Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Sunday, May 15, 2016

Prayer

     There is much that can be said about prayer; how it makes us feel, and what can be achieved.  Personally, when I miss my prayer time in "A Friendly Shade," I often feel lonely, like something is missing in my life.  Actually something is missing; the guidance of my heavenly Father, because I have not asked. 
     You know, even Jesus prayed during His life on earth.  He prayed with strong crying and tears and was heard. 

Hebrews 5:7 "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared."

     Prayers can be given at any point in time during the day.  We find one timely example in Mark 1:35.

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."   

      Another time, after the crowd that Jesus had been  ministering to was dismissed, Jesus needed a time of rest, just as we often need a time of rest after a long, stressful day at work.  What better way to refresh our souls and bodies than to spend time with the Lord?

 Matthew 14:23 "After he had dismissed them, he went up on  a mountainside by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone."   

     Again, as the Son of God was teaching, healing, and being accused wrongfully by those seeking to find fault,  Jesus found He needed a time of prayer.

 Luke 6:12 "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into  a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."

      We are even given an example of how and where to pray.  Most refer to this as the Lord's Prayers. 

 Matthew 6:9-13 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen   

      Notice here, that we are to have a quiet, solitary place to pray, and we are to start off by praising God and although we make requests, ask for His will to be done in all things.
     Scriptures let us know that throughout Jesus' walk on earth He prayed.   He needed the closeness of His Father who heard Him at all times just as He hears us today. 
     In prayer, we find rest for our souls, peace, comfort, and God's will for our lives.  However, the best answers to our prayers come when we let our hearts truly forgive others.

 Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. 

Matthew 6:14, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."     

     Jesus did not fail to leave us an example of this type of forgiveness.  In Luke 23:34 as He was on the Cross dying for our sins He prayed.

 "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."  

  

       

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day

     I am a little late posting about Mother's day, but every day is a day in which a mother's heart is filled to overflowing with pride toward her child, so I do not think it is too late to write a tribute to Mothers.
      As I was reading in Luke about the birth of Jesus, I thought about Mary.  The Bible tells us that all who heard the Shepherd's story about the birth of Jesus was astonished, but His mother,  "Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often."  Isn't that what most mothers do?  We mothers remember the birth of our children.  Their instant presence in birth fills our hearts, and we can only imagine the pain of the death of a child.  In Mary's case, as Jesus was hanging on the cross, I am sure her heart felt as a "sword piercing the soul."
     Further in scripture, I read of the missing twelve-year-old child when Jesus' parents were returning home from the Passover festival.  It took them three days to find Jesus.  When found His mother asked, "Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere."  Again, as a Mother with a missing child, Mary wanted to scold Him, but more than that, she wanted to hug and hold Him close.  During the time Jesus was missing  I am sure Mary was frantic with worry and her heart felt as a "sword piercing the soul."
     When Jesus responded that He was about His father's business, Mary although she did not fully understand, was filled with pride and "kept all these sayings in her heart."   In other words, she was probably like most mothers who keep a scrapbook of happenings and images of our children. 
     Mothers represent love and most want nothing more than to see their children safe, well, and happy and, in turn, most children want the same for their mothers.   
     To take this theme a step further, as much as mothers love their children, Jesus' love is so much greater.  He freely died on the cross for us all, but He made sure his mother was taken care of as he was hanging on the cross, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother...When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!  And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."   
     The link between a Mother and her child is profound, but more than that is the link we have with Jesus when we accept Him as our Savior.  

 

 

    

    

 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A New Song

     Chapter 11 in Mark tells us a story of when Jesus and His disciples were approaching Jerusalem.   Jesus sent two of the disciples ahead to borrow a donkey which Jesus used to ride into the crowd.  The crowd spread garments on the road as well as leafy branches cut from the field.  Jesus was the center of the procession and the people were shouting:
     "Praise God!   Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
     Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our Ancestor David!
     Praise God in highest heaven."

     What an example of praise this is!  So often we forget to give God the praise He deserves on a daily basis.  The following is a brief praise and song from my heart. 

       A New Song
I sing because I love Him;
I sing a heartfelt hymn.
  Praise God who loves me so;
  Praise the Savior, who I know.
I sing because He walks with me;
I sing because I'm free.
  Praise Him upon the throne,
  Praise Him, and Him alone.
I sing because I love Him,
I sing a heartfelt hymn.
  Praise Him! The Savior arose.
  Praise Him!  I'm a child He chose.
I sing because He loves me;
I sing because I'm free.
  Praise the mighty, wondrous King;
  He's the reason I can sing.


