Tag Archives: John

UNCLE MIKE

Bittersweet days are feathers. Feathers of thought. They drift and float on lazy currents of emotions and leave our “life boat” rocking too and fro – – – torn between tears and smiles. A love – hate relationship between two opposing factions that take us “Somewhere” different.

“There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere.”

The sweetness started the day. Swirling dreams that left me laughing so hard, I woke up shaking. (Of course, that could have been the result of two dogs who were tickling my nose with their tongues). Chores and devotions accomplished easily except that the Hubby used part of the meal I was delivering to a neighbor for our breakfast. But that aside – the sweet currents of morning were large blessings that kept my mind and hands occupied.

“There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!”

The bitter currents were still there. Still swirling silently around the sweetness of my day until – eventually, I let the boat drift on into those salty waters and remember the things I had been avoiding. Remembering the small town where I grew up . Remembering my family and extended family. Remembering – – – my Uncle Mike.

When Our Father calls someone home, I think He blesses us with bubbling memories that break the surface of our mental waters, coaxing us forward into the deeper waters of life with their gentle effervescence. Opening my eyes wide as I can, I look at the bubbles, smile through my tears and re-watch those bubbles glide across my mind.

“Somewhere.
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

Remembering the uncle who made me laugh every time he walked in the house. Shouting, “Hey, Brynie” as he caught me in his arms and spun me around and round and round. Remembering the uncle who took me for car rides just for fun or took me to the lake where he bought me orange sodas and Correll’s potato chips. Remembering the uncle who took my cousin and I on our first grown-up date.

Yupper –  he was THAT uncle. He decided to take a couple of his little girl cousins on a date. He and his girlfriend (who eventually became my aunt) managed to talk my mom (his big sister by almost 20 years) and one of his other sisters into letting him abscond with their daughters – a 10 and 11 year old – in tow – on – a- date. We sang songs all the way to the theatre in Ashland (at least I think it was Ashland). And when the movie started, Bunny Lee and I were mesmerized. West Side Story changed our lives – which is a whole ‘nother story.

“There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow,
Some day,
Somewhere! “~Bernstein/Sondheim

So tonight – since I couldn’t be in OH with my family – I went to the movies. I sang with Anita. I fell in love with Tony (all over again). And – as I knew I would – I cried with Maria as her world fell apart. Later tonight – I will pull my prayer shawl over my head just as Maria covered hers at the end of the movie. It is not easy to adjust to the fact that my cousins and I are now the elders of our extended family, but I am full of thankfulness for Uncle Mike and all my aunts and uncles who filled my life with His golden bubbles. Bubbles that will buffer my “life boat” from the ugly currents and light the way towards smooth waters.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~ Jn 14:2

Blessings!Be! Michael McCaskey, Kerry Wood, Kelly Patton, Shayne McCaskey, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

ASCENSION DAY

I got to mow the grass today.

I know. That doesn’t sound like much of an adventure, but it was. As the little Grands would say – “Seriously, Grandma, it was”. I’ve been waiting and watching, watching and waiting to mow this grass. Green. Lush. New. Barefoot ready grass.

Somewhere around Easter, Hubby smoothed the ground around his second retaining wall. NC red clay is really not conducive for growing much – even when it has been recently ground and aerated. When happy, hubby-grinder-man does his thing on leftover tree stumps, red clay doesn’t stand a chance. Add some rich, dark topsoil – – tiny seeds – – a cover of hay – – a friendly neighbor’s prodding to add some good fertilizer – – water – – another covering of prayer – – and wallah – – grass that begs for bare feet.

Seeds broken. Fruit emerging. New life.

When I finally sat down to rest and looked at the small patch of green and a 3/4 deck covered in stain, I remembered. Today is the 40th day since Easter. Today is Ascension Day.

For weeks, the risen Christ walked 40 more days upon this earth. Where He was and what He did during these 40 days has always intrigued me. I like to think He visited His mother – a lot visited- since I figured her pain was almost as great as His as she watched Him suffer such a death. Or maybe – He spent time talking with all those who rose from their graves on the day the veil was split in the temple. (Matt 27:52-53) Or maybe – He traveled the world to bring the Good News to all gentiles who lived far outside of Israel.

We do know that St. John wrote, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” Jn 20:30 We do know that He visited with his closest friends and family 10-12 times (depending on how you count some of them) . We do know that when He ascended to the Father on the 40th day, He went to prepare a place for us.

