and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Taste of Nana

       One of my first bike trips at the cottage went on km’s longer than I originally expected, and once tired, I found a couple who told me of a quicker return path.  They told me I would pass by the ‘best fish and chips place around’.  We decided to try them out and a few days later we sat in their outside dinning area while we waited for our food to be served.  Not really hungry, I had ordered one piece of fish and one piece of fried bread, the latter being thrown in as an afterthought to add starch to my meal.  I anticipated receiving a thick cut piece of white bread with butter on it cooked in a fry pan.

       The waitress walked over with my bread ahead of the ordered fish, and it didn’t look at all like I imagined.  I tore off a small piece thinking I would keep most of it to eat with my fish and pushed it into my mouth.  Within seconds, tears threatened to stream down my face.  “What’s wrong?” my sister asked.  Words wouldn’t come out so I just shook my head.  As I had closed my mouth the scent of the bread drifted into my lungs and brought a familiar feeling, but it was the taste that overwhelmed me.  It tasted like Nana- no, not her flesh, but the taste of the breads and donuts she used to make.

       I have precious few memories of my Nana even though we lived next door, mostly because I don’t remember my younger years; she moved when I was about ten and died a few years later.  The only thing I recall in her house was a woodpecker toothpick picker she had that I used to play with. The rest of my memories are of Nana preparing food at the counter or table in her house while I sat and watched.  Sometimes she would indulge me with a piece of lemon.  What I remember most is Nana’s delicious treats: placinta, angel wings, pizzellas, and the donuts/bread that my fried bread reminded me of.

       My sister tried a piece without knowing anything about the memories flooding in, and I could tell by her face that she knew… and sure enough, she expressed my thoughts verbally.  Everyone else in our group tried a piece, but of them, only my mom knew the bread tasted like Nana’s, so by the time we left, everyone had purchased fried bread for themselves.

       As we drove away I was still remembering my Nana and the smells and tastes that surrounded her life.  The warmth of those precious times watching her stayed with me all night. Sitting down at the restaurant that day I did not receive what I anticipated; instead I was given a blessing that I wouldn’t have conceived of.  Only my Father could arrange everything that was needed, in the order needed, to bestow that kind of blessing on me.

He’s such a great Dad!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Heavens Proclaim…

       The breeze was warm, the sky was darker than I am used to- living in a city, and the quietness of the backwoods shoreline enveloped me into the night.  I looked up into the ebony sky with tiny lights of suns and planets shimmering down on me.  There were more stars up there than I could remember or imagine.  The longer I stared, the more I saw, and it seemed as if I were floating into infinity.  Inside I felt the smallness of my being in the enormous expanse of the universe within my visual range and wonderment at a Creator who is so infinite as to conceive a universe like the one I gazed upon.

The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.  Day and night they keep on telling about God.  Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world.  (Ps. 19:1-4a TLB)

       Standing in the dark of night, the message of the stars reaches out to me and declares the awesome works of the Creator’s hands.  Each and every time I contemplate the splendor of this earth I think of God’s great power, His creativity, and His love for us, so immense, that He made such a complex and beautiful place for us to live within.

       Paul spoke about knowing God through nature in Rom. 1:19, 20:  For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts.  Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power.  So they will have no excuse… TLB

       How do we know our Creator lives?  Because we can see the works of His hands in the heavens, here on earth in the plants, seas, animals… and in the face of every person we see around us.  Such complexity and diversity could not be so perfectly formed except by One more powerful than it all.

       Lord, how wonderful You are.  Your power is great beyond all our comprehension.  All glory and honour belong to You!  Thank You for giving us such a magnificent place in which to walk on this journey.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What We Think About

       If we could count how many things we think about each day, would it amount to hundreds or thousands?  I’m not sure, but I do know the list of things we do not think about far exceeds those things we do think about.  For instance, I don’t often think about sewers, or light bulbs, or shelves, or carpets, or seesaws, or sailboats, and on and on.

       So, why don’t I think about these many things?  It is because they are not important to my life most of the time.  Yes, on rare occasions they come to mind, but for the most part they are trivial and not worth my attention.  On the contrary, people (most especially my relationships), finances, household issues, and schools etc. are frequently on my mind.  It is because I consider them important to me that I think of them most often.

       This logic is critical in realizing how important we are to God.  He WANTS to be part of our lives, and it shows in His thoughts of us.  David understood this, and so should we.

