Once upon a time there was a virus.
It went by many different names.
At first many thought it was “harmless,”
like it and flu were the same.
Then, fear led the surge across the land.
Time passed and this virus grew.
CoVid 19 has claimed many lives
and, for a time, changed the life most knew.
Some children who once “hated”
school days began to see
the gift of school they once had
they wished normal could once again be.
Some parents before so busy
spent time with family
a treasure had been missing
perhaps they’ll rethink the time called free.
Distancing from people,
deepened the yearning for them more.
Simple things like church, school, work or shopping
were seen more like a blessing than a chore.
Prayer became more known and needed
for some than it ever had before.
And caring for your neighbor
began to happen more and more.
Many things have become idols Lord
standing between Your beloved and You.
Some things were taken for a time
Father, You’ll stop at nothing, it’s true.
The attitude of appreciation
seems for now to have grown
but when things get back to “normal”
Lord will this lesson prove known?
Will Your people remember
these lessons learned in strife?
Will relationships continue to matter
in this thing we call life?
Will Your love and blessings
be more proclaimed than before?
Or will “business as usual”
return in this world once more?
Father I pray after this
there is less hatred and less haste
Oh Lord, How I pray all the hurt and pain
isn’t just for waste.
I pray we step back from opinions
too see the Truth of what really is “deserved”
bend our knees and bow our heads
for the cup we have been served.
A Savior many years ago
came to heal the land.
Jesus bore the wage of sin and death
at our selfish demand.
He suffered such deep sorrow
much more than physical pain.
He made the way that tomorrow
together with God we can remain.
Lord, let us not be like the rich young ruler,
that couldn’t bear to deny himself.
Help us lean into your direction
and deny this worlds “rights and wealth.”
I pray Father,
Your people lean into Your Holy Word.
That Christians start to live forgiven,
that your Holy Spirit may be heard.
Father forgive me for all the ways
I have failed to shine for You.
Help me Lord to remain
in this life honored to glorify You.
Keep my heart tender to conviction
turning callus Lord is so easy to do.
Help me Lord make corrections,
and be a life You redeem others through.
And as for this virus You’re allowing Lord,
as painful for many as it may be,
help me live changed by the lesson,
that You Lord are indeed all I really need.
Once upon a time there was a virus.
Our talk started early Thursday my children and I
about God’s Son Jesus, how He rose again and died.
First I asked them what it was they knew.
Each surprised me a little with what they knew as true.
The best part of our walk was the questions their seeking hearts did ask
when I shared a few more parts of the real Easter story past.
For many days I had been grieving to God, all the things we’d lost,
from lives too togetherness, this virus comes great with cost.
But humbly at His beckoning with much time alone in prayer,
focus shifted to the Father and the opportunities available there.
I asked, “How can the Spirit in me my children’s deepest needs meet?”
Please forgive me Father that I doubted; You had me wash their feet.
Music was playing at each side of me sat a chair,
invited them to join me then asked them to remember Jesus in silent prayer,
between them a water basin and with two towels I knelt there,
socks removed, pants rolled up to assure feet and calves were bare,
washed and dried four feet; an experience to no other can compare,
when John 13: 1-17 was read and the Holy Spirit moved to share,
my gratefulness for the Lord, my love of Him that next to Jesus and their Daddy they and their future have my affection and care.
Oh Father, my boast is in You Lord for this most beautiful affair.
There is no doubting God’s will this day was done.
For the beauty that unfolded shows Love for the Risen One!
As the tears began to dry and I settled in a seat
a little voice inquired, “Momma, may we wash your feet?”
I will admit there were little giggles and many big grins,
But it was a beautiful moment and I count it as God’s win.
After it all neither understood what moved their emotions so,
I told them the Holy Spirit deep inside just made faith and love grow.
How is it Father such love I do not deserve?
Your faithfulness amazes me Lord and the healing power of Your Word.
So here I am once again. Day by day more amazed.
At all You are doing Lord. May You alone be praised!
I’m Owlie the Owl, many see me as wise,
I see the way things are going, I watch with both my heart and my eyes.
Sometimes I share stories, some are silly, but most are true.
The story I have today is an experience had by only a few.
There once was a small garden, in a back yard is where it grew.
It was tended by a little girl, her great-grandpa showed her what to do.
Together they planted this garden some plants were started from seeds,
others started from potted plants; the girl tended the daily watering needs.
The little girl liked watching how all the different plants would do.
She saw onions, carrots, and potatoes hid from the sun ,
while cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower grew to be seen by everyone.
The great-grandpa liked watching everything that grew.
You see plants weren’t all that grew in the garden the precious child grew too.
Purpose, responsibility, and patience along with knowledge, confidence and grace.
He’d answer all of her questions, with a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face.
So there you go my friendly readers, a story experienced by few,
about a child and her great-grandpa in a garden, that loved each other through and through!
I am Owlie the Owl, here to remind you it is wise,
to seek God’s goodness in all things, with a grateful heart and watchful eyes.
