What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This is the day that the Lord has made...

"This is the day that the Lord has made; We WILL rejoice and be glad in it!"  Psalm 118:24

Today, September 25, 2011, is a special day for me.  It marks the _ _ st anniversary of my birthday!  Therefore, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it! 

This was an unusual birthday for me, as it has just struck me that this is the very first birthday in my life where neither of my parents were with me.  Well, there may have been other birthdays that they could not attend due to the fact that I was living too far away for them to visit...but today is the first birthday that both of my parents are in heaven.  Actually, I think they were with me anyway!  I have a feeling they were smiling down from their heavenly home and singing happy birthday to me just like they did every year of my life until God called them home.  No matter how far away from home I may have been, they always made a point of calling me on my birthday, usually either early in the morning...or perhaps in the evening when they knew I'd be awake and at home, and they would sing in their precious harmonious fashion:
"Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Pammy! Happy Birthday to you!"

No birthday was complete until I had received that phone call.  I'm looking at their picture now, and I can almost hear them singing...

I love this picture of them, taken for their 60th Wedding Anniversary...and probably the last real good picture of them together before my mother passed away a few years later.  This is how I will always remember them. I told them back when I helped them pick out this particular pose for their portrait that it had a "heavenly" look, like they were sitting up in the clouds and looking back at us here below...
My Mom and Dad...Can't you almost hear them singing?


My sister Doris and I having a birthday tea party!
Just like when we were little girls!!
 I've had a wonderful birthday today.  My family here on earth with me has blessed me with good food, wonderful gifts, and lots of singing of Happy Birthday...my friends here on facebook and email and other have also blessed me with many many notes of birthday greetings and blessings.  I am blessed beyond measure. 

Yes, I must say, "This IS the day the Lord has made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!"

Thank you, Lord, for friends and family, both near and far.  And especially I thank you for my dear parents, who brought me into this world and gave me such a wonderful, godly heritage, and a true appreciation for my home, family, and my God.  I am truly blessed beyond measure.  And Lord, if You don't mind, could you give my Mama and Daddy a big hug from me, and tell them how much I love them and miss them?  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Aint nothing like the real thing, baby"

The following is a quote of my own comment to one of my blogging friends who had just written about whether or not she should get an Ipod to replace her Palm Pilot..."Our Journey Together" by my friend Susan

This is what I said regarding her dilemma...
"I don't have either one...I have a desktop computer. My husband has a refurbished laptop. I have an ordinary cell phone. I don't need anything else. I feel "over-connected" with this old world now as it is. What I really desire is real friends, real faces at my table and not in my computer, love and laughter with family and friends in person. Gadgets are nice, and I don't fault anyone for having them...but I just don't want them. I may have to write about this in my blog since this comment is too long already! Yes, save your $$ until you are ready to get whatever you feel you need at that time. Until then, just enjoy the real people and places surrounding you each day. That is what really matters."

My friend Susan is currently battling a very serious and aggressive cancer. She is a young mother of one very active 2 1/2 yr. old boy, as well as a counselor.  She tries to maintain her work, enjoy her family,and live a normal life as much as possible.  Perhaps an Ipod would help her. Her Mother seems to think so...and it might be the right thing for her to do.  I was not trying to be critical at all regarding her decision or choices. I was just speaking for my own self.

I've had friends tell me that I need to get a "Kindle" to read my books on...and I have no interest in that at all.  I know, I know, I've heard all the wonderful endorsements for having such a marvelous invention to carry a whole library of books at my instant disposal with me anywhere.  But why do I need to do that? I can only read one book at a time, and I like to do that in a comfortable chair, turning the paper pages, feeling each page as I turn it, and looking back at the previous page anytime I want to re-read what I just read in case I didn't quite get it the first time. I love to look at the cover of the book, read the fly-leaf, look at the copyright.  A lot of the books I read are very old, (from my blog-page "A Few of My Favorite Things")and sometimes the pages are stained, perhaps a little dog-eared...and I have often found other people's old  
bookmarks...an old grocery list, a small card with notes on it, the names of other people who have owned or read the book I am holding in my hand.  I love that. It helps me feel connected with the previous readers, or the author herself/himself!  Please don't take away my real books! You just can't do all of that with an electronic gadget that has to be recharged frequently or might easily get damaged or stolen. My books can be picked up anywhere, anytime, and I don't recall ever having to recharge them to be able to read them.  (I might have to recharge my OWN batteries sometimes to keep going...but that's a different story!)

