Monday, 06 August 2012 12:59:00
Summer is nearly half over. And before we know it, another one will bite the dust, swallowed by hectic schedules, work loads, and busyness. But I remember a time when summers were long, lazy days full of rest, wonderment, exploration and fun; a time of rejuvenation of spirit, mind and body when one could read, reconnect with friends and nature, rest and . . . think. Of course I was a young girl then and a lot has changed. There doesn’t seem to be time for lazy summers anymore. Little time to rest, explore or even for much reflection and thinking. Current life speed is “fast forward.” And it’s taking a toll on our health, our relationships, and even our creativity.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” It talks about a time to plant and to harvest, a time to cry and laugh, etc. But could we not add, “a time to work and a time to rest?” Ecclesiastes speaks of rhythm and balance, and the natural flow of things. And when that flow is broken something is sure to suffer. Is that why heart disease, cancer and a dozen other major illnesses are on the rise? I think it’s one reason.
But now as an adult and a doer, it’s not always easy for me to enjoy lazy summers. It seems too decadent somehow, too wasteful, too unproductive. Even my extended vacations always had a purpose and mission. New lands needed to be explored, historical sites visited. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of them, as well as all the countless mini trips I’ve taken with my family. But the truth is, some of the best times I’ve had were right in my own back yard, while I was smeared with sun block and holding a frosty glass of ice tea and listening to the squeals of my children at play, and now my grandchildren, or reading a good book, or just enjoying the feel of the sun on a warm summer afternoon.
I think there’s something magical about lazy summer days, days given to us by God for the purpose of enjoying His many blessings as well as for reconnecting with Him. Times for reflection, prayer and rest. I must admit I’ve squandered most of the first half of this summer but I hope to do better in the next half, and carve out quiet times to do all of the above, knowing it won’t be wasted because God is not only a God of action, He is also a God of balance and order and rest.
Until next week,
Monday, 11 June 2012 14:33:00
Last week my grandchildren had a sleepover at my house and oh, what fun we had! My grandson and granddaughter are computer savvy, own their own DS, and have several Wii games, but it was pool volleyball, the board game Sorry, Disney movies, and pencil drawings that filled our days, reminding me that “simple” is still best. It’s a good reminder, too, in this fast-paced-consumer-world where the new, the improved, the latest is so coveted.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m losing this race to keep up with technology. It seems to change weekly. That’s why days like I had with my grandchildren are so precious. It reminds me that quality of life is still found in people, not things; in moments shared not knowledge gained; in making memories with those you love.
Since this blog is about simplicity, I’ll keep it simple, too, and end by saying find something low-tech to do tonight, something that doesn’t cost money and requires no gadgets, something like watching a sunset or just taking a walk with someone you love. I think you, too, will agree that more often than not, simple really is best.
Until next week,
Monday, 28 May 2012 13:02:00
Today, Americans celebrate Memorial Day, a time to remember all our fighting men and women killed in war. It’s a day that speaks of courage and sacrifice, a humbling reminder that so much of what we enjoy has been procured at great cost. It’s also a stark contrast to the lack of courage and sacrifice displayed by those who fill the halls of our government, as well as the many governments around the world.
It is this lack of courage that has pushed us to the brink of a financial cliff, has pushed countries like Greece and others to near insolvency. If our leaders and theirs had the courage to make the necessary unpopular decisions when it mattered, we would not be so close to the edge of disaster. And if our leaders and theirs had made the necessary sacrifices, even if it meant not being reelected, things would be different now. When leaders and those in authority continuously pander, do the easy, the expedient, and follow their own self-interests instead of what is right or best for their nations, then it’s only a matter of time before calamity strikes.
What a lesson our leaders can learn for our fallen heroes; those men and women who gave everything for the greater good; men and women who understood the meaning of courage and sacrifice!
Happy Memorial Day
Until next week,
Monday, 16 April 2012 11:27:00
Rarely have I been so blown away by a series of CDs (seven in all) as I was after listening to Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger; so blown away, in fact, that I’d like to take my blog space this week and talk a bit about it. The CDs I got from sidroth.org, and while Amazon doesn’t carry them, they do carry Cahn’s book by the same title plus his, The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment which, together, should cover most of the material found in the CDs.
