Friday, February 26, 2010


This morning, over coffee, I was doing one of my favorite things. I was sitting and thinking. My eye caught the tail of mosquito netting hanging on my buffet. That took me back. I thought of beds in tropical locations, completely covered with the filmy stuff. The tropics, night noises, tree frogs and crickets and rain on the roof.

Then I started thinking of other scenes: an old manor house, a glossy winding staircase, fog, the moors.

I then think of Spanish moss and weeping willow trees, flowy dresses and long shiny hair.

I'm having fun now. I see an old car driving down a lonely stretch of highway. I see a man with a trench coat and fedora.

I see safari hats, more gauze and I hear the trumpet of elephants.

I see two young men wearing frilly shirts and slicked back hair jumping here and there in a sword fight.

All of a sudden, it occurs to me that probably all of these things that give my heart a certain excitement are nothing more than a bunch of cliches.

They are probably found in movies I have seen or books read. The funny part is, these elements are not necessarily in my favorite movies. What they have is a feeling - a feeling that draws me in and I want to be there. The plot doesn't matter, the people don't matter just now. All I care about is to be taken away and just BE in one of these memorable scenes. I just want to linger, I just want to look around. Then something will happen and I'll pay attention, but I've already had my treat. Everything else is secondary.

You know, sometimes I think too much. But as I go over my list of cliches, I realize there was a time when I first saw or pictured these things. Oh the richness - that was glorious!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little Pleasures

Little things mean a lot. Big is not always better. I find these concepts as true now as when I was young. Most children today don't seem to appreciate small things as much as they used to. I know this sounds silly, but I love little trinkets. There was an article in the Feb/March issue of Reminisce magazine on charms. These little toys were found in gumball machines when I was young. They were tiny toys, usually made of plastic. You would get one or a gumball and a charm for a penny. In my town, the machine was sprinkled with small inch-sized decks of cards. It was my fervent desire to get one of these. Alas, the dream alluded me.

We actually called these charms trinkets. They had a hole or ring where you could string then on a little brass key chain. The best wallets back then had a hole and chain for these trinkets.

When I was in college in Ohio, we went to Toledo and, at Christmastime, found a store called Little Pleasures. The whole store had small, fairly inexpensive, cute, creative, adorable things. I thought of it when I was in Pier One Imports recently at their central section where they have a table of the same type of things. I selected a little heavy blue enamel metal purse with a wire sticking out of it. It's for pictures, credit cards, or greeting cards. I got it for my daughter for Valentine's Day. I got a cute flower ring made out of different stones for spring.

When I was a kindergarten teacher, my students would give me over twenty one-dollar gifts for Christmas as well as homemade items. One year a teacher on a mission asked me to give some gifts away, to be used as "bribes" for good students during the year. I gave some, but her attitude was sad. It seemed to say, "you don't want this junk, do you?" Small roll-on perfumes, cute little candles, homemade ornaments? Well, I did appreciate them. I took the rest home and enjoyed my treasures. I used to send thank-you cards to each student. It was easy thinking of things to say, because I truly meant what I said.

My husband's grandmother always gave us nice gifts. She wrapped them in colorful paper and put on something wonderful, tie-ons. These were crocheted, made of needlepoint, or sewed. The lovely gifts have long since disappeared, but I still have some of these treasures. What some people might have discarded, I cherish.

Today, I feel that many children and most adults don't appreciate cute, inexpensive things. Now I know you can't keep everything. Some things are truly junk. But even if you do toss them, and that is your right, at least notice the effort someone went to and smile. You know how toddlers toss the toy aside and play with the box? Maybe they have insight. In fact, I think they have it exactly right.

Friday, February 19, 2010


This lesson is about the feeding of the five thousand. It's found in all four gospels.
Jesus and the disciples went to a deserted place (Luke: 9:10). In verse 11, Jesus received the multitudes. When the people were hungry, the disciples wanted the people to go and get their own food. But Jesus said, "you give them something." You may not think you have a lot to give, but He says, give it.

The disciples were thinking logically. Unless we go and buy food, they won't have any, but that's too expensive and each would have only a taste. Jesus says, don't do the logical. Do the impossible. Really, just give - offer what you have.

In verse 14, they sat in groups. Jesus is making order out of chaos. With 5,000 men plus women and possibly 4 children, there could have been more than 20,000 people.

