Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Garden

       To the best of my recollection, my dad never planted his garden until Good Friday.  For that reason I simply cannot wait to get out in “A Friendly Shade” and plant my own garden.  As I contemplate planting my tomatoes and other vegetables, I can't help but think of how beautiful the Garden of Eden must have been.  God had given man direction on how to keep it and dress it.  He only had one request.  As with all humans, we have such a sinful flesh nature, the request was disobeyed.  That disobedience is the exact reason I will be sweating as I struggle to till and plant my garden. 
     Yet, I am so thankful there was another garden called Gethsemane.  It was there Jesus went in deep despair and prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt.”   In His anxiety, knowing how cruelly He would be treated, Jesus was still willing to be placed on a cross and let nails be hammered into His hands for me. 
     This Easter, I praise God and think Him for giving me salvation through grace as I remember the importance of two other gardens in history. 
  The Garden of Eden vs. Gethsemane
The Garden ...
    A paradise,
    All, green and lush.
    Cheerful sounds of a chirping thrush-
    All was beautiful and nice.
The Garden...
    The soul was grieved,
    Despair filled the heart.
    Father and Son were to be torn apart-
    Suffering and pain to be received.
The Garden...
     Freedom to end,
     Sin would be unfurled.      
     Suffering and fear was to enter the world;
     Man and woman would sin and offend.

The Garden...  
     Freedom was to begin.
     No one understood
     The Man who had done earthy good;
     Nails would soon pierce His skin. 
The Garden...
      Disobedience contemplated;
      The serpent simmering in deception;
      Knowledge a preconception;
      Man found sin overrated. 
The Garden...  
       Men slept; tears were wept in this place-
       A betrayal was finished!
       God's plan was not diminished;
       The kiss of death, the beginning of Grace.
                                            Mary Nell Jameson 4/17/14


Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Bucket List

      The Bucket List is a good movie about two terminally ill men on a road trip with a wish list of things they want to do before “kicking the bucket.” Initially the list is about self-gratification, but it quickly turns into friendship as they mark off the adventures on their list.
     During the trip there are some profound statements. One asks the other two questions:
  1.“Have you found joy in your life?
  2. Has your life brought joy to others?”
     In the end, one said about the other, “The last months of Carter’s life were the best months of mine.”
     I am, thankfully, not terminally ill, and it was not watching the movie that really got me to thinking about making a “bucket list”. It was reading an article written by Travis Plumlee in the Baptist Trumpet about “Little Things Mean A Lot.” His article is not about a “bucket list” or a wish list of things to accomplish for self, rather it is about things we can do every day which are meaningful for others.
     As I think about “Little Things Mean A Lot” while relaxing here in A Friendly Shade, I realize that to be truly remembered, it will be for something we do for others, not something we accomplish for self. That is truly how we will make our lives bring joy to others.
     To quote Travis Plumlee, “Doing little things for someone else in your family is like putting oil in the motor; it just helps things run smoother and keeps the engine going….One thoughtful act, every couple of days, over several years can really add up to be a blessing to the receiver.” He also referenced Ephesians 4:32 “Be ye kind one to another…”
     Maybe there should be a sequel, Bucket List II, made about two terminally ill men who set out to see how many faces they can put a smile on before they “kick the bucket.”
     On second thought, what if we become the main actors and actresses and create our own memorable “bucket list?”


The Lord Is My Shepherd

     One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 23.  Truly the Lord is the Shepherd of all.  He was in the burning furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and their clothes were not even scorched.  When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den for praying to God, the Lord protected Daniel so that no harm came to him.  When the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, food and water was provided, and their clothes did not wear out.  When the people listened and obeyed, they were able to defeat their enemies.  God led them to victory.  He is faithful, and He is the good Shepherd!
     Going back to Psalm 23 we learn that God provides goodness and mercy, and I am reminded further in Isaiah 40:31 that "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd,
He restores my soul;
He fills my cup.
Surely goodness and mercy lifts me up!
Though I am afflicted all around,
I shall mount up with wings.
Faith lifts me from the ground.
Alas! The Lord is my Shepherd.
 Though the storms of time,
I am not forsaken;
Surrounding me is God's love sub-lime.
I shall not want.
My cup runneth over;
All is well with my soul.
 Though I walk across the red-hot coals,
The Shepherd is my strength.
He restores my soul;
He makes me whole!
Yea, though I am thrown into the lion pit,
His presence is there.
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Surely, mercy is bestowed upon me.
Through I stray into a desert land so hot and dry,
My thirst is quenched.
I know not why.
Thanks be to the good Shepherd.
Though my enemies circle near,
He leadeth me beside still waters.
There is nothing to fear.
Where I am, He is there.
The Lord is my Shepherd,
He restores my soul;
He fills my cup;
Surely goodness and mercy lifts me up!”

                                           Mary Crisp Jameson -3/30/14



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jesus Is Not Dead

     I am anxious to see the new movie entitled, God's Not Dead.   Friends have told me it is a good movie, and one even said he got right up to the ticket window and was told, "Sorry, the seats are sold out." 
     With the movie, God's Not Dead, and Easter only a few weeks away, I got to thinking about my Jesus dying on the cross for me and His great Salvation plan.  I can only say that I am so blessed to have a Lord who loves me enough to allow those who hated Him to nail Him to the cross for my sins.

