|Photo courtesy of artist Kathy Barlow and|
photographer James Magnus
Friday, July 3, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
Note: Another FICTION story using these words provided by one of my grandsons:
ing his wavy hair. Being so chillaxed, he startled when someone sat down beside him.
When he and the young woman occasionally caught each other stealing a glimpse of the other, both blushed before she looked away. But one time, she held her gaze, her blue eyes looking even bluer because of the indigo jogging suit she wore.
Smiling, she said, “Do you come here often?”
“Sure,” he said. “I work near here.”
“At Union Theological School.”
“ What do you do there?”
“I’m a seminary professor.”
“You can’t be," she spluttered. "You’re too young!”
He grinned. “Well, I’ve known since I was twelve that God wanted me to know His Word and teach it to others, so I just jumped right into that. After I graduated college, I enrolled at Union and did so well there that the administration asked me to serve on the faculty.”
She lowered her eyes. “I wish my path had been made that clear. I’m still struggling.”
“Have you asked God to reveal His will for your life?”
“Many times. But I’ve given up hope that He will.”
“No. No. What God said a long time ago is still true—and true for you, too.”
Sensing her eagerness to know more, Evan seized the opportunity to quote Jeremiah 29:11 to her. “For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Then Evan added, “You can be sure of that.”
“Thank you for encouraging me. Maybe even this chance meeting is part of God's good plan?”
Evan nodded. “Nothing happens by accident. God uses all our experiences for His glory and our good.”
“I have to go now,” she said, “but could we meet again to talk more about this?”
“I’m available after 3 most days—and my time is God’s time.”
“Well, how about we meet right here tomorrow at five?”
“Certainly. If you’d like, we can walk around the pond as we talk.”
Evan watched her until she disappeared from sight, confident that she, like the ducks, would reappear--which would definitely delight him.
Thursday, June 11, 2020
- As per my request, my 19-year-old granddaughter provided a word/phrase for each of the seven categories I sent to her. I challenged myself to use all seven in a FICTION story.
- The photo is one I took years ago on a street near my house.
- The word count is much higher than in my usual posts, but I hope that won’t be a problem.
- I’d love to know what you think of the story. Please post a comment or send an email.
Monday, June 8, 2020
For example, when I edited this "portrait" of one of the dozens of pink evening primroses growing in a drainage ditch near my mailbox, I decided to add a touch of elegance to it. I think the black background really showcases the loveliness of the common flower. Do you agree?
While reading a bit about it, I learned that it blooms from March through July, usually during the predawn hours, but protects itself by closing its petals during the heat of the day. Several insects visit it, especially the moths that are active at night.
These wildflowers spring up and flourish for a season, just as we do. Yet, God endowed them with great beauty, equipped them with systems that shelter them from the oppressive heat, and allows these delicate blooms to delight and serve other living things He created. I think that's amazing! Don't you?
Sunday, May 31, 2020
As I reflected on such things, I recalled these words contained in an old song: “Troublesome times are here, causing men’s hearts to fear.” R. E. Winsett was right when he wrote them in the 1940s. They remain true today.
Troublesome times ARE here—and have been for centuries. Oh, how sin has marred everything. If my heart is grieved, and it surely is, then God’s heart is grieved even more as He sees what is happening to the people and to the world He created.
Troublesome times can and should lead us to turn to our God, to confess our sins and our shortcomings, to ask Him to forgive us and to restore what sin has stolen from us. Once we’re in right relationship with our God, then let’s ask Him to show us what we—each of us—can do to help ourselves and others recover from the troublesome times.
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Peach colored daylilies and buds galore caught my eye as I strolled along the sidewalk. Purple and white irises looked so lovely against a backdrop of hydrangea leaves.
As I happily photographed such beauty, I reminded myself (again!) that the Creator God who designed and sustains everything is the One who is in charge of me, too. Why, then, do I worry?
Monday, May 11, 2020
That’s why the 7th verse in the 10th chapter of Proverbs attracted my attention. I’ve written about it before (see my blog post dated March 5, 2015), but I’m sharing the verse again since I so agree with the truth it expresses. The memories of these dear ones continue to bless me even now as their influence lingers on.
Perhaps you, too, have sweet memories of people who were precious to you. If so, then I know you’ll agree, as I do, with these words written centuries ago:
Sunday, May 3, 2020
I'd discovered her while searching YouTube for what has quickly become one of my favorite songs: O to Be Like Thee. I'd listened to several renditions, including this one, before I found hers..I liked how her sweet and sincere voice expressed so beautifully the "prayer" written by Thomas O. Chisholm (1897).
After finding only three more of her videos on YouTube, I searched other Internet sites but found no recent posts. I wondered, Why did she stop producing and posting? Had something tragic happened? Did she simply give up? If so, why? Because she assumed few people truly enjoyed and/or benefitted from her work?
I've felt that way about my work, as you may have about yours. If so, we know how much we need people to say to us what the apostle Paul said to Timothy, a young Christian who was struggling with the ministry assigned to him. "...use the gift God gave you...let it grow, as a small flame grows into a fire...fulfill your ministry...keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant..." (See various translations of 2 Timothy 1:6 and 4:5).
Since we need such encouragement, let's faithfully encourage others. Our words will rekindle their resolve and, possibly, prevent them from giving up!
Sunday, April 12, 2020
The fearful, troubled disciples could have experienced comfort and peace if only they had truly believed Jesus when He repeatedly told them that He would die and that He would also rise again in three days. But as they grappled with their grief, they either forgot what He’d said about His death and resurrection or else refused to believe either would happen. If they had truly believed Him, they could have spent those hours following His death anticipating the miracle of new life for Him—and for them.
Don’t we, like they, think of life as a perpetual “Friday?” Don’t we hyper-focus on the harsh realities and fail to see the good God is bringing out of them? But Romans 8:28 assures us that He can and will cause all things to work together for His glory and our good. Don’t we go through life hopeless and defeated and discouraged and ...?
We may think that way, but we don’t have to! Granted, evidence often indicates that it’s Friday, but let’s refuse to give up on God. Let’s remember Sunday IS coming! Let’s remember the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples prior to His death: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NKJV).
He lives in us and is with us at all time. Because He has overcome, we also overcome. Because He lives, we also live—abundantly—both now and throughout all eternity.