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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PUT A LID ON IT

Proverbs 10:12  "Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering." (MSG)

Safe Place

In and out the wee bonnie traveled
All throughout the day.

Tempers torn became unraveled
Words were thrown her way. 

Smiling to diffuse their theme
Aimed to pierce her heart.

Intentions easily read between
The lines tore her apart.

 Then one day she found a place
A better world by far.

Here she looked at every face
Esteem and kindness were par.

Now wrapped inside gowns so soft
Words flowed to make her grin.

Love found excuse to cherish her oft
She nestled with her heart found kin. 

Anger, revenge, bitterness, envy... put a lid on it!

 We each have a part to play in every person's life we cross.  What part? that of a fool, a villian, or a hero?  Which will your part be?  

Love is a language, an atmosphere, and a tender embrace that we can freely choose to give to make an enormous difference in the lives of a lover, friend, child, parent, or co-worker.  We all need a breath of fresh air to survive the difficulties that inflict themselves upon our lives.  

So, choose to love and blow a fresh breeze of sweetness into the Earth today.
    

 
  



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

DID I HEAR YOU RIGHT?

Nehemiah 9:6 "You alone are the Lord.  You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars.  You made the earth and the seas and everything in them.  You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship." (NLT)

I was stretched out on the twin bed in my study trying to go over the equations for my math review.  The summer session of 1986 I tried to tackle three classes.  I signed up for math, psychology, and a generative transformational grammar class.  So, now I found myself reviewing for a math and an English test.  The time ticked on.  I skimmed over the grammar review with a little frustration.  This class was not the eye opener into English grammar that I had been hoping for, so I switched back to the concrete logical problems and finished solving them.

Getting up for a stretch, I brewed a pot of hot tea to treat myself for accomplishing most of my chores for tomorrow.  I sat and strummed my guitar (the few chords I knew well) and hummed a few tunes while the tea cooled down a bit.  As I continued to let my mind relax, I felt a strong urgency to continue to play.  My Bible was nearby, so I opened it up and read some.  Then, I sang the words on the page to the chords I was using.

It was as though I was sensing that God was yearning for me to abandon my studies for the night, only spending time in worship and meditation with him.  Could my mind be playing tricks?  Surely, this was just me wanting to push away from that boring grammar and math.  Yet, I knew those stirrings.  When I felt my heart pounding a lot harder than usual.  The heat coming up around my neck... yes, I knew that was not just me coming up with an escape plan.

An hour passed.  The time slipped away too quickly.  Even though I felt invigorated and like I could have stayed up all night, I knew I needed the rest.  I needed to lay out breakfast in the morning before leaving and make a list of lunch suggestions for the babysitter.  Four hungry little mouths seemed always ready to devour every last bit prepared for them.

As I began to drift off, I thanked God for the refreshing time and asked for a blessing on my testing the next day.

Driving home from Edinburg back to Rio Hondo was always a nice ride through the countryside.  Winding roads past a sugar mill then through sleepy little towns gave me an hour all to myself.  I used this time to pull my thoughts together before returning home to unending activity.

I smiled as I thought about the exams and how everything I had spent time going over last night was exactly what I needed to succeed on the math mid-term.  What a relief!  Oooo, the grammar test was another matter.  I felt like I was stabbing in the dark with those webs to interpret.

Breathing deeply a couple times, I finally started to plan the trip to the beach.  Today was Thursday, and Friday during summers we faithfully headed out to South Padre Island for the day.  The list in my head grew until I tired of this mental planning and stopped.  Just lazily watching the road, I steered with the wind from the open window whipping my curly hair.

The night before was a good lesson in letting go and slowing down.  I tend to have tunnel vision and go galloping on through the night until a project is completed.  That internal list in my head never seems satisfied.  But it was funny, I found that both grades from the exams were exemplary.  An A on the math exam and the top grade out of over 100, in the grammar!  I did not feel at all prepared, so I felt a little guilty for the grammar grade.

