Just a Minute
"Just a minute!" (Pause). Okay, I'm back. Thanks for waiting. Whew. I'm always behind. Do you ever feel that way?
If yes, join the club. Life is busy. (Two four-letter words. Feeling silly; pun intended).
When I think about it, hardly a day goes by that I don't say "Just a Minute" or hear someone else say it. Personally, it doesn't help that I'm chronically late for....uh...well...life. Is there something I need to do? Yes...but, can you wait a minute? Or, when my husband asks if I'm ready to go somewhere, I reply, "Just a minute!" (Then, he waits patiently in the car while my "minute" lapses into several sixty-second segments).
Time. It's one of our most valuable assets--but also one of the most abused. We feel good when we use it wisely, don't we? But not so good if we waste it; that is, when we're supposed to be doing something productive.
We'd like to make up for time, but we can't. There's no adding to it. And it can't be bought; the wealthy and famous have no advantage. We're all allotted the same twenty-four hours in a day. (I think God's math is pretty fair).
Years ago, as a busy mom, I wanted to set aside time to pray every day, but wasn't succeeding. Mornings were too busy and if I waited until bedtime, I'd fall asleep in the middle of the prayer.
I made everything too complicated. Prayers didn't need to be long. So I simplified. What if I took just one minute out of my day to pray? Would that work? It did work, and I called it "The Quiet Minute." It was do-able. It was simple. And it was enough.
Soon, the one-minute prayer became a habit. Mornings too busy? No problem. Too tired at night? Not an issue. I'd fit prayer into the in-between times: while waiting to pick up the kids from school, when taking a shower, or while driving to work.
Soon, I didn't have to say "Just a Minute" to prayer. Instead, I could use that minute to say the prayer.
I haven't completely quit using the phrase "Just a Minute;" however, I learned to put other tasks into perspective. Big project or to-do list? Break it down into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, and before you know it, you'll have completed "miles" of steps.
The phrase, "Just a Minute," doesn't have to be a cry for extra time. It can take on a new meaning if you are using that minute for a good purpose!
God is patient and kind--and always ready to listen to your prayer--no matter the length!
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11
Photos courtesy of Vecteezy.com
Hand Made with Love
I lifted the purse from the rack at the craft fair, held it in my hands, marveling at the beauty and quality of the craftsmanship.
"It's handmade," the artisan said with a smile. It was obvious she'd created the items with a joyful heart, anticipating that whoever purchased her wares would enjoy them as much as she did. I felt certain they'd been created with love. The care and compassion she put into her work reminded me of the beautiful hand-knit and crocheted prayer shawls made by the women at our church, or the dresses my mother used to sew for me for school.
Yet, how many things do we own that are made with that kind of love and affection? Perhaps not a lot. When I think of hand-made items, I usually think of those which are painstakingly crafted without the use of machines (think manufacturing). However, even factory-made goods require a human touch to run the machines on the production line.
The quality of a product depends upon the maker's skill and intention. Did they intend to create the best product possible? (We all know about poorly created products that don't work or fall apart). But for the individuals, business owners, or artisans who take pride in their work, they will feel good about putting their name on the products they create. It's all about intention.
The Maker's Intent. I can't help but reflect and think of THE Maker, our Lord God, who set His Almighty Hands in motion to create the universe, and His Divine, loving and compassionate intention to intricately fashion and mold us in His image.
"And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." - Genesis 1:27
From Psalm 139:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
God's love for us:
"In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins." - 1 John 4:9-10.
Smile and be glad, for your have been wonderfully made! God has set His stamp of approval on you. There is no one else on earth exactly like you. (If you had an identical twin, do you know that your fingerprints would be different?)
You were lovingly "hand-made" by the Master Creator, the Lord of All, the One who created Love, who gave us the capacity to know what Love is--all because of Him.
Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.com
If you grew up when I did, you'll remember the rotary dial telephones or push-button phones. When I was a little girl, our rotary dial phone hung on a wall in the kitchen. But telephone conversations barely made it out of the kitchen, because the cord would only stretch so far.
A little phone trivia: Bell Telephone launched an ad campaign in the 70s with a musical jingle that began, "Reach out and touch someone..." The idea was to foster connections with friends or loved ones. One such commercial showed a mother and son catching up on the latest family news, another calling a friend to say hello, and a grandfather reading a bedtime story to his grandchild.
Reaching out. It's what being human is all about, isn't it? We reach out to others, and they reach out to us. At least that's the intent. But life isn't perfect. We're frequently occupied taking care of the "stuff" it takes for us to live, and our time is not always our own.
