Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The unmistakeable sign

I couldn't ignore it even if I had wanted to. The sign was so obviously for me. I knew my name would be there.

Have you ever asked God to send you a sign? And followed up with, "And please, God, make it an unmistakeable one?" The movie "Bruce Almighty" has a scene that speaks to any of us who have ever asked God for a clear signal of what we should do. I can relate to Bruce begging for a sign from God and then ignoring the very clear signs He sends. Here's a clip, just in case you haven't seen the movie.

I attended She Speaks this past weekend, a fantastic conference for Christian women who want to write or speak or develop a women's ministry to share God's messages of love, hope and healing to the world.

I had prayed and prayed and prayed some more, and my friends and family had surrounded me in prayer leading up to the conference, too. I hadn't especially prayed for any signs, though. But God still smacked me upside the head with one anyway. Unlike Bruce Almighty, I didn't miss it. I couldn't.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A house as lovely as a tree?

My neighborhood lost another stately oak tree today in the rush to tear down small, old houses and build big, new houses. 

Seeing the stump of the tree reminded me of a poem I love, one which you may think is trite and overused. But I'd like to share it with you anyway:

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair; 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

A confession: My own hands aren't completely clean in the matter of tear downs, as I live in a fairly new house that stands on a lot where a teeny old house once stood. My husband bought our house well after it was built. And so I'm more wistful than morally outraged about another tree down. The people making the decision to cut the tree will be my neighbors soon, and the Bible tells us we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

So, there you have it. An uncomfortable dichotomy in my life. And yet, I can say with confidence that:

I know that I shall never see 
A house as lovely as a tree.
Houses are built by fools like me,
But only God can build a tree.

Have an opinion about the loss of trees, perhaps in your own neighborhood or town? Or want to share your own favorite poem about trees? Let's hear it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The blob in my vase

I just had to share this cool moment with you. A short time ago, I walked by a vase that was holding two gladiolas (gladioli?) from my garden. These were flowers I had cut and brought into the house at least four days ago.

In case you don't know what gladiolas are, here are some sample pictures. I'm not in any way endorsing this nursery. I just like their pictures of glads.

They look like a sword filled with flowers one above another. One problem is that they keep tipping over because they're so heavy. When the stems snap completely in two, I bring them inside and put them in a vase.

But here's the issue I'm having. Ants love glads. They invade the flowers by the hundreds, or so it seems when I bring a glad inside. As I walked by the vase holding the glads, I noticed a dark blob floating on top of the water in the vase. So I stopped to check it out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Be still, my soul

Today's post title has been my marching order to myself lately, along with my prayer flung up to Heaven. For many reasons, my soul has not been still lately.

Just one of the reasons for my jitters: I'm working on a huge project that's in God's hands, but as the deadline approaches, I find that I'm struggling to leave it in His capable hands. So I'm reminding myself of the absolute necessity of letting Him lead me, instead of me trying to lead myself. And one of the best ways I know to do that is through music.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"I'm not dead yet"

The title of today's post is best read in a British accent, a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In that movie, there's a scene set in the Middle Ages in which men are hauling carts through a village calling, "Bring out your dead. Bring out your dead." The plague has hit, and the men are hauling away the dead. Now, in case you have been hiding under a rock for the last several decades or irreverent, comedic farce isn't your preferred movie genre, you need to understand that nothing about Monty Python is serious. So try to imagine the humor of the scene that ensues:

A man is trying to get his elderly relative onto the cart, despite the fact that the elderly man, though frail, is still very much alive. He keeps protesting, "I'm not dead yet." But the younger man doesn't want to miss the opportunity of the carts coming through the village and have to wait until the next one.

Well, that phrase, "I'm not dead yet" has been running through my head all morning, thanks to a visit from an agricultural extension agent to check out some dead and ailing trees at our place in the mountains.