Friday, December 16, 2011
“I am the bread of life. He whom comes to me
will never go hungry and he who
believes in me will never be thirsty.”
John 6:35 (NIV)
In our society, bread is considered the staff of life. In our family eateries, each meal is served with dinner rolls, biscuits, or quick breads. Even the Italian restaurants and pizza franchises offer bread sticks. Bread seems to be essential to our physical well being. In our scripture passage, Jesus identifies Himself as ‘the bread of life. ‘He further states, ‘He who comes to me will never go hungry . . . .’ Here Christ speaks of spiritual well-being.
In order to keep our spirit from being hungry, we have to ‘feed’ it with God’s word. We have times of basking in His presence and receiving His love.
When we feed upon His Word, we come away filled with His love and with thanksgiving of who He is and, then, for what He does.
As we bask in His presence, we experience Him in a way that we can’t easily describe. We feel peace invade our souls. We can almost hear Him speak to our hearts. Our hearts are warmed.
Because we receive His love, He commands us to share that love with those we meet. Recently hubby and I had a day that, in his words, “We brought cheer to three lonely people today, the lady on the restaurant, our friend Bob, and our neighbor, Earl.”
Dear Lord Jesus:
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You guiding us through each day. Thank You for giving us spiritual nourishment that sustains us when we are down-hearted. We give you the glory. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
One of my dearest friends, Martha, lost her stepmother recently. Arvella G. left this world of pain after living here for 100 years.
Her family knew her demise was coming. She experienced heart problems this fall. The only way I can explain how lovely this woman was and how much she meant to her family is to share some stories about her.
When she married Martha’s dad-a widower with three grown children, she became grandma to the grandchildren at that time and to those that came later. Even in telling her own grandchildren, Martha said, “Grandma has died.”
When David, Martha’s husband, suffered a massive heart attack, Arvella graciously let me come to her home to find out how he was progressing. We talked about my family and Martha’s daughter’s and their children. I believe I was there over an hour.
Last December, I went to the area Healthcare Campus where Arvella had chosen to move four and a half years earlier. My reason for being there was to purchase some of the calendars they had made for a community project. She was sitting in the lobby. She smiled the same sweet smile as she had done since I had met her back in the 1970s. We talked about the usual things-how were my son and husband doing, how was I doing? She somehow got the idea that I was ‘so busy’ with things.
I met Tom, one of her nephews, and Judy, his wife, and family when my son and I started going to another church in 1981. I gave Judy our address. She told me, “I know right where that is. Tom’s aunt lives in that area.” I didn’t know until one of Tom’s uncles died that Tom’s aunt was Arvella.
When our son graduated from high school, Martha’s younger daughter, Sheila, was in his class. I remember Martha and David, her dad and Arvella sat behind us at the service.
It was always a joy to see her and hear of her activities. She used to go to the grocery store on Thursdays. One time I saw her there. She smiled and greeted me. We talked briefly. Her disposition always made me feel good.
All those who had the opportunity to know her received a special reward. The family received a very definite blessing.
At her funeral, one of the pastors told of her activities while she resided at the assisted living facility. She belonged to the Red Hat Society. She learned sign language and took Spanish 101. She posed for a picture for a community calendar the healthcare campus published.
She will be missed, but she hasn’t really left us. She lives in our hearts. Everyone who knew her has a couple of stories to share about her.
Those who went to the cemetery were invited to take a flower from the arrangements with them. I selected a rose that was just beginning to open. It graced my coffee table for almost two weeks.
Monday, December 12, 2011
“For the lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
He will lead them to springs of living water.
Rev 7:17 (NIV)
“‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep
and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep.’”
The Pharisees listen as Jesus explains His role while one earth. He has a God-mandated position. He likens Himself to a shepherd.
A shepherd has the responsibility of the care, well being and protection of the sheep. The shepherd knows each of the sheep in his charge. The animals know him as well. They know his voice (John 10:4).
Jesus, just like a shepherd, chooses to guide us to through trauma into rest and recovery. He watches over us, provides our daily needs and keeps us from harm.
In our daily lives we have times when we know Jesus watches over us and the ones we love. He does it in many ways, small and large. We have traveled and returned safely from our journey. He has healed us from injury. He wraps his arms of love around us when we have fear.
Jesus knows each of His followers. We, as believers, recognize His presence and see His hand in events in our lives.
Thank You for your watch care over us. We believe You are always near to us and guide us even though, at times, we don’t realize it. For these signs of Your love, we give You glory and honor. In the name of Jesus, we pray, AMEN
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