Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HEART THOUGHTS... from Helen


“At this she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me---? Ruth 2:10

“What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” I asked the teenager at the grocery store check out line.
He replied, “I’m going to my grandmother’s and I can’t wait.
I asked, “What makes going to your grandmother’s house so special.”
He quickly responded, “She’s the best cook ever!”
I suppose you’d call that ‘comfort food’ if your grandchildren can’t wait. That’s the same answer I received from others. I can’t help but smile because I’m the grandmother now. While one of my sons will be at his in-laws this year, my other son and his family will be at our house. Hopefully, his five children will feel about my food like the young man in the grocery store.

Growing up in the low country of South Carolina, I remember going out to my granddaddy’s farm on Thanksgiving after the devouring of the feast. My siblings and cousins and I would go out to the pecan trees which lined the lane to the barn and pick up pecans. Finding those mottled brown nuggets under the multicolored leaves was like mining for gold and the end result was just as good for me. If I recall correctly at times we got down on our hands and knees to search for the bounty. We’d get two in our hands and squeeze with all our might to crack them and pick out the marvelous meat inside. The trick is not to get any of the shell along with the meat, because everybody knows that just turns your mouth inside out. That also reminds me of a t-shirt I saw with a squirrel on it that said, “My family tree has a lot of nuts.” Perhaps that could be said of your family also.

What will our grandchildren remember about coming to our house for Thanksgiving? Will it be the bountiful food or playing ball in the back yard or shooting caroms or laughing at remembered family antics (the nutty things) or watching football?

I want it to be a special Thanksgiving. A spiritual marker, if you will. Of course, these two wishes are always at the top of my list for family gatherings. I don’t want to get so caught up in the cooking, serving, and cleaning that I can’t enjoy the fellowship and share my thankful heart. I want my family to share their ‘thanksgiving’ also. And somewhere along the way, when they’re older maybe their memoirs will relate Thanksgivings at our house and they will say: “I’m going to Nana and Poppy’s for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait”. I want to fall on my face like Ruth and exclaim:

“Why have I found such favor in your eyes?”

O Lord our Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for your bountiful gifts to us even if some of them come in packages that look brown and mottled and we have to work hard to get at the good parts. I think every day will be Thanksgiving when we get to heaven!

Friday, November 12, 2010


"For this is what the high and lofty One says-He who lives forever, whose name is holy. ""I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."." Isaiah 57:15 NIV

Election time: Have you noticed that that those who hold high and lofty positions in government pull out all the stops to meet the lowly voter? It's take off your tie or jacket, roll up your sleeves, put on your jeans and tennis shoes and rub elbows with the "people" time. Let's meet the constituents. Instead of the 'sacred' halls of Washington, Columbia, Columbus, Ohio, Carson City, Nevada, Tallahassee, Florida and all around the country, the candidates donned their local garb and came into folks' back yards, main streets, and town halls to taut their rhetoric. Yes! We must vote! And yes, I did vote, prayerfully and trust THE HIGH AND LOFTY ONE to raise up the leaders He chooses for such a time as this.

This passage from Isaiah 57 speaks to me of the Only High and Holy One and what He considers of utmost importance. I'll report...and you decide.
Divine condescension (His)
Contrition (ours)
Christ's indwelling (His in us)
Cause for such (Why would He do such a thing)
Remember Who He is and never forget that He is holy and one holy night He condescended to come to earth to live with servants who demonstrated contrite hearts. Joseph and Mary met the requirements. Do we?

Remember who you should be: contrite and lowly in spirit. Repentance is required to have a contrite heart. I don't know what the holy couple had to be remorseful about, but I know it doesn't take long for me to come up with a penitent attitude when I think of God's holiness. How's your heart?

Remember His purpose is to revive the spirit and heart of the lowly and contrite. It isn't to beat up on nor cast aspersions.

The High and Holy One dwells in a high and holy place but also lives within the contrite heart through the power of His Holy Spirit to revive the spirit and revive the heart. Are you in need of revival?

We've witnessed many who think they're high and holy in this election. 'But also', we've witnessed those humbled with a contrite heart. Only THE HIGH AND HOLY really knows the hearts that exhibit contrition and humility and He promised to live within and revive their spirits and their hearts. I'm amazed at the energy demanded of these candidates during such crushing schedules. Honestly, I confess to coveting some of that energy. I'm quite sure I would need the promise of revival should I be involved in the election process, other than participating in the voting booth. How do you think the high and holy One would have you respond?

"A Message from the high and towering God,
Who lives in eternity, Whose name is Holy:
"I live in the high and holy places,
But also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed.
And what I do is put new spirit in them
Get them up and on their feet again.
(Isaiah 57:15...THE MESSAGE)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

HEART THOUGHTS .... from Helen

"...she fell at his feet" John 11:32

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news." (Isaiah 52:7)

I'm taking a page from the book of be found in the library at THE UNIVERSITY OF THE FEET. My syllabus includes several weeks' worth of foot pain beginning with surgery on Tuesday and ending with a few more weeks of recuperative time. Bunions cause pain, preventing many activities and many pairs of shoes lying dormant in my closet. And then there is the problem of a neuroma that must be removed. So, do you have your Google search going yet? I'll save you some time because I know you rushed to do your research at the U of F library.

Bunions: an inflammation of the sac bursa around the first joint of the big toe, accompanied by swelling and sideways displacement of the joint. When I saw my foot x-rays, I nearly fell off the table. These are not the beautiful feet I read about in Scripture. Oh dear, no wonder my feet hurt. Neuroma: usually benign tumor growing on the sheath of a nerve (under my third and fourth toe).

While I'm learning more at Foot College perhaps I'll take a refresher course at spending time at the Master's feet. Mary certainly learned a lot doing just that. Spending time at the feet of Jesus, Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, demonstrates just what a real education is all about. In fact every time we encounter this Mary, we find her attending the University of the Feet, learning, feeding, and ministering. An apt lesson to learn!

Luke 10:39, tells us that "she sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said". Unfortunately, Mary received quite the reprimand from her sister for not helping Martha, prepare the food and wait on their Guest. Have you ever been rebuked for studying too much? Have you ever been scolded for partaking of 'soul food'? When is the last time you sat raptly at His feet and listened to Him?

In John the eleventh chapter, Mary sought the Lord after her brother's death when her sister informed her that "The Teacher is here ...and is asking for you." (v. 28) He sought her; she found Him. In your grief, do you hurry to Him who has the only comfort that counts?

In the twelfth chapter of John, Mary anoints the feet of Jesus with about a half quart of expensive perfume. She then wiped them with her hair. It seems spending time at Jesus' feet educates you far beyond the obvious. She apparently wanted to do her part in anointing His body for burial. Mary sacrificially broke open her most precious possession and poured its contents on His soon to be pierced feet. What does the song say? Broken and spilled out just for love of you Jesus... (Steve Green)

Lord, You know I've never liked school in any shape or form but to sit at Your Feet and to look into Your Face, surely learning will take on new meaning. I enroll now in THE UNIVERSITY OF THE FEET, knowing how expensive the tuition but I simply must learn another lesson in pain and patience as You, O Excellent Rabbi, teach me.