Nov 9, 2007 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on Watching You

Watching You

His dad took him to the watermelon patch. He gave him instructions.

“Look to the right. Look to the left.If no one is in sight, then steal the watermelon.”

The child rebuked the man with “But Dad, you forgot to look up.”

We tell  our children that God can see us everywhere  we go. 

He can see us in the dark or under the bed.  He can see us in a closet. We cannot hide from his eyes.

We lived in the Rio Grande Valley.  It was only 7 miles from our house to Mexico. 

We noticed a strange mind-set. Some people thought they could cross the border and leave God in Texas. 

Little did they know; God is everywhere..  Geographical borders don’t mean a thing to Him. 

People do things in Mexico they would never do in their home town where neighbors might see them 

“ How do you know me?”, Nathanael asks of Jesus. Jesus told him, “When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”  Nathanael answers, “You are the Son of God!”(John 1) 

Whatever went on under the fig tree; whatever he wrestled with, or thought about or talked to God about, no human eye could have known or seen.

The old adage rings true- “Character is what you are in the dark.”

I look to the left and I look to the right. No one can know. Remember the hymn,

“There’s An All Seeing Eye Watching You”—under fig trees, in watermelon patches—and across borders.

He knows when we are struggling.  Find your strength.  …Look up……

Aug 11, 2007 - Rememberin'    Comments Off on A SONG FOR MYRT

A SONG FOR MYRT

She was nearly blind, so she couldn’t see me slip out my pen and make a note. 

It was only a few weeks from dying time and she was reflecting over her life. 

She said “you know I’ve found that life is a lot eaiser when you have a song in your heart and a prayer on your lips.” 

This was a very simple observations from a Godly woman who had not done anything phenomenal – only successful marriage of 63 years, and rearing four God-fearing children…

We used to do a lot more singing – aloud, in our hearts, at home, in the bathtub, in the kitchen.   My dad used to hum as he walked. 

It seems the TV music and radio have drowned out our little melodies.  It’s hard to think with all the hullabaloo around us.  We need to turn it all off and have some quiet time.  It does make life easier.  It changes our mood. 

Hold on to that song, Myrt – Mom – I’m coming to help you sing it.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;

My heart trused in Him, and I am helped;

Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,

And with my song I will praise Him.     (Psalms 28:7)

Aug 9, 2007 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on TALKIN’ TO DA BABY

TALKIN’ TO DA BABY

Never walk up on an adult having a conversation with the baby!

It’s embarrassing enough for the baby to hear the “gaas” and “goos,”

and the “kitshey kitshey coos.” This is for baby’s ears. Only baby understands.

Some claim that in order to have a calm and tranquil baby it is a good idea to play soft music near baby. Do this before baby is born. Talk soothingly to baby. The womb is not a quiet place —no sound barriers. 

The media urges parents to talk to their kids. Talk to them about drugs. Warn them about  pushers and peer-pressure. Talk to them about sex. Tell them about diseases of the body and the scars on the soul.

God had Moses tell the people in Deut  6:7 to talk to their children: “–these words I command you —teach them diligently —talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. Bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”  Tell your babies of Jehovah. 

Timothy’s mother and grandmother talked to him. They taught him the ways of the Lord.  They instilled in him a faith that was unshakable.. They prepared a heart fit for the kingdom.

 

Our kids do not like “lectures.” They may be embarrassed to hear some of the things parents need to say, but, “to be fore warned is to be fore-armed.”  Speak to them morning and evening. Someone is  “talkin to da kids” — it needs to be Mama and Daddy. *****

Mar 9, 2007 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on TELL IT AGAIN

TELL IT AGAIN

Before TV and air-conditioning families would gather outside in the evenings where it was cool and “visit.”

The “old people” did the talking, and the kids listened. The older people told about what they had done and seen.. They spoke of hard times and good times. They told of experiences on the ranch, on the farm, on the road. They told funny stories. Their stories kept us spell-bound. Surely some of those stories were embellished, .but as kids, we loved these times. I would sit at my daddy’s feet and “egg him on” with,   “Daddy, tell them about the time…….” 

He was a master story teller and I reveled in his tales. Dad is gone now, but thanks to my brother, many of these stories with Dad’s voice is on tape. It is like having him around the circle again and I am a child, listening, saying, “Tell it again, Daddy.” 