I truly do enjoy connecting with many friends, old and new, through the medium of "Facebook".  I think that is a wonderful invention and I have embraced it whole-heartedly! I love to post pictures of my family and share a piece of my world with the rest of the world.  I do the same through this blog.  But one thing I have to remind myself of often...this should not ever take the place of "real-life" friends and family...those who are here with me in the flesh...or who may be wanting to share a part of my life in a more tangible way. You know, a "real" tea-party...a lunch date...a shopping trip...a ride in the country with my hubby...a card game with our kids or friends at our kitchen table...laughing and talking and experiencing real quality time together...face to face...hearing each other's voices and seeing the smiles on their faces...holding hands in a time of prayer for a meal shared together...a hug when we meet, and another when we part. 

Cell phones are a wonderful invention also...mine is rather archaic in that it doesn't do much except make phonecalls. I could add more to it, for a price...but why should I?  It does what I need it to do...and sometimes I wish I didn't need it at all.  It's hard to escape when people have my number...and I feel "naked" if I go out without it.  I don't like being that dependent on a technological gadget.

I refuse to get one of those GPS thingys for my car.  I have always prided myself on having a good sense of direction.  Also, I try to look up places  before I leave and if I need to, I print out the directions...or I do it the old fashioned way...I take an atlas (map) when traveling very far.  It got our forefathers where they were going (even though they hated to ask directions)...I can remember my father telling us on our vacation trips, when we had been driving around what seemed like circles for quite a while, "I'm not lost. I know exactly where I'm going. I'm just taking the scenic route!"  How many of you have ever heard (or said) that before?
Besides, everyone I know who has a GPS thingy in their car still can't find my house without calling me in the middle of the night after driving around for an hour on dark dirt roads...(I Love you, niece Debbie). Some places just aren't meant to be found with an electronic gizmo!!!

Come sit across my table and let's have a real visit...I'll even give you a piece of that apple pie (well, better give me some warning first so I can bake one!)
Well, speaking of "real people", my hubby is desiring my attention...so I need to bring this to a stopping place.  Yes, modern technology is wonderful and definitely has a place...but let's please not substitute the mirage for the real thing.  Let us constantly strive to embrace our "real friends" and loved ones with warm hugs and long audible and visible conversations.  (You know, eye to eye and giving our undivided attention).  Let us keep our mental faculties intact by exercising our sense of direction, handwriting skills (that's another subject to discuss since modern technology has made handwriting almost obsolete), mathematical skills (oops! I will NOT give up my calculator! I'm a bookkeeper by trade!!)

Let's think about these things...Good night dear friends, both near and far and through my open window of this computer.  I guess modern technology isn't ALL bad...otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this now (and I would never have been able to send it to you!!!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time for a "Sanity Day"

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul..." Psalm 23:2-3a

Crystal Lake, Eaton, NH
Ahhhh....to lay back in that little boat and float on the placid clear waters of a crystal pure lake, looking up at the billowy, fluffy white clouds set against an azure sky...not a care in the world...allowing total rest and peace take control of my mind, heart and soul...voices of geese overhead and loons calling their mates...no other sound to disturb the serenity of this moment...no troubling thoughts or difficult decisions to make...just letting God's peace settle deep into my being...ahhh yes....zzzzzzzz...."He restores my soul..."

That was a kind of "Calgon-take me away" minute...only much much better than any manufactured bath salts could ever accomplish...It is God's natural healing balm, soothing, comforting and healing ointment in the wounds of my over-stressed mind and tendons..."You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over..." (Psalm 23:5b)

After a particularly stressful couple of weeks, every fiber in my body is telling me this is what I need. Therefore, I informed by boss and my staff that I would be taking a "sanity day" tomorrow...a much needed day off.  No one seemed to mind at all...the tension lines in my face must have been rather obvious.

So, what am I going to do with my day?  I really don't know right now...but God knows exactly what I need...and I am trusting Him to provide.

"May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose.  We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the Name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions." (Psalm 20:4-5

Thank you, David the Psalmist, for these prayers of blessing written especially for me today.  Somehow God knew that there would be days like this even over 3000 years ago (the Psalms were written in the 10th Century B.C.) and that I, one of His children, (and you, all of His children) would need these words of comfort, peace, and hope on this very day. 

Even if I don't do anything particularly wonderful tomorrow, I am thankful for these moments today. They have been like a breath of fresh air in my soul.  I hope you have been refreshed by these words as well.
Good Night! Sleep Peacefully...and
"May He (the Lord) grant you according to your heart's desire...and fulfill all your purpose" as well.
Amen.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Update on the Waiting Room....(Finally fixed the Rooster)

Since writing about so many friends who are currently in "The Waiting Room" the other day, (http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2011/09/are-you-in-waiting-room-with-us.html)
 I thought it might be appropriate to bring an update and even add a few more to the list.  I think it is always good to follow up with the answers to our prayers and perhaps add some new words of encouragement for those "still waiting."   

video
My little mascot friend here is for my Chicken Farmer friend (The Other Pam) whose baby peeps finally arrived safe and sound...all thirty of them! (She was only expecting 25)...and I believe her home has been a bustle of excitement ever since!  I mean, keeping 30 little baby peeps warm and well fed and clean can be quite a challenge for a working girl!  I did not want to be outdone, so I had to show off my pet rooster and let him crow about how excited we all are for our friend and her new family!  So here's a big "Er roo er roo erROOOOOO for you!  http://www.thewordstress.com/2011/09/18/awwwwwww/ tells it all...
    My blogger friend who was attending the online book-launch for  fellow blogger was happy to report that she actually won a copy of the new book for being such a tenacious fan!  Congratulations to the Recovering Church Lady for winning the prize.  She is still praying for some bigger answers to some bigger questions in her personal life...so we'll keep sitting with her in the waiting room for awhile.  http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/

For my dear friend Susan, who was on "pins and needles" about her upcoming Dr. visit...well, the news was not as good as she had hoped it would be.  See her journal for more details: http://ourjourneytogether-susan.blogspot.com/2011/09/news.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FAcxuK+%28Our+Journey+Together%29      I like what she said in her facebook status the next day, "My thought for today is that things are not always what they appear. I feel good and so I am going with that!"   Susan R. Comeau-Nguyen 
Yes, Susan, positive actions and thinking often lead to positive results. May God continue to bless you with those thoughts and especially the "feeling good" part.  With God ALL things are possible!


My friend Kim from "Marmee's Pantry" has also left the waiting room. She reported in her blog early today:  http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com/2011/09/heavens-new-occupant.html
"Mother graciously & peacefully entered glory at 11:40p.m. last night. "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. O LORD, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant...You have freed me from my chains." ~Ps. 11:15,16"    
Ah, my dear Kim, may our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Great Comforter, wrap His loving arms tenderly around you and your family, and carry you through these days to come.  I've been there already before, first with my sweet dear mother, and then just this past spring with my precious daddy...so I know exactly how you are feeling right now.  I also know that God and all the angels in heaven are rejoicing with your parents tonight as they are enjoying that heavenly reunion they had waited for so long. Keep those happy thoughts in your heart and mind, and it will help to carry you through the days to come.


I haven't heard anything yet from my friend who is hoping to get a new job back in her home state...but it's a bit soon yet...she may be in the waiting room for a while longer...but she's not alone.  There's a lot of our friends and loved ones in there with her hoping for a better job...or any job at all!  I know...my husband is one of them...but, again, in God's time it will all work out according to HIS divine plan!!

My sweet friend up in New England stays so busy with all of her business and projects that she probably forgets that she, too, is in the waiting room of sorts...but God hasn't forgotten about her...and He knows exactly what her needs are...and He's taking care of them all one by one.  I like the fact that she stays busy while she waits...I think that is pure faith in action.

I want to add a new member to our "Waiting Room" tonight.  A very special family who is actively awaiting the birth of their precious baby girl Eve at this very moment.  http://babyevecatherine.blogspot.com/2011/09/making-progress.html  This link tells you the story...be sure to go back and read the previous entries of this blog to get the full story...you will find that this is no ordinary "delivery" story.  Baby Eve will be welcomed into this world by her loving family who are anxiously waiting to hold her and love her and introduce her to this world.  You must read the story...you will be awe-inspired just as I was when I learned of Eve's story. Say a special prayer for Baby Eve and her family tonight...and tomorrow...and every day.  She is going to have a difficult road ahead of her...but it is exciting to see how God has prepared the way for her through a very special "waiting room". 

Well, dear friends, this pretty well sums up "The Waiting Room" saga for tonight.  One thought comes to mind, and I don't know who said it, but it is one of those things that goes around on email from time to time...and it goes something like this..."Remember, be kind to everyone you meet...because everyone is going through something whether you know it or not."  

Yes, we are all in a type of waiting room...and the things we are waiting for may change from day to day.  But the One who is waiting on us does NOT change.  He is always there... and will continue to hear our prayers and meet us in the waiting room each day.  So don't lose hope.  Your turn to be called may be next! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are You in the Waiting Room with Us?

I was just reading through my friends' blogs and facebook messages and thinking about all the things that are going on in people's lives right now at this very moment across this planet.  I've noticed that a lot of my friends are waiting on something or Some One... 
   One friend is attending a virtual online "Book Launcher" Party for a fellow blogger friend who has just written a book.  It sounds interesting "Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines"...something about turning 50.  I bet it will be a best seller...there's a lot of us out here who once tried to wear mini-skirts but wouldn't dare to now...and we definitely have "laughter lines"...that's a euphemistic name for wrinkles.  I like that...and I have quite a few.  ttp://feedproxy.google.com/~r/recoveringchurchlady/oxwH/~3/k36FO8Fn1zA/im-at-book-launch-party.html  My friend is a writer in her own right, and is seeking God's direction for her future at this moment as well.

One of my other blogger friends is awaiting the passing of her mother from this earth to a heavenly reunion with her father.. (http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com/2011/09/it-wont-be-long-now.html )  and even though it is a sad time for this daughter, she is comforted knowing how happy her parents will be to be together again...for eternity.  My heart goes out to my friend, as I just recently went through the same thing when my father left this old world a few months ago to join my mother in heaven.  I can envision them there together dancing under the stars with all the angels watching...and Jesus in the midst enjoying the scene with them.  

 Now this other particular friend of mine is also waiting for something special...but on a lighter note...she is waiting for the arrival of her 25 baby chicks she ordered! She has partnered with several of her friends and is going to have a "brooder house" for these baby chicks and they will all chip in and help provide the chicken feed so they can enjoy the fresh eggs that they hope will eventually make their daily debut!  http://www.thewordstress.com/  Read all about it in her blog entitled "Team Research Chickens".  I told her I would put it on the news...so here it is!!

Back to the waiting room again...another of my blogging friends is also in "God's Waiting Room", http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/AcxuK/~3/y5S9CRG_xUE/waiting-on-pins-and-needles.html  literally waiting "on pins and needles" for her Dr. appointment this Friday that will tell whether or not the cancer in her body is growing or standing still at this point.  I pray for this young mother who has spent the whole time of her child's life (about two years) battling a very aggressive cancer and praying for a cure so she can watch her child grow up and enjoy being a part of his life. 

One of my facebook friends is waiting to hear if she'll get a job that she would very much love to have, which will bring her back home to Florida, where her husband is already working and waiting anxiously for her to join him. I pray God will answer her prayer...

Another friend has a very busy life in New England, and between her very prosperous resort cleaning business and giving pony rides to eager children, and managing various other ventures between  giving trail rides at the Castle and horse-drawn sleigh rides at the Farm along with caring for her big family, she manages to steal a few moments to write about her adventures with the locals, the tourists, and the animals that keep us laughing.  Never a dull moment in her life...one remarkable person that I truly admire and appreciate!https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/beth-estes-towle/unusual-day-on-nordic-lane/264429273578143

And last, but certainly not least, my son Matthew, whom many of you have read about this past year as he has fought his own battle against a very aggressive cancer, http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/search/label/DSRCT
My Son Matthew...contemplating his future last summer.
He is currently doing quite well, thankfully, but is also waiting for his next PET Scan that will show whether or not the chemo-maintenance drug he has been taking for the past almost a year is continuing to halt the progression of this disease in his body.  They have recently reduced the dosage of the chemo-pills because the side-effects were just becoming too unmanageable...so now we just have to pray that the reduced dosage will be strong enough to do the job. 

All of these friends/family are busily pursuing their goals and living their lives in the Light of God's Glory...and trusting Him each day for their daily sustenance.  Some have physical issues and daily pain that they must endure, others have difficult jobs or are searching for God's will for their lives in one way or another.  Others are facing sorrow and loss, but with grace and peace.  Others are just enjoying the life that God has given them and want to share that joy and fun with others. 

I like the verse that my young friend waiting on "pin and needles" shared in her blog this day,

Isaiah 40:31
"But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."

Being in God's waiting room is not an uncommon place to be...I've spent many a night and day there myself. But one thing I can honestly say...I've never been there alone...the very One I was waiting for was actually there all the time...right there in the midst of my struggles, my impatience, and my yearnings to be heard.  He literally was holding me in His divine lap the whole time...listening to my tales of woe and hearing every beat of my heart.  And He is there with you today as well...wherever you may be...He's already there.  So relax and read a blog or two while you wait, or pray a prayer for someone else who needs to be heard. Or write a few words about your life to share with others.  We are all in this waiting room together...so we might as well enjoy the time!

God's blessing be upon you as you wait on Him!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm Curious! Who ARE You?

The following is a list of the total number of "pageviews", listed by countries, people who have viewed this blog since its beginning back in 2009!  This has made me extremely curious!  Who ARE you?  I know some of you...but I certainly don't know all 5657 of you...and especially those of you from so many different countries!  I am overwhelmed and humbled!  I would love to find out who you are...and I pray that you were somehow blessed and encouraged by the stories that you read here.


United States
4,857
Canada
165
United Kingdom
119
Germany
87
Ukraine
86
Russia
85
Slovenia
76
India
64
Netherlands
64
Australia
54

Actually this is only a partial list of the countries...I'm not sure how they tally this, but each day I see lists of statistics from many different parts of the world...and I am so intrigued by this.  How do you find my blog? What key words are you using that directed you here?  I have just recently compiled the index of keywords, which serves as a topical index to help you find whatever subject matter or scripture verse you are seeking.  I have noticed that this has actually increased the volume of traffic on my blog.  And I have found these daily statistics almost addictive!  Everytime I see that someone is online reading my blog from somewhere in the world I get really excited!! I just wish I knew who you were and where you are reading from...and if you are finding some measure of hope, encouragement and inspiration from what you are reading.  If so, then I have done my job...and God has done His job as well!!!!

Thank you, dear friends, wherever you are!  In the old south we have a saying when we say good-bye to friends...  "Y'all come back now, you hear?"    Pure southern colloquialism...but it says exactly what I want to say...Please do come back and stay a while.  I also have a needlepoint picture from my grandmother hanging in my kitchen that says it even better:
This is the message that I hope to convey throughout my blogs...I value your presence here, and I would love for our time together to be like old friends chatting over a cup of tea...so pull up a chair and stay awhile...I'll put on the teakettle.

Thanks for visiting!
"Y'all come back now, you hear?"

