Another Movie for Thought

theyoungmessiah_05Last night, my husband and I, and my sister watched a DVD entitled, “Young Messiah” presented by Focus Features, a Comcast Company in association with Ocean Blue Entertainment, a 1492 Pictures/CJ Enterprise Production distributed by Universal with imaginings of what Jesus’ life would have been like at age seven.

http://youngmessiahresources.com/trailer

theyoungmessiah_05

 

When I saw the hills of Jerusalem, an urge to visit there rose up within me. So, tonight I

 

saw a lady that traveled to Israel with a group earlier this year.

 

She said it revolutionized her life to walk the “Stations of the Cross” and at one place to bear the cross until it was time to pass it on to another.

 

If I don’t get to Jerusalem in this life time, eventually there will be a new heaven and a new earth with a new Jerusalem as described in Revelation 21 and the beginning of Revelation 22.

 

The movie, “Young Messiah” showed the times, the culture, spiritual warfare up close, miracles and family unity.

 

 

 

Every time Jesus faced danger, I thought, it’s not His time to die yet.

 

God has a plan for us, according to Jeremiah 29:11, to give us hope and a future.

 

May God bless you!

Advertisements

Momentum in Life

 

I did some writing for a lady a few years back. She was a woman on a mission. She went to Washington, DC to speak before the legislatures to implore them to do something on behalf of families with brain diseased members.
She told me that 25 % of the population will deal with mental illness, either in themselves or in the lives of their loved ones and/or acquaintances. She also told me that when the patient is taken to the Emergency room at the hospital, they are the only ones offered the help of an attorney. Family is basically shut out of the process and because the person’s brain is not working properly, they can be easily persuaded to accept treatment that is not to their benefit.
I understand the dilemma. Sometimes wrong behaviors in a family may cause the mental disease, but usually, the family cares much more about a person than a stranger does.
How do people recover from brain distress without the love of God in their history?
I read Psalms 116-119, and they are filled with promises from God to watch over His children and to deliver them from evil. I knew a lady in church over twenty years ago, and she told us, once she recovered, that depression made her feel so hopeless she thought she’d never get out of the lowest moments in her life.
Sometimes, I think people must take small steps toward wholeness by focusing on others and crying out to God.
A favorite Scripture of mine is 2 Timothy 1:7, (NKJV): For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

When my youngest son battled for his life as a newborn, whenever I got close to the hospital I would get hit with tremendous fear because I’d driven about forty minutes by then without a cell phone. What if he’d died on the way there? I heard a preacher on the radio encouraging us by saying that speaking the Word of God allows us to hear the Word of God and in Romans_10:17, (NKJV) it states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

I spoke 2 Timothy 1:7 and the overpowering fear lifted as if it had been a vise squeezing my shoulders and then it released and disappeared.

I thought, the Word of God is powerful!

Then I memorized the Scripture: Hebrews_4:12: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is alive. Imagine that. Someone I love is in the depths of despair and I told her to hold on to the hope of Jesus Christ. I know it’s hard, but there will be an end to this hopelessness and I reminded her that she is loved.

It’s in her court, the course of her life. No one can live it for her. She asked me to pray and I said I would. That’s the best thing anyone can do. God alone is a perfect help in times of trouble and He alone satisfies our deepest longings.

How do I know? Because I’ve been in hard times over the years and He’s never let me down. Sometimes I wished His timing matched mine, but then I’d be glad He delayed, because when He did show up, the need had changed and it helped that the prayer got answered later. He gave me momentum to move along and live with new thoughts and with fresh horizons.

God knows everything.

May God bless you.

Two Answered Prayers

 

This past weekend, we got invaded by children and grandchildren.
It’s so quiet now it’s almost surreal.
They called me earlier and I wasn’t home so I called their mother at 9:30 p.m. and they answered the phone. It must be summer. They’d better enjoy their laid-back schedule.
As hard as it seems to believe, school starts soon in New York State.
Yesterday I prayed fervently, “Please God, help me to find the lost library book. I don’t want to buy a new one to replace it.”
When the grandkids first came in the door on Saturday, I told them I’d give them fifty cents if they’d help find the picture book.

http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.U_zcfijNUNeAFZa-qSLRdgEsCo&pid=15.1&w=173&h=9

