THE CONCERT

April 11, 2019

I closed my eyes,

listened to the music,

and knew it came from You!

My drab day brightened

as the gray mist washed away

by the waves of color

drifted about my heart and soul.

Anxiety was quickly forgotten.

Hope’s brightness easily replaced it

like a love song . . .

while violyn kissed piano

and my soul drifted joyfully

in a dance that will never end.

By Martha L Shaw – © 2019

 

 

 


And Jesus Said . . .

May 26, 2017

LOVE IS GREATER

They pointed and shook their heads.

“Not a grain of common sense,” they said.

Still she moved ahead.

“What is she thinking?”

She followed the path.

They called her names,

but it did not sway her.

Throwing things at her did nothing

to change her mind.

EXHAUSTION,

heat,

hunger,

threats. . .

loss of friends,

still she answered the same way.

“Follow me!” He’d invited.

Eagerly, she did.

By Martha L Shaw – © 2016

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Writing Challenge: Turn It Around

February 4, 2013

A fellow blogger invited us to share our testimony recently.  Live and Laugh With Jesus posted this challenge here.

This has made me think . . . it’s Monday as I write this and on various sites I’ve seen laments about “woe is me” as a new week starts.  Oh, I know those feelings.  Here’s the challenge!

if I let Him, the Lord will ALWAYS turn it around for me.  I’m still finding that I should let Him do this more often than I do, but life is a learning journey.  That being said, I’d like you to accept this challenge and in the comment section of this post, please share a time when you encountered Him in this way and let us rejoice in how He took “ho-hum” and turned it around for you!

Sharing these moments can bring hope to others.  Won’t you share with us?  If you would like, you are welcome to write this on your own blog and post a link in the comments section below.  I’ll edit this post and add a list of your links.  You are also welcome to share in the comment if you prefer.

Thanks for being His disciple!


No One Can Come To Me . . .

August 16, 2012

  In John 6 we read that Jesus said “no one can come to me unless the Father draws him” and at first glance this can be startling.  Perhaps it never startled you, but it did me.  However, after meditating on it and just being with Him, I came to find that words which sounded as though they were excluding were actually giving me life, ETERNAL life!

We are perhaps, at this moment (well, I am) singing a familiar song in our hearts.  This song brings tears to my eyes and sends my heart and soul soaring! For, you see, we were drawn in.  We love Him because He first loved us!  How amazing is it that with all my flaws and constant mistakes . . .  my hurts, my weakness, my stumbling, He chose me for His own?  Life is amazing not because I got it right, but because He transforms it, transforms me, and most of all draws me close and loves me!


Saint of the Day February 24

February 23, 2012

On February 24th we celebrate the feast of St Matthias!   The book of Acts tells us that he became the 12th diciple replacing Judas Iscariot, chosen by the 11.  

“23And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

 24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

 25That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

 26And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. ”  Acts 1:23-26

 

 


Saint of the Day – February 23

February 23, 2012

Today, February 23 is the feast day of St Polycarp of Smyrna, a martyr burned at the stake.  A Christian in the early church, he was bishop of Smyrna in the second century AD.  His objective was to imitate Christ in his life and did it well. 

It is written that the fire failed to touch him and thus he was then stabbed as well.  He is believed to have been a disciple of the Apostle John. 

 


Weeding and Fertilizing Get Results

January 6, 2012
A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                      – Luis Barragan
This quote is about gardening but it also speaks so clearly about our relationship with the Lord.  We were created in the image of God and He sees us as His beautiful and much loved children, yet as we choose to follow His path, He must prepare us for what is to come.  The garden the quote speaks of did not start out reflecting serenity and joy.  It first required a rake, a shovel, lots of fertilizing, pruning, and weeding.  It had to be shaped and fed.  It needed time to rest and time to grow.  After much patience and in due season, its beauty indeed came to be seen and reflected the gardner’s love. 


Have It Abundantly

October 6, 2011

We live in a society that is “focused” and which demands we multitask.  We never “let our guard down.”  We look back on what we could have done better.  We plan ahead for what we want to achieve in our life.  Yet, John 10:10 tells us The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Has all this multitasking, and all this “remaining in focus” really accomplished anything for us?  Are we, in not “letting our guard down” preventing ourselves from receiving the flow of grace the Lord promises us?  Do we “have life and have it abundantly” or are we so egocentric that we have only achieved a storehouse of that which a thief can “steal and kill and destroy” and all the while lost our true focus – life with Christ? 

I was reminded recently that there are those who have but a thimble full of the “riches” we have in America.  The picture was disturbing, at first.  I don’t feel rich.  Who are “they” who have so little that I’m accused of possessing “riches?”   Yet this illusive “they” are described as full of joy.  How can this be?  Does this concept even make any sense?  “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I have trouble sleeping.  I lay in my bed and think of all I “need to accomplish” and feel negative emotion come over me, reminding me that I’ve failed.  I look back and wonder if I could have worked harder and somehow done things differently.  I look ahead and wonder how I am to ever get to where I want to be.  When the sun once again rises and I’ve not rested, I strive to focus on that goal ahead of me and charge on.  “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

My driving instructor back before I had my license to operate a car always reminded me that ‘where you look is where you’ll head.”  Multitasking – doing many things at once.  “Focused.”  Can we ever really effectively focus on many things at once and is there hope of doing any one of those things well?  Where is our focus?  Where should it be?  When I charge ahead toward a goal I set for myself – and seek the things I am certain I need – I often do achieve them.  I find, though, that they disappoint me.  Where is my focus?  Where should it be?  “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