Dear Lord, Today I lift up these dear friends from around the world to You, and I ask that You would bless them with Your peace, Your presence, and Your comfort in whatever circumstances they may be currently enduring.  Lord, where there is pain, I pray You would bring relief.  Where there is sickness, please reach down and bring healing.  If there is strife or hurt, or sin or distress, help them to find rest and restoration and forgiveness in You, Oh Lord.  Thank you for bringing them to my Open Window.  I pray that all of their "closed doors" would lead to new opportunities and adventures within Your plan for their lives.  I thank You and give You all the praise, glory and honor today.
In Jesus' Name I pray,
Amen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Old Tools vs.New Tools

My sons love to collect old tools.  Not any particular type of tool...just old...something that has been used by a true craftsman, a proven and trusted instrument to get the job done right! They have been blessed to have come from a long line of woodworkers and carpenters on both sides of the family tree, so they come by this interest honestly.  It would do their ancestors proud to see that their progeny have shown such a keen interest in the things that they also loved. 

By contrast, these sons enjoy brand new tools as well.  They find it difficult to walk away from the lure of the brand new shiny modern tools, built with the latest technology and materials, having all the newest features to make the job easier. 

Great-Grandaddy Martin's old wooden tool caddy, with
various old tools from his collection, along with additional old
tools from Grandpa Mursch's toolbox. Quite a treasure-trove!
The thing I have noticed about the newer tools is the fact that they seldom last very long.  I wonder if they are built with the same strength of steel as their predecessors, or with the quality of materials in the handles and knobs and joints.  Unless one spends a large amount of money for the well-known name brand of tools, it seems as though it isn't very long before that tool breaks and needs to be replaced.  It doesn't have the endurance of the old tools...it hasn't passed the test of time and strength.  Quite often it appears that these new tools just can't hold up under the stress and strain of the job for which it was created to complete. 

I was thinking about the difference between old tools and new tools today...but in a different way.  If you ever have watched a true master craftsman, you will notice that even though he may try some new tools to see how they work, he will most likely always go back to the good old tools he knows and trusts in his toolbox.  He loves the way they feel in his hands, the handles are worn smooth by years of use and they fit his grip perfectly.  The old hammer seems to be an extension of his hand as he hammers away at the nails like a well-oiled machine.  He knows exactly which level is true and exact, and has a favorite screwdriver or set of pliers that always turn the screws and nuts and bolts without twisting and stripping them.  He loves his old tools, and is reluctant to set them aside for the new. They are like his old friends, tried and true.

I wonder if God looks at His "old tools" that way...you know, His old servants and trusted workers who have stood the test of time and never gave up under the stress and strain of the task set before them. The ones who didn't have all the "new-fangled" methods and technology to make their job easier, like laptops and blackberries and the world literally at their fingertips via the internet, but they had to do things the hard way.  They literally had to "Go into all the world" and seek the lost souls who would never hear about a loving God any other way.  They only had one book in their back-pack...God's Word, the Bible, well worn and smooth by years of turning pages and searching for the exact word of truth to share with someone dying without hope. Pages that were dog-eared and marked with lines and notes written in the margin to help reinforce the power of the message to his own heart.  The only amount of memory in their "hard-drive" was what was placed there by years of study and practice.  There were no instant answers by "asking jeeves" or "Google".  The answers that were sought came through prayer and faith and trust...and waiting on God to respond...sometimes for years, but always on time. 

Yes, we love our new "tools", our computers, cell-phones, modern appliances that make our lives easier.  But there is one "old tool" we should never give up...God's Word, The Bible. Whatever shape or version or size you may prefer, just use it...don't put it on the shelf and forget it in favor of your new-fangled "tools"...keep it handy...take it with you wherever you go...memorize its contents...and you will always have all the tools you need to get through life in the best possible way. 

"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."             Psalm 119:11

Monday, September 5, 2011

Things I See Outside My Open Window

http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/p/things-i-see-outside-my-open-window.html

Click on the link above, or go to the page on my blog home page entitled "Things I See Outside My Open Window" for some interesting creatures from my back yard.  This is a work in progress...we never know what we might see next! 

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"  Psalm 150:6


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Have YOU seen the Light?

John 8:12: "The spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world..."

As an addendum to yesterday's post about being a small candle or a flaming torch...I would like to share one of my old favorite hymns, followed by a new song by Brandon Heath about the "Light", and finally a special song from our childhood...so be sure to read all the way to the end:   Thank you for singing along with me!
"The Light of the World"
Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876

"The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noon-day His glory shone in,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

(Chorus)
Come to the Light, 'tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus.

