• Being Sentimental

    My floor is strewn with wrapping paper and ribbon, gift tags and tissue paper.  The glitter from the greeting cards permeates everything.  It is my usual flurry as I package up Christmas gifts for my large family. I keep a container with all my extra wrapping materials, including gift bags.  Today as I opened it up to get my needed supplies I came across a number of cloth bags.  To the ordinary eye these are just simple green and red bags with cute little Christmas teddy bears on them.  So why did they bring tears to my eyes? I remember sewing those gift bags so very many years ago.  My…

  • Alive and Well

    Martin Luther said, “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me…” There are many interesting word pictures in this quote.  We don’t usually think of something inanimate as a book as having feet.  Yet that is what makes the Bible the most unique book in the world.  Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, the Bible continues to be a book of action and vitality; its vibrant message having been spread around the world. What about the concept of the Bible running after me?  This speaks to the fact that it is God who…

  • The Sojourn

    Daily she makes the trek to the city.  She can no longer make the long drive alone but must rely on the assistance of family and friends.  Yet nothing can keep her apart from the man who has been her mate for nearly 70 years. Yesterday we were blessed to be able to take her in.  I was quite touched to see the deep love in the eyes of each of my in-laws as they said their hellos.  While my dear 2nd mother said she is okay alone when we dropped her off, I think that statement is both true and false.  Yes, she can function on her own, but…

  • A Bittersweet Day

    The text message I awaited arrived in the wee hours of the morning.  Our son had made it through the long drive through the mountains and was at the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay.  A few hours later he shared his excitement with me as the ferry got underway and he was headed for his new home and job.  He has now arrived at his new residence – full of excitement and expectancy.  This is his dream and he is living it.  As a mother can I ask for more? It has been a night of prayer on my end – knowing that our son had worked a day shift…

  • Being Equipped

    I wouldn’t think of going hiking without proper preparation – good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, etc.  Can you imagine the difficulty I would have if I was wearing dressy shoes for my excursion?  They just aren’t practical for the situation.  I might get where I want to go but I would be in pain most certainly. If I want to tackle a sewing project the correct tools make the job much easier.  Yes, I can sew a garment with just a needle and thread, but that takes considerable more time and effort than using a sewing machine.  If I want to be efficient, with a high quality product,…

  • Forget What Is Behind

    Often I have read and taken to heart Paul’s words in Philippians “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I am a goal oriented person and this verse appeals to me.  I like the idea of working towards something.  Of course I know I cannot earn salvation – that is God’s free gift.  I do like the encouragement this verse brings to keep on going in the walk of faith – knowing that God has the “prize” awaiting me. What I often don’t consider is the verse that comes before this one – “Brothers, I do not…

  • The Good Deposit

    The chains are binding his hands and feet.  His accommodations are cold and dark.  Many have deserted him and he is lonely.  He knows the end is near.  He knows he will soon be in heaven with Jesus and that brings joy; but there is also an urgency to give some parting words of wisdom to his beloved associate in this time of great persecution. The apostle Paul mentored young Timothy.  Now that Paul knows his time on earth is short, he feels it imperative to give Timothy one last farewell letter.  In it Paul offers encouragement to stand firm in the faith and warning of the perilous times ahead.…

  • Be Careful What You Lean On

    I walk through an old farmhouse, noticing the various antique pieces of furniture.  As I come to the kitchen I happen to lean on what I think is a sturdy kitchen table.  My assessment proves wrong as both me and parts of table land on the floor.  As I pick myself up and dust myself off, I try to hide my embarrassment at having chosen such a poor means of support. At another time, I am going through a particularly tough moment in life and I confide in another church member, hoping to get some insight.  What I get instead is being gossiped about.  Not exactly the proper place to…

  • Being Upheld

    Sometimes words just aren’t there.  A very dear friend is going through a trying time with cancer at the moment.  As she struggles with all that involves, I struggle with how to minister to her.  I don’t want to come across as a know it all.  I truly don’t understand all her issues because I have not walked such a road before.  How can I show her care and comfort? Often, when we don’t have the words, God does.  The Scripture that came to mind yesterday is from Isaiah 41 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I…

  • Who’s Driving Anyway?

    A few years ago there was moving Christian song called “Jesus Take the Wheel”.  It is a strong reminder of how we need to let God take control in our lives and how we cannot manage on our own.  I find the words in the chorus particularly meaningful: “Jesus take the wheel Take it from my hands Cause I can’t do this on my own I’m letting go So give me one more chance Save me from this road I’m on Jesus take the wheel” I know I have considerable challenges with wanting to take control of my life myself.  I want to manage things on my own terms and…