Today’s thought – In the Storm

aug 11 003Oak Tree on the Church of God of Carmichael property

Good Morning

Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, . . .

Some of the storms of life come suddenly;
a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat.
Some come slowly.
They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon
no larger than a man’s hand,
but trouble that seems so insignificant spreads
until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.

Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service.
When God wants an oak
He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it
and the rains will beat down upon it,
and it is in the midnight battle with elements
that the oak wins its rugged fibre
and becomes the king of the forest.

When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm.
The history of manhood is always rough and rugged.
No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm
and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer:
“O God, take me, break me, make me.”

The beauties of nature come after the storm.
The rugged beauty of the mountain is born in a storm,
and heroes of life are the storm-swept
and the battle-scarred.

You have been in the storms and swept by the blasts.
Have they left you broken, weary, beaten in the valley
or have they lifted you to the sunlit summits
of a richer, deeper, more abiding manhood and womanhood?
Have they left you with more sympathy with the storm-swept
and the battle scarred? ~~Selected

Mark 4:35-41, Amplified Bible
On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake]. And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him. And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled. But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing? And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)? And they were filled with great awe and feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him?

Endure your storm . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – See God in Everything

Sept 17 at bob's 002Tis a nice spot for morning devotions and coffee.

Good Morning

1 Samuel 3:15-18
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. And he said, What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him.  And he said,
It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.

See God in everything,
and God will calm and color all that thou dost see!
It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows
will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged;
but if Christ , as Lord and Master of our life,
is brought into our grief and gloom,
“HE will compass us about with songs of deliverance.”
To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err,
His power cannot fail, His love can never change;
to know that even His direst dealings with us
are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say,
in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss,
“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us
loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us.
They will be to us then only instruments for accomplishing
His tender and wise purposes toward us,
and we shall even find ourselves at last
inwardly thanking then for the blessings they bring us.
Nothing else will completely put an end
to all murmuring or rebelling thoughts.
—H. W. Smith

Look for God . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Love thy Neighbor

imageshands
Good Afternoon

Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:42NIV

The second part of the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus then tells the story of the Good Samaritan. In this story Jesus defines our neighbor as anyone in need of help. This kind of love is very practical.

It was the middle of winter and the elderly Christian in prison had a badly infected ear. He thanked God that he had been able to keep his fur hat affording him some protection from the biting cold. At least he had a pillow at night.

One day one of his cellmates asked him for his fur hat. The Christian had been willing to share food with his cellmates, but felt he could not give up his hat. After all, he had an infected ear. He needed that hat.

Through the night he wrestled with his conscience. He was haunted by this scripture: “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42).

After a night of prayer, he sought forgiveness before God and was ready to hand over his hat. In the morning he learned that during the night the guards had taken the cellmate to another prison with a more severe climate.

That same morning, the guards held a routine check of the cell and among the personal objects confiscated was the believer’s fur hat.

He had tried to keep something that he was about to lose and God wanted to see the hat used for continued good with the other prisoner. Many years later, this believer remembered that lesson in Christian maturity which the Holy Spirit taught him. ~~~~Standing Strong Through The Storm

Love. . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Take Up My Cross

mom away day 2 059
Good Morning,

Mark 8:34
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

. . . There are many crosses and every one of them is sore and heavy.
None of them is likely to be sought out by me of my own accord.
But never is Jesus so near to me
as when I lift my cross and lay it submissively on my shoulder,
and give it the welcome of a patient and unmurmuring spirit.

He draws close,
to ripen my wisdom,
to deepen my peace,
to increase my courage,
to augment my power to be of use to others,
through the very experience which is so grievous and distressing, . . .
~~Alexander Smellie

James 4:6-8
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Draw nigh . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Grace and Faith

Lomom away day 2 038Love  feeling soft sand . . .

Good Afternoon,

We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Picture salvation as a house that you live in.

It provides you with protection. It is stocked with food and drink that will last forever. It never decays or crumbles. Its windows open onto vistas of glory.

God built it at great cost to himself and to his Son, and he gave it to you.

