Out of Focus?

April 11, 2015

Rainy Saturday morning . . .

the perfect excuse to slow down,

to read,

to listen . . .

As the droplets fall I hear their song.

Glancing out my window,

I see their gleam of reflected Light.

I wonder . . .

how often do I listen but not really hear

or look but not really see?

By Martha L Shaw – © 4-11-2015

By Martha L Shaw © 2-18-2015

By Martha L Shaw © 2-18-2015

Out of Focus

October 7, 2013

The music was still playing

With all its usual splendor.

I simply couldn’t hear it.

The sun rose

At its proper time,

But I could neither

See its brightness

Nor feel the warmth of its touch.

So, can I really call it

A bad day?

By Martha L Shaw –© 10-7-2013

Two Quotes For Friday – Dance With Me!

September 21, 2012

Not in the mood to dance? I came across this quote and I love it!  If you are a visual thinker, it’ll paint a lovely image which will set your feet to tapping and light up your world!  If you are at all like me, times are tough and peace has perhaps been fleeting at times and joy is even more difficult to find.  Yet, when we focus on the Lord we know that regardless of our circumstances He is our protector, lover, source of joy and peace.

C H Spurgeon, a preacher from the 19th century was speaking about joy and is quoted as saying “joy is peace dancing!” A special preacher in my life said something to me easily 4 years ago which I’ve never lost sight of and it relates to the quote here.  Fr Rick said “let your soul dance!”  Rick is a great preacher and a blessing in my life though this may or may not have been his own original quote, just think about it and the first quote from Spurgeon.  Are you smiling?  I am.   

If we focus on the Lord, our souls can indeed dance!  Peace and joy can be ours.  When our focus is off Him, our supply runs out quickly.  Dance with me, won’t you?

Easily Shaken?

August 22, 2012

These are tough times.  I can’t think of a soul in my life who doesn’t feel “it” and know what I mean.  While perhaps there are always “big” issues to be dealt with, these times seem to provide MANY and all at once.  Coping, maintaining a positive attitude, knowing what to do, knowing where to turn . . . is not always simple.  What’s the answer?  For me, it’s to try to stay in step with the Lord.  He is with me in the present.  If I turn  back, I am likely to stumble, and racing ahead isn’t any better, really.  Rushing through things is seldom the most effective approach and often results in a failed effort followed by a “do-over.”  There is an answer though:

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 NIV


August 20, 2012


I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office while Mom had her checkup.  Christian music was softly playing in the background.  On the table next to me was the usual magazines . . . fashion, sports, cars, movie stars . . . there was also a Bible and some other small devotionals.

As I drove home after, I tuned into my favorite radio station, a Christian radio station, and discovered while dialing the number that there were several local ones from which to choose.  I am also amazed at how many Christian television stations we have . . .

I stopped at the drug store for a prescription, was greeted with “welcome” as I walked in and “have a blessed day” as I walked out.

At the grocery, I was asked “have you found a job yet?  I’m praying for you” by the bakery clerk, and at the deli counter, the smiling clerk who was standing nearby said “He has a plan!”

I neared my driveway and thought of how much traffic there was in the area on Sunday mornings, and about how it’s hot and humid and for certain summer time . . . but attendance at my church is growing, and the other churches I pass along the way have crowded lots as well.  Even in summer, all the area churches offer several services each Sunday morning, and meetings of various sorts throughout the week.  They’re not cancelled during summer . . . and people come, eager to be there.

I could find fault if I chose to, but when you look to the Light you find light . . . are you wondering what all this means?  It means I feel blessed, encouraged, eager to share my love of and for the Lord with any I meet . . . I also feel such a delightful sense of belonging!  Life isn’t perfect, nor will it ever be this side of eternity, but if you are not finding the community you hunger for, I encourage you to pray for new eyes and a new focus.  The Lord will lead you in the direction you belong in. 



Helen Keller Saw So Clearly

February 1, 2012

I was just sharing an opportunity the Lord gave me in an excited text message to a friend.  In the text conversation I then added “if only I could keep doing this” since I can’t see how this can be . . . I got tripped up by the “but I  can’t without” and “but if only I had some” and then I saw this quote from Helen Keller:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

– Helen Keller –

Helen Keller saw clearly what I failed to focus on.  Notice she didn’t say “together you can do so much.”  She didn’t let the “something missing” from her life leave her sitting on the bench.  I won’t either.  I’m reminded of a prayer I said recently in which I cried out “but, Lord, what if I am not able to . . . ” and do you know what He said to me?  He said “I Am.” 



Lose the Shadows in Your Life

October 8, 2011

Here’s a quote I just read that is so simple and yet SPEAKS LOUDLY to me:


Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.

– Maori Proverb –

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. 





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