   

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Glitz and Glamour

     Glitz and Glamour is everywhere these days.  It is in the name of a spa, a beauty salon, a clothing shop, or even a restaurant.  By definition glitz and glamour means showy and sparkly; someone who stands out because of appearance and money.  It is often associated with diamonds and jewels and with the rich and famous. 
     Personally, I think glitz and glamour can be every day attractions like what is found in "A Friendly Shade."  Green grass, rose bushes covered in bright red blooms, and day lilies bursting with brilliant yellow color.  I, for one, find pleasure in the first hint of blooms on a tomato or squash vine.  These are God's gifts of glitz.  Even my simple upscale country home with southern style columns and comfortable porches, although not decorated in a style most people would classify as glitz and glamour, gives me as much pleasure as a sparkling diamond.  A comfortable lifestyle filled with woodsy surroundings, the chance of wildlife sightings, mother nature supplied by God, and wonderful, friendly neighbors can make up a very glamorous lifestyle for the majority of folks. 
     As far as the individual goes, nothing is more glamorous or contagious than a smile and a heartfelt laugh.  I believe that our hope in God and our love for Him provides a truly glamorous smile for it can be seen from the eyes down to the mouth.  It can be seen in speech and actions.  Therefore, I would have to say that what is glitz and glamour to one person may not be what holds the key to being truly rich.  The question I have to ask is, "When you take away the showiness, what is found?" 
     My joy comes in the morning because of Jesus who died for me.  It is in Jesus I find my glitz and glamour.  He is the One who gives me joy.    
    
Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

 


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Slogans/ Turning to God

     I enjoy reading all the slogans on church signs.  Most of them have a lot of meaning if you just take the time to consider what they are saying.

    "If you can't sleep, don't count sheep.  Talk to the Shepherd."  When I was growing up and could not sleep, my mom would say, "Close your eyes and count sheep."   It did work some of the time, but yet I remember another time when it was late at night.  A thunderstorm came up and I told mom that I was scared.  This time she told me to close my eyes and talk to God.  He was the one in control, and if I talked to Him I would no longer be afraid.  This has been an on-going ritual because I know God will be with me through every phase of my life.  He tells us  "...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5

     "If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."  Some may question, how do I get reborn?  The answer to that is simple, for "whosoever believeth in God should not perish, but have everlasting life."  (John 3:16)   It doesn't take a science degree to figure this one out.  All it takes is a simple childlike faith. 

     "If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."  I, for one, am good at making U-turns because I will often try to argue with even the GPS.  I do find that my life is so much easier and I get lost less often and am much happier when I stop long enough to listen to God and strive to seek Him and follow His direction and guidance.   

     Here's a good one:  "In the dark? Follow the Son."  Another  is, "When It rains, look for the rainbow, and when it is dark, look for the stars."    Our troubles cause us to feel like we are struggling in the dark but there is a way out, "The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  (Psalms 34:19)

     Here is a good one, "No God — No Peace. Know God — Know Peace."  No truer statement could be made.  We all need God in our lives to truly know peace.
    
     "People are like tea bags — you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."  In our weakness we are made strong.  Our hardships should bring us closer to God and serve to make us strong.  There is a scripture that can go with this one too. "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."  Isaiah 40:29

     Here is a humorous and good one for those of us really wanting to change our aging wrinkles.  Instead of a facelift lets concentrate on a faith lift.  "Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!"

     There are so many of these they could fill a book, but one of my favorites is "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Actually this is not just a slogan, it is scripture that is found in Joshua 24:15 whereby Joshua was admonishing the people about turning away from God.  They had a choice to make, but if they chose to turn away from God, then God would also turn away from them. 

     I pray that our nation will very soon become a nation that returns to the God who loves and blesses us, and that our nation will say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 










Monday, April 18, 2016

Only Know!

     The Bible instructs us in love.   We are to "love God with all our heart and mind."  We are to "love our neighbors as ourselves."  Not only are we told to love, but God shows us His own great love in John 3:16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  

Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
 
1 Corinthians 4:21  "What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?"
 
Ephesians 3:17-19 "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
 
We are to dwell in God's love. 
 
      Only Know
 
Only know,
  within my love I give you life;
With me, you are predestined to be. 
I am your breath; your soul;
  a love which will make you whole,  
running deep and wide.
In your struggles I walk by your side.      
 
Only know,
  within my love there is compassion;
A love which will not fail, though you are weary and frail.
I am your protector, faithful forever;
  not leaving you. No never!
I am the One who sends blessings galore;
Seek them out and count them more. 
 
Only know,
  within my love there is patience and kindness;
I send increase; give joy, and peace. 
I loved you from the cross in my pain and my thirst;
I loved you though I was cursed.
My love reaches around the lands;
Believe in the cross and my nail-scarred hands. 
Seek the love I give;
Accept me and live. 
                  Mary Crisp Jameson - 4/17/2016
 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Let's Make A Deal

     "Let's Make A Deal", a game show hosted by Monty Hall, gives people the opportunity to select the door they wish to open in hopes of winning the biggest prize.   Whether on a game show or just living life daily, we are given many opportunities to select the right door.  I know, in "A Friendly Shade", I have to make choices everyday and in doing so, I pray that I select the one that gives me the most hope, joy, and peace.
     My game for today includes the following door choices.  To even give myself more opportunities, I am offering myself the choice of taking all 3 doors over 3 others:

      Door Selections would be :

             Choice 1                                                       Choice 2
        I                I                I                               I                 I                 I
   SAW       Coveted       Took       OR      Accepted     Repented     Received

     Of the  2 choices above,  I chose Choice 2 a long time ago but still, in life, I am much like Eve  who saw, coveted, and took.   Even as a Christian it is difficult to stay away from the doors offered in Choice 1.

     Taking it a bit further, even after having chosen Choice 2, and trying to steer away from the  Choice #1, opportunities to select yet another set of doors are given to me. 

            Choice 3       

          I                 I                   I
      Pray          Worship      Witness     

From these door selections, I must weigh the value.  Which gives me true blessings and is more rewarding?