.” Grandson then spelled out the name G – O – D.

I think I kinda chuckled and responded, “You know, G – O – D agrees with you. Although He used the letters, Y – H – W – H.”

“Well, how do you say that?” Grandson asked.

“In English, Yahweh or Jehovah.”

Kidlets then said each of those names until Granddaughter finally added that she still liked G – O – D best. Grandson and I agreed, and the conversation moved on to the Snow White play that Granddaughter had been a part of in her class that day.

Simple conversations in a car on an ordinary day. Ordinary days have strange turns when we open the door and allow His Hand to work in our lives. “…thy kingdom come…”~Lk 11:2 takes on a whole new understanding. HOPE appears.

“I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”

Christmas decorations are up. Furbabies are all healthy. The first Sunday of Advent 2017 has arrived with a Super Moon. The Holy Spirit was moving in church today. Cold weather is on its way from the North. I guess Christmas season is officially here.

What I really treasure about how God works is that He always sends signs and prophets and messengers before He moves His hand in our world – in our ordinary days – in our “hopeless” days. Sometimes we just don’t see so well, just don’t listen so well and just try to cower under our beds when it is bigger than we want to think about right now. Well – – at least – – that is how I re-act. I’m very good at cowering, but I am trying to be much braver.

HOPE.

This is the month, that we tend to remember those things that send us cowering under the bed – burying our heads in our hands – wishing it was tomorrow already – sticking our fingers in our ears and singing our favorite song. If we have faith, that is when HOPE lights a tiny dot in our brain, and we manage to inch our way closer to the edge of the bed, take our fingers out of our ears, open our eyes to peek out into that darkened room.

HOPE.

Maybe we can handle it. The dot grows larger. Maybe the messenger wasn’t so scary in all its brightness. The darkened room is bathed in twilight. Maybe the prophets were right with all their yakety-yak. Did you know that the elbows work really well to pull the body further out into the room? Maybe the stars, the sun, the moon were all sending out a message that we needed to hear after all.

HOPE.

HOPE changes the world. HOPE changes the paths we walk. HOPE leads to conversations. HOPE brings even more light. HOPE is the beginning of re-birth.

HOPE.

“No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”~Heb 8:10-12 [google images]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #15

1992 is in the books. Literally. I finally finished putting all the photos from my mom’s box and our albums combined into one album. That means that I have completed all the Kaufman photo books from 1981 to 1992. Phew!!! Who knew it would take four years to get only this far in putting our history in order?

Then I looked at all the photos on the computer that have not ever seen the light of day and began to estimate how long it might take for me to print and put them into an album. Hubby thinks it might be – never.

He might be right.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”~Col 4:12

Thus – the Gratitude Attitude #15 is being thankful for the simple things. Achieving goals that I have set for myself and enjoying the blessings that continue to enrich our lives on the home front.

THANKFUL FOR: A remote control that turns on the gas logs that keep our home toasty – not to mention the propane in the tank.

THANKFUL FOR: The walk-in tub that has bubbled and swirled the soreness out of my touchy, feeble knee much faster than the usual routine of stretches, braces and over-the-counter oils and meds.

THANKFUL FOR: Puppies and kitten who come back to the bedroom just to sleep outside the bathroom door while I am enjoying the exciting world of a book as the bubbles do their job. Our pets really are fur-babies. Even now – one is curled into my side, one at my feet, and the injured one just a few feet away on the soft couch in front of the fireplace.

“THANKFUL: “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

THANKFUL FOR: Putting up our outside Christmas lights and deciding what patio lights we should add to the mix. Even though we won’t light the outside lights until next Wednesday night, at least they are (pretty much) up, and now I can concentrate on the inside – “hanging of the greens”. Isn’t Christmas the best time of the year?

THANKFUL FOR: A voice that seems to be returning after being – largely, missing for the past 3 years. Still creaky in places. Still rough in others. However, God hears the song in my heart, and that is all that matters.

THANKFUL FOR: Former students. Their comments. Their posts. Their notes of thanks. Their joy of who they are becoming.

