His Eye is on the Sparrow

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As Christians, we all believe that God’s eye is on the sparrow…but this sparrow took an unfortunate drunken dive into the water.

And so it goes with us – we get busy with the daily demands of life until in our own stupor we realize that we thirst for the time to find peace, comfort, and solace. We need something greater than what we can achieve on our own. We need the hand of God on our busy lives.

Come unto me all who are weak and heaven laden and I will give you rest. Don’t wait till you are taking a nosedive…seek God’s call on your life.

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

The lost art of Letter Writing

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My friend and artist, Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson has sent out a plea for people to write her a personal letter. Directions can be found on her blog at http://paperpaintings.growingbolder.com/snail-mail-me/.

Elizabeth uses handwritten letters in her paintings. It is special and poetic and so lovely to see how Elizabeth creates masterpieces from scraps of paper.

I try to write letters as often as possible. There are few things more thoughtful than receiving a hand-written letter from someone. The time it took to write and to think through the writing process is what makes a letter so intimate. It is a dying art form and I wish more people would spend the time writing something to someone once a day. I truly consider it art. So does Elizabeth.

I think back to Paul sitting in prison writing letters to the early Christian churches. Not only did Paul’s letters cheer weary souls but it also showed how much he cared for them even during the worst of circumstances. Paul’s letters live on today in the New Testament with wisdom we still use to enrich our lives.

I doubt Paul realized his letters would travel so far but I’m glad he wrote them. Paul’s writings glorify Christ in a unique and special way.

Send Elizabeth a letter. Better yet, send someone you love a letter.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3

This is my Father’s World

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My Dad couldn’t hear. As a POW during WWII in Nazi Germany, he developed an untreated ear infection which hindered his ability to hear. He always wore a “headband” style hearing aid and my friends thought he looked distinguished. I thought he was handsome.

Dad and I enjoyed attending football games together and he was always attentive as I talked incessantly. One day, I looked over before the game started to see him turn off his hearing aid. It was a subtle gesture but I realized he was pretending to listen to me while enjoying the game. I wasn’t mad – I thought it was genius.

In fact, I continued to talk to Dad throughout the game and for the rest of his earthly days. Dad was my favorite talking partner. We could solve the problems of the world on a lazy afternoon in our rocking chairs over a glass of sweet tea.

Dad gets to chat with Jesus now. His hearing is restored and everything is new again. I talk to Jesus all the time and ask him to watch over Dad and Mom.

I know Jesus hears everything. What a wonderful Savior. What a wonderful Father.

This is my Father’s world,

and to my listening ears

all nature sings, and round me rings

the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:

I rest me in the thought

of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

his hand the wonders wrought.

 

This is my Father’s world,

the birds their carols raise,

the morning light, the lily white,

declare their maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world:

he shines in all that’s fair;

in the rustling grass I hear him pass;

he speaks to me everywhere.

 

This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

that though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:

why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!

God reigns; let the earth be glad!

The Lord’s Prayer

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It is in the sweet, simple moments of life that we often get a glimpse of God’s glory. That happened for me last night.

As we prepared to eat our evening meal, my four year old granddaughter began to lead us in prayer. But, instead of the regular singsong pre-kindergarten based melody typically spoken, Lily recited the Lord’s Prayer. She did this without prompting and without any of the adults assembled around our table being forewarned. I am assuming that they have been working on this at school.

Lily spoke the Lord’s Prayer from memory and I was astounded.

Life comes full circle. From grandparents, to parents to children of the next generations, we lead our loved ones to a closer walk with Jesus. Today, I was reminded of that fact. What started long before my own beloved grandparents continues today with their great-great Granddaughter. I am a living witness to the power of a Savior who continues to love my family through Lily’s blessing of our meal.

The sweet prayers of a child reached deep into the heart of an aging grandparent and reminded me of God’s tender mercies.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Think and Grow Rich?

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It makes me sad that modern day authors, speakers and motivational personalities like to preach a message of prosperity. It takes the concept of “think and grow rich” to a whole new level. It sells their books and helps them to line their own pockets .

Do I believe that God wants us to have a good life? Sure, I do. But, and here is the important part…I just don’t think you can “think and grow rich”. I don’t think there is an easy path to wealth. I don’t believe in focusing on your “abundance consciousness.”

More importantly, why would anyone think having great wealth is the primary goal and MOST important thing in life? When did wealth become more essential than loving the Lord with all your heart, your soul and your mind?

Be careful what you wish for. Money does NOT equal happiness and I have found over the years that people never think they have enough money regardless of their circumstances.

Think on Jesus. Ponder His words in your heart. Steep your soul in prayer. Then you will be wealthy beyond your wildest imaginations.

