Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







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?

    

  
    

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Faith


Just what is faith? And what can it do for us?  There is not a lot I can tell anyone about faith, but the following scriptures explains one aspect of it.  As I read these scriptures I pray to have "faith as small as a mustard seed."  As hard as I try to live by faith, I often find myself lacking. 
 
Hebrews 11  "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. ..."

People were healed because of faith.  Matthew 9:2 "Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:22 "Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment."

Matthew 9:29 "Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”

Matthew 13:58 "And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith."
 
Matthew 15:28 "Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment."

Matthew 17:20 "He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 21:21 "Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done."

Mark 2:5 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Mark 4:40  "He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Mark 5:34 "He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 10:52 "Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road."

Luke 8:48 "Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 12:28 "If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

Luke 17:6 "He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you."

Luke 17:19 "Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

1 Corinthians 2:5 "so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power."

2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we live by faith, not by sight."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Speck in the Eye

     When I was visiting with a friend and successful business man yesterday, he told me a story about one way to be successful.  It seems there was a new doctor who had just opened his business.  One day during a time with no clients, he looked out his front glass door and watched all the people going into another doctor's clinic; however this doctor had been in business for several years.  In a few minutes a friend walked in and asked the new doctor what he was doing.  The doctor explained he was observing all the business the well-established doctor had.  It was then the friend said, "Let me give you some advice.  You need to stop worrying about the clients next door and only be concerned about giving the very best treatment to the ones who walk in this door." 
     When I was told this story, I immediately thought about Matthew 7:3-5, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
     Even though I had, what I consider a successful career, and am now retired I still have a desire to be successful in my own image and personality.  I believe, that being successful does require giving my best to others, but it also requires that I work on myself so that I am not judgmental without first taking a look at myself and then working on removing the defects I have in my own life.  I have to remind myself daily to stop looking at the actions of others and concentrate on my own thoughts and actions. 
    


    



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter- Killing Jesus! and the Resurrection

     Easter weekend is here, so I am taking a moment in "A Friendly Shade" to think about the anguish my Lord suffered for my sake. 
Killing Jesus
 “Let Him die,” was the decree,
    yet killing Jesus was not to be.
“Kill Him! Kill Him!” followed the cry,
    but no reason why.
The mob moved within the crowd
    shouting in voices angry and loud.
“He’s spreading rumors all abroad,
    a common man, liar, and fraud.
“Kill Him! Kill Him!”
Oh! So much mayhem!
Soldiers took the whip to thresh,
    bringing blood and tearing flesh.
A vine of thorns became His crown;
To a splintered cross His hands were bound;
Nails pierced His hands and feet.
The crowd came alive and began to repeat,
    “Kill Him! Kill Him!”
People watched with faces grim.
Mockers spit in His face-
    beneath them, was His place.
The cross, slammed into the ground,
    anguish was profound;
Agony and pain
    doubled from bodily strain.
Blood covered barren skin,
    or what had been.
“Father, forgive them,” was heard by those standing there,
    just before the heavens opened, a Son to declare.
Rejected, mocked, battered, and shamed;
    a King, unnamed-
In death, the temple rent in twain.
The earth did quake the valley and plain.
Over it all, light turned to darkness,
    shouts ended in quietness.
Fear appeared on the witness face
    in that very place.
All was silence
     after the violence.
Kill Him! Kill Him,” had been the cry.
They did not know He would not die-
    nor why.
"Arise! Arise!" was God's own cry.
Salvation was the reason why.
A resurrection was God's decree;
    a plan foretold to set the sinner free.
The Son of God, a Savior, missing from the grave.
He arose to live! Souls to save.
A coming day for all to see-
Killing Jesus was not to be.
                             
Mary Crisp Jameson