Many of us grew up hearing about Jesus. We heard of His coming in Old Testament books, that a Savior is promised.  “Look for Him to be born in the city of David.  He will redeem His people.”  We were told of His  birth in the account of Luke.  We read about His miracles and His parables in the gospels.  We read of His suffering and His dying.   We read of His resurrection and how He ascended. We are told that He is coming again  We never tire of this precious “story.” 

Preachers preach.They tell us God’s laws.  Sometimes a preacher may read a poem or express his opinion,   but, Preacher,  tell me again about Jesus,   Over and Over and Over again.

Feb 9, 2007 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on PATIENCE

PATIENCE

She came, uninvited, and lived in our back yard. 

She took up residence under the shop. She would accept our food only when she heard the back door close. 

Because she was afraid of us, I called her “Fraidy.”

I have never been fond of cats, but when she killed a rat or two, she endeared herself to me.

But, I learned from Fraidy—and was simply amazed at her patience. I even envied her, because I am so impatient.  Watching from my kitchen window, I could see her stalk her prey— usually a black bird. 

She put her body in a front—slant—position and would literally freeze. Up went a paw to mid air —stop —freeze—the bird never noticed she moved —freeze—put the paw down —freeze —raise the other paw to mid air—freeze.  Amazing!”

On and on she repeated this proceedure, one foot at a time perhaps for ten minutes before she was close enough to lunge. Often she was unsuccessful and I saw the bird fly away.  Fraidy never gave up, but I didn’t have the patience to watch any longer. When I saw her with black feathers in her mouth, I knew she had lunch. 

Now, in 20th century America, we have “instant” replay , instant food and quick-fix everything.  We know very little about patience,  and we need it!    We need it at home, we need it in the church, we need it even as we wait in a check-out lane and on the freeway.

“Consider my servant Job,” God said.  One of Job’s virtues was patience.

Dec 9, 2006 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on P’LIKING

P’LIKING

As children, we spent many hours “playing-like-ing.”

It’s the best you can do, when you are not old enough or big enough to do the real things.

We shortened the name of the game to “p’like.”  

“P’like you are Tarzan and I am Superman”

With a towel tied around my neck as the crusader’s cape, I jumped off the back porch, pretending to fly.

Then we could shift our game in an instant and “plike you are the Mama and I am the Daddy, and these dolls are our kids.”

Such fun we had until we were called in at supper time.  The day came, however, when we had to put away our childish things and live in reality. 

Decision day comes to all of us when we hear the Gospel and are able to grasp it as a drowning victim wraps his arms around the preserver tossed to him.

Each decides his own destiny. God is love, — but — God demands obedience.  

We cannot play at serving God.

We cannot live for the devil all week and arise on Sunday morning, don our best clothes, and “plike we are all Christians.” 

Then, it’s “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to work we go,”

—with our dirty jokes and dirty mouths, and bad attitudes. – That won’t work!

We might call it “pliking a Christian.” 

God calls it HYPOCRISY!  —  And he doesn’t like it at all! 

Aug 9, 2006 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on BURIED PLANS

BURIED PLANS

David advises one not to put his trust in a prince or a man
because when he dies there is no help to be found —
 
“his spirit departs, he returns to his earth. In that very day his plans perish”(Psa.146:3,4).
 
When man breathes his last breath, the spirit leaves, and the shell is put six feet under. With the body gone, there are no more plans and dreams, for they too are buried. There is no more help. It is finished!

When a man is buried, all his plans to do good are over. His good intentions come too late. They too are buried. “When I get straightened  out, I will serve the Lord” becomes a reality. He got straightened out, but  it was too late. We view the corpse —all nice and straight. 

His plans to help the down hearted are over. His plans to teach his children, or his neighbor are over. His plans to tell his family how much he loves them —over. To take his wife into his arms once again and tell her how she has brightened his life, and a chance to say, “Thank you, Mother and Dad”—over! To thank the Almighty God once more —gone.

His plans to do evil are also buried with him. Many a would-be crime was stopped with a quick funeral. A man was willing to inflict hurt but was unable —he died. 

Why are we waiting? Age matters not. We need to get on with living, with good plans and dreams. We need to work as if everything depends on us and trust as if everything depends on God.

Aug 9, 2006 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on THIS OLD HOUSE

THIS OLD HOUSE

“No Trespassing” the sign read.

We made our way up the rickety old steps anyway.

The porch was falling in where the old swing used to hang.

We peered in at the windows and into the house where Mama grew up.

