Many of us have lived for well over a year without hugs. Sure, there have been a few precious hugs on occasion…very cautious hugs at that, but definitely not what we were used to.
Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, summed it up succinctly:
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
A recent sermon spoke of the need to love our enemies. Well, not many of us have enemies but there may be those who don’t like us and for whom the feeling may be mutual. However, God did command us to love those who hate us, and because I find that difficult to do, he put this hymn in my head. Because he so freely loves us in spite of ourselves may we not do likewise for him? See Luke 6: 27-36 and Matthew 10:8. Happy Sunday.
Looking forward to the end of Covid and the beginning of renewed Sunday services at church. Online church is a great alternative but does not hold the same ambiance, for sure. I take heart in the following scripture that reminds me where I like to spend a Sunday; at this beautiful old church, 115 St. Andrew’s Road, Scarborough.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15.
Who of us hasn’t known fear at some point in our lives? Some fears can be paralyzing while others can prompt us to take action. Sometimes it’s helpful to know another’s take on fear as we will read in the following quotes on the subject. Happy Saturday.
The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself…Franklin D. Roosevelt
Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain. Mark Twain
He who overcomes his fears will truly be free. Aristotle
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. Michael Jordan
He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears. Michel De Montaigne
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me…Job 3:25
Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Dorothy Bernard
Should we still be looking out only for number one? Maybe the time has come to give a little thought to our fellow humans, whether they be family, friends, presidents, or the grocery store clerk.
What does it take to look out for others? A simple phone call to see if there is a need to be addressed; a well timed visit, following all health protocols of course; and a heartfelt prayer here and there when all else fails…or even when it doesn’t.
Scripture speaks to this growing concern in our world today. Perhaps we should take its advice to be sure that we are looking out for each other.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.1 Corinthians 10:24
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
This is a short chapter from my book My Precious Life. It just goes to show how sometimes our wishes do come true, one way or another. Happy Saturday.
Give Me a Break
I was overwhelmed trying to balance home, family, work and extra curricular activities. I prayed night and day to get a break from it all. I needed a rest.
While shopping one evening I spied a book titled Slow Me Down Lord. I promptly bought it, enjoyed reading it and made that my daily prayer.
Not long afterwards I slipped on the lunchroom floor at work and landed flat on my back. The pain! X-rays showed a fractured tailbone. Treatment? Stay off my feet and complete rest for two weeks! Doctor’s orders…or God’s?
As I settled into recuperation, a pile of good books at hand, I chuckled to God, “I asked you to slow me down, Lord, not put me out of commission.”
Two weeks of complete rest and relaxation renewed my spirit but the pain lingered for months.
Be careful what you pray for; God is always ready to answer….His way.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest….”Matthew 11:28
People all over the world die every day. But when it hits close to home death becomes different; personal, sadder, even poignant.
It happened to me this week. Two of my very close friends died within three days. One was a friend of fifty years and the other’s friendship entwined my life for sixty years.
I will miss these ladies and their enduring friendship very much to say the least. But I take comfort in the fact that they are now truly home. Yes, I do believe in life after death.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25,26
I also take comfort in knowing that my loss is God’s gain. And that’s the upside of grief.
Every day is a new day if we get to live it. Being thankful for each new day is one of the best ways to show God our appreciation for it. I like to start my day with this lovely little prayer: “God, grant me the grace to live this day in your strength.” This way, no matter what the day holds, I feel empowered to meet it without further thought. Here are some messages from scripture on the subject.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful. Luke 1:78
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23
When I hear or read the words of those who speak from the heart as well as the intellect, it always gives me pause to ponder and reflect. Following are words spoken by a President, a Civil Rights Leader, and a Poet. Each put their thoughts forward for the rest of us to think about. Pastor Duncan’s Sunday sermon included reference to these people and the power of their words and I can’t help but share it.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy, U.S. President
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Martin Luther King Jr. Minister and Social Rights activist.
“We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another” Amanda Gordon, Poet. Amanda recited these stirring words at President Biden’s inauguration.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Jesus in Sermon on the Mount
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1
Today I am going to delve deeper into the power of words.
The question crops up periodically about the gender of God. We can see by Genesis 1:26 and 27 that God created man in his own image. He also created woman, presumably also in his image; (if not, why not?)
Genesis 1:26…And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them….(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
We are told repeatedly in scripture that God is in us, Jesus is in us, Spirit is in us. In John 14:20 we read: In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
It is written that Jesus was born of Mary, a female and of the Spirit, supposedly male and therefore would encompass both.
We know we are born of a man and a woman, our mother and father, and therefore have both female and male in our makeup.
If we have both female and male in us and are born in God’s image, does that answer the question of God’s gender??