Did God help me with my grades because I set all else aside and worshiped that night?  Don't know, but after that I always took the time to read stories to my children, walk the high school track, listen to music, and pick a little on my guitar when stress mounted up, or life got too serious.  God always gave me the energy I needed to finish three years at the university with honors, while raising my beloved children.  Keeping the priorities.  It all worked out.

Monday, March 4, 2013

PINCH ME

Proverbs 3:27-29  Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person.  Don't tell your neighbor "Maybe some other time" or "Try me tomorrow" when the money's right there in your pocket.  Don't figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor when he's sitting there trusting and unsuspecting. (MSG)

The stadium was full.  Friday night football in South Texas is a big social and family affair.  High school sports bring the hometown our home brewed brand of entertainment.  All ages attend.  Tonight was no exception.

I climbed up the steps, headed for the top since I arrived after the kick off.   After several spectators stood up to let me pass by, I finally settled in to enjoy watching the boys from the youth group who were on the team.

Sometime during the first half, a man in the front row of my section slumped down in his seat.  This all happened before the day of cell phones, so someone yelled, "We need help down here!  I think he is having a heart attack!  Someone go call for an ambulance!"

A young man ran to make a phone call while I watched from above and wondered if there was a doctor or nurse in the stands who could come to his aid.  Then, I just sat there fixated on all that was going on.

There was an expectant pause.  People looked this way and that wondering who would be qualified to help.  Then a flood of people started down and began to lay hands on the man.  One person prayed and the rest shook their heads in agreement and keep their hands extended.  The man sat up and his  coloring returned to normal.  His breathing calmed down and he stopped perspiring.  Suddenly, he got up and faced the crowd and thanked those who came down to pray.  He said his strength returned and he felt better than he had in years!

The section who was aware of the trouble spontaneously began applauding!  We were so relieved and so very grateful.

Then, I sat and wondered.  Why hadn't I been more quick to get to my feet and pray over him until help came?  I'm a believer.  I believe in the healing power of God.  Yet my first expectation had been for medical attention.  That was the only solution I had thought of. 

Then God spoke to me, "Why wasn't prayer the first thing you thought to do for this man?  Don't you know I came to heal?  I came to free and restore you all to the beautiful creation we dreamed you into being?  Simply follow your heart and leave you mind out of it when it comes to whether or not someone will think you are crazy.  Reach out to help and leave the rest to me."

I awoke from my dream and yet it seemed like I remembered something that had truly happened the day before.  This definitely was a dream meant to be remembered.  So many other dreams of mine  just fade from my memory, unless I write them down.  Not this one.  This one is branded on my heart.

Now, when I see cars on the side of the road, I phone 911 and pray for them.  When there is someone complaining about their health, I ask if I can pray.  Children in my classrooms have been flooded with prayers for their circumstances, healing of emotions, or just for them to rest and know that they were in an atmosphere of love where they were safe.

I remember when I stayed at a motel in Tyler two summers ago with my husband.  We were cooling off in the pool and getting some exercise before relaxing with a movie.  It had been a long day and I really had very little on my mind except resting up before another early departure for an enrollment I was helping him with.

Two women were talking and I could tell there was a problem with the air-conditioning at their home.  That is why they were at the motel.  They talked about that, but they also were discussing the younger woman's health.  I remember just having that dream I just described above, go through my mind.  Whenever that happens, I know I have to ask if they want prayer.  I walked up and explained that I had overheard them talking and asked if I could pray for her right there for healing.  She flicked her cigarette away and said, "Sure, that would be nice."

I felt God and his wonderful peace flowing out toward this woman in need of his touch.  I prayed a simple prayer, nothing profound.  Then when I was through and the rest was up to God.

"Keep thanking God for your healing and continue to trust him for all of your problems.  He wants you to know that he loves you so much and that you are not ever alone," I encouraged.

Tears were in her eyes.  Both women were touched.  It was not me, but God that they encountered that evening.  I still pray that she was completely healed.  Most of all, I pray that she found a source of strength and peace that will last her the rest of her life.

I am in awe how God can connect with us in any way he chooses.  For me to grow in compassion and prayer, it was this dream.  Some times through a quiet thought, some times through a hug from someone at an opportune time.  But pinch me... he spoke to me once in a dream.