My Beloved

March 14, 2019

A palm branch welcome

A donkey ride, “hosanna!!”

enroute to the tree

By Martha L Shaw ©-2015


WE DECEIVE OURSELVES!

June 19, 2018

Image result for church doors

Before we judge and

close our doors and hearts to one another,

we need to remember that

our church buildings would be empty of any but

our Triune God

were it not for

we sinners present!

By Martha L Shaw – © 2018

 


THE RHUBARB PIE PARABLE – ANOTHER TINY TEACHER

August 5, 2016

I, like most of you, have been thinking a lot about the sad and frightening news stories of late.  They seem to grow in number.  I love children and the ones I listen to give me hope for the future.  This is my second tiny teacher post in two days . . . perhaps a series is coming!

 

I recall this conversation, but not the source. . . still, it needs sharing!

CHILD:  Daddy, what’s sin?

(Daddy explains)

CHILD:  Then why would people choose to sin?

DADDY:  I guess some people crave sin like others crave rhubarb pie!

CHILD:  I don’t like rhubarb pie!

DADDY:  Me either!

Jesus_and_Children002


If Sin Is Popular . . .

August 22, 2013

then it is no longer sin, right?

question-marksOkay, relax.  This isn’t going to be one of those “I am perfect, what’s wrong with the rest of you” posts.  I am not perfect.  But as unpopular as the topic of sin is, I feel there is a message I need to share.  Lately, I have seen one too many news stories on TV, in magazines, status updates, posts, and the like which glorify wrong doing.   It is often clearly spoken of as “wrong” yet such messages go viral!  It is loudly declared to be  “dreadful” when a certain person did “this or that” and we claim  to be shocked and dismayed that he (or she) could ever do such a thing . . . yet, the stories are repeated in  great detail on all forms of media and I’ve noticed the smiles on the faces and the gleam in the eyes of those reporting on these things as well as those listening or reading of them.  It is also clearly profitable to do so!  Don’t think so?  Check out the books and magazines getting the best spots on the display shelves.

The heart warming stories of those who’ve gone the extra mile to follow the will of the Lord get a lot of people excited as well if we can find them.  But they sure don’t make the front page, they are said in the last 5 minutes or the last 60 seconds of the news broadcast, or are squeezed in after the used car ads in the sections of the paper most of us toss out without reading.  The actions of folks we claim to be upset over, however, are on the top of every list of news to share, to discuss at length, and to repeat at every opportunity.  Bad behavior consistently goes viral in social media while good is ignored, or scoffed at.

child reading

We claim to want to change the world.  We claim life isn’t “what it used to be” and that some things are “just wrong.”  We are to blame for the mess we’re in.  We are the reason life is what it is, and we truly can change the world.  It begins with one step in the right direction, with one uplifting smile, one open heart, one resisting evil . . . who is the Lord of your life?  Is it Jesus?  Can people tell by your actions?  I do not know if I’m reflecting Him the way I should be  . . . in a way that “they’ll know” but I hope so and I pray that I do, and I’m committed to trying harder.  Join me?


How Must Jesus Feel?

February 21, 2013

Mom is watching a television game show and remarked “look at that fat slob!  . . . and that long straight hair!  What a mess she is!”  I have to admit, though her words were directed toward a television set and not me I still felt hurt by her words.  We are all unique . . . fat, thin, tall, short, curly hair, straight, very long, very short, bangs, pony tail . . . the list could go on, but as she still rants near where I now sit typing I hear “ick, what a mess!  That hair” and I see the face Mom is making.  The truth is, she knows nothing of this woman’s story.  I care little for the hair style choices of those who walk the earth with me, I’m thinking . . .  This game show contestant is by appearance clean and neat and appropriately dressed and is playing the game as well as the others in the game.  But is life a game show? 

