Friday, August 27, 2010



I don't like to see blackberry season come to a close. I still see a few around at the roadside stands. Steamy hot summer days spent picking blackberries conjures many memories. Our family of four covered every inch of flesh we could with old clothing, sprayed with insect repellent to deter chiggers and headed for those briar infested bushes. When the boys were small we made quite a game of it and every time we saw the big juicy berries, Dennis would cry, "HARK, I see blackberries." We'd all go scrambling to where he pointed. Hence, in our family, blackberries retain the name, HARK. We dared to place our feet and hands in places I never thought I would to pluck those elusive sweet 'hark' berries.

One blackberry season years ago when depression dulled my senses, Dennis and the boys persuaded me to forge into the bushes again. We eventually found a patch of trellised vines. Nice picking! That night I dreamed...A huge cluster of perfect blackberries appeared before my face. A quiet voice encouraged me,: "This fruit is yours for the picking. All you have to do is reach out and take it."

Since that time, blackberries bring sweet memories of the Fruit of the Spirit He offered, and I continue to taste, as long as I reach out and pluck the promise.

"The Spirit, however, produces in human life fruits such as these: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, FIDELITY, TOLERANCE AND SELF-CONTROL...and no law exists against any of them." (Galatians 5:22 JB Phillips)

HARK! There must be some blackberries hiding within all that fruit.

Friday, August 20, 2010



Enoch walked (in habitual fellowship) with God (Genesis 5:22, AMP)

I've heard it said that every walk with the master is the very best walk a dog ever takes. Willie Baby was my second collie and resided with my parents in the lower part of the state until we could bring her upstate. Not my choice of names, but she was Willie Baby when I met her so I didn't change it. Willie Baby loved to go for walks. She would get her leash and stand by the gate until I joined her.

Walking with the Master may be addictive. It became so for Adam and Eve. I would presume that each walk that the original couple took with God was also the very best one ever, until that last time that God came looking for them. Enoch's habitual walk with God certainly kept him in good standing and then he walked right on into glory. (There's a story about another Enoch, a dog that took a prayer hike with Todd and Joice from Alaska to Canada)

Walking with the Master overcomes obstacles and brings great rewards. Willie Baby married Charlie, a friend's German shepherd. One of the pups became a gift to my parents. My mother named him Chili (Charlie/Willie). Mother always had good names for animals. Chili turned out to be their best dog ever.

Walking with the Master takes you wherever He leads. When Dennis took a coaching job in Woodruff with the legendary Willie Varner, Willie Baby accompanied our family of three. W/B and I strolled David all over Woodruff. One older gentleman commented one day, "I bet that dog would tear anybody up if he messed with that baby." I couldn't help but be comforted that he thought so, but she was a gentle spirited collie. Unfortunately, Willie Baby disappeared from our household in Woodruff, never to be retrieved. We never knew what happened to her.

Walking with the Master demands determination and commitment. It didn't take us long to acquire a female German shepherd we named Princess. She met an untimely demise; she was poisoned after we moved to Fountain Inn. Following Princess we acquired another collie that we named Lad, a dog. He was a pretty little thing but died after being hit by a car. For several years the Lynn family had really bad luck with dogs. We didn't give up however. The dogs that followed include Cher, Frog, Blackie, Oliver, Freckles, Lulu, Sebastian, Wiggles and now Sadie. Just think of all the dog stories and leash lessons we have to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Leash lessons:
  • Daily walking with the Master may be addicting.
  • Daily walking with the Master overcomes obstacles, even strange names
  • Daily walking with the Master strengthens you to follow wherever He leads
  • Daily walking with the Master motivates you
  • Daily walking with the Master aids in the grief process
  • Daily walking with the Master demands determination and commitment
  • Daily walking with the Master may lead to slaying giants.

Three year old David asked, "Mommy, read me story."
"What story do you want to read?" I asked.
"You know! That story about the giant and the German Shepherd."

Our David learned early just what biblical shepherds can do when they walk with the Lord.
"And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day." Genesis 3:8 (AMP)

Friday, August 13, 2010


“Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit. Bodily fitness has a certain value, but spiritual fitness is essential, both for this present life and for the life to come.” (1Timothy 4:7b-8) JB Phillips

Are you physically fit but spiritually flabby? We live in a nation that fanatically demands physical fitness.

Our ten year old grandson, Boaz and I went for a “walk/run” recently up to the Richard Jackson Park off Hwy 101. Wonderful place to go and exercise on the well kept track around the baseball fields that predominate the park. The complete outside loop measures 5/8 mile. We did about two and a half loops until the heat beat me. Boaz is going out for football for the first time and I decided to give him opportunity to start getting in shape. It also gave him a chance to run my golden retriever, Sadie. So, off they ran and I walked behind enjoying watching them run. It’s a pretty isolated park and hardly anyone else was there, so the quiet morning exercise encouraged me and exhausted my companions.

Years ago I faithfully followed the ‘shape up’ crowd into aerobics, exercising to Christian audio tapes. One of the cool down tunes was “El Shaddai”. I’m not too sure that God Almighty, the Powerful smiled on my sweaty, contorted limbs and yet I determined to present a fit, not flabby, body to Him. Shortly thereafter, I herniated a disk, which brought aerobics to a halt. Years later, we purchased a treadmill that has been enjoyed and used by everybody in our household over the years. It recently underwent its own work out to get in shape and got a tune up. I love it. I can listen to my music and walk and worship as I walk.

Our forefathers had no problem staying physically fit. Hard work took the place of aerobics. Totin’ and hauling, shoveling, digging, building, animal husbandry, gardening, washing and cleaning, substituted for pumping iron and working out at the gym. Today’s sedentary society finds that sort of ‘exercise’ archaic.

My grandchildren can do push-ups with the best of the crowd and do them regularly. Sometimes, they do them to show off; sometimes they do them for disciplinary reasons. Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt their physical fitness.

Don’t misunderstand. I am a strong advocate of physical fitness. Our lives, however, and now my age, consist of more than the physical. A person IS a soul that indwells a body, NOT a body that happens to possess a soul. Our primary need is SPIRITUAL FITNESS. Just as physical fitness calls for discipline, spiritual fitness calls for determination. We will not always inhabit these earthly tents, but our souls exist eternally.

Are you physically fit…but spiritually flabby?