Christmas On The Farm

Six girls and me,
and a bucket of feed,
went for a walk over the hill.
I’d been in prayer
before all were there.

I asked God for different,
for a way that was new,
for His help that day,
in some special way,
to give another look at Truth.

All I knew was to take them
for a short little walk.
I trusted the Holy Spirit for
the actions and opportunity
I knew He’d provide the talk.

First we fed the cattle
then continued along our way.
We pretended some were pregnant
as we followed the path
to the barn with the hay.

At the top of the hill,
many buildings were in sight,
we paused just a moment,
spoke of the crowds,
and no room for the night.

The girls were all scarred
when we came to the barn,
like the shepherds in the fields
when the angel
said there’d be no harm.

We stepped inside,
placed our hands on the hay,
we talked of the manger,
and how our Creator
came to us that day.

How different it was
from Heavens throne.
How we are blessed
to get to know Him
as Savior of our own.

Then a little one asked,
“Why’d God leave a place in the skies,
to be a baby, carried and cry?”
I fought the tears
as they gathered in my eyes…

That’s how great God’s
love is you see
He came as the Son
The chosen sinless one
to set sinners free….

Because God Loves us
He didn’t want to stay apart
That’s why Jesus came
God knows more than your name…
He lives in your heart.

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One Day at a Time

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now…”
John 16:12 (NKJV)

One day at a time…
That’s what obedience reveals…
Yet every part of me thinks…
It wants what Heaven conceals…
If my Jesus, my Lord and my Savior…
Said to His Fishers-of-men…
That He had more to say but that they could not bear it then.

Then why must I try…
Time and time again…
To pencil my plans for this life in
with a pen?

Penciled in with a pen,
that’s how my life goes.
I make a plan for me,
yet my Father says, “No.”
A line’s struck through,
the planning I laid.
Then Glory befalls to those the Author and Perfecter had made…

Yet try as I might,
to pen “me” in again,
Alpha and Omega shows me who is in charge.
He scratches through and claims,
“I am sovereign!”

So why not a pencil,
That which could be erased,
quickly with God’s plans replaced
But again I hear my Abba say, “No.
Simply my child I want you to know
you bear the stripes of your Savior.
My Son died on the cross for you.
Your pain of this life I’ve entrusted,
so others may see Me through what you do. These marks serve so you’ll be reminded of my sufficient grace. Stop, look, and listen. Seek My face.”

I want my marks lifted…
At times I yearn to be…
On the other side with Jesus…
Singing praise eternally…

And though I may want it,
again my Creator says, “No…
I’ve more work to be done here… before you go.”

The tears stream down my cheeks as I cry to my Papa…
yearning to be with Him now…
Wanting reprieve from this task to believe,
when all see’s the pain in front of me.

His Spirit beckons me softly…
back to the book of His Word…
He sits with me as I read them… Bringing comfort…
“My Child your cries are heard.”

I read Jesus, too
wanted the cup to pass…
That even He who was from the beginning, felt forsaken as He breathed His last…
Jesus wept with the weeping…
That over death and loss my Friend did mourn…
That the brokenness of this world had Him angry…
Yet because He was wrongfully scorned…
The veil separating me from Father…

Has…
Been…
Torn…

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Last Call

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
1 John 5:13 (NKJV)

“Nine o’clock it’s quitting time.”

Every Wednesday- Sunday, from when I was 2 thru when I was 11, Dad shouted into the darkness across the ponds signaling time for the fishers to bring in their lines.

Fast forward 22 years…
At one of the then three ponds…
After all the others had grown tired of casting…
One last fisher remained.
With the smallest pole, smallest hook, and very little bait.

The bobber disappeared beneath the ripples of the water. A fight ensued. Rather than a forceful pull, the drag of the meek reel guided the fish to the shore.

Prayer:
Father, give me the fruit of your spirit to keep casting until you call it quitting time.

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Unable to Help

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 

John 18:36 (NKJV)

The typical open times were 9-9 Wednesday through Sunday…
Occassionally Dad would extend these hours.

One gentleman, we’ll call him John, came on days the ponds were closed to the public and I was told to leave him be…

Typically I played outside and had no reservations. A stranger was just a friend I had not yet met. I think I was six.

