Let me introduce you to a couple of friends, Brother Don and Edie Moore. I was reminded of this dear couple while recently visiting the resting place of my sweet partner, Dave. Brother Don wrote a little book a few years back entitled, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Cemetery.” Delightful read, with many anecdotes of antics, some his, some from others. My Dave had several anecdotes and antics on his own, but we will explore those another time.
Brother Don and his loving wife of his youth have been tremendous and wonderful servants of our Lord and Savior, truly inspirational. Introduced to the Moores a dozen or so years ago, Dave and I greatly treasured their friendship. Brother Don never failed with a greeting to all. Upon greeting Dave, he usually would say, “…and how are you doing today, my friend?” Truly considering him a friend.
Brother Don Moore left this world last summer, going on ahead of the rest of us, to be in the presence of our Lord and Savior. The Savior he served so faithfully for more than sixty years. May the Lord’s peace and comfort be with Sister Edie and the remaining Moore family.
Never did Brother Don and Edie fail to be welcoming and refreshing to all within their presence, especially with those delightful and wholesome antics and anecdotes. And, with those antics and anecdotes, this precious couple, faithful instruments of God, helped you to tune into and listen for that still small voice.
That still small voice that beckons and draws each of us near – a gentle whisper.
...“Be still, and know that I am God;
Predominantly, the resting place of those gone on is expectantly quiet. A place where you can serenely enjoy a few life’s simpler pleasures: birds singing among tree limbs, rabbits hopping along the markers and stones, squirrels quickly scurrying up one tree then another and occasionally deer cautiously watching from a stand of trees bordering the perimeter.
Dusk approaching, a gentle breeze made its presence known as the waxing moon appears to be watchful of the last rays of the day’s sunlight fading on this mild winter’s eve. Welcoming the sauntering breeze as it whispers through their branches and limbs, the trees are brought to life, appearing to be gracefully dancing as they gracefully sway to and fro. A gleeful whisper, both mysterious and mesmerizing,
Do you hear it? – the whisper of the Holy Spirit of God calling. Shh! Be Still. Listen.
Whispers, used to share secrets.
Whispers, softly spoken words; hushed, almost silent, like a mother lures her tired children to restful slumber with endearing whispers.
Image via Vi Gene
During a time of laryngitis, whispers are thrust upon some unwanted. A most dreaded occurrence for the orator, performer and operatic vocalist.
Chapters 17, 18 and 19 of the Old Testament book of First Kings share with us an amazing and bazaar chain of events involving the prophet Elijah the Tishbite. His name is Hebrew, Elijah or Elias, actually means “My God Is Yahweh”.
Briefly summarized, God calls Elijah to tell the Israelites they are not worshiping as they should. The Israelites should have known God meant business with the very meaning of his prophet’s name meaning “My God Is Yahweh.” Look out! Several amazing events took place through Elijah as he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Yet, there was a time that Elijah feared for his life as others sought to kill him. After calling down fire on Mt. Carmel through God’s divine power, Elijah ran for his life. He hid in a cave at Mt. Horeb. From out of the cave, God called him. But this time it was different. This time there was a whisper…not just any whisper. The whisper from God.
“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”
Rustling of leaves during Spring – soothing billows, from open windows, send whispers of freshness to our senses. Whispers of life.
Let us be ever mindful of the whispers in our lives, as they are easily missed, unheard and disregarded. Whether that of a small child, of who may be ill, of one from a distance or from The One who matters most: Our Heavenly Father.
ta ta for now
Perspective, a noun is defined as: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Synonyms include: position, stance, frame of mind, approach, interpretation.
Being an admirer of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis when I came across “A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and A Great War” by Joseph Loconte, I was intrigued. I discovered many historic events of the early 1900s of which I am only vaguely familiar. This work enlightened me to dig a little.
As Mr. Loconte’s subtitle reveals, this book is about “How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918.” In case you are unfamiliar with these years, it was during the First World War, also commonly referred to as “The Great War” and “the war to end all wars” or World War I.
Image via Vi Gene
Looking back to my younger years, one of many of my fondest memories of home were Sunday afternoon conversations and discussions between my father and grandfathers, which were interesting to say the least.
