Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Friendship

Today I was reminded that I'm not a very good friend.  A former co-worker called another former co-worker to see if I was all right.  She had written me a letter and had called me but had not gotten an answer to either one. 

 What is my problem?  Charlotte and I worked together for 11 years.  We were physically side-by-side, but most importantly, we were friends.  And yet I ignored her.  I feel very bad about it.  I called her and left her a message, but if she doesn't call me back, it's only what I deserve.
Her letter is here in my big stack of stuff that I keep thinking I'll get around to.   I've kept it close by and I've been aware of it nearly every day, thinking I needed to answer that.  I even composed two different letters on two different dates to her, but I never printed them to send.

Is this how God feels when I ignore him?  And I certainly ignore him a lot.  And look at all the wonderful things he has done for me!  The list is truly endless.
I feel bad about ignoring Charlotte, and I hope she will forgive me.  I feel bad about ignoring God, and I know he has forgiven me.  You'd think I would feel better knowing that God won't hold it against me, but it makes me sad to think I willfully ignore the most precious thing in my life.

I need to repent and go in a different direction.  I need to have a completely different mindset about ignoring God and ignoring my friends.
Lord, I'm sorry I ignore you so frequently.  And I'm sorry that I disappointed Charlotte.  Please help her to forgive me so that we can continue to be friends.  Thank you for forgiving me all of my sins, including this one.  Help me, Holy Spirit.  Remind me that I need to turn once again to Christ. 

Like the song: 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things on earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Photo by Cindy West McGregor

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear God

Dear God,

You are magnificent, You are wonderful, You are everywhere I look and everywhere unseen by human eyes.

The birds each have their own song, each have their own colors and patterns.  You thought of each one in just a certain way and You spoke them into being.  Lord, our world would be so empty without them.  Thank you for letting us enjoy them.  You made them pretty just for us because no other living thing has the capacity to enjoy beauty and wonder.

How did You do it, Lord?  How did You think of every little bitty detail?  Our scientists think they have figured out Your creations, but they have not.  No one can see inside a bird or a rabbit and know what they are feeling or thinking.  I know that animals do things by instinct, but You are the One who gave it to them.

Thank You for my world, Dear Lord.  Thank You for my house, my yard, the birds that come to our feeders.  Please continue to bless us, because apart from You, we are nothing. 

                                    In Christ's name, Amen.

Photo by Cindy West McGregor

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Age Funeral

Years ago, I attended a funeral that was sort of "new age."  I really didn't mean to stay for the funeral.  I had gone to the visitation and got caught talking to someone and stayed too late to quietly slip out.

I remember that there were maybe 15 people.  The deceased was the father of a co-worker.  I had never met him but had heard his daughter speak of him many times.  We stood in a circle while certain people read famous poems and quotes and such.

Several people then shared happy memories of the man they had known.  His daughter was the last person to share, and when she was through, she asked us to join hands and pray.

Of course, I reached for the hand on either side of me and then bowed my head.  And then one of the people in the circle started praying… to the dead guy.  Yes, that's right, they were praying (talking) to the dead man.  I can't remember what they said, but a thought came to my mind so strongly, I was afraid I had blurted it out loud.

I don't pray to a dead guy.  The guy I pray to is alive and has been from the beginning and will be until the end of time.  Oh, he was dead for a few days, deader than a doornail.  But on that third day, he rose and saved us all.

Yes, I pray to a guy that is more alive than any of us will ever be this side of heaven, and I'm so honored to do so.

Happy Easter!
Photo by Cindy West McGregor

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Later On

Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News.  "The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”                                                                                        Mark 1:14-16



They say opposites attract, and that may be true.  I know that my husband and I are opposites on some things.  For example, David likes to get things done immediately; I tend to put things off.  I'm thinking, "Well, I can do that later," while David is thinking, "I'll do it now and get it done."  You know, the early-bird-gets-the-worm theory.

In this passage from Mark, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is near.  If it was "near" 2,000 years ago, I'm thinking it's about close enough to reach out and touch by now. 

Jesus says to repent of our sins and believe the Good News, the Gospel, the resurrected Christ.  We can either pay now (accept Christ, be genuinely sorry for our sins and change our behavior) or pay later (spend eternity separated from God).
Never too early and never too late to get this one done.

Photo by Cindy West McGregor



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fair and Equal

We all want fair and equal treatment.  From  childhood when we first say, "Hey, that's not fair!" to adulthood, "I have my rights, you know!" we are looking for equality. 

The disciples had this problem from time to time.  As Jesus was explaining how the Kingdom of God works, he told the parable of the workers in the vineyard.  The owner of the vineyard throughout the day hired men to work.  By the end of the day, some had worked only an hour, but every man was paid the same.  The men who had worked all day complained that this was unfair.  But the owner made clear that his intent was not to be unfair, but to be generous.  He goes as far as accusing the first hired of jealousy.  (Matthew 20:1-16)

Sometimes it's hard to feel generous.  Sometimes jealousy is much easier.  It's a form of greed.  We want, we want, we want.  How much is enough?  Jealousy and greed try to convince us that it is never enough.

But the Bible tells us that Jesus is enough, He is sufficient (2nd Corinthians 12:9).  We don't need anything else.  Jesus did it all, said it all, sacrificed all.  Jealousy and greed will just have to take a back seat.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What I Learned From a Chuzzle

 


Chuzzle is a computer game that I have played for years.  It's not hard at all; in fact, I can play it without thinking, which is why I like it so much.  The Chuzzle board consists of six rows of Chuzzles across and six rows down.  The object of the game is to move the rows back and forth or up and down until you match three Chuzzles of the same color, whereupon the said Chuzzles sort of explode and their eyes race across the board to a jar where they wait for the next game.

Chuzzles are very cute, with their big expressive eyes and pretty colors.  During a game, it's very easy to line them up just right to get those three of the same color to explode and leave the board.  It's fun.

But as you get into the game, things start to happen.  A big lock comes out of nowhere and locks one of the Chuzzles into place.  It can't be budged; it stays until two of its color can slide to it and release it from its prison.

Okay, not a problem.  There's a whole board to choose from.  It's just a small part of the board tied up.  I keep working until finally the magic three line up and the lock is broken.  Yay!

Except now there are two locks on different parts of the board.  So I can't slide the Chuzzles up or down on about half of the board.  Hmmmmm…. Well, I'll just have to work with what I've got… If I can't move that row to the left and right, then I'll have to use this row.  And I've got to act quickly, because the locks just keep coming until the whole board is locked down and the game ends.

Sometimes when I'm out and about, doing whatever it is that I'm doing, I run into a problem of some kind, and Chuzzles comes into my mind.  I think about that board and its locks and how I have to find another way to get the job done.  Even when things are happening quickly and it looks like all is lost, if I will keep looking for an answer and not give up, I can usually figure it out in time.

God gives us everything we need to work through our problems.  Sometimes he even gives us Chuzzles.

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.                                   Philippians 3:14