In essence, The Harbinger is a warning to America and deals with events from 9/11 to the present. It talks about the Nine Omens of Judgment, and let me tell you, it’s a stunner. Cahn takes you step by step, citing events and quotes from notable people to illustrate how the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is firmly in control. Cahn also gives a stunning preview of what lies in store for America if we don’t change course.
If you never read another book or listen to anther CD, I strongly suggest you read/listen to this one.
Until next week,
Sunday, 08 January 2012 13:37:00
Temporarily suspending blog due to family illness. Looking forward to reconnecting with you in the near future.
Love and blessings to all,
Monday, 02 January 2012 12:37:00
2012. Talk about your little black rain cloud! Other than the Y2K scare in 2000, I don’t remember any other year in my lifetime that has been so dreaded. Look at Hollywood and all the doomsday movies they have made alluding to this year. And don’t forget the Mayan calendar and the Sibyl prophecy that doomsayers say point to a 2012 end of the world.
While I don’t believe any of it, there are certainly many real, tangible things that can give us plenty to worry about; everything from the global debt crisis to the increase in violence and instability around the world, and a myriad of things in between.
So, because of that I don’t think 2012 is the year for making my usual New Year’s resolutions: lose weight, eat better, read the stack of books on my night table, etc.. Instead, this year I’m making only two: 1) love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and 2) love my neighbor as myself.
I know. I know. No two resolutions are more impossible than these two. But that’s only if I plan on trying to do it on my own. Which I don’t. Instead, I will rely on the power of the Holy Spirit who God has given to us for just this purpose. And He is more than able to bring these things about in my life if I allow Him. Oh, not like some jinni, who with one snap of the fingers, creates an instance fix. Instead, He’ll bring this about in me through patience and grace, with one situation at a time, with one person at a time.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to this year. I look forward to the things God will do in my life and in the lives of those I love. And though it might be trying, I also believe it will be exciting and wondrous, and very memorable.
Until next time,
Monday, 07 November 2011 11:42:00
I’ve never seen a time when so many people are so burdened. And it’s understandable for men and women are trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables and care for their children while everything around them seems to be falling apart. They are losing their house, their job, their kids to the world and drugs, their marriages. They are in so much debt they can’t make ends meet. And many in governments world-wide seem to be acting unwisely and making decisions based on securing their own futures rather than those of their nation’s. Nothing seems to make sense anymore. All the so called “tired-and-true” methods are no longer working. How does one cope with the enormity of such problems? How can one carry such loads?
It’s simple, really. We turn to Jesus! Didn’t He say in Matthew 11:29 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls.” And 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” Not only is Jesus able to carry our burdens, He wants to.
Like anyone who has lived a respectable number of years I’ve experienced burdens of my own: my husband did lose a job, we had to give up a home and change our lifestyle, there have been deaths in our family and serious illnesses, so I understand about burdens and don’t make light of them. I know expressions like “buck up” or “keep a stiff upper lip” or “time will heal all wounds” aren’t really helpful. Even a friend’s sympathy and hand-holding, while offering a measure of comfort, won’t really do anything to improve the situation.
Burdens are hard and stressful and take more than words and sympathy to handle. But one thing that works; one thing I’ve learned over and over again from experience is that no matter how difficult, no matter how heart wrenching the burden, God’s grace is truly sufficient. If we turn to Jesus He will supply our needs, He will carry that burden. And when we think we can’t go any further, He’ll even carry us. He is the great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, and everything in between. Which simply means, He is all we could ever want or need. And while He carries our burden, He’ll give us the courage, wisdom and strength to see it through with Him. And that’s not all. He’ll even give us joy and peace in the midst of it. And that’s saying a lot in a world that has so little joy and peace even in the best of times. In the end, He truly makes us an over comer—a far better option that being left to our own devises where, more often than not, we’re prone to sink into confusion, self-pity and depression.
Be assured, Jesus is willing and able to be our burden bearer. The question is, will we let Him?
Until next week,
Monday, 03 October 2011 11:18:00
Last week I volunteered in my grandson’s school library. It was exciting to see how eager the kids were to find books. Some even tired to check out more than the limit allowed. It reminded me of how tender and fervent children are, and why Scripture says to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Parents have an awesome responsibility. God has given them the mandate to raise up Godly seed for Him. It’s a hard road, with much against them; rewarding when accomplished, but disastrous when not. Even so, every parent is training up his child whether he knows it or not. And either that child will be for God or for the world.