THANKFUL FOR: “And the peace of The Messiah will govern your hearts, to which you are called in one body; and give thanks to The Messiah.”~Col 3:15

Indeed – with all these physical blessings that I have written about tonight, it is Abba, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit that truly bless and enrich this tiny particle of creation and to Whom all thankfulness and praise of this one life belong.

Thanksgiving is almost here. Time to have a deep Gratitude Attitude to the One who made it all possible. [google image/personal]

 

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #9

Joy.

This tiny word can stand alone, and I still just want to smile in thankfulness.

J
O
Y

Y
O
J

Spread it out List it. Write it backward.

Doesn’t matter. It is not a simple synonym for happiness – – – at least not for me. Joy bubbles. It erupts from a well spring deep within me. The gurgles bounce around until I can no longer contain them and I have to smile. Not a small smile – one of those large, crazy, out-of-controlled smiles.

Gurgles of JOY. Bouncing out into a darkening world. Bubbles of JOY. Flowing rivers of JOY. JOY that can’t be locked away, dammed up or lost. JOY spring of the living waters.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for JOY, and with my song I praise him.”~Ps 28:7

For whatever reason, JOY has been the thought of the day. I can’t say it is because of the weather. The past two days have been rainy, cold and dank. Dogs have been tracking mud in the house. Kitty has been begging to go out until she puts a paw on the wet, cold porch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her run so fast for her warm place in front of the gas logs.

JOY is a gift. I tend to think that since God created us in His own image, JOY must be an attribute of God. I can only imagine what JOY there was in the Garden before the fall. JOY to walk together. JOY of communion. JOY of purity of spirit. Peacemaker’s JOY. Face-to-face JOY.

“Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”~Heb 12:2

JOY-ous path re-opened that the living water might flow freely ‘…on earth as it is in heaven’. Tap in to the JOY. Seek the well-spring deep within. The Holy Spirit will open the spigots wide. Yeshua will laugh with JOY as it flows out and into the world. And JOY will bounce higher than “…red rubber ball.” as the Father re-JOY-ces with us all.

Yep – I have a lot of JOY in my Gratitude Attitude.

“And I think it’s gonna be all right.
Yeah, the worst is over,
Now the morning sun is shining like a Red Rubber Ball.”~Simon/Garfunkle
[google images/Greg Olsen artwork]

21 DAYS

It is 21 days till Easter. 21 days of a journey left. 21 days to follow a path. 21 days till the stone exploded, breaking the binds that tethered it to an earthly kingdom and releasing the radiant light of Grace from the spiritual kingdom.

For the past few weeks, I have not written much. Instead, everyday I have been reading, walking, observing, writing, praying, and drawing a small inked cross on the inside of my wrist. I didn’t think of this idea myself. One of my favorite authors has been doing this on a regular basis for a while now, Ann Voskamp. She talks about it in her book, The Broken Way.

At first, I wondered why she would do this. What possible difference in a spiritual walk could a tiny, inked cross on a wrist do for anyone? Yet, during this Lenten walk, I have noticed a difference. A difference that – perhaps – is more on the inside of me than the physical ink on the inside of a wrist. However, true to my silly Gemini self, that ink is often different colors. One color layered on top of another on some days. Other days, completely washed away by the blessed business of the day.

There is a path just down from our house that our neighbors have given me permission to walk. The dogs and I love it. There are no cars or even so much of the sound of cars, lots of smells, lots of deer prints, and I’m sure a few snakes in the grass that I hope I never see. (Lucky for me, the dogs always run ahead of me.)

As the temperatures warmed, the grass began to appear until it has become a green carpet that pulls us forward every time we walk. Trees and tall grasses from a not too distant past line its edges. Occasionally, a fallen branch from a recent storm also lie beneath our feet waiting to trip us up. Further up the way, there are other vestiges of an older life as well. Man-made reminders of that which was: large trees around a yard of a small deserted cabin, a log shed, horse-pulled tools now covered by weeds, a small, empty water trough.