The Waiting Game

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Due to my chosen profession, I spend a great deal of my day waiting for something.

I wait for contracts, buyers to view homes, handymen, appraisers, phone calls, emails, and more. Even driving in busy traffic, I wait for lights to change, people to move over, and turn signals.

I wait a lot.

I know I am not alone in this issue. We all wait on something. Some things are more challenging than others. I have friends who are currently waiting on jobs, divorce, love, death, and one is waiting on a miracle for their child.

As God’s beloved and chosen ones, we need to learn to wait patiently. I know it is hard but we need to learn to wait on the Lord. It is in the waiting that your character is revealed.

It is in the waiting that you find answers.

It is in the waiting you will hear the whisper of your name.

It is in the waiting that God holds your hand.

 

Because I’m Happy

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The singer, Pharrell’s, new song is making a mark on the music industry with its cheerful message and snappy tune. It is one of those songs that once you hear it…you keep singing it all day long.

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with a prolific Christian author, humorist, speaker, and generous soul to soak up knowledge and insight into the publishing industry. But this was not what made the weekend a success.

What made my weekend so remarkable was Patsy Clairmont’s encouragement. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear some grace-filled words of inspiration and optimism. It made me happy.

Merriam-Webster dictionary described encouraging as “causing a hopeful feeling.” I soaked up all the great advice Patsy offered and it was a spectacular weekend because she exudes joy. I found hope. My soul soared and my life changed from her kind words. I realized how important this can be in a world full of hurt.

To some extent, all of us have been beaten down which can lead to a defeated mentality. Sharing time with someone who exudes joy and happiness and wants to share is life-changing.

I hope today you will share happiness with someone and give them a joy-filled moment in their day. It matters. People need this. I need this.

Because I’m happy.

This land is your land…

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The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. Psalms 115:16

I am a huge fan of Wendell Berry. His stories and his poems celebrate the gifts that God has given to us…especially this world wherein we make our lives. Berry’s stories are a cautionary tale about caring for our earthly home and when he speaks in public, he is cautiously optimistic that there is a shift in how younger generations are starting to view this land. I love to hear his optimism but I also listen to his warnings. He truly cares about this world.

I mourn for the fact that we can’t seem to care for this gift. I mourn that greed and apathy rule such a wonderful place where we live, grow food, raise animals, and farm. Our Garden of Eden is not as God planned but it is never too late to make a change.

Already I see young families starting backyard gardens, recycling is increasing and the organic market is growing exponentially with the increasing population of millennials. Fast food is losing ground with a new generation. I hope it continues. It behooves us to remind the coming generations to take better care of our planet than we have done.

The good news – God takes care of the heavens. Heaven will make this earth pale in comparison and we will gasp at its glory. I look forward to that.

Regrets? I have a few

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I’m somewhat surprised when I hear someone say they have no regrets. I find that hard to believe.

There is only one person that I know who is perfect and we just celebrated His resurrection yesterday. But for the rest of us…we could use some work.

As for me, I have a lot of regrets. Too many to mention. I have been known to sit through Sunday service, say all my prayers of forgiveness with a genuine and contrite heart, march up for communion and then on the way back to my pew my mind wanders to something that I instantly regret. I can go south in a hot minute.

I once thought if I was the sort of person that believed in tattoos, I would put a permanent bodily marking of Romans 3:23 in a place where the sun doesn’t shine. That verse is courtesy of my sweet Baptist upbringing. Romans 3:23 rings true for my life. Some days I just fall a little short of the glory of God. Maybe a lot.

I have learned to live with regret but I try to learn from my mistakes as well. Even more important, I believe in a God that forgives my sins. In fact, it is my desire to try to please Him by decreasing my personal number of regrets earned in a single day.

Regrets? I have a few. But I also have a loving Savior who reminds me daily that He holds my hand as we walk through the highs and lows of this life together. Loving Jesus and choosing to follow Him is the one thing I will never regret.

How great is that?

When life gives you lemons

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…make lemonade

I know this sounds like a really sketchy concept for my Easter Sunday blog. But stick with me for a minute.

This is the ultimate bad day turns out great day in history. If we are to believe that Jesus really did rise from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, then it is absolutely life changing. This is not fiction, it’s not a fable, it’s not just a great story. In fact, if you believe, then you can never go back to normal.

With Jesus – normal is not an option.

If you believe, then you have to believe without reservation or restrictions. It’s time to redirect your course. You can’t just fit Jesus into your life when convenient. Jesus IS your life now. You are a changed person.

Your life may have been lemons before you found Jesus but once you let him into your heart…it’s time to make lemonade. This story, this life of Christ is too big for one day. It’s for all eternity.

Are you all in?