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly!  I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me.  And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!  (Ps. 139:17,18 TLB)

       You and I are just as important to the Lord as David was.*  He loves us so much that we are constantly on His mind!  ‘Constantly’ means He has a LOT of thoughts about us.  Now consider how often He thinks of each of us multiplied by the amount of people He thinks of.  I can’t even imagine how He is able to do it, I only know He is God and able to exceed all our expectations.

       ‘If I should count them, they are more than the sand;’ is the literal translation of verse 18a.  I wouldn’t want to attempt to count sand (would anyone?), yet David says the Lord thinks of Him that often.  So, just by the amount of times the Lord thinks of us in a day, we can logically assume He considers us important to Him.  And if that isn’t enough, the Lord resumes His thinking of us first thing the next day.  Wow, the God of all creation, the universe and us, is thinking about us… constantly.  What love He must have for us!

*God is no respecter of persons. (Acts )  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One of Those Days

       It was one of those days.  My day started with three and a half hours of broken sleep followed by a long drive over three hours, computer software lessons of about seven hours that filled my head to overflowing, the long drive back home (a short nap in the van though J) and finally I was able to rest.  My head is still swimming with information- that I was very glad to learn- but I’ve never been good with days like today.

       Tiredness overtakes my body, but it’s a good tiredness, and I look forward to diving under the covers of my bed, reading a bit of The Word, and laying my head down to relax away the brain strain of the day.  All I feel is gratefulness.

-My nose is stuffed because of allergies, but I will be able to go and get my shot to help tomorrow- and one whole nostril is clear for breathing- yeeha!

-I was able to go and learn something new that will allow me to help others (which I love to do) and work in an area I enjoy in my local church- and my head did NOT blow up! J

-We had no big traffic problems, and with hundreds of people on the road, that is a miracle in itself.

-Tomorrow I visit my dentist and my doctor who will help me to remain healthy- where else in the world can you access affordable healthcare in this way?

-I have a house to shelter in and warm bed to crawl into… and the most amazing pillow I hope to never lose!

-Thoughts of friends and family bring a smile to my lips, and even though some of them are far away L, I know for the most part they are fairly safe in this country, and I am likely to see them again.

-Best of all, the One who loves me most is with me now; He will be with me through the night, watching over me as I dream, and will be waiting for me in the morning to start a brand new day together.

Like I said, I am so very grateful.

Lord, thank You for this life.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finding Your Way in the Dark

       Before we left I had drawn out a map of the roads we needed to take to get to the cottage from the nearest city.  To help, I added the km’s between all the road changes with the help of Google Earth and the ruler feature.  It would be night and very dark before I would fully appreciate that map with its information.  You see, we planned to get there well before nightfall, but for several reasons we were held up and so it was very dark by the time we entered unfamiliar territory.  The roads were narrow and winding (so dark I could hardly see their edges even with my high beams) with signs up for potential moose making me tense and uncomfortable while driving. 

       It was slower going than I thought but eventually we found the final road and breathed a sigh of relief… until we realized it was dark so we couldn’t see the signs of the cottages or my sister’s car, and we weren’t given the number of the place.  When we were getting close to the km’s we expected to drive, we realized we might have to drive into every driveway to find her red car, but then we saw it parked at the end of a driveway with her personalized license plate.  What a relief it was to know we reached our destination and could finally rest!

       That map and the car at the end of the journey were the main things to help us find our way in the dark.  We have very similar items to get us through to our destination while on this journey through the darkness of this earth.

       First, we have the Bible, our map, full of wisdom and information needed to make our journey successful. (2 Tim. 3:16,17)  In it, we find out the truth about needing Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our salvation, and if we respond to that truth, then we learn: to know Him (John 17:3), to live by the Spirit (Gal. ) and be one with the Lord (John ).  The Word can be used to guide us on His paths, keep us in His ways, and it will light our path (Ps. 119:9,101,105).

       The red car in front of us was like the Lord Himself directing us in the way we should go.  The Bible says, He is our Light (John 9:5), He both precedes and follows us (Ps. 139:5) and He is with us no matter where or how far we go (Ps. 139:7-10).  His Spirit, whom dwells within us (Rom. ) will teach (John ), lead (Gal. ), guide (John ) and help us (John ,17) on our journey.

       It was into the darkness of this earth (Eph. ) that Jesus said, “…I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John   ISV)  What a great thing to know that as we travel these dark roads of life, which are uncomfortable and treacherous at times, that Jesus our Lord and Savior will be our Light!  We can find our way because of the One who loves us!

Thank You Lord for the Word, for Your life,
and for being our Light in this ever darkening world. 

We appreciate You.