1 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
There is a four letter word that perks my attention, turns my head, and warrants a brief explanation to little eves droppers. Then results in prayer both confessing my judgment and for the person. But I’m not referring to THAT word.
This “F” word does all these things and I’m guilty of it’s use. I would argue we all are or, at least, have been.
For many, fear touches our lives daily. For most it runs our life. Fear causes me to hold back, work around, worry, compromise.
God wants fear in my Christian walk to be just as head turning, equally explained, confronted and confessed as that other word. He desires that I place fear before Him in prayer and call upon the power of the name of Jesus Christ.
A woman after God’s heart, shared with me years ago, “”FEAR” is False Evidence Appearing Real. As a Christian nothing should be bigger than God in our lives.”
Those words cut my soul then and they still do. My entire life had been lived in fear of something or someone at that time, and the temptation is ever present.
Until I embrace fear for what it is and who it is from. Place it under my feet and on the other side of God’s encircling love, fear can and will rule my life thus inhibit the flow of the Holy Spirit through me.
Does fear have you in a strong hold?
Believe me, I get it!
CoVid-19 is something new, it’s painful to watch, it can be scary.
I am “immune compromised.” My husband is a truck driver delivering groceries, he must go out there. Mom, depends on breathing equipment 24/7 already. My children are in peek seasonal allergy induced asthma time. Many whom I love have lives seasoned with time and others with new babies to come soon.
Even with all of these facts, I have choice.
I could let fear be bigger than my faith. Or, I can choose to allow the love of God, my faith in His promises, be bigger than my fear.
Lord, You gave us a sound mind, and we grieve the pain and suffering of many. We lift the ill and those on the front lines to You Lord. I pray each of Your children does their part to help, not only by sheltering at home, but in every way possible, to shine the Your light to others during this time. Fear is not from You. I call upon the powerful blood of Jesus Christ, help us walk with faith bigger than fear, and Lord, choose to walk knowing You are here.
I love animals.
I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.
Since I was young I loved animals,
more than average kids do!
I’ve named some kind of silly.
In a big way because it is fun.
But really it’s often because of something that particular animal has done.
Like Squirrel’s not a squirrel but a chicken,
who lays an egg for me each day.
She’s brown with black, small, hyper,
And bounces around in a squirrelly way.
Then there was a bull I called Rooster,
I raised him from when he was very small.
But when the sun came up every morning
I didn’t hear a crow but a bawl!
I’ve taken care of:
a duck called Quackers,
a pig named Hammy,
Pepper the heifer,
a fawn named Bambi,
a turtle named Ted,
Bacon the hog,
Pumpkin the cat,
Jumpy the frog.
My favorite of them all is a pony.
He’s white and I braid his mane.
He pulls me behind him in a carriage.
Puff the magic Pony is his name!
Have I told you that I love animals?
If I haven’t you should know it’s true!
And I want you to know it’s been my pleasure,
to share the names of some animals names with you!
Awake one night I heard some chirping.
I wondered to myself what could it be?
I thought it could be baby birds calling,
from a nest, outside my window, in the tree.
I shook my head and said, “Maybe,
but this doesn’t sound like a bird I’d ever heard.”
I imagined some kind of creature singing.
In the still of night without music or words.
I walked to my window very slowly.
I didn’t interrupt the interesting song.
It sure wasn’t birdies that were lonely,
turned out I was totally wrong.
Hanging by tails eyes gleaming like a gem,
was Mrs. Opossum and her opossum family.
Some say they’re pests but I watched them.
It was like they became pets for me.
A family of upside down singing opossums,
hung out side my window from a tree!
I don’t mind saying I think it was pretty awesome
to watch them grow and hear them sing!
Upside down singing opossums are really very misunderstood.
Research, maybe you’ll agree it’s awesome,
even if yours doesn’t sing as good,
to meet a family of upside down singing opossums!
Out in the moon light under the stars there Mr. Skunk went, him minding his business and us minding ours.
All of a sudden, we each were surprised, when we found ourselves staring in each other eyes.
We both had choices we could make but really each hoped the other no action would take.
We started to step backwards, one step at a time, and Mr. Skunk stood still frozen, his eyes watching mine.
Trip the dog however just wouldn’t stay and Mr. Skunk was left with no choice but to spray.
It’s morning now. Wow! Does Trip the dog stink! But I am left with a question, does a skunk, who can make such a stink, not stink before spraying? What do you think?
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you[a]will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)
Reclined in the dental chair during a routine cleaning, I had already been informed all was well with my teeth and the hygienist began to clean the hidden places of my mouth thoroughly. Out of no where, he stops suddenly, “Oh no!” He says, “I can’t handle this!” And proceeds to put the suction in my mouth then then removes his gloves.
The thoughts running in my mind weren’t good. I was not in pain. I had nothing to indicate anything being wrong except for his expression but naturally I thought something was wrong.