The “purchase” agreement is called a “new covenant.” The terms read: “This house shall become and remain yours if you will receive it as a gift and take delight in the Father and the Son as they inhabit the house with you. You shall not profane the house of God by sheltering other gods nor turn your heart away after other treasures.”

Would it not be foolish to say yes to this agreement, and then hire a lawyer to draw up an amortization schedule with monthly payments in the hopes of somehow balancing accounts?

You would be treating the house no longer as a gift, but a purchase. God would no longer be the free benefactor. And you would be enslaved to a new set of demands that he never dreamed of putting on you.

If grace is to be free — which is the very meaning of grace — we cannot view it as something to be repaid. Selected

His Grace is new . . . every Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Press On

mom away day 2 046A pathway to the sea

Good Morning

Philippians 3:13-15
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Not many of us are living are our best.
We linger in the lowlands
because we are afraid to climb the mountains.
The steepness and ruggedness dismay us,
and so we stay in the misty valleys
and do not learn the mystery of the hills.
We do not know what we lose in our self-indulgence,
what glory awaits us
if only we had courage for the mountain climb,
what blessings we should find
if only we would move to the uplands of God.

Oh, press on . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 9, 2014 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – The Directed Path

mom away 005I’m gonna walk on the beach today.

Good Morning,

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Jeb Magruder, assistant to President Nixon during the infamous Watergate scandal of the ’70s, stood before Judge John Sirica to be sentenced for his part in the crime. “Do you have anything to say,” the Judge asked.
Magruder replied, “I know what I have done, and your Honor knows what I have done. Somewhere between my ambition and my ideals, I lost my ethical compass.”
Whether it be a ship on the high seas, a plane jetting through the sky, a hiker in the Rocky Mountains, or a man trying to make his way through life – nothing but disaster can come when we lose our compass.
Edmund Burke, famed British Statesman (1729-1797), said, “When ancient opinions and rules of life are taken away, the loss cannot possibly be estimated. From that moment, we have no compass to govern us, nor can we know distinctly to what port to steer.”
No one can anticipate all the situations you will encounter in life, or all the specific answers you will need for your journey ahead. But what we can do is avail ourselves to the guiding principles of life found in the Bible — principles that will help you set your soul to the course God has charted out for you.
Open your heart to God’s Word and He will fill you with understanding of such clarity that you will be able to navigate the course of your life no matter how dark the night, thick the fog, or long the trek – be it filled with calm or strife.
He will guide you along the Directed Path. ~~~ Rylie

Follow His Path . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Today’s Scripture – Zechariah 2:5

Good Morning

Zechariah 2:5
For I, saith the Lord,
will be unto her a wall of fire round about,
and will be the glory in the midst of her.

Are you feeling weak, vulnerable, unsure or weary?

Look up! to your Father being a wall of protection around you
and strength, grace and help right next to you.

Take God at His Word . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 4, 2014 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Healthy Things Grow

sept 3Not much is sadder looking
than a garden tired from working all summer long.

Good Morning,

After a very busy last week, I think my life maybe settling back down to ‘normal’.

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:2).

Here is a formula I developed some time ago, which many have found to be very helpful in assessing just where they are in this thing called spiritual growth. Perhaps you will find it useful in your life as well. It consists of seven simple facts, each one leading to the other in a natural and inevitable sequence of healthy growth.

Fact #1 — healthy things grow. This is a fact. If you want to be healthy, you are going to grow. This is true of many things; whether it be people, plants, businesses, marriages, churches, investments, or whatever — if it is healthy, it will grow.

Fact #2 — growing things change. This is how we know they are growing. They are different than when we last saw them.

Fact #3 — changing things challenge us. Mark Twain said, “The only person that likes change is a wet baby.” Basically, we like things to stay the way we like them. We are creatures of habit and comfort, and so enjoy things to be left alone when we have them just the way we think they ought to be. When change happens, it presents us with challenge. The greater the change; the greater the challenge.

