photo from medleague.com
We enjoy music and every year attend a large gospel music celebration. The lyrics of the songs are wonderful and encouraging and lift the spirit. The music is a blend of harmonies. It is this blending of voices that creates the depth of sound. One voice may sound good, but when a few harmonize it sounds so much better. If everyone sang the same note, the sound would not be nearly as rich.
This is the way of life as well. I don’t have to be exactly the same as the person next to me. When I work together with others, our ideas and strengths are blended and a beautiful harmony is created. I am unique just as you are. God gave us each our own notes to sing. By blending my notes with the ones next to me, what is produced is something far more beautiful than anything I could create on my own.
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3 NIV
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16 NIV
Photo by Sarah Grace Photography
Thank you to those who voted on the title for my new book. The publisher is very happy with the title, Dragonflies, Snowdrifts and Spice Cake: Finding Inspiration in Everyday Things. Kimberly Sperling was the winner of the draw and will receive her autographed copy when the book is released in the spring.
photo from brigley.com
We were scheduled to have repairs done on the roof of our house. This was the result of a damaging hail storm in our area so the roofing crews were all extremely busy. We had no idea when they would arrive to do the work.
We came home one day to find stacks of shingles. A few days later there were men on the roof working. Another day a crew showed up to start replacing gutters and downspouts. We had no idea from day to day if anyone would be there or what area they would be working on.
One morning I heard a loud noise as I stepped out of the shower and realized the roofing crew had returned. I knew that the skylight in our en suite was an area still needing repairs so quickly moved into another room.
If I had known when workmen were going to arrive it would have been easier to plan my schedule accordingly.
This made me think of the parable Jesus told of the thief in the night. The meaning behind this was that we don’t know when our final day on earth will be. We need to prepare in advance so we will be ready when Jesus comes for us. I have done this by asking him to forgive my sins and take control of my life. Now I don’t need to be concerned about when he will arrive as I know I am prepared to spend eternity with him.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV)
I was spending the day with a friend. When we started to get hungry I reached into my bag and pulled out two muffins. When I offered one to her she said, “Are you sure? I don’t want to take your lunch.” I quickly assured her that the reason I brought two was so we could share.
Reflecting on this, I realized that out of my abundance it is easy to share. The more difficult task is to share when I don’t appear to have anything extra to give. This is where submitting to God and trusting him for the outcome comes into play.
The things that God asks me to share aren’t necessarily material things. I have learned first-hand the power of a caring heart. Taking the time to really listen to someone can make a huge difference in their life. God has given a limitless supply of love. All he asks is that I share his love with others.
Talents and abilities are also gifts that God has given me to share. On my own there are few things that I can accomplish. When God prompts me to do something on a larger scale than what I’ve done before I become frightened. Insecurities and self-doubts become magnified in my mind. It is only when I give my meager gifts back to Jesus that they become multiplied. He will never ask me to do anything that is beyond his power to accomplish through me. I need only to submit. When I stop trying to do things in my own strength and let God work through me, I am in awe as how he takes my little lunch, my meager offering and uses it for his glory.
“There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. John 6:9-11 (NLT)
A friend and I were traveling in northern Alberta. It was just after 8 am and a very chilly -19°C. She was driving and I was enjoying the beauty of the snow-covered landscape under a clear blue sky. As we rounded a bend, I witnessed something I’d never seen before. I said to my friend, “Look at the sky. It looks like a rainbow that is going straight up and down.” She told me it was a sundog. She had seen them before but never as vibrant as this one.
It seemed to come down from the sky, stretch across the frozen fields and reach right out to us. It was phenomenal to observe it cast its coloured hues across the trees and buildings we passed. There was nowhere to pull over to take a photo, so we etched this image into our memories as we thanked God for providing this visual gift for us.
Later I researched sundogs and found that they are a member of a large family of halos, created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere. I saw several pictures of them online, but none as breathtakingly beautiful as the one we had seen.
If God can create such splendor by shining the light of the sun through icy skies, I wonder what he can do in my life. When I allow the light of his son, Jesus, to shine into my cold life, there is no telling what beauty he can produce. My life becomes bright and reflects his glory. This can create a radiance that can not only be seen by others, but will point them back to him. When I live my life in a way to reflect the light and love of Jesus, I too, will shine like a sundog in the frozen atmosphere.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NIV)
My son enjoys bringing flowers to his wife. One bouquet contained something unexpected that kept the whole family enthralled. Attached to one of the stems was a chrysalis or cocoon.
