Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.
I believe this will be the first 4th of July I will spend tucked away from any gathering, though the wren still chatters out my window and the slick-back cricket serenades somewhere near. My isolation is a cautious act, after six days of a virus. My first thought is not to pass anything along. Yet, the next thought is how I will miss the family celebration.
The 4th is a day of family picnics and children giggling. It a time to reflect on God’s graciousnesses on this country. And of, the once great history of freedom sought after by godly men facing their own untimely fate.
Stephen was a man of great freedom. His freedom was in Christ. He stood in his faith at the fringe of his death. In the midst of an angry mob, he found solitude in the history of his faith. He brought forward a boldness in truth that Jesus was the long awaited Savior and that many would reject Him.
The book of Acts tell the story well. Stephen seemed to face his painful demise as a feather in a forceful storm. He let the strength of his faith carry him through the timely trial. He looked to the real goal. I may be spending a traditional American holiday alone, but those who walk with Jesus are never really alone.
Blessed Independence Day to all and enjoy your family time!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Life doesn’t just happen.
When an artist plans a project much thought and action goes into the process. Inspiration is needed and tools are gathered. Finally, a masterpiece is birthed.
The artist is complete in sharing their expression.
Decades have slowly faded by, as the tools of prayer have been exercised on an issue to save precious life. Planning and prayer have fallen from the lips of the saints. Tears have welled up in the eyes of those who long for justice for the innocents. Though often times this sensitive issue has seemed to come to a stand-still. It is now, that God has exercised His power over the value of life.
What joy has filled the hearts of those whose prayers have been answered to protect life itself. May all learn to treasure this gift God has given.
He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.
Tiny streams trickle down the driveway. Flash…lightening strikes summer sky. Trees wave in strong building breeze; as critters dash and shimmy for shelter. Tender shoots bend at the splash of rain; stooping, squatting, sagging in the wind. Terror smashes at trembling earth while forceful, fierce rain falls from the sky. Rivers freely flow down rise and ridge marking summer’s signature with rain.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
An early summer sky stretching at sunset. The lengthiness of daylight has reached its full capacity. Spring peepers make-way for throaty bullfrogs as they serenade in baritone voices. Slick-back crickets, in their ebony tuxedos, fiddle away along grassy tuffs. Even the summer moon seems more robust as it hangs in sweltering sky.
Children drip from pool water and popsicle juice; smiling for there are no studies today. Just sun and fun drinking in memories which will linger a lifetime. Barefoot toes wiggle in the grass as giggles pour into the summer air. The easy-going summer days are well suited to a child.
Though summer vacations are fun, there’s something simple and impressive about empty days at home. A book and blanket in the backyard, building stick forts in walkways or chalking the driveway with a latest creations are all simple things to fill a summer day. Time to loaf and let the imagination stretch, like the summer sunsets, is so important. Everyone needs to learn how to occupy down time or to be comfortable in one’s aloneness.
I still remember sitting in a field, as a city girl of eight, studying the prairie flowers before me. Butterflies fluttered about sipping nectar. Ants marched by tiny pebbles with their new found treasure. Motor noises and people’s voices had vanished, though they were near, for I had entered a world of imagination where only the busy prairie was before me. Solitude can be embraced in our non-stop world.
God gives us all times to reflect. Often those times are misused with clutter of the world. To enter a time of solitude in order to let the mind rest from daily duties is a choice.
I’ve spend less time in open prairie fields as an adult now. One of my favorite places to find solitude is in the endless adventures the Bible reveals. It’s alright to sit in the garden while busy hummingbirds fly by, holding a popsicle on a sweltering summer afternoon, paging through the Word of God. One only needs to make the time.
I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:18
In spring the birds flutter about in a frenzy building nests, incubating eggs and serving food to their little ones. When they are able to fledge, Mom and Dad are nearby watching every failure or success.
Long summer days sometimes bring a second set of family members. During the hot weeks the nesting continues. Day-by-day the parents are caring for the little ones in some fashion. That’s the life of a bird.
Then autumn veils the hatching season. Early flight training is long gone. Now’s the time to put everything into the effort of a long migration south for the winter months. The training wheels are off. No more beak-to-beak feeding. It’s lift and go south, or be left behind.
Each of us have similar moments in our lives. Those uncertain times of not know where the next path may lead. It can be a time to have a crash course in who our real provider is, God. How much better to have known Him, for the length of days, prior to the trials we will one day face.