Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Red Carpet Fashion Police

     It was a hot morning but also the last workday of August, and I was dressed in pastel linen.  As I sat in “A Friendly Shade” drinking my first cup of coffee listening to the sound of some wild turkeys gobbling in the woods beyond, it suddenly dawned on me that next week would be Labor Day and September.  “Hmmm,” I thought, “is it time to purge my closet and put these light colored linens I am wearing away?”  I grabbed my cell phone and sent that question out to my Facebook friends.  These are the answers I got.

        “That rule is a million years old.  Retire it the end of September.”
        “I am going to wear white till it gets cool.”
        “September is usually hotter than August. Keep cool and forget the fashion police.”
        “If it still feels nice while wearing it, and you feel pretty in it, I say wear it.”

     Not completely satisfied that I had the correct answers, I quickly went to the web search and received all kinds of comments, from when to wear light or dark colored clothes, open-toed or closed-toed shoes to even tips on seasonal nail and lip colors with the majority of comments stating, “No whites after Labor Day but can wear white after Easter.”
     Needless to say, there were no truly correct answers.  A lot just depends on the weather and where you live.  Even many fashion designers are rebutting the rules. 
     Considering more about the “fashion police,” I thought, "There has got to be something I can wear year-long that will not subject you to the “red carpet” critics."   
     I hurriedly ran to my closet and selected a colorful dress to match the personality that God gave only to me.  It was simple, yet fashionable, and which adequately covered all the important parts, but yet revealing enough to show a heart filled with the Holy Spirit.  Next, I pulled out a matching pair of shoes which I could walk in comfortable, without stumbling, and heels I could walk in fearlessly, hand in hand, with God.  I ran to the mirror to check my smile.  I wanted one showing happiness, peace, and contentment.  Satisfied, I sprayed on a splash of Euphoria, a fragrant steadfast scent which filled the air, reminding me of the steadfast, dynamic, and powerful love of God who is never changing throughout any season.  But I also had to have accessories!  I was missing my jewels, sparkling with faith and joy.  After adding those, I grabbed a hat embellished with truth and honesty, then a matching purse filled with the fruit of friendliness and good labor for others.  I thought I was, indeed, ready for the "red carpet" walk when I spotted a pair of dress gloves.  Oh yes, I needed those too!  They were my fingers of helpfulness and sharing.  Holding them in my hand next to the strap on my shoulder bag, I again viewed myself in the mirror.  I straightened my pose and thought, "Yes! This ensemble should take me from spring and summer on into fall and winter.  If not, to heck with the fashion police of the day.  Only God is the anchor I must satisfy."   In my way of thinking, "I am properly dressed, glamorous enough, and fearlessly ready to take that successful step, with God by my side, out onto the "red carpet"  of life."


A Warrior's Prayer

A Warrior’s Prayer

Arm me Lord-
  Shield me in the midst of this raging war.
  Sharpen my sword
  Until I enter a newfound door.
  Make me a mighty warrior for the king
  Throughout the dreary winter and into a fresh new spring.   

The battle is hard, the uphill climb-steep.
   Help me to wear this heavy helmet well.
   I pray for a restful sleep;
   Stay near - lighten my path when I stumble and fail.

Protect me Lord-
  Restrain those who plot against me.
  Open my eyes to your strategic plan; draw me aboard;
  Keep me safe from the storm of deadly shells until I can flee.
  Oh thank you, Lord, for your loving touch,
  Letting me know the battle I fight will not be too much.      

You Lord, are the calm;
  The One I seek;
  The One who keeps me safe from harm,   
  Who carries me across the raging waters and trickling creek,
  You are my strength and mighty shield.
  Who gives me abundance from what the fields will yield.

Thank you for encouraging me for the fight ahead,
  Wisdom for the journey, healing for the wounds, joy through it all.
  Help me not leave your Word unsaid,
  Though the enemy lurks outside my protective wall. 

Arm me, Lord!
  Keep this soldier strong
  With your clear, directive Word-
  May your ever-dwelling Spirit restore my soul with a heartfelt song. 


The Garden Prayer

     My Friendly Shade is a blessing to me but what makes it even more enjoyable are the talks I have with God.  As I thought on my prayer for today, I am reminded of one of my favorite old time songs, In The Garden

"I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on roses
And the voice I hear falling
On my ear the son of God discloses
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known"

     My prayer for today is:

I stand in your presence in awe of you,
your power, your love, your sacrifice;
I praise you, my Christ!
Help me to honor your name, seek your face,
and thank you for your unending grace.
I pray to live a life worthy of the cross-the blood shed
by the Living Bread.
Dear Lord,
Help me to spread love, joy, and peace
so your gossip will never cease.
Humble me to seek only the ways of the living Lamb.
Give me wisdom to know who and what I am.
Thank you for the good and the bad in my life,
Help me to grow through the pain and strife,
seeking to serve you better
for everyday it all will matter.
As I struggle though this world I’m currently in, 
thank you for your unfailing forgiveness of all my sin. 

The Model Prayer

     As I was reading my IN Touch devotional I came across good insight on how to pray.  Most all of us, at some time or the other, feel like we really do not know how to pray and what to pray for in our lives or the lives of others.   The author refers us to Luke 11:1 when even one of Jesus’ disciples said to Jesus, “…Lord, teach us to pray…”
     The writer of the devotional tells us that “when we use Scripture to speak to the heavenly  Father, our conversation contains His own divine authority.”  The author gives us some scripture references:
     (NIV) Galatians 5:22-23But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
     (NIV) Colossians 1:9-14   For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you  to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The writer provides bullet points on what Paul prayed for the Colossian church:
     Understand God’s plan for their lives
     Conduct themselves in a manner worthy of Christ and pleasing to Him
     To bear fruit in every good work
     To grow in the knowledge of God
     To be strengthened according to His power
     To walk in gratitude

     *Above taken from In Touch – August 2014 publication- Devotional for August 22 and weekend version

      After reading this as I sat in “A Friendly Shade” I had to go back to what I consider the perfect model prayer given to us by Jesus himself in Matthew 6 and the advise He gave:
       6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.After this manner therefore pray ye:
     Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Believe!

