Tuesday, October 30, 2007

space, time, and love

(The Lord) who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. who made the great lights-- His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
Psalms 136:5-9 (NIV)

Have you ever looked upward to a midnight blue sky, glimmering with countless twinkling stars? Have you ever contemplated heaven’s endless reach through this awesome universe? Have you ever reflected on God’s creation of you, and of His endless love for you?

Once, while visiting Andrew in Boone, I walked outside and gazed up at a cloudless night sky. It appeared deep and faraway and held an abundance of stars both near and in the distance. I was looking at an infinite expanse through the cosmic darkness. There, in the mountains, away from city lights, I saw the moon and stars with intense clarity. That night, as I lay down to sleep, I marveled at the awesome creation of God and of His love for me.

I know there’s no beginning or end, and that God has always been and always will be. In the midst of endless time, there was an exact moment in which God created this world. These are certainties never intended for me to fully understand – not at this moment in time.

My heavenly Father is the Alpha and the Omega. He created the incredible celestial firmament and spectacular earth. I am but a tiny speck in a vast expanse of space and time, but God knows me by name. The creation of God goes far and beyond the diminutive part visible to my sight and perception. I am in awe of His majesty, power and glory.

God created mankind, He knows our minds and our hearts, and He loves each and every one of us. God is omnipotent, and His love endures forever…

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Revelation 22:13 (NRSV)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

leaves of life

I see the wheel of change turning.

Leaves are slowly drifting to the ground, or plucked away by persuasive winds. The dazzling tints and hues are both enchanting and captivating. Breezes become chilly, but the sun carries on, a continuous radiance that reassures. I gaze pensively at the wheel of change, and it continues to turn.

Smelling the crisp, clean air and strolling through brittle, fallen leaves, both are a joy and a blessing I shall treasure evermore. I witness the transformation unfolding as the wheel of change constantly turns.

God’s earthly creation crosses the seasons, and the wheel of change continues its journey through time. A time of quiet respite, a period that's fresh and new, a season of growth and maturity, an interlude to cleanse and rejuvenate, and then, a return to peaceful rest. God is at the helm, and He is with me at all times and in all places. I am, in all seasons, in His hand.

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
Acts 14:17 (NIV)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I have a sister who’s 4 years, 11 months, and 12 days older than me. She married and moved away from home when I was 13 years, 3 months, and 5 days old. I was 15 years and 6 months old when she had her first son. There are 6 years, 7 months, and 6 days between the dates we were married. There are 6 years, 4 months, and 6 days between the birthdates of her first son and my only son. Enough statistics?

When I was born, Mary wanted to send me back. Supposedly, I cried too much and wouldn’t play with her. Even though my sister’s attitude was selfish, I didn’t hold it against her. After I was old enough to be fun, she became a sweet “little mommy”. Today, she remains a wise, understanding, and entertaining sister. She is still lots of fun!

God blessed me with a sister like Mary! She is especially caring, exceedingly considerate, and extremely compassionate. We have a fantastic relationship, we’ve always gotten along well, and there is nothing we can’t share with each other.

My sis enjoys cooking large meals, especially for family. The larger the number of place settings, the happier she is. Her love for family is a significant part of her life. It’s a treasured relationship, never to be taken for granted. I’m grateful to call her sis and thankful I can make her laugh!

Mary - I smile because you're my sister, I laugh because there's nothing you can do about it!

My Sister
she knows the things I dream of,
the places that I've been,
she accepts the person I've become,
she's a very special friend.
she's always been there for me
no matter where I roam,
and whenever we're together,
it's just like being home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

what matters the most

When I was growing up, there were things I dreamed about being, and things I dreamed about doing. I’d imagine my future held promise, and believe my life had possibility. I dared to dream, but did my dreams to come true? A few became realities, but most were never fulfilled. But in the end, as long as I believed in myself and believed in Jesus Christ, that’s what mattered the most.

I dreamed of being:
a singer – quite gifted, perhaps someone like Rebecca St. James
a musician – harp, flute, and piano, incredible at all three
an ice skater – graceful and breathtaking
an artist – painting landscapes, striving to capture the splendor of God’s creation

I dreamed of:
sailing across vast seas overflowing with dolphins
riding in a hot air balloon on lazy summer mornings
hiking up a tall mountain bursting with waterfalls
camping in the wilderness close to Gentle Ben
living in a log cabin and having a pet deer

I'm all grown up, but even now, I still wonder and I still dare to dream. This one thing I know for sure - I searched and found the Lord. That's what matters the most...

