Posted 5/4/15 at 12:23 AM | Ramona Tucker
I should have known this was bound to happen sooner or later but I was totally unprepared when it did. I simply could not believe my eyes. Now I find myself in quite a dilemma, and honestly, I don’t know what to do.
I was a teenager in the seventies. We sure thought our clothes back then were cool but now, I certainly don’t know why. While I still think our bell bottom blue jeans were pretty cool, most everything else was hideous. I had button down shirts that had collars that were long enough to poke out somebody’s eye. The cuffs must have been six inches long and had at least six buttons. I owned a sports coat during college days that would knock both eyes out and leave them lying on the floor. That thing was beige with huge orange, brown, and white plaid squares. My red, white, and blue platform shoes from the bicentennial year have been long gone but I still have that lovely sports coat. For a reason that I didn’t understand until thirteen years ago, I kept that thing all those years. It hung in the back of my closet simply waiting for its reappearance. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/15 at 8:21 AM | selwyn perry
WHAT'S IN A DAY?
The clouds building up on the skyline. The colours of the autumn leaves in the garden where I walk. Flowers of late autumn, deep purple, bright red; petals like hands clasped in prayer. What's in a day that I can't take away and keep in my room where the fire burns brightly and the pictures on the wall keep watch over the hearth?
As shadows lengthen and the moon rises, the dark line of the hills merge with the sky.
Sleep comes easily.
Do not, in a day, let your mind be the depository of the worlds charms or miseries, the glamour or gloom of fallen stars, or the newsreel pouring out phenomenal matters of state. Let your mind be kept like the inside of a temple, which it is, (1 Corinthians 6:19) and let nothing enter that does not do so reverently, so that whatsoever things are pure and holy may find peace and joy there. (Philippians 4:8) Blot out the street, the market and the TV screen's sensations and let your mind dwell in God's daily presence within, and in flowers, trees, birds and skies without.
I have for too long lived in the swamp of media stench. This year I made a decision to live more like a stranger in the world, one who passes through the towns and cities and out of them like Lot out of Sodom. I am not a consumer and life is not a product to be bought or watched on a screen. Life is too precious to be treated like a murky pond.
Posted 4/27/15 at 1:34 AM | Ramona Tucker
When I was a kid I did not get an allowance. My parents did not believe in them. I greatly believed in them but obviously I was not a skilled persuader. My dad owned a business where he sold coal, building supplies, hardware, and snacks. I shoveled coal, stocked shelves, loaded and unloaded merchandize, and ate snacks. I couldn’t bear the thought of a paying customer getting a stale candy bar so I sacrificially and internally disposed of the older snacks. Not only did I not get an allowance but I didn’t get paid for work I did for dad (except for stale candy bars). Occasionally I complained about not getting paid for all the hard labor I so diligently performed. Okay, maybe not as hard as I diligently remember. Dad answered my complaints with reminders that he fed me, clothed me, and provided me shelter. I needed other things, important things, like fishing and sports equipment, records, and model cars. As I grew older, I began to look for better paying jobs – make that paying jobs. FULL POST
Posted 4/24/15 at 2:29 PM | Diane Castro
It was a tough day to run a marathon—raw and rainy and windy—but thousands of incredible athletes did it in Boston on April 20, 2015. 30,000 runners—30,000 stories of hardship and endurance and spirit. Here are a few of their stories:
Fourteen years ago, Laura Joyce of Minnesota ran the Boston Marathon. That weekend, she met Nate Davis, whose family has been close to ours since he was five years old. Nate and Laura fell in love, got married, had two babies (the second one just a year ago), trained like crazy, and came back from their home in California to run Boston together this year. I was thrilled to be able to give both of them their medals.
Thousands of runners do the Marathon to honor someone special or raise money for a cause. Members of Team MR8, including actor Sean Astin and women’s wheelchair winner Tatyana McFadden, ran in memory of eight-year-old Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, to promote his message of peace and raise money for charitable causes. Tom Feller, son of my high school classmate Deborah Morrison Feller, ran the marathon again this year to raise money for a school for kids with autism. Jessica Brovold ran for Home Away Boston, which provides housing for families with seriously ill children. Her own little daughter Kallie was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was four years old, and Home Away Boston provided housing for the family when they came from South Dakota to get treatment for Kallie in Boston. FULL POST
Posted 4/21/15 at 3:22 AM | selwyn perry
BY YOUR WORD I AM BLESSED
How fresh are your words to my heart;
They are like the first day of Spring
In a wintery place,
Where cold and bitter winds
Have made bleak the tall proud trees
And lifeless ground.
Trees, leaves and flowers announce your word
Of Spring song and feathery flight,
Of movement in the air
Fanned by warmer winds,
And softer light.
