The Knock on the Door

>> Thursday, October 31, 2013

The plans had been laid. Romantic music at the ready. Scented candles lit. Dinner on the table. John was ready. The big question would be asked tonight. I saw it coming. And I knew something apparently he didn’t know.

He had planned this evening on Halloween.

We sat on the couch, wine glasses in hand and it was about time for that question. There was a knock on the door.

“Who in the world could that be?”

The sweet little sound of “trick or treat” wafted my way. The look on his face was priceless. 

“Is this Halloween?”

So much for plans. His fell apart 34 years ago today.

But life is just like that. We plan our career, marry our beloved, build a wonderful home and we think we are set. And then comes the knock on the door. It’s not a sweet little voice. It comes in the form of layoffs, divorces, foreclosures or death.

So much for our plans. They can fall apart.

But that’s where God comes in. Nothing surprises Him. He can handle whatever the situation. As a Christ-follower, the peace remains no matter what the knock on the door brings.

His plans never fall apart.

“But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts or understand his plan.” Micah 4:12 (NLT)


Just Be

>> Thursday, October 24, 2013

I spent some time this morning in a hospital waiting room…sitting with a friend. She and her husband are good friends…and he was having a medical procedure with possible complications. I didn’t want her to sit alone.

Turns out she had plenty of family to wait with her.

But my thoughts turned to the times I’ve been the one sitting in some waiting room, with my husband behind those ominous closed doors that say “No Admittance”. At times I’ve sat alone…other times there were several friends with me…each person arriving with their own mode of operation.

Some want to talk…constantly. Some seem uncomfortable with the seriousness of the situation…so make jokes. Others are inclined to go and do something for me…to bring gifts. Behind all the various behaviors is one driving thought…to help me through my time of distress.

And then there is the one who is just there. No words are necessary. I know if I have a need, all I have to do is say so. Their love and care exude from their very presence. They have learned to just “be”.

As a Christ-follower, my desire is to just “be” for others. If they want words, I can do that. If laughter would help, that can happen. If a drink from Starbucks would mean caring to them at that moment, I can hop in my car and go.

But above all, I want my love and caring to be obvious as I just “be”.

“Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” I Peter 3:4 (MSG)


Another Passage

>> Saturday, October 19, 2013

Back in the dark ages…growing up in Kansas…going to movies was a BIG sin. The doctrine of our church denomination said it was of the devil. If you gave money to attend a movie, you were helping Hollywood encourage the degradation of the world. Those men and women kissing on the screen weren’t even married to each other.

We did not go to movies.

I married and had children. Since my husband was a preacher of that same denomination, the dogma remained. No matter how badly one of our girls wanted to see a movie…even a children’s movie…they were denied.

My husband left…I became a person…and sorted through my beliefs to decide for myself. In my early 30’s I chose to take my children and go to a movie. They probably enjoyed it. I waited for the roof to fall on me.

We lived.

Attending movies became a delightful way to spend time with the girls. As they grew and went their separate ways, I continued to take myself to movies. It was such an enjoyable way to spend an evening. When I married again, we set aside Friday night as our date night. Many times we chose to go out to eat and then see a movie.

We went to a movie last night. I sat with my eyes closed through most of it. My nausea lingered on for an hour after we came home. As I waited to be able to open my eyes, I pondered my choice. I could continue to go to movies…get sick…and wait to get better. Or I could decide that going to movies was no longer an option for me.

It was a hard decision.

I have a problem with my vision. If there is a lot of sideways movement, my eyes do not track together. Thus, the nausea. Many times I’ve been able to just listen to the show and know what occurred. But last night much of the conversation was in a different language with the words on the screen. Too bad for me. My husband tells me that Captain Phillips is a very good movie. I’ll have to take his word for it.

Life is full of choices. This passage has brought me full circle…no movies.


I Am a Bible

>> Thursday, October 10, 2013

The sound of the keyboard filled the meeting room. Our worship leader spoke as she played some background music. In her comments, she referred to a certain version of the Bible. Later, after some songs, she again mentioned a scripture from a different version of the Bible. And so it went for all the sessions.

There are many different versions of the Bible.

The speaker read from a certain version and then compared it to a different version. Between the speaker and worship leader, probably four or five different versions of the Bible were read, plus some reading from the paraphrase…the Message.

Our ladies retreat was attended by various types of women…some non-Christians, some newly Christian and others having been a Christian for years. No matter where they were on their journey, there was a Bible version that could speak to them.

But what about the people we come in contact with every day. They’ve probably never been to a Christian retreat. We work with them…live next door to them…buy products from them. As I pondered the words read to me at the retreat, I remembered a saying.

You may be the only Bible some people read.

All the different versions of the Bible point to central truths…God loves you and desires a relationship with you. If we call ourselves Christians, shouldn’t our lives point to the same truths? Our reactions to circumstances display a certain version of the Bible. Do we point to a loving God? Do our words line up with a God who understands us? Or do we demonstrate a life of judgment and condemnation?

Exactly what version are you?

“We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their (our) behavior.” Titus 2:5b (MSG)


Simple...But Not Easy

>> Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My loved one is nearing the end of his life. I’ve been in touch by telephone. I owe so much to him…he helped me find my life. Grief. Another loved one has had to give up his lifetime passion…music. Who is he without a horn to his lips? Sadness.

Yet another loved one has been given a devastating diagnosis…and the future is uncertain. Tears. I’ve had a lifelong battle with eye problems. But recently new symptoms have developed. After three visits to the eye doctor, I’m no closer to resolution. Frustrating. A few days ago a friend was killed in an accident. Shock.

And now our government has shut down…affecting millions…my daughter one of them. Worry.

In all of these situations, I am helpless to change the outcome. But I’m so delighted to say I am in charge of my reactions. I do not have to walk through my days weighed down by sorrow or fear.

I have a choice. It’s simple…but not easy.

Each time my mind turns to one of these situations, I remind myself I’ve given that to God. I don’t have to stress. That’s where the hard part comes in. I want to mull over the issue…to fix it.

I am living proof that it works. I sleep soundly, knowing I’m not in charge.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)


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