Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gathering of Goodness: A Choice

There is a little "thinking game" the kids say that I'm famous for. If you could only...

Here we are two days shy of Thanksgiving. If you could only choose one food to line your Thanksgiving table, which would you choose?

     Mashed Potatoes?
     Cranberry Relish?
     Pumpkin Pie?

Although it is a tough decision, right now at this very minute I'd have to admit the pumpkin pie is calling my name. And not just any ole' pumpkin pie. The pie we were raised on where Mom added the perfect blend of spices. (And please, please don't hold back on the Reddi-whip topping!)

As we gather with families this week we begin to rehearse our blessings throughout the year. It has been a "good" year at our house. But even tucked away in our year of goodness there have been challenges. Challenges that come to all of us as part of living.

As we pause and gather the goodness, we have a choice. For in even...

     the hard things
     the unfair things
     the sad things
     and the bad things

we drop them carefully one by one into the basket. And somehow, in God's unfathomable way, our gathering basket begins to overflow with great richness. Out of its bounty comes unbelievable peace and new perspectives.

And toting our gathering baskets we can tweet along with the Shepherd Boy David, "While I live I will praise the Lord."
A choice. Not always easy. And sometimes plain old hard to do. But oh- the pile of blessings await!

Sparrow will be enjoying her pumpkin pie with the Mayo side of the family at brother Mark's on Thursday and then host the Deeks' family on Saturday.

Sweet & flaky Thanksgiving blessings,

Monday, November 15, 2010

on sherpas and shelters

50" x 60" of plaid, ultraplush Sherpa lining. Micromink and macrosoftness.

A beautiful luxurious throw to cozy up to the fireplace with in the coming snowy days of winter.

One of my finds on a Saturday sparrow shopping spree using my much anticipated US postal service mailing.

Later in the day I curled up with my new Sherpa throw to take a well-deserved break. Sigh--- the coziness, warmth, and softness were not over-exaggerated.

The sparrow's mind hopped over to another covering. One the songster penned from his own experience in Psalm 91.

About dwelling in the secret place and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty.

And I really love this next part, being the scaredy-cat sparrow that I am.

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will take shelter.

Trading in our fears - night terrors and daytime arrows - for a divinely feathered covering.

A shelter you can't buy.

A shelter from any storm you face, or I face.

Winter is coming. I'm covered. Are you?

If you want to know more about God's wonderful love and provision for you, email me at monkjo@live.com. My nest is always open!

A macrosoft Merry Christmas to me, early. (For the record, I got all my Christmas gift shopping done on the sparrow Saturday spree. Chirp, chirp!)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

$1.90 bargain or blessing or both?

Lunchtime. Usually a green salad. And piece of fruit. Or soup.

Today, this hungry sparrow found her way to the Golden Arches. The same arches disdained by mr. sparrow and most all family and friends.

"One hamburger and one small fry," says sparrow. 

"That will be $1.90," muffles the invisible order taker.

So what do you get for $1.90?

A warmed up flattened out hamburger. And wimpy fries.

Opening the bag, suddenly I'm 8 again, where opening up the Golden Arches bag is a highlight of our month. The rules come flooding back: pick 2. You can't have a pop, fries, and a hamburger. Pick 2. Dad's rule. A good rule. A rule I still follow.

So what did I get for $1.90?

Wrapped inside that not-so-tasty-nor-nutritional meal is a link to a treasured memory.

A link to other "rules" - more principles to guide us when we might start losing our way. Remembering Dad's voice. A voice who knew the best advice wasn't his, it was advice found in the living words, the Bible. The Rule Book turned Grace Book.

Grace. Dad's words. My Bible.

I got my money's worth today. And I like to think that if Dad were here today he too would say about the long ago Golden Arch lunches, "so did I, Monkey, so did I."

Just for the record, so you don't think I'm part of the McDonald's clean-plate club, I did leave 2 fries.

Better than a Happy Meal!

Comment or email - monkjo@live.com