Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Reflections



January, named for the god, Janus. Pictures of this god show a face of a person looking to the left and to the right. I remember hearing that the illustration told was of one who looked forward and back in time.

This January has been almost uneventful for me. The weather has played a part in my inactivity. I stayed in from church two weekends in a row due to the snow and then the snow and ice. I have been able to do some writing on next month’s topic. I also found myself editing a script and turning sections of it into Lenten blog posts.

I also post certain blog entries as columns to the LiveAsif.org website.

I always start out the new year with great, almost grandiose, plans. This year was a bit different.Back in the fall,  I chose my word for the year, faith. I plotted out my blog topics for each month, some of them never change. I also reinstituted a practice I used to have. I chose a devotional book to use for the year. This year’s selection is “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. An added discipline I am pursuing is I plan to journal each day about that day’s message. So far, I am current with the readings and the entries.

I received an e-mail notification that I had won a writing contest on a writing group’s website. My prize is a tee-shirt with the group’s logo on it. My story was a piece of flash fiction. I had done much flash-fiction writing in several years.  Here is that story. The picture at the top of this entry is the one that we were to write about. I hope you enjoy it.

The Decisions to Be Made

He found himself walking along the beach. He mulled over the difficult news. Before he realized it, he discovered he was on the point, that spot where his life could have ended. He sat on the bench, letting his mind reflect on earlier times. His thoughts took him to a time when he was a young sea-faring man He envisioned the schooner, his ship, Point Reyes, resting on its side.

The Point Reyes had a short history. She had been christened a year earlier. A storm came up. The windblown water flooded the deck. The captain could not see the jut of land. It ran aground at this very spot. The vessel lurched with such force that the crew members were thrown overboard. He, the lone survivor, settled in the area in order to care for the site. He married and raised his family, always telling them of the crew members who were not as fortunate as he.

“God has been good to me.” He bowed his head and thanked God for all the wonderful things he received over the years. “He saved me from my sins. He guided me as we raised our family. He gave me a job that I enjoyed and was able to retire from. He also gave me precious friends.”

His children, four in number, all relocated to inland cities and towns. Susan, his oldest, lived in Atlanta, was a physician’s assistant. Jeremy lived in Nashville, pursued a career in the music industry. Heather, their globe-trotter, lived in London, England and taught at a university there. Michael, a clergyman, lived in Phoenix. Their mother, Shirley, went home to the LORD three years ago.

The doctor had run test after test. The diagnosis was not good. His prognosis was not easy to hear. The doctor shook his head and said,” I’m sorry.”

“Father God, please help me as I inform my children of this latest news. You know what happens next. I place all my anxieties in Your hands. You were there when Shirley went through her illness. I felt Your presence then. I would like my children to feel it during this time. I have decisions to make. I ask your guidance as I make them. Amen”


He rose from the bench and headed toward home to contact his children. The bits of grass looked a deeper green. The sun warmed his face and he could finally smile. The LORD would see him through as he made these decisions. He believed that with all his heart.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Our Sure and Steady Hope


We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:19

Again, I had to consult Matthew Henry’s Commentary for guidance:

“What use the people of God should make of their hope and comfort, v. 19. We are in this world as a ship at sea, in danger of being cast away. Heaven is the harbor to which we sail. We have need of an anchor to keep us sure and steadfast. It is sure in its own nature; not a flattering hope made out of a spider’s web, but a true work of God. It is steadfast as to its object, it is an anchor that has taken a good hold. It does not seek to fasten in the sands, but enters within the veil and fixes upon Christ; he is the anchor-hold of the believer’s hope.” (1.)   

As we mature in Christ, Jesus becomes the anchor of our souls. He is stronger than any other thing we could trust. He will not let us down ever. The anchor of which I speak is steadfast through whatever comes our way. The hope we have in Christ becomes solidified with Jesus guiding us through the turmoil of everything we will face in our lives upon this earth. 

Footnote:

Matthew Henry’s Commentary in one volume, Zondervan Publish House (Regency)© 1961, page 1917.

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