No darkness have we who in Jesus abide,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
We walk in the light when we follow our guide,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

(Chorus)

Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Go, wash at His bidding, and light will arise,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

(Chorus)

No need of the sunlight in heaven, we're told,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
The Lamb is the Light in the city of gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Chorus:
Come to the Light, 'tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus."

Have you seen the Light?

"You Put the Light in Me" by Brandon Heath   (Click on the link to the left)  Enjoy this latest video/song by Brandon Heath...a great song- story that better describes what I've been talking about the last couple of days in my blogs...

To complete this musical medley of songs about "The Light"...here is one of my favorites from my childhood.  Hold up your candle and sing along with me!

"This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

"Hide it under a bushel? NO!
I'm gonna let it shine!
Hide it under a bushel? NO!
I'm gonna let it shine!
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Won't let Satan put it out,
I'm gonna let it shine,
Won't let Satan put it out,
I'm gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine 'til Jesus comes,
I'm gonna let it shine,
Let it shine 'til Jesus comes,
I'm gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!!!!


Let your light shine!!!!

Servicemembers at Victory Base Complex, Iraq, attend the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Al Faw Palace, Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 24, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric J. Glassey
Date24 December 2008(2008-12-24), 19:54


Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Brief Candle, or a Flaming Torch?

"Life is no brief candle to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."  George Bernard Shaw

"You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." 
Matthew 5:14-16

This past week I was chatting with the new young youth pastor at the church where I am currently employed.  He was expressing to me his chagrin and shock at the lack of spiritual growth and knowledge he has discovered amongst some of the young people of the youth group to which he has been called to minister.  He was becoming a bit overwhelmed with the task set before him of reaching these somewhat hardened teens with the gospel message of Jesus Christ for salvation.  It was rather unnerving to him that a couple of the kids had actually walked out of his class after being told that Jesus was the only way to heaven!  And these were supposedly "good kids" from families who were long-standing members of the church.  They had actually become angry at him for suggesting that they might not be "good enough" to go to heaven!

Having spent many years as a pastor's wife and also as a youth director for several of the churches we had served, I assured him that this was not that unusual...especially in today's humanistic and secularized culture.  Also, the church in which we are both serving is one of the old established mainline denominations, but not necessarily one of the more "Bible-preaching and teaching" churches of our day.  Even though our church is historically sound and biblically based, it doesn't necessarily preach strong salvation type messages...at least not the type that our young youth pastor and myself are used to hearing in the church backgrounds from which we have both come. 

I reminded him that he has been called there exactly for this reason...to preach the truth to these young people without compromise.  I actually paraphrased these verses about being "the light of the world"...and to let his light (which is the light of Jesus) shine before these youth so that they might see Christ living in him and be drawn to that light.  Whenever the darkness is illuminated by the Light of Jesus, it always flees.  But when Christ begins to shine brighter in the dark recesses of the hearts and minds of those who have been previously held captive by the darkness...that light will grow brighter and stronger day by day until one day they are fully enlightened by the truth of God's great mercy, grace, and love...and they will see themselves as they truly are, and they will want that great light to shine on them and in them and through them as they yield to repentance and receive salvation for their souls.

My young friend thanked me for this reminder of his calling...and for the reassurance that he has been sent there for this purpose.  Already the youth group has more than tripled in size in the short couple of months since he came there.  It is not because this youth pastor is any great theologian or dynamic speaker.  It is because he is the "light of the world", sent to let his light so shine before these kids, so that they may see not only his good works, but the working of God's Holy Spirit through him, and they will begin to glorify our Father in Heaven as a result. 

Am I "A brief candle" of light...
I quoted the statement by Geoge Bernard Shaw above because that is a kind of a prayer for me today...and for my young pastor friend.  We have been sent to this earth not just to be a "brief candle"of light that is here today and quickly snuffed out by the howling winds of resistance and fear, but to be a "splendid torch", "burning brightly on a lampstand, giving light to all who are in the house", and then hopefully being an incendiary device to enlighten future generations.


or a "A splendid torch" burning brightly for future generations?
Which will you be?