The other day I tried to list all the attributes of God I could think of. The list kept getting longer and longer. Now I realize a human can’t come close to fully knowing who God is, but I do know, he’s overwhelming good. As I went down my list: generous, merciful, kind, compassionate, faithful, relational, joyful, patient, long-suffering, creative and on and on, I realized all these characteristics of God come under the one word love! God is pure and perfect love! It reminded me of what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives. He’s sharing with us those same godly traits, changing us from the inside out spiritually. What a great God we serve!
Tiny Flower Lovers
It was such a pretty day, I took my breakfast out to my patio table. A hummingbird was attending to the rosebush and other flowers. Then a flash of color as a little larger hummingbird arrived. This one was ruby-throated. They’re not uncommon in this part of the country, but I hadn’t seen one in a while. Though I don’t have hummingbird feeders, the tiny birds love my flowers. I’ve seen them at my birdbath too. Cardinals and wrens build nests in my shrubs and roost there as well. The birds enjoy my front and backyard gardens as sanctuaries. That makes me happy!
In springtime the Texas roadsides are abloom with flowers. It’s like driving through a fairyland. Bluebonnets, peonies and paint brushes vie with other native varieties to make colorful, living carpets alongside the roads. We can thank Lady Bird Johnson, President Lyndon Johnson’s wife, for the splendid display every year. She’s the one who came up with the idea to beautify Texas roads. The county mowers don’t mow while the flowers are blooming so we get to enjoy them for weeks. Even the wildflowers glorify God!
A lot of people dread Mondays. When I had to get up, shower, dress and leave in the early morning hours to commute to work after a too short weekend, Mondays weren’t the greatest. Being retired makes a huge difference. I’m still an early riser, but without the need to rush. I can relax in my robe and PJ’s while I have my coffee and do some reading. Not every day but most days there’s no big hurry to begin the daily tasks. But, either way, retired or not, let’s rethink Mondays and be glad for another day to worship our God and serve him in whatever way we can.
Face the Sunshine
One of my heroes is Helen Keller, so when I visited the National Cathedral some years ago, I wanted to see where she was buried. After asking a staff member I found her plaque in a small crypt off the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea. You know her story, she became deaf and blind at a very young age. Only with the dedicated and patient help of her faithful teacher did she learn to communicate and to accomplish so much in her lifetime. She once said if you keep your face to the sunshine you can’t see the shadows. She couldn’t see the sunshine but she could feel it. Sometimes what you can’t see is what is most important of all.
A New Neighbor
Well, it finally happened, after all these years without neighbors on three sides, I have a new neighbor right across the road from me. His name is Jason and he’s a fireman. It’s customary to bake something as a welcoming gift, and I thought about it. Unhappily that was all I did, just think about it, for several weeks. Finally, I drove to a fancy bakery in town and bought a variety of goodies. When I introduced myself and offered him my gift, I told him: “I got these at a bakery. By the time you got something baked from me, you wouldn’t be a new neighbor anymore!” He didn’t seem to mind.
May the Force …
May the fourth was this week, and it always reminds me of when the first Star Wars movie came out. That’s when I and a lot of others started loving to go the movies again. “May the force be with you” has become a catchphrase around the world. Though the movie can’t be described as a Christian production, some of us think of God’s spiritual power when we think of that phrase. His Holy Spirit is available to us, surrounding us always. He is the source of help and comfort in our daily struggles and peace throughout our trials, spiritual or physical. And, no intensive training needed to access that power, all we have to do is ask!
A Lizard Tale
A lizard got into my shop I use as an art studio. For about a week every time I went out to paint, he would be staring at me from someplace up high. I worried he would eventually die in my shop, so after several failed attempts to catch him, I got a bucket with a lid, put it in front of his face and touched his tail. He jumped right into the bucket. I slammed the lid and I had me a lizard. I kind of miss him. Now there’s no one to greet me with that stoic, forlorn look when I walk in. He was safe in the shop with spiders to eat and water I left for him to drink. Now he’s free to face the dangers of life out in the woods. He’s not safe but he’s free. I think he probably prefers that.
In my guest room I have a couple of projects I’ve started. It’s the same in my office and in my studio is a half-finished canvas. I’m in the habit of reading several books at once so I’ve usually got three or four in some stage of completion. It has come to my attention I may have a problem. What do you think! I think it’s time to stop coming up with more projects and spend my time completing the ones I’ve already started. As you know, the fun part is in getting excited over something new. The difficult part is hanging in there and finishing what we’ve started.
Gifts From God
When I look at all the flowers, from the lowly blossoms springing up randomly in my yard to the gorgeous irises, tulips, vincas and more in my flower beds this spring, I’m amazed some can say they don’t believe in a Creator God. Several of my family and I visited and viewed the large expanses of bluebonnets in Texas this spring. I’ve read the indigenous peoples believed they were a gift from God. I can’t disagree. God loves to create and he never stops creating. That’s why we see such a variety of flowers, trees, animals, sea life and people all around the world. May we all come to respect and enjoy what God calls his good creation.