Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bullets

     What fun it is to look for deer tracks in the snow!  And there are plenty of those deer roaming around “A Friendly Shade.”  It is also a delight to secretly watch as they slip across the clearing unknowingly aware they are being watched.  They seem to have a natural instinct for survival as they are always alert and watchful. The slightly sound will send them leaping, very quickly, out of sight.  Yet, I have to admit that as much as I enjoy watching the deer creep silently out of the woods, I still have just as much enjoyment when hunting season arrives.
     Preparing for the hunt, I rise early, before dawn, to gather whatever gear is needed. One of the first things is to make sure I have plenty of bullets, not that I am a poor shot, but because I want to be prepared.  My .44 magnum rifle may have a shorter range capacity than some others, but it produces a powerful force when aimed properly at an unsuspecting target.    
     That is also what Satan does.  While being fully supplied with enough bullets to deceive even the smartest of people, his aim is quick and powerful.  Like a good hunter, he is ready and waiting for just the right moment to seek out his unsuspecting target.  If the target sucessfully dodges that first bullet, there will be another coming behind it.   
     As humans, we don’t have the natural instinct given wild animals for survival.  We have something better, a Book that never ages.  Within the pages of this Book, God gave us our very own set of bullets as well as the wisdom to choose to use them in order to avoid becoming Satan’s target:
 
               THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
 
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.
3. Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neightbor’s house, wife or possessions.


 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Gardener

     We often don't realize what we have until it is not there anymore.  Adam and Eve lived in a paradise until they disobeyed.  Just like them, people today often see what they believe to be something "greener on the other side of the fence" until they actually get there and realize differently. 
     As I sat in "A Friendly Shade"  I pray, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."  (Psalms 119:18)  and in your land.  

Morning by morning,
   day by day,
   night by night,
   the earth yields a beautiful site.

The Gardener handles all with tender care;
   a beauty He wishes to share.
A wonder! Lush, green, landscaped,
   planned, and shaped.
A splendor for all-
   inspiring, enchanting, a luscious exhibit hall.

All around,
   there are sites to astound.
The mountains and hills
   peak with jagged frills.
Trees sway stately,
   budding forth, donned ornately.
Flowers ascend to sing
  a song with the coming of early Spring.

The Gardener waters and nourishes;
   the landscape flourishes.
Where once thorny bushes grew,
   new life sprouts anew.
Where once the land lay dark,
   sunshine sends bright rays to leave its mark.

Morning makes way
   for the dawning of the day.
Forests of fir, pine, and oak
   amaze the eye with their colorful cloak.
By day, fields of wheat and oat
   dance beneath clouds that gently float.
By night the moon makes way
   for light to brighten the grey.
A flight of birds with feathered vests
   return to nature’s given nests.

The Gardener cares for it all,
   through winter, summer, spring or fall.
Cold, hot, drab, or bright,
   there’s something always to delight.

Morning by morning,
   day by day,
   night by night,
   the earth yields a beautiful site.
                             Mary Crisp Jameson
 

 

 

 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Choose The One You Cannot Live Without

     Don’t make your life with someone you can live with, but make your life with someone you cannot live without.” At the time I saw this saying, I thought, "I do not necessarily agree with this." A person would be extremely blessed to be able to find that special person whom they simply could not live without as long as they were, at the same time, one you could live with. By that I mean, kind, gentle, understanding, and always there for you without the ups and downs of quarreling, sulking, or constant disagreement.
     Then it hit me! Wow! How profound?
     I have actually been living with that One person I simply cannot live without since the age of ten. In fact, I cannot imagine my life without Him. He is kind, understanding, loving, protective, and always there for me.
     After I was saved, I remember being afraid of the thunder and lightning. My mother reminded me one night during a thunderstorm that God could take away my fear if I would just say a little prayer to Him. Since that time I have been able to peacefully sleep through many natural storms and, also, other storms in my life as I remember the words, “for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
    When I wonder how God can forgive a sinner like me and still love me in spite of it, I think about how He loved the thief on the cross who chose, at the end of his life, to believe in Jesus. Jesus answered him as He, himself, hung there bleeding for the sins of the world, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
     There have been so many times in my life when I have neglected to pray for guidance, to thank Him for blessings, and to walk in the path which I knew I should. I have made so many mistakes and have so many regrets, but God loves me still. He is the One I talk to when I am lonely, when I am sleepless during the night, and when I struggle with problems during the path of life.
    When others may choose to condemn me, God loves me. How can He do this? My answer comes from Isaiah 55, “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.”
     If anyone desires a life-long partner whom they simply cannot live without, and One who will provide eternal life, choose God. I am so glad I did.
     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.”
     John 6:47  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."

 

 

 

 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Idol

     One of the Ten Commandments given by God is, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Yet, we all have our idols, those things which we place first in our lives, and it is these things that can turn into a vapor in the twinkling of an eye.  God is the One and only constant in our lives.  He is the only One who can bring true, lasting joy. 

