Saturday, October 24, 2020

If Only

 


If only we could stop the world and get off for a day, then maybe we could take a break from life’s continuous fray. We could breathe a sigh and take a look at things we just don’t see, and perhaps become the people we were really meant to be.

We could rewind time and change our past to a more desirable state and erase some things that were said and done that really were not first rate. We could lay a firm foundation and vanquish every foe. We could change the future and the past with what we do now know.

If only it were possible, we’d have a second chance. We would be more happy, we could really sing and dance. Then when the world began again, we’d be in a different place. Life would be more pleasant, we could keep a different pace.

But alas, it is not possible. We are where we are now. We are the sum and differential of our past mistakes somehow. We cannot take away what was, it’s the road on which we stand. The future is yet before us, changing like the shifting sand.

What will it take to get our feet back on the solid ground? The world may keep on turning, but our choices come around. Each moment that we breathe, we really have a second chance; each day a new beginning, another song, another dance.

We have within each one of us our eyes with which to see, hands and feet that feel and touch, and ears, we all agree. We can choose a different way, and walk the better road. We do not have to wait until the world ends, we are told.

We do not know how long we have left here upon this earth. One day, indeed, the world will stop; we’ll experience a new birth. We will leave behind all that we know and go to the great beyond. Our eyes will then be opened, like the wave of a magic wand.

Our Maker will encircle us in the arms of His great love, and we will hear the echoes of the choirs up above. We will look down to the earth we left and wonder then once more, why we didn’t see things differently, and head for a brighter shore.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Path to Happiness

 


I am surrounded by sadness on every hand. Death and destruction sweep over the land. How can I smile and feel happy today? Things simply aren’t going very much my way.

Life is full of irony indeed. There is much of pain, of want, of need. There are many who have not a place to live and there are those who have not a morsel to give.

Is happiness having an absence of pain? Is it simply sunshine, or the lack of rain? If so, then happiness is empty indeed, for rain has its place once we have planted a seed.

If tears are a sin, then we have all fallen short, for each human being has hurt to report. Can happiness come even when there is pain? Is it possible to smile through the clouds and the rain?

Can I simply this day step outside of the zone, and allow myself a reprieve, a small moment alone to look for the good, to feel grateful, to love, all of the blessings that flow from above?

If I can, then happiness will surely come, for pure joy is a gift from The Sinless One. He said, “Come to me and I will take you in, in spite of your sorrow, in spite of your sin.”

Today, though the tears so easily fall, I will do as the One who gave his all. I will look for others in sadness and pain. I will hold an umbrella for those in the rain.

I will keep going forward with eyes now aware that there are others whose cupboards are bare. I will give what I have until there is no more. I will hold up my light on this rocky shore.

I will live my life full of purpose and love, and shed forth the peace that comes from above. I will serve until I hear the words that say, “Well done, my servant, you are here now to stay!”

Monday, September 21, 2020

Change

 


Change is a merciless task master. It lets us know that the status quo is no longer acceptable and in order for us to get back in sync, we have to do something different. For a time, we grope around in the darkness, hoping to find the light of understanding.

Before we know it, we are blinded by the glare of the obvious and suddenly realize that we have already shed the familiar garments of yesterday. They have been snatched from our grasp before we have time to even look for a wardrobe suitable for tomorrow. We are left exposed for the entire world to see.

Embarrassed and humiliated, we wrap our arms around ourselves, hoping somehow to protect our delicate ego before it is lost in total obliteration. Then, a friendly voice speaks our name. We look up only to find that we are already discovered, that others know about our weakness and imperfection.

We beg for mercy, hoping that somewhere in their heart of hearts, there is room for compassion. We plead and bargain, saying that we will do whatever it takes, just let us be given a covering for our cold, stark nakedness.

A hand comes forward, reaching out toward us with kindness. We see it and put our own forward, suddenly taken aback by the scarred imprint therein. Surely, it could not be! But is it? Truly, he loved and gave all that we might live. Can he really be coming here, just for me?

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” He says. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11;28-29).

His grasp is warm and inviting, his arms enclose us and we are brought into his bosom. There, amidst our tears and prayers, we are given strength and peace. He sheds his own garments and wraps us in them, and sends us on our way rejoicing!

We look down, aware that our nakedness has been covered. The garments are richer than any we have ever known. We feel the softness against our skin. We bask in the warmth and beauty surrounding us. Indeed, life is better now than anything we have ever known. We have been redeemed!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Appreciation

 

Thanks! I appreciate you. I am so glad you are here. It is good to see you. Thank you for thinking of me. That was amazing! You timed it just right. I like how you did that. You seemed to know just what I needed. Hey, you saved me back there. I feel that you understand me.

Words of appreciation are music to our ears. They feed us with feelings of self-worth and help us to know that others acknowledge our efforts. Like rays of sunshine, they give us the warmth of unconditional love and speak peace to our souls.

Sharing appreciation with others validates their sense of being. When we share words of appreciation, we are saying, “I care about you. You are important to me. I want you to be happy. I am glad that you are who you are.” The more we share the gift of appreciation with others, the more it comes back to bless our own lives.

I have a good friend that understands this principle. When I am with her, I feel that I am the most important person in her world. Recently, I watched her interact with others, and found that she does this with everyone. No wonder others flock around her.

Appreciation is not the same as flattery. Flattery is lifting others up for the purpose of our own gain. Its motive is to achieve a relationship of power and authority over others by getting them to become dependent upon us for their good feelings. Those who use flattery do so with the intent to destroy rather than build.

Appreciation is genuine. It is Christ-like love at its best. There is no other motive than the pure desire to share love with others, and help them feel that they are loved. When Christ was on the earth, he went about doing good. Although he had all power and all authority, his only aim was the exaltation of mankind.

Our desire to be like him will lead us to build up others with sincere words of appreciation. Only then, will we be a vital part of his kingdom here on this earth. As he said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Always add appreciation when communicating with others. It is the gift of unconditional love, and just may be the boost they need to go on living one more day!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Price of Peaches

 

1978 was a good year! We were married in August of that year and shortly afterward moved into a small one-bedroom apartment with no front door. Our entrance was the stairway above the garage. There were three doors at the top of that stairway: one for the bedroom, one for the kitchen, and one for the bathroom!

We were determined to make it work. While my husband went to school, I took in sewing, provided babysitting services, and kept house. One day, I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and stumbled upon a bushel basket of ripe peaches!

Excited that we could begin our food storage, I paid the nominal fee and went home with my treasure. Knowing that they wouldn’t last long, I was determined to preserve them that very day. My husband came home from school, weary from studying all day, only to find me hard at work washing jars and preparing the syrup for canning.

With the patience of Job, he put his arms around me and gave me a big hug, then rolled up his sleeves. Together we blanched and pealed the peaches, carefully placing them in the jars. We covered them with the hot syrup and lowered them into the water bath.

We laughed and played like children as one by one, we added the jars of peaches to our little kitchen table. Steam filled the room, but joy filled our hearts that night. Together, we had followed the words of the prophets and laid aside for our future needs.

Those peaches seemed to last forever! Each time we brought one up from the storage room, we relived the blessed experience of putting our hands and hearts together in a project that not only solidified our union, but gave us sweet experiences for many years to come…all for the price of a bushel of peaches!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Uncertainty



I am bound by the chains of uncertainty, surrounded by chaos and strife. There’s confusion about me on every hand, should I flee or stand up and fight?

I am bound by the chains of uncertainty. I feel I am in over my head. I am sinking into the pit of despair. Is there no Balm in Gilead?

I am bound by the chains of uncertainty. I do not know where to go. I cannot find a place where there is peace on the earth. If there is, how shall I know?

I am bound by the chains of uncertainty. The time is going by fast. If I do not do something soon, I will die. Oh, how long will it last?

I am bound by the chains of uncertainty. The night full of darkness and fear is settling in all about me. Is there no light left in here?

I am bound by the chains of uncertainty. I am falling upon my knees. Dear God, please take away my fear. Will you help me, Lord, please?

I will break the chains of uncertainty. I will calm the raging sea. Take my hand, my child, I am here today. Will you not come and follow me?

No longer bound by the chains of uncertainty, I am bathed in peace and light. No matter what happens around me, I am held by the Lord of Life.

©2020 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Legacy



I want to leave a legacy for those who will come after me, that when the bell tolls and I am gone, it will not have silenced my earthly song. They will have heard of the times that I wept and prayed that heaven’s assistance might not be stayed, the times that I overcame the night, and was able to make it ‘till morning’s light.

I want them to know that though life was hard, I kept on going, my senses marred by the winds and the waves that tossed me about, my heart within me trying to shout. When the skies were black and the storm clouds grim, threatening the loss of life and limb.

Yet the gales ceased and there was great calm, a generous dose of healing balm. A peace enveloped my mind and heart, giving me once again a new start. I basked in the warmth of the sun on my face, gaining strength yet for another race. I tethered my ship, and patched up the holes and even had the courage to set a few goals.

I want them to see the path ever clear and know that I am always near. That though they may stumble and though they may fall, there is one waiting there who has given his all that they may rise and conquer again because of the price that he paid back then.

I want them to hear the voice of gladness that speaks to the soul, amidst all the madness, that guides our path and shelters our way and helps us to sing at the end of the day. That our children may laugh, and dance and play, and be held in our arms, come what may.

I want them to feel passion for those in need whose souls are hungered, or bent, or do bleed, who look up to heaven and weep at the thought that they haven’t been able to get what they sought; forever empty, forever alone, forever in want of a hand in their own.

I want them to touch others with a love that is deep, and lose their lives, that perhaps they might keep the treasure of happiness living each day, keeping bitterness and hatred at bay. For life is short, our days long spent, achieving the purpose for which we were sent. 

I want to leave this world a better place because of my sojourn in this rat-filled race. I want to be seen as one who cared, who took the time that a life would be spared. Whom others will see and simply say, “We knew heaven for a moment when she walked our way.”