Fact #4 — challenging things force us to trust God. I mean, what else are you going to do — quit? Challenge requires that we trust God, especially when we are faced with something that seems to be more than we can handle. God knows your limits. He knows exactly where to apply the pressure to cause you to turn to Him in faith. What might be a test for someone else may be a walk in the park for you — and vice versa. It is not a test until it forces you to turn to God in simple trust.

Fact #5 — trust leads to obedience. The old Gospel song writer said it best, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” If we truly trust the Lord, He will reveal His will to us; show us what to do. Thus, trust leads to obedience. The only question now is, will we obey?

Fact #6 — obedience makes us healthy. Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. For My yoke is easy, and My burden light; and you shall find rest for your souls.” When we obey the Lord, His joy floods our souls and His peace fills our lives. There is no rest for the wicked; but those who do God’s will find their lives filled with blessing.

And Fact #7 — healthy things grow! Now we are back to where we started. That’s how it works; it is the cycle of spiritual growth every child of God experiences. Even now you are somewhere in this cycle — that is, if you want to be healthy.

Review these seven phases and consider where you are in the process. You’ll end up in a good place, praising God for bringing you through it all.~~~Rylie

I’m thankful ‘The Bread of Life’ is able to sustain me through all the changes on my way.
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s Thought – He Cares

july 24 flowers 011 Zinnia

Good Morning
Matthew 28:20
.  .  .  lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear. Rather look at them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto; do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, but aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. ~~~Frances de Sales.

HE will silently plan for thee,
Object thou of omniscient care;
God Himself undertakes to be
They Pilot through each subtle snare.

He WILL silently plan for thee,
So certainly, He cannot fail!
Rest on the faithfulness of God,
In Him thou surely shalt prevail.

He will SILENTLY plan for thee,
Some wonderful surprise of love.
Eye hath not see, nor ear hath heard,
But it is kept for thee above.

He will silently PLAN for thee,
His purposes shall all unfold;
The tangled skein shall shine at last,
A masterpiece of skill untold.

He will silently plan FOR THEE,
Happy child of the Father’s care,
As though no other claimed His love,
But thou alone to Him wert dear.
~~E. Mary Grimes.

Let Him plan . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 29, 2014 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s Thought – Run With Patience

aug 8 015 “I am so tired of see that camera in my face”
thinks Busterford Jones.

Good Morning

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
[who have borne testimony to the Truth],
let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight)
and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly)
clings to and entangles us,
and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence
the appointed course of the race that is set before us,   Amplified Bible

To run with patience is very difficult thing. Running is apt to suggest the absence of patience, the eagerness to reach the goal. We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet, I do not think the invalid’s patience the hardest to achieve.

There is a patience which I believe to be harder–the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: It is the power to work under a stroke; to have a great weight at your heart and still to run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily task. It is a Christlike thing!

Many of us would nurse our grief without crying if were allowed to nurse it. The hard thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in bed, but in the street. We are called to bury our sorrows not in lethargic quiescence, but in active service–in the exchange, in the workshop, in the hour of social intercourse, in the contribution to another’s joy. there is no burial of sorrow so difficult as that; it is the “running with patience.

This was Thy patience, O Son of Man! It was at once a waiting and a running–a waiting for the goal, and a doing of the lesser work meantime. I see Thee at Cana turning the water into wine lest the marriage feast should be clouded. I see Thee in the desert feeding a multitude with bread just to relieve a temporary want. All, all the time, Thou wert bearing a might grief, unshared, unspoken. Men ask for a rainbow in the cloud; but I would ask more from Thee. I would be, in my cloud, myself a rainbow–a minister to others’ joy. My patience will be perfect when it can work in the vineyard. ~~~~George Matheson

“When all our hoes are gone,
“Tis well our hands must keep toiling on
For others’ sake:
For strength to bear is found in duty done;
And he is best indeed who learns to make
The joy of others cure his own heartache.”

Run with Patience . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 26, 2014 at 11:37 am  Comments (2)  
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Today’s thought – Get Up and Win the Race!

feb11 003She is waiting,
( not too patiently),
for me to get out of ‘her’ chair!