6&p=0
The second oldest set to work right away. I thought being here would stimulate their memory and in moments the tome would be in my hand.
He worked so diligently I treated him to shopping at a dollar store. They’re young and pleased with a small amount which helps Grandma out.
He scurried under beds, peeked in closets and even dumped the toy box as he thoroughly searched the premises. I stayed by his side and helped picked up toys and placed some items in a give- away bag. After half an hour, I told him we had to stop. I felt ready to drop. They didn’t get there until nighttime and I’d had a busy day already.
Once the other children heard of his trip to the store, they wanted to help. Only one got the chance, so the others helped mommy clean her vehicle. They earned more from her and worked a bit longer.
His sister helped the next day and she ended up waiting for me to get ready. We didn’t look for the book this time because I’d spent so much time already on my own, I couldn’t think of any other place to look.
I set the timer for 30 minutes and gave her the same amount of money to spend. She’s not as easy to shop with as her brother. I almost gave up after 45 minutes but I allowed her to go to a second store even though I told her earlier we were only going to one place.
When it seemed she wouldn’t find anything there, I told her we’re leaving and I’d give the money to her mom for them to get something later.
Then she looked in earnest. She found six items compared to his two and received 50 cents in change back as well. He took maybe 15 minutes to decide; she took an hour and 45 minutes before we left for home!
He got new stuff, she chose used stuff. I’d rather take him because she kept trying to up the payment and didn’t want to take “No,” for an answer.
I love them equally, but from now on I think I’ll choose visits to the playground for an outing instead of down a toy aisle.
Anyway, God certainly answers prayer. The book sat in my house in their luggage hidden in an outer pocket of their suitcase. Unfortunately, they didn’t find it until they drove home.
I asked her to mail it directly to the library. Who found it? The second born son. “Grandma, I found the book. Am I going to get 50 cents?”
“Yes, you are,” I told him.
“Get to bed,” I heard his mom tell his siblings.
Others wanted to talk and my daughter spoke into the phone, “I’m sorry, Mom. They have to go to bed.”
“That’s okay, I know it’s getting late.”

Two answers to prayer today. At the dealership for my car I asked God very sincerely, “Please let the repair be free or for a very low cost.”

About a month ago they replaced a part in my car because the horn beeped for no apparent reason, sporadically. Once, in the middle of the night.

I paid their hefty labor bill and a tiny amount for the part and thankfully they needed very little time to exchange the parts. Still, at the small shop I go to they charge about $40.00-$50.00 per hour less than the place I went to today.

Which is why I prayed today.

They kept the automobile for about 40 minutes and checked every wire and every part of the system attached to the horn and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So, they gave me the paperwork-N/C, $0.00 on the bottom. No charge, “Thank you very much.”

And to Jesus I said, “Thank You, Lord!”

God is good.

May God bless you

Secretariat

This photo is from http://movies.disney.com/secretariat.

 

My husband and I intended to celebrate our anniversary last night but he wasn’t feeling 100% so we stayed home and put in a DVD to watch. If ever you feel a need for encouragement when the odds are against you, this is the movie to watch.

Walt Disney productions started Secretariat, rated: PG, and released on October 8, 2010 with Scripture; God is speaking of the horse:

Job 39:19, (GNB):  “Was it you, Job, who made horses so strong and gave them their flowing manes?

Job 39:20  Did you make them leap like locusts and frighten people with their snorting?

Job 39:21  They eagerly paw the ground in the valley; they rush into battle with all their strength.

Job 39:22  They do not know the meaning of fear, and no sword can turn them back.

Job 39:23  The weapons which their riders carry rattle and flash in the sun.

Job 39:24  Trembling with excitement, the horses race ahead; when the trumpet blows, they can’t stand still.

Job 39:25  At each blast of the trumpet they snort; they can smell a battle before they get near, and they hear the officers shouting commands.”

Disney may not have started the introductory speech at the beginning of Job 39:19, where God calls Job by name, but the Scripture is quoted powerfully at the start and finish of the movie.

It’s very apparent that Mrs. Tweedy, aka Penny Chenery has faith in God, but it’s very subtle. The movie is about the amazing “Big Red,” as the owner likes to call Secretariat. Yet, it significantly portrays human struggles and risk taking and dreams placed in the heart of a child by her father. The race took place in 1973 and the American culture is being shaken to its roots by anti-war protestors and the hippie movement. This movie abounds with strong personalities and loving confrontations and respect for individuality in the midst of exciting horse races.

Secretariat is based on a true story and it made me want to get out of my chair and do something big with my life.

The only thing I had to guard my heart against was the slights to housewives which I also encountered occasionally over my years at home when many of the moms were off to the workplace.

