Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What A Friend!

     "A Friendly Shade" has found me talking about friendships this week.  Everyone wants a best friend.  Some find it in their spouse, but will he always tell you the truth or what he thinks you want to hear?  Some find it in their long time school mate, but will he or she encourage you toward their way of thinking or just go along with you to keep friendships alive?  Some find it in a parent, yet you may not feel free to tell them "everything."   
     What is a best friend anyway?  It is a very special person in your life; someone you make plans with and look to for suggestions and advice through life’s situations.  It is someone you want to talk with about everything and nothing.  When you are sad, they are sad.  When you are happy, they are happy.  When you have a special event in life, they are there for you.  When you make mistakes, they love you anyway.  A really true friend is never jealous, never envious, never hateful, and never deceitful toward you.  A friend wants the best for you. 
     Does such a person live?  Yes, He does! 
     Imagine for a moment the following:
 A robber says: “I’m going to shoot and kill you.”
 Your friend answers: “No!  Kill me instead.”

What kind of friend would do that for you?  Jesus! And He did do it for you. 
John 15:13   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends

This takes me back to a song learned as a child, “What A Friend I Have In Jesus.”

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


Friday, November 20, 2015


     There are a lot of friendship quotes and many get posted on facebook. 
     Speaking of facebook, this social media provides a way to have zillions of friends, but how many do we actually know on a personal level?  Sure we click "like" and make casual written memos, but do we really talk to them or know their hearts? 
     I didn't mean to get off on facebook, so let's get back to the friendship quotes and review some thoughts on who can really be a best friend for life.  Below are just a few sayings I found on the internet.  It was hard to stop with just a few for there were so many good ones.

"A true friend is someone
who sees the pain in your
eyes while everyone else
believes your smile."    
God gives us many promises and among them is the promise to be with us through painful moments. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2   What better friend is there than the One who sees our pain and walks with us through it? 

"FRIENDS UPLIFT THE SOUL"                        When we make mistakes, do our friends turn away?  God doesn't.  He continues to love us and stands waiting to lift us up.  He is always willing to forgive and help us walk in a new light. "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25  Then again, as we read of His power, we realize He is a friend who will give us complete rest.  "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29

      "A true friend is someone who
accepts your past, supports your
present, and encourages your future."       Nothing gives more peace than knowing there is a Friend who we can go to regardless of our past.  He has forgiven us, if we have asked.   All we need to do is forgive ourselves and walk into the future with Him.  "The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalms 121:7,8

"There are some
people in life that
make you laugh a
little louder, smile a
little bigger and live
just a little bit better."
 God's Word uplifts, and His word is a way of getting to know Him.  If we have been saved by acknowleding His Son, Jesus, and His death for us, then we have laughter, joy, and peace.  "The entrace of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." Psalms 119:130  What better friends would we want than the One willing to send His only Son and the One willing to freely lay down His life for us?  Knowing we are saved gives us joy; we can smile through our problems, and we are given a desire to live just a little bit better.
is an umbrella that shields
you from the strongest of
All you need to do is
hold onto it. "                 Isn't it wonderful that our Friend provides us with an umbrella against the storms in our life?  "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."  Ephesians 6:16         "For thou, Lord, wilt beless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield." Psalms 5:12    No other friend can protect us like our Heavenly Father. 

 "A true friend is someone who thinks you are  a good egg, even though he knows you are slightly cracked."           Finally,  God knows all.  He sees our flaws, our faults, and our deeds, even our thoughts.  He created us in His own special way, and He is willing to accept us just like we are.  "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:7 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The One True Friend

     One day this week I was talking with a close family member about friendships.  Turns out that not everyone we meet remains our friend.  Either, they move on, get offended, or become judgmental over human weaknesses that don’t meet their expectations, often simple because they have not had to walk in the same shoes yet.   
     When friends move on, we are often hurt because we care what people think about us.  Yet, some of us must realize that although we are meant to be kind and loving toward others, we cannot please everyone, and we can become so obsessed over what people think about us that we fail to be ourselves.   
     You know, God created us all different and simply by being different we will not confirm to everyone’s expectations.  I believe that as long as we are conforming to what God wants, that is what counts.  Sure, we will lose a few friends along life’s path as each person finds their own walk in life, but what consoles us is in knowing there is an everlasting friend that will walk through the trial with us, never leaving our side.  Herein, lies a true love from the One who created us.
I am loved!
I am loved!
I am loved by the blood of the Lamb.
No my clothes aren’t spotless;
They’re not white as snow,
But I’m loved by the blood of the Lamb.     
Let me shout with joy!
Let me shout with glee,
For my God loves me!
Oh, I’m loved by the Lord of the World.
I am loved and so amazed;
Dazzled and dazed,
That I’m loved by the blood of the Lamb.
Let me shout with joy!
Let me shout with glee,
For my God loves me!
Thou my clothes aren’t spotless;
They’re not white as snow.
Still, I’m loved by the blood the Lamb. 
                                     Mary Crisp Jameson




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Reclaimed Lumber

     As I settled into my recliner snuggled beneath a cozy blanket, I flipped the television channels and landed on a remodeling show. The contractor was using reclaimed lumber in one of his projects. It had a blended attractive mix of colors.  When I observed the beauty of the project, I began to wonder just “what is reclaimed wood?” So I looked it up.
     Reclaimed lumber comes from old barns, factories, warehouses, even wine barrels, boxcars, and mines. This wood shows signs of natural inconsistencies like holes, dents, and often previous infestation; it has age and character not mimicked by newer woods. Its textures combine age, grain, and previous wear to form an eye-catching piece of art. Through its aging process, just like adding spice to a recipe, it has been seasoned properly and made strong and durable.  I am sure if reclaimed wood could talk there would be a story to tell.
     There is a lot that can be said about the inconsistencies of holes, dents, and textures and how a skilled carpenter can take it and form a masterpiece.  Isn’t that what God can do and does do for His people? He takes the broken, wayward, down-trotted, the jagged and messed up to create a new life. No matter how dysfunctional the past has been, God will hone it, carve a new beginning, and polish it to meet His design.  He has been waiting to turn those who look to Him into a final beautiful piece of artwork. Though His amazing grace God uses our flaws; He seasons, strengthens, and opens doors of opportunity that can be as varied as the grains and textures of reclaimed lumber.  
    Our assurance comes in knowing that God is the master carpenter and He watches over His work.    

Proverbs 19:21  "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Grow Fast! Grow Fast!

     As I sip an early morning cup of coffee in "A Friendly Shade," I am a little saddened.  My friendly shade no longer looks the same.  Although I live on five acres with some timber,  the owner of the adjoining property has sold hers , and the loggers are doing a clear cut right up to my property line.  Where once there were beautiful tall timbers, now brush tops and barren land surround me.  This is certainly not the view I anticipated relaxing in during my retirement years.   However, I can only allow time for a pity-party through this first cup of coffee.   Pouring my second cup of the day, I am determined to find a more positive note even though I worked hard to be able to build my home in this peaceful quiet location. 
      I am strengthened in the fact that this is only a temporary home and in no way where my true treasure exists.  All that I have or ever will have belongs to God.  He has the power  to make newly planted trees grow tall once again, and I pray, "Really Fast! "  God also has the power to take it away in the "twinkling of an eye." 
      I am reminded of 1 Peter 1:24, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." 
     I rejoice in the fact that my happiness comes, not from tall timbers , but from the presence of the God of the universe.
     I praise God that I can draw close to Him in any location regardless of the scenery or circumstances. 
     I am encouraged to grow in God's Word like newly planted trees. 
     I pray to  put God first in my life for He is "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dressing Like the Good Guys

     Growing up I watched a lot of western shows.  I could always distinguish between the good and the bad guys by those who wore either white or black hats.  The good guys wore white.  They dressed according to how they wanted to be seen.  In real life we do the same. 
     However to distinguish the good guys from the bad ones we only have our instincts, learned training, God's written Word, and His wisdom  to help guide us away from those who will lead us astray, down the wrong path, or hurt us in some other way.   1 Corinthians 13: 1,13 tells us,  "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal....  vs. 13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity"
     Yet, we also have to remember that  those who dress the nicest and talk the sweetest can  also have hidden agendas.   So, how do we dress so others can tell if we are the good guys or the bad guys?  And also, how can we dress to be successful.   I believe what we need to consider, even before we start to put on our golden bangles and fashionable outer wear, is to dress so we are pleasing to God.  Remember!  God looks at the heart. 

Jeremiah 17:10 "I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to the fruit of his doings."
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the  height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth;  for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

Early Morning Attire:
1.  Take the Bible off the closet shelf to find the scripture for the day
2.  Open the shoe box of prayer.
3.  Shower away resentment and unforgiveness
4.  Select fashionable clothing to allow a heart of love to be seen
5.  Check in the mirror to be sure God's light is shining through
6.  Stuff pockets or purses with the fruit of the Spirit:  Galatians 5:22-23

 7.  Listen and answer the Shepherd's call.  Never leave home without Him.              
8.  Relinquish the steering wheel and let God be the driver.



Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Country Girl

         Growing up my parents gave me all the basic needs and more.  They knew I needed more than what they could provide.  I needed an eternal guiding light, so they introduced me to the One who would lead me through my current walk and into eternal life. 
     In Sarah Young's, Jesus Calling, she writes, "I am God with you, for all time and throughout eternity...  My perpetual Presence with you can be a continual source of Joy, springing up and flowing out in streams of abundant Life. Let your mind reverberate with meaning of My names: Jesus-the Lord saves, and Emmanuel-God with us... Talk with Me about whatever delights you, whatever upsets you, whatever is on your mind..."   
     I am so blessed to have been given parents who were faithful to not only take me to church but to live a Christian example.   In tribute to them, I wrote the following: 

A Country Girl

I was raised among country girls-
Given home permanents with lots of curls;
Digging ‘taters and picking peas-
Saying, “Pass the cornbread, please.”  
I had home-made clothes from flour sacks,
But given love in Godly acts.
There was Daddy’s law
And rules from Maw.
No matter, it was cold or hot,
Momma washed out back in a big black pot.
I remember scrubboards, sounds of roosters crowing,
Rising early with a knowing.
A scented smell of lye soap-
Extinguishing a play day hope.   
Clothes were a’waiting to be hung on barb-wire fences,
Milking cows, gathering eggs to avoid expenses.
Mornings woke with chickens clucking,
Momma, feather plucking.  
There were mattresses airing in the sun,
Yet, work was not at all done. 
A country girl with memories galore;
Not all about work or what I wore.
Jumping rope and playing jacks-
Life was busy but not too much for Godly facts.
We had days for hog killing,
Lard making and chicklings cooking, if Maw was willing.
There was watermelon eating under big oaks,
And home churned ice cream with our kin folks.
Momma quilted and Poppa went off to hunt;
 He loved it no matter the stormy front.   
There weren’t complaints regarding their deeds-
Only thinking to meet the family needs.   
But Poppa didn’t allow no back-talking jaw-
Maw was quick to lay down the law. 
Respect was taught;
Hugs were given if we kids fought. 
I was raised a country girl
Drinking water from community dippers,
Running barefoot with no thought of fancy slippers.   
I had outdoor toilets and tin tub baths,
Then prayers a’teaching Godly paths. 
Life didn’t take no modern-day research- 
Sundays were times for church.
Needless, to say,
On any day,      
I didn’t have the best,
But this country girl was blessed.
                                                                                           Mary Crisp Jameson  10/24/2015