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
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]
It isn't often that all eleven of us have the opportunity to go to dinner together. With work, school, and extracurricular activities, when we're able to be in the same place at the same time, it seems like a miracle.
One of those miracles took place a few days ago when everyone had the same evening off, to celebrate our granddaughter's participation in a school musical.
As a treat to our granddaughter, her parents asked where she'd like to go for dinner. Her response wasn't McDonald's or KFC (as in the photo), but if you put an oriental twist on it, you get the idea.
So, there we were, all eleven of us seated at a long rectangular table, our food orders before us. It was a rare occasion that I'd eaten there. I raised my eyebrows as I stared at the bowl of seasoned noodles, with sparse amounts of vegetables and tiny bits of chicken throughout.
Our oldest grandson piped up with a most heartfelt prayer for our meal, for his sister's role in the play, and our time together as a family. Onlookers gazed our way. It may have seemed odd--eleven heads bowed together in prayer at a fast-food restaurant.
The food wasn't five-star, but the occasion for celebration and and our being together filled my heart with joy. Just a few days before Thanksgiving, it was an evening I will fondly remember as one of "fast food gratitude."
This Thanksgiving we are lucky to be able to gather together again, and with all the good cooks in the family, I have no doubt the meal will be excellent. But, even if it was fast food--like the other night--I know that any occasion we have--no matter the menu--can be one of thankfulness and gratitude!
May your Thanksgiving be a Blessed one!
"You're grounded!" The words shoot out like tiny daggers at your tender ears.
"Not fair!" you cry. But, most likely Mom or Dad sent you to your room because you did something wrong. You are left alone to think about what you've done and to learn from your mistake.
Fortunately, being grounded doesn't last forever. The day eventually comes when you're too old to be sent to your room: welcome to adulthood. Now you're expected to figure out things for yourself.
Life can be tough. There might be times when you secretly wish someone would shake their head and say, (Your name), "You're grounded!" (Inwardly you smile, for you desperately need a temporary reprieve from the troubles of the day).
The "grounding" you seek isn't the punishing kind for mistakes made; instead, it's a longing to be grounded in body, mind, and spirit.
Jesus never erred, but Scripture indicates he often took time to get away to a quiet place to reflect and pray. Deeply rooted, Christ was perfectly grounded in faith.
May you, too, take time to step away from the troubles of your day. Push the chaos aside. Seek a quiet moment to call upon the Lord in prayer, and immerse yourself in the spiritual rootedness that the Lord offers.
As a child, being "grounded" isn't fun, but as an adult, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Now go. Be "grounded"--in faith!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." - Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
"After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone." - Matthew 14:23
"Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray." - Mark 1:35
Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.com
Through God's Word!"
Find inner peace through Positive Thought, through Faith in God and through God's Word.