           The Idol
It lies silent, never-moving;
No embrace within the heart,
Just captivity through the endless day.
The pulse quickens with joyful intent
But leaving the soul with discontent.

It gleams bright, enticing, but cold-
A block of wood or melted metal,
Nothing to withstand the test of fire;
Nothing remaining to inspire;
The smile fads into despair-
The desire was there to ensnare.

A price to pay!
The sacrifice of soul-
Worship of silver & gold;
Wasn’t that foretold?

Love misplaced,
Treasures lying in waste;
Calamity falls,
And no one calls.

The idol sits silent, unconsoling,
Gleaming bright, enticing, but cold;
A beauty to behold-
Desired, heart invading,
Yet burning, rotting, fading.
Where is the essence of being?
All are fleeing.
                      Mary Crisp Jameson – 2/6/2015

Isaiah 42: 8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. 17 But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.

 

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Quick Prayer

       "Put both feet on the floor,” I wearily told myself as I clicked off the alarm. That’s what my mind was saying, but my body wanted to slide down under the covers. Deciding to let body overcome mind and grab a few more minutes of shut-eye, I mentally whispered, “Thank you God for this day.” and slid down into my nice warm bed.  Then just as quickly, I remembered the last thing I was doing before I drifted off to sleep the night before. It was supposed to have been a talk with God about the day, but the only thing I remember was a brief, “Thank you…,” before drifting off to sleep. I suddenly felt ashamed but thankful.  
      I am so glad to have a forgiving God, and One who does not doze off to sleep like I do with Him. He never wearies from listening to my complaints and grumblings. He’s never too tired to help me carry my load. He has time for me. Actually He waits to talk with me, and I know that if I will just plant both feet firmly in His Word, my day will go so much better. He deserves so much more than a hurried fall-asleep prayer at the end of the day.

Psalm 121:3, 8 NIV    “He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; …the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Litter Clean-UP

     Driving home from church this morning, I noticed paper cups, cans, and other debris along the roadside and in the ditches.  What a mess!  It is not right that someone would have to come along and clean up what others have done.  I, myself, have worked as a volunteer to clean up our countryside and, as I picked up litter, I thought, “It’s not right that I should have to clean up this mess.”
     Yet, isn’t this what God does every day?  He cleans up our messes.  Only, he cleans up out of love regardless of our bad decisions. 
     It seems as though God has been cleaning up after humans since the beginning of time.  He helped Adam and Eve make clothing after they disobeyed Him.  He opened the heart of forgiveness when the prodigal son returned home only to be received with loving arms by his father.  God converted Paul from a life of hatred and killing to a life of proclaiming God’s Word and giving him a heart of love for others.  When Jesus was on the cross, He gave life to one of the thieves beside Him when the thief asked of Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”  Jesus told the thief, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”   
     When people seek God, He can change a life.
     I was reminded of the newness of life by the author of our Sunday School lesson when he wrote, “Jesus made all things new through His life, death, and resurrection.”  Those who believe on Jesus have a helpmate; One who can take our messed up lives and make them new.  When we stray and began to litter up our lives God’s power can turn us back to Him.  We can have a fresh, new life because of the  good Shepherd. 

 Luke 15:3-7 (NIV)3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Keep Me Young

    As adults, what's missing in our lives?  Could it be childlike trust as shown by the little girl who asked her mother for a kitten and was told, "No! Not unless God sends you one."  So the child immediately went outside, got on her knees, and prayed, "Lord, please send me a kitten." When the child opened her eyes, a kitten came sailing through the air and landed at her feet.  Her simple, trusting prayer had been answered.  It didn't matter that the neighbor across the way had just tied a rope to a tree limb  and then to the hitch of his truck in an attempt to get a stranded kitten out of his tree. The rope broke, the tree limb popped back in place, and the kitten went sailing across the sky. 
     Sometimes trust, laughter, and just getting rid of the stored up garbage of disappointments and resentments along life's highway of life will bring blessings, joy, and a youthful heart. 

            
 
 KEEP ME YOUNG
Keep me young, Lord, keep me young,
Like little children
With laughter dancing off their tongue,
While chasing friends across the glen.
Keep me laughing, full of joy
Like a playful, grade school boy;
Like the children and the young,
Dreaming dreams
Through the seasons that have sprung,
Waking, flowing as the streams.
Let my love flow easily through my days,
Awed by heaven’s rainbow rays.  
Don’t let me age, Lord, don’t let me age.
Give me childlike faith and trust,
Hope through the turning of a page, 
A life with treasures free of rust.
Make me childlike through the day,
Loving, sharing in my play.
Help me rid my heartfelt pain.
Keep me trusting as a child,
Dancing, singing t
hrough drizzling rain;
Open, growing, meek and mild.
Keep me smiling in this place,
Joyful in my homeland space.
Keep me young, Lord, keep me young.
                                                         Mary Crisp Jameson