In verse 16, Jesus blessed the food. This is Jesus' job. Only He can do it. The disciples passed it out. They gave it away. God multiplies, not according to man's measure, but Gods.

Verse 17, the people were filled. Something you have can satisfy others. Twelve baskets of fragments were left and taken up. These were not wasted. When God multiplies, there will be fragments left (for more blessing.)

Lessons: 1. Jesus is never too busy for the multitudes. He is never too busy for you.
2. Jesus multiplies what you give. He blessed it and multiplied it. You distribute it.
3. Give Him something to multiply. What you have.
4. What do you have to give? (patience, kindness, a smile, a prayer, your heart.)
5. Jesus did more with less. With the 4,000 (the other story,) there were 7 loaves and 7 baskets left
but, with the 5,000, there were 5 loaves and 12 baskets left. The principle is to
give what you have. Don't withhold what you can give.

Now I want to talk about the fragments. You don't know what happened to those fragments. all we know is that Jesus wanted them saved for later use and they were too valuable to be wasted.
I was thinking of a talent my daughter has. She is super good at all things sports. She graduated with a business degree in sports management. Partly because of the economy, she is not able to use that gift yet. But God spoke to me that this is her fragment. It is too valuable to be left on the ground. He will yet use it to "feed" others. I have fragments too. I want to speak, write more, get into worship dance. He is saving those fragments for me and someday they will feed others. I'm sure, because my God loves details. What fragments of yours would you like to see being used in the Kingdom to nourish others? I have faith that they will not be wasted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God Brings Peace and Joy Through Tears

I'd like to tell you the results of my Valentine's Day. Oh, I got a glorious dinner at an Italian restaurant which included white chocolate cheesecake. What can I say but that is was "heavenly." I also got a silly card and a cute old black and white DVD that I had enjoyed before.

I want to tell you what happened in the Spiritual. At church, there was something said in a class which shook me deeply. I cried and probablly made a fool of myself. But I don't like the things "I know" to be messed with. So I was in church trying to praise God and crying at the same time. Then one of our ladies started to wave a thin gossamer flag with the picture of a lion on it. It was The Lion of Judah. Then, almost instantly, the sound people put up a background picture on the wall of a lion with gorgeous soft eyes. I don't think either party knew about the other. I believe it was a God thing. It hit me right in the heart. Of course I think of the lion as Aslan from the Narnia stories. But deeper, I know who it is. Jesus is the Lion of Judah and that face always gets me. It was as if the Lord were saying, "hold my hand, I'm here."

I cried still more, but I have learned to be a "fool for Christ." When things like this happen, I just let the Lord have His way. Isn't that one of the things that church is about? To be moved by something? I was moved by God's compassion for me.

Later, I pulled two books that I thought would help me with my search for truth. As I started reading one, I noticed that they both had the same author. I had not realized that the little book was by the author of the bigger one I was wanting to search through.

The Lord led me to read all of the small book. Here, he answered a question I had early in the day and had asked Him to please be specific. He was. Then the bigger book comforted me and hepled me realize that what had bothered me in the church class and the big books' truths could be reconciled and I could have peace. Peace - I did have it. I also got so excited that I was free that I could hardly sleep.

Why am I telling all this? Because I know and believe God to be alive and working in me and for me and when I say that He is wonderful, I know it by experience. He will show His love to you, too in a way that can only be called miraculous. It was altogether a great day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Special Day

Sunday is my favorite day of the whole year. Yes, I love Sundays, but I'm talking about Valentine's Day. Ever since I was a little girl and had my first party in school, I have been in love with all those little "penny valentines" we used to get. I still love them. They had a book of them in Borders and I was tempted to buy them, but they had flocking, and I dislike flocking immensely. My memories go to the big fancy boxes of candy, too. The pink ones with lace, and the fake roses and ones with all sorts of trim truly send me. I had a few pretty heart boxes from my husband that I put up every year to decorate. They gave me joy years after the candy was gone. When we moved, I finally got rid of them, but that's O.K.

How pretty the florist shops look in February, with red, white, and pink flowers amidst all the hearts and lace (and the white snow outside.) It just gives me a jolt of nostalgia and I smile.

When my kids were small, I enjoyed looking for the best of the cute novelties, candy, and cards for them. It was a safari for little treasures.