A New Jerusalem.

A New Home.

In ancient Jewish wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom and the bride would meet and be joined together – married. Then the bride and her groom would return to their respective homes. The bride would use this time to prepare herself for being with the love of her life. She would gather the things needed to bring joy to herself and her husband in their new family. While the groom would also use this time to prepare himself for being with the love of his life. A time to build a home and filled with the things needed to welcome his love into her new family with him.

Ascension Day is so much more than just our Risen LORD returning to His father. It is the day when the bridegroom returned home to prepare a place. It was the signal for the bride to begin her preparations. It was the day when the grass began to grow barefoot green all around the world. Almost like a new garden emerging.

That lush, green grass is still growing – – spreading and multiplying around the world. And as I walked around the sprinkler tonight, I felt its joy through my toes and looked up at the sky. Perhaps tonight – – perhaps tomorrow – – perhaps a decade from now. Whatever. The Bridegroom is there – – looking – – and waiting – – just like I have done all my life. And when the Father’s time is accomplished – – when the time of waiting is over – – when the rooms are finished – – it will be a time of such joy never known since the gates were slammed shut in that perfect Garden.

In the meantime, the grass continues to grow. I talked to Littlest and laughed. I cried a little over the oldest Grands getting ready to graduate from high school (how is that possible?). I replayed a video of my younger son walking down a street in Spain. Hugged on my daughter and the little Grands as they spread freckles on our deck and themselves. Sat in my war room for a short moment of prayer. And sighed over the growing laundry pile that will have to wait for a dryer part to arrive (thank you, G-d, for our quirky neighborhood that has a wonderful fix-it man right next door).

This bride is waiting tonight – counting the stars – and enjoying the wait…kinda…I still get rather impatient. Yet when all is said and done, I really do want my lodgings to be face-to-face perfect and full of unspeakable joy. Seriously, Father, seriously.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2  

TWO PASSOVERS

 

The moon is up in our neck of the woods and it is full and beautiful tonight. The hubby and I were sitting outside for awhile (until the CAVS game on) as it was rising. The dogs and I took one last walk around the gardens in the twilight before we came in. Now I can see all my friends’ pictures of the full moon from different states as I sit in my easy chair.

In the Jewish calendar this full moon sheds its light on the beginning of Passover. It is a festival that celebrated the days that changed the world of the Jewish people. Changed it from a world full of chains, brutality and oppression and spun it around into a world of choices, courage and freedom.

Sometimes, I wish I was a mouse on the floor of history and could listen and watch the dynamics of historical events. Can you imagine the ancient conversations that were taking place during this week? The rumors – the rumblings – the hushed meetings as they gathered to listen – to learn – to seek wisdom in what was happening.

We tend to take for granted – as we do all historical things – the facts – without remembering the emotional undercurrents. Just like today, there must have been dissension – fear – broken families – friendships burning out as people made their choices. Follow Moses? Trust Pharaoh? G-d really in this? The evil one?

They probably all painted their doorways with the blood of a lamb. That was an easy choice and why not? Better safe than sorry. Maybe it would make the family feel better. The familiar was still there. A swatch on the left. A swatch on the header. A swatch on the right. A triangle pointing towards heaven. A whispered prayer beseeching the protection of G-d. A hope to see the dawn of a new day. A wish for easy answers. A path cut through the stormy waters to a Promised Land.

We tend to think that all the Jewish people painted their doors and gleefully followed Moses out of Egypt. After all, who doesn’t want to be free? The truth falls a little short of that Charleston Heston movie with the multitude moving towards the sea. According to Jewish Sages – the number was more like a fifth of the Ivrim, the Jewish people.

Walking away from the security of all they had known was too scary for some – just like it would be for some of us. After all, there is security in the chains of the familiar. Chains that often keeps us in a job we hate…an abusive relationship…a habit that feeds some sense of being that we think we need more than we need change.

But this is also the first day of Holy Week for Christians. It is the celebration of another Passover that set the Ivrim world on its ear. (Again, being a mouse is appealing to my curious nature.) However, I know deep within me that it was also a Passover full of dissension, fear, broken families, burned friendships. Follow Jesus? Trust Caiaphas? Is G-d really in this? The evil one?

