Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Sunday, September 28, 2014

Peacemakers

     It is easy to have peace when we are along in a quiet and peaceful place, like "A Friendly Shade", but how can we manage to surround ourselves with a feeling of peace when we are around people who seem to want to disturb that type of environment?   We are told in Romans 14:19 to “Follow after the things which make for peace” 
     I tried to find scriptures that give us words of advise on how to be peacemakers and came up with the following acronym for peacemakers. 

P - Pray for others …Matthew 5:44b “…pray for those who persecute you”

E- Endure -………...1 Corinthians 4:12b “… when we are persecuted, we endure    it.”

A-Avenge not  .........Romans 12:19a “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves…”

C –Constant in Pray..Romans 12:12b “continuing instant in prayer.”

E- Exercise restraint.1 Corinthians 8:9 “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

M-Merciful ............. Luke 6:36  “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.”

A –Answer softly.... Proverbs 15:1 "a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

K –Kindness............Romans 12: 10a “Be kindly affectioned one to another…”

E-Extend to those in need..Proverbs 31:20 “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

R –Recompense not..Romans 12:17a “Recompense to no man evil for evil…”

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why Pray?

     It’s almost Fall!  The tell tale signs surround “A Friendly Shade.”  The leaves are beginning to fall; some even have a hint of changing colors.   Even though I don’t always enjoy the weather in any given season, I do love the changing of the seasons.  I am so glad that God is in control.  How do I know this?  He tells us in Isaiah 40:7  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them…”
     My next question is  the same as the author from In Touch, “If God is in control of all things why does He ask us to pray?"  We already knows that God knows all, controls all, can do all, and give all?
     Since I am not a Bible scholar, I went back and reviewed my weekly IN Touch devotional for an answer and found in the September, 2014 publication a few things the author wrote, as follows:
     "God desires to involve His children in the work He is doing.  Prayer helps us maintain a sense of dependence upon our Father and leads to a deepening intimacy with Him. God desires to bring us into agreement with His will.  The more our plans line up with His, the more He is able to accomplish in and through our life.”
     I also found in Matthew 26:41 that Jesus says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”   
     On further reflection, even Jesus prayed, and He knew the Father’s will.  He prayed in a solitary place.  Mark 1:35 tells us, “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.”  Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  Then in John 17:1 we are told he asked, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”   
     Jesus actually gave us so much insight into what and how we should pray.  He even gave us examples of His own prayer life.    He prayed when even- “He knew!”

 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Satan Is Tracking You!

     With the Home Depot breach of stolen credit cards, is there no place to hide?  We live in the world of credit and debit card use. We are also faced with being tracked, practically, wherever we go, even in my cozy, “A Friendly Shade."       As a matter of fact, someone just told me they were traveling and received a notification that they were near a certain store and to “stop in and see them.”  It seems they had downloaded an app from that store on their phone.  Wow!  Very scary!
     That being said, have we ever thought about the fact that we have always been tracked?  Satan has been roaming the earth for years tracking down whoever he can to sway us away from the One who can and will protect us.  “…because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8    This should, in fact, be even scarier than any stolen identification or tracking system through electronic mode.  Even though we may all go through earthly man created problems as the result of illness, financial loss, depression, or other situations we can have hope and joy in knowing we have a Savior. 
     All God asks is for us to believe His Son died for us and believe.   “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
     It is as simple as that!  No matter the horror we go through in life or the fear of tomorrow, if we truly accept and believe as promised in John 3:16 we will have an eternal life forever in heaven. 
     One thing I know is that God does not have to have a tracking devise.  Once I accepted Him as my Savior I was given the Holy Ghost who lives within.   He walks with me every single day.  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”  John 14: 17, 26

    

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Have A Little Talk

     My previous blog was about a conversation between Adam and Eve, which is basically the same conversation that has been repeated through the generations.  Today I thought about yet another conversation-one which fits a lot of us in so much of our daily lives.   We all like to have a little talk with someone we love.  Couldn't that also be turned around? 

