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Tuesday thoughts

“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? . . . Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power?” — The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

I love the written word. I love reading the written word.

When I was a child, I was not such a vivacious reader. Reading assignments in school left me feeling anxious about finishing the book. Sadly, I often laid aside the volume with pages left unread.

Somewhere in my life, I developed a love for the printed page, and I cannot imagine not having a book in progress. Often there are several.

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The written word is powerful. Being able to read is power also. To keep people enslaved, do not let them learn to read.

Words themselves carry power. The Bible says the tongue has the power of life and death. I bear witness to that truth. Haven’t we all experienced the encouraging word or the ones that crushed our spirit?

Consider the might and authority that brought forth the earth by the spoken word of God. “And God said, let there be . . .” And it was.

That the very Word of God was made flesh and lived among people is astounding. Jesus carried with Him the might and authority of the Father, yet he walked humbly as a human, being obedient even unto death.

His glory was on full display. Some saw it and recognized the glory. Some did not. Some read the signs and saw deity. Others closed the book because they didn’t like the way the story was going.

And so the writing continues in the lives of those who believe. Written on our hearts for the world to see and read is the splendor of the gospel.

May it be a story of beauty and hope, one that illuminates and inspires with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness. May it display the deepest mysteries of the majesty of God.

And these are my Tuesday thoughts.

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Tuesday thoughts

August is a different month. It is the only one in the year with no legal/religious holidays, although I found a list for some that are bizarre and unique.

In fact, today is “Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch Day.” Hum. I’ve already missed National Chocolate Chip Day and National Watermelon Day. But I could still celebrate both if I choose.

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School buses will begin running this week, the children waiting with new backpacks and supplies. Teachers will anticipate a little chaos and parents are hoping to get back to a regular schedule so “things settle down.” I’m not sure that ever happens in our rushed, over-committed kind of living.

The Kentucky State Fair begins August 17. When I was a youngster, the fair was our last hooray before school started in September. Our family always went on a Saturday. My parents, my aunt and my cousins piled into the car, arriving early and planning to stay all day.

 

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Dad liked the army displays. I liked all the farm animals. We ate corn dogs and drank the fresh squeezed lemonade. It was a fun, family activity, and we were worn out at day’s end.

One exciting event in August this year is the total solar eclipse visible in the United States, and I am looking forward to the 21st. Nothing will be on my calendar except to experience it. I’ll probably brew a pot of afternoon coffee and take my seat outdoors. The free glasses I got from my library are supposed to be a safe way to observe this phenomenon.

The eclipse and the wonder of our world brings a verse in Job 26:14 to mind,

And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?

Though August has no holidays, there are reasons to celebrate. In fact, everyday is a reason to celebrate. It is the day God has made and handed to us as a gift. We should rejoice and be glad.

I acknowledge that there are problems and heartaches, and some days we can only put one foot in front of the other. But there is a God in heaven who sees the earth He created. He is not too busy or distracted to care about each person individually.  He is involved in our daily lives and is always working out His purpose for us and through us. It’s an amazing thought and something upon which to meditate.

If we only hear God’s faint whisper, perhaps the thunder of His power is His everlasting, unchangeable, inexplicable love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son . . . ”

Something to consider. Something to celebrate.

And those are my Tuesday thoughts.

 

Thursday’s Thoughts

School begins this month and supplies are in the store. I get excited and want to shop, even though I don’t go to school any more. But who couldn’t use a new notebook or some fun pencils? They are hard for me to resist.

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While in a favorite discount store this week, I saw the fall decorations had already filled several isles. Such lovely items were enticing, with a message to “buy me.” I resisted, at least for the moment, since I have plenty of autumn decorations. Besides it’s August and summer and I’m still looking at school supplies.

But I know before the month is over I’ll be saying, “I’m looking forward to fall.” I do it every year. It is a human habit, I guess, to want what I don’t have. In winter, I want spring. In summer I long for fall. When I see school supplies, I want more pencils.

Being content with what I have takes conscious effort. Otherwise I continually look for something else to satisfy me, something that will give me a happy boost that is fleeting at best.

Working toward goals is healthy. Moving forward to improve ourselves is a good thing. Creating a better world for myself and for others is honorable. But when wanting more consumes me so that I cannot relax and enjoy this very day and all I have been given, it becomes something of a god to me.

And I only want to give allegiance to the one true and living God who provides all I really need.

And those are my Thursday thoughts.

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Random thoughts about things I can’t live without

100_3159Sometimes my thoughts are random, not exactly inspirational, just regular.

Years ago I read an article by Lucy Pritchett in Today’s Woman magazine.  Ms. Pritchett listed 13 Things she considered a necessity.  Now we are not talking about people.  Any one of us would choose our family, friends, and beloved pets over any material possessions.  If the house burned down, we would be thankful all our loved ones were safe even if everything else were gone.

But let’s say you were invited to stay the week at a lake, a cabin in the woods or a deserted island and all you could pack would be the bare necessities.  What would you take?  What would you want at hand?

Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb and ask you NOT to choose something electronic.  That will be hard, I know.  Some of us list our smart phones as the most important object we possess.  Try not to this time.

What’s the point in an exercise like this?   Brain work.  A thought processes.  Use of the imagination.  Revelation.

This will make you ponder what you really value and what you could live without.  It could reveal something about who you really are.

So here is my list.

1. My Thompson Chain Reference Bible.  It is my favorite reference Book.  I can find most things I am looking for here.  And i need a daily dose of God’s Word.

2. Journal with writing instruments.  Because what good is paper without pen and pencil.  I do have a preference for what I use to write with: Cadoozle pencils and an old cartridge pen that I still have from high school.  Writing is therapy for me and I would certainly want to record this experience.

3. Coffee with half and half cream.  This may take the form of some sort of coffee pot or a Star Bucks hidden in the woods, but I’ll leave that to the imagination.

4. A piano.  I know what you’re thinking – where’s she going to get a piano on the beach?  Well, I can dream, can’t I?  And dreaming of playing the piano while the ocean breezes blow sounds like a bare necessity to me.

5. Fresh flowers.  They brighten the house in spring and summer.  They add color and cheer.  They are just pretty.  And I need beauty.

6. Indoor plumbing.  Yes, this is a necessity for this part county-part city gal.  I can do without electricity better than indoor plumbing.

7. Good walking shoes.  I won’t be staying inside all day.

8. Flannel shirt.  Comfort and warmth in plaid.

9. A well-worn pair of jeans.  Let me just say that the current skinny jeans fad does not look comfortable to me.  Jeans are supposed to be the ultimate comfort clothes, aren’t they?  Or have they become such a fashion statement that we have lost our love of comfort?

10. Eggs.  So many different dishes can be created from eggs.

11. Sunrise and sunset.  I know I could not pack these but I love both so very much.  They are God’s gifts to me each morning and evening.

12. Classic hoop ear rings.  They will dress up or down.

13.  Public library.  Preferably close so I can walk to it.  Free books and information at my fingertips.  And hopefully some friendly faces.

Well there is the list.  At least it is the least today.  Next week, next year, it could change.  It will depend on the season of my life.

I certainly hope my family and little dog are with me to enjoy the experience.

Why not try the exercise?  What are your 13 Things?

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