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Sarah at Christmas

Sarah at Christmas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Empty hands

No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
 --Exodus 24: 20. NIV

I read God's words to Moses this morning and thought, Whoa! Then I looked at my hands. 

When the time comes to say hello to God, face-to-face, what will be in my hands?

Oh, don't get me wrong, I know I can't take anything with me, but what have I given to Him that I'm leaving behind? Have my hands been a blessing to others?

What is an important legacy? One that God smiles over and blesses?

We'll all have different answers. Children, ministry, jobs, good deeds, support of pastor and church, talents, etc. I'm sure various ideas come to your mind as you read this. 

But are those the "things" that God really wants?

The Psalmist, King David, was wealthy and powerful. He was a talented dude too with lots of "things" to hand to God, and he brought multitudes of offerings to the Lord. He preferred sacrifices that cost him something. He made once this statement:

But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.--2 Samuel 24-24.

Hmmm. I wonder if I've surrendered anything that truly cost me something. That "something" could be time, money, talent, even life itself. I give offerings, but how much real expenditure is in them? Have I really, ever given up something I wanted to keep? A gift I couldn't live without? Have I given an artifact or asset that cost me an enormous submission?

That's kinda like the age old debate, "How much goodness is enough?"

David expressed the true sacrifice that pleases God in Psalm 51:16-17:

You do not delight in sacrifice, or would bring it. You do not take pleasure in brunt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. O God, you will not despise.

Ah ha! Now I know the gift that pleases God the most. What He wants to see in my hands is my heart.



Friday, October 13, 2017

Weeds Ruin the Beauty



I walk by a rock garden when I tread the neighborhood. The garden was once beautiful. Roses. Large stones. Little pebbles. An assortment of small colorful flowers. I don't garden, so I don't know their names, but they were pretty.

The weeds took over. No more beauty.

How quickly those weeds grew. Before I knew it, they'd ruined a tranquil sight.

As I passed by today, I stopped and photographed the garden. Like the garden, my mind gets full of similar weeds at times. How about yours?

We go along, thinking our thoughts, taking care of daily activities, and then BOOM!

Weeds control our thoughts and actions. Ugly weeds.

What kind of weeds do you have today?  I'll tell you a few of mine, but please keep them a secret, OK?

Fear.

Yep.  I'm fearful about stuff coming my way. Our daughter is ill, and decisions must be made. I don't like it one bit. I also dread with mucho anxiety what the outcome will be. 

Anger

This weed is small at the moment. That's because I yank it up and throw it out, but it grows back. Who do I feel angry toward? Mostly circumstances I can't control. Big whooop on that one, right? If I can't control something, why be mad? I pull that weed up often.

Resentment

This one is small too, but it also grows back. I sometimes resent circumstances that keep me tied down. 

I have notes taped to my desk. Here one I wrote in a Sarah book, and because it spoke to me, I taped it near as a reminder.

"Sarah," Mother Goodness smiled, "Don't look below at the circumstances. Look above to the Father."

Good advice, right? So, I need to stop looking below at the fear, anger or resentment about things down here I can't control.

I remind myself that Someone bigger than me is the Master Gardener, and He's got the landscape planned. I'm just the weed remover.






Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Treadmills. Do You Like Them?


I'm gonna buy another one. Do I want to? NOOOOOOO, I don't!! I hate getting on the thing. I usually go to the gym and select one in the lineup. When I forget my earbuds, I'm forced to read the closed captions on the TV.  If I remember the earbuds, I can listen to an audio book. The TV or book makes the walk go down easier. The trip to the gym is an hour round trip from my house, not counting the time on the hated gadget. Sigh. If I have one at home, maybe I'll use it daily and have time for other, pleasurable things. Maybe. That's the plan, anyway.

In my next Sarah book, my little dyslexic angel helps a human with a makeover. Sarah and Valerie join a gym to help with weight control and physical well being. Like me, Sarah finds the equipment torturous. If you've read any of my Sarah books, you know she's gonna cause accidents in the gym. Unexplained, funny, chaos.

At the end of the book, Sarah accomplishes her mission. Valerie, the earthling, becomes confident and healthy, both physically and mentally. Right choices do that for us.