The son of a peasant girl and stepson of a carpenter set out to change the world.  He drove no fancy car.  His hair wasn’t stylishly coiffed, nor even always washed.  His feet were dusty much of the time.  He chose to spend his time with 12 of society’s misfits.  Those misfits didn’t multitask.  They followed this man.  They didn’t know where they were being led.  They focused on him.  Life was tiring and was hugely challenging.  They didn’t know where they would sleep come nightfall.  They didn’t always know if there would be food to eat.   He died young leaving them to carry on the business, a business they hardly understood.  A business which surely any sensible person would realize wad doomed to fail.  It didn’t.  How can this be?  “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

He left them to carry on, but empowered them.  He is God with us.  He is still with us.  He is with us now, in the present.  As long as our focus is on our own agenda, it cannot be on Him.  As long as we persist in looking back at what might have been done differently and look far ahead into what we, in our limited wisdom, believe we need, we take our focus off the present and we shut Him out.  There is no need to carry the weight of many tasks on our shoulders, nor to be kept awake at night by a job unfinished.  A friend reminded me recently that all I have to do is to wake up and ask Jesus “what do you want me to do for you today?”  He will enable me to do it.  That’s all that really matters.  I was looking at a friend recently who seemed distracted and tense.  He said “I’m just focused.”  It was probably like looking in a mirror, as his mind was on many things that he had to get done.  It’s oddly difficult to let go of our plan and focus on the Lord and trust in Him yet that is really all that we need to do.  He is our all in all.  It shouldn’t be as difficult as we make it.  As we learn to trust in Him completely, however, we truly do discover that “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Amen. 

 

 

 

 


The Blessing My Injury Brought Me

September 27, 2011

I injured my leg and foot last week leaving me with a paralyzed lower leg and foot which is still healing – slowly.  Amazing how difficult life becomes when suddenly you either can’t walk or have to move slowly and think about every move so as to not fall and worsen the injury.  An apparent pinched nerve – amazing that one can be so restricted from something that isn’t painful. 

That being said I must add that a priest friend pointed out that I’d have a lot more time to spend with the Lord.  Quite true.  Okay, I admit I was stretching my leg and trying to force things to work again, but that was a mistake and was making things worse, so the Lord and I have been hanging out together a lot. 

Funny how things happen when you let go of what you can’t control.  Me, I’m seeking financial provision and have “known” for a long time that “time is running out” yet as I am forced into REALLY surrendering my life to the Lord, as opposed to what we usually do which is not quite that, I’m finding I have more peace in my heart and soul than I’ve had in a long time.  It’s not “logical” in a “this world” sort of way, but we are children of the King of Kings, and as such, are in this world but not of this world, are we?  One of the things I’ve read recently which touched my heart is:

Phillipians 4:12-13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Amen!  Thanks be to God!


The Invisible Made Visible?

August 17, 2011

“Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.”  These words were spoken by poet and author Maya Angelou.  To me they speak highly of what life in Christ, and most importantly life as His disciple, really means.  There are a number of facets to this, but I’ll center in briefly on the key points as I see them.   In general, we become spirited about something that we hold dear.  Our high regard is reflected in us and shown to the world both when we know “somebody’s watching” and most importantly, in my personal opinion, when we think we are alone and unseen.  Classic example, new husband raves over the delicious dinner he’s served by his new bride, but slips bits to the dog under the table when she turns away.  She’s going to catch on and have doubts about his feelings for what she does and possibly about his feelings for her.  Am I putting too much value on a caring “little white lie” about meatloaf?  Maybe, but how often to we sing in church, shout “Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!” in church and then curse at the car in front of us at the exit from the church parking lot saying “Go, already!  Waiting for an invitation?” when they don’t get on the road quickly enough to suit us.  “ . . . made visible in all life.”  Spirit, that vital principle that links body and soul together, is that life-giving force at the core of our being and cannot be hidden from view.  It is our honest and real “self” and no matter how we try to present a false image to the world, this invisible force will be made visible through us. 

How does this relate to Christian discipleship?  What we truly hold dear in our hearts and deeply in very soul will shine through us in everything we do.  How we dress, the words we speak, the way we carry ourselves and image we endeavor to present to the world will pale if we are not being authentic. None of the trappings that this world values will mean anything if we are living a lie.  If, however, Christ is at the core of our being and if our spirit is His Holy Spirit, and if we truly strive to focus entirely on His heart, and making it our own, this cannot fail to be seen.  The word evangelism is a scary one and gives us an image of loud talking individuals on late night television who appear to seek our money and often make claims to sell us eternal life for a “love offering of only”  $100.00 or $1,000.00.   This is not what evangelism means to me.  The true evangelist – the true disciple for Christ – who inspires me does so when they’re tired, when they’re hungry, when it has just been one of those days and they don’t think they have anything left to give, but the heart of Christ and His light and love still shine in their eyes.  As Angelou said “made visible in all life.”  This is what I strive for.  I desire to be so in love with the Lord that no words need to be said to reflect His splendor.  I want people who see me to know how amazing He is because of that invisible something that is made visible in me.  I want to be a positive example of life in Him, and on my bad days as well as my good ones.  I pray that when you see me, you’ll somehow see Him and be drawn closer to Him.  I truly met Jesus in a deep and personal way because I saw Him in the eyes of one of His own.  The love of Christ!  Pass it on!


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