Friday, September 23, 2016
"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do, but doesn't do it, to him it is sin." ... James 4:17
Did you see that verse? Man oh man. That must be one of the most haunting Bible verses, ever.
Especially when you apply it to being online.
I mean, Facebook tells me when it's a friend's birthday, but hey, sometimes I'm pretty busy there, so I consider sending good wishes later.
Then it comes to me-- "Riiiiight. Like the time you procrastinated _____'s birthday wishes and then forgot entirely till two days later?"
Gulp. If I know that wishing others a happy birthday (and adding a few extra encouraging words, also) is good, but I don't do it? For any wobbly ol' reason? To me it is sin.
Same goes when a Facebook/email/blogging friend asks for prayer and I can't pause long enough to assure her I'm praying (if God so nudges me). Or at the very least, if I don't just simply pray, then to me it is--ouch--sin.
If I read that someone has lost a spouse/friend/pet and I can blithely move on to the next post without commenting, "I'm sorry you lost someone you loved"? Then to me it is sin.
If a friend is promoted and I can't offer congratulations? Or if I read an article/post so confirming, life-changing for me, yet can't say, "Thank-you!" (especially after God's nudging)? Then to me (moi!) it is, yes, sin.
And ok, some of you might be thinking, "Debra can be kinda hard on herself." And yes, sometimes I can (blogging has shown me that occasionally).
And yet, the examples, above, gosh, they're such basic common courtesy. Really, if I'm not even doing those, then how radical, how bright of a light am I in Today's super-dark world?
May busyness, indifference and blindness be flung away far from me. May I stop settling for boring mediocrity.
Even if I see other Christians skipping these good things. Even if I'm called old-fashioned. Even if, at first, I don't seem to reap much good. Even so, may my choices be the ones God's taught me to make.
Time after time after time.
"Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep."... Romans 12:15
Maya Angelou said, "When we know better, we do better," and that's been a comfort to me about mistakes from my past. ("When I didn't know better, I often messed up." --Debra)
But oh the responsibility when we do know better!
Yes, even when we're online.
Interested in watching a little bit of Buffalo history and present-day good stuff around town? Go here:
Buffalo: America's Best Designed City
It surprises Tom and me how many good changes have taken place in Buffalo since we moved here in 1993.
(Especially this year after our dreadfully long, hot summer. Oh dear.)
Happy Autumn to you!
Free Kindle Books:
The Miracle Man
Song of the Meadowlark
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galations 6:9
So the new ottoman is here and I nearly felt like Laura Ingalls helping Ma fit everything puzzle-like inside their tiny cabin. Such is life with a small living room which can, basically, only be arranged one way.
But I did it. And like it.
Oh, and yesterday after my daily perusing of Daisy Cottage's home tours, I brought in this iron curly-cue thing from the Prayer Garden and hung it up. (The previous day, I brought over the clock my parents' made which does not rest on top of Daniel's fling-on-the-floor green mat.)
Doesn't it feel wonderful to be creative? Even if you made just one pleasant change a day in your home, not counting weekends, that would mean 261 improvements in a year(!). And all because of one simple change per day.
No matter what shape any of us is in, I think we can all do that much. If we're determined.
Did you read that verse, above? I don't believe it means to never rest when we're tired. But rather, to use wisdom, resting as needed, so that we won't become bone-weary in the first place.
Giving ourselves permission to rest is part of the moving forward process. Go running yourself into the ground (or your couch or a hospital bed) and moving ahead suddenly becomes harder.
Work. Rest. Stop the excuses and forgive yourself if your rest somehow lasted years. Then move forward toward the light.
What matters is that we climb out of any ditches and return to God's unique path for us so we end up where He's planned to meet us, pick us up, and carry us Home at the very end.
The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there's ongoing creative revelations. Yes, it's really helpful to be marching toward a specific destination, but, along the way, you must allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow.
---- Carlton Cuse
Years ago I told you I'd nearly worn out my taped-from-tv video of Bon Voyage Charlie Brown. I watched it with a young Naomi. I watched it after she grew up. I watched it when she moved away and beyond. It became my comfort film.
Anyway, imagine my delight when I discovered this week that finally this movie has come to DVD!
Oh happy, happy day. My copy will arrive soon.
(I can guarantee one thing: if you are a Francophile and you love Charlie Brown, you will adore this film. Get. It. You will not be sorry.) :)
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Oh! And I'd love it if you could pray for Naomi and her boyfriend who will travel to Nashville tomorrow (Thursday) and Atlanta on Friday. Naomi will be bringing back the last of her belongings from there on Sunday. Thanks so much!
Monday, September 19, 2016
"When Jesus went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd." ... Mark 6:34
Well, that was an exciting weekend!
Not counting a quick trip to Dollar Tree (me), Tom and I stayed home, watched the rain and two movies we'd seen before and oh! A fascinating (seriously) Netflix documentary about an old secret town in Russia (do I understand why I love that stuff? Nope.).
Aaaand, I sat at this computer and watched bleary-eyed hours of Hoarders until my mind began doing weird things. It told me, "Hey! You've had some disappointments and tragedies like some of these folks have. Maybe you should go out and buy stuff like crazy."
Really, I considered it. Cue the Twilight Zone theme music here. Heh.
But then I told myself to knock it off. That God had poured so much effort and work into me since 1994 (especially) and it would be an affront to Him and hurt His feelings for me to knowingly walk backwards into bondage after He'd spent thousands of hours setting me free.
Still, I certainly do like that Hoarders show. :)
For one thing, those psychologists and cleaning experts are graced with enormous patience! (Had I been there? I'd have slapped quite a few hoarders by now. Oh dear.) People doing what God called them to, fascinates me.
But yes, of course, the mounds of garbage are repulsive (how important to not view hoarders as their hoard). Yet as each hoarder's tragic past gets revealed, I recall there are reasons why people become hoarders or terrorists or your mean neighbor next door.
I watch Hoarders and remind myself that folks don't leave the womb furious at Life. Rather, they leave so vulnerably, unprepared for tragedies designed to make us all want to quit earlier than God ever intended.
Sometimes I wish we could all appear on a tv show where our own what-happened-to-us Past is revealed. Maybe then our foibles, bad attitudes and weaknesses would be more clearly understood. Yet oh, to be so exposed and honest, to risk opening wounds we'd imagined closed and offending our still-alive offenders--how many of us could actually do that?
But since that tv-show-for-all won't happen soon, I recommend the best healer, re-creator, heart purifier, head fixer and Friend, ever: Jesus.
Yes, Jesus and all the hope, strength, love and wisdom He carries with Him everywhere He goes, even into the human heart.
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." ... 1 Corinthians 13:1
Oh! And I forgot to tell you something funny and kinda amazing. See, I always share a link to my blog posts at Twitter and after posting that one about how perhaps you do, after all, have estate sales in your area, Dorothy Breininger from Hoarders followed me(!)
I had to smile when I zipped over to her own Twitter links and saw many for folks needing help with accumulating too much stuff.
Perhaps Dorothy was worried that my estate-sale-finding-help will zoom us all down a bad, bad road. :)
Anyway, how thrilling to realize Dorothy had followed me. Dorothy's one of my very favorite sunny-disposition, patient folks on Hoarders. She inspires me no end, especially when she diffuses situations just by being herself. It's like magic (the good kind).
Being hurt can make people do unimaginable things.
Free Kindle Books:
A Brother's Bond