     My parents took me to church from the time I was small.  I have been blessed to feel I have always known about God.   But yet, it was up to me to seek Him, to believe in Him, and to accept His love and His Word.  At the age of 12, I did this by faith.  I have not thought to question His existence.  He is the source of my peace and my lifeline.  If I had to explain why, I couldn't.  God is just there.  It is faith.  For me, that is all he asks. 

I believe in the Old and New Testament-
Scriptures and stories given with intent.      
There was the Garden of Eden,
The creation, the flood, the beginning but not the end.  
There was Adam and Eve-
Oh yes! I believe.

I believe in the great Red Sea;
How it opened up so His people would be free.
There was David and Goliath,  
Besides the stories that came just prior.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Are ones we all well-know. 
Jonah was a man swallowed by a whale
For three days, in the belly, was where he dwell.     

Yes! I believe them all-
Those who followed His call;
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John;
Men who carried the gossip on. 
There was a man named Zacchaeus,
The walking on the water,
A boy with five loaves and two fish.

I believe in the birth of a King;
For that I will shout and sing.
I believe in the cross and the nails in His hand;
In the eternal life He has planned.
I believe in the blood and the resurrection.
That’s my faith and my reaction!

I believe in Jesus Christ,
His mighty sacrifice,
His love, power, and grace,
The protective angels, and His forgiving embrace.
Yes! I believe.
That’s why I receive.

                  Mary Crisp Jameson – 8/17/2014


Monday, August 11, 2014

A Fool's Gold

     When Paul was in prison he reminded the people about contentment and where that contentment can be found when he wrote in Philippians 4:12-13 (TLB)    I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”  Paul is telling us that God is with us and we should praise Him in all situations.  It is with God we can find contentment. 
     In Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about vanity and questions what he gets for hard work, education, wisdom, having beautiful women, drink, merriment, and obtaining satisfaction.  He says it is like “chasing the wind” but then, in the end,  he realizes that “pleasure is from the hand of God; For who can eat or enjoy apart from him?”

         A Fool’s Gold

I’ve sought riches untold,
But it’s left me feeling cold.
No matter my lot,
No matter whatevr’ I’ve bought,
Constantly on the go,
I’ve found my desires continue to grow.

I’ve sought a fool’s gold
From youth to growing old. 
All my possessions; all the clothes-
Nothing given or that I’ve chose
Fills my hunger,
The desires, or makes me feel younger.
“This house that I own-
It’s not a mansion,” I moun.
There is never enough
Of all this earthy stuff.

The more that I gain, the more I lack;
It’s knocked me off-track.
There’s a lesson here:
For in a blink, it can all disappear.
Wherein then, can I be content?
What has it all meant?

I sought wealth and a high-paying job;
No care for the joy I’d rob.
First on my list was fortune and fame;
No one but myself to blame.
Next came status and all I could claim,
But not a thought from whom it all came!
I’m left spiritually poor
In all my grandeur!

What cannot  be stolen or lost?
What comes with no extra cost?
It’s something I’ve overlooked and missed;
A treasure not on my list!

No matter my lot,
Contentment was what I’d forgot.   
Whether big or small,
God gave me it all.
He is the One who should have been first;
The center of my hunger and thirst.
That’s where my mansion will be-
The pearls, silver, and gold; I can hardly wait to see!
My biggest treasure-
My greatest joy and pleasure
Should have been my God I sought,
Not all the things that I bought.
                        Mary Crisp Jameson – 8/10/2014


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Damascus Road

There are all kinds of roads we can travel in life, but there is one road that leads us to Jesus.  Saul traveled a road of his own which, in the end, led him to Jesus. 

                The Damascus Road

What was there about the Damascus road:
A worn and dusty trail where a miracle was bestowed?
The Damascus road-Herein lies a story with a twist;
A road Saul couldn’t resist. 
Amid the ruts and the dust,
Rode a man Christians could not trust.
This vengeful, Saul, breathed murderous threats;
He wanted to kill and mangle, without regrets.
He was on a mission; this man with ambition.
Saul held evil and hatred in his heart,
Yet, the Damascus road was about to give him a brand new start.
The Damascus road, a road well-traveled;
One where a miracle occurred; a mystery unraveled!

What was there about the Damascus road;
A worn and dusty trail where a miracle was bestowed?
The Damascus road, dusty and dreary-
A road Saul chose to ride, though he was tired and weary.
This soldier in armor, whom Christians feared,
Fell to his knees when a mighty light appeared.
He heard a voice ring out with a mighty shout,
“Why Saul? Why do you persecute me?”
Saul looked about, but he could not see.
The Damascus road, a road well-traveled;
One where a miracle occurred; a mystery unraveled!

What was there about the Damascus road;
A worn and dusty trail where a miracle was bestowed?
The Damascus road, touched by the hand of God, 
Changed a heart wicked and flawed.
Saul, once confused and blinded,
Now filled with the Spirit became God-minded. 
No longer did he want to kill or spread ill-will.
This was a man on a mission; a man of ambition;
A man setting people on fire for the Messiah.
It was Jesus’ name he wanted to proclaim!
The Damascus road, a road well-traveled;
One where a miracle occurred; a mystery unraveled!
                                    Mary Crisp Jameson – 8/4/2014  

Acts 9:22  Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.”