Archive | August 2012

The Only Little Petunia

I’m a lonely little petunia in an onion patch,
an onion patch, an onion patch

                                              I’m [the only] little petunia in an onion patch
                                              and all I do is cry all day

Have you ever felt like you were a misfit? Most of us have experienced it at least a time or two.  How did you handle it?  Some seem to embrace it with determination and courage to prove they DO belong.  Some, on the other hand, stand in the corner and pout, or “cry all day”.  I realize these reactions are on opposite ends of the spectrum and most of us respond some where between the two.

In our English language, the word ONLY is often over used and exaggerated.  Let me give you a few examples:

  • I’m the ONLY one not invited.
  • I’m the ONLY one that has this kind of bad luck.
  • I’m the ONLY Christian at work or school.

What if it were really true?  What if you were the [only] little petunia in the onion patch? What if you really were the only one in your community that could speak and understand English; the only one with your color of skin; or the only one who believes in the one true God?

Thinking of times I felt like a misfit are rather petty compared to really being the [only] petunia!

I wonder how Jesus felt coming to Earth.  The world that after the sixth day of creation “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 The world that through the years became populated by prideful, selfish, hateful, sinful men, women and children. From a human perspective, he was a misfit. Jesus was the ONLY one, the Son of God, sinless.

Jesus did not let the stench of sin choke him out.  He over came in victory. Taking the sin of mankind, including yours and mine, to the cross, dying yet rising again so that we may have the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. I Corinthians 15:3, 4

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16, 17

Do you believe in Him? Romans 10:9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

With God in your life, you will never be the [ONLY] petunia again. It is God plus You.

Traveling the Scenic Route

For 30 years, I have been traveling the scenic route with all the “up and down and around and whomps”!  My traveling companion is still tall, dark and handsome, AND the love of my life! ❤

Together we have been on mountain peaks and in low valleys, through rain and hail, sunshine and starry nights, earthquakes and tornadoes.  We have had trauma, drama and diorama along the way.  In spite of the Dramamine such a journey requires, silly string and corny jokes added to the fun and produced much laughter.

It has been quite a ride!

Little did I know what God had in store when on this afternoon, 30 years ago, in a small town church,  I said “I Do”, and promised…

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16b-17)

I hope we have at least 30 more years to travel together; I love him that much and then some!!

Forever yours, My Dear!

Diaries of Not-So-Whimpy Kids – Part 1

*Today, as usual, I was taking care of my dad’s sheep.  Some days are kinda boring, but I have to stay alert so nothing happens to the rascals.  The little fellas sometimes wonder off. This afternoon was anything but boring! As I was relaxing in the shade, a bear was out looking for dinner.  All of a sudden, the flock scattered and the bear snatched a young lamb! I ran after them while pulling a stone from my pouch.  When I got close enough I flung the stone from my slingshot, killed the bear and rescued the scared lamb.

 

*This seemed like a typical day with the sheep grazing calmly as I serenaded them, until I saw one of my brothers running towards me calling my name.  He told me to get home as quickly as possible! By the time I got there, I was a little out of breath and I’m sure my face was flushed.  My older brothers and dad were all gathered around another man named Samuel.  I didn’t know what was going on! When I got to them, Samuel looked at me, stood up, took a horn of oil and poured it on my head.  Immediately I felt different! The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and the man named Samuel said I’d be the next king! Me, a king? I’m just a boy!

 

*King Saul hasn’t been feeling very good.  How do I know? Because one of his servants told me. I was enjoying the gentle breeze while tending the sheep, and this guy showed up.  He told me about Saul and that Saul wanted me to come play my harp for him.  It’s not every day a shepherd boy is asked to play his harp for the king!

 

*King Saul liked my music so much he asked Dad if I could stay and play each day,

 

*After playing soothing music and the King was resting, I ran out to the grazing field to give my brother a break.  It’s kinda tiring going back and forth from the king to the sheep, but Dad still needs my help. A lion crossed the field and snatched a sheep. “I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth.  When it turned on me, I seized it by the hair, struck it and killed it.”

 

*Today when I got home, Dad didn’t have me tend the sheep.  Instead, he sent me to the army camp my 3 oldest brothers are at.  He wanted an update on how the guys were and how the war was progressing.  All the men of Israel have been fighting the Philistines for quite some time now.

When I got there, I saw the tallest, biggest, meanest looking man I’ve ever seen! They told me his name was Goliath, a Philistine, and that every day he shouts and taunts the Israelites.  In fact, our men ran in fear of him.  I couldn’t believe this guy, Goliath, would “defy the armies of the living God”, and that our army-men were all too big of whimps to fight and kill him.  So I said to King Saul, “Your servant will go and fight him.”

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”

So I told him about the lion and bear and said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

So Saul said, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

Saul wanted me to wear his armor, but it was way too big and heavy.  Instead I took my staff, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of my shepherd’s bag and, with my sling in my hand, approached the Philistine.

When Goliath saw that I was just a boy, he got mad and said, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” Then he began cursing me and God.

I said “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack me, I ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into my bag and taking out a stone, I slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face-down on the ground.

“So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.”

What Goliath is stopping you in your tracks of fear?

Go, and the Lord be with you!!

(Read the full account in I Samuel 16 & 17)

 

 

 

 

Go for the Gold

After visiting the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs a few years ago, my daughter and I came away inspired.  We thought we would challenge ourselves to form a team and practice for the next Olympics. We thought we could have a chance in synchronized swimming. So we went to the pool immediately upon arriving at our motel.  However, we laughed and giggled so much we about drowned!

One after another, games were crossed off the list until we came to badminton. We practiced and practiced challenging each other daily in spite of the windy days in southwest Kansas. Sadly, we were not very successful.

That summer came to an end, and our ambitions went in other directions.

In the past 1 1/2 weeks, I’ve watched more tv than I usually watch in a month.  I don’t want to miss any of the Olympic Game competitions. Although some uniforms are rather skimpy, at least they wear something! According to legend and about.com, in 776 BC “a NAKED runner…won the sole event at the Olympics, the stade- a run of approximately 192 meters (210 yards).”

YIKES!! Naked!

With the Olympics well established by the time the New Testament was written, I wonder if it was nearing the Olympics when Paul wrote to the Corinthians.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24

or when Hebrews 12:1 was penned.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Even so, these verses challenge us to run and persevere in the race of life.

Let’s go for the GOLD!!