Category Archives: childhood memories

God Rays

 

beach clouds dawn dusk

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

“Those are the glories of God.””The what?”

“The glories of God, ” Sue said, pointing to the sunbeams shining through the clouds.

Wow! I didn’t know I could see the glories of God. Sue should know. After all she’s nine.

“Mom! Mom!” I gasped, hurrying to the front steps of our house. “I just saw the glories of God!”

“What?”

“The glories of God! Come look.”

We walked to our backyard overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

“See. There they are. The glories of God,” I said showing her the streams of light shining downward from the sky. A warm wind brushed against our faces as we stood looking upward. Did God really open the heavens to let those beams of light shine down to earth?

*****

The other day while driving home from work, I saw them again. Shafts of light shining earthward, scientifically called God Rays.

Some day I will see the real God Rays–His glory. In heaven, the Lamb, Jesus Christ is the light. No need for the sun or the moon. His brightness will illuminate eternity (Revelation 21:23).

Come Lord Jesus. My light and my salvation.

 

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Blinders On, Blinders Off


horse_with_blinders_small.jpgClip-clop, clip-clop. That sound meant one thing–the horse-drawn ice cream cart.

Years ago Mom and I flew across the Atlantic to her homeland of Lancashire, England. While visiting, I discovered the Accrington ice cream vendor, an old man atop a yellow stagecoach-style wagon pulled by a horse.

Every afternoon I waited on the street and listened for the clip-clop. I hadn’t been around horses much. So when the wagon stopped in front of Auntie Ray’s house, I gave the man my tuppence then he turned to scoop my frozen treat. That’s when I studied his horse. Chestnut brown, black mane, black tail. There was just one thing I couldn’t see, no matter what angle I looked–his eyes. Blinders, leather squares attached to his bridle covered them. I figured they must be there to keep him looking straight ahead.

Last Sunday, as the congregation sang, O Magnify the Lord, I saw that horse again–blinders and all.

Mary, when you magnify something you make it big, so big it’s the only thing you see. Forget who’s around you . . . what’s going on at home, at work, and yes . . . even at church, and worship me.

Yes Lord. Blinders on.

I sang and worshipped. When my pastor preached, I absorbed the message. Then came the closing song and altar call. I bowed my head. Sometimes I’m the one in need of prayer. Other times, I’m compelled to pray for someone else.

Yes Lord. Blinders off.

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A Glorious Morning

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Many Christmas seasons have passed since the ten days we spent devoid of electricity and modern conveniences.

On New Year’s Day, our family, along with many other northeast Texans, awoke to see fields, roofs, trees, roads and powerlines covered in a two-inch thick glaze of ice. An unexpected overnight storm of sleet followed by freezing rain paralyzed travel, business and most of all, my college break. Linemen worked as fast as they could to restore power in cities and towns. But, we knew it would be a while before they reached our rural area. Dad, mom and I spent our days huddled by the fireplace, our only source of heat, and our nights sleeping beside it.

Six days later roads were still hazardous. Since we couldn’t go to church, Dad decided we’d have our own church at home, by the fireplace.

“Luke chapter two,” Dad said opening his Bible.

What? The Christmas story? Christmas was two weeks ago. Oh well. Wish I had a quilt. Three layers of clothes, a coat and two blankets aren’t enough. Brrrrr. Dad read. Mom and I listened.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (Luke 2: 6)

No room for them in the inn. Probably warm there. Sent to a stable. A drafty, smelly stable. No heat. No bed. Is Dad’s voice cracking?

I glanced upward and watched him take a white handkerchief from his pocket. I could count on one hand the times I’ve seen him cry.

Manger.

Swaddling clothes.

Such harsh conditions. I pulled the blankets closer to my face.

Mary.

Joseph.

The baby.

Jesus—the Prince of Peace. A newborn prince born in a stable, placed in a feeding trough. I’ve heard this story all my life but somehow, today it’s . . . I never really thought . . . tears gushed as I placed myself within the primitive birthing room. I sobbed and bawled and felt foolish for feeling sorry for myself, for being grumpy about the cold and disrupted plans.

Shepherds.

Angels.

Dad closed his Bible. I folded the wet corner of my blanket and wiped my face. Forever changed.

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A Memorable Break

At seventeen I had a lot of questions–few answers. Questions about life. Questions about the future. Questions about God. Is He real? And is there more to being a Christian than going to church and trying to live a good life? Yes, I had questions and a job as the Assistant Head Dining Room Girl at  summer camp.

My duties included setting tables, serving food, serving second and third helpings of food, cleaning tables, washing dishes and mopping floors. As second in command of the eight Dining Room Girls, I had to make sure all our tasks were completed and help solve any problems among us. Consequently, serving three meals a day, plus a night-time snack to staff left little time to enjoy any camp activities.

However, one day before supper, we were invited to step outside and join the campers.

“Everyone take on of these slips of paper from the basket,” said the Camp Director. “Now walk to an area by yourself, sit down and think about what you’re reading. Stay in your spot until you hear the dinner bell.”

I reached into the wicker basket and took one of the folded white papers and meandered to a nearby tree. I plopped beneath it feeling grateful to sit outside a few minutes, even if it was July. I leaned against the tree and opened my assignment.

 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

At last–an answer.

I peered at the sky then down again to what became my favorite Bible verses.

Yes Lord.

I will trust.

 

 

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Hungry?


I remember my stomach growling and that caving in feeling. Never in all my nine years of living did I feel so famished.

“I’m gonna die. Keel over. Die of starvation,” I groaned. You can really work up an appetite climbing trees, playing tag and hide-and-go-seek.

“Dinner’s ready!” mom announced. I ran into the house and plopped into my seat. After the blessing, I ate and ate and ate. Even the hot white mashed stuff with specks of orange in it.

“Mmm. What is this mom? It’s so good.”

“Mashed turnips with some diced carrots mixed in.”

Turnips? Turnips? Mom knows they’re on my Do Not Like list, along with broccoli, greens and brussel sprouts. But . . . why do they taste so good?

Oh yeah. I was hungry . . . real hungry.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

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I Just Want to be a Sheep . . . baa

 

I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.

John 10:14 NLT

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Don’t Ask the Blessing, Offer One

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Why do we pray before meals? Habit? Tradition? For the answer, click here:

http://www.joyfulheart.com/thanksgiving/offer-blessing.htm

When I read this eight years ago it changed my pre-meal perspective and consequently my prayer. Now instead of asking God to bless my food, I bless God, the provider of my food.

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