It was not easy. Even the disciples fell away – except for one, his mother and a few others who stood at the foot of the cross. Freedom is never easy. Again, the number of Ivrim that chose to follow was just a small percentage of the nation. Who knew that these few people would change the world forever. A Passover that would change the essence of the festival to its core.

A human lamb who shed His blood in the shape of another triangle painted on wood – an inverted triangle. A left hand. A right hand. His feet. A triangle pointing down from heaven. G-d once more sending an answer to His children – an answer of a Father’s Love – a Father’s Love strong enough to break the chains forever and cut a path through the stormy waters of sin to a Promise Land beyond compare.

It is interesting to note, that when you put these triangles together -one on top of another – they form the Star of David. The symbol that flies in Jerusalem on this first night of Passover and this first night of Holy Week. Two Passovers that changed the Ivrim world and the world around it. Freedom from chain of all kinds. Freedom to remember. Freedom to chose His path or stay in our comfy chains. Freedom to humble ourselves, fall on our knees, and give thanks to the One who gave His all for us – the gift of grace and love.

“For God loved the world in this way: so much that he would give up his Son, The Only One, so that everyone who trusts in him shall not be lost, but he shall have eternal life.”~Jn 3:16   [google images]

BIG TREES

So – the day went like this. I ran away to avoid having to see the trees that are right next to the house be cut down because – THEY ARE RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOUSE!!! And guess which ones they DID NOT cut down today??

Ya got it! The trees right next to the house are still right next to the house.

I guess I will have to run away tomorrow as well. But Good Golly Ms Molly – what the tree guys got done in one afternoon is beyond reality – not to mention the pole building crafters. A building that the workers started at 4 and continued working long after I was in jammies and wrapped in my comfy blankie stands partially completed.

What a week. A week full of blessed discoveries, familiar voices and golden memories of yesteryear mixed with new ones in the birthing stage. That deep joy of “knowing” when something is right is always beyond words and fills me with gratitude that wants to sing its way to the Triune Father who tilled the soil in a time beyond time, raised the trees and brought us to such a space in time.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”~John 15:1-4

Our neighbor and his daughter came over for a short visit tonight. So while the “men folk” took a walk to take one more look at all the “newness”, the “women folk” enjoyed a cush ball came of questions, answers, and lots of laughter.

Fruit grows in the most unexpected places. Tilling the soil. Scraping a new path in our part of the world. Wondering who else might have stood in this exact same spot long, long ago. Pushing and stretching the confines of our woodsy womb. Feeling Jehovah-Jireh’s smile as the sun sets once again.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”~Gen 1:31

But I am still running away tomorrow. After all – if a tree falls on our house, I still don’t want to be here. I mean – really – those are some big trees.

 

The Dwelling 2016

A year ago, Hubby moved us into a house we didn’t technically own yet – had carpet that was beyond description – holes in the wall, missing fixtures, no working appliances, black water that trickled out of one facet, and – virtually – no heat.

“By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.”~Prov 24:3-4

I’m not sure this move had much wisdom or precious and pleasant riches in it when I first saw it, but God’s blessing colored those first impressions, and I smiled. Found it in late December, changed our plans to build and got a contract to buy before New Year’s Eve. Luckily, the day we moved, the first new toilet was put in place, carpet removed. the water lines flushed and one bed erected. Everything else remained in boxes in the garage or stored in trailers on some land we owned about 3 miles away. 2016 was shaping up to be an interesting year.

“The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.”~2 Sam 7:11

This I know for sure – the LORD has always made a house for me even before I recognized it. There is a history to our spur-of-the-moment decisions that come at the end of certain sporadic years in our journey together. As high school sweethearts, we broke up for 10 years and got back together in December. Three years later — in late December – we changed our wedding date from May to January 9. Six years later – we found the perfect place to build a home – on New Year’s Eve. 25 years later – in January – we moved from OH to NC. And there we were again – 3 years later – in another December/January quandary of moving craziness.

(Personally – I am adding this prayer to my war room door – “Can our next major move in life, to a home you have waiting for us – PLEASE – be in spring or maybe fall?”)

So tonight, as I sit in a completely re-done house, I look around and am content. The somewhat, squeaky wood floors and gas logs wraps around me just as my childhood home on Riverside Dr, used to do. A new kitchen, two new bathrooms, a brand new heating/AC system, and two silly labs asleep at my feet remind me of how much Our Father can accomplish in our lives when we are listening and willing to step out in faith.

A house that the Grands called “the spooky, stinky, ugly house” is the place they love to visit and spend the night. Clean, patched walls are covered with treasured memorabilia from our 36 years of traveling together and revered, separate pasts. A true war room closet door filled with the WORD, praises and prayers that Abba has lovingly blessed over the past few months. And 2 sleepy chocolate dogs that curl into me at the end of day have made that house a home.

This is as close to heaven as it gets. A neighborhood full of people we know by name and visit with often in the course of a week. Laughter from children who still play outside – not to mention the “boys” who love riding their noisy “toys” along with the kids. I guess this is just my way of saying, “Thanks, Father”. 2016 was one crazy year, and I’m just waiting with anticipation to see what 2017 will bring our way.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2

Advent Peace #7: Sanctified Imagination

Early this summer I was browsing one of our local shops and found a couple familiar books. No one is surprised, right? I can walk down the street and find a familiar book somewhere. The Hubby is very adept at avoiding walking down streets with me because He hates seeing me bring new books into the house. As often as we move, he knows that it is one more heavy box he won’t want to carry.
 
What I haven’t told him is that I have gotten pretty good at passing books on to others. I have it on good authority that it is better to give than to receive. Besides – I totally have no room to store any more books at this point in my life – EXCEPT – I am keeping the two I found last summer. “Let’s Keep Christmas: a sermon by Peter Marshall” is one of them.
 
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.”~Jn 1:4
 
Over the years, I’ve read many things by Peter Marshall and his wife, Catherine. One of the techniques he used was called “sanctified imagination”. Besides drawing on his own experiences, he would take a story from scripture and draw a picture with his words so that the listener felt it come alive within them. It was a way to help his parishioners bury the WORD in their hearts.
 
“The old message: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Chist the Lord’ is still the heart of Christmas. It can be nothing else.” ~Peter Marshall ‘Christmas Sermon’ p1
 
I was thinking about this as I re-read this book for the third time this Advent. I think ‘sanctified imagination’ is why Christmas is so strongly buried within me. From the special times when my daddy read the second chapter of Luke before I went to sleep on Christmas Eve – to all the Sunday school re-enactments – to all the Christmas carolings – to all the majestic re-tellings of Handel’s Messiah – to a Christmas Eve service by my childhood preacher who used his own version of “sanctified imagination” – the Christmas Story lives within me.
 
For those of us who have seen the manger, have seen the angels, have seen the wisemen, have seen the star – the WORD lives. It is what makes Christmas such a special season of the year – even if some of us are past enjoying the cold and snow. It is the light of the WORD within us – not just at Christmas – but everyday of the year.
 
In 1955, this tiny book was a gift to someone. A small blessing is written in cursive (thank goodness I learned cursive back in the ol’ days) that I am passing on to all of you. A timeless blessing and reminder that… Perhaps today… Perhaps tomorrow… but definitely – He is alive and is returning soon…
 

“May the Christmas blessings of Peace, Good will, and Happiness be yours today and throughout the coming years.” Monroe and Mickie, 1955

Advent Hope #5: Lights Up

 ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”~Jn 1:5

Our quirky little house sits on the corner in our neighborhood. When I think of it, I still have to chuckle now and then because Hubby swore he would never live on a corner lot or in a modular for that matter. LOL – Mama Mick always said, “Never say never.” So here we are – on a corner lot in a modular.
 
As for me – I grew up on a corner lot in a little town with a wonderful screened-in porch, so this quirky home feels almost perfect to me. Now – – – if I could just convince Santa to bring me a screened-in porch, the quirky house might take a step up from quirky. (Hmmm…I wonder what that would be?)
 
During most of this past year, the trees wrapped us in our own cocoon. This too is like my childhood home. When I was a child, I was lulled to sleep by smell of pines outside my window, and in the summer, I had my choice of maple, walnut, and weeping willow to play beneath. The parents planted privacy hedges along the street sides of our small kingdom. When they were just planted, I was often a magical horse who would jump over them in a never ending steeplechase. As they got taller, I loved the privacy they afforded so I could sunbathe my teenage angst in private and get paid to trim them in the summer.
 
I guess it is the Christmas lights in our little neighborhood that have sent my mind skipping back to those long ago days. Days of caroling, playing carrom in front of the tree with dad, or lying on the floor playing with my horses and Barbies while my big brother’s Lionel train carried them to far away places. Christmas lights are, as my youngest son called them, “Miracles”.
 
With the leaves mostly off the trees, I can see the neighbor’s lights as I clean up the dishes. And now – – – if I look out my front windows, I can see our own lights on the quirky house’s front deck. Maybe next year, I will get inspired to do something to the back deck. But for this year, I am content.
 
The house that was cloaked in darkness last year is now filled with light. While the physical lights we turned on in our home brings light to this little corner of the world, it is the Son’s Light that I am really waiting to see when I look out our windows tonight.
 
#perhapstonight #AdventHope #Isaiah9
 
“Often we stumble along, not knowing where we’re going, but understanding that the journey is worth it because Jesus took it for us, shared it with us. Because the immortal God became mortal, we all share in the immortality as well as the mortality.… To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason.”~Madeleine L’Engle  [google image]

Because of Christmas #10: Crown to Cross

Excitement is the day after Thanksgiving. It is the day to put all the fall things away. Play Christmas music all day. Do several loads of laundry. Plunk out Christmas carols on the Clavinova. Walk the girls and wave at neighbors. Get soaking wet while trying to make dirty snow turn white on several tiny fake houses.

Impossible, right? I was afraid so. When I first looked at them, I was pretty sure the paint would be coming out and this would be a several long days’ process. That was depressing, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough paint or time or will to accomplish that project.

“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,a
and his life brought light to everyone.”~Jn 1:1-4

As I was debating my strategy for making all houses new, I began to wonder if Elohim ever felt the same way? Which led me to hitting myself in the head and saying, “Duh!” Of course, He did. He gave up His crown and took on a body just like mine. The Creator of all things left behind His crown, didn’t even get a cradle in which to rest
this new body to become human – like us.

Love. Wonder. Walking. Talking. Anger. Silliness. Hormones. Temptation. Frustration. Pain. Death of a parent, pet, friend… Political upheaval. Torture. Death.

I carried my little houses outside, hooked up the fire-hose nozzle, applied dish soap liberally and sat down to wait for the soap to do its work. It was a great day to be outside. Warm. Sunny. Birds singing. A praying mantis sitting on the railing of our deck. The girls lifted their noses and watched the birds come to the feeders while I pondered how God made “…all things new”.

“Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”~Phil 2:7-8

Amazing. I whine about a couple hours of work to make fake snow look white again on little houses for a fake village. He “humbled himself unto death” to wipe away the sooty sin covering His real creations carry. Best of all, He is still sitting there, waiting for Elohim to signal the cleansing complete by the blasts of the trumpet.

Lucky for me, His plan is so much better than my own. Although – I have to admit, my little fake houses don’t look too bad tonight and tomorrow – I will decide where to place them in my own little fake kingdom.

“But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.”~Meredith Wilson, 1951

This song is 65 years old. I know that because I was born in 1951, and as the world has probably figured out by now – great songs and people were born in that year. However – the best year ever was the one when Christ gave up his crown and began his journey to the cross. [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #97

Okay – this Ration has been sitting on my computer for 3 hours . I’ve read it at least 4 times I’ve eaten a really worthless but very good supper – enjoyed 1 long phone call with a friend – watched 1 Christmas movie and taken 2 romps with the girls…I don’t think I can stall any longer. I need to finish tonight’s ration before the computer loses it and I have to start all over.

Ooooo – I think I need some cheese and maybe some wine.

Noooooo – “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”~Matt 16:23

Imagine you are hearing a long deep breath, shuddering sigh because that is exactly what I just did.

Actually, I seem to have been saying that short little phrase “Get behind me, Satan” since I opened my eyes this morning.

“Stay in bed a little longer.” (Repeat above phrase here)

“You don’t have to do those stretches” (Repeat said phrase again)

“Go ahead, you can buy that. Put it on the card.” (You know what to do here)

Got it? It has been one of those days when I was not an “appreciator” as today’s Ration tells us. Instead of looking around and just enjoying every step of His day, I’ve whined and cried and mumbled about – the massive number of bikers taking up most of the road while I was trying to get to town – the long line at the grocery store – being monetarily poor at holiday time  – avoiding holiday craft shows- – –

Obviously, not an appreciator.

So I went back to the Ration. It said Read, so – I read.

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy …being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”~Phil 1:3-6

I definitely hadn’t done that today. Hmmmm…hmmm…hmmm…as my knees painfullly find the floor of my warroom, I know how to change this day around. Mumbled prayers for others and the peace returns – the love of the girls radiates their contentment and love through my closet doorway – a piece of wisdom filters through the foggy sin barrier and reminds me why Jesus was such an appreciator of each person he encountered – they were all His children – each and every one. So I pray on…

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”~Phil 1:9-11

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘When Jesus saw him.’~John 5:6

“Read: Philippians 1:1-11

“Bishop William A. Quayle used to say to the pastors in this conference, ‘The world needs appreciators.’ By this he meant men and women who see beyond the unpromising surface of life into the depths, where capacities for beauty and goodness reveal themselves to the sympathetic eye.

“All great souls have been great appreciators, to be able to see only the debased and ugly is the mark of littleness. The men and women to whom Paul sends greetings in his letters were ‘ordinary people,’ so we would say. But Paul’s greatness as a Christian leader is largely found in the fact that he discovered possibilities of usefulness for the Kingdom in lives that appeared only mediocre.

“The greatest appreciator that ever lived was Jesus. He knew the evil that ever lived was Jesus. He knew the evil that was in man, and did not discount the power of sin. But he also saw beyond the offensive exterior to something nobler that might be. He was so sure that it would respond to the appeal of confident good will that he based his kingdom, not on force but on love. The closer we live to him, the more of the divine we shall see in our fellow men.

“Prayer: Touch our eyes and awaken our hearts, O Christ, that we may see in the people with whom we associate today the finer and nobler elements of life which lie beneath the surface. Amen. [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #95

The stars are bright tonight, but that is just because the moon isn’t visible yet. Later tonight, I probably won’t be able to see many stars at all. It was that way last night, and as we get closer to Monday, the stars’ brilliance will only fade. A 2nd super moon is on its way.
 
October had a super moon. December will have another super moon. However – it is November’s super moon that holds a spot in the record books because it will be closer to the earth than normal. In fact, it hasn’t been this close since 1948.
 
God said.“Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years…”~Gen 1:14 Rabbi Yeshua repeated, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…’~Lk 21:25
 
I get excited about such simple things. A huge moon above me. A drop of rain on the dogs’ coats. Tiny pink roses beside me as I type. Three bushes that I plopped in the ground today. They are the signs that Our Father’s love in everything He created. They are also a sign that something special just might lie ahead.
 
A star that shone 2000+ years ago was a sign. Many of us grew up with that little bit of history and never questioned it, but in reality, that star was noticed only by a few. It is hindsight that makes it so easy for us to see and accept.
 
I wonder if the people in Israel and the world noticed that super bright star? I’m sure they were busy with concerns of life, family, love, fear, war, occupation, the impoverished, the down trodden, the human slave trafficking, a ruler they don’t like- just like we are today. Did they shrug it off – justify it in their minds someway or another?
 
I guess it boils down to this, I I just don’t want to be like most of those people in Israel and the world who missed the sign that the Messiah had come to earth. I want to be the goose who lined the manger who her downy feathers – the shepherds who heard angels and didn’t run the other way – the wisemen who followed a star into the unknown in search of a king they did not know and to a country where they were strangers.
 
I want to be that person.
 
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.’~Rev 3:15
 
“To much of our Christian living can be summed up by stating the things we do not do. We don’t kill, lie, steal or commit a thousand other heinous crimes. With Marguerite Wilkinson we must describe our lives by saying:
 
‘“I never cut my neighbor’s throat;
My neighbor’s gold I never stole;
I never spoiled his house and land;
But God have mercy on my soul!
 
‘For I am haunted night and day
By all the deeds I have not done;
O unattempted loveliness!
O costly valor never won!
 
“All the deeds I have not done”– – -will that be our burden at the close of day? God grant that positive, forward-looking love may control us today, and that active, costly service may mask our living.
 
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and lollow me.’~Matt 16:24
 
“Read: John 12:1-8
 
“Prayer: We have not served Thee as we ought,
Alas, the duties left undone,
The work with little fervor wrought,
The battles lost or scarcely won!
Lord, give the zeal, and give the might,
For Thee to toil, for Thee to fight.”~’We have not known Thee as we ought’ by Thomas Pollack, 1889 [google images]