Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the category “Memories”

The Sky Shouts!

When I was younger, I loved to fish. Some of my favorite times spent fishing were very early in the morning just as the sun was coming up over the horizon.

Most of those times, I was awestruck by the burst of color in the early morning sky. I may have missed catching a few fish, but I had the opportunity to see the awesomeness of God’s creation.

I think I understand a little of what the Psalmist was thinking when he wrote these words:

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

Life moves so fast that we often miss those times when God pulls back the curtain and allows us to see a glimpse of His glory. May we learn to slow down when possible and look for the hand of God in His creation!

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Rainy Mondays- A Good Day To Do Nothing

I think I’ve written about this subject before, but this is one of those days that I just can’t pass it up. It has rained all morning here in North Mississippi where I live and work. Just a lazy kind of day. There’s not much going on here at work either and that makes it even worse.

Actually, I’m usually pretty tired on Mondays. I attend a small church in my home town. As with most small churches, Sundays are extremely busy. I teach a class of adults ranging in age from close to 30 to my age, I’m 55.  Then during worship service I play bass in our praise team and sing. We use a variety of music in our church from the great hymns of the past, to some of the new worship music of the present.

After church there is lunch at my mom’s house, I’ve written about that before in a post titled “Sunday Dinner”. I do usually get a short power nap in before going back to church for praise team practice, and Sunday night services.

After church on Sunday night, our 2 daughters, their husbands and children all come to our house for Sunday night supper. Our 3 grandsons, ages 4, 2 1/2, & 6 weeks are something else. It usually turns into a 3 ring circus before we are through. My wife and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

By 10 PM, I am ready to fall into bed. Monday mornings, come way too soon for me. Today is no exception. I am just having trouble getting motivated to do anything. I’ve got a project to complete this afternoon so I guess I’ll put a stop to my complaining and get on with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy serving in my church. Sundays are such a blessing from God. But it makes for a long Monday.

 

Hiding Behind A Mask

Halloween Costumes 1980

Today is Halloween. This is the time of the year that children and some adults think about dressing up in all kinds of costumes, going out door to door and getting candy. Most of the costumes for children have some type of mask with them. Thus making it easier to pretend to be someone else for a short time.

I wonder how many Christians are hiding behind masks all the time? Hiding who we really are to act like what we believe a Christian is supposed to act.

We live in a culture today where 2 families can come to the same church every Sunday, sit in the same pew with each other every week, and yet not have a clue about the struggles and problems the other family is going through.

We think that because we are Christians we are supposed to have it all together. We are not supposed to have any problems. Guess what? That’s the wrong answer!

Listen! We still live in this sin cursed world! We are not home yet! To borrow a line from Steve Brown, we are beggars telling other beggars where we found bread. While we are here, we need to reach out to one another and lean on one another.

We need to take off our mask and admit to the world that we are lonely and needy. That we sometimes say things we shouldn’t and even do things we shouldn’t.

Who knows? Revival might just break out in the church! And our Father would be pleased.

Monday Mornings

I don’t know why, but Mondays are rough. I’m usually still tired  from Sunday even though I get a good nights sleep.

Sunday is one of my busiest days of the week. Between serving on the Worship Team at church, teaching a class, and chasing grandkids in the afternoon. It makes for along day. Especially if you tack on a couple of meeting s during the day on
Sunday.

However, it how I choose to spend my day. I love music especially God’s music. It’s a joy to serve in my church even if it means having meeting to attend. And I love spending time with my grandsons!

When Monday rolls around, it usually takes me until middle of the morning to get going. I just feel like I’m walking in quicksand. After I get through that, however, I make it pretty good through the day.

I just have to get through Mondays!

Join the conversation! Share your Monday morning stories in the comments!

Learning To Trust

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in my Christian walk is learning to trust God in all situations. Not a blind trust, but a trust developed through experience. Yet, I need to be reminded constantly of the Father’s consistent working in my life.

I remember many years ago when my children were younger, we went through a tough time with my job. I was working for a major furniture manufacturer when business took a downturn. It got so bad that we were only working 3 days a week. I was out looking around our small town for  a second job and wasn’t finding one. I finally realized that God was trying to tell me to trust Him. To be patient and rest in Him. It was amazing to watch God work through other Christians and sometimes in ways that I couldn’t understand to meet our needs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 became very important in my life because of this season in my life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do  not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. ESV

There are times in our lives though that we don’t think about past victories and we fail to remember how God has helped us in the past. Maybe we should follow more closely the commands that God gave the children of Israel when he told them to teach the children in their household the truths of God’s law and the way God helped them get to the promised land.

It’s difficult to learn to trust God completely. In our culture, individualism is encouraged. There is pressure to look out for number 1, ourselves, and not think about others. We as followers of Christ, must learn in these difficult days to trust in God for all of our needs. We must realize that God, not the government is the source of all we have. It’s difficult to learn. I’m still working on it, but god is faithful to remind me daily of all He’s done for me. I just have to listen.

Please share some of your experiences in learning to trust God in the comments below.

 

Love Cares For Others

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18 NKJV

This is one of those verses of scripture that prompted my last post, “Old Bibles”. I was reading in 1 John 3 and the Holy Spirit kinda hit me and said, ” Pay attention!”

I had not underlined this verse in my Bible even though I had underlined several verses around it. I read this verse a second and third time. As I thought about this verse, god began to show me that while I talk pretty good about the Christian faith, I do after all teach a Sunday School class of young adults, sometimes I have a problem with application of what I have read.

How many times have I walked past someone with a need and didn’t stop to see if there was something I could do? or how many times has someone asked me to pray for them and I say that I will, but then forget to follow through and pray?

Father, help me to realize those opportunities to serve, to be your hands and feet. Help me to stop and listen. Help me to show others that you are a God of love and compassion. Amen.

 

Old Bibles

I was looking at an old Bible that I used several years ago the other day. I noticed as I thumbed through, that I had underlined several verses and even whole passages in that Bible.

As I read, I noticed something. The passages I had underlined were all good, but they were also very positive . I read some of the passages I didn’t underline and ouch! That hurt! I realized that the passages I had not underlined were more convicting than the passages that I had underlined.

I guess I need to be more careful when I underline passages in my Bible. Maybe I should ask myself the question, Why am I underlining this passage? In what way does it speak to me or in what way does it attract my attention.

Is there a promise to claim? Is the passage pointing out some sin in my life that I need to correct? I came away from the experience with a different attitude about underlining verses in my Bible. I still underline, but I make sure that it’s nit just the good stuff I underline, but also the stuff that points out things I need to correct.

 

If you’re a person who underlines or marks verses in their Bibles as they read, have you paid close attention to the verses you are underlining?

 

 

 

It’s Been A Crazy Week

Well it has been a crazy week. It all started last Friday afternoon when I got a call from my wife about three in the afternoon, which is odd for her. She told me she had just been laid-off from her job. That could have bummed me out, but all of a sudden a peace came over me and I knew in my heart that everything was going to be okay.

Things were pretty normal over the weekend. I still was not in crisis mode over this change that had come to our lives. My wife had a job interview on Monday, and we were very hopeful.

Then the bottom fell out as far as my work. Deadlines were looming and I couldn’t get anything accomplished. Then the computer system went down! This went on for two days! I was stressed out!

I have read all of this stuff about turning your problems over to the Lord. Let Him handle your problems, your stress and , your crisis. Let me tell you, that’s easier said than done.

The tough part was trying to not allow my wife to worry. In the meantime, she got a call offering her the job she had interviewed for earlier in the week. That was great! it took some of the load off my mind, but I still had not been really worried about her work situation. I knew it was under control. Nothing else was working right.

This has been an exhausting week. I’m glad it’s over. I’m also glad I made it through and didn’t hurt anybody. You see life happens and when life happens to a follower of Christ, we are automatically under the microscope. Everybody wants to see how we’ll handle the situation.

I didn’t do so good this week. Don’t be so surprised. If more of us who follow Christ were honest and open about our sins, maybe, just maybe the world could see less of us and more of the Jesus who saved us, and who continually picks us up and cleans the mud off of us when we fall.

Please share your experiences below.

 

Made To Crave

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual , so that you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3 NIV

I’m a grandpop now, by the way, there is nothing like it. I remember well what it was like when my daughters were small. When they got hungry, they would let you know it. If we were a little slow getting that bottle ready they would tune up and let us know to hurry up.

Just like a baby craves milk, followers of Christ should crave the reading of the Bible, God’s inspired word. I believe that just like a little child starts with milk and then moves on to soft food and then, after they get teeth, to more solid food, I believe that we as followers of Christ should be progressing in the reading and studying of our Bibles.

Let me give you some suggestions that have helped me over the years as I have developed a habit of regular Bible study.

1. Set aside a specific time. Some of us are extremely busy. It’s easy to let life crowd out our reading time. If you have to, schedule Bible reading and study time into your calendar each day, and set a reminder to insure that you don’t forget.

2. Set aside a specific place.

3. Make certain you have good conditions for reading. This means eliminating anything that might distract you from that task. Also make certain that the lighting is good, the temperature is comfortable, and that you have a good chair to sit in while reading.

4. Get a good translation of the Bible that you can understand. My favorites , in no certain order are:

a. New King James Version

b. English Standard Version

c. King James Version

d. Holman Christian Standard Version

I’m sure there are other suggestions to help you to do a better job of reading the Bible. Remember, we are made to crave the Word of God.

What are some ideas that have helped you with your Bible reading time? Share some of them in the comments below.

Sunday Dinner

Cornbread, collard greens, macaroni and cheese...

Growing up in the south, some of the best times as a family were around the kitchen table as we shared a meal together. It was a time of great food, conversation and fellowship. It was also very loud. Why? Because everybody was talking at the same time usually. The number of conversations going on at any one time depended on the number of people at the table.

But the center piece of the table was the food. Not gourmet food either, but some of the best tasting, simple food you could imagine. Everything from fried chicken to fresh vegetables that had just been picked from the garden the day before. By the way, the chicken had run around in the yard the day before too.

Every Sunday, we went to my grandmothers for Sunday dinner. She always had a table full of food. She expected whoever showed up to eat all of it. Of course as soon as dinner was finished, we would place a tablecloth over the table with the food still on it.

The adults would go and sit in the living room for more conversation, all us kids would go out into the yard and run and play, no video games back then. Many times about middle of the afternoon we would slip back in the house, lift the corner of the tablecloth up, and get us a cold piece of chicken and a cold biscuit. There is nothing better.

The tradition continues today. Almost every Sunday after church, my family heads over to my mom’s house for Sunday dinner. Now its my mom and dad, my 2 daughters and their husbands, and of course our 2 grandsons who are always the center of attention. We are all trying to eat healthier these days, so we don’t have fried foods as much either. But there is still nothing better for Sunday dinner than good food, and good conversation.

 

That is one of my favorite childhood memories. What are some of your favorite memories? List them in the comments below.

 

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