Roo – Until further notice:
a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.
Image Courtesy Unsplash
Image Courtesy Unsplash
I’ve been out of state and mostly out of touch for several weeks. I participated in a mission of mercy.
Upon my return an over-sized envelope, mailed to me by a close relative, stunned me. Two paragraphs detailed how the person does not “want to associate” with me anymore because, in that person’s opinion, me participating in that undertaking was “wrong”.
A long, long time ago I would have agreed.
Back then the person I just paused my life to minister to had broken my heart, violated my family and then did everything possible to destroy me. For years afterward, staying close to my sons often took all I had.
But here’s the thing:
I didn’t mend my broken heart. I didn’t restore my demolished spirit. I didn’t drive away the demons or recover my life. Nor did my family.
And then Jesus saved the same person who hurt my family and tried to ruin me.
What’s more, Jesus wants to save the person that now hates what I most recently did in His name.
“…And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on [Jesus]. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
― Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place
I understand. If I allow myself I can still feel all the pain. Again and again I prefer to feel how Love wins.
Despite being rejected by a loved one, given the chance to redo the past month, I would do it again.
Had I realized the relative was still bound in the past I would not have mentioned I was away or why.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
Images courtesy ABSFreePic.com
A timely reminder from Michelle Malone. Help a sister out and share this good word in every state. 💗
I don’t know who created the above meme, but I love its irreverent reverence. In fact I even LOL’d when I read it (something I rarely do in polite circles). I mean, I’ve been called a liar from time to time, and never once did it mean, “Dude, you’re totally deluded, but you’re still a great moral teacher.” It meant, Run! Always. So, yeah…
Jesus’ claims are truly outrageous (read what he says about himself in the Gospel of John). Unless they’re true. And then, well, OK, they’re still outrageous, but they’re also the most wonderful news we’ll ever hear. Because it means our Creator loves us so much that he chose to personally save us from the most out-of-control, destructive force ever to emerge on our planet–us.
No way? Yahweh. Totally outrageous. Here’s what C. S. Lewis concluded:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
John 1:3 (NIV)
If you’ve been following What Next you are aware I’m laboring under some exceptional technical difficulties.
1) I’m awaiting parts for my four-year-old notebook which torments me by flashing like a slow-mo strobe in a discotheque (Gen X’ers, Gen Y’ers and Millennials click here).
2) In the meantime I try to keep abreast of the Blogging Community and Facebook via my not-so-trusty old (retired) cell phone.
What this means to you:
Typos. Many of them.
Commenting on the plethora of captivating posts by even more phenomenal bloggers from my phone is always exciting. Not only do my fingers fluctuate between bold, beautiful and entirely inept on the nanosized keypad, but it can randomly choose to further humiliate me by posting without warning – sans proofing, etc. Annnd lost signals. That’s always fun.
While this experience could be incredibly frustrating, I admit it’s actually become a source of amusement. I remind myself frequently how gracious this amazing blogging community is, in between praying for my new friend with mad hardware skills. Through it all I’m actually happy with the progress on my chapters lately on the very, very old Windows 7 laptop.
It’s good to slow down sometimes. Random House, get ready.
1 Peter 5:6, 7 (NIV)
Despite my best Damage Control efforts, stuff wears out and breaks. Including me.
To avoid any further injury, I’d been mostly indoors, reading/studying in new spots around the cottage. One week I’d been admiring the collection of burl carvings that hang a good 12 feet up on the kitchen side of the loft wall.
Okay, not exactly admiring.
Morning light was illumining THE CRUD gathering on the carvings, the wall and the ceiling fan. Naturally I’d been obsessing over the layers of soot, dust, cobwebs and who-knows-what accumulated on the art and the portion of the wall. Forget dust bunnies, we’re talking gape-mouthed gargoyles.
For me this far exceeded water torture. I won’t bore you with the list of friends who insisted I not clean the heirloom masterpieces myself, but to wait till they could help me.
That. Never. Happened.
Initially I was very okay with the sensible suggestion. Unlike in my younger years (when I bounced quite admirably), I’ve developed a healthy respect of heights. I am now
fearful cautious to avoid falls or other miscellaneous injuries at all due cost.
So, several times this week I literally prayed for somebody to pop by with a ten-foot ladder and nothing better to do than help me banish the unruly gray fuzziness hanging over my head. It didn’t happen then either.
Once convinced the dust wasn’t moving any time soon, I returned to the day’s Bible reading.
Hmmm… Numbers 13 took me to Israel at the outskirts of Canaan. Most of the scouts said the valley was indeed great, but they seemed like grasshoppers to the giant people there who would surely destroy them. But Joshua and Caleb urged them to take the Promised Land as God told them to do.*
Trust God. Hmmm… I needed to stop being a ‘fraidy cat.
I wrapped up my Bible time thanking God for the journey that brought me here and I thought about the different challenges along the way.
At no point had God NOT provided for me. During the journey here He led me to take on situations and circumstances I hadn’t before imagined. And here I sit, bothered by dust because I’m reluctant to tackle heights.
Hearing no objection from heaven, I drug a ladder from the barn. That took ten minutes.
Going up and down the rungs was not as easy as I remember. I’m sure initially my shaky legs made the ups and downs of it all far more dramatic. Even so, several hours, entirely unharmed or otherwise marked, and a good, slow workout later, I felt not only empowered, but redeemed. I’d evicted every semblance of the dust dragons.
Disclaimer: No carving or other art was harmed in the making of this story.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Philippians 4:19, 20 (NIV)
What a blessing to be out and about! With a little help from my friends, today I’m sharing images from Southeastern Washington:
Psalm 50:1, 2
Images courtesy of J.K.Weatherby
Thoughts Along the Way and Occasional Music from Pastor Steve Beckham
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