Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Thursday, September 22, 2016

Love

     I have been intending to write about love for the past week, but have not taken the time to sit in "A Friendly Shade" and decide how to get started.   Love takes so many different directions.  I believe love has to be developed.  To have love we need forgiveness even without being asked, we need to develop an intent not to hurt others, and we need to eliminate self pride.  So I knew that to talk about love, there was no way to cover every aspect that needed to be considered.
     Then as I was watching a video on Facebook about a farmer's presentation to the Shark Tank, I realized how his heart changed the perspective of the Tank members.  He was full of humbleness and genuine caring for the farmers in the area where he lived.  He was demonstrating a love which was coming from his heart.  If we don't have true love it simple cannot flow from our heart.  For this reason, I think I can truthfully say the heart and love are connected.  
     In Proverbs 4:23 we are told "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."  Therefore, we cannot put love on a shelf and just take it down occasionally like a trinket, dust it off, and expect to use it from time to time and see results.   Others, who we are around every day, see how we use love; they recognize us for who we really are.  Matthew 15: 18 shows us this.  "But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them." 
     If we don't have love in our hearts, what does that make us?  I think we can find the answer in 1 Corinthians 13, "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."
     How should we handle love?  In Proverbs 3:3 we find, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart."  From this I find love to be tender and we strenghen it by protecting it.  We endeavor to keep it safe, stored away in our heart so we keep our love growing for others. 
     Who should we show love to and how?  Matthew 22:39 answers that question, "And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
     I realize it is hard to love those who are unlovable, but what more does the scripture have to say:    Take a look at what Luke 6:32 says, "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  You see, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13)
     Finally, but certainly not least,  is the commandment on who we should love the most.  "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" And another scripture cautions to beware of where we place our treasure:  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   Where is our love, our treasure?  Are we willing to set pride aside to give love to others?



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Simplicity

     Our Sunday School lesson today was taken from 2 Kings, chapter 5. I will try to sum up the simplicity of the lesson.  It is about proud, turned into humility, and the simplicity of healing. 
     As the story goes, Naaman, a commander of the king's army, highly regarded and a brave warrior had a skin disease of leprosy.  In one of his raids he brought back from the land of Israel a young girl.  Instead of resentment, she cared enough to tell of a prophet, one who represented the one true God.  She said, "If only my master would go the prophet who is in Samaria, he would cure him of his skin disease."
     Naaman was so desperate to be healed that he made the journey loaded up with "750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and 10 changes of clothes."
     Upon arrival at the prophet's home, he was met by the prophet's servant and told to "go wash in the Jordan and you flesh will be restored and you will be clean."  Naaman became angry. You see, the healing process seemed too simple, the river was dirty and beneath him.  He also lacked humility and faith.   He obviously was expecting the prophet, himself, to meet him and perform some type of ritual.  How dare he just sent out a lowly servant to give him instructions.  Secondly, the Jordan river was dirty and nasty unlike many others which were clear and clean.  Why choose this one? 
     However, with encouragement from his men, Naaman finally did as the prophet's message instructed and, to his surprise, "his skin was restored and became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean."  Whereupon, Naaman returned to the prophet in order to present him with the gifts of riches he had brought in exchange for this healing, but the prophet would not accept them.  He simple said, "Go in peace."
    What is the point of this story, you may ask.  Healing for Naaman turned out to be a simple humbling process.  There were no demands and no request for payment.  This is much like the spiritual healing which God provides.  
     God's plan, the cross, is one of humble simplicity.   God send His messenger, Jesus, to give us the healing we all need.  If we will simple accept the name of Jesus and His cross, God will say, "I am well pleased, go in peace." 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Picture

