The Pathway . . . What Are You WAITING For?

October 11, 2013

i often hear folks complaining about “what’s wrong with the world today” and saying “things must change.” Are you one of them?PATH 2 How are you working toward making things new? Christians! Sitting in the corner quietly is no more effective than the whining is. PATH AND PERSON Jesus did neither of these things. Are you being Jesus to the folks in your piece of the world? If we are not, then WE are why things are the way they are!PATH AND TREES Folks are placed in our path for a reason! Seek the answer! Be Christ to them!PATH IN THE WOODS

Message © Martha L Shaw 10-11-2013 – Photo credit: Google Images

A Quote For The Weekend On Caring

October 27, 2012

This one sounds a lot like the Great Commission to me, don’t you think?  Love this!

I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance. – Pablo Casals –

Jesus Is STILL Lord!

October 23, 2012
Troubling times are NOT for us to run away alone and in fear but for us to pull together as a loving community. Now more than ever we need to focus on the basic simple truth and not labels, judging, and distractions. We are human BEINGS and need to remember that the DOING is directed by our amazing Lord Jesus Christ. It really and truly does come down to that. We are called to do amazing things IN and THROUGH Him. This has NOT changed.


I Just COULDN’T Help Myself!

September 25, 2012

Okay, can you relate? You see, when someone says “don’t look now, but” tell me, don’t you look anyway?  How about when you have a tooth ache.  Do you keep sticking your tongue there to see if it hurts? 

Yup, I hate that I do those things.  Oh, then there’s the fact that on a gloomy day, it seems I and everyone else wears dismal colors.   How about when someone yawns.  Don’t you often do it too and you’re NOT EVEN TIRED?  So today as I was driving down the road in heavy traffic heading to the school where I teach Creative Writing to some children in an after school program, I noticed a dusty dump truck in front of me and in big bold letters painted across the back was the phrase “Keep on smiling!” 

I was suffering from allergy issues.  I had other concerns weighing on me.  Lots going through my mind and heart, but those concerns didn’t stop me from doing what the sign said.  I smiled and since seeing the truck I keep finding my self doing it and even giggling a little.  So I was thinking, as Christians we are commissioned to reflect the love of Christ.  Do you suppose if enough of us do, it could really and truly catch on as folks on some deep level are drawn to what lies deep within US?  Let’s try it!  Joy, not because life is easy, but because we are HIS!

FOCUS ON GOD – A Quote For Monday Morning

July 16, 2012

Whether it’s over the kitchen table having breakfast, at the water bubbler at work, in the grocery store, or at church, it seems we have a long list of complaints about all that’s wrong in life and all that we should be doing to fix it.  Seems the complaints never become fewer . . . I am always side stepping a lot of talk online, on the radio, etc., of what is wrong with the church and this is especially disturbing. 

Ultimately, all we have to do is love . . . the Lord our God, one another, and ourselves.  That’s it.  The other stuff?  He’s got it.  He had a plan long before we saw and heard the problem existed.  We’ve got our duty spelled out.  Let your light shine, be a reflection of His love.  On the list of things we “should” do today, tomorrow, this week, this month . . .  where’s that on the list?  Is it on the top? 

All too often, it doesn’t make the list, not OUR list.  Seems more likely than not it’s absent, but our verbal lists include a whole host of things “somebody” should . . .  and “they” should . . . and there’s even a whole new page for the “why didn’t” things . . . again, why didn’t “she” or “he” or “they” and not why didn’t I . . . MOST disturbing of all is the “why did God” or “why didn’t God.” 

Isaiah 48:21

\21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock
    and water gushed out.


God placed this quote above on my heart yesterday.  I could go on and on about all those few words reveal, but ultimately, they are summing things up well.  God is God, I am not.  He has the big stuff well in hand.  I have my instructions . . . my job, while challenging sometimes, doesn’t come close to the magnitude of His.  Mine is all about the love . . . the things that are impossible for me to even think about much less accomplish or “fix” if you will . . . they were never meant to be mine to deal with until I picked them up and began wrestling with them.  I’m letting go.  The sky is blue and the sun is shining.  I know this because I looked up! 



Here’s some of that water gushing out of the rock . . . side of a mountain actually. 


“I Just Wanted God to Bless You!”

April 1, 2011

I took Mom out to dinner tonight.  I felt like celebrating my new job and a local Chinese place is high on her list of favorite places, so off we went.  We ate, we laughed, we enjoyed our time together, and as we finished our meal suddenly a voice said “excuse me” and I looked up to see a young man in a military uniform standing beside my table.  He was a stranger to me.  As soon as I acknowledged him he handed me a paid receipt and said “I have just paid your bill.  I just wanted God to bless you.”   Wow!  He sure succeeded in making me feel blessed!   Not only that, actually, because he also inspired me and got me thinking.  We are the light of Christ in this world, as Christians, and what better way to do this than to make a random act of kindness to a stranger as this young man did!  While we may not all be able to pick up the tab for the strangers at the next table in a restaurant, there sure are other ways.  Examples:

  • In the grocery isle, you see a young mother with a crying child and perhaps wish you didn’t need anything in that section?  Replace your frown with a kind smile to the mother.  I am sure it will bless her.
  • Get cut off by a “jerk” on the highway?  Instead of letting out a word or two that you Mom wouldn’t like, try praying for that individual’s safe arrival at his/her destination, and the safety of others on the road.  Many will be blessed.
  • See a parking meter on “violation” and the car not yet with a ticket?  Pop a quarter in!  Someone will be blessed.
  • See an impatient person rushing to the checkout?  Let them go in line ahead of you.  They’ll be blessed.
  • See someone sitting alone in church?  Ask if you may sit with them.  They’ll be blessed!
  • See a stranger at church, at a meeting, or in the employee lunchroom?  Introduce yoruself and make them feel welcome.  They’ll be blessed.

There are so many simple things we can do to share God’s blessing with others.  When  you do this, you will find that you too are blessed!  When someone does a kindness to you in this way, please remember to say thank you twice!  Once to them, and once to God who placed it in their heart!  I believe if you become aware of simple blessings like this, you will be amazed at how many  you receive in a day – and perhaps have received many other times without noticing!  God bless you all!

The Necessity to Love One Another

March 23, 2011

”Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:10

 The above command from Paul’s letter to the Romans leaves no room for discussion.  No “well, what about?” and no “Oh, but I don’t think” or “well, surely that doesn’t mean . . . “  I believe we find what we seek in life much of the time.  Okay, let me bring that more into focus, because love can be a scary concept.  When we look for something or someone to criticize, we will surely find PLENTY.  However, and this is a BIG however, if we as Christians seek to see Christ in those we meet – and we know He resides is all people – we will surely find Him and thus loving them becomes easy. 

 I was in a retail store picking up some sewing supplies I needed and feeling low because I had not found a job and was feeling scared I’d “lose everything.”  As I stood at the counter in the store a stranger who I can only think of as an angel sent to me from God seemed to pick up on my need to be reminded to trust in the Lord and smiled at me and shared her testimony.  Later in our conversation as we walked around the store talking about the Lord, I learned she had it as hard as I did but was walking in faith.  Wow.  I’m sure she had better things to do but spend that time with me, but she honored me above herself and shared the love of the Lord with me   I left the store feeling that love and recalling the meeting brings that feeling back to me even now. 

 On another occasion, I found myself next to a stranger to me.  The stranger was clearly dealing with a heartbreaking situation of which I knew nothing.  I knew the Lord was telling me to show her His love and so I prayed for the Holy Spirit to speak through me and moved ahead in fear, but did as He commanded and showed her His love.  I recalled later that I’d not been feeling well that night.  Nothing in particular, just “one of those days” and the most remarkable thing happened.  Reflecting the love of the Lord to this stranger blessed me!  

There have been a number of occasions in which I’ve judged folks I didn’t know ANYTHING about and I can tell you that there are many times when He has revealed Himself to me through those very people as they showed His love to me.  Had I been looking at them through the eyes of Christ, I’d have seen Him there!  Looking through my human eyes and my own brokenness, I initially saw only flaws, but when He revealed Himself to me through these people, those flaws no longer had any importance to me.  I can’t count the number of times a smile, a handshake, a kind word, or a hug from someone who in many cases I hardly knew changed my troubled spirit, changed my day, or changed my life.  “Love one another” isn’t a suggestion, it’s a necessity.  I love you!

Reflecting the Light of Christ

March 19, 2011

We are all, as Christians,  commissioned to be the light of Christ to others.  What does this mean?  Does it require resources I do not have?  Do I have to know the Bible from memory?  Do I need to be free to travel to the far reaches of the world?  Do I need to donate “seeds” of money to all those television preachers who claim this is my obligation?  Do I have to be an amazing preacher like my dear friend and priest, Rick?  Do I need to lead Cursillo Weekends like my friends Jay and Sue so often do?  Is it complicated?  What if . . . . and then again, what if . . . .

Today, I have seen the light of Christ reflected  in the eyes or written  words of  both friends and strangers alike.   Much of what I’ve seen is not complicated, doesn’t require an MDiv, and didn’t involve specific mention of any Bible verse, but did indeed reflect His love and joy very clearly and profoundly to me. 