This day John had something stuck in his hand. Either a fish or a hook… I am not sure which. He was hurt and needed help. So being the helpful kid I was I headed that way.

John saw me, “No. Please stay back. I don’t want you hurt.”
I stopped, but could not understand what the issue was… I figured he had no clue how much I could help.

“Child, stay back, I can’t let you help me.” John said practically pleading.

Because I still did not stop. He changed his urgency hurt my feelings. It broke my heart that I could not help. Then I felt particularly fearful when Dad called me aside after the situation had resolved.

I’d been told not to go around John, but still did, I went against the boundary. My parents, at that stage in life, weren’t the repeating type. Consequence wasn’t slow to follow disobedience.

Dad explained the reason John came during closed times. That he was trying to protect me. In his fear of hurting others he made special arrangements to come out.

The pleading of his words stayed with me. “I can’t let you help me.” And the fact John never returned to fish after that stuck also… Especially that my behavior had brought him to the point of anger when his actions were those of love.

Do you have a story that relates to this? I’d love to hear it!

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Lasting Love

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)

Some of the best memories from Boggess Catfish Ponds were of the people. So many different people.

Old and young from all walks of life, graced us with their business. Most we would see on a monthly basis if not more. I loved just listening to and watching people. I gleaned much from them.

There were two elderly couples I adored. The Schneider’s and the Carr’s. Both couples had been married an extensive number of years… Both Mr.Carr and Mr. Schneider wore overalls, thick glasses, and baseball caps.

Mr.Carr would fish anywhere… His location on the bank did not matter to him. Mr. Schneider fished in the same spot every time he came and came at the same time every time… Sunday mornings an hour before we officially opened… Dad let them in.

I had a special assignments with both couples.

I manned the net for the Schneider’s. They sat when they fished… And needed help close to the water. This gave me the opportunity to visit with Mrs. Schneider. Picture a typical German woman in her early 80’s… That smoked cigars and claimed to be a pilot…

With the Carr’s my assignment was to keep the cats away from Mr. Carr. He was deathly afraid of cats and we had upwards of 20 roaming the ponds. He stood well over 6ft tall… This gave me time with Mrs. Carr. Picture an African American lady standing a good two feet shorter than Mr.Carr. And had a “tiny” voice…

I watched how these couples interacted. The men carried most everything in and set their ladies up before tending to their own. They looked adoringly and joked lovingly between each other. They had laughter together. I recall instances for both couples where they laughed so much they cried.

Despite Mr. Carr’s crippling fear of cats, and Mr. Schneider’s continual mundane consistency. I never recall either of the ladies begrudgingly trailing their husbands. I never recall the husbands ever placing himself first. I admired that love they had between each other.

For several weeks I’ve been meditating on 1 Peter 3. If I’m honest I was stuck. Submission still, in one way or another, sounds like failure, especially if I fail to see the full scope of Peters words. The lasting love that is found when we choose submission to Gods will has eternity in mind.

Prayer:

Father, so many are under attack today. Our marriages, our families, our children. May we all proceed with a like mind to love one another.

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Casting…

So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News.
Romans 1:15 (NLT)

“We didn’t catch anything.”

One of the girls was disappointed because she didn’t see the results of her casting.

After giving that same honey hole a try and fishing for “forever” according to them (thirty minutes according to the clock), I decided in the interest of my sanity we would put up the poles.

My attention came to that attitude in myself. So often the Holy Spirit leads me to say or do something. I do it because deliberate disobedience isn’t my idea of fun, yet afterwards I’m disappointed because, “nothing happened.” Then came the conviction that I allow the fact that “nothing happened last time” determine when to obey…

Playfully I think of that same school of perch. Imagine that the class was on a field trip or going places. As they went, they were telling others about their life changing experience.

A bigger fish came along looking to gain something for it’s self. But the bass overheard what the perch were saying. Just as it was going to attack that hook came into the water and got the attention of the bass changing it’s direction.

Just because we do not see what is happening doesn’t mean nothing is.

Cast it out,
reel it in.
Do it over and over again,
even when they refuse to bite.
You may not reach them…
but the Holy Spirit just might.

