Posts Tagged "faithfulness"

Pieces

Pieces

My mother gave me a special coffee cup for my birthday years ago that had a handle shaped like two open hearts. Over the years I’ve received many gifts with that emblem because of my Valentine birthday. But I treasured it because it was from her and was decorated with my favorite design—hearts. Several years later, I made coffee and searched for it, but couldn’t find it. I asked my husband who said he had no idea where it was. A few days later, while sweeping the kitchen, the broom flicked a fragment of the handle from beneath the edge of the cabinet. I picked it up and set it on the counter. When he came home, I showed it to him. Sheepishly, he admitted he’d dropped it and disposed of the evidence, hoping I wouldn’t notice. Unimportant to him, irreplaceable to me. In a similar way careless acts and critical words shatter heart bonds. In the moment of offense, the wounded person might appear uninjured, leaving the offender oblivious. Once the two go their ways the pain pushes to the surface, ruining established trust. Left unrepaired, the relationship might end up discarded. Although I love to encourage people, sometimes I’ve blown it and said stupid, hurtful things. The New Testament says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When I blow it, I clarify my offense, admit it and attempt to make amends. When I detected a rift in a friendship, I try to repair it, following his example. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. What do you...

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What Do You Brew?

What Do You Brew?

I confess that I’ve fallen in love with my pod-style coffee maker, a gift from friends several Christmases ago. My addiction to the convenience was immediate. Those who share my preference know that the makers of these machines not only accommodate our desire, but create multiple ways to increase it. Flavors, seasonal and year-round, abound. From a small menu of choices only a few years ago, we find our appetite tantalized with increasing varieties available from grocery stores to Bed, Bath and Beyond. And let’s not forget the handy online ordering with deals offered on a regular basis. Right away, I honed in on Vanilla Biscotti, which remains a favorite, although I’ve ventured into caramel and alternate vanillas. I maintain pods of regular coffee and have tried several brands there as well. Because I’m naturally a bit “wired,” and too much caffeine makes my heart dance erratically, I keep decaf on hand at all times, so I can make and sip at a moment’s notice without “overloading my circuits.” Over the years I’ve followed a similar pattern with Bibles. Psalms tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Blessed to be in a country where multiple translations with a variety of study helps are available, I’ve tried many and found delight in them. As a result, I tend to center my reading and study on tried and true favorites. However, like new flavors of coffee, I never fail to experience insights from the Lord when I read different ones. This year, I chose a less familiar one to read through as my primary text in order to fully explore God’s voice in a fresh way. No matter which I choose, I start my day with “The Lord’s brew.” So what’s your...

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Decaf Life

Decaf Life

I love early morning. First bird songs before dawn. Moments of solitude. Each day the gentle whir of the ceiling fan and the dependable click of the clock greet me in the dark. My mind springs to alertness and I open my eyes, ready to plunge into the day. Because I’m naturally wired, I usually drink decaf. My pop-up Jan-in-the-box temperament makes people suppose I choose caffeine as my energy source. Not so much. A few years back, I did drink the high-powered stuff. When my heart decided to abandon its natural calm beat for an erratic rhythm after that energizing brew, (making me feel more weird than normal), I weaned off my every day dose. I’ve been asked, especially late in the afternoon, “Then where does all your energy come from?” Easy. From my Designer, the source of who I am and how I run. With few exceptions, I start the day by reading my Bible, not to analyze, but to hear the voice of the one who loves me best. He has the right plan, guides me into growth, and remains faithful to me even when my life collapses. Every coffee buzz fades. But Jesus is the energy source that never diminishes, perfectly able to prepare and strengthen me for all that comes whether happy surprises or devastating disappointments. Time spent with him anchors me in a place where word by word, he builds the foundation of my interior life. He strengthens the walls and ceiling of my heart, furnishing his dwelling place, with peace and purpose. My decaf life draws power and clarity from a more reliable source than a beverage. Every java jolt diminishes, but not the Holy Spirit. Jesus explained that we shouldn’t live on bread alone but on every word of his. That’s how I access energy. What do you...

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A Cup of Rest

A Cup of Rest

Have you learned to pace yourself? Some of us need a lot of time to get going each day, tired before we start with an unending list of things to do. Others, like me, practically hop up in the morning, ready to go. Either way, the day stretches ahead for all of us, with places to go and activities to do. I love being involved with people, enjoy talking with others on the phone or in person, appreciating good humor and laughter, and relishing a novel or book that lifts me up inside and challenges me to keep on going. With that kind of outlook, it’s easy to over-commit to excellent opportunities for service and joy. “Come with us.” “Join me.” “Help with this.” These words are like magnets to me, lighting up my soul. Over time, too much coming, joining, and helping dead ends in weariness and the pressure of not finishing things I started. It takes a certain ongoing vigilance to say “no” to good opportunities, to decline an invitation to help others, or simply to go somewhere that’s fun. Experience has taught me to step back and make my inner life the one that both thrusts me forward and holds me back. Some responsibilities won’t go away. Family. Work. Church. And the list goes on. On the fast-paced road of life, we unconsciously look not simply for a stop sign, but for a rest sign. Over forty years ago mine showed up in the verse, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” With my soul at rest, I make better choices. Before we can live our days fully, we have to determine how we fill them. It’s worth the time to analyze commitments and reduce the excess. We can balance our choices. Where is your rest stop?...

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