     "A picture is worth a thousand words!"  This is an English idiom referring to the notion that an image is very effective in grabbing your attention in order to portray an idea which is probably why a Facebook posting grabbed my attention long enough for me to listen to a sales pitch for a product.  It was about a life change promising free information.  The salesperson was rapidly drawing images to go along with "free" information; however, at the end there was a cost involved in order to obtain the product which would provide this new healthy life change.
     Images do have a way of grabbing our attention even though we quickly get turned off when the price of the product is finally revealed.   Yet, I have experienced and do know about a life change which comes at no cost!
     Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a child born and laying in a dirty animal crib.  The scene takes place in a barn filled with smelly animals.  It was cold and the only warmth was a bed of dusty hay and a small thin blanket. 
     Now envision this child all grown up.  He chose to leave a home where he was nurtured with love to travel the countryside sharing about hope for a life changing event.   His only mode of transportation was by foot with maybe an occasional donkey ride or in a fishing boat. 
     Was this simply a sales pitch that would end up with a cost to the crowd which followed Him?  No!  This life changing event was free to all except Himself.  He was the One going to pay the cost.  Many chose to listen, while others scoffed and spit in his face. 
     Finally, picture a cross.  Upon that cross is a man with nails hammered through his hands and his feet.  Blood runs down his body.  His head is hung in agonizing pain.  This is the cost the man paid.  In the end, as he had foretold, there was no cost to anyone.  It is truly a life changing event with no cost if you choose to accept Jesus as your hope and Savior of the world.   This is a package deal providing hope, peace, joy, and life. 

John 3:16  "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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

      

Sunday, September 4, 2016

What's In A Name?

     A person's name is part of what defines him.  In fact, most expectant parents spend a lot of time selecting names for their new-born infants, and they should, because their  name will be with them for a lifetime.  I learned early on that names are important.  Whether addressing an adult or a child, being able to call them by name gives them a sense of importance.  I tried very hard when I was employed to call every customer by name.  Also, when I was trying to find a craft project, one mom told me that if I were able to put the child's name on it, the project would sell.  Children like to hear their names and even see their names in print.  It gives them a sense of recognition.   
     Even in Bible times, names were given which had meaning.  In Charles Stanley's devotional, it was stated that in Hebrew, Judah means "this time I will praise the Lord," Jacob means "one who supplants," and Jesus means "salvation or He saves."   
     It should be noted here that God's Son's name was important to Him.  God picked out His own son's name when an angel from God said to Mary, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thou womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." 
     When I consider the importance of a name, I am also reminded of Proverbs 22:1, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."  This reminds me that it is up to me to make my name one to be respected.  I am further reminded that when I was born again with Christ, I was given a new name, "The Child of God."  Also, most important of all is that I must continually acknowledge His name.  Nothing would be worse than when God comes to gather his children home, to hear Him speak my name saying, "I never knew you."

 Matthew 7:21-23  "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

So? Whatever! 365 Laughs and Devotional

     Sometimes I get just a little silly in my more "creative writing," like the one dated August 25th in my devotional book, So? Whatever- 365 Laughs and Devotionals.
https://www.amazon.com/So-Whatever-365-Laughs-Devotionals-ebook/dp/B01D45OL1Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=fiona-hardware&ie=UTF8&qid=1472570913&sr=8-1&keywords=So%3F+Whatever%21#nav-subnav


A couple was having a discussion on what to do now that they were on their honeymoon.  The man wanted to be boss and said, "If it had not been for my money, we would not be here."  To which the wife replied, "Honey, if it had not been for your money we would not even be a WE."

What makes a "We?"
It's companionship as all will agree.
Who makes a "We?"
It's Jesus in the heart of she and thee.
How can I become a "We?"
Ask the Lord to come in with a plea.
How did He provide a "We?"
He shed his blood for you and me.
What discussions can be had as a "We?"
Simply bow and fall upon your knee.
Will happiness abound, united as a "We?"
No greater blessing, no greater glee.

Psalm 55:13  "But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Church

     What is a church?  Even though there are people who do more work in the church than others, I  believe the church is a body of believers working together with God as the Head.  In Ephesians 1:22-23 we find:  "And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."
     When I think of the church I have such fond memories of the small country church I attended when I was growing up.  Although most of the people I knew are no longer there, I remember this church as the basis for my salvation, and I love to sing the song we so often sang.        