     Having worked all day, I was tired.  It was early to bed for me.  As I turned off the light, I heard my companion and best friend quietly say, “Don’t you want to talk awhile. We really have not talked much today for you have been too busy.” 
     Trying to brush it aside so I could close my eyes, I replied, “I really want to, but could we do it in the morning?”  Not waiting for an answer, I quickly rolled over and went to sleep. 
     As usual, I woke a few hours later and was having trouble going back to sleep.  I thought, “Maybe I could say a few words so I rolled over and whispered,  “Are you awake?  And can we talk now?” 
     “Of course, I am always here waiting for you to take time to talk with me.” 
     It was dark and I couldn’t see.  Not wanting to fully wake up, I never even opened my eyes.   Sluggishly, I offered a few bits of what was on my mind, never thanking Him for staying awake to hear what I had to say, much less listen for an answer or sense His presence, for soon I was fast asleep.
     The next morning as the alarm sounded, I tapped it off and dozed some more.  Then suddenly it was late. Much too late!  I sprang from the bed to dress for work.  Running out the door, I muttered, “Sorry, we didn’t talk this morning. We’ll do it later.” 
     “Any time,” I heard a voice, so understanding, quietly say, “I’m always here.”
     The day was busy with no time to stop and soon, here again, time had rolled around and the bed was looking good.  I crawled back in, flipped off the light, pulled up the covers and heard, “Don’t you want to talk?  I have been patiently waiting for you all day?” 

     If the shoe fits, we should be ashamed for we should come before God,  humbled and on bended knee, giving Him quality time in the morning, during the day, and last thing at night.  God is so ready to give us His love, direction and protection.  He has already given us His Son! 

      

 

 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Conversations

     Sitting here in “A Friendly Shade”  I couldn’t help but laugh as I remembered parts of a conversation between 2 sisters; one who loved the outdoors and the other preferring the indoors.  Not one to remember the exact way it was told to me, let me just say, it might have gone like this:    

      Coming inside from working flower beds, the sister asked her avid stay-inside sister,  “Do you have any root conditioner?” 
     The sister, busy mopping her floor, replied, without looking up,  “Sure,  there is probably some L’Oreal or Gardenia on the shelf in the bathroom.”
     “Are you mocking me?”
     “No!  I thought you were going to wash your hair.”
     “I am planting roses and need stimulator for their root system”
     “Oh.  Well, why didn’t you say so?”
     “I did!  If you went outside more often, instead of having such clean floors, the kind you could eat off of, you might know what I was asking about.”
     “You are right.  Some days you can eat off my floors and actually get full.  You might even have your choice of green peas or bread crumbs.” 
     “Well, do you have any?”
     “Any what?”
     “Root conditioner or stimulator?”
     Smiling sweetly, “No, I don’t keep any of that kind of stuff.”

      That was a loving conversation between two sisters who accepted each other for who they were.  Thinking further, I remembered another conversation, but one in which the instigator tried and was successful in changing someone to suit their own agenda because the listener did not adhere to her principles and accept her current life; she wanted more!  The conversation went something like this:

     “I have been out wandering about seeing the world and here you sat doing nothing but tending this garden.  Don’t you want to be wiser and see more?”
    “But, I have all I need.  Look around, I can have any of the wonderful fruits from all these trees except  the fruit from that one tree in the center of the garden.  I was told I would die if I eat from it.”
     “No!” the intruder firmly replied.  “You will not die.  You can have it all.  See how lush and robust it is.  Imagine how juicy and tasty it must be.”
     The woman fell to the temptation.  She looked at the fruit and found it pleasant to the eye.  It was then she began to desire that which she knew in her heart was forbidden.  She reached up and took the fruit in her hand. She desired it's lush sweetness, and she tasted.  That one bite led to a deeper desire for more.  She even took the forbidden fruit to her husband and tempted him.  She wanted him changed, as well.   

     Most all of us, at some time in our lives, blame Adam and Eve for the labor imposed upon us today.  We think, “If they had not taken that first bite we wouldn’t have to go to work every day.”   But isn’t that what we do today.  We are just like Adam and Eve.  We continue to dabble in the first taste of sin that leads to more.  It is then our conversation goes like Adam and Eve’s to God in Genesis 3:10,13   Adam -  “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. ..And the Lord God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou has done?’  And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’ ”    

 

 

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. 
                                                                       AMEN!