My grandfathers, who both served in World War II, referred to The Great War in some of those discussions. Being somewhat interested in and intrigued by history, I listened in earnest and wondered about their analysis and viewpoints, and what amazing and horrible things they were subjected to during their tours of duty.
Drawn to history, recently I viewed the movie “1917”. By the way, if you have not had the opportunity to watch this movie, I recommend you do so, especially if you have history interests. Based during the time period and events of the First World War, this picture follows the assignment of two messengers referred to as runners, or “trench runners,” through harrowing circumstances and experiences.
Image via Vi Gene
There are many productions and publications on the wars of the world, whether it be those of the world wars involving nations against nations, family feuds or those of brother against brother. From the first fatal offense delivered by Cain against his brother Abel to today’s despicable human trafficking, ongoing terrorist attacks, the storming of nations’ capitals and kidnappings of hundreds of students from classrooms, warring and wars against our brothers and sisters seem to be ever ongoing and recurring atrocities.
Not to make light of the seriousness of destruction and devastation of lives, land and life-long permanent effects of war-like events, M.A.S.H, Season 3, Episode 19, entitled “Aid Station” reflects the effects on perspective. The episode parallels the chaotic life-and-death situation at the aid station with the relatively calmer atmosphere at the field hospital. At the end of the episode we see a change in perspective. After their harrowing experience near the front line where the chief surgeon and head nurse “pinch-hit” until replacements are assigned to the Aid Station, the day-to-day complacency of the norm back at the field hospital seem welcoming yet inappropriate.
Regardless of our current circumstances, reflecting on events of the past, and the current ones taking place sometimes at our front doors, should be humbling, thought-provoking and outrageously yet profoundly eye-opening! Perspective. It changes hearts and thoughts, even beliefs. As citizens of this world, let us awaken to open-mindedness and living outside our own realm of self-centeredness.
Christ relates to us with an abundance of compassion, faith, grace, love and mercy. These attributes are mentioned in Scripture numerous times: compassion 82 times, faith 458 times, grace 124 times, mercy 126 times and love 686 times. In the New Testament of the Bible 1st Corinthians 13:13 states, “...faith, hope and love...the greatest of these is love.”
Oh that we all would exert these attributes along with understanding as our response to our brothers and sisters around this world; and prayerfully, let their responses be the same to us and that our perspectives would be like that of Christ.
ta ta for now
Crisp and exhilarating. Fall or early Winter. Mild enough to venture outside with the hint that colder days are just around the corner. Not quite visible, but the slight chill in the air tells you they are coming. That was the time of year for one of our seasonal walks with Peggy. Peggy was our next-door neighbor, friend and mother of some of my school mates, she loved children, walking and the outdoors.
Across the yard, along the grass-covered alley, down the gravel lane to the outskirts of town we would go. A half dozen or so neighborhood children and her own two in tow. We would walk and talk. Enjoying the sunshine, flight and song of birds and possibly catch a glimpse of a few wildlife critters along the way.
As this memory came to mind, I was reminded of another place and another time: in the Bible in Genesis 3:8 it mentions God “...walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”. Is that not awesome? God walked in the Garden of Eden. Not only that He walked with Adam and Eve. God was with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
Photo by Vi Gene
Then, we would come upon a neighboring farmer’s home, ready for a short respite, visit and cool refreshment.
We didn’t know it but Peggy had it all pre-arranged with the elderly farmers for us to come for a visit with them so they could visit with us children.
Photo by Vi Gene
Then we would be off, down their long lane out to the county road to continue on our adventure. We may visit another and then we would be on our way back to the village by a different route, of course.
Speaking of different routes, in Genesis 5:24 we are told that Enoch takes a very different route. “Enoch walked faithfully with God, then he was no more, God took him.” Hang on for the ride! With God as our travel guide there is no telling where He will take us if we would just get on board!
Image via Vi Gene
These seasonal outings with Peggy were always enjoyable adventures for all. Our treks were not necessarily long ones, possibly a mile or round trip, maybe up to three. There was always an expectancy and delight to be a part of these journeys as Peggy talked, shared and gave us her complete attention as we traversed and trod along on our expedition.
Peggy is now, and has been for many years, walking on ahead. One day the rest of us will take that walk as well, but our journey will be different as everyone walks at a different pace, in a different place, yet not alone when you walk with Jesus.
Leviticus 26:12 and 2 Corinthians 6:16 tells us that God has said, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”
God walked with us in the beginning.
God walked with us before he was crucified.
God walked with us after he was crucified.
God is still walking with us today.
Take a walk. Invite God to come along. Enjoy the journey.
ta ta for now
Some days put us in a daze.
Recently, while chatting with my daughter, I was reminded of just how some of our days can sometimes leave dazed. The busyness of her day-to-day routine. As a wife, mother of two very busy boys, part-time caretaker of her aging father and working full time, deep breaths and counting to ten are a must. There are chickens and the family dogs to tend. Then, there is the house work, which looms in the background like a childhood nightmare. Her days are all consuming and at times put her in a combination of auto pilot, head spins and a semi state of delirium.
Our little chat reminded me of a children’s book, Mrs. Bunny’s Day Off by Teddy Gautier, Illustrated by Katy Brautun, ©1988 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. In this storybook, there are several baby bunnies (rabbits) or kits as they are called. Needless to say all of Mrs. Bunny’s cute, rambunctious bunnies are a busy handful.
Sketch via Vi Gene
Many Mommas today feel the same, like we need semi-permanent, retractable, dog harnesses attached to each child so they do not wander too far and are within reach and protection. There is so much to do that mommas and daddies have little or no time for themselves to really rest and relax. In years past, the extensive at-home-family units were a huge help. Today the at-home family network rarely exist since families spread their wings and scatter to all areas of the country or even the globe.
We all need a day off, sometimes more, for our mental, physical and spiritual health. Relaxing, slowing down, taking a walk, figuratively or literally - either will work, are very important to our well-being. We need to rest.
Verb 1) to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength; 2) to be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position. Noun an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity; Music an interval of silence of [instruments or voice] for a specified duration.
Grab a cuppa tea or a mug of coffee. Stay with me for a bit…
Wondering, do we have it all wrong? Let’s take a look.
We find and learn in Genesis that God created our atmosphere, earth, creatures and all living things in six days. Then, God rested on the seventh. Rest has a deeper meaning in the original Hebrew. Actually, the word is shabbat which I believe translates to stop. Like to stop working or stop doing work; a state of rest.
Personally, I prefer the Music definition of a rest: an interval of silence [of instruments or of voice] for a specified duration.
Further, the shabbat for God’s people was from sundown of the sixth day to sundown of the seventh day, a full day of rest. Do we do that?
...we rested in the Lord as he fully intended?
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because of it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
...we keep God at the forefront of everything?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-20 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
...we seek “the promise of entering His rest” as we are told in Hebrews 3:7 - 4:13?
Since we are chasing bunnies...
...we worshipped and praised God while we worked?
Can we worship while we work? Yes. Yes, we can. Not to make fun or ridicule worship in any way; but, just do it. Like, “whistling while we work.” Be happy with where we are. Be happy with doing what we do. Be happy to be and do as if we are doing it for Jesus.
Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Every minute. Every hour. Every day. What if…?
Image via Vi Gene
Back to Mrs. Bunny:
Naturally, when Mrs. Bunny has a day of relaxation to herself, the little bunnies get into all sorts of mischief and trouble attempting to do things while she is gone. As the story moves through the day, things turn into a mess and the mess gets messier. The bunnies are overwhelmed with the problems and messes. They really do not want Momma Bunny to find home so topsy-turvy.
Then, it is time for Mrs. Bunny to be on her way home. Having a day to relax does not sound like it is going to be worth it. Familiar? Well, the bunnies work out a plan. A few of the younger bunnies are sent to keep Mrs. Bunny outside. The older bunnies hop into action, work together and manage to get everything in order and tidy.
Grab that cuppa tea or a cuppa coffee and take time to be with God and rest!
ta ta for now