Writers Mike Rich and William Nack showed Mrs. Tweedy’s servant heart at home in a positive light as well. The link by the photograph tells all the wonderful actors and other movie personnel’s names with useful information.

May God bless your day.

Fun on a Sunday

Sunday morning we went to a picnic spot with a pond and a pavilion. We enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day and lots of pleasant company accompanied by some tasty food. I got to know some of the people better that visited this year.

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE POND(photo from: (www.timberlandbait.com)

 

Usually we cancel our evening service the day of the picnic because people are tired. I tried to rest a little and then it was time to choose worship songs. Not that I had much of a voice left. 🙂

 

After singing, my husband left the sound booth so we could pray. Seven folks gathered and he didn’t feel like a sermon was the right route to go.

 

“If we keep canceling Sunday night service, people will stop showing up.”

 

Then he gave us some direction. “Let’s pray like Jesus taught the disciples – starting out with ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.’”

 

He went on to explain that hallowed denotes honor and praise. “How can you show God the respect due His name? What words can you describe Him with in the form of a prayer?”

 

We began talking to the Lord and when someone asked for needs to be met, my husband told the person that we’d get to that, but now is the time to exalt our Savior. A bit later, we did pray for personal requests with the addition of the phrase, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Jesus said in the New Testament, in Matthew 18:20, (KJV): “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

We didn’t linger a long time, but as we left each face exhibited peace and contentment.

 

Then, my husband and I began our Sunday night ritual: “Where should we eat?”

 

Sometimes I cook on a Sunday night, but if I’m tired and we’re able to, we eat out. There’s not a lot of restaurants open at that hour of the day.

 

I told my hubbie I was going to pray about it. We have a number of small towns around our little home spot and I’m not familiar with them all.

 

I felt impressed to head north and he was okay with it. We found a new restaurant, to us, that we both enjoyed and hope to visit again sometime.

 

I said, “What a nice day we had,” and he agreed.

 

This is the second Sunday night we’ve prayed at our church over the last thirty days and the people really liked it. Both times it was spontaneous and I missed the first one for a family member’s milestone birthday party in a nearby city.

 

I’m glad I made it for lots of reasons but when I saw the glow on one of the ladies’ faces outside of the church after the meeting, I thought, Aw, wish I’d been there.

 

God gave me the desire of my heart this last Sunday.

 

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

Clearing My Calendar

 

I cleared my calendar for this week when my grandchildren showed up for a little more than a week last Sunday.

They are getting old enough to sleep away for a week in the summer from their folks at home. My father-in-law used to have our kids over for a week in the summer, so the tradition continues, although I think he took them one at a time. He used to hire them to help around his place and I intended to do the same on a lesser degree, but the time is flying by. Plus, we’re making plans to see some attractions and extended-family, so it may not work out.

Years ago, a pastor younger than my husband and I told me if I ever wanted to get my house spruced up, invite people over. It proved true for me this week. I emptied a closet out in two rooms and re-organized them, threw stuff away and placed some items in a give-away spot.

I kept waiting for the weather to warm up so I could apply house numbers to our mailbox that I bought in Feb.

I cleaned the outside of the mail receptacle, rinsed it and dried it. I carefully affixed the large numbers at around 9:00 at night. I’m expecting a few more family members tonight. I even washed fingerprints off the screen doors’ glass around 10:00 p.m. because it’s been driving me crazy and the children are sleeping.

We tried to read about Moses tonight for their Bible story, but unfortunately, last night they were so stinking cute and I was tired and I got laughing and they got laughing and we cut it short. Then the second born told me we didn’t get to read about Moses, so I promised we’d do it tonight. They like to act the story out and I didn’t let them last night because I was not up to it. So, they tried to act it out tonight. The last born decided he wanted to be God in the story, but halfway through God’s speech to Moses where God says His name is “I AM,” the little one decided he wanted to be the king instead. The oldest told me that’s because Jesus is the “King of kings.”

I was beginning to agree to that and suddenly everything ran amuck. The second born starts laughing because he likes to laugh and he’s remembering last night, but it’s just when the youngest says in the lowest voice he can muster, “I AM.”

It seemed so awe inspiring to me, that I didn’t want laughing at that juncture and then my husband comes into the room and says, “How long of a Bible story are you going to have tonight? Are you planning on going on until 11:00?”

By then, my granddaughter who got tired of the small amount of lines from Pharaoh’s daughter had decided she’d be God instead of her abdicating brother. Her oldest brother, Moses was trying to stay the course but every once in a while one of the younger ones would give him an unexpected hug from behind that was almost a tackle and he’d start laughing. I gave up.

I hope you’re enjoying this month. I write to someone in Bolivia and it occurs to me that when we’re finally getting sunny days in between this rainy spring that they’re heading into winter.

By the way, have you cleared your calendar lately?

May God bless you!

cropped-family.jpg

God loves His children!

The Next Generation

My grandchildren and I watched Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” one recent morning while their mother caught up on some neglected sleep.

Image from http://movies.disney.com/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs

It took a while to get my computer working. So, here I am, able to blog, finally!

On Good Friday, I offered to do a service at the Nursing Home like it was no big deal. I do the worship without too much trepidation, but when I needed to speak before twelve people stretched out in a line in their seats or wheel chairs, with a worker present, my heart beat sped up and I wondered what was I thinking to volunteer. With the busyness of the holidays and with company from Thursday to Monday, I wrote a blog on Saturday ready to post it and never got it typed, let alone sent out.

So, this is a modified version of that blog.

There’s nothing like sitting with little ones and entering into their world for a little while. Sometimes they want to watch too many shows or play electronic games, so their mom limits the time allowed so they interact with people.

We settled into comfy chairs to watch old fashioned scrolls with introductory words describing the setting and some of the plot as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” began. I read the first page a bit after it appeared to the children. I finished the words as the second page showed up. My older grandson’s eyes widened. “How did you remember the words from the first page and then read the second page like that?”

I know he was giving me a compliment but he’s at the age where it can go either way.  Sometimes I’ll tell him something and he’ll tell me I’m wrong. Then, after he finds out I wasn’t wrong he’s not sure how to act. I’ll say, “I did go to school, you know.”

Then he ponders it all. He’s a deep thinker. His mom tells me he may come back 24 hours later with a new angle and then be ready to argue again at 48 hours.

During the movie we talked about such a variety of topics: skulls, death, Black Magic, Christianity, meanness, kindness, jealousy, love, and imagination making things worse.

It’s amazing how watching a program with young people and being open to their thoughts and questions can get a conversation going. Sometimes I’d ask him what he thought of certain situations.

When the queen, who was sometimes called a witch, used magic to change her appearance so she could poison her step-daughter, I told the children afterwards that evil often backfires and hits the person set on hurting another. It makes the case for that logic in Proverbs and in the Psalms, but I didn’t quote them book and verse.

Today, I spent a good portion of the day setting the house in order. I love my family very much. So, it’s worth it to cook and do dishes and move the toys into the living room so we can gather together. They helped pick up before they left, but by the time the cars left, we’d eaten another meal and they needed to get on their way. I decided to do some extra cleaning beyond the ordinary after the company went home. I guess it felt good to get at things. I’m still organizing.

I finished the kitchen and now I’m on to the next room. It took me longer than I anticipated because of the curtains, which I had to point out to my oldest daughter. It’s funny the things that stand out to me and others don’t even notice.

May God bless you!

Dining with Friends

Once a month my husband and I dine with friends and catch up on what’s been happening in their lives and sometimes in the political arena. So we did that tonight. I brought the main meal this month. We switch off. I told them I’d bring the devotional in February. I don’t do that very often. It’s nice to talk to Christians from all different churches and some varying kind of worship services. We differ, yet we’re in solid agreement on the basics of belief. One is a retired pharmacist married to a retired nurse, another couple is a retired art teacher married to a retired nurse, and my husband and I are not retired. We have fun together and sing to guitar music and then delve into the Word of God.

Yesterday after our morning service, a lady from church and I decorated the Christmas tree after some others helped by setting it up and a young couple got the supplies up and down a bunch of stairs. Her grandson held the string of lights for me as I placed them around the tree and her son-in-law’s parents gave us the tree from their tree farm, freshly cut that morning.

Afterwards, we were tired and hungry, and she offered to treat me. We chose an out of the way seat by the restaurant’s brightly decorated artificial tree and got to know each other better. I’ve always thought she might make a good friend. We chose that seat because that’s where she sits when she comes in alone to eat. She said it was nice to have someone to eat with for a change.

I live in my own world, as we all do. She’s got a large loving family; she works a few different jobs. She has grown children living with her and other family members living nearby. I had never thought about her eating in a restaurant alone as a widow.

I think because our good friend died this week and I’m very aware that his wife, my friend is now a widow, it has opened my eyes to the world of a widow more lately.

I take dining with my children or my husband for granted. Very rarely do I eat by myself in a restaurant. It says in James_1:27, (KJV): “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ ”

I’m asking God to help me to be a better friend to the widows God places in my path.

May God bless you this week.

Writing and Life

This morning I picked up a book from a shelf in the living room that I dedicate to writing books. A year ago or so I went into an area at the library where they sell used books as a fund raiser. I bought The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, published by Harper & Row, Publishers; New York, NY. Annie Dillard copyrighted it in 1989. I bought it because it looked interesting. Later, it was listed in another writing book as a book writers should read.  So, I was glad I bought it. It’s a fun, serious book. Her wordplay delights the wordsmith in me. 🙂

The Writing Life

Inside the front book cover on the leaf it starts out, “In a surprising narrative, Annie Dillard describes the working life of a writer. These are vivid and ironic encounters at a desk.”

Those sentences made me want to look inside. The day before Thanksgiving, I had pies to bake and beds to make. My husband sat in his recliner chair eating brunch and watching a comedy sitcom. So, I joined him in the living room, eating my brunch, reading this book and watching television. I felt so relieved when he turned it off. I told him it was sucking me in and I had stuff I needed to get to.

My pie crusts are like puzzle pieces straining to connect. My youngest daughter said, “Mom, they always look like that. The insides taste great though, and that’s what counts.”

I smiled and then as my husband turned to YouTube for yet another kitchen appliance tip, I got reminded by him that if I wanted to improve my pie crusts, I could always find a demonstration on YouTube. His turkey is prepped for the morning, with all the fresh spices and a lemon and onions in the interior. Butter everywhere. We’ll see if we like it.

I listened to the Bible while preparing the pies since I didn’t get an early start to my day, as I mentioned above. 1 Thessalonians is where I started, and I might have finished at Hebrews. I listened to Paul admonishing believers to work or they shouldn’t eat. He made mention of refraining from arguments. Then he talked about being hospitable. A lot of points got mentioned, but I thought the few that got highlighted to me really hit home on the eve of a holiday. My daughter invited a single mom and her two young boys to our full house tomorrow. Then she said something about inviting another single mom and her little toddler boy.

She said, “It’s funny, when I lived here, I didn’t feel so free to have people over. Now, I just tell them that we’re eating at mom and dad’s, come on over.”

When we talked about the difference, part of it is because God has changed me, I told her. If things weren’t completely tidy, I was embarrassed. One afternoon listening to Dr. James Dobson on Focus on the Family some years back, he said the reason people don’t open their homes to their neighbors and friends is because of pride. That resonated with me. Pride is a downfall. I’m not perfect by any means, but when she told me she’d already invited the families, I checked with my husband, and he was okay with it, and then I gave my okay. Avoiding having people over because my furniture is getting old or I have some clutter on the kitchen table made for some lonely days in my younger years.

If you’re alone for the holidays, maybe you can bless someone else who is alone or participate at a food center. One year in the city, our young family helped the church we attended provide Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of people. My kids said that was the best Thanksgiving they’d ever had. Our church does a Christmas meal for anyone who wants to show up. If the attendees can bring a side dish, that’s great. If not, come along anyway.

May God bless you this November day.

Imposter

I started reading the book, Imposter today, written by Davis Bunn; published by WestBow Press; Nashville, TN and copyrighted in 2006. The title grabbed me. Then I read the fly leaf summary and felt compelled to read it.

128245

I like reading suspense novels that deal with politics and people’s motives. It’s a fast moving story with lots of interesting twists.

My husband got invited to a men’s retreat this weekend with our youngest son, and I invited myself to visit my daughter and her family for the weekend. Other times I’ve stayed at home. I felt a need to see my loved ones and to take a break and rejuvenate for a bit. I brought the book with me and am actually taking time to read it. Often times, I’ll bring a book and some writing and not touch them once. I get involved with the kids and the rest of the family and it feels as if immediately the time is gone.

Ephesians 5:15-17, (ASV) says “Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

I’ve written these verses before, but I don’t apologize for it because I feel as if in the background, I have a clock ticking, almost like the crocodile with the clock in his belly in “Peter Pan.” My clock is not so loud or insistent, but on occasion I wake up to it and realize it’s still there. Reminding me that time is not standing still.

We have a full weekend planned and I arrived here early, so it occurs to me that I ought to take advantage of the quiet and go to bed. The children arise with the sun and then everyone else is awake whether they are ready or not. 🙂

God bless!