By your word my heart rejoices
And by them I am refreshed
And made glad,
For by your word my lot is lighter
And my cares are less
So I am blessed.
Posted 4/21/15 at 1:38 AM | Ramona Tucker
The lights dimmed. The room began to spin as my husband and I glided across the floor as if in a dream. Then the alarm rang. It had been a dream. As I lay in bed getting the resolve to move and face the day, I thought about the previous Friday evening when my husband, Chuck, and I had gone dancing for our date night. “T-A-NG-O” rang in my ears as I heard the instructor teach us the dance steps.
Actually, we were getting pretty good. Only I always left the studio somewhat perturbed with myself for getting so antsy with Chuck. “Don’t be so wooden,” I’d fuss. “Be more graceful; make sure your arms are positioned in the right way.” Then, to make things worse, I’d try to lead. After all, I was doing it right! Wasn’t I?
After a barrage of criticism, I would look at Chuck’s face, only to discover I had dampened his spirits and ruined an otherwise fun evening. I’ll do better next week, I’d tell myself. I’m still trying to do better next week. I’ve learned something about myself through dance. I’m still trying to control our relationship, not just in the tango, but in other areas of our marriage as well. It hurts to admit, but it’s true. But admission is a good place for change to start. FULL POST
Posted 4/17/15 at 6:14 PM | Larry Dozier
Be Harmless as Doves?
In Scripture, the dove symbolizes three primary characteristics: peace (as a messenger of peace after the Flood; see Genesis 8:8-12), pure beauty (see Song of Solomon 1:15), and the anointing of the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32).
The meaning of the word harmless, which Jesus uses in this command, is significant. It is the Greek word akeraios. The letter a means "without," and kerao means "to mix." Therefore, to be harmless means to be "without any mixture of deceit." Paul uses this word in his exhortation to the early Church: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (akeraios), the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:14-15).
Paul uses the same word in Romans 16:19 in reference to personal purity and innocence regarding the knowledge of evil. “... I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple (akeraios) concerning evil.” FULL POST
Posted 4/16/15 at 1:11 AM | Ramona Tucker
That time of the year has arrived once again. Coats have been put in closets, short pants and short sleeves shirts have been pulled out of winter storage, lawnmowers buzz in neighborhoods, and the cracking of bats fill the air in ball parks. Well, actually, these days with aluminum bats that sound may be more of a clink than a crack. Most teams, with the exception of the majors, don’t play with wooden bats anymore.
While I’ve been an Atlanta Braves fan most of my life, last Saturday I had the joy of watching the Cubs and the Pirates. My all-time favorite player wears number eight for the Cubs. He had a great game. Strangely enough, he never hit a single ball out of the infield but he got on base every time he batted. I’m not sure that any player in the majors has done that. That young man can run! He also scored every time he got on base. Did I mention that number 8, is my grandson, Drew? I also don’t think I told you that he doesn’t play in the majors, at least not yet. No, he doesn’t play for the Chicago Cubs but the Beulah Cubs. He’s five years old and they hit the ball off of a tee. They have almost as much fun as their parents but not nearly as much as their grands. FULL POST
Posted 4/15/15 at 10:13 PM | June Samuel
Our Lord Jesus is our example in every circumstance of life. When He was on the cross being pummeled with the hatred of men, and with the vitriol of hell, He said, Father, forgive them…..Why did Jesus ask His Father to forgive them? In the midst of intense hatred Jesus loved. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16. Jesus came to redeemed us back to our God. He died for us, so we can be forgiven.
That is why He calls upon us to love our enemies. In Matthew 5:44 our Lord said, ….“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Love your enemies. It is only through God’s love that we can love our enemies, we can do good to those who hate us, we can bless those who curse us. It is only through God’s love that we can pray for those who use us, abuse us and persecute us. God’s love in us will enable us to love our enemies. The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We have no excuse not to love our enemies. To love our enemies is to forgive them. FULL POST
Posted 4/13/15 at 1:00 AM | Ramona Tucker
Twenty years ago God burdened my heart for corporate prayer in a way that I had never experienced before. Sure, as a believer for thirty years I had done my share of praying, but this was different. God so saturated my heart and mind with the desire to pray that I devoured every book, every resource, every sermon on prayer I could get my hands on.
One book that stood out above the rest in its simplicity and practicality was What Happens When Women Pray by Evelyn Christenson. It was as if someone had turned a light switch on for me. No longer did prayer groups have to be long and boring, listening to one or two people drone on and on while the rest slept. With renewed excitement, I took Christenson’s format and organized three small group women’s prayer meetings which met during the week. Our groups found the style non-threatening and freeing. Here is what we did. Perhaps you will find these ideas helpful in your group. FULL POST