Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Another Spin...

Year 6-Day 303: Today, I am grateful for another spin around the planet.

Two score and thirteen years ago... a baby girl arrived inconveniently during harvest. I was always glad that I could take not credit for that arrival date. 

It is good to celebrate each year marker. Each day is a gift. Even the hard ones. 

I found this scrapbook page form June 2012. I was still at St. Jude but would soon be making the transition to the school district. It was right before some major losses and before the blessing of a daughter by marriage. 

Every day it is more true... I need Him. As the song goes " if there is anything at all that is good in me"... it is because of His grace, love and patience. I am grateful for every year granted to seek his face, to learn more and to know Him better. In this season, I find my heart smiles at the thought of heaven, too.  

But whatever I am now, it is all because God ... yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.-1 Corinthians 15:10

I have so much more to learn. I will savor the gift of today. 

Today, I am grateful for another spin around the planet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Right Questions

Year 6-Day 302: Today, I am grateful for the right questions. 

One of the things I learned quickly in the world of social services was that I didn't have all the answers. That may qualify for the understatement of the year. 

So many who crossed my path had lived life experiences that I had no true reference point to help me understand. I didn't have to figure out their right answers. They did. 

I had to learn to ask the right questions. I could learn what those might be through listening. Listening and waiting for them to figure out the answers for themselves was where changes could take root. 

We humans have a willful, stubborn streak. We would rather blame and complain than change something that might lead us into the unknown... even if the unknown holds the promise of being better.  

Dr. Seuss nails it on the head with a quote that is new to me, or just stood out for the first time. 

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." -Dr. Seuss

Wow! Isn't that the truth? The simplicity of this statement blows open the doors of possibility. We must learn to ask the right questions. Then, the answers fall into place.

Jesus was masterful at this technique. He often asked questions when being questioned. In doing so, he would reveal the hearts of his accusers. He used it with his own disciples.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” -Matthew 16:15 

Talk about a complicated question with a simple answer. People were up in arms about Jesus. The Pharisees and Sadducees saw him as a revolutionist. They determined Jesus a threat to their power and their leadership. They wanted him gone... out of their hair... and many preferred him dead. The disciples were still figuring it out.

Christ's passion was people. His desire was to find a way to save souls and obey the Father's will. The question that changes our lives is this one:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

Peter was the first to call him Messiah out loud. The disciples would come to realize that Jesus was the Son of Man and Son of God, who would provide the perfect lamb. He would pay the price for the sins of the world when the Passover shofar blew for the sacrifice to be made. 

We all have to answer the questions: “But who do you say that I am?” The answer will be recorded. It ripples into eternity. 

Today, I am grateful for the right questions. 

Monday, October 29, 2018


Year 6-Day 301: Today, I am grateful for reminders. 

"May I never forget on my best day, that I still need God as desperately as I did on my worst day." 

I always tell people in my life that I am not offended by reminders. Sometimes, too many balls in the air means one gets dropped. And when one gets dropped, sometimes others follow. Life requires juggling. Juggling is not always my favorite thing. 

I savor digging into one task and completing it with excellence. Most days in my life require a balancing act between what I need to do, what I am called to do and what I want to do. It reminds me of what Dr. Seuss said: “Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.” 

That balancing act requires preparation, prayer and pondering where the presence of God in what can seem the most unholy moments. My dear friend for a lifetime, Sally, gave me a precious book called "Every Moment Holy" (look for it at The Rabbit Room). It is liturgical in nature ... a book of prayers and readings for public worship... but it is so much more. It is a reminder that in even the most simple moments, we can find the holy. 

God's not only in our grand moments like births, deaths, baptisms, conversion experiences, and marriages... he is in every breath and every heartbeat. Again...

"May I never forget on my best day, that I still need God as desperately as I did on my worst day." 

In other words, living out Romans 12:1. 

"[ A Living Sacrifice to God ] And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him."-Romans 12:1 

Reminders of the mission and a mantra to keep the train on track is a great way to start any day or any week. Healthy self-talk is powerful. When we include God-talk, the impact is life changing. It may echo into eternity.  

I need reminders to make this day... and every day a living sacrifice. The act of laying all that we are... and all that we are not... at His feet for service. We don't have to be amazing, just willing. His amazing covers our imperfections and even uses those less than perfect pieces to his glory. He gives us beauty for ashes when our hearts say "yes" to His best for our lives.

Today, I am grateful for reminders. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Nature's signs

Year 6-Day 300: Today, I am grateful for nature's signs.
It has been a long time since a wooly worm showed up at my door. This little guy intrigued Daisy Mae and made me smile.  He is very woolly and black with a band of rich brown in his middle. If the old farmer's tales are true, we could be in for a long hard winter. Guess what, the old farmer's are often right. 
These old sayings were around in Jesus day, too. 
"He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!" -Matthew 16:2-3 
Please remember that nature doesn't worry or fret. It prepares, but it doesn't fret. Nature bunkers down and wait. 
The tragic headlines from the weekend remind me to look for signs of the times. I wonder how long Christ will tarry? 
I am grateful for the woolly worm who reminded me that all times are His season.We can prepare... but then we must watch and wait. It is hard to be still, but that is where we find the calm in the storms. 
Today, I am grateful for nature's signs.