Category Archives: reflection

The King’s Favor

The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favor is as dew upon the grass. Proverbs 19:12

It happens every time we go camping. In stillness, quietness and obscurity, after the moon and stars appear. Atmospheric water vapor condenses into droplets. By sunrise, the ground, picnic table and anything left outside is covered with glistening beads of moisture–dew.

And so it is with The King’s favor, and favor with people (Proverbs 19:12). It happens softly, slowly, in ways we can’t see, yet we know when His favor is upon us.

Jesus,
Bless my friends with favor wherever they go–jobs, stores, gas station, drive-thrus and neighborhoods. May your presence draw in souls. Your promises are true. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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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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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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Music from the Ashes

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Digging through the charred rubble of the Su Valley Junior-Senior High School near Talkeetna, Alaska, volunteers recovered several musical instruments. Clarinets, brass horns and a tuba passed from person to person. Elementary School music teacher Sandy Shoulders called it “music from the ashes.”1

A few years ago I experienced a low time in my life. Weeks turned into months and eventually my mental cloud dissipated. Then one day something funny happened at work and I erupted with a loud belly laugh.

“Mary, I’ve never heard you laugh like that,” my co-worker said.

It was true. I hadn’t laughed in a long time. The sound of joy returned, and like the salvaged band instruments, it was music from the ashes.

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22 NIV

1 Associated Press. “Searchers salvage musical instruments from Su Valley rubble.” KTVH-TV June 18, 2007  http://www.webcenter11.com

11/1/08

“Mary, you’re so funny.”

I heard this twice last week. I’m not a comedian by any means, but the sound of laughter confirms the inward joy that God has restored in me. I’m free from things that oppressed and weighed me down. I’m free to be myself. Free to laugh, dance, run, sing and shout. Yes I’m free.

Thank you Jesus.

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The Hourglass of Time

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
 Niccolo Machiavelli

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