Reflections on Boxes

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• We all have a purpose and use
• When we are empty there is hope of good things to come
• The imagination of a child turns the everyday into awesome
• Treasures can be found within each of us
• Some of us are gifted in organizing
• Anticipated arrivals are bright spots in a day
• Care for your boxes lest they fall apart in the rain
• The Maker of boxes has a use for all sizes and types

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HOME

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I’m on my way home! “Home,” a word that fills me with many emotions. During busy days away, I anticipate the time when I can return. Home is more than just a place, it is a comfortable and familiar environment where I feel most secure. It’s where I can relax and be replenished.

Sometimes home means moving. Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth rejected him and so he made his home in nearby Capernaum. When others expressed a desire to follow him, Jesus reminded them that he had no secure place to “lay his head” as he traveled about the land to share God’s news to others. As the early church spread out, it discovered the strength and support of community. They met together, sharing meals in each other’s homes, praying, studying God’s Word, and enjoying fellowship with one another. *

I think there is something within each of us that longs for “home,” for acceptance and love… where we can feel secure and be replenished. What does home mean for you? I have found that making a home requires a lot of prayer and hard work. It has not always been easy and I’m so thankful for God’s strength and guidance!

I’m thankful too for His promise of an eternal home with Him. He has gone to prepare a place for us! * Two of my dear friends have just completed their own final journeys home to that place called heaven and their earthly bodies have found rest. How I miss their friendship and our times together! I’m so glad to have an eternal home to look forward to.

My prayer for us is that God will watch over our homes. I pray too that we will invite Him in as family, to share each day with us.

* Acts 2:42, 46; John 14:1-4

Reflections on Hats

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• We are each important and unique
• One size does not fit all
• Our personalities are expressed in many ways
• Each of us is especially suited for different functions
• The hats we wear serve many purposes
• Our abilities and gifts express our creativity and distinction
• It is good to use your hat well
• Adding a flair to life brings smiles
• Our lives can offer much good to others
• The great Hat-maker brings out good in each of us

Lightning Bugs!

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There’s another one! Tiny lights flashed in the summer night and children’s laughter rang out as we raced about the yard, catching the elusive lightning bugs and carefully placing them in a jar… Those lights drew us to their source, as we viewed them with the eyes of a child.

It seems that humankind shares that fascination with lights. The light of the sun brings warmth and growth, the shine of moon lights the way at night, and stars draw us to imagined patterns in the night sky. Candles are lit as symbols of celebration, mourning, or worship. Bonfires welcome gatherings. A light in a window, porch, or yard welcomes a traveler home.

How often do I take time to view life’s simple spots of light? The smile of a friend, the quiet contentment of home after a day’s work, the presence of family around me, the fresh smell of rain or supper cooking… These are all lights to be treasured and recalled, especially on days in need of encouragement.

I like the way light is often used as a symbol or illustration of God, of His goodness and truth. Like those tiny flashes in the dark of night, we are drawn in wonder to His presence. God surrounds us. He is like the sun’s warmth when we feel the cold of despair and the moon that shines the way as we stumble in darkness. He welcomes us and helps us to find our way.

And wonder of wonders, as His presence fills and surrounds us, our own tiny flashes attract the attention of others. They too are drawn to that source of light. As children, we open the jar and exclaim with delight as those lightening bugs once again rise together into the night sky. Flash! Blink! Light of promise… and joy… and God’s presence.

John 1:5a “The light shines in the darkness…”

 

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Reflections on Sponges

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• We grow in all different sizes, textures, and shapes
• Interconnected pores allow water and nutrients to circulate
• This interconnectedness carries the source of life
• Sometimes we become dry and hard
• When we are dry and hard it is difficult to care
• Soaking up water transforms us
• When we are transformed we become able to share
• All sponges can help with needed clean-up
• A community of sponges grows strong together
• The Source of Life provides all the nourishment we need

Hide and Seek?!

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“…98-99-100. Ready or not, here I come!” The excited words of the children’s game of “Hide and Seek” are familiar to all of us. I remember well my childhood days of playing outside in the summer twilight with my brothers and neighborhood friends. As we hid among the bushes, behind a shed, or a corner of the house, the one who was “it” would try to find and catch us, as we ran laughing about the yard.

Life is marked by a series of “seeking.” We all have those times of anticipation, doubts, and questions. What will I do when I graduate from high school? … Where will I work? … What do I really believe and why? … How can I honor God as I search for the best path? … Who will I marry? … Where will I live? … What is that next step in life, as an individual or as part of a larger community?

Like in those childhood days of “hide and seek,” sometimes the growing shadows and cooling air of twilight bring comfort and rest. Friendships and laughter encourage us, and faith is strengthened… At other times, we find ourselves darting about, straining to see through the darkness or to hear any indication of the presence of someone who cares. “Ready or not, here I come!” We may question life and wonder if there is a God. The writer of 1 Chronicles said, “If you seek him, he will be found by you…”

That is such a comfort! But, sometimes I have just been too exhausted and overcome to seek Him. The psalmist turned this around when he asked God to “seek your servant!” Luke reminds us that God’s Son “came to seek and to save.” There God is, already with us and looking for us while we struggle with our own confusion or need. Not hiding, but patiently and lovingly waiting before us.

I am so grateful for God, who seeks us and who encourages us to seek Him! I pray that He will grant each of us faith to trust Him more, knowing that He is with us even when we are struggling or unable to sense His presence. Thank you, God… for being that companion along the way, for next steps and new directions.

 

*1 Chronicles 28:9, Psalm 119:176, Luke 19:10

Reflections on Drains

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• Letting go of the crud that accumulates improves life
• Troubles go round-and-round
• Others can help clean the dirt from our life
• Listening ears and a soothing touch carry away distress
• A lack of drains makes cleaning more difficult
• Drains can become clogged
• Regular attention helps prevent built-up gunk
• We often take assistance for granted
• There is satisfaction in a task completed
• I am grateful that the Plumber keeps the drain flowing