Good Morning

THE RACE (a poem by D.H. Groberg)

“Even if godly people fall down seven times, they always get back up” (Proverbs 24:16).

“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They shout at me and plead,
“There’s just too much against you now. This time you can’t succeed!”
And as I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race – young boys, young men – how I remember well.

Excitement, sure! But also fear; it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope; each thought to win the race.
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went! Young hearts and hope afire.
To win and be the hero there was each young boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular whose dad was in the crowd,
was running near the lead and thought, “My dad will be so proud!”

But as they speeded down the field across a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought to win lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself his hands flew out to brace,
and mid the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.

So down he fell, and within him hope; he couldn’t win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face.
Which to the boy so clearly said: “Get up and win the race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done; behind a bit, that’s all
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs; he slipped and fell again!

He wished then he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now; I shouldn’t try to race.”
But in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face.
That steady look which said again: “Get up and win the race!”

So up he jumped to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to move real fast!”
Exerting everything he had he gained eight or ten,
but trying so hard to catch the lead he slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore; three strikes: I’m out! Why try?”
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away;
so far behind, so error prone; a loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “Get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here. Get up and win the race.
With borrowed will, get up,” it said, “you haven’t lost at all.
For winning is no more than this: To rise each time you fall.”

So up he rose to run once more, and with a new commit
he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran so as to win.
Three times he’d fallen, stumbling; three times he rose again;
to far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner as he crossed the line first place.
Head high, and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But when the fallen youngster crossed the line in last place,
the crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud.
You would have thought he’d won the race to listen to that crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says:

“GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!” . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 25, 2014 at 11:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Today’s thought – Are You Deaf?

aug 8 010Along the shed wall

Good Morning

Isaiah 55:1-3
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?
and your labour for that which satisfieth not?
hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me:
hear,
and your soul shall live;
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
even the sure mercies of David.

At a wayside shack just off a highway where we stopped to inquire directions, recalls Carrie Jacobs Bond (who wrote those beautiful words, The End of a Perfect Day), a wistful-looking woman, drawn into conversation, said, “We don’t have any music, we haven’t a radio, and we don’t get to town. I wish I was you-all.” . . . Behind the shack there was a little pond, where in the shade of overhanging willows, some ducks drifted lazily. “Have you any frogs in your pond?” I inquired, and she said indifferently, “Yes, and they croak every night.”

In my hillside garden the frogs have a choral which I would not exchange for any other. When twilight comes the big basso tunes up, directs and leads, and soon the woodland music of a score of lusty throats take up the symphony, deep and tuneful, in a manner peculiar to frogs. To me this is one of the night’s loveliest sounds. Often we silence the radio, which we enjoy in its way, to get the quivering chorus of the little brown and green choristers of the pool. There is no other music like it. At the dawning of the twittering and calling of the birds awakens the sleeper. During the day the gladsome note of feathered songsters is heard over the garden.

This poor “deaf” woman had her ears turned to the horizon, and never knew that she was missing the wonderful harmonies of nature. Just as so often we fix our eyes on the “apples on the other side of the wall”. ~~~From an old clipping.

What are we wanting to hear . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 22, 2014 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – That’s the Way I Feel About You

sunSUNFLOWER

Good Afternoon

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

One hot July morning, I awoke to the clicks of a broken fan blowing humid air across my face. The well‐used fan had seen better days. It had only one setting, and its blades were worn and bent. It needed repair. So, I thought, did my life.

Earlier that year Sarah, our Down’s syndrome daughter, had undergone heart surgery. That was behind us, but now we faced mounting medical bills that insurance wouldn’t cover. On top of that, my husband’s job would be eliminated in just weeks, and losing our home seemed inevitable.

As I closed my eyes to try to put together a morning prayer, I felt a small hand nudge my arm. “Mommy,” Sarah said, “I g‐g‐got r‐r‐ready for v‐v‐vacation B‐B‐Bible school all by myself!”