As always, I wonder about the people who walked these lands before me. Indians, slave, indentured servants, landowner. I wonder and in some weird strange way, find myself praying for them as they walked these lands.

The cross on my wrist catches my eyes as I switch the button on the camera in my phone. For a minute my breath catches, “Baruch Hashem Adonai,” I whisper, “Blessed Be the Name of the LORD.” Koey sniffs the scent of something and is off running. Ryndi rolls in the leaves and tall grass for the umpteenth time. All, just reminders that this world is temporary, and all our education, ownership, accomplishments are -eventually – just “dust in the wind”.

Baruch is the Hebrew word that means “to bless”. It also means “to kneel”. When God sent His Son to walk a footpath on this earth, He knelt in front of all humanity. He squeezed the limitless into a limited body. He folded His greatest sacrifice into His greatest blessing and laid it on the path for all to find.

Easter. Grace. Salvation.

“Therefore strengthen your hands and set your shaky knees firmly. Make straight paths for your feet, that the lame member may not fail, but that it may be healed.”~Heb 12:12-13

My knees don’t bend so well anymore, but there are times when I force them because I can’t imagine not kneeling when His presence is so close. Tonight, it is warm in our house. The cross on the inside of my wrist is faded and fuzzy. My eyes are hurting as I try to hold them open for a few more minutes. It was a warm day in NC and when you have a bit of a fever, the house feels even warmer. But – it has been a blessed day. A day to sacrifice a little. A day to sleep a lot more than usual. A day to whisper a few more times, in thankfulness for these 21 days, “Baruch Hashem Adonai.”

ADVENT LOVE #5: Blessed Memories

“Its here, in the season of lights,…I want our kids to be able to stand on the front walk with us in the days leading up to Christmas…to drink in the long, crisp winter dusk. I want them to see their tree, in their house shining through their windows. I want them to know the kind of warmth I remember coming home to as a child, the thought of Christmas, with all those lights strung around windows and doors, we might be safe in a greater sort of way. Hopeful, even….”~Drew Perry “Home for the Holidays” p28 Our State Magazine

Step by step – each day – we build a bank of memories. Some are immediately discarded into the back files of non-importance. Others stored in closer files for handy reference. And some – marked with a heart or a star or with a golden highlighter so that it can be pulled up at anytime – in any place – to be reviewed and treasured all over again.

Tonight as I tucked the Grands into sleep, I decided this was one of those memories that would be highlighted with that golden highlighter. After watching Miracle on 34th Street (original) and 2 large bowls of popcorn, we talked about the Christmas Count-down Bell that my daughter decided to continue with her children.

“Each night before Christmas,
After prayers have been said,
Take off a loop and hop into bed.
When Christmas will come,
It’s easy to tell,
For that is the night,
You come to the bell.”

We would write the poem in the bell and decorate it – sometimes wildly. Then a colorful construction paper chain finished the bell and allowed us to remember how many days we had to wait for Christmas. And somehow – the poem became ingrained in my important memory files forever.

Tonight the conversation took on a life of its own. Oldest Grand said, “I sing my prayers to God in my sleep.” Younger Grand said, “Yeah, at night, God and I talk a lot.” I said – “I don’t know if I sing, but I talk to God a lot as well. He doesn’t care when you talk to Him; He just wants to hear your voice because He LOVES you. Sometimes, I yak at Him in my dreams, but more often, I just talk to Him in the morning and at night and when some crazy person pulls in front of me because they wanted the parking space that I was getting ready to use.” The Grands laughed…I did too, but not so much when the crazy person cut me off.

“And let us pay attention to one another in the encouragement of LOVE and of good works.”~Heb 10:24

I alternately prayed for that crazy person and stomped my feet all the way into the grocery store . Then I saw one of the cashiers that I always look for when I get in line. She is bent over in so many ways that it hurts to watch. Yet, probably because we are close to being the same age and I understand pain in the joints, we always talk as she checks me out. She leans heavily on the counter as she picks things up from the cart and over the scanner. When she moves, she uses a cart just to move from the cash register to the office. Somehow, her work ethic drove that crazy person and all the other stupidness of this world completely into the discard memory pile. I pray for her tonight just as I pray from the Grands, my family – here or far away – and all the names on my war room wall – which seems to be growing at warp speed.

