See the sky and hills!

See the sky and hills!
In Quiet Moments Here

Monday, October 31, 2011

True Values

To most of our country, today is a much-loved holiday, Halloween.  It has never meant much to me, at least nothing good, and it means even less this year.  My value is in a different occasion.  You see, tomorrow is the day another group of our military men and women, United States Marines, fly to Afghanistan, and my son is one of them.  There is nothing a mother can do to change that.

This mother intends to spend much time in prayer.  The only problem I find is that I don't know what to pray.  I want my boy to be safe, but I want all our troops to be safe.  Safe is not a condition of war.  Do I want my son to come home unharmed, yet another mother's son to die or return with a missing limb, or a damaged mind?  Never!  Yet, how do I pray?

I'm so thankful that I have a copy of God's word.  In fact, I have many copies in my home, and some don't get used.  I used one tonight, however, and found an answer.

In Romans 8:26, I read these words: ". . . the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Tonight I do indeed feel the weakness of my own body and spirit.  But there is help; I'll take it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I've been continuing to read in Charles Swindoll's book, Livng Above the Level of Mediocrity.  Living an exceptional life seems to me to be an awesome goal, but doesn't seem obtainable to the average person, like me.  Yet, Swindoll makes the point that the main requirement is to make a choice.  It is true that just trying won't make it.  That is why he speaks of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God.  When a king sets the standards for a life, and offers his full-time help as well, there is a possibility for the average to become above average.  Swindoll talks about the average person wanting to fit in to a crowd, or a family, or a particular group, as if fitting in were something worth attaining, and Swindoll says it is not.  If you fit in, you are not living an exceptional life, but are settling for mediocrity.  I don't know yet how much of this concept is sinking in, for me to make a change in my life, but I can say that it is interesting and intriguing.   Since I have never felt that I particularly fit in to any group, and I've been told often that I am not living up to my potential, I think it is time to take a serious look at this "above mediocrity" concept and see how I can adapt my life to fit in to the  "above average".  If we were evaluating a meal, or an article of clothing, or a painting, and judged it to be mediocre, we probably wouldn't want it.  Thus, why do we settle for a mediocre life?  I'm going to be thinking about that this week.  Join me if you will.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Above Mediocrity

My son, the U.S. Marine Captain, spent a few hours with me last week; it still amazes me how he can be my son, once my baby. The discipline and call to excellence that he has gone through in the military has chiseled his body and his character. 

Was it a coincidence that just a few days after he was here, I picked up a copy of the book by Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity?  In his introduction, Swindoll referred to his years in the Marine Corp, specifically boot camp where he was quickly convinced of the need for the severe discipline and difficult training.  He said, "The rigors of warfare would blow us away unless our minds and bodies were tough enough to withstand the demands made upon us."

My mind jumped quickly to a Bible passage which speaks of spiritual warfare.  "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood . . ."

Am I, are you strong in the Lord?  Are we ready for whatever battle we come upon?  A life of mediocrity will likely lose battles as often as win.  This is a challenge to me, and perhaps to you also.  Are you ready to live above the level of mediocrity?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


What happens when you care?  Your heart grows (it seems).  Your heart also can be hurt, overwhelmed, exhausted, grieved . . .  My heart is feeling weary tonight as this has been an unusually challenging week, and continues to be.  Yet, I am happy that my heart can feel this way, because I would not want the alternative. 

Hearts can also be hardened.  A person with a hardened heart does not care, or love, or let anyone in to that part or whole of his or her heart.  A hardened heart also must be cold to The Creator. 

Lord, please keep my heart tender, and strengthen me for what you want me to be and do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As I listened to Bible scholar and teacher Beth Moore recently, she mentioned that we will always have change in our lives, which is difficult for women who tend to find security in routine, things that don’t change.  I found myself relating closely to such a description, feeling more comfortable when I am able to expect that tomorrow will be quite the same as today and yesterday, even to the point when that routine becomes boring.  Comparing routine to boredom takes some thinking about!

In doing my own thinking about it then, I found my own solution for security.   In the Old Testament book of Malachi, chapter 3, verse 6, God says “I am the Lord; I change not”.  If I put my security in God, who does not change, I will be secure no matter what changes come to my life.  I need to remember that.  How about you?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Lights Are On

The lights are on, but should they be?  In trying to be energy conscious, our household is attempting to turn lights off when we are not in need of them.  From that perspective, I can't imagine turning on a bright lamp, and then covering it up or hiding it in a closet. 
Jesus used such an illustration in Matthew 5: 13-16.  He said ". . . you are the light of the world . . . people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way,  let your light shine . . . so your good deeds may be seen  and your Father in Heaven be praised."

Our world is so very dark in many ways for people all over the world.  If we have Light, why aren't we using it?  Why are we keeping it for ourselves?

Friday, October 7, 2011


Do you often struggle to see clearly because the lights near you are just not bright enough?  Do you feel a need for sunglasses outside or for turning the lights down while you are in because too much brightness seems uncomfortable?  I am often in both of these circumstances.  Though it may be soothing or romantic, candlelight is not good for reading.  While you are driving, oncoming headlights when close, are distracting and even a bit frightening.  What is the perfect amount?  Of course it depends on the circumstances.

One circumstance that never changes, however, is that God has promised to give us His light in our heart.  2nd Corinthians 4:6 says "For God, who said 'Let light shine out of the darkness' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God . . . "  It would seem that a person who has this kind of light would be superior in many ways to those who do not have such light.

Wait a minute here!  That is not true!  Even though the light may be superior, the following verse from the Bible tells us what we need to know even more.  " . . . but we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, and not from us."

Have you ever felt like a lump of clay?  Jars of clay can be quite rough and dull, and may even leak or be unsafe to hold beverages.  Those jars, however, can be decorated, polished, glazed, and baked to become more useful, even beautiful and valuable.  What I am reminded of right now, is that not only can God light up my life, but He also will keep on polishing and baking me in order to make me more beautiful and valuable.  His hand on my life isn't always comfortable, but it is what I need.  Where do you get your light?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Short Confession

My words dried up.  I've felt guilty about not writing new blog posts.  I've been told that guilt is a tool of Satan.  I also know that pride comes from him.  What's the problem? 

I was on a roll with my blog, and it was easy.  It was so easy, in fact, that I started doing it without God.  I have said that I want to share what God allows me to learn.  Instead, I've just been searching randomly, and most days in the past few weeks, I haven't found anything worth sharing. 

It was only by looking back through some of my journal pages that I realized (again) what a difference it makes if I do things on my own, or with God's help. This is a good example of how valuable a journal can be; to read about your own life, your own thoughts, is a good education. 

I've confessed.  Now, I hope, with God's help, I can continue learning what He wants me to learn, and writing what He wants me to write.