Beware of fly-by’s

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280One thing that can’t be disputed about relationship with God in the Old Testament times—it was messy.  A lot of blood was involved: bulls, goats, pigeons,…prophets.

In one of the most historically and spiritually significant Old Testament sacrifices, Abram (not yet having his name changed to Abraham) slices in half several specimens of the animal kingdom in preparation for a special covenant with this Most High God whom very few people are even aware of any more, much less worship.  This is going to be unlike any other offering Abram has participated in, and I suspect Continue reading “Beware of fly-by’s”

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A rose by any other name…

Bob
A Goose bearing gifts: roses and camo. What more could a girl want??

My husband’s nickname is Goose (and variations thereof).  As the story goes, some of his high school basketball teammates knighted him with that moniker, lo, these many years past, and it stuck like glue—even with his own family.  Rarely do I hear anyone refer to him as “Bob” when around his brothers.  Or old friends.  Even his mom and dad called affectionately called him adopted the name for their first born!

Nicknames, like reputations (at least negative ones), can be quite tenacious.  Just ask the Apostle Thomas.  First word that Continue reading “A rose by any other name…”

Fool d’ya!

quill

I interrupt this normally scheduled “Not-My-Poetry” day for a poem of my ow-em.  All you true poets (consult list below), go easy on me. 

What is real life without struggle,

   And is courage true without fear?

There is no movement without friction.

   It is loss that reveals what is dear.

And PS—Doubt makes really good fuel for faith, but I ran out of rhymes….

For some honest poets, check out these sites:

https://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

https://joyindestrucible.com

http://enthusiasticallydawn.com/

https://nicodemasplusthree.wordpress.com/about/

https://atimetoshare.me/

https://jacobemet.wordpress.com/

http://seekingyoufirst.com/

http://www.drbigpond.com/

And for today’s REAL poem, it’s Mitch Teemley! (It’ll be posted later this evening!)

THANKS to the ones who

COLOR 

our lives with their words!

 

 

Burlap Faith vs. Blue Denim Faith

wood 2 

Burlap is good if you want to see through something,

Or if you want water to leak through,

But it’s not much good at keeping you warm

Or holding up when you’re working hard

Like when you’re on your knees all the time.

 

Denim, on the other hand, is sturdy and strong,

And even when it finally gets a hole in it

You can patch it with more denim

And the patch holds just fine.

 

Burlap, like doubt and unbelief

Doesn’t wear well

Or feel comfortable

Or look particularly fashionable

 

Denim, like faith

Is durable and lasting

Feels better the longer you wear it

And never, ever goes out of style.

This old notebook was falling apart at the seams

denim

And this recycled “redeemed” denim rescued it,denimcircle

Made it useful again,

Which is what faith in the Living God does for us.

 

May God bless you with a denim faith

As you walk through this chapter in your life with Him!!

The early bird gets the….eewww! Really??

I tend to frequent my garden patio in the early morning.  I appreciate the quiet of my rural, small town setting, and I love to hear the birds wake up and start singing.  My husband and I are true bird-admirers.  Not real bird-watchers, mind you; the true Audubons are the ones that can confidently identify, say, a loggerhead shrike from a Northern shrike…and enjoy it.  But like my more learned comrades, I have fun actually seeing the birds I am hearing, and I’m learning them little by little,(with my color picture book close by), to recognize a few species, including by the music they make.   I have also learned that, generally speaking, to attract birds you must have a bird-attracting environment.  They are all around me, because I can hear them, even if I can’t immediately see them.  But to seriously bring them into view I must entice them with something they want.   

Many of my patio variety songsters are not particularly picky eaters, thankfully.  A fifty-pound bag from the local feed store does nicely, especially for sparrows and junkos and an occasional cowbird or catbird.  However, I have learned that certain species are encouraged to frequent my garden depending on what I choose to put out.  Cardinals like their black-oil sunflower seeds.  Finches love the seeds on my dry coneflowers.  Hummingbirds go for red. Downey woodpeckers prefer the suet in the hanging cage.   And grackles, well, I guess they eat anything, and a whole lot of it! 

What I also find noteworthy is how these fabulous creatures find their way to the food.  It is such a natural, unfeigned, unpretentious process.  The more I set out, the more they come around.  And even if I don’t get around to filling the feeders, and maybe there are only a few kernels just left lying around a pile of empty hulls, they still seem attracted to it, pushing through the junk to find the valuable seeds.  But the converse is also true.  No food, few birds.  For them to stay around in abundance, and close enough for thorough enjoyment and study, they must be welcomed and wanted, and they must be drawn.

With all respect, the Holy Spirit is a bit, just a bit mind you, the same way.  As we provide the proper enticements (like faith), and make Him feel welcome (like humility), He comes more into view, becomes easier to see, and His ways are easier to identify.  And why?  Because what God is interested in most is the environment of my heart:

  • He looks deep within my human soul, the real me, the sometimes (oft times) hidden me, and invites me to come and take a good look with Him, since most of us are not even fully aware of what’s really going on in there anyway. And though He sees the “me” in my entire self, and though He recognizes so much beauty that could be, yet He patiently waits and constrains Himself, for even God must be invited, welcomed and wanted. One of the Old Testament songwriters put it this way, “I sought Your favor with all my heart;
    Be gracious to me according to Your word…”
    (1)
  • Although God is everywhere at once, yet He makes it clear that we get His attention by a humble heart, and a prayer of faith, even if it’s just a little faith mixed with a whole bunch of questions. It’s an easy and common deception to think that we are too far gone, too messed up, or have too little faith for God work His wonderful restorative power in our lives. However, a little faith is still faith, a powerful entity in God’s kingdom, even if it’s mixed with a bunch of empty husks known as doubt and the used up hulls we call fear.  God is just powerful enough to dig through our questions and circumstances to find the little seeds of faith in our prayers and our lives, even when we ourselves aren’t aware of their existence. (2)
  • The proud heart, on the other hand, the one that says it does not need God, that refuses to agree with God’s assessment of the situation and His answer to the problem, (possibly because it refuses to acknowledge that there IS a problem), this heart the Holy Spirit grieves over, since there is nothing to bid Him welcome, nothing to make Him feel wanted. (3)

My early morning “patio compadres” make my garden more than just a quiet place to sip my tea while the rest of the town wakes up.  Not only do I love having them around for their beauty and song, but they are part of the very livelihood of my garden!  So does God’s Holy Spirit infuse His life into the garden of my life.  Every day is another opportunity to invite Him into my world, my mind, and circumstances, and my heart. 

Then I can sit back, and listen for His song.

  • Psalm 119:58
  • See Mark 9:24
  • See Psalm 51:17, James 4:6

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.