Why is the first reaction always what’s wrong? Even my daughters say it, “what’s wrong?” Or I expect the bad news before the good when I ask how someone is doing. The fact is in general, we are more interested in what’s wrong than what’s right.
The hygienist wasn’t identifying something wrong with my pearly whites, rather a song on the radio he wasn’t willing to listen to. But isn’t it like God to use that experience to stretch me a little more.
I need to be more mindful of what’s right.
Aside from that, what else can I learn from this? The power of my expression AND the power of others expression on me.
The hygienist felt terrible after he realized my side of that experience. Then we both found humor in our situations and likely even at the next visit will do the same.
Check your facts before reacting. Consider both sides. Respond rather than react not just in actions but also in our thoughts. Then maybe this season will be able to be pearly white with peace.
Prayer: Lord, much like dental issues start in hidden places, my Peace starts in the hidden places of my life and my thoughts. Father thank You. You knew my life would be less than pearly white without Your Son. I will try as much as I can Lord, to focus on what is right.
What comes out in the dark, are easier to see with light, are sneaky, hard to stop, can hurt me, and can make you miss something beautiful? Any guesses?
While hunting ghost crabs during our beach vacation I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge of a “teachable” series of moments. In the following I will share six reminders about sin that may seem a bit crabby.
1. Light helps me see, chase, and catch crabs. While we saw a few during the day, nothing brought the little speed runners out more than the darkness. “Over here. I see one!” With excitement the hunters raced over, lights and buckets in hand, and chase the little creature until they thought they could catch it.
Sin often hides in the “darkness” in secret places. Sometimes even in self deception. However once light is shown upon our sin, because God’s love for me, I am to be ready for the chase and, in some cases, a fight.
2. Crabs are sneaky. They lay and wait patient and still under the covering of their camouflage. Be that natural beach debris like our prideful or selfish flesh, or things left behind by the world like society and the lack of Truth within it, there are many things attempting to hide the sin in our lives.
“I must have squished it. Wait! There it goes again.” Personally it seems like I chase the sin down and have it “caught” but when if I let my guard down here it comes again.
The tempest lies and waits. The patience within his ploys are very effective. I must remain rooted in Gods Word to overcome the sin in my life it’s through Him I am an overcomer.
3. There are obstacles in my path that make catching crabs hard or makes me miss them entirely. “Hole, watch your step!” Even at one point deep in the hole we’re hot coals lending the idea of playing with fire. I might know there is something I want to catch in my life. Something that God Himself desires that I do yet some obstacle is approached and my pursuit is slowed down. How I respond to these obstacles greatly impacts my ability to continue on the journey of being remade in God’s image. Be that the journey to rid my life of sin or the journey to follow God’s plan for my life.
Obstacles present choice and opportunity for prayer.
Prayerfully, I must approach the obstacle. Obediently I follow direction. If I choose to ignore I’m likely to trip or burn terribly.
4. Crabs can hurt me especially when they are afraid. “Ow! It won’t let go!” Just like the idea that hurting people hurt people we must remember removing sin hurts too. Just like the pincher of the crab at time sins hold on. Removal of the sin in our life can cause others to lash out or choose to leave our lives. This hurts. In time, God’s hand will become apparent and appreciated. Ours is to pray through and seek Him even in our pain.
5. I can miss beautiful things. “I didn’t even see all those stars!” After an hour chasing crabs in the darkness the hunters never stopped long enough to take in the beauty of where they were. Between the sounds of the waves and the beauty of the clear night, they were reminded to look up, and stand in awe of God’s creation.
6. The pursuit is hard, and often results in failure. This doesn’t mean it lacks joy. Insert contagious laughter as the crabs challenge the hunter and slip between their legs. Many times as Christian’s we fail. Over and over again at times. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Not some unattainable dream. Joy along the journey is evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life. Jesus died that we may glorify God in our everyday, every moment life, regardless of or circumstances.
Have you ever been part of a ghost crab hunting crew? I’d love to hear your stories!
Haley asked me to read Max Lucado’s The Oak Inside the Acorn tonight. I resisted that particular story but she, in her persistent Haley charm insisted. (Incidentally, it is an awesome book!)
“Lord, of course You’d have me read this after my girls went back to school and marked The End of one MORE of the few summers I have left with them at home.” God and I often have these kind of silent yet emotionally charged conversations.
As I read I felt the tears welling up but Haley’s intensity in her listening and attention to the deeper places the story touches were remarkable. Questions like, “The Mom Oak wanted the Little Acorn to let go? Is that what you want for me?” Or, “Hey, I wonder what I’m supposed to do too. Did you ever do that Mom?”
God, Your creation of this child and this moment more than amaze me. I stand in awe of You daily, yet sometimes words cannot touch the expression. Father I pray a hedge of protection around this child and several others tonight. This haste to grow up that is all around our children Lord, I know You hold it. And at the same time I ask that they to can some day walk in that confidence too.
As I read in Ephesians 3 she drifted to sleep saying, “Momma I am happy it’s not time for me to let go yet.”
Me too child, me too.