So, life isn't perfect, and neither are we. We do our best to reach out to others; yet, sometimes, we are the ones who need the helping hand. But there is One who is is perfect: Jesus. His mission on earth was to reach out to people everywhere He went. Carrying out the will of His Father in Heaven, He taught about God's Word and revealed He was the Son of God and the way to Salvation.
The telephone technology of yesteryear is gone, replaced with the advanced cellular models we now hold in our hands. But, no matter how advanced the technology becomes, it will never be human. We still have to make the phones perform to make the connections we wish to make with others. And I am certain without a doubt that it's part of God's plan for us to reach out to others--just as he reaches out to us.
But, no earthly technology can compare with "divine technology." God's "prayer line" is available twenty-four hours per day, without interruption, and at no cost. And the benefits? Well, they're "out of this world."
So, how will you reach out to others today?
[However, if it's the kind of day when you are reaching out in need, know that the Lord is close at hand and He eagerly awaits your calling upon Him in prayer. He cares about you and loves you more than you will ever know!]
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."
- Romans 15:7-17
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16
P.S. - If you leave a message in the comment box and are in need of prayer, I would be glad to pray for you.
[Photo: N. Johnson]
The New Year's celebrations are over, and you may have already stashed the Christmas decorations away for the next twelve months, or watered the Christmas Poinsettia in hopes of keeping it looking fresh a bit longer.
Likewise, you may have redeemed Christmas gift cards or begun putting Christmas gifts to good use. "Newness" is exciting, isn't it, whether using new things--or putting plans or goals into place on your 2023 calendar?
As we return to our routines, it isn't long before the new days of the year have slipped into weeks, then months. Before we know it, the newness of the things we received for Christmas--or the goals or resolutions we made for the new year--may begin to wane. We may hardly realize it is happening until each day begins to feel like, well--ordinary sameness.
Yet, after the newness wanes, may we remind ourselves that our soul does not have to succumb to ordinary sameness? Wake-up, soul! For in this new year you have been gifted with three-hundred sixty-five days of opportunity!
We stow away Christmas decorations, but there is something that we don't need to put away--the "Happy New Year" greeting. And why, do you ask? Because there is more to it than we realize. The new year comes, but how often (or how long) do we focus on the "Happy" and the "New" in that phrase?
From this perspective, what will your soul's "Happy New" be this year? In other words, what new opportunity, idea, thought, hope, dream, or desire will ignite your passion, make you feel excited to get up each morning?
Here is a challenge for you. Fill in the blank: What will your "Happy New" be this year? _________. (For example, a "Happy New" hope could be one of intention to make a difference each day). Choose a word that will be most fitting for you.
May your "Happy New" result in a "Happy New You!" that will allow your soul to grow and flourish as effortlessly as the spring seedling in the photo above. May your walk on the path toward your goals, hopes, and dreams for 2023 be one that carries you onward and upward!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come." - 2 Cor. 5:17
"For it was You who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made." - Psalms 139:13-14
Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.com
The "Sigh" of Silent Night
Joseph Mohr was desperate. The church organ in the little village of Oberdorf was broken, and the young priest needed a carol for the Christmas Eve service. He had lyrics for a poem he'd written, but had no music for it. Choir Director Franz Gruber stepped in, taking Mohr's lyrics and within mere hours, composed music for the beloved hymn we know today as Silent Night. On that quiet, winter's eve, the melody of Stille Nacht rang out on guitar in the little village church. Imagine Mohr's sigh of relief as the worship service was salvaged. Ah, the "sigh" of Silent Night!
Mary and Joseph were desperate, too. Travel by donkey would have been a long, arduous journey for very pregnant Mary. With no place to stay in Bethlehem, imagine the sigh of relief that may have come from their lips as they reached the lowly stable where Mary would give birth to the Christ child. Ah, the "sigh" of that silent night!
Sometimes Christmas makes us feel desperate--or at least overwhelmed. We may sigh (more out of frustration than relief) at the commercialization, the lines, the traffic, and the seemingly never-ending to-do list. We fret over preparations and expectations. And we may feel sad or lonely as we think of Christmas' past and those who are no longer with us.
Despite our frustration, when Christmas comes, we likely let out a sigh of relief that the day has finally arrived. We may also sigh as we marvel the Christ child coming to us to bring salvation and the miracle of His birth on that Stille Nacht that took place over two-thousand years ago.
The sigh of Silent Night--what a beautiful sound it is!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16
"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). - Matthew 1:23
Adapted from my blog of December 2019.
[Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.com]
Through God's Word!"
Find inner peace through Positive Thought, through Faith in God and through God's Word.