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The Weaver

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THE WEAVER

My life is but a weaving

Between my Lord and me.

I cannot choose the colors

He worketh steadily.

Oftimes he weaveth sorrow,

And I know foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper

And I, the underside.

Not till the loom is silent

And the shuttles cease to fly

Shall God unroll the canvas

And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful

In the Weaver’s skillfun hand

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern He has planned

~ Author Unknown

~*~

~*~

In cleaning out my dad’s room, I found this old poem in one of his books. It was like finding an old friend. This poem is one of my favorites, because it reminds me that I am not God, I am not the center of the universe, and I am not all-knowing, all-seeing, or all-powerful!  To seek to understand everything that happens in my life is a fool’s task.  God is the only one who sees His plan from beginning to end.  I do not.  I must trust that, when I do see the final tapestry, it will take my breath away in its beauty, its complexity, and its rightness.  If you’ve ever looked at the underside of a tapestry, you will know what I mean.

~*~

 Today I challenge you to look at your beliefs, and see if you are looking (and critiqueing) by the underside of your tapestry (or anothers).

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Spring into Rebirth

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I found a new photo challenge from Cee’s Life Photography Blog that I decided to do today.  It is part of the challenge and part of this post. Cee said, “This new challenges comes from Print-Sense photography and design blog site, please check it out and join along in the fun.  Here is the assignment.”

I’m inviting each of you to take a small walk.  Only 50 steps.  Our challenge is to take 50 Step from our homes or places of work to find something amazing, beautiful or creative to photograph.  (This is the actual challenge)

Today I was out and about with my Mother-in-law.  I took her to lunch and then for a cone.  While we ate our cones, I drove around looking at the budding flowers and trees in my neighborhood.  All of them are beautiful, of course, but 50 feet from my front door is a lone daffodil, springing up proudly among the weedage from last year to announce, “Hello world!  Today Spring begins.”  This beautiful, sunshiny flower is a pop of color in a green and brown world.  Here is the image I consider amazing and beautiful:

Announcing Spring!

Ordinarily I would share this type of challenge on my other blog, but this picture fit perfectly with my thoughts for a post here.  Spring is a time of rebirth.  It is a time when we begin to feel hope after the long winter. It inspires us.  It makes us happy.  In Christ, we are like this daffodill.

In Christ we are:

☼   Reborn

☼   Full of Hope

☼   Able to feel joy in the midst of trying times.

☼   An announcement of the Christ in us.

☼  A pop of color that draws others to Christ.

Of course, not all who claim the name Christ follower look like this daffodil, but this is our goal – to draw attention to the new life we have in Him.

Can you think of any other ways this picture is like a person in Christ?

Are you aware that many eyes are on you, looking to see if you’re real or not?

As Easter approaches, I find myself thinking these thoughts more.  We are only human, but in Him we are more than merely human — we are the children of Light, redeemed by the blood of Christ, raised to walk with Him in newness of life.  .  .  .

I am, I am not!

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I AM a sinner.  Iam a saved, forgiven sinner, But a sinner none-the-less.

 

 

I AM NOT:

A savior.

Perfect.

Sufficient on my own.

A judge of people’s hearts.

Good.

Strong.

. . .

 

Sometimes, when I talk about trying to live better, I give the wrong impression.  I cannot make myself better.  If I could, I would not need a Savior.

 

Does this mean I should give up?  Heaven forbid!

 

What should I do then?

I should accept myself as I am, while letting God make me better.

I should make sure any attempt to do anything is powered by the holy Spirit (lest I swell with pride).

IOW -I should stop trying to make myself better and just get closer to Jesus, so He can make me more like Him.

I should stop ‘trying’ to be holy and be holy.  Jesus took my sin and gave me His righteousness.  I am holy because He is holy, not due to any of my pitiful efforts.

I should let Jesus meet others where they are, just like He did me.

I should love as He loves. . .

I should see as He sees. . .

I should cling to Him so closely He can’t turn around without running into me. . .

 

Guess what?

 

Its not about me. It’s not about you.  It’s about Jesus!

 

God forgive me for getting caught up in phariseeism, pride and selfrighteousness.

 

The solution to everything = time spent with Christ!

Forgive me, dear readers, if I ever imply anything else!

 

 

CB: Why me mentality

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All of us know people who struggle with this.  Some of us may be one of these people.  All of us struggle with it at times.  This mentality looks around and sees what is going on with others.  The person then looks at his or her own life and makes comparisons.  In the comparing, his or her own life usually comes up lacking in some way.  We could also call this the “grass is greener” effect.

Valentines day was a good example of how this mentality can pervade one’s thinking.   No honey bun for Valentine’s Day?  Poor you, sitting there all alone with no one to say ‘I love you’ and give you sappy presents.  Your loneliness must be harder to bear than that of anyone else’s.  {Sorry if this hits anyone in the solar plexis, but I had to pick something for my examples.  We’ll get to the others later.}

 

Lies believed by the alone at Valentine’s Day:

►No one cares about me.

►Valentine’s Day is for lovers; if you don’t have a love, I am a loser.

►This day was created just to point out how alone I am.

►Other people’s joy somehow effects me by comparison.

►If no one reminded me that I am alone, I wouldn’t feel this pain and loneliness.

 

Truths to counter the lies:

►It is definately not true that no one cares for you.  [God and probably at least a few people care deeply about you.]

►It’s also not true that others don’t care that you hurt.  They may be looking at the outer package and your inner hurt may not be as evident as you think.

►Valentine’s Day is for love, true, but not just a lover type of love.  {Regardless of the reason it was created, it has become a time to spend lots of money so the stores can make a profit.}

►Just because it is a special day that brings joy to some, their joy has nothing to do with you.  Comparing to others, especially when you don’t know their circumstances (only seeing the surface), brings two things:  envy or pride.  Which one depends on which side you are on.

►Should others go around with mopey faces all day just because you are lonely on this day?  Would that really make you feel better?   (add bible verse about sharing joy sorow********)

►If Valentine’s Day makes you sad, it’s not because of what happens to other people on this day; it’s because of what you’re telling yourself/dwelling on on this day.

 

 

 

Seeing beyond the surface:

There are others hurting just as bad or worse out there.

► Consider the one whose Valentine has left to give valentines to another.

►Consider the one who finds out that her Valentine is giving valentines to another while giving Valentines to him/her as well.

►Consider the one who lies beside his/her Valentine, but is just as lonely if not more, because the love has died or they’ve grown apart.

►Consider the person who has never had a Valentine to remember.

►Consider the one who has just lost his/her Valentine to a senseless death.

 

As always, I could continue, but I hope this is enough to make the point:

We cannot compare our insides to someone else’s outsides. ~unknown

~*~

What to do

When we catch ourselves looking at the grass over the fence or thinking “why me?” or “why not me?”, what can we do?

1.  Stop comparing our insides with other’s outsides.  We have no idea what’s really going on in that house.

2.  Look at what we’re telling ourselves.

3.  Change what we’re telling ourselves.

4.  Do something for someone else.

 

I bet there are other hurting people out there, even in your world.  The best way to turn a “why me” into a “why not me” (who am I not to have problems) is to do something for someone else.   Do you know people in a nursing home who have lost their Valentine to death (if they ever had one) and have no one to brighten their day?  Go visit and take some time to give them joy for a while.  Do you know a recently divorced person or someone who is going through marital issues?  Send them a card to say you’re thinking of them/praying for them.  Do it anonymously.  There are so many people out there who would love to have love shown to them on this day and every day.  If you want to cut your own pain, give the love you so desperately want away.  I guarantee you it will return to you a hundred-fold.

When you find yourself falling into the world’s biggest pity party, go look deeply into the insides beyond other’s outsides.  You will feel better about yourself and your life.  Life is hard for everyone, and we should not feel that we get all the pain while others don’t or that we deserve better.  From a Christian standpoint – we all deserve Hell.  Anything we have above that is a gift and a blessing.

 

How to get love:  give it away!

                                       As always, I appreciate your feedback.  This was not meant to hurt anyone, it was just an example and not about anyone specific. 

The challenge:  Have you ever shared love and found out you felt differently about your own hurts?  If you have share the story.  You may either share in the comment box or on your own blog and leave a link back in the comment box.

If you have not done this, or would like to do it again, feel free to try it and share with us in the same way as above.

Sharing love is a great perspective changer – agree?  -disagree?

If you post a link in the comments, I will multiply the love by sharing 🙂

Last Words

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Last words

 

Spoken as she breathed her last,

Her words would always haunt me.

As the death rattle gripped her,

“Thank God, at last I’m free.”

 

Words spoken in the heat of ire,

‘Ere he walked beyond the door.

“I hate you!” flung from anger.

Now he’s gone to hear no more

 

Last words, yes we may never know,

When words spoke will be our last.

So make them soft and well thought out.

For our time goes by so fast.

 

Last words entombed forever there,

In our minds for joy or regret;

For these words can be a heritage,

Or these words can be a debt.

 

Copyright 2/7/2010 Angela Masters Young

 

This poem was created in response to a Poetry Challenge by ClownRhymes on his(?) blog.  There is still time to join in if you wish.

This challenge, different to each person entering a poem, started the cogs moving.

 

Last Words as a Heritage

When we talk about last words, we often think of words spoken by a dying person to someone at his or her bedside.   We listen carefully to these last words, spoken by one we love.  We know we will hold on to them as long as we hold on to the memory of all this person means to us.  It is the cap on the heritage of a life.   Not all of us will have the opportunity to speak, or hear, the last words of our loved ones.  We never know when the words we speak will be our last, the last ones we leave with the hearer in this lifetime.

Last Words as a Horror

In the second stanza of the poem, a person screams words he or she cannot recall.  These turn out to be last words because the other person is gone (death in this case) and can no longer hear the words of regret pouring out of the screamer’s heart.  We never know when will be the last time we see someone, what will be the last words spoken.  This should urge us to always make sure the words we leave someone with will not leave us with a heart full of regret.

 

Do you keep in mind that your words may be “last words” to someone or for someone?  

What other kinds of last words do you think we can have? 

What do you want your last words to be?

As life has taught me this lesson the hard way, I want to always say, “I love you!” because they may be the last words that person hears or that person hears from me.

How Firm a Foundation

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This week I have hit the boxes – the boxes in the bat cave my garage that have been there since we moved here, awaiting a fire my attention.  No, these aren’t the first boxes I’ve gone through, but when you move from a two-story home with full attic and full basement to a one-floor ranch with a crawl, you have to figure out what to do with all that crap treasure.  So? you say?  I found a real treasure a box I have been looking for for awhile (we’ve been here 5 years now).  It contains things from my childhood and other treasures I have collected (like my youngest two children’s first hair cut hair.)  I found some things that belonged to my mother, who passed away the week before we moved here.  AND, I found a poem I had written to my father – who knows when.

This would be special at any time, but last Tuesday my dad slipped, fell and broke his hip.  In fact, he broke the ball off and had to have the leg stretched back into position to prepare for surgery on Monday.  This is not the first time my father has been in the hospital with serious issues.  In fact, it’s par for the course in my life.  He has genetic pancreatitis, and nearly died several times during my childhood.  He was burnt pretty bad once and has been in major accidents.  And that’s just the beginning.   It’s not been easy to face his mortality, and yet he outlived my mother.

No matter what life threw us, my dad, a Baptist Minister, taught me some valuable lessons in how he handled it.  He taught me:  Life is not about circumstances, it’s about how you deal with the circumstances;  Put God first and all else will follow;  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE; and so many more things.  He taught me about God and how to have a relationship with Him.  He taught me about faith through example (stories to come in future posts?)  He was not perfect, but he is my dad and I love him.

As I pack and prepare to head down next week for his surgery and recovery, I wanted to share something I found in that treasure trove from the bat cave.  This may be a post you pass over, and that’s ok, it’s really for my daddy.  This is a poem (didn’t say it was great) that I wrote for him who knows how long ago.  I’m guessing it was in my teens.  I want to share it with him and with anyone who wants to read it.   There’s nothing like the influence of a daddy – whether through his presence or his absence, the things he teaches by doing or the things he teaches by not doing.  He is one of the most powerful influences in a person’s life and often shows us our first picture of God (good or bad).   I love you daddy.  We’ll get through this one too.

Thank You Dad

I thank you Dad for all the times

you’ve been there just for me.

The times when I was hurt or tired

or longing to be free.

I thank you for the walks we took,

the times you stopped to play,

For all those times you let things go

to be with me each day.

Thanks for coming through for me

when I thought all was lost.

I always knew I could count on you

no matter what the cost.

But most of all I thank you Dad

for bringing me up right.

For teaching me of Jesus who’s

the way, the truth, the light.

I know it’s your example then

of what a dad should be

That brought me to my heavenly Dad

who’s waiting now for me.

So thank you Dad you’ve always been

a shining knight to me

And I think you’re the greatest Dad

that ever there could be.

I love you Daddy!   Angie

copyright 2012

(Grams forgive the punctuation/grammar issues – I left it as I found it.)

It’s all about the heart, Part III

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In case you missed them:   All about the heart, Part 1    All about the heart, Part II

Often my “Christian” posts are a part of my study for teaching my 7th, 8th and 9th graders in Sunday School at my Church.  The same is true with Part I of this series, and follows the posts about feeding the flesh and purity.  Today I used this blog loosely as my lesson.  You see last week we learned about Purity – what it is, why it’s good for us, etc..   After class, the students were all in the hall listening to a joke that was questionable.  I’m not sure they even understood why it was questionable or why doing this right after a lesson on purity would bother their SS teacher.

The trial of “Joke Teller”   

Our first activity of the day was to put “Joke Teller”, a former student who can handle being an object lesson, on trial.  We talked about what would make the joke “wrong”.  They immediately understood that it’s off color nature was not good.  It took a while to pull out of them, however, that the joke uses the Lord’s name in vain twice.  (See the 10 Commandments)  Once they understood what that meant, it was easy to lead them to a guilty verdict, not just for “Joke Teller” but for themselves too for listening (and retelling).  The joke may not seem such a big deal to many, but it was an object lesson opportunity this teacher could not pass up!

Line? What line?

Where’s the line?

For our next activity, we divided into three teams.  Each team had yellow electrical tape on the end of a table as close to the end as possible.  The goal was for each team to compete to be the one to get their car closest to on the tape without going over.  The three winners then faced off for an over-all winner.  We then discussed part of the ways we push disobedience (as per Part I) where we try to go as close to ‘the line’ as possible or even push our toe over it.  One point I wanted them to understand was that when we walk on the line all the time, it’s very easy to fall over the line.

If you can’t see me, I’m not guilty

Our next activity involved a game where a student was blindfolded and placed in a chair.  One at a time, other students were given a chance to try to steal a treasure from under the chair without

undercover

getting caught.  The seated person could use hands and feet and movement to try to tag anyone sneaking around them.  If a ‘thief’ was tagged, he or she became the owner of the treasure.  Then we broke down the next items on the list of ways we disobey (per Part I) by sneaking and thinking that “not caught” is the same thing as “not guilty”.   We used driving as an example (even though none of my students are drivers yet).  I asked them, “What happens when a person is driving along (over the speed limit or not) and they spot a police car?”  Answer:  “Slow down!”  Question 2:  “What does the person do after they get over the hill and away from the police?”  Answer:  “Speed back up!”  {Come on, you know you’re all guilty 😉 }

 

Integrity is what we do when no one is looking

Too many of us fall into the mentality that our ‘hidden’ faults aren’t that bad.  One danger here, aside from believing we can cross the line if no one sees us, is that we often tend to judge others for their failings without considering the extent of our own, especially the ones no one else knows about.

Did it ‘stick’?       

I get it already!

I sure like to think it did this time.  Games are a great way to get across to young people as object lessons.  At the end, as I was winding down and bringing them to the conclusion of the lesson, the students each had two coins in front of them they were not allowed to touch (fake ones).  The idea was for others to try to take the other’s coins without getting caught.  That didn’t happen, but as we talked, a couple students started to do/say something not right, and I saw them thought-check themselves.  For me – that’s a win!

I wanted to share the purpose of some of my recent posts for those who care to know.  You each get to make your own choices and suffer your own consequences.  I hope we’ve all learned something as we’ve walked through this together.

How important is integrity to you?

What are some other ways to show these concepts?

Do you think “not caught” is the same thing as “not guilty”?

What do you think of this series and is there anything you would like to see here?

Are there other questions or concepts you feel I could explore with my class?

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