Things have changed over the years. Now, we don't eat candy as much as before. I like to make my cards. You know how I love to create and that is so much fun and I am looking forward to a good dinner on Sunday.

I've noticed I can still enjoy all the cutie things in the stores without having to buy them. And of course, I love the romance. I like to play, "do you remember?" with my husband, and he usually has no interest in past silly things we did. He is very romantic with gifts and dinners however.

I guess the main reason I love the day so much is that it's such an old fashioned type of celebration. When people say it's too commercial, I want to say, "don't rain on my parade." You can have your day completely without any money and still celebrate it. I think those people just don't want to follow the crowd. That's fine. But, let the red, white, and pink hearts flutter down on me. This is my day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ten Small Confessions

This idea for today comes from Jeanette at Audience of ONE. She encouraged us to try it. Thanks Jeanette. This was so much fun, I could easily have done ten more. Maybe I'll do some others in a few months. I want to thank God for all the memories it stirred up, good and bad. Now for the confessions. See if any of them surprised you.

1. On my wedding day, I quit smoking - "cold turkey."

2. I got "yelled at" for taking a picture of "The Nightwatch" in a museum in Amsterdam.

3. Once, I broke through the ice and fell in.

4. There was a time when I was great at playing jacks, doing the hula hoop, and jumping on the pogo stick.

5. When I was in the sixth grade, I memorized The Gettysburg Address and I can still say it (with a few fumbles.)

6. When we were kids, my neighbor and I called up a store and told them our dog was coming to pick up a package.

7. I once marched in a parade in N.Y.C. against the Nuclear bomb.

8. I love black licorice and tapioca.

9. My second son's birth weight was 9 lbs., 3 oz. and that was way back in l979. He was a Keeper.

10. I have three handwritings: slanted to the right, straight up and down, and illegible.

There, now you know me better and I had some fun. Love to all of you. Nancy

Friday, February 5, 2010

Faulty Logic

Have you ever thought one scenario was playing out one way and it looked like disaster and you couldn't imagine any good outlook at all? After all, doesn't A lead to B and added together get C?

I have to tell you that I always thought I had good logic. I was at that family camp I talk about, CFO. It was day one. Every year I would run into strong spiritual opposition because I was going to praise God and learn new lessons and get a fresh start. So on this day, I remembered some bugs that were on the counter and one or two on the floor when I left. Suddenly they came into my head and I was sure we had termites. Hadn't I heard funny noises near the outside wall of our bedroom? I even called my husband to see if he noticed anything. I couldn't get through and we didn't have a message system then. I truly got myself worked up. A friend came to my room and I described my bugs. She said they sounded like earwigs, not great, but not house destroyers either. The rest of the week was fine.

Another time I was alone with the children at a day care center and I saw what I was sure was impetigo on a child's face. I'd seen it before. I mentioned it to her father. He took her to the doctor and found it was a booger on her face. How embarrassed was I next day?

One last story. I was sure my baby grandson had a sty on his eye. Oh, no and I had touched his face and I was facing eye surgery next day. Oh, no. Later, the "sty" was on top of his eye and not on the bottom. Oops. End of my playing doctor.

I give you these silly stories because the Lord actually whispered to me on the last one, it's not what you think. Many times I am so worried. I am sure I have all the facts. Only God has all the facts. Next time I think I have A and B so that must equal C, I'm going to go straight to Him and ask for the whole story. I should even take what I don't know on faith and be trusting until the thing plays out, one way or another.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Sower

From my fraternal grandmother, I have a lovely old Victorian picture. If you read the words on it across it says, "labor sure has reward." If you read it up and down, it says, "labor has sure reward." Some days I like it one way, some the other. Right in the middle of the words, confusing the issue, is a beautiful lady sower with her bag of seeds. I like the idea of a sure reward. The Lord said our sowing was like that.

"He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Psalm 126:6 NKJ

Have you been praying and working and believing and sowing good seeds, through sleepless nights or busy days of toil and exhaustion? There is a sure reward for you, a day of rejoicing, as you carry in your sheaves.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I Corinthians 15:58 NKJ

"The labor of the righteous leads to life..." Proverbs 10:16 NKJ

He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward." Proverbs 11:18 NKJ

Be assured the plants will come up in profusion, according to the measure and type of seeds that were sown.