I keep picking up newspapers, clicking websites, and hearing news on television, internet streaming, radio and so forth about breakups in relationships.  Which newsworthy couple has split, which politician has been seen smiling with “someone else,” the latest shooting at a school, a residential neighborhood, a restaurant or mall.  Then, of course, there are the constant broadcasts about “problems” in the church.  I guess it’s not news to speak of all the healthy relationship, all the malls which do business well, provide good customer service, contribute to the community . . . all the churches who are strong, following Christ, and united as His body.  Oh, just heard the words “look at THAT hair.”  This truly isn’t about Mom.  For Mom is all of us.  No, we don’t all spend 30 minutes complaining non-stop about a person on a show.  I admit, I hear this each time she watches this show and she lives with me, so YES I’m tired of it and it bothers me each time I hear the ranting.  Again, this isn’t about Mom.  What I find myself wondering is two things.  If the “news” broadcasts spoke of all the good in the world, would any of us watch?  If one grumpy elderly woman who is yelling at the television (as many of us do, especially during football season) can sadden me and somehow make me feel the pain the woman on the screen will never know of, the real question?  Since we know without question that Jesus hurts when we hurt, how often during each day of my life have I inflicted pain on Him?  It is Lent and this is a time of much contemplation, but especially of His death on a tree so that my sins can be forgiven.  Haven’t we caused Him enough pain?  Haven’t I?

A man walked up to me at a fast food place the other day.  He looked nothing like “me” and while I smiled, I caught myself noticing his clothing, his uncombed hair . . . he walked close to me and stopped.  I glanced at him and he said “wow, that’s a beautiful crucifix you’re wearing!  You have a blessed day, M ‘am.”  As I write this, I am thinking that on Wednesday of this week, Jesus walked up to me and blessed me.  He had messy hair and wrinkled clothes , poor posture and ate a .99 cent hamburger for His lunch, and His Father God loves Him so very much!   He loves this flawed human too, and He wants you to know of His great love for you.  He just told me to remind you that He loves each one of you so much that He was willing to die a brutal death for you and for me.

stock-photo-holy-week-95212840


A Quote For Thursday On Forgiveness

September 27, 2012

Gosh, don’t we get mad at ourselves when we fail?  I sure do.  Makes me feel just dreadful.  Sometimes I want to just run off and hide.  My poor choice seems to follow me.  I just can’t let go of it.  But when we ask, we are forgiven.  We can let it haunt us and be miserable, but if God has forgiven us and we keep letting our sin plague us, we’re not accepting His forgiveness.  Let’s not do that!

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1NIV


Discouraged By Purity?

July 18, 2012

How many times in life have you found yourself in a situation only to realize your heart just isn’t or wasn’t in it?  It happens, right?  I was just thinking about the many times someone has preached, often on television and loudly, that in order to live a Godly life I need to be pure.  I have heard that I must never sin . . .  well, in my own mind that is impossible for the only sinless are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I do not believe sinless can be found this side of Heaven.  That being said, how are we to then be pure as we’re so often told?  Are they all preaching a message that is to DIScourage us rather an ENcourage us?  I don’t think so.  The following quote came to me:

“I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:7 NIV

 

God wants our hearts and I don’t know about you but my heart and my soul seem to “get it” more quickly than my mind does.  I have given God my heart.  My soul belongs to Him.  He lives there.  My human mind gets me off track sometimes though.  He understands this.  I believe that if we keep an “upright” heart as the psalmist says, it will lead us away from those things that do not belong in our life as followers of the Lord.  I believe we know, when we are quiet and listen to our hearts, when we have things in our daily life which our “heart is not” in. 

Late night preachers, sadly often using more television air time on the topic of our money than our hearts, tend to go for the “shock value” in the message, and while we do sometimes need to be shaken up a little, we need to be careful in listening to what can sometimes be false prophets.  The psalmist makes it clear that the heart can and should be in the “right place” while the laws are still being learned. 

We spend this entire earthly life learning, walking with Him, and sharing His Word. We ENcourage by living a Godly life.  We must not be made to feel it is possible to be truly perfect for to believe that is to put ourselves in the position of God Himself.  Our humanness makes perfection something we cannot fully reach though we must strive for a sinless life, however our hearts can be purely His.  Always, we are loved and lifted up by a loving God who first loved us.  We didn’t have to earn it, we can’t lose it.  We can return that love, share that love, and live out of that love.  We are flawed, but we can and must repent for our misdoings knowing our sins will be forgiven for He has told us this. 

Exodus 34:6

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionateand gracious God, slow to anger,abounding in loveand faithfulness”

 

 


%d bloggers like this: