Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Splendor in the Sky

Normally, I wouldn't have seen it—a Saturday sunrise—but I was out early, and I saw it, and it took my breath away.

A perfectly round orange ball, peeking over the Texas pines, climbing majestically through puffs of blues, pinks and pale, pale grays. Splendor in the sky, you might say. A masterpiece by the Master, painted fresh with me in mind.

How blessed I am that the Artist thinks of me.
"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork," Psalm 19:1.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shhh. The Shepherd Is Speaking

I'm reposting Thursday's blog and linking to Spiritual Sundays.

My father has lost a lot of his hearing over the last few years. He's no longer comfortable in noisy environments, and he misses much of dinner-table conversation.

However, if Mother so much as whispers from two rooms away, he's got every word down. Mother whispers; Daddy hears. It's a marvel of sorts.

Some might say that Mother's words are more important to Daddy, and maybe they are. But it could be that, after 60-plus years of marriage, decibels are irrelevant when it comes to Mother talking: Daddy's ears are programmed to hear whatever she has to say.

John 10:27 says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

Quite frankly, I think I need to go to sheep school and study Shepherd Speech 101. I've been so certain, so positively certain, that I heard the voice of God before. Not literally, of course, but in my spirit. I felt something was so right. So perfect for me. Exactly what I needed at the time.

But, alas, it wasn't. In fact, it was totally wrong for me, a complete disaster, a train wreck of vast proportions.

How had I been so fooled? So stupid? So sucked in?

I really don't know, and I guess some things we'll never figure out. But one thing is certain: If I'm going to know the Good Shepherd's voice, and be totally tuned in (as Daddy is to Mother), I've got to spend time with Him on a regular basis, being still and listening. ♦

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to fathers everywhere. What significant roles you play in the lives of your offsping.

My dad's fingerprints are forever stamped on my life. He isn't a rich man, but he's given me great wealth. I'm beyond blessed to share another Father's Day with him. ♦

I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays, where inspiration awaits.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leave The Frogs Alone

It was a beautiful fall afternoon. I was lounging on the patio, celebrating the sunshine with a glass of iced tea.

My chocolate Labrador, Lucy, on the other hand, was doing anything BUT lounging. Normally, she lounged nonstop, but the minute someone walked outside, she was up and at it.

Today, her mission was annihilating every frog on the premises. It didn’t matter that the frogs were minding their own business under the shed, out of sight; Lucy wanted the frogs dead.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I hate frogs. They are ugly and make me do weird things, but since frogs consume spiders and mosquitoes and gnats and flies, I say: Let the frogs live.

But not Lucy. Lucy couldn’t have cared less what the frogs were doing under the shed. She wanted them out and destroyed. It wasn’t just a desire of hers; it was a need. And the more I hollered, “Bad dog!” the more urgent the need became.

Sadly, by the time I finished my tea, two unsuspecting frogs had been lured out of hiding and were in critical condition at Lucy’s feet. Poor frogs. Stupid Lucy.

Kind of like children, isn’t it?

Tell them they can’t do something and, suddenly, they need to do it. Tell them they can’t have something and, suddenly, they need to have it. The more their parents say no, the more urgent their need becomes.

Regrettably, it’s like some adults, too.

They have everything they need—a house, a car, a spouse, beautiful children and even God—yet they aren’t content.

Regardless of how silly it is, they want the frogs under the shed, you might say. And in their ruthless quest to capture the forbidden, friends are decieved, children are disappointed and marriages are torn apart. But the would-be conquerors don't care. The forbidden is all that matters.

Finally, one day, the ruthless pursuers get what they want. The frogs are all theirs to do with as they please, and life is one big barrel of forbidden fun.

But after a period of time (in Lucy’s case, a few minutes) the frogs don't jump anymore. They don't thrill anymore. They just leave a nasty taste in the conqueror’s mouth. The pursuit is over, the prize is tarnished and all that remains is a stench.

In his New Testament epistle, James explains it like this: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

His next sentence is a plea of sorts: “Do not err, my beloved brethren.”

In other words, James is saying, “Leave the forbidden alone, dear friends of mine. It’ll only disappoint and leave you empty.” ♦

This article appeared in Signs of the Times magazine.

I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays, where good people blog about good things.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beauty in Backroads

I took the backroads home from work today. Normally, I don't do backroads—I'm a speeding type of gal. But today, I just wasn't in the mood for frantic freeway traveling. Going 45 mph suited me to a tee. And the stop lights didn't bother me one iota.

Instead of pounding the steering wheel and honking at slow movers in front of me—like I'm sometimes known to do—I took some cleansing breaths, laid my head back and hummed a happy tune. I don't know. Maybe I'm maturing in my old age.

At any rate, I got home all mellowed and mild, calm and collected. I think I'll take the backroads again tomorrow. The tranquil woman in the driver's seat is growing on me. ♦

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Dead Raised

Thursday morning an electrician delivered bad news: My refrigerator was kaput. Lightening strike. Buying a new refrigerator was the last thing I needed, but I simply refused to worry about it. God knew where I was, and that was that.

After filling coolers with ice and transferring a few things, I praised God for his endless blessings and headed to work. All day long, whenever the thought of my dead refrigerator came to mind, I immediately bannished it from my head and praised God for his endless blessings.

Yesterday, a friend went by the house to see if the refrigerator was repairable. After checking things out, he phoned me at work and said it was running perfectly fine, no repair needed.

Now you can call it what you want, but I call it a miracle, and I'm running over with joy that God still raises the dead. Oh, hallelujah!

I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays, where other miracles can be found.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flopsy-Topsy Turvy

I had hoped the Topsy-Turvy would be this Southern gal's dream come true—there's nothing better than a tomato sandwich, after all—and I had hoped to "show and tell" of tomatoes bursting forth from every branch. But alas, no tomatoes have emerged, and the plant is downright puny.

I've always wanted a vegetable garden (like my dad used to grow when I was a little girl). But I guess I'll have to marry a farmer to bring that about. My thumb just isn't green enough. Oh, well. The farmer's market isn't too far away, and juicy tomatoes are always ripe and heaped high. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

I'm linking to Show and Tell Friday. Come on over and see what's showing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Her Kisses

Over the weekend, I unearthed my "big" camera--the one I got just before digital became all the rage--and headed to the nearby arboretum to take pics of my daughter and her hearthrob. Later that evening, as I scanned the developed prints onto my computer, my daughter sat beside me, anxious to put them in an album on Facebook.

As most of you know, scanning isn't the fastest process on the planet, and occasionally, while the scanner grunted and groaned, doing its thing, my daughter leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. Each time, my heart skipped a beat, and I thanked our Creator for allowing me to be her mom. No matter how old she gets, she's still my "baby," and her kisses light up my world.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats