Sunday Morning Coffee: Hot and Rainy

What would we do if we didn’t have the weather as a point of conversation?

We’ve had quite a lot of weather here in my corner of PA this week. Torrents of rain, extreme heat and humidity. Clear, sunny skies between thunder storms. Flooding, including many, many wet basements. Roads in low-lying areas have made it impossible to get from Point A to Point B.

Lots of wind included in the rainstorms, so lots of branches down from older trees. Just about 30 miles south of us, there was a tornado mixed in with the thunder and rain. Cars were overturned in the hospital parking lot, and the roof of the hospital’s day care center was severely damaged.

Image
Image

All this, compliments of the softer side of Isaias. It did a lot more damage before it came this far north.

Remember Hurricane Sandy? Six or seven years ago, in the fall, that storm tore through the Caribbean, then hit the eastern coast states of the USA in a huge way. Power was out, sometimes for several weeks because there was so much damage to be cleared.

All we can do during such times is try to take protective measures. We can’t stop the storms. No amount of rhetoric, no windy speeches about climate change, no science out there has yet figured out a way to control the weather.

I spent my high school years in southern Minnesota, where tornadoes were a fact of life. Crops would be torn up in minutes. Silos could be flattened, barns blown to smithereens, houses carried from one town to another. And all we could do was watch, until it was time to shelter in the cellars that were the safest places during the storms out there. The clouds would turn an ugly, sickening yellow/green/black, and hail often accompanied such storms, doing further damage to crops.

What a mighty God is He! We forget, until these natural disasters remind us, just how small we are, and how helpless against the incredible forces of nature. We grow arrogant in our knowledge, forgetting that it can all come tumbling down around our ears in a very short period of time.

The Creator of the heavens and the earth is the only One Who can control the weather, while we forecast, warn, board up windows, evacuate, and head for the hills. Sometimes, we might even remember to pray to Him for protection.

There was someone in my life many years ago who called me only when she needed me to do something for her. When I failed to cooperate, she would tell others how unkind I was. We do that to God. We call on Him only when we’re in trouble. We go to Him like we go to Urgent Care, only when there’s an emergency, When we don’t get the answer we hope for, we complain that He’s not a loving God at all, and probably doesn’t even exist.

If we’re not in the habit of talking to God on a regular basis, why do we think we can demand Him to take care of us in when we’re in trouble? That’s not a relationship. It’s more like fire insurance, which we use only after a disaster.

God wants fellowship with us. It’s part of the reason He made us. He doesn’t want to just be available for disaster relief.

We need to turn to Him daily. The longer I live, the more I find that there’s a constant conversation with God going on in my head. It’s pretty cool. And when the storm of life blow in, I’m already connected ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday Morning Coffee: Trusting Jesus

The summer visiting is almost at an end. Germany will leave early Tuesday morning. They’ve been here again since Thursday night, and it’s been a good weekend. When they leave early Tuesday, I know it will be a long time before we see them again. The goodbyes are never easy.

It doesn’t seem so very long ago that Terry and I, with our four kids, were the ones backing out of my parents’ driveway while they stood at the doorway waving goodbye. It’s astonishing how fast we became the aged grandparents ๐Ÿ™‚ But now, my kids are watching THEIR kids leave the nest, some going to the other ends of the earth.

Of course the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof is playing in my head right now.

Along with it, though, are thoughts of the time when we’ll never have to say goodbye again.

Life changes. We start with hope, dreams, expectancy. The future seems limitless, the possibilities endless. As we walk the pathways of our lives, if we are believers, we know and understand that there is eternity with God in our future. It seems so far away, though, as we get tied up in the daily necessities of life. And so it should be, to a great extent. God didn’t create us so that we could just sit idly and contemplate eternity. He gave us the privilege of work, of achieving goals, of falling in love, having children, passing on to them what we have learned in life. He gave us minds to learn, an abundance of interests to pursue, abilities to develop, humor, joy, sadness and sorrow.

Not every moment of my life has been a party. Some of it has been very hard, and still is. But I’m still learning. God is so good, teaching us that with every trial there is blessing.

Here’s another favorite hymn from my growing up years that holds the answer to both the hard times and the joy:

Sunday Morning Coffee: I’m Home

Apparently I’m more tired than I realized. Way overslept, even though I set my alarm. I don’t even remember turning it off, but I must have. Terry was very quiet, and had already left by the time I surfaced around 8:45.

Triogenius: I Had This Weird Dream.....

I didn’t sleep terribly well. Weird dreams. Distressing. I don’t really remember them, but. they weren’t very good. Strange when that happens, isn’t it? Things rockin’ and a-rollin’ deep inside the brain that you didn’t even know were there, but sometimes they surface when you’re deeply asleep. When you begin to climb the slope back to awareness, they take a deep dive and disappear, sometimes forever. Perhaps, if I were to start all over again, I’d choose to study the human brain with all its multitudes of nooks and crannies and mazes of pathways. It’s a complicated place, the brain.

When I was actively doing therapy, I often referred to what the Bible says: “As a man thinks in his heart (mind), so is he (Prov. 23:7). What we think about, what we believe to be true, is what motivates our emotions and our behaviors. If our thinking is biblically based we’ll do pretty well most of the time. The trouble, of course, comes from inside ourselves. Sometimes we lose track of biblical common sense, and when we do, that’s when we begin to accept that the lawless behavior of mankind is okay. We begin to think there is no God we will answer to, that life here on earth is done with our final breath, and that’s all there is. When we reach that point, Satan has bagged another win.

Satan? Really? Yes, really. He is real. He is powerful. And he hates all that God loves; his whole purpose is to destroy as much as he can that God has created, including mankind. He has, from all eternity, desired to be better than God. He hasn’t given up yet.

Spiritual warfare is not fiction. The sin that lives in the heart and mind of man is not fiction. Pride has always been our downfall. Humanism is the belief that man is the ultimate being; it deifies man and humanizes the concept of God. It’s nothing new. It started, for humankind, when Satan convinced Eve that she could be equal with God. To what did he appeal? Her pride, of course. Walking and talking with God in the incredible garden He had given them. Adam and Eve desired to BE gods, and you know the rest of that story. Not only did their existence on earth change for the worse, but they infected all mankind with the same pride and self-serving desire to not have to bow to God’s holiness and omnipotence.

We have not learned, through all the thousands of years since the Garden of Eden, that God ALWAYS wins. Maybe not in our lifetime, but the ultimate victory is His, now and forever.

Our finite little brains, that we value so highly, have trouble with that. We struggle to admit that we are infinitely inferior to our Creator. It is when we acknowledge that, and accept His offer of salvation and redemption, that we begin to see that, no matter how bad things are, God is always, always the Master Planner.

Life becomes a lot more bearable when we know and acknowledge God’s absolute control, even His control over His eternal enemy, Satan.

Sunday Morning Coffee: The Fourth!

My birthday is July 4. It’s the absolute best day of the year to have a birthday. I’m now officially 73, and not in the least embarrassed to acknowledge it. I’ll never understand why some women don’t want anyone to know their age. I’m thankful for my years, thankful for my health, my family; thankful that I’m not senile yet, and that Jesus Christ is still Lord of my life. The closer I get to heaven, the more I want to be there.

Independent Woman (@woman_self) | Twitter

I’ve always loved this picture of a WWII woman working in the factory, stepping up her game, and showing how strong women can be. We can answer the call, however and whatever it may be.

I’m definitely of an independent nature, and I’ve taken a lot of good-natured kidding about that over the years. Even my mother told me she thinks I waited until the Fourth to be born because I was already independent. I was scheduled to come on June 20. My poor mom waited a long time past her due date, But three of my four paid it all back. That was before the doctors were agreeing to schedule you to be induced on a date that was convenient for everyone.

So I like the idea and the reality of strong, capable, independent women. Doesn’t mean we can’t be soft, cry, need help (we hate to ask for it, though!) It means that we’re not afraid to take on a job that is new to us, or seems beyond our skills or abilities. Not afraid to confront wrong when we need to. Not afraid to speak our minds. Not afraid to set boundaries and insist they be respected.

The trick to doing all that without becoming a shrew is to be able to laugh at yourself when you’ve been a jerk. It’s being able to admit you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, and to admit that someone else could do it better than you can. It’s also learning how to lead without creating animosity; how to understand what makes other people tick, so that you don’t tick them off.

It’s a growth process, and I think it will be until I take my final breath. Won’t it be wonderful to wake up in heaven and have all the trials of life be GONE! No more burdens, no more sorrow, no more hurt feelings or angry people.

No more desecration of the country you love. No more having to watch people who are emboldened by the defunding of police departments to do whatever they want, wherever they want, knowing no one can stop them. No more ignorance, no more filthy language shouted in the faces of police officers doing their jobs.

Well. This has taken a bit of a turn. For a minute, I thought about deleting that last paragraph, but no. It’s on my heart. I hate what I see happening in my country, the best country anywhere, but I fear we’ve lost the right to sing God Bless America! when we certainly have not blessed Him.

What do I mean? Well, just one example: The greatest death rate in this country is unborn babies. Millions of them, killed in the womb and expelled and dumped in the trash. The number of deaths from Covid, which I am NOT trying to diminish, is nothing compared to abortion deaths.

So I pray a lot, and in fact sometimes I realize that, especially on a day when I’ve been alone most of the day, I’ve been having an all-day conversation with the Lord. I call it having a little talk with Jesus ๐Ÿ™‚

Glenn usually sings lead, so he’s having some fun here doing the bass part

Sunday Morning Coffee: Life can Surprise Us!

Just this past Tuesday, I had an appointment with my pain control doctor. Gave him the good news that I was feeling really good. I hadn’t needed a shot for nearly a year, was sleeping well, and having no major pain episodes. He was happy. I was happy.

Lower back pain โ€“ causes, symptoms and treatments

On Wednesday, things went south in a hurry. I do not have the foggiest idea why.

I woke up with a nauseating, head-banging migraine. Haven’t had one of those in a long time. And then the old places in my back kicked in, and by Friday I was in trouble. We had an important birthday party Friday evening, so I took an extra pain pill. Didn’t want to be a wet blanket.

I’m allowed one pill every 6-8 hours, so I decided to do that. I haven’t been using my meds very much at all so this was a major decision. I also chose to make my bed my home for the weekend, and because of the meds I’m sleeping a lot. Starting to feel better, moving more easily. Just moving with extreme care. Keeping my cane handy. Having several conversations with the Lord.

I’ve gotten spoiled over this past year, relatively pain-free. It’s amazing what you can learn to live with, though, and since my old friend PAIN has reared its ugly head again, I’ve realized that, as the saying goes, eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Freedom from pain, in this case.

I mean, it’s never 100% pain-free. There’s always a little aching, a little jab now and then to remind me that my lower back is still falling apart. But with care, mild exercise, continuing slow weight loss, I’m doing okay.

So this setback has shaken me up a bit. Reminded me of what can happen, with no warning. It’s also made me thankful for good medical care. Knowing that if it doesn’t settle down on its own I can probably get an injection keeps me hopeful, as well.

Anyway, that’s why I’m late with my Sunday Morning Coffee post. It’s almost 2:30 p.m. here in the Eastern Standard time zone. I’m feeling sleepy, but I don’t want to sleep too much now or I’ll be awake in the middle of the night.

Oh, and a Happy Father’s Day to all you dads. I hope you realize how important you are in the lives of your children and grandchildren.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Focus on the Good

Most important: No negatives. And I’m staying away from Facebook and all news tomorrow. Well, I’m going to try, anyway. Cuteness alert: Adorable puppies:

If you’re not smiling, maybe this will do the trick:

If you didn’t laugh, or at least smile a little bit, you need to get out more :). There are lots of things to be happy about. Sometimes we just have to look for them.

A “Thankful List” is a good idea, too. To deliberately sit down and think of things for which you are thankful is a great moody broody buster. So here’s mine:

  1. Fifty-one years of marriage to a good and godly man.
  2. Good and godly parents.
  3. The Sunday school teacher who led me to the Lord.
  4. Four adult children who love the Lord.
  5. Nine grandchildren who have been reared to love and honor God.
  6. A good church.
  7. A good and godly pastor.
  8. Friends at church we have learned to love and appreciate.
  9. Heart friends that go back to 1974 and longer.
  10. Careers I’ve enjoyed: wife, mom, teaching, counseling, wannabe writer.
  11. Being a Baby Boomer. I was a child in the 1950’s, when things were simple and having fun was mostly outdoors and running, jumping, playing, and getting dirty.
  12. A love of history, mostly because my dad loved it and we had such good talks at the dinner table.
  13. Loving books, and the English language.
  14. Music. What would I ever do without music.
  15. My Bible. The freedom to have a Bible study blog (that’s where you are right now )

And see, the more thought I give it, the longer I could go on. So much for which I’m thankful. It’s very natural and easy to focus on the negative. We have to choose to focus on the positive.

Philippians 4:4-8.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Back to Church!

There are some who have continued to attend church during the lockdown. Kudos to them! One of the pleasures of living in America is that we have the right to choose, isn’t it? A church in California chose to meet on Easter Sunday, but some neighbors found that offensive and frightening, thinking there may be a spread of COVID 19. So they burned the church to the ground, As far as I know, no one was in the building. Still, it is disturbing to me that such an action would be taken in this land of the free and home of the brave.

I have many other thoughts concerning the violence and hatred we have witnessed over the past several days. It breaks my heart. There is so much more going on than we know. But you can read about all that on conservative websites that give coverage to issues the mainstreamers ignore. But that’s not my point in this post.

Our church will have a morning service today for the first time since early March. We have “done church” (where did that expression come from, anyway?) via the internet, and we’re thankful for the encouraging music and messages we heard over the past few weeks.

It’s just not the same, though, as meeting together in person with other believers who share our faith, and have become dear friends. One of the reasons we go to church, after all, is for fellowship and encouragement. We bless each other with our mutual love of the Lord and the Word of God. The music we sing together also brings us together. The harmony is more than just in the notes. There is a harmony of spirit. I’m looking forward to it.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Tempus Fugit

Don’t be too impressed–tempus fugit is just about the only Latin I understand ๐Ÿ™‚

Time flies. Are you, like me, having trouble remembering what day it is? One day is so much like another that I woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday. Saturday was like Friday was like Thursday. . . .

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday, but I didn’t realize until just this minute. She would have been 95. I’m glad she’s in heaven, where time doesn’t matter. No calendars there, no clocks, no iPhones to tell you what day it is. It’s really hard for me to wrap my mind around that, the lack of time. We are so governed by time.

I read a post earlier this morning by a blogging friend who was doing a fast review of all the different hats she’d worn over her lifetime. We must be close to the same age, because I could have written the same post. I’ll be 73 in July, and while that isn’t ancient by today’s standards, it’s at least considered “early old age.”

Where did all that time go? I remember many, many things from my childhood with great clarity, and it seems they took place just a few minutes ago. I also remember my parents’ stories, including the ones they told about their own parents and grandparents.

It’s a long parade of people to which I am connected, by blood or marriage, most of whom I’ve never met. That in itself is something to think about. I never met them, but they have influenced who I am, what I look like, and even how I will die unless it’s through an accident of some sort.

I woke up with a song in my head this morning. That’s quite normal for me. Usually I can pinpoint what put that particular song in my mind, but not today. I just have it. The title is I Would be like Jesus.

The older I grow, the more I am aware of how UNlike Him I am, and how susceptible I am to the temptations of self and sin. I don’t know, maybe He knows I’m going to need that song today. Anyway, here it is:

And here are the lyrics:

  1. Earthly pleasures vainly call me,
    I would be like Jesus;
    Nothing worldly shall enthrall me,
    I would be like Jesus.
    • Refrain:
      Be like Jesus, this my song,
      In the home and in the throng;
      Be like Jesus, all day long!
      I would be like Jesus.
  2. He has broken every fetter,
    I would be like Jesus;
    That my soul may serve Him better,
    I would be like Jesus.
  3. All the way from earth to glory,
    I would be like Jesus;
    Telling oโ€™er and oโ€™er the story,
    I would be like Jesus.
  4. That in Heaven He may meet me,
    I would be like Jesus;
    That His words โ€œWell doneโ€ may greet me,
    I would be like Jesus.

If you are able to attend church today, you are blessed. To those of us still under lockdown, it won’t be long now. In any case, God bless you on this beautiful spring Lord’s Day.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Mother’s Day 2020

So, this year marks my oldest son’s 50th birthday, which means I’ve been a mother for about 49 1/2 years. Three other children have joined the family, the youngest of whom is 42. We have nine grandchildren, and four dearly loved in-laws. Next month marks our 51st anniversary. The numbers are both reassuring and quite amazing to me. I can hardly realize I’ve lived nearly 73 years, and my husband’s 77th birthday was yesterday.

Someone started a thread on Facebook to post a picture of our mothers this weekend. I found one of my mom and me together on my wedding day that I had already saved to my online collection. Here it is:

She was 46. I was not quite 22. How the years have flown! Mom is in heaven now, with Dad and my brother and nephew and countless old friends. We have no idea, of course, how long our time here will be. We rejoice, however, in the knowledge that we know Jesus Christ as our Savior; that He died to pay the penalty for our sin, and that He rose again and gained the victory over death for all who will turn to Him for salvation. There will be a great reunion for our family when we all get to heaven!

I pray you all will honor your mothers today. Be thankful for them. If you never knew your mom, or if she has passed away, I know there will be sadness for you. But you can still be thankful for the gift of life she gave you. Use that life to be a blessing to others in your life that may need exactly what you have to offer.

Happy Mother’s Day!