My granddaughters were fascinated to have this nature lesson right in their house. The first day it was a clear sac with a smooth green caterpillar inside. On the following day, this sac held a black shriveled version of the caterpillar. The transformation had begun and the excitement was mounting.
Day by day they checked to see what was happening. The cocoon remained clear enough that the contents could be seen. No change was visible in the shriveled black creature inside. The transformation was happening deep within and not where human eyes could see.
This reminded me of a transformation that occurred in my life. The Lord took my good life and changed it into something so much better. This was also done on the inside, where no eye could see. My heart became more loving. I became more accepting. As the changes occurred, I was able to give more and more of my life to Jesus. He has taken my willing heart and is transforming it into something that can be used for his glory. The metamorphosis is not yet complete. I am excited to see what he has in store for me next.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
Tomorrow is November 11th, Remembrance Day. This is a day set aside to honour the brave men and women who serve in the military. They deserve so much more than one day of our thanks. A minute of silence to remember them is not enough.
These men and women put their lives on the line for us. This is done out of love for our country and for mankind. They know the risks when they sign up. As we have learned recently, the casualties can be on home soil as well as foreign.
Many of us would risk our lives for a loved one. Few would do this for people they do not know. This is done to give us the freedoms that we so often take for granted.
These brave men and women show a love and dedication that was modeled over 2,000 years ago by Jesus. He also came to serve and gave his life for us. There is no greater love than to sacrifice oneself for another.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NIV
I’m sending out an extra post this week because I’m looking for your feedback. My new book will be out in the spring and I’d like you to help me choose the title. The book is a collection of short inspirational stories such as the ones you receive from this blog.
All votes back to me by November 15th will be entered into a draw to win an autographed copy of the new book. You can vote by commenting directly on the blog or by going to the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/timewithtandy
We have three to choose from. Each would have a subtitle of “Finding Inspiration in Everyday Things” Which title would grab your attention?
1. A Twist of Life
2. Is There a Story in That?
3. Dragonflies, Snowdrifts and Spice Cake
Ready, set, vote!
My husband and I were driving on a major highway when the traffic slowed and merged to one lane. We were expecting road work to be the cause of the delay. Soon we came upon a large sign that said: Emergency Scene Ahead, and realized that this was not the case.
Up ahead, in the median, we saw a semi with its roof crushed and windows shattered. Its trailer was being loaded onto a flat deck, while another tow truck worked on the cab. The warning signs had given us the time to slow down and move over to give emergency crews space to work.
Thinking about these warning signs, I wondered what signs I have in my life to warn me of emergency situations ahead. The biggest one is my conscience. The Holy Spirit speaks to me, warning me of things that will cause problems. When I heed these warnings, things go smoothly. It is when I ignore the warning and forge ahead that I put myself in danger.
In order to live securely I need to spend time in prayer and pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit. By doing this, there will be less emergency scenes in my life.
The Lord’s beloved people will live securely with him. The Lord will shelter them all day long. (Deuteronomy 33:12B) GWT
Recently I received a small Rubik’s Cube on a key chain. This was a game that had both entertained and frustrated me in the past.
According to Wikipedia, the Rubik’s Cube is the world’s top selling puzzle game. Although it reached the height of its popularity in the 1980’s, it still has the power to fascinate its users. This was demonstrated when my grandson picked it up and asked to play with it. When I told him that he could have it, he was thrilled.
The cube has nine coloured squares on each side. When it’s new, each side contains its own colour: red, blue, green, yellow, orange or white. As it is turned the colours shift to other locations, changing the pattern. Returning it back to the original state is very difficult.
Looking at the cube, I recalled a lesson of how it related to everyday life. In life, each new experience shifts my pattern. Left to my own devices, I’d probably stick with the safety of knowing everything will remain the same. When I give control to God, he leads me on exciting new adventures. As I learn and follow God’s will for my life, he transforms me. The pattern is constantly evolving and I look back, amazed at the changes that have made my life more colourful.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)