Thursday, September 20, 2012

How Much Do You Want To Pay?

As i sit here considering "cheap grace" I had to chuckle as I remembered (as i do often) one of the best commercials ever to be made for TV.  This was an STP commercial when my oldest was born, so it's about 45 years ago.  The customer is talking to the mechanic, and he asks if he really NEEDS to add the STP to his tank.  The mechanic shrugs and concedes that, no, he doesn't HAVE to, but the STP isn't that expensive to add. So, the guy has a choice, and he informs the customer, "Pay me now, or pay me later."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Speak Wisely

I am reading my Sunday notes, and thinking about a guy back in the 80s who would stand on the street corners at Northeast High School with a sign and yell at the kids that they were going to hell because they weren't saved, and they needed Jesus.  I know of at least two young men who laughed at him, and they wanted nothing to do with that kind of Jesus.  I shudder to think of how many, not only teens but adults, were, and perhaps still are, repulsed by that behavior and others' like it over the years.   Jesus took the time to know people and speak with love and patience to them. God's will can be thwarted if/when we speak unwisely.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

He Amazes Me!

Why should I be amazed by a God Who has done such mighty things?  He has created a universe, the heavens, the stars and the planets, earth, my world, me, and the amazing creations around me that I take for granted every day.  And yet, He still amazes me!  Why can't I get it through this brain that He can do anything; will do everything; has done everything?  Yet, He still amazes me.  Do I need more faith?  Of course, I do.  Do I need more of Him?  Always and forever, I do!  Today I can't get enough of Him.  Oh Father, my Love and Inspiration, my Life, help me to be totally engulfed with this overwhelming appetite to be endwelled with Your Spirit and love; to know You better and better always! Amen!

Worry and Wait

I walked into the hallway from my doctor's office as another woman turned the corner from the Imaging Center next door.  We naturally fell into step and she pushed the down button at the elevator.  We began that small talk that strangers use to break the uncomfortable silence.  Though, I don't think either of us was uncomfortable.  We had been set up for this moment, but we didn't know it. 

"Good morning." "It's a beautiful day." "Not too hot yet." And as the elevator descended the conversation got a little more personal just because we both could see that we were both open to it. 

She heaved a heavy sigh and softly said, "Well.  That part's over.  Now all I have to do is worry and wait."  And that statement made me want to pull her close and hold her as tight as I possibly could.  Instead, I said, "You just came out of the Imaging Center.  It must not have been routine." 

"I had an EKG done, and now we wait to see the outcome."

"Only for a couple of days, " I ventured a guess.  "I don't like waiting a long time either, so I'll pray that you'll know soon."

"Well it's all in God's hands, isn't it?" she was cautious, but I could see that my comment about praying had opened a door.

We left the building and my time was running out as we started toward our cars.  We would part company soon, so I needed to say what she needed to hear, and God came through on the spot.  No waiting for Him this time.

"Psalm 56:3," my mouth spurted.  "'When I am afraid I will put my trust in You.' Psalm 56:3.  Don't forget it."

She smiled at me and I could see the encouragement and delight in her eyes as she saw the hope that came with these words.

"Psalm 56:3."  She was writing it down in her memory notebook.  "I'll look it up as soon as I get home and write it down, thank you so much!"

"I take that verse with me whenever I go into surgery," I told her. "It never fails to calm me and focus on Him rather than me.  God will bless you."

With that, we both went our separate ways to supposedly never meet again in this life.  I hope to meet her again in the next.  We didn't touch hands, we didn't hug as I would have liked.  She turned away smiling with the encouragement that God had given her, and I turned away smiling with the super blessing that God had chosen me to receive by sharing His wonderful Word.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Telling On Myself

Fun in the '60s
I'm always preaching to members of my family about speaking clearly and distinctly because I have begun to lose some of that wonderful gift that God gives most of us, the blessed sense of hearing. I haven't reached the hearing-aid stage, but that sense has diminished somewhat, and I am very sensitive about not being able to hear as clearly as I have in the past. I have great empathy for those who cannot hear at all.

I wandered in my mind this morning to two separate occasions from long ago when I had misunderstood certain phrases or titles because I hadn't heard it spoken clearly or perhaps I just wasn't listening. I was a much younger girl then.

When Richard Nixon was president of the U.S. we often heard about his home estate in California.  One day at work my friends were talking about it. I heard it mentioned as I approached them.  "Sam Clemente," I echoed what I had heard them say.  "I have heard of him somewhere. Where do I know that name from?"  They all laughed and answered that they were speaking of the President's estate, San Clemente.  "Oh, yeah.  I knew I'd heard that before."  Truly, I needed to pay closer attention to the newscasts.

The first time I made such an error I was ten years younger, and at least I didn't have to face my embarrassment immediately.  It has given my own children much laughter whenever they recall my telling of the story.  I understand, because in my mind it is funny now.

It was circa 1966, the years of much partying and dancing and enjoying our youth.  We spent most of our Friday or Saturday nights going to a small town night club/dive to drink and dance to live music played by upstart local bands. Some of those bands went on to record some pretty good music, and a couple of them became mid-western legends and played together for many years. The bands played the popular music of the day while we danced the nights away.

One night, as was often done, I approached the band during  a pause between songs and asked them to play one of my favorite songs of the day.  I yelled as loud as I could to call out to them over the noise of the crowd even though I was no farther than four feet from them. "Will you please play State Trooper?"  They looked at one another then looked at me with questioning eyes. "What?" one of them called to me.  "STATE TROOPER!!!" I screamed it as loud as I could, and still they just stared at me with blank expressions.  I made my request one more time, but all they could answer was that they didn't know the song and had never heard of it.

I was pretty miffed by that time.  I had heard this band play many times, and had heard them play this song.   Why weren't they understanding me?

I have to admit that it was a few years before I finally realized why my request had fallen on deaf ears.  And I am so thankful to this day that the guys in that band had no clue as to what song I was requesting.  At least, I hope they never figured it out.  And I'm glad I didn't mention it to the group I was with, so they didn't realize my error.  They certainly would have gotten a good laugh.  You see the musical group that made this song popular was The Beatles, and the song that I loved to hear the band play was "Day Tripper."