Wouldn't it be lovely if an angel came down to help us with doubt? Or our weight? Or the myriad of problems we face?

Truth be told, sometimes they do.

I'm studying the book of Exodus. In chapter 23:20, God tells the Israelites that He's sending an angel ahead of them to guard them along the way and to bring them to the place He'd prepared for them.

I know God didn't send Sarah. She would have kept them lost. Sarah can't find her way, even with a map. She sometimes flies up when she means to float down.

Even with God's help and the angel's direction, the wandering, freed, Egyptian slaves acted obstinate at times. Rebellion seemed to be in their DNA. 



And we in our modern day are no different. We're stubborn folks, similar to the proverbial donkey. We don't always do what is good for us. Like the treadmill or healthy eating. We break those Ten Commandments too.

So is there hope for us? When life is hard and we have stuff we don't want to deal with? What about when we fail? Or the times we bury our head in the sand and procrastinate?

Put one step in front of the other and return to the treadmill of life. If you fall off, get back on. Is it fun to do the difficult? Nope. Not at all.


But we can do this! 


At the end of the challenge, we'll find a rainbow. When the blood work reveals better numbers, and the scale shows a reduction in weight, we'll be happy we stayed on task.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Gene Kelley Sang in It



Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
 It's learning to dance in the rain."


Gene Kelly not only danced in the rain, he sang it it!



Are you in the midst of a storm? 
We are. No, not Harvey, that one passed.
This one is personal. We have rain that others can't see.
Our days are dark while others have sunshine.

Decisions need to be made about our very ill daughter.
And the choices we need to make are sad.

So what do we do in a storm?
Cry?
Get angry?
Resentful?
Bury our head in bed?

God gives hope during the cruelest of storms, 
so why not sing?

And Dance!

God will enjoy our positive response and performance.

He'll also probably laugh at my hubby's attempt at dancing.



Saturday, October 7, 2017

Classic Cars


A Car Classic.

We have an Classic Car Club in our neighborhood. It's so much fun to see these cars. Owners drive them in parades and keep them in mint condition.


Here's a truck a neighbor puts in his yard at Christmas. Isn't it a delight?

These cars and trucks came at the right time in history. Farmers found they could get produce to the markets faster in trucks than by horse and buggy. Taking a Sunday drive was a big event to look forward to as the week went by. Women weren't thought strong enough or smart enough to drive a Model T. The crank could give quite a kick. Henry Ford's early invention cost about $300.00.

Good inventions came in the early 1900's.

However, so did natural disasters.
Like the Dust Bowl.
The Great Depression.


Mattie's Choice is an entertaining way to learn about history. You'll find it in print and eBook on Internet online book sellers.

Many of my author friends ask interesting questions. Here's another blog where I'm the featured author. I hope you'll learn something new about me and my book, Mattie's Choice.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Walking and Talking


Are you familiar with that old hymn, "In the Garden?" I'm singing as I write. Don't you wish you could hear me? Probably not. Not the way I sing. The chorus goes like this.

And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share, as we tarry there,
None other, has ever known.

Several years ago, I was leading a service featuring hymn singing. We sang as a congregation and also had solos and ensembles to sing specials. My five year old grandson sat on the front row. One of our dear, sweet, older ladies approached from the middle of the sanctuary. As she walked down the aisle to the front, she announced, "I'm gonna sing 'In the Garden.'"

My grandson looked at her and then said to me, "Why does she have to go to the garden? Can't she just sing in here like everyone else?"

Children that age take everything literally. So does my angel, Sarah. Such comments bring us a smile. Sometimes, they bring a belly laugh.

Today, I'm on InnerSource, and I've written a devotional about the Biblical Ruth. The title of the article is Walking and Talking.  I hope you'll read it.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Stuff You Might Not Know.


I'm on a couple of interview sites today. I hope you'll check them out. I reveal a few secrets. Shhh. Don't tell, OK?

The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction: Gay N Lewis' New Release - Mattie's Choice!: It is my pleasure to introduce  you to one of my favorite authors , Gay N Lewis. I have read many of her books.  1.Tell us a little a...


Here's another. They are similar but different. These ladies asked questions that made me think about answers. I hope my responses will be a blessing to you.

Fay Lamb's Blog