Category Archives: religion

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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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.

dinner.jpg

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Jesus My Rock

oey3olcah90i0wca9wepc4cax0hl86cap782winterlighthouse.jpg“Grandma is this a front cold?”

“Yes Michaela, I think it is,” I answered as I took my grandaughter’s hand and ran toward the car. She must have heard her Dad (my oldest son) and I talking earlier about the expected cold front.

Before we entered the store, the wind was calm and the temperature was in the 70s. Ten minutes later, we stepped outside to a blast of wintry air and cold misty rain. The sudden chill sent us scurrying to our warm Toyota shelter.

Life’s climate can change suddenly too. One phone call delivering tragic news can cause our lives to go off course. The death of a loved one, a serious illness or a severed relationship can chill us with shock and disbelief. Yet in spite of life’s “front colds” our God is constant (Malachi 3:61).  He doesn’t change.

So when I’m overwhelmed, I sprint to the one who’s steadfast and sure. I run to Jesus–my rock.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 

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How Long?

crown1.jpg

During a weary time in my life I asked the Lord,

How Long? How long do I stay faithful?

Later that day I found the answer.

. . . be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.  

Revelation 2:10

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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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Make a Funnel

I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Psalm 143:6 NIV

“When you lift your hands you make a funnel for God’s spirit to come down to you,” said Reverend Lee Stoneking at a recent conference. Hmmm? I’d never thought of it that way. I’d always thought of it as a sign of surrender. Here I am God. I give up. I give it all to you. But make a funnel? OK.

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (and make a funnel) Psalm 63:4

Pour it on God.

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You’ve Turned My Mourning Into Dancing

 

In John Bunyan’s classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian the journeying pilgrim traveled with a heavy load on his back until he came to a hill. On it stood a cross and below it, at the bottom, was a tomb. When Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosened from his shoulders and fell onto the ground. It rolled and rolled until it tumbled into the empty tomb. He never saw it again.

Christian stood in awe at the sight of the cross–amazed that his oppressive burden dropped and rolled away so quickly. He felt released from the pressure he had carried. As a result, he wept and sang and leaped for joy. The cross became a bridge that brought him from a life of despondent sighing, to over flowing gladness and singing.

Like Christian, I basked in a feeling of warm joy when I met Him at the cross. He gave me a new song and turned my mourning into dancing.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing. Psalm 30:11a

Thank you Jesus!

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