Friday, July 31, 2009

They Paid The Price

My son and daughter-in-law’s car sprung a leak this week and had to be taken to the garage. Turns out it needed major work done, with a HUGE bill. Well, after they got back, it began to leak again! So back to the garage they went, where the mechanic did patch it up at no charge this time. Now they are still unsure that it is completely fixed, and are hesitant to travel to Pennsylvania in it. Even though they paid a very high price for it. Is it safe? Jesus paid the highest price of all so we could be safe. Cor. 6:20 says “You were bought at a price.” But ,like Mike & Mel’s car, there are many who are still unsure. And this is why. After having paid a huge price for us, God gave us our freedom. 2Cor.3:17 says “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” He basically said “Even though you don’t deserve it, Heaven is yours. Eternal life. But it’s your choice.” If I paid an enormous amount for a gift for someone, and could not take it back, I would want to almost force them to accept it. And I can hardly imagine spending a fortune on someone who had disappointed me, whom I thought didn’t deserve it. But that’s exactly what God did for us. No matter how much we spend on repair, our vehicles will always be uncertain. They are man made, and thus imperfect. But God has given us a great promise if we accept his Son’s gift. And that’s a sure thing.
Psalm 36 “How priceless is your unfailing love.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Cost Of Freedom





My three year old granddaughter now qualifies to be out of her baby car seat and into an older child’s booster seat. She was unable to unbuckle her old seat, but she can get out of this new one all by herself. All the time. Over and over. When she should not. You get the picture. I took these pictures today. My little escape artist has just finished showing me her newest trick, and is very pleased with herself (sigh). What’s a grandparent to do? Let her parents handle it! It is nice to have a child to spoil and not have to handle any of those pesky discipline problems. I think that very soon, her new pink seat will go missing for quite a while. And while little Anne may be a Houdini, she is not a mind reader. If she were, she’d know that her freedom is very dangerous and can come at a high price. As the children of a loving God, we can be like Anne is with her parents. Right now she does not know anything about the dangers of this world. But her parents do, and this is why she needs to rely on them and ask them for advice. And, similarly, only God knows what is in our future and what can happen to us if we make decisions without asking him first. We may not like being stuck where we are, or stuck in a certain situation. Maybe you don’t like being stuck in a small town, or with a job that bores you. And we may be chaffing at the bit to make a change, but we don’t usually know what’s best for us. The bible tells us not to rely on our own understanding. God has put each and every one of us exactly where we are for a reason. Each of us fits into his plan like a jigsaw puzzle. If one piece is missing, you don’t have a picture. Now I’m not saying that God never wants us to change or move on. That would be ridiculous. What I’m saying is that we need to include Him in all our decisions. Through prayer, discernment, and listening to our wiser Christian friends and counselors.
“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Understand?

When I started this blog, I said it would be about ways I see God in my everyday life. And truthfully, I was going to write about something else today. But nothing else came together, and I quickly realized It was because I was supposed to write about my frustrations this week. The ways in which we learn are not always uplifting or humorous. Understand? Apparently I do not. All week long, almost everyone I have come in contact with has resulted in misunderstandings. Which have caused frustrations, puzzlement, sadness, and annoyance. Every day this week so far. We have been having our own “communication breakdown” here. Just send my mail to The Tower Of Babel from now on, because it seems like that’s my new address. Remember when God said “Let us confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Perhaps He’s still doing that today at times to teach us something. Perhaps the thing I need to learn this week is in Proverbs, where it says “Do not lean on your own understanding”. Maybe at times we tend to be too pleased with the things we know. And that can be the start of something dangerous…. I’m not sure yet what God means my lesson to be this week. Ecclesiastes says “You do not know the path of the wind, so you can’t understand the work of God”. Nor can I understand anyone else right now. But I’m sure God will let me in on this shortly. And perhaps I will need to ask His forgiveness for something. But I do know one thing. John1:5 says “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” Understand?

The Beginning And The End

A short while ago, I had a one to two year period where I was taking care of a beautiful baby part of the time, and the rest of the time I was with three older people who were dying. I loved all these people very much, and they loved me. My days alternated between these two. Part of my day was feeling new smooth baby skin and rhymes, laughter and toys. Then on to beloved, wrinkled skin that had seen many years, and very wise utterings. This was a strange, beautiful, and heartbreaking time for me. I felt as If I were standing between two worlds. At times it seemed like I was a bridge between life and death. One day when I was sobbing to my best friend, she said this was not good for me and she was worried about me. She said I needed to make time to have some fun with my middle aged friends. But this was what I was handed, and I would stay till the end. Not one end came, but many, and each with their own sadness. This all had a profound effect on me, in some ways that I am still trying to comprehend today. I think of my son and granddaughter and wonder if they will ever be given a window in time like this. And If they ever encounter this strange gift, I would tell them this: Teach, and learn. Be delighted, and fall to your knees. Because God will pick you up. And when he does, blink your eyes hard and take a good look around. Because your world will have changed forever. But wait. It’s not the world that’s different. Only you.
“How priceless is your unfailing love. In your light, we see light.”“I am the First and the Last. The Beginning and the End

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time Run Like A Freight Train


Time run like a freight train
Won’t you take me down the line
There’s so much I can never say
Of the life I’ve left behind.