  • I read an email from a friend who told me he loved me. 
  • I sat in the driveway with Mom and enjoyed both her company and the lovely weather.
  • I was greated  by neighbors who smiled and waved as they went about their day – rather than simply drive past.
  • I met countless strangers who stopped at the yard sale and whether they bought or didn’t, they were kind, friendly, smiling folks.  One in particular hugged mom and I and said “have a blessed day.”
  • A friend, needing nothing, was concerned that Mom would be disappointed if nobody came to her yard sale so she came over and sat with Mom and I for a couple of hours just to make sure Mom wasn’t disappointed by “nobody” coming do the house.

Then I used my cell phone to surf online and found a post by a friend who also blogs here in Word Press.  My friend has a tender heart for all God’s creatures and devotes time and other resources to several causes important to her, especially to greyhounds.  These precious beasts are raised by “business” breeders who profit by encouraging racing . . . and thus produce dogs who often end up neglected or killed when they are no longer “useful.”  This breaks my friend’s heart.  It breaks many hearts.  Does it matter?  The Bible tells us that whatever we do to the least of these . . . surely, you realize that our Lord loves the birds of the air and also these beautiful greyhounds.  Surely, like my friend, He cries when they’re abused?  I think so.  Please read her blog entry and share it with others – the small things we do combined together through the efforts of many can make a big difference.    Click the link below to view her post.

The Privilege of Loving

March 12, 2011

I read a quote recently that really made me think.  An unidentified missionary in Russia was quoted as having said that God loves us just as we are but that He also loves us too much to let us stay that way.  Initially, this statement seemed contradictory and I questioned its theological accuracy.  It, at first, sounded as though it reduced God’s immeasurable love for us to the somewhat questionable claims of love we hear (and speak) almost daily from (or to) family, friends, even virtual strangers.  How often is a greeting card signed “love,” or an email closed with “love you?”  How many times have you heard those “three little words” while on date with someone you’ve only barely come to know and thus assumed that they were perhaps a “means to an end” rather than a true expression of sentiment?                      

On the other hand, giving the quote a second thought, I find myself thinking of my childhood.  As children, we were constantly surrounded by our parents, grandparents, teachers, etc., who accepted us as we were and then reprimanded us as well, expecting something more.  What was this?  It was their love for us manifesting itself in the effort to teach us to grow in understanding, and to keep us safe from harm.  If our earthly mentors can love us this much, how much more can our Heavenly Father love us?  He did, after all, give us His only son who died on a cross to save us from ourselves, and gave us His Holy Spirit to reside in us, to guard us, and to guide us in all we do. 

We are the mirrors of that amazing love to the world.  What a gift this is!  How humbling to be given such a privilege to serve Him in this way!  When we accept this commission, those three little words “I love you” are no longer a casual statement in the way our society has so often used them.  Rather, we realize that they represent a blessing given to us, and one which we must share with others.  This amazing love is indeed a gift and when we share it, we are twice blessed!

Let Your Light Shine

March 7, 2011

If you use a search engine with the keywords “let your light shine” you will find 238,000 hits.  If you then search  “darkness” you’ll get a shocking 75,900,000 hits.  We, as Christians have much to do.  Those numbers  – so sad.  But, look at Matthew 5:16 and we have our commission!  Reminds me, too, of my days as a church school teacher.  I first taught 5th grader and I myself was just in the 9th or 10th grade at the time, but Mom was in charge and knew what I could do, so there I was.  Taught ’em the Ten Commandments.  It was priceless because as I tried to break them down to examples and dialog that they could understand and broaden things so they’d see there’s more to it than perhaps they thought, they’d then ask me if “when Mommy does this, isn’t that again this commandment?”  Later in another parish when I was in my twenties i taught the first and second grade and they were so adorable.  They were also drawn to the most “goolish” (is that a word?) parts.  Interesting comparison though.  The little kids – the 1st and 2nd graders – they had such strong faith.  Oh, yes they could be fresh and all but usually they were fighting to see who sat next to me as I “told stories” to them.  There was a pure faith so clear in them, but less evident in the 5th graders I’d taught before. 

 This ties into the “let ur light shine” as our commission as Christians.  We are born naked and we’re full of God and full of faith.  As we are “exposed” to the world, our nakedness becomes an embarrassment and our faith becomes weakened by the world and the fact that it’s impurities take away our trust.  It’s our job, as Christians, to enable folks to be in the world but to restore them to their earlier faith by reminding them that they are not OF this world.  That’s really all there is to it.  It really is rather simple.  Or, to state it another way, check out Isa 26:3  “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.” 

We make it harder than it is.  WE do.  It doesn’t have to be.


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