“You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the LORD always,
for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.”~Is 26:3-4

Christmas memories can be warm and fuzzy – my first bike – my first Barbie – – – they can be scary and sad – a father having a 2nd heart attack on Christmas – a Christmas break 4 years later when I kissed him goodbye for the last time – – – holy and sacred – communion in a small upper room on Christmas Eve – learning to sing the mother’s role in Amahl and the Night Visitors just in case I was needed – Candle light service in my childhood church with my mother on one side and my children and Hubby on the other…

Blessed with peace-filled LOVE. Blessed with memories. [google image]

Because of Christmas #6: Worship

In NC there is this giant store of antiques called Granddaddy’s Antique Mall. If you take your time, you can spend hours in there. Today, I was on a mission. I had seen these metal angels with little bells attached to their wings. They were handcrafted and I knew i wanted to use for Christmas this year. So I snatched up the three that were there and was on my way out pretty quickly – until I went down one aisle too many.

 
My eye caught a small pulse of light off of something on the floor or close to the floor. I turned and saw a small mirror leaning against a chest of drawers. It was one of those mirrors that advertised a business during the 1940-50’s. There was a post war picture of a family in church singing out of a hymn book. Below that picture was a message: “Go to church”.
 
Zap.
 
Message delivered.
 
And – no surprise here – the bells on the angels dinged.
 
I plopped my money on the counter and slunk out to the car. God has a way of focusing me on His messages these days when I am trying to ignore them. Here is my horrible admission – I have not been leading by example lately. Going to an actual church as not been on my radar since we moved in January..
 
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been listening and watching services from a far. It is the one great thing about technology. I can catch the same sermon I would have heard on Sunday by Monday night. I can watch a service from Crossroads of Mansfield, OH, live. I can catch my favorite TV pastors with a click of the Roku. In fact – every night, I click on one of my favorites preachers/rabbis and fall asleep listening to some God-filled talk and praise (or not fall asleep because I get caught up in learning something new).
 
“Something happens in corporate worship that does not happen in private worship.”~Max Lucado (p67)
 
Double whammy! When God wants to wake me up, He usually hits me multiple times – in many different ways. Pass a church and something draws my eye to it, so I begin to wonder about the people in it – are they are a church of Laodicea or a 1st century church? As you can tell by what I am writing,  my devotions hit it again. Not to mention posts on FB by old friends decorating my childhood church in OH as they hung the greens for Advent. 
 
God is very good at giving me nudges when I am drifting instead of paying attention on the path that He has given me to walk. It is easy for me to praise God. Seems like I do it quite often these days. Stuck in a line – I start praying for those around me. Hear from the kidlets, and I’m immediately in praise mode after we hang up. Exercising – planting – driving down the road – I find myself talking and worshiping without even thinking about it.
 
Going to church to worship with others? Not so much.
 
The angels gave a song of praise when Yeshua was born in that tiny stable. They joined their voices together in a mighty choir and worshiped God choosing to be born on earth. Harmonizing a blessing over all people of good will that a gift had been given – a gift of grace – a gift of such great love that it brought the shepherds to their knees.
 
So too, do I need to come to my own knees in communal worship. Imperfect people joining in imperfect praise. Caroling into the dark night, the very carols that my extended family circled round me in traditional praise of a long ago night.
 
“Through Yeshua let us offer sacrifices of praise always to God, which is the fruit of the lips giving thanks to his name.”~Heb 13:15
 
The bells are still ringing in my soul tonight. Got the message. I’m on it – I hope – maybe…errr…the spirit is willing – the body – not so much. [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #79