Jesus Is Not Dead

His wounds ran blood red!
  Skin torn and pierced-
  Body whipped-
Friends stood and wept in dread!
  Darkness fell-
  The ground shook-

Hanging on the cross, Jesus bled!
  Hope sprang forth-
  Promises fulfilled-
Lying upon His death bed!
  Angels stood nearby-
  The stone rolled away-
Word spread!
  “The tomb is empty!”
   Hearts lifted-
He arose the Living Bread!
  Lives changed-
  Brokenness healed-
In resurrection, Jesus became the Thread!
  The Way-
  The Deliverer-
He is not dead!
  Souls are saved-
  Eternal life proclaimed!
                                              Mary Crisp Jameson

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Standing At The Base Of The Cross

     There was a song we sang at church when I was growing up, and the refrain went like this, "At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away, it was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day!"
     As I sat in "A Friendly Shade," and thought about that memorable song, I couldn't help but be drawn to the base of that cross.     

I stood on a firm foundation
  at the base of the cross.
I didn’t, yet, understand this great plan of salvation.
The earth shook and darkness covered the lands
  while blood fell from His nailed pierced hands.

Fear came upon the people standing there;
Some cried, but others did not care.
This was just a man they wanted crucified.
Upon His head was placed a crown of thorns,
  followed by laughter and the people’s scorn.

I watched as the blood dripped from his wounds
  and saw Him struggle to take a breathe.
Standing there in awe, I heard Him cry out in death,
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
I thought, "Here is a man dying to set me free."

The dark veil lifted, and I was left standing in the light;
It was no longer dark as night.
I had felt the ground shake
  from the mightly quake.
Yet I knew I was standing on solid ground.
It was so profound!
I surely was not worthy of all of this.

I watched as friends lifted Him down from the cross
  and mourned their loss.
He had died “Kings of the Jews,”
  but He arose Saviour of all!  

He Is Risen! He Is Risen!
He has set me free from the chains of prison.
My burdens are lifted away,
  now I am happy all the day.
                     Mary Crisp Jameson

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Forty Years Of Wear

     It was supposed to have been a rainy day, and my alternative for a project was  the dreaded task of cleaning out my closet.  Thank goodness it did not rain, and I was not faced with that overwhelming job.
      Who really wants to make a decision on what to discard from an over-packed closet?  I have to admit that I actually have clothes in my closet which are perfectly good but many years old.  My daughter would say, “Mom, these are obsolete.  Get rid of them.”  My thoughts are, “but I may need them.”
     When I stopped to think about how old some of the clothes in my closet actually are, I could not help but remember Deuteronomy 29:5 Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.”  That was a true blessing to the Israelites.   However, I cringe to think that my clothes would not wear out in forty year.  Image it! Who wants to wear the same thing for forty years?  We are certainly blessed to have choices. 
     However, most of us would be glad if the roof on our homes lasted forty years  or if our automobiles and lawnmowers did the same.  Come to think of it, we would all be financially better off if we were satisfied with the clothes we had; if we wore them longer; and if we were not constantly updating with the current trends that keep us buying more and which lead to neglecting the ones which are already hanging there in perfectly good shape “taking up space.”  We do this because we become bored with the same old thing.  We make the fashion designers wealthy while we and our families become poorer. 
     Maybe it is time to stop and think!  Maybe it is time to be thankful for what we have instead of buying more and more.  Wouldn’t our financial pocketbooks be better off?  Wouldn’t we be more thankful if we took a moment to just say, “Thank you God for what I already have?”
    Looking back, I remember that my Mom didn’t have many clothes in her closet.  What she had was a well-worn Bible.  She never appeared bored with life or the clothes in her closet.  When I picture my mom, I see love, peace, and contentment.  I see her filling her time with doing for others.  I see a spacious closet with a somewhat outdated wardrobe, but most of all I see her reading her devotionals and her Bible.  Her Bible was well-worn like her clothes, and neither were dusty or just “taking up space.”



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Guys In Camo

     It would have been every guy in camo’s dream come true!  Nothing would have created a more adrenalin rush than to see this covering of birds flying in from every direction and landing just a hair-trigger away.   
     A true guy in camo will hunt anytime and anywhere.  It does not matter if it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or scalding hot.  They will tread thickets, briars, swamps, creeks or any thing that gets between them and their prey.   They will brave snakes, mosquitoes, and other wild varmin.  They do it because they have an expectancy for the big trophy; they do it to provide meat for the table; they do it for the camaraderie; and they do it for the serenity that God’s natural habitat provides. 
     Most guys in camo are not patient in everyday life events.  Yet, they can be very patient if they need to wait hours for the animal or bird they are hunting to come their way.  Most guys in camo cannot hear the alarm when it comes to getting up to head to their daily week-day job.  Yet, the alarm need only make a tiny sound in the early morning before daylight breaks and the guy in camo is up, dressed, and out the door with his first cup of coffee. 
     Most spouses would say the guy in camo is foolish.  It is a big waste of time.
     In the book, The Circle Maker, the author, Mark Batterson, talks about feeling and looking foolish. He wrote that foolishness is a feeling that Moses was very familiar with.  Moses must have felt foolish and looked foolish when he held up his staff to save the people. However, it no longer looked foolish when the Red Sea parted and the Israelites were able to escape. Most people called Noah foolish when he was building the ark, but, as they soon found out when the floods came, Noah had not been foolish by obeying God.  When Moses told the complaining people that God would cover the land with quail, he probably felt foolish, and the people thought the same.  How was God going to send enough quail to a desert land to feed six hundred thousand men?  Yet that is exactly what God did.  In the The Circle Maker we find that "faith is the willingness to look foolish." 
     Yes, it would have been a “Guy In Camo” dream come true to see all those quails dropping from the sky, but for the Israelites it was a source of meat they had not tasted in a very long time. 

“Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction.”  Numbers 11:31
     For those who enjoy short true life hunting stories check out my book GUYS In CAMO  kindle edition on Amazon.  It is loaded in coon, squirrel,deer, and quail hunting episodes.