Payday

How do you get paid? By the job? By the month? In tips? Once a week?

My first job was working after school at the Hotel Vinita Coffee Shop, which I began in the late summer of 1965 just before rodeo week. From then till June, 2003, when I started drawing a monthly check, I received a paycheck every two weeks at each job I held.

God has a payday system in place in the universe. Spring is the season of planting, summer is the time of growth, fall is the time of harvest, and winter is the time of rest and reflection.

God doesn’t always pay on Friday. He promises us that we will be rewarded but some rewards are given here and some in heaven. Don’t give up just because you don’t see any results. Each seed has a germination time, growth time, a flowering time, seed-setting time, then the harvest. Some corn and tomatoes ripen by 4th of July, but some not until August.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

“Now” means at this very moment in time, not the past, not the future. What God is doing for us is in the “Now.” Time is always “Now” to the eternal God, but His ‘now’ and your ‘now’ may not be the same.

God is the source of the seed we plant and the food we eat. He gives us enough seed to plant and to make into bread to eat. God will multiply the seed you have sown, not the seed you have eaten.

And it all depends on your sowing. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  Galatians 6:7, 9. 

Keep sowing, because harvest time is coming any day now.

 

Grandmother’s Feather

Grandmother had a feather bed on top of her mattress. When I lay my body down at night, the feather bed enveloped me with sheer luxury, conforming to my every shape. Grandmother and I would lie there in peace, sweet peace, softly talking until I drifted off to sleep. I loved spending my time with Grandmother.

Granddad fixed peanut butter and syrup stirred together on a plate to put on his biscuits. I don’t remember much about what else we ate for breakfast, but there was always brown beans for dinner and supper, no matter what the main dish was.

Grandmother puttered around in her little kitchen, serving dinner (that is lunch to you) on her 1950s chrome dinette set. The windows all around were filled with potted plants growing up over the curtain rods and all across the windows. Outside those windows were roses and flowering bushes of every kind.

Behind the studio couch in the front room were her piano and guitar. If I was good, she let me play the guitar, sitting in the middle of the couch so I wouldn’t bang it on the wooden arms. And since I took piano lessons, she sometimes let me play the piano. Granddad stood looking over my shoulder, correcting my mistakes, since he had learned to read music by the shaped-notes method and sang bass in quartet fashion.

I loved spending the night with Grandmother and Granddad, always on a Friday night which was church night at their little country church next door. Grandmother was the preacher and played the piano or guitar and they sang together, including me in their songs, and having me sing my specials. They stood me before the church when I was 5, singing Mansion Over The Hilltop with Grandmother.

Most children lose the desire to spend the night with grandma by the time they become teens. I did. When I was a teenager, and got my first car and first job, Grandmother asked me often, “Why don’t  you come and see your poor old grandmother sometime?” and I always said, “I will, Grandmother, one of these days soon, I will.” But the only time I ever saw her was when she came down to Mom’s home to visit. Then I got married and moved away.

I have letters she wrote me when I lived out of town, and then when I moved back to Vinita, I saw her often, but never spent the night with her again. Never settled down into that feather bed beside her and held her hand as I drifted off to sleep again.

It is understandable as children grow up that they grow away from their parents and grandparents. However the memories that are made during those overnights at Grandma’s house will stay with them forever.

“I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NKJV.

Till the day she died, Grandmother’s little bed was piled high with a feather bed.

The Calendars of My Life

 

THE CALENDARS OF MY LIFE

Just the sight of a new blank calendar with pretty landscape scenes thrills me, but by the end of the year, my calendar isn’t so pretty anymore. Crossed out and erased events, schedule changes, unexpected interruptions, last-minute changes, even tragedies have turned my calendar into a diary of my life.

When I went to work as a telephone operator in 1971, I learned the value of
carrying a pocket calendar to keep track of my schedule. The only practical
way to keep track of days off, holidays, and vacations was a calendar.

You can look back at my calendar of 1974, to see when my son was born, and
1975 when he cut each of his teeth. The 1976 calendar shows when I had an
appointment with a lawyer and filed for divorce. The 1979 calendar shows
dates with my high-school sweetheart and the 1980 calendar shows our
wedding. The 1981 calendar shows the birth of our daughter.

I have lived my whole life by the calendar. Even though I retired in 2003, I am still busy volunteering.  I thought I was finished with a calendar, but here I am, keeping a calendar of appointments again.