God says,
“You’re My child…
I am with You…
Loving others is what I’ve called You to do.
My Son made you a fisher of men,
so,
cast it out…
and
reel it in.”

Prayer:

Father please forgive me. Thank you for revealing this attitude within me that I may better serve You. I am to simply trust and obey as I cast out the line.

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Poetic Ponds- part 2

Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 4:19 (NKJV)

When it comes to fishing, casting is pretty easy once you know how and especially when the fish jump on the line. However they aren’t always quick to bite.

Sometimes they nibble. Sometimes they spit the hook out. And sometimes they just do not want the bait.

The same group of children. Four of them, when they had to cast over again two or three times soon lost interest. They had their excitement or their accomplishment in mind.

The other two were still eager and optimistic. They found pleasure in the anticipation. And adventure in the unknown. They knew there were fish still to catch and that’s all they needed to keep casting.

When one of the two hooked their finger the other grew fearful and would no longer touch the hook or cast the line. Mind you this was not the one hurt… The one hurt was disappointed that she had to retreat to wash her hands.

When Jesus called me to be a fisher of men, He said nothing about it being comfortable, or painless. He calls us to see past all of that and have trust in His leadership.

Prayer:

I yearn for that kind of faith Father. To just go without question. I praise you that I’m not the same today but You are. You Father are worthy!

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Poetic Ponds – part 1

Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
Proverbs 1: 23 (NKJV)

I had six children, two fishing poles, and worms on the pond bank the other day. Each child anxiously awaited their turn to cast into the water…

The perch were biting!

At first I thought, “The perch must be oblivious to the what is around them.” But as He often does the Holy Spirit changed my perspective.

What if I look at the perch as people, the worm as the Good News, and the hook as Jesus. Then the experience of getting caught becomes salvation. The passing from mortal life to eternal life.

Perhaps, upon release, the perch rush back to their schoolmates and share all about their life changing experience. Creating a response.

Prayer:

Father help me to live is such a way that creates a response to You.

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Absurd


Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths
. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

What have you done recently that others would call absurd?

I came across plaque that I was given when I graduated from college. It reads “Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.”

Absurd, by quick definition, means unreasonable, or completely ridicules. As I looked back at my life I saw many things that were “absurd”.

My birth was absurd. Mom learned she was pregnant through miscarriage. It was beyond her understanding that I was still growing inside of her. Yet here I am…

My marriage started off with an absurd relationship. One that was resisted by many. Teachers and coaches who had the best intentions for me fought my connection with my then high school sweet heart.
Yet here we are…

I’ll never forget the words of one physician, “with the function of your system it is highly unlikely you’ll ever conceive let alone carry a child to term. You may as well get that in your mind now. It will save you pain later.” Picture my heart shattering in my chest over and over again. Yet two healthy children slumber in their beds that call me mom.

Or my niece born at 23 weeks, no pounds and 14 ounces. It was absurd for the doctor to try to save her. Yet he did. And a four year old tiny piece of dynamite calls me Aunt Kelly…

Indeed life is full of absurd. But as He often does The Holy Spirit doesn’t let it rest there… In many ways some feel faith in Jesus Christ is absurd. The belief that God would Love enough to send His Son that we could have everlasting life is absurd. It surpasses the reasonable. And goes well beyond understanding.

The same God that spoke life into existence loves me that much. He loves you too. I know it may seem absurd… But if you’ve not opened your heart to the absurd you’ll never know what is possible.

Consider what you’ve witnessed. Place the glory for those things on God. Ask questions. And open your heart for Jesus.

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Castle

 

In My Father’s house are many mansions;[a] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 (NKJV)

Early morning conversation with Haley who is four…
“Mom, you member when I slept with Kayla for Christmas?”
“Yes,” I said.
“When Santa brought me presents.”
“Yes.”
“Did you know I liked that?” she asked.
“I’m sure you did. But can I tell you who brings you the biggest present?”
“Did you bring me the biggest present?”

“No, Jesus did.”

“Really Mom, Jesus brought me my castle?!?!”

I paused for just a moment for reflection… She had received a large Little People Castle because she wanted to be a princess…

“Yes child in so very many ways Jesus brought you your castle.”

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