Personal Ramblings

Leon’s Lawn

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Photo credit: Garden Solutions, Flickr

It was the drought of 1999

Leon wasn’t much of a gardener. Plastic flowers thrust into the soil were proof. But his lawn was his pride. He mowed that lawn once a week, every Thursday at 6 pm, and watered it every day. It was the best lawn  in the neighborhood.

Then came the mandatory water restrictions. No one was allowed to water their gardens. Neighbors wondered what Leon would do.

Miss Sally, the diplomatic, empathetic member on the Home Owner’s Association board was delegated to visit Leon to ensure he did not violate the restriction.

“What are you going to do, Leon?” Miss Sally asked with genuine concern.

“I’m going to pray,” Leon said

“That’s good, but you may want to consider mowing your lawn less frequently to keep it from burning from all the sun and not enough water,” Miss Sally gently suggested.

“Can’t do that,” Leon responded, “Been mowing my lawn every Thursday, Spring and Summer, since I moved here 40 years ago.”

Thursday came. 6 p.m. There were many eyes peering out the window. Leon’s garage door opened, and out he came pushing his mower. He stopped, looked heavenwards into the blistering sun, and raised his arms up high. After praying, Leon proceeded to mow.

Every week, it was the same. Every Thursday Leon prayed, then he mowed—but he never watered his lawn.

The neighbors watched and talked about it.

And throughout that drought of 1999 Leon’s lawn stayed green.
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Feature image by Simone Dalmeri on Unsplash

Personal Ramblings

Love that Sticks

In our car every morning, before we pull out of our driveway, Roy and I pray together. On some days the prayer is longer than usual. (I confess, there are some rushed mornings when one sacrilegiously drives with eyes on the road while the other prays, head bowed and eyes closed).

But this Monday morning, even though we were running late, we didn’t start the car; we stopped for an extra long prayer. It had been one of those weekends, and the week wasn’t looking any better.

Preoccupied with the long list my prayer had left at Heaven’s door, I went through my morning ritual at work–connected my laptop to the big monitor, watered my  office plants, tore open a granola bar, got a cup of tea–and began answering my emails.

And it was only then, as my finger scrolled down the monitor and my eyes followed the cursor to the bottom of the screen, did I see the sticky note someone had left for me.

Faith makes all things possible—loves makes all things easy.—Dwight L Moody #919lovethatsticks

I googled the hashtag #919lovethatsticks and learned it’s a WGTS campaign that fosters a kinder world (they have other ideas that are just as easy and rewarding–like the Drive Through Difference).

The sticky note was just what I needed. And now I’m going to leave notes too when impressed to do so. The note also has me reminding myself: I’ve got everything I need to take on anything—faith in God and the love of family and friends.

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Feature image by Anastasiia Krutota on Unsplash

devotion

a study on faith

Key Text: Ephesians 2:8

Goals:

1. Know: That faith is more than just belief, but an experience of trust and certainty.

2. Feel: Your faith grow stronger through the study of the Bible and a relationship with Jesus.

3. Do: Let faith be the guiding principle in your life.

Lesson Outline:

I. Finding Faith (Habbakuk 2:4)

A. Faith is more than just believing in a truth; it is to live by that truth. How does you faith guide your actions everyday?

B. Faith matures through study of the scripture and personal experience. What is the basis of your faith? Why do you believe the way you do?

II. Living Faith (Hebrews 11)

A. Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the faith chapter. From Abel to Gideon, those of great faith are noted here. What specific traits set these people apart? How can we aspire to be like them?

B. Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith. Why is it so hard to accept the gift of faith? What makes us waver at times?

III. Evidencing Faith (James 2:14-17)

James tells us that faith without deeds is dead. What are some ways you can let your faith be evident in your actions?

Summary:

Our faith experience should serve as our guide through life. By studying the Bible and developing a relationship with Christ we can let our faith manifest itself in all aspects of our lives.

Personal Ramblings

faith in a box?

In the first 10 minutes, it was quite obvious he had thoroughly googled me—Not in the creepy, stalker kind of way; but more like in a I-better-know-whom-I-might-be-working-with, smart sort of way. So when he said Tell me about yourself, it was just as obvious that he wasn’t talking about my work experience, my portfolio, my rambling blog or even my penchant for chocolate.

What was there that wasn’t already plastered online? So, I told the truth. And in telling the truth, I broke every rule I’ve read on good business practices–separate, keep apart, compartmentalize business and personal, emotions and knowledge, faith and work. I said First and foremost I am a woman of faith.

As soon as the words were out, I realized they could either make or break the deal. And the realization washed over me with pride–yes, with pride; not regret. In that moment, I realized that my life really is one big box of everything. There are no compartments to my soul or persona. I am the same me at home or at work. Sure, most of the time, I have the sense to know what to keep to myself and when to shut up. But when it comes down to what makes me tick, what steers my choices,what makes my relationships, what sets my priorities, what forms my work ethics and my integrity, it is my faith.

And faith is one thing that absolutely cannot be kept in a box.

Spiritual Musings

letting problems take a backseat

I was there to listen to Bruce sing again in the quartet for the first time in three years. To compensate for the loss of salivary glands, he took long sips of water between songs. And on one of his water breaks, he shared his testimony. He began, “Three years ago I got the blessing of cancer.” (Read the rest here.)

Spiritual Musings

eyes fixed on Jesus

Take a hard look at Jesus. He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything. Hebrews 3:1

Bible heroes have one thing in common–faith. So what’s so different from their faith and mine? I’d like to think that my faith is pretty solid.

The difference is probably the same thing that caused the author of Hebrews to forget to tell us who he is. Both in chapters 3 and 12, he says that the faithful LOOK to Jesus. The original Greek word is not just a word that means “open your eyes and see.” It means to have your eyes fixed on what you see, to give Jesus your undivided attention.

It means you must focus so hard on Jesus that you are not distracted by anything–not by the noise of stress, not by the murmurings of disappointment, not even by the guilt inside your heart. When you are that focused, you can’t help but see yourself a genetic heir of God, filled with His potential to do great things, to be exceptionally full of faith.–The writer of Hebrews was probably so focused in communion with Jesus that a byline became irrelevant.