These are the words to a beautiful old folk song, and they seem to be going around in my head a lot lately. I bet a lot of you can relate to these words. There is so much of the life behind us that we wish we’d done differently. And the older I get, the faster and faster that train runs, so that more and more is behind instead of in front of me. Time is such a precious gift, and we have so little of it. And we are never sure what will happen from one minute to the next. So the more miles that get behind me, the more I need to hurry and get everything done that I want. The clock is ticking…. But wait a minute; there’s a key word here. And that word is “I”. Everything I want done. But is that the same as everything God wants me to do? Maybe not. The more I rush here and there trying to do everything, the more I get caught up in only what seems important to me alone. How do we know what God wants us to be doing versus what we want to do? Maybe what seems very important to us is not at the top of His list. The answer is Stillness. “Be still and know that I am God”. God does not want us rushing about willy nilly. Even Jesus left people who were clamoring for him, and went away to be alone, be still, and pray. It is more important to alone with God than anyone else. And while you’re doing that, ask Him what’s important. Tear up your carefully written schedule and ask Him to write a new one for you. Our time is running like a freight train. One that goes faster every day. But I am not qualified to be a train conductor. Nor do I want to be. If I let God do the driving, I know that my time will be blessed, and people will be able to say about me “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Been Through The Water?
















My three your old granddaughter, Anne, loves water so much that words can hardly express it. But maybe these pictures can. She will literally walk headlong into a big wave, and not even care! She’s my very own Little Mermaid! In the summer, we all love water. To drink, play in and swim in. Do you know your brain is 70% water, and your lungs nearly 90%. Your blood is 83% water. Water is the only substance found on earth in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas. And in almost every religion, it has important symbolic properties. And our Bible has plenty to say about water. It says that Jesus is the one who came by water and blood (1 John 5-6). There are three that testify. The spirit, the water, and the blood. And, wonderfully, God tells us that when we pass through the waters, He will be with us! Are you having rough times right now? Look to the one who has been there already and wants to lead you through. Here are just a few ways God uses water in the Bible. Can you think of more? There are plenty. Post a comment and let me know. 1. God turned the bitter lake water sweet. 2. Elijah divided the water of the Jordan with his cloak. 3.God made water pour from a rock. 4. God changed the water of the Nile into blood. 5. Baptism! 6. Jesus walked on water. 7. Jesus turned water into wine. 8. Jesus washed his disciples feet with water.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reflections




This baby seems to like what she sees in the mirror, and that’s good. Because some people don’t. Michael Jackson wrote a song called “The Man In the Mirror”. Yet, considering his many plastic surgeries, it seems he did not like his reflection. And that’s sad to me. Countless people live on this earth, and yet God has given each and every one of us the wonderful gift of being different from each other. One thing this shows us is that we are not all just a faceless mass of humanity, but each person is created uniquely, as special for God to love and care for. This can seem hard for some people to grasp, but It is not hard at all for God, who knows each and every star he placed in the firmament and counts the very hairs of our heads. God created man in his image, and he liked what he saw. This world asks us all to conform to it’s standard of beauty, but your creator apparently does not care for conformity. Which standard of beauty matters most to you? When you look at your reflection, see a person who God loves so much that He sacrificed His son for you. He wants to lovingly lead you and show you your place and purpose in this world. He wants you to become the person he created you to be, who nobody else in the world is like.

sparklers











Playing with sparklers on a warm summer night is fun. Here are some of the things we did with them. They are beautiful, but only last for a short time. Sort of like us. We are beautiful to God because he created us and he loves us. We were only put here for a short time, but while we are here, we are meant to be fireworks to the rest of the world. And to do this, God has put a spark in you; the Holy Spirit. “God has poured his love into our hearts by the Holy spirit, whom he has given us.” God tells that when we love him and seek to do his will, we will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. When you let your own light shine before men, He tells us that the darkness will never overpower it! Sparklers are fun, but they are nothing compared to the fire we can put into this world using prayer, discernment, and the Holy Spirit to show us our special gifts. Let’s let our light shine as brightly as the sun for the short time we have on earth, and while we’re at it, praise God for the wonderful beauty He has put all around us and for the great love of his redeeming Son!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marilyn & Me

If you’ve ever been on Facebook, you know that they have all kinds of silly, fun tests to take. Sometimes the answers are surprisingly accurate, and other times they are way off the mark. And I took one the other day. It was called something like “What movie star are you most like?” So I answered all the questions, and sat back and waited for the results. And this is what they said : Marilyn Monroe. I think this is hilarious. And if you know me, you are probably convulsed with side-splitting laughter right now. Good. I’m glad I gave your day a smile. Because to my mind, Marilyn and I couldn’t be further apart in all aspects. Of course the Facebook people know nothing about my life or the things which are important in it. And this got me to thinking. Do we ever really know anyone? Most of the time, I think not. Almost everyone has a secret to hide. And I wonder how many times we have brushed someone aside because we were in a hurry, or maybe they annoyed us, or we didn’t really like them. But if we were to know the pain and burden they carry around, it would bring us to tears. The need for love and acceptance is great. And to open yourself up to others can be risky. So let’s stop and think the next time we are tempted to judge someone by only what we know of them. What secret is on your heart today? Take it to your loving Father of the universe. He already knows, anyway. He’s just waiting for you to come to him. And best of all, there’s no risk involved.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Turned To Stone











