Monday, January 24, 2011

The Message, Simply Put

Why say it again?  It's been said beautifully and completely over and over.  Why not just go on and not bother?
Because we are commanded to say it, and it never grows old.
Most people are on a road to destruction, never dreaming that there is such a thing as a spiritual world.  They have never experienced it, so it's like telling an ant about brain surgery.
There must be a gentle nudge from the supernatural to be awakened to a receptive spirit.
We are body, soul, and spirit, but the spirit remains DEAD until awakened by rebirth.  Spiritual rebirth.
This is faith.  This is repentance.
Oh, yes, the soul seems to be full of emotional and profound yearnings for the spiritual, but it is seeking a false wholeness.
Only the spirit can know the things of the spirit.
That is so frustrating to those of us who have humbled ourselves and accepted Christ in faith as Savior.  We can only pray that those people we truly love, but are spiritually blind, can be touched by their need for forgiveness, for faith, for truth.
No, nothing but faith in Christ will awaken the spirit.
Jesus said to Nicodemus in John, "You must be born again."  He refers to the spirit.  Paul indicates that the spirit is dead until spiritual rebirth.
Don't even try to understand the things of the spirit unless you have repented, accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and put your trust in Him.
It is impossible with out Christ, but all things are possible with Him!
Do it today.  Don't wait.  The things of the Spirit are the most fulfilling things of life, and it is simply heartbreaking that so few of us know and reap the benefits of knowing Christ.
The power is overwhelming, and the love is all-encompassing.
Yes, it is hard to give this message. To open a new world to anyone is nothing short of miraculous.
But miracles do happen everyday.  Just listen!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Complexities

It's a Monday morning and we are in full swing, but I just had to write a bit today.  It is a fact that the busier you are the more organized you become and consequently are able to accomplish WAY more than usual.
It's a day off for most of the world, but not us. 
My daughter, who is in the process of becoming a life guard, needed more swim time, and we made the "sacrifice" of joining the YMCA.  This will be beneficial to ALL of us!  I have two children on staff there already, and perhaps the 3rd will be soon to follow!  We started off well today, and swam our laps.
Tonight is book club, here, and we are back in business with having folks over.  My husband completed the new floor in the living room/dining room and it is beautiful.  So happy to have it looking gorgeous.
I read a World War 2 autobiography last night.  Fascinating to read how hard it was for people back in the 30's and 40's.  We have SO much now.
If things get worse for our economy and the value of the dollar diminishes significantly we have some hard times in store for us too.  The headline in the news today is relevant to this issue.  Things are changing.
In all this change I know Who is in charge.  What a relief.
My friend went to be with Jesus the other day.  Her passing came more quickly than anticipated.  She is rejoicing in Heaven.  Her loss here is only beginning to be felt.
Complexities.  The puzzles of life are so much more interesting, and heartbreaking, than the ones we choose to do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Great Thou Art-Accordion

Maple Leaf Rag

Gratefulness

As promised, I wanted to write a few thoughts on what I've been learning about gratefulness.
Sometimes when circumstances add up to bleakness it seems amazing that a simple character trait can counter-balance the entire load.  I think that must be super-natural, as there can be no human explanation of this simple solution.
Today is the perfect day for a composition on gratefulness for me.  I must set the stage.
On Sunday my eldest son still at home came down with THE FLU.  He's 18, but it had no special consideration for his maturity.  Poor boy, up half the night, just miserable sitting on the bathroom floor.  What can a mom do?  I did what I could.  He's still alive and functioning.  Missed his first day of class. 
Miss Corgi, the cute and wonderful mischief of the house, did a no-no AGAIN on the new floor, which is not even completely installed in the living room.  AAARRGGGHHH!  That is not swearing, but it's close.  This action required a re-installment of certain laminate boards, which had been purchased specified for such malfeasance.   Perhaps this laminate ISN'T what we thought it was.  At least there was the plastic underlay.
With floor projects underway you can only imagine the confusion and disorder around us.  I feel sometimes paralyzed by the number of things that "need to be done."
I was denied medical coverage due to my chronic pain issues as of January 1.  There appears to be hiring freezes everywhere in the cities, and a move means giving up lots of beloved activities here, as well as convenience in being located near to family.  A little grief and loss to be dealt with.
My friend and our kids piano teacher has been given 4 weeks to live.  Her loss has an effect on all of us.  She has breast cancer, and it spread.
And yes, I have my own physical pain.
But that is the stage set.  I have just the equalizer in all of this mayhem!  I am grateful.  Not for everything, but just enough.  I SHOULD be grateful for everything, but give me time.
I am grateful to be ambulatory and able to teach, knit, paint, play music, and cook.  I'm grateful for a washing machine and dryer which do not control my life!  I'm grateful for the books I've been reading and all that interests me.  I'm glad my husband can have a sabbatical of rest, and time to do something completely different from what he was doing for the past 10 years.  Not working gives such a new appreciation for work!
I'm grateful for children with bright minds and pure consciences.  I'm thrilled with their achievements (which I could brag about, but that wouldn't be right).
I'm grateful for music, and how it ministers to my spirit.
I'm grateful for a bevy of friends who really care about me and mine and pray for me when I ask them too.
I'm grateful for bodies that heal!  Immune systems that fight disease and function as they should.
I'm grateful for having all I need.  God promised me that, and He has kept his promise to me.
And for that new floor, which will be so easy to keep clean!  And the plastic underlay....
And a husband who can and does all the work willingly!
That is my lesson on gratefulness.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sun Shining on Snowflakes

What a gorgeous day in January.  Fresh pure snow, the big kind of snowflake clumps, and sunshiny blue sky making them sparkle.  I wonder what word the Eskimos have for this kind of snow.  I'd call it schuss-snow.  It's the kind of snow you can shower in a beautiful wave with your skis.
Oldest son is back at college, trying to manage his Mono-recovering body and a new schedule.
I am "doing" school with my younger bunch, and trying to clean up the holiday detritus as quickly as possible.  On to new goals and heights!
My resolutions are so far so good! 
I had lunch with my book club friends yesterday and one of them offered an analogy that I thought I'd pass on here. 
When life has no apparent road map there is a sense of loss and fear.  Confusion.  But picture a big white envelope with the instructions for the next step inside.  You want to peel back a corner and peek at the contents!  Just a hint of what might be inside!
Just the knowledge that the envelope exists is comforting!  It helps to picture something tangible.   There is plan.  There is a future.  It's coming in a package deal and it's something to be thankful for.
Onward!  SCHUsssssssss...........!