This is the Confidence

 

Every time we kids needed something, we went to Mama. Whether it was something to eat, or clothes, or something special for school, we knew she would come up with it.

When we were in school, each year we got new school supplies. When we were in Home Economics in high school, Mama always came up with the money to buy our sewing supplies. Some of my friends didn’t take Home Economics because they didn’t have the money for it, but it didn’t bother our mom. Somehow she came up with the money and she let us pick out our sewing patterns, fabric, and all sewing supplies. She didn’t even try to talk us into buying cheaper fabric.

When school pictures were taken, each of us 4 kids ordered the full school package of 8x10s, 5x7s, and even little pictures to trade with our friends. Many of my friends now tell me they didn’t ever buy their school pictures and don’t have any of those now.

Before you think that was no big deal, you should know that Mama took in ironings when we were very young, and then when we all were in school she went to work at the school cafeteria.

After we were grown, we often called Mom to pray for us, because we knew that she knew how to get hold of God. We had great confidence in her prayers until the day she passed away.

We had confidence that whatever we needed, Mama would be sure we received it. We weren’t embarrassed to ask, because we knew she loved to give us not only what we needed, but things we wanted too.

This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. So if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15 Modern English Version.

Having confidence in my mother taught me to have confidence in God. Just as my mother loved to provide for her children, how much more will our Father God provide everything we need.

 

Silver Leaf Maple

Grandmother had a great shade tree in her backyard,  a giant silver-leaf maple tree. The backyard facing east was always so shady and cool, almost like being out in the country. Grandmother’s house was just a three-room cottage, so peaceful and quiet.

I don’t recall who discovered the silver-leaf maple tree had fallen over or even which day. There might have been some wind, we aren’t sure, but the weather had been sunny. Grandmother had moved to heaven several years before and no one was living in her house.

The tree was pulled completely out of the ground, with its roots showing, an empty hole left behind. The tree trunk lay on the ground, the trunk at the base about 3 feet in diameter.  The roots were all showing– little roots, fat roots, but no tap root, not a single long root going down deep into the earth.

Jesus told a story of the farmer who went planting seed. “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away. But they don’t have any roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.” Mark 4:16-17 Contemporary English Version.

We’ve all seen people in the church, friendly, carrying their Bible, slipping a $20 in the collection plate. They come to church a couple of times a month and always show up on Easter and Christmas, but when hard times come, they fall away from the church.

When one loses his job or problems come in their marriage or they have trouble with the children, instead of running to God and the church, they seek out the advice of their non-Christian friends.

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”” Psalm 92: 12-13.

It’s time to get planted in church and grow a deep root.

Enough Sleep

I have an app on my mobile phone named Sleep Tracker which I set when I lie down at night to sleep. It listens to my breathing and recognizes when I snore, or cough. Then when I wake in the morning I stop the tracker and it determines how much time I slept, whether it was a deep sleep or light sleep, and how much time I was awake during the night. Then the app determines an average sleep time by day, week, or month.
Sleep is vital to our well-being, but is one part of our health where we usually cut ourselves short. Most of us don’t get enough sleep. According to a study by the CDC, “More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.”  I am one of those 33% not getting enough sleep. There’s always something to do instead of going to bed, such as watch TV, mess around on Facebook, read email, or even go to bed and read in bed. Of course, since I am retired now, I can sleep as long as I want.
After Jesus fed the multitudes by multiplying the loaves of bread and fish, he sent the disciples on a boat to the other side of the lake, then went up on the mountain to pray. In the fourth watch of the night, between 3 and 6 a.m., Jesus went walking on the water to find the boat where his disciples were, and Peter walked very briefly on the water too.
 
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”  Psalms 121:1-4 New King James Version.
 
It is reassuring to know that our God doesn’t sleep even when we must.

The Backside of My Life


I only have one section of a cross-stitch project left to do that I started about 15 years ago, a 2-inch square window. The design is a country scene: a black iron pot-belly stove with a blue coffee pot, a wooden chair with a gray cat sleeping in it, braided rug, and basket of apples, with a pretty curtained window behind. The backside is a faded image of the pattern. The details can’t be seen, such as the face of the gray cat.

This present life is like the backside of the cross-stitch picture–only a faded image of what the real life is like. The life we are living today is “cross-stitching” our eternal home. Every day you live makes another stitch in the pattern of your life.

Bright yellow is stitched by the happy occasions of your life. The blues are from the tranquil days. The golds and silvers are not how much money you have, but from the treasures of family and good friends. The browns and blacks from the hard days of life—financial set-backs, marital problems, family misunderstandings, health problems.

Red stitches are true love, pink and blue for the precious children of your life. Oranges for the beautiful sunsets, white for the snowfalls, gray for your senior years.

This present life is not the real life. It is a temporary training session, a preparation place for the life to come. Paul reminded us that the things we see are not the eternal things, because they are temporary and will pass away some day.

“We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  II Corinthians 4:18

This life on earth is temporary, passing away, day by day.  Some day you will cross over to your permanent eternal home, where the brilliant colors of a life well lived will be revealed.

Washing Feet

WASHING FEET
When I was young, we always went to church on New Year’s Eve for a “Watch Night” service, to pray out the old year and pray in the New Year. We sang gospel songs, the preacher taught us from the Bible, and exhorted us about living a sinless life.
Then we females gathered on one side of the church and the men and boys on the other and held a “foot-washing service.” We poured warm water in a white enamel dishpan, and washed each other’s feet. One person started at the end and washed the feet of the lady next to her. Then that lady knelt and washed the next person’s feet.
If you’ve never taken part in a “foot-washing” service, there is something very humbling in washing the feet of another person. I can remember as a young girl, thinking how old and crippled-looking were the feet of the older ladies. As I washed the feet of one of the little granny ladies, I realized how much I loved her and all the little granny ladies in the church.
As I washed the lady’s feet, I thought of the Last Supper when Jesus took a towel, wrapped it around his waist, and washed the feet of his disciples.
“So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:12-14 New King James Version.
 
Then it was my turn to have my feet washed.  The person who was washing my feet was doing something for me that I felt I could and should be doing for myself. I felt unworthy to be having that done for me. I felt as though I should be washing everyone else’s feet.
The foot-washing service wasn’t really about cleaning our feet, but about humbling our hearts. It’s all in the attitude of the heart.