The Bible tells us “that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more that lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:4) Wow! What a terrible description of the worldly character!
It breaks my heart to see young people today who are a product of a rudderless upbringing, sailing along with no direction or sure course. They are told, either implicitly or indirectly by what they learn in their home, school, on T.V., in movies, or on the streets, that they have crawled out of the primordial ooze and are nothing special, that there is no God, that self is the only thing that matters. No wonder they are depressed. No wonder their character is warped. No wonder they do drugs or sex to find significance. It must make God weep to see such precious lives destroyed, such precious hearts yearning and yet not finding anything of value in this dark world.
But here’s the great thing about God. He has a Father’s heart and is the God of second chances. There is a sizable revival going on among the youth today. Many are world-weary and have tried it all and found nothing but emptiness. But oh, how God loves them! How He desires to fill them with Himself. And how able He is to restore the broken hearted. But wouldn’t it be better if these children had not lost their way in the first place?
I pray a blessing on all parents (and grandparents, too) that they find the courage, grit, love and strength to stand for Godliness in their homes, and train up their children for the Lord.
Until next week,
Monday, 19 September 2011 11:54:00
Last week I accompanied my daughter and grandchildren to the pediatrician where the kids each got a shot. My grandson was fine about it, but my granddaughter, who was fearful, cried. When it was over she admitted she hadn’t felt a thing, and that it was all a big nothing, certainly not worth fretting about.
I think this speaks volumes to the human condition. We are afraid of so many things, most of which are like that shot, a big nothing. We indulge in “what if this” and “what if that” until we work ourselves into a lather. But simply saying “there’s nothing to fear” didn’t cut it with my granddaughter, and it doesn’t cut it with us. So how do we stop worrying and being fearful? By replacing our fears with something or someone bigger. And that someone is God.
At least 365 times, in different wording, the Bible tells us not to fear. I think because God knows our weak frame, He gave us something for each day of the year. In its basic sense, fear is simply lack of faith, lack of trust in God, in Who He is and in what He says He can do. If we truly believed, our fears, for the most part, would vanish and be replaced by what the Bible calls the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
This world will give us many opportunities to fret and fear, but the more we get to know God, get to know Who He is, the closer and more intimate our relationship becomes, the less we will be plagued by these “big nothings” and even when something sizable comes along, we will be able to face it with peace and confidence in knowing that our God is more than up to the challenge, and He will see us through.
Until next week,
Monday, 12 September 2011 12:21:00
Recently, Major General Eyal Eisenberg, chief of the Israeli army’s Home Front Command said that due to the countless uprisings in neighboring Arab states, that Israel could, in the very near future, face a multi-front war. It seems that the so-called “Arab Spring” may quickly turn into a fall or winter . . . of war.
Hyperbole? No. All the signs seem to corroborate his fears. The Muslim Brotherhood is becoming more entrenched in Egypt, an organization that has deep Nazi roots, hates Israel and vows to wipe it out. In addition, the Syrian situation is heating up, and by many accounts could go one of three ways: Basar al-Assad can remain in power; he could be ousted in which case the Muslim Brotherhood will take over; or Assad can launch an attack on Israel to turn attention away from his troubles at home. Whatever happens, this much is clear—the noose is tightening around Israel.
This is extremely troubling because there are two Bible prophesies that have yet to be fulfilled concerning this area which many scholars believe will occur prior to the seven years of tribulation. The first is in Isaiah 17:1 concerning Damascus (a continuously occupied city for over four thousand years) and says it will be turned into a “ruinous heap”; the other concerns Egypt (Ezekiel 29:6-12) and says it will be “utterly waste and desolate” and that “no foot of man shall pass through it or foot for beast” for forty years. Both are horrendous possibilities and imply some nuclear and possibly biological conflict. If this happens, it will have worldwide consequences, affecting everything from global markets to global political/military alignments.
What can Christians do? Two things for certain: Stand with Israel. She is losing her allies and needs every friend she can get. And “pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6
I, for one, take my stand for Israel, and will continue to pray as never before.
Until next week,