It is hard for the first fire on the new patio to compete with the excitement of the Indians in the World Series and the Cavaliers playing the NY Knicks in Stumpman world.
The fire lost.
Worked out well for me. One of my Grands was working on her essay for college, and I was having too much fun figuring out Google docs editing tools and reading the essay to care much either in Teacher world.
The fire lost again.
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12, RSV
However, when I look at the pictures that I took tonight. I have to smile. Hubby worked hard to get the patio to this point and although there is still much we want to do, there is a light in the darkness at Eli Covenant. Even the swollen toe doesn’t mind going out at night when there is a light to keep me from stumbling into anything that will make it yell “Oweeee” up at my brain.
Rabbi Yeshua was good at being a light to those around Him. His light became even stronger when He walked through the darkness of our sins to return to his disciples. I can only imagine how bright His light will be when He returns again. After all, He has spent all this time with His father waiting for us to open the door – open the door just a crack – so that He can come again.
Lighting the fire. Stewarding His earth. Opening the door. Can barely wait and wishing the door wasn’t quite so heavy and hard to open.
1942 Daily Rations: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”~1 John 5:4
Read: Hebrews 11:1-6
“In front of thee chapel of the Charlotte Air Base is a large floral ‘V’ made of red, white, and blue flowers. It stands for VICTORY. It is the first thing you see. The ‘V’ of victory might easily be considered a symbol of our day to stand for the victorious Christian life.
“The Church has always stood for the victorious life. Christ gave his disciples the power to overcome evil. Today we need to exercise that power to live the victorious life. This is the victory when we overcome the tyranny of the present for that which is eternal- – -the tyranny of fear for the divine protection- – -the tyranny of this sensual for the larger life- – -the tyranny of the visible for the invisible.
“The victorious life is made possible through faith- – -a faith in God that can endure hardship and comfort, a faith that practices good in the presence of evil.

“Prayer: Father, as thy child, help me to live a godly life, a life that turns stumbling blocks into steppingstones, that sees past the cross and knows there will be a resurrection, a life that has the courage to live its convictions. In Christ’s name we ask this. Amen.” [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #32

Dreams are those internal milestones we aspire to accomplish. They are the light at the end of the tunnel. The hope that keeps churning our legs in a certain direction. The carefree thought that pushes our hand into our pocket to hand over money to meet a Star-Trek star at a mega gathering or go to a prestigious college to earn a degree.
We take after our Father that way.
He too has dreams. Dreams of creation. Dreams that He envisioned of building a home for all His creations. Dreams that pushed Him on to plant a garden of treasures just for them to discover. Dreams that further led Him to desire a personal relationship with each and everyone of them.
He planted those visions within us as well – after all – He told us He made us in His image. Some of us call them dreams – or visions – or milestones. We dream of establishing a home – a center – a safe place. In it – or around it – we plant our treasures – – – things that nourish us and sustain us. We seek relationships to share our home – our garden – our love.
And if we are lucky – and we decide to leave our prodigal ways – we also find Our Father there – waiting for us – the supper table laid out and His arms open.
1942 DAILY RATION
Read: Philippians 3:13-17; 4:8
“If it (the vision) tarry, wait for it; For it will surely come without delay,” Heb 2:3
“We cannot go far in life without the inspiration of an ideal. The high road to fine living follows the trail that is lighted by idealism. . .
“Jesus followed his ideal, but Judas tossed his dream away for a selfish ambition. That is one reason why Jesus’ death was a triumph and that of Judas, tragic defeat.
“A picture was once painted by a great artist who set the scene in a night back ground. Across the dark waters of a lonely lake a solitary man could be seen rowing a small boat A high wind churned the waters of the lake into white-crested billows which raged around the little skiff. Above was a dark and angry sky. But through the blackness there shone one lone star. Upon this the rower fixed his gaze – – – and on through the storm he rowed. He was undismayed by the midnight darkness. Beneath the picture the artist had written, ‘If I lose that, I am lost.’
“Quite so. Lose the star of idealism from life and you are lost. Again, I say, ‘Don’t toss your dreams away.’

Prayer: Father of Light and Truth, give us the spiritual insight that will enable us to follow the gleam of thy guiding spirit. In the midst of life, turmoil and temptation give us the courage to hold to our ideal. May nothing persuade us to take the detail that leads into the far country. Hear our prayer in the Master’s name. Amen.”