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Psalms 27:8 (NRSV)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

saturday morning

For some strange and unexplainable reason, I awoke earlier than normal this morning. As I was making coffee, I glanced outside and saw that the sky still held immense darkness. I waited eagerly as the tantalizing aroma of coffee brewing made me glad I had awoken to enjoy the dawn of a new day. After the coffee completed its brew, I grabbed my “Appalachian State Mom” mug and pressed it against the pour button.

Mark bought this new coffee maker. I think Tom told him about it (they are both avid coffee enthusiasts). There is nothing wrong with our old coffee maker, but this one is “new and improved”. It has several superior features – such as no carafe for me to break. This purchase was not frivolous – it was a necessary upgrade. I love our new Hamilton Beach 12-Cup BrewStation Coffee Maker Model #47214.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24 (NIV)

Friday, October 19, 2007

my pet, my pal

My dear pet and friend, Callie, does a superb job keeping me company. Even though plenty of her time is spent napping, she manages to amuse and entertain me in quite creative ways. Being an only “child”, she occasionally behaves like a “spoiled rotten brat-cat”. Nevertheless, she normally is a well mannered feline who enjoys human companionship. Callie plays very nicely by herself, but often includes me in activities, whether or not I’m willing.

Each morning, when she determines the proper time has arrived, she begins the awakening process by gently attempting to pull my covers down. If the desired response isn’t accomplished, she quickly moves along to the next stage. With great determination, she paws at the window blinds as if they were piano keys. This creates music that is considerably annoying. Most mornings, I reach an irritated state and regret she isn’t equipped with a snooze button. Eventually, I drag myself from the comforts of sweet dreams and attend to her needs. The ulterior motive behind Callie’s impatient disruptions is food - the hunger to dine on tasty and healthy nutrition heavily laden with delectable gravies. (This is in addition to dry cat food, always at her disposal.)

My presence has been requested. I must go play now.

“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.“
Garrison Keillor

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

in the quietness of the morning

I wasn’t able to sleep last night, so this morning I’ve taken some time to just relax and think. As my thoughts drifted about, I happened upon the subject of peace.

For me, peace is an emotional state of calmness, harmony, contentment, tranquillity, quietness, serenity, stillness, and silence. The only way to have peace within, is to know God within. If I put my cares in His hands, I can have peace in my heart. With everyday responsibilities, distractions, difficulties, etc., it’s sometimes hard to remember the inner peace is there.

May I continually focus on Jesus and experience the peace of God.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (RSV)

I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest--
Psalms 55:6 (NIV)

(the Spirit of God...who descended like a dove upon His Son, as recorded in the four Gospels.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

just a reminder

On some days, God promised renewed strength and healing.
(Isaiah 40:31, 53:4-5)

On other days, I was reminded to trust God to meet my every need.
(Matthew 6:33)

On still other days, God reminded me that I am not alone, that God is with me in every crisis.
(Isaiah 41:10)

God promises, "You will find me when you seek me with all your heart".
(Jeremiah 29:13)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

the daily news

Watching the news on TV, seeing the news online, glancing at the newspaper headlines – nearly everything is about wars, shootings, murders, attacks, abortions, hate crimes, conflicts, deaths, horrible accidents, terrorism, abductions, drugs, deadly illnesses, job cuts, explosions, executions, pornography, robberies, pedophiles, and the list goes on and on and on. And, did I mention, this is just a sampling of today’s news stories?

Yes, I see articles about advances in medicine, a survival story, cancer deaths falling, a lost child found, and, well, let me look harder, yes, I think that’s it for today.

All this negative influence and exposure in my life could really have a detrimental effect, if I allow it. Some things concern me, bother me, make me sad, and cause uncertainty. I believe the encouragements and the blessings and the inspirations should be my focus. Sometimes it’s rather difficult, but I am reminded of a favorite verse, and I know God is in control, He always has been, and He always will be. My life is in his hands.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
-Philippians 4:8 (NRSV)

Friday, October 12, 2007

am i meek?

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Matt. 5:5 (NIV)

O LORD, thou wilt hear the desire of the meek; thou wilt strengthen their heart, thou wilt incline thy ear
Ps 10:17 (RSV)

What does meek mean? It’s defined as showing patience and humility; gentle; easily imposed on; submissive; enduring injury with patience and without resentment; deficient in spirit and courage; and not violent or strong.

To be meek, I must:
not easily get angry
put up with insults and injuries
be considerate to everyone
think more of others than of myself
not be envious
take orders and criticism
accept God’s will
attribute all I have and all I am to God’s grace

Wow! That’s a tall order to fill! I can only work towards this goal with Jesus in my life. I admit, I’ve not really thought about this - God’s desire is for me to be meek. To be meek - at home, at the grocery store, around friends, at WalMart, with family and friends, driving in traffic, around enemies, at church, on a walk in the neighborhood, eating at Chili's - everywhere I am and with everyone I am with.

Wisdom, fear, and meekness, say they, are of high esteem; but, "meekness", is greater than them all.
Author: Unknown

God, teach us to be meek but not weak and to be bold but not arrogant. Amen.

(Photo: Taken by Andrew, on the hill behind Mt Vernon Baptist, Boone, NC)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

out for a drive

We drove up to Boone yesterday. See, when I woke up, I thought breakfast at The Mountain House and lunch at Back Yard Burgers would be a nice treat. And, in spite of all the nay-sayers, the leaves were absolutely beautiful! However, there are a couple of new dents in the truck. Some of the roads we traveled were more suited for motorcycles. On a couple of intense turns, the front fender hit the rear. We weren’t injured – in fact, I rather enjoyed the whole roller coaster road! I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the sights, the drive, and most of all, the company. What a wonderful day.

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
Ps 95:4 NIV

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

on what should i put my food?

I have this “thing” concerning dishes.

I can’t quite remember each dinnerware set we’ve used in twenty-seven years of marriage. The precise reason for this “affliction” is unknown, but if I see something different that I like, I think I want them, for a while anyhow. I’m not sure if I get tired of what we’re currently using, or if I just like playing musical dinnerware. I enjoy looking at new styles and have seen several whimsical sets lately. I wonder if it's time for a change?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


My church is having revival this week. The speaker is Rev. David Miller, a country preacher from Arkansas. In high school, he went from being a quaterback to being confined to a wheelchair due to a rare muscular atrophy disease. He only has use of one arm, but this didn’t keep him from quoting the Bible – he obviously has memorized the texts. Impressive!

He spoke about acknowledging God’s sovereign providence for all blessings. He told of how God’s providence worked in his life when his son was in a serious car accident. Joshua, his son, barely survived the accident, and is now confined to a wheelchair because of paralysis from the upper chest down. Here’s a Christian family, with two members confined to a wheelchair, that faithfully serve our Lord. His story was amazing.

Today, I’ve been reflecting upon God’s providence over my own life… Just what does providence mean? The all-seeing providence of God means that He has not abandoned the world that He created, but rather works within that creation to manage all things according to the immutable counsel of His own will.

By the way, both Mr. Miller and Joshua are avid deer hunters. He “bragged” proudly about Joshua’s recent 11 point kill. Also, he shared another impressive “Joshua” hunting story - he was bow hunting, and one arrow went completely thru an 8 point, then into a 10 point, killing them both. Talk about God’s providence!

I'm looking forward to tonight's sermon.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Monday, October 1, 2007


I know I’ve talked about being a grandmother before, but it’s all so new to me and I love it! I understand there are many stages of being a grandparent, so I must be going thru the first one. I’m O’s Nana (pronounced “nan-a”)!

So, I've been a grandmother for three months and two days. But, I've been thinking, in comparison to my grandmothers: Do I look like a grandma? Do I dress like a grandma? Do I possess a grandma’s wisdom and knowledge? Do I even behave like a grandma? Do I speak like a grandma? Do I work like a grandma? And, what about cooking like a grandma?

Appearance - I don’t wear my hair in a bun and I want a butterfly tattoo
Dress - I have on gym shorts and an old t-shirt that belonged to A, I normally dress very casually
Knowledge - reservoir of family wisdom?, not so much, yet
Behavior - definitely not very refined, accused of being zany at times
Speech - today’s jargon has countless new words, I’m making an effort to improve my grammar
Labor - certainly not tirelessly from sunup to sundown
Cook - nix on daily hot biscuits from scratch, no feast for Sunday dinner, don't wear an apron

My Dad’s mother was Nana (pronounced “na-na”). She died when I was almost 5. Unfortunately, I don’t remember her very well.

My Mom’s mother was Grandmother. She died when I was 12. I have many happy memories of her.

There’s a drastic difference in our life experiences. We are from a different place and another time. My grandmothers' generation led a much simpler life in many ways, but a lot more difficult in others.

Oh Lord, thank you for the Christian legacy of my Grandmothers. Please guide me and teach me to be the grandmother you desire, according to Your will. Thank you for abundantly blessing my life with Olivia. Amen.

Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 17:6 (NIV)