I made some important changes to my schedule in the late 70s that I have never regretted. I started going to church regularly. In those same calendars, you will see church camps, revivals, choir practice. I made sure that my two children were involved in every church activity. We scheduled our lives around the church’s schedule.

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'” James 4:14-15.

If you would like to learn about my life, read my calendars. My whole life is reflected there.

Do-It-Yourself

The first time I tried to butcher my own meat I found out the importance of the right equipment. We used a hatchet to detach the joints and a hacksaw to cut through the bones. I discovered that the knife I owned commonly known as a butcher knife wouldn’t cut soft butter.

Mom had a meat grinder. At least it was shaped like a meat grinder, had holes like a meat grinder, a handle that you turn like a meat grinder, but this meat grinder did not grind meat. It turned meat into mush.

When the afternoon was over, I had the smell of wild meat in my nose, the remains all over me, and I had only saved myself $35. Although the meat was edible, it would have been so much nicer if it had been in recognizable cuts of meat.

My husband and I agreed that the next year the carcass would go to the butcher where it would be cut and neatly packaged for a reasonable price. Our part was to deliver the carcass to the butcher, then pay for it when it was finished.

I come from a long line of do-it-yourselfers. I grew up believing that with the right information and the right tools I could do anything. We are that generation, no, that nation of people who believe we can do anything.

And working our way to heaven is one of the things we think we can do.

Ask the man on the street, “How do you get to heaven?”” He will probably answer, “ “By being a good person.”” Or “Obey the Ten Commandments.”” Or “Do good deeds.” But there are some things you just can’t do for yourself and gaining entrance into heaven is the main one.

“Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, 16 .There it is in Jesus’ words, what you have to do to get everlasting life and see the kingdom of God–simply believe in God’s Son Jesus.

You cannot do it yourself. Nothing you do or don’t do will get you into heaven.

 

 

 

Building an Altar

The dearest place on earth to my heart for many years was the old wooden altar where I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was 7 years old. And I frequently knelt there in that same tear-stained spot at my end of the altar to meet my Lord in prayer.

Years later, at a different altar, I rededicated my life to Jesus, then put my 3-year-old son on the altar to dedicate him to the Lord. That same altar was where I was married the second time and where I dedicated my daughter to the Lord when she was two weeks old. I found my place there at the end of that altar too, where I shed many tears in prayer over the years.

Abraham built an altar at Bethel, which means House of God, in Genesis 12. Then he built an altar in Hebron, which means Friend of God.”

Abraham’s last altar was on Mount Moriah, where Abraham made the ultimate sacrifice, his only son Isaac, but God stopped the sacrifice and provided a ram caught in the thicket to take Isaac’s place. This was symbolic of God providing His own sacrifice, His only Son Jesus. Abraham named that altar Jehovah Jireh God my provider.”

He started at Bethel the House of God, moved to Hebron Friend of God, then went on to Jehovah Jireh God my Provider, the names he gave the altars suggesting he was getting closer to God as he traveled on  his journey.

Can you point back to the altar where you gave your heart to Jesus? In your journey through life, have you moved from worshiping at the House of God, to being a friend of God, to knowing that God is your Provider?

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”  Hebrews 10:19, 22 NKJV

God always hears our prayers, no matter the position of our bodies, as long as we kneel our hearts in prayer before Him.

 

The Real Christmas Tree

When we were kids, we always got our Christmas tree the last day of school before Christmas, given to us by the school teachers. Every year for many years, we put the tree up on Christmas Eve and left it up until New Year’s Day.

After I had my own home, I couldn’t get in the mood to decorate until Christmas Eve and I usually left my tree up until long after New Year’s Day. One year I even thought about turning my tree into a Valentine tree, a St Patrick’s tree, and an Easter tree, maybe even a 4th of July tree.

Of course I love a real cedar Christmas tree. I used to buy a real tree every year, usually from the Fire Station or grocery store. The last few years that I bought a real tree, I got a 3 or 4-foot tall Scotch pine to set on a corner table.

I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, but about 5 years ago, I was tested for allergies and discovered I am allergic to all cedar trees. I should have known. It seemed like I always had a cold, with a runny nose and sneezing around Christmas time each year. When I finally gave in and bought that first artificial Christmas tree, I mysteriously didn’t get sick.

Within the Christmas story is the story of the cross. God becoming flesh through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin, Mary—this is the beginning, but the end of the story is Christ on the tree, the cross of Calvary, giving Himself completely for the whole world.

“Because Christ also suffered for us… who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” I Peter 2:21-24.

From the words of the old hymn, The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard, (1873-1958.) “So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.”