It’s the coldest February I can remember in a long, long time. For a bout a week it wreaked havoc on my nerves but today, as you might imagine by the lateness of my post I allowed myself a “snow day.” I was treated to a late morning breakfast that included cooked apples, corn biscuits and scrapple and an early dinner featuring short ribs. For desert I was surprised with homemade chocolate chip cookies with pecans. It doesn’t get much better than that. Except for the moment I ventured out to help shovel seven inches of new snow from the driveway (an activity that truly deserved a partner), I rested for the better part of the day. As I was returning from taking Orpheus the wonder dog out for the evening, I experienced a spirit of gratefulness and thanksgiving. This may be a day that the Lord has made but today it belonged to my husband George.
…cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up;…open its mouth, you will find a coin… Matthew 17-22-27 The first time I went fishing out on a boat was in Virginia while visiting a friend. I was twelve. We caught a few fish that day but not one had a coin in its mouth. Nevertheless, I’ve loved fishing and Virginia ever since. Some how even at twelve I found peace in both the place and the activity. By profession Peter was a fisherman. Following Jesus around would certainly have taken some time away from doing the one thing that allows him to provide for his family. The issue of the temple tax had to cause some anxiety. What other way to put his mind at ease than to instruct Peter to go do the one thing that he knows; casting a hook? Finding a coin in the mouth of a fish is perhaps the oddest of “miracles” but not so far fetched. Fish are attracted to shiny silver things. Why couldn’t a small coin falling in the water from a boat be one of them? This event helps me to understand that our discipleship is not about experiencing miracles. It’s more about God allowing us to be at peace with who we are as we follow him, blessing us as we use every part of our gifts to the Glory of His Name.
“Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1-13 Because of his love for Jonathan, a blessed David didn’t allow Saul’s acts against him, to turn his back on God’s law. The legacy we leave will be the one we live everyday. We have only to live according to God’s Word and not in response to the world’s actions against us. As for those who choose to begrudge us because of our blessings towards others; tell them to take it up with God!
Our blessings come when we are able to discern the physical forces which challenge our faith from the spiritual forces of God which keeps us reconciled to Christ, that we may be able to know and understand what things we ought to do and have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them (BCP 231). To hear the message of the Gospel and believe in it, is the key to unlocking the manifestation of God’s love within us, which was given before the foundation of the world as we understand it. Otherwise we like Herod stay bound to a state of our humanity (pride, selfishness, idolatry etc.) that is in opposition to God’s will and the riches of his grace. Let us not forget Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that encourages our choice to walk in his love by faith as having obtained the inheritance of God’s glory. For by it we learn to concern our selves and respond by what God sees in us as beloved offspring and not by the judgment of others.
Ephesians 1:3-14 In him… when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
Have you ever taken a vacation, however short or long and found you needed another few days to recuperate from getting away and then find yourself not really getting back into the swing of things until you receive a phone call from a friend? Perhaps “recuperating” is a lousy excuse for staying away from the blog which I really do enjoy writing, yet at the same time I recognize that life and simply living can and should be its own reward. So let’s just say I took some time to simply live. However, it was my BFF who called in the middle of her work day just to make sure things were okay. Thus, my first blog back from “recuperating” is to give glory to God and thank him for the friends in my life. It is during “recuperation” when relationships have an opportunity to either bloom, perhaps become more clear or simply be reinforced. I had the experience of all three in the past two weeks and have come to the conclusion that the life God has given me is filled with many blessings. Never mind the struggles as we all have. Through Christ, we are all branches from the root of Jesse. This alone gives us reason to celebrate the gift of the spirit we received at Pentecost, which lives within us today. Without it life and living really is just another day but with it life and living is a daily blessing from God.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Proverbs 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.