Next to the bed stood five‐year‐old Sarah, her eyes twinkling through thick, pink‐framed glasses. Beaming, she turned both palms up and exclaimed, “Ta‐dah!”

Her red‐checked, seersucker shorts were on backward, with the drawstring stuck in the side waistband. A J. C. Penney price tag hung from a new, green polka‐dot top. It was inside out. She had chosen one red and one green winter sock to go with the outfit. Her tennis shoes were on the wrong feet, and she wore a baseball cap with the visor and emblem turned backward.

“I‐I‐I packed a b‐b‐backpack, t‐t‐too!” she stuttered while unzipping her bag so I could see what was inside. Curious, I peered in at the treasures she had so carefully packed: five Lego blocks, an unopened box of paper clips, a fork, a naked Cabbage Patch doll, three jigsaw puzzle pieces, and a crib sheet from the linen closet.

Gently lifting her chin until our eyes met, I said very slowly, “You look beautiful!”

“Thank y‐y‐you.” Sarah smiled as she began to twirl around like a ballerina.

Just then the living room clock chimed eight, which meant I had forty‐five minutes to get Sarah, a toddler, and a baby out the door. As I hurried to feed the kids while rocking a crying infant, the morning minutes dissolved into urgent seconds. I knew I was not going to have time to change Sarah’s outfit.

Buckling each child into a car seat, I tried to reason with Sarah. “Honey, I don’t think you’ll be needing your backpack for vacation Bible school. Why don’t you let me keep it in the car for you.”

“No‐o‐o‐o. I n‐n‐need it!”

I finally surrendered, telling myself her self‐esteem was more important than what people might think of her knapsack full of useless stuff. When we got to church, I attempted to redo Sarah’s outfit with one hand while I held my baby in the other. But Sarah pulled away, reminding me of my early morning words, “No‐o‐o‐o… I l‐l‐look beautiful!” Overhearing our conversation, a young teacher joined us. “You do look beautiful!” the woman told Sarah. Then she took Sarah’s hand and said to me, “You can pick up Sarah at 11:30. We’ll take good care of her.”

As I watched them walk away, I knew Sarah was in good hands. While Sarah was in school, I took the other two children and ran errands. As I dropped late payments into the mailbox and shopped with coupons at the grocery store, my thoughts raced with anxiety and disjointed prayer. What did the future hold? How would we provide for our three small children? Would we lose our home? Does God really care about us? I got back to the church a few minutes early. A door to the sun‐filled chapel had been propped open, and I could see the children seated inside in a semicircle listening to a Bible story.

Sarah, sitting with her back to me, was still clutching the canvas straps that secured her backpack. Her baseball cap, shorts, and shirt were still on backwards and inside out.

As I watched her, one simple thought came to mind: “I sure do love her.”

As I stood there, I heard that still, comforting voice that I have come to understand is God’s: “That’s the way I feel about you.”

I closed my eyes and imagined my Creator looking at me from a distance: my life so much like Sarah’s outfit—backward, unmatched, mixed up.

“Why are you holding that useless ‘backpack’ full of anxiety, doubt, and fear?” I could imagine God saying to me. “Let Me carry it.”

That night as I once again turned on our crippled fan, I felt a renewed sense of hope. Sarah had reminded me that God’s presence remains even when life needs repair. I might not have the answers to all my problems—but I would always be able to count on Him to help carry the load. by Nancy Jo Sullivan

Count on God  . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today’s thought – There is a Pause

feb14 010Today is a quiet quilting day.

Good Morning

Be silent unto God and let him mold thee.
Psalms 46:10 (Trans)

In every life
There’s a pause that is better than onward rush,
Better than hewing or mightiest doing;
‘Tis the stand still at Sovereign will.

There’s a hush that is better than ardent speech,
Better than sighing or wilderness crying;
‘Tis the being still at Sovereign will.

The pause and the such sing a double song
In unison low and for all time long.
O human soul, God’s working plan
Goes on, nor needs the aid of man!
Stand still and see!
Be still, and know!

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Psalm 46:10-11 KJV

Pause . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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