There was the living room —the parlor— where uncle’s body lay in state while the family stood weeping. Look at the big dining room where the old round table stood. I could almost smell the hot rolls as Myrt would take them out of the oven.  The roof was leaking, so there puddles of water were on the hard wood floors. At the top of the stairs I could see that a cat had moved in. At least she was enjoying the abandoned old house.

 

I recalled the song:   “This old house was home and comfort as they fought the storms of life, but its knees are a gettin’ weary and it feels no hurt or pain as it sees the angels peekin’ though the broken window panes.” 

The material man, Solomon, had a dismal outlook about his aging body(Eccl.12:1-7) —The keepers of the house tremble. The grinders cease because they are few. And those who look through the windows grow dim.   He adds,  “Remember your creator in the days of your youth” before the silver cord is broken or the pitcher is shattered or the wheel is broken at the well. Solomon is as dismal as the old house. 

Thank heaven for a spiritual man, Paul, who leaves us with “our citizenship is in heaven for which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to his glorious body” (Phil.3:20).

Feb 9, 2006 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on To See or Not To See

To See or Not To See

 Scripture and common sense both tell us there are things children should not see. 
 
Our entertainment industry has been pressured to label some programs as “not recommended for children.”
Violence, sex, vulgar language, lewdness, nakedness –is not good fare for adults, much less for children in their formative years. 

Scripture and common sense both tell us there are things children should see —because they are imitators.

Children need to see Dad bowed in prayer; Mom with an open Bible, reading and applying it.

Children need, to feel and see love and consideration at home.

Daddy often said, “You kids get up and get it; your legs are younger than Mama’s.”   We recognized this as consideration for Mama. 

Children need the example of Dad, opening the door for Mom, of everyone getting up to carry in groceries (these are not Mom’s groceries —kids help eat them). 

Children need to hear positive things, like, “You can do it!   “I believe in you.”  “I know you’ll tell me the truth.” And children desperately need discipline that says to the child,  “I care about you and what you do.”

Children need to feel the power of loving touches —to see Grandmother’s faith handed down to another generation. 

Most important of all points, children need to see Christ living in me.

Feb 9, 2006 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on HEAVY BONES

HEAVY BONES

Joseph made them promise, “carry up my bones” (Gen.50:25-).

When the children of Israel left Egypt and. Pharaoh finally told them to—GO,—-they ate their bread standing, ready to make a sudden exit. But wait—Moses must make arrangements to take Joseph’s bones because he has given an oath(Ex.13:19). Forty years they carried Joseph’s bones, until they finally buried him at Shechem(Josh.24:32). With all due respect to Joseph, it must have been a burden.

Sometimes we carry unnecessary burdens—burdens of our own choice. Grudges, guilt, bitterness, resentment and anger, become so heavy they break not only the back, they also break the spirit. These burdens warp and disfigure our frame. Sin of every nature must be laid down at the foot of the cross. 

Forgiveness may come from a friend or brother by a mere telephone call or meeting. A note helps, informing one that you have turned your life around and would appreciate prayers.

Life is too short to carry burdens! This is a good day to lay them down and walk with the the lightness found only in His light.

Oct 9, 2005 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on REG’LUR CHRISTIANS

REG’LUR CHRISTIANS

The most interesting thing about working in the public is the people.
 

The observation of human behavior is “very colorful”— to say the least. 

Some people are so particular and fussy.  Nothing really pleases them. 

And others really don’t mind how or what.  No two  are exactly alike. 

One young man, whose check I would often cash, had a standard answer for my question:

“How would you like your cash?

He would always say, “Oh, — jest reg’lur.” 

I never knew what “reg-lur” money was, so I tried not to give him anything too big.  

We can’t all be Pauls or Peters or Timothys.  We may not all be a Lydia or a Dorcas.

If we can not be a deft hand then maybe at least a functional foot. Everyone can do something useful in edifying our brethren.

We simply need to be obedient to His commands. He never expects the impossible.

We need to be helping each other along to glory land. We can’t afford to harbor bitterness in our hearts —it will eat us up.

Honesty and truthfulness must be our middle name.  And along the way, we must develop good character and be the kind of people Jesus wants, you know,—

–  Jest Reg’lur

Aug 9, 2005 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on Alley Cat

Alley Cat

She sat out — exposed, sunning herself. 
 
Those of the opposite sex hung around, loitering, ogling, panting and waiting for her to make the first move.

She was pretty enough —but it didn’t matter.  She was interested in a “fling.”  

She was a tease, except this time she wasn’t teasing. 

They were all handsome enough but that didn’t matter either.  She would have one of them — or all of them.

She had the morals of an alley cat – in fact, she was an alley cat. 

If this scenario sounds familiar, turn on your television.  Pick up a magazine or newspaper to see that most of the world has the standards of an alley cat.

Look around you.  Now read Psalms 8 to see that God made us “just a little lower than the angels.”

He had a higher purpose for us than for alley cats.  We are capable of love and nurturing, for lasting relationships and companionship. 

He gave us a spirit, much like His.  He gave us a body for this spirit to live inside.  He wants more from us than for us to carouse this earth, living like the devil.

Young women — make yourself attractive!  Young men—look around and see what is available, setting the highest of standards. 

It’s all part of the game.  Courting is fun.  Marriage is more fun.  Ask the couple who has just celebrated a half-century together.          

Want to be an alley cat?  Not me. 

I want to be be a child of the King! 

Aug 9, 2005 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on Footprints?

Footprints?

 It has been our lot in life to move every now and then as preachers often do. 
 
The problem is always to find a place to live—and who wants to live within their means?  We hunt for a house we can afford, which is usually something someone else doesn’t want.  Then we try to transform it into a home. 

As we pulled up the third layer of linoleum in the kitchen, I saw trowel marks on the wood, placed there probably fifty years ago to glue the first floor.  I wondered about the man who laid the floor and once again it occured to me that our influence and our prints will be uncovered someday, perhaps years down the road—long after we are gone.  And our influence —good —or bad will crop up and bear some kind of fruit or tell some story years from now. 

Our cedar chest is full of handwork that has long outlasted the Mother and Grandmother who so carefully crocheted and embroideried seventy years ago. And I wonder what her thoughts were as she stitched the 1-2-3 stiches there. Were her eyes clouded with tears, remembering her children who perished in a burning house?   Were her lips turned up ward with a smile, remembering the good times, as she stitched? The ladies have long gone, as the carpenter who built the house. And their works have out-lived their lives. 

I remember Hebrews 11:4.  The writer speaks of “…being dead — yet still speaking.”

Aug 9, 2005 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on The Search

The Search

 Mama wore glasses and as a child, I always hated the way she held her head up and looked down her nose into her bifocals at me.

It seemed as if nothing escaped her scrutiny of everything I did. Mothers are like that, you know, with eyes even in the back of their head. They always seem to know what a kid is up to. Just couldn’t get by with much!

Entering the country, by car or by air, we must submit to the “search.” We lose our privacy in what we carry in our pockets and our purses. We are allowed very few secrets anymore. It seems to rob us of our dignity. It is a freedom that greed has taken from us. Thugs threaten our security, smuggling in weapons, drugs, or stolen goods. It is a very lucrative but dangerous business..

Recently my youngest grandson came for a visit. He grabbed the magnifying glass and in all earnestness said, “I need to look for clues!” He  had seen “Sherlock Holmes,” so he began to go over everything in the house, searching,  for what?

In Psalms 139:23,  David asks of God: “Search me, O God and know my heart…see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”…David invited the search. David did not want to be found lacking. God goes beneath our pockets and into our hearts, with or without our permission.  He is still seeking the good heart. Can we stand the search? ******

Aug 1, 2005 - Ponderin'    Comments Off on The Last Word

The Last Word

Harsh remarks may be regretted later, but they can leave scars even after the wound is healed.

BUT if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another (Gal.5:15)

Yes, this was written to brethren in the churches of Galatia.  But do you think it is any less true of families?   If all one hears is criticism, fault-finding, complaining, will it not destroy their mate —their self esteem, their love, their desire to please, their desire to make this marriage work?  Is there no room for kind words, for compliments—a thank you? or I appreciate you?

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad (Pro.12:25,NKJV)

You can’t do anything right…
You’re stupid…
Why didn’t you…?
I’m sorry I married you…
You’re ugly…

These and other such harsh remarks may be regretted later, but they can leave scars even after the wound is healed.

THERE is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Pro.12:18) —

You don’t need anyone to come between you and your mate. You can destroy your relationship by yourself. You can kill the love you once shared. You can destroy the respect vital to a healthy relationship. Just keep biting and devouring . . .

Destruction is sure to follow.

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