Friday, November 28, 2008

You are Me

My grandma is old and has been incapable of taking complete care of herself for many years now. My mom and my aunts go to great lengths to make sure she has everything she needs and is able to live at home.

It's amazing to see how love overpowers weariness. Anyone could make sure she gets her meals and medicines. It's much more than that. They surround her. They honor her. And if anyone were to mistreat her it would be as if they had done so to them.

A couple Fridays back I was privileged enough to take a day off work to help my mom take grandma shopping. One or two stops and lunch is an all day event. Everything is done at slow speed.

We had the wheelchair in the trunk and then back out again; we had the sweater on; we took the sweater off; she heard what was being said; then she didn't; we reached for that; then we put that back; then...we needed to find the bathroom!

After getting her "situated" in the bathroom we stepped out. We always want to leave her with as much dignity as possible. Poor grandma. In times like these, she feels she is too much trouble.

She is not too much trouble. She is me. She is mom. We will each take her place one day. Perhaps with different challenges but in a very real sense we are each other. The Bible speaks of it and I, in fleeting moments am able to grasp some of it.

And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Luke 6:31

Our love towards others will be evidence used to judge us one day.

'For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink: I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Matt 25:35-40

How I love my grandma, my husband, my co-worker and you tells God how much I love Him which comes back to me in the day of judgment. Or to put it another way... What we do unto others is what we do unto Him which will determine what is done unto us!

I am you. You are me.



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Give Thanks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A Psalm of Thanksgiving


Make a joyful shout to the LORD,
all you lands serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dreams

Rarely do I remember my dreams. If I do remember one it's usually a bizarre drama created by the chemical reaction of eating too many artichoke hearts with my black bean pizza. Entirely worth the risk but still... an obvious freak of nature!

We see little movie trailers while unplugged from consciousness. Doesn't that seem weird? Dreams are one of those things I want to ask about when I get to Heaven. I know they serve a purpose.

In the Bible they are very significant. King Saul was upset when he could not longer find guidance in his dreams.

1 Samuel 23:6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.

Joseph was able to interpret dreams. We see this in the account of the butler and the baker.

Genesis 40:8 And they said to him, "We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it." So Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please."

The butlers dream was good in that it told about his restoration to his former position of serving Pharaoh. The bakers dream was not so good. His foretold his own death. Yikes!

Prophetic dreams were given to ungodly rulers such as Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar. These served God's purpose as He always provided clear interpretation through a prophet. He wanted those rulers to fully understand.

Thankfully, for Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus and us, instruction was provided too.

Matthew 2:13 Now when they departed, behold, and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."

As always, then and now, there are some flaky folks with some flaky dreams. This does not please God.

Jeremiah 23:25 "I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!"

Sound familiar?

So what do we do with our own dreams? Most are shrugged off and soon forgotten but what about those that are different? We don't forget them because somehow we know they are telling us something.

I'm learning to pay attention! Most often, all I know to do is pray.

One night I dreamed about my mom. There wasn't much motion in the dream but I kept seeing her sitting in a chair. She appeared pale and not well. Then slowly her head tilted back and her mouth came open like she fainted or something. Over and over, all night long the same clip.

When morning came I remarked to my husband... "I'm worn out! I've been praying for mom all night long because of this weird dream I was having."

Later this same morning I got a call at work that mom was in the hospital with the flu. She was first taken to a local clinic but while sitting in a chair in the examining room her head went back and she lost consciousness. It was the scene from my dream!

Do my dreams compare to those in the Bible? I don't think so but I do think we need to be sensitive to our dreams. Also, keep things in balance. Sometimes, just keep them to ourselves! Know when to toss them but know when to heed them too.


For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God. Eccl. 5:7


Photo: Dream Walk taken by my husband Warren.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Comfort in the Huddle

Seems I have spent an inordinate amount of time over the years shaking my head. I have been mystified at the world around me on just about any level one can name. Because I detest complacency I've been as pro-active as possible within my opportunities to fight against evil and to promote good. I have always thought it my personal responsibility to stay informed, to study issues, to pray and to be a discerning person. I haven't always done well but I've learned from my mistakes.

I say all that to say this... I'm pooped!

I'm sad too.

My country, this "sweet land of liberty" is in a condition of apostasy. I looked that ugly word up and it means renunciation of a religious faith or the abandonment of a previous loyalty: DEFECTION. Those with no faith are not excluded; they have at the very least abandoned the basics of common sense. I'm not going to make a list of examples to prove my point. Like I said, I'm pooped. I am sure that I don't need to anyway right? I pray you have eyes to see.

The Bible is full of encouragement and direction for times such as these. I know this. I'm not giving up! Those Holy and living words will certainly continue to guide me.

For now, I am taken aside by God. My head is down, my sword is at my side and His arm is around me. He is speaking wonderful things to me. We are in a huddle. I don't understand everything He is saying but I love it that He is close. I know that I can trust Him. I know that He will send me back out with purpose and a new focus.

Yes, for everything there is a season and this is a time I have determined not to rush or to fight. I am enjoying the comfort and light of His countenance.



Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 1 Cor. 1:3-4



Friday, November 7, 2008

Mama's Tabernacle

I hate death. If we had not fallen so long ago in the garden we wouldn't even know what it was. We were never meant to.

I'll be attending a funeral today for my cousin Steven Sparks. His family loved him very much and we will miss him.


The following poem was written about my late great-grandmother. I think that her prayers included us. I dedicate it to Steven and all the others we so sorely miss. I know they are in Heaven together and that we shall see them again one day.




Mama's Tabernacle

Down the path Mama would go
folding chair, tackle
and pole.

She might catch fish
but that's not why she went.
She loved to sit in the quiet.

She talked with God
about the kids, papa,
maybe the crops
or even the world.
Everything under the sun.

Now and then she'd fuss with her hat,
take a dip of snuff
or kick the fidgets from her feet.

But mostly,
she'd just sit there
looking out,
carrying on conversation.



And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Rev. 21:4