We went to a museum last night to see an exhibition by local stone carvers called “Stone Hearts”, and this was very powerful and moving. Strangely, there were no hearts there! But It filled my head with so many strong images all at once that my brain nearly overloaded. And I think that’s just what good art is supposed to do. It makes you think, wonder, or praise. Here are some of the pictures I took. You may recognize one as being the Amnesty International symbol. The wire represents oppression, and the flame is hope. So my word for you this weekend is STONE. Can you even imagine how much stone is involved in our history, and how many times God has used stone in amazing ways? In our culture, we say something is written in stone, turned to stone, someone has a heart of stone, or to throw the first stone. Let me see, have I left any stones unturned? Type me a comment if you can think of any others, I’d like to hear them. We have the pyramids, Stonehenge, the Great Wall Of China (which ultimately failed at keeping people out, because it was not ordained by God). God made the earth and all the rock and stones not only for a practical purpose, but also to show His great power and to instruct us, his people. People used to sit on stones and use them as tools and weapons. Idolatrous men made their Gods of stone and Jacob put a pillar of stone where god had spoken to him. But to me, the very strongest images in the bible are when David killed Goliath with one small stone, the stone tablets that the very finger of God wrote on, and the large stone that was rolled away from Jesus tomb. So the next time you walk on stones, or throw a stone out of your yard, think of the many ways God has instructed us through this amazing creation of his.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Next? Bees Driving Cars?


One thing about me that you might not know. I’m afraid of bees. Also wasps and hornets. Now they don’t bother me too much if they’re on the ground in the clover, but if you’re anywhere within earshot when they’re buzzing in the air, you’ll likely hear me scream. We just had a yellow jacket nest under the hood of our car. Bees in cars!! What next? Phil took the car to our mechanic and he sprayed brake cleaner on them! He said this works better than bug spray because it kills them instantly and evaporates right away. But as I write this, I am feeling a bit guilty for our mass destruction, because bees can teach us a lot about life, in addition to how to scream and run. They are instinctively drawn by nature to make honey all the time. That is their purpose here. Like the bees, we were put here with a purpose. And that is at all times to do the work of God while we’re here on earth. This need to do his will gets stronger as we study his word and give thanks in all things. As you see the beautiful flowers the bees pollinate, and taste their sweet and perfect food, think of your reason for being here, of God’s great love for you,and how amazingly beautiful are all his creatures who shine like the sun when they find their true purpose. By the way, isn’t this picture georgous? It was taken by a friend of ours

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Michael Jackson & The Bionic Woman

Today I want to talk about Michael Jackson and the Bionic woman. I don’t know how I managed to connect these two in my mind, but I did. Michael Jackson’s memorial service was at Staples Center, a big civic arena. And that got me to thinking. Did they not have a church affiliation? The answer is that Michael was rehearsing for his big comeback at the Staples Center, where he planned to wow the world anew with his many talents. Instead of his big comeback, he had his funeral in that stage. We just never know what is going to happen from one moment to the next. Life can turn on a dime, and to a lot of people, this is scary… but it shouldn’t be. Know why? Think of the Bionic Woman. Remember that T.V. show? The Bionic Woman had been outfitted with computerized bionic parts for her body. She could see for maybe a mile, jump over buildings, and lift cars. I used to wonder if she could ever die, or would she just break and continue to get repaired? The actress who portrayed her, Lindsey Wagner, is now the spokesperson for Sleep Number mattresses. I hear that’s because she has back problems. Wonder if she messed up her back playing the Bionic woman? So, after all, she’s just as fragile and mortal as the rest of us. This made me think that we are like God’s bionic people. The worst thing that can happen to us is the best thing. Our death is but a tiny momentary pause in this great universe. And then we will have beautiful, eternal bodies that would put the Bionic Woman to shame. We will be pain free, happy, raised up in glorius power, and imperishable. This is God’s promise to us. It is the amazing gift from Jeses heart. And when Jesus returns, the whole world will truly be his stge.
Hi! My name is Ginny, and I live with my husband, Phil, in a small city in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I have never tried anything like this before, and am excited to start. I am a middle aged stay at home wife with a part time babysitting job. We are very active in our church. I am a Deacon and also run the 24/7 prayer and information line from my home. I also have a bulletin board at church and run evening programs once in a while. My husband is Head Deacon and teaches Sunday School. We have a son, daughter in law, and little grandaughter who live nearby. As a part of my church work, I have started writing some of my thoughts on the Christian life. So I will be posting these from time to time, and perhaps sharing some of my personal life with you as well. I hope you will follow my blog and that something in it will bless and inspire you.