        
Church in the Wildwood  
There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier place in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

Chorus (Oh, come, come, come, come) Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dale

   

My poetry lyrics are as follows:               
THE CHURCH
 
There's a  church
beneath a shady birch;
A spot so dear, answering a worldly cry.
Oh, come to the church, sharing Jesus and why.
 
 
 Come and drink to your soul;
Find the Word to keep you whole.
Come, come! Sip the flavor;
Fill your cup with the love of the Savior.
 
 
Hear the call from your nearby church;
The place leading, guiding toward life's search;
A people committed, loving, caring, giving;
A people praying; forgiving.
Find peaceful rest in God's own place
Where, outside, waits a vulture in watchful space;
Inside sits, a sinner fallen from lofty ways
Seeking joy to follow his days.
 
 
Come and drink to your soul;
Find the Word to keep you whole.
Come, come! Sip the flavor;
Fill your cup with the love of the Savior.
 
 
Oh, come to the true and peaceful church;
Calming, rousing from a falling lurch;
Find it sowing seeds to sprout;
Beneath its shelter, sharing what life's about.
Oh, come to a lovely place;
Dwell in His grace.
Find the heart, with busy people,
Building a mission steeple.
A people - God's own,
Telling of His love, beginning to end, forever-shown. 
Oh, come, come, come to the melody sounds of the calling church,
Giving rest underneath its shady birch. 
                                                Mary Crisp Jameson
 
 
 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

School is Back

     School is now in full force!  Teachers are busy. Really, really busy!  They are trying to get their classrooms in order, attending meetings, preparing schedules, calling parents, and working more hours than the majority of people realize, all for the sake of teaching other people's children.
     Since my daughter is a dedicated teacher, I see what goes into the school year, and I do not take their careers lightly; however, you will find below a few comical excerpts from two books I co-authored which can be found as an ebook on the Amazon Kindle site.  Just click the link provided:

Book- A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Morgue  (true humorous short stories)
 https://www.amazon.com/Funny-Thing-Happened-Way-Morgue-ebook/dp/B01D6PIZNY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458506556&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Funny+Thing+Happened+on+the+way+to+the+Morgue#nav-subnav

    In the days when many of the rural school board members did not even have a high school education, a particular board member, who did not have any appreciation for the finer aspects of the teaching of grammar and punctuation, came to school one day and wrote upon the chalk board, "The board member thinks the teacher is a fool."  As he completed his writing, the teacher took the piece of chalk, stepped to the board, and corrected the sentence with a couple of commas, resulting in the following: "The board member, thinks the teacher, is a fool."
    
Here's another:

     In the mountains of northern Arkansas or Southern Missouri sometime around the turn of the last century a man applied for a teaching position in the rural school.  The school board asked, "How do you teach geography?  Do you teach that the earth is round or flat?"  The teacher responded, "I am prepared to teach it either way."  He got the job. 

    Then here is another from my So? Whatever! 365 Laughs and Devotionals with Foreword by Mike Huckabee:
https://www.amazon.com/So-Whatever-365-Laughs-Devotionals-ebook/dp/B01D45OL1Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458313481&sr=1-1&keywords=So%3F+Whatever%21#nav-subnav

     A third grader was giving a demonstration speech at school using items from home. Realizing they had left the items needed for the speech at home, the mom rushed back to get the stuff.  The apple, the orange, and the raisins were gone.  "Oh," said the dad, "I had that stuff for breakfast."  Reporting back with an explanation and apology, the teacher said, "Gee, that's first. 'My dad ate my
homework.' "

     Family members are full of surprises, but it is good to establish a pattern that can be recognized in daily life.  Parents should want their children to expect prayer at meal times, recognize when the alarm goes off in the morning that time will be spent in Bible study and prayer time with God.  Getting up on Sunday and going to church should not be a question.  When the Christmas tree is put out, the family will talk about the birth of Jesus, and when Easter comes, they will talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Children should be given family traditions revolving around their love for Jesus; knowing the Holy Spirit leads, intercedes for them, and guides them throughout their lives.  There is a saying that is good, "A family that prays together stays together."

1 Timothy 3:4  "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect."