Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fruits of writing class

I was supposed to be writing examples of dialogue breaks from the topics given (in bold). Here's what I came up with. :)

Self-imposed cliffhangers, I call them.

A flippant highschool girl and her mother discuss a pattern the girl is determined to buy.

“Amanda, what is that you have?” Mother peered around her daughter to the small, flat parcel in her hand. “Not something outrageous again, I hope.”
“Just a pattern I need.” Amanda whisked the package away from Mother’s view. “You needn’t worry about it.”
“Let me see it, dear.” Mother spoke gently and softly, and Amanda complied with a look of disgust. After a brief glance at the front of the package, Mother’s eyes flew open. “Why Amanda! I’m surprised at you; picking up something like this.”
“Oh, honestly.” Letting the hand grasping the package fall, Amanda pulled at her kinky blonde hair, her eyes rolling for the thousandth time that day. “It’s just a skirt.”
“I realize that, dear, but look at the price! And how much material it would take to make something like this; I don’t know how you could even think we can afford it.” Mother gripped her lean wallet a little tighter and smoothed the front of her shabby dress. “I’m barely making do as it is.”
“For goodness sake!” Amanda turned to the side, flipping her hair over her shoulders and stood her ground. “You would think that with a new school year a girl might get something decent to wear! I’ve been ‘barely making do’ with the clothes I have; surely you don’t expect me to go into high school looking like Raggedy-Anne.” 
“Amanda, I just don’t think it can be done.” Mother’s voice was now tired and the look on her face told passersby that she was staving off tears. “You don’t know how much I would like to fit you out with the best that money could buy—we just don’t have that kind of money.”
“Oh, you seem to dig it up from somewhere: You’re constantly giving it away along with our things and your time and effort to help homeless beggars and tramps—why can’t it be spent somewhere where it will actually do some good?” Amanda’s words poured forth in a scornful, scathing torrent, and she gripped the pattern tighter. “I don’t mean to go into a new school looking like I’m from a dump heap.”
“Well, since you put it that way, I suppose maybe it can be afforded.” Mother looked in her wallet and counted out the few bills. “Find yourself some material, dear, and we’ll take it over to the seamstress right away.”
“All this fuss over a new skirt.” Amanda marched away triumphantly, leaving Mother standing alone near the pattern rack. “You’d think she was deciding whether or not to spend our lives, not a little money.”

A preacher stops his car to ask directions from a tramp who is cooking his supper by the side of the road.

“Excuse me, but do you know the way to Ainesville?” Reverend Colton leaned across the seat of his shiny sedan and spoke through the open window.
“It’s a’lookin t’ me like ye got yerself in the right way t’ git thar.” The little man looked up from his pot of curiously bubbling liquid and jabbed a dirty finger towards the highway. “Jes keep on headin in that thar d’rekchin and I ‘spect ye’ll make it thar even’chally.”
“Are you so sure?” The reverend held the worn map on his front seat up to the light of the setting sun. “I’ve been on this road for a good 3 hours, and I was supposed to come to it directly after a quarter of an hour at the most.”
“Wall, mister, I ‘spect I’d know this ‘ere terri’try; I’ve a’lived ‘ere long as I kin rememer.” Bending over his pot, the tramp took a big sniff of the steam and nodded approvingly before straightening up again. “But if yer so doggone set on hearin’ out the d’rekchins, I kin give em ya.”
“I would appreciate it very much.” Reverend Colton cringed as the tramp’s dirty word burned his ears, but said nothing about it. “I need to be to the Ainseville parish by nightfall.”
“Wall, mister, it’s like this. Ye take this ‘ere road til ye git down lower’n the spring, and right thar at the spring, ye take a left. Keep on til ye hit the mine shaft, an’ make another left right thar across the mine head and keep on a’goin til ye pass old Murphy’s dead cow, and take another left. After that left, ye jes keep on til ye git to the highway and make a right. After thet, I ‘spect you’ll hit Ainseville d’rectly.” The tramp gave his directions while stirring the pot and making strange jabs at the air with his finger. “Trip’ll prolly take ye som’ere’s ‘round 3 and a quarter hours.”   

A professor makes arrangements with a trucker to haul his household goods to another city.

“Are you the one set to deliver my things to Wellsford?” Professor Dodgins looked over the tops of his gold rimmed spectacles at the scruffy-faced man who had sauntered over to him.
“Yep.” The trucker stuck out a grimy hand. “That’d be me. Name’s Carl.”
“I am indeed grateful to you for your time, sir. I am anxious—yes, indeed—to have myself properly settled.” Professor Dodgins spoke rapidly, nervously; and avoided the trucker’s hand as though it were plague. “I don’t suppose you know of the place you are to take them?”
“No indeedy,” Carl replied, spitting a wad of who-knew-what past the professor. “Jus’ give me the description and I imagine I’ll find ‘er all right.”
“21450 NW Hickory Street.” Professor Dodgins’ entire body tensed as though he were ready to run. “It’s at the north end of town.”
“I would ‘spect so, seeing’s how its nor’west.” Carl looked a little baffled at the needless information that had been tagged on. “What kind am I to be lookin’ for?”
“Kind? What kind?” The professor removed his spectacles and wiped them and then laid a hand against his high forehead. “I am afraid I do not comprehend what you mean, sir.”
“I mean, mister, is the house one story, two story; does it have big winders; what color is it…” Carl rattled off a list of specifications for the professor to answer, at which the latter went white. “I gotter know what the thing looks like.”
“Why, man, I just gave you the address!” Professor Dodgins finally sputtered, throwing both hands in the air. “Isn’t that enough to know?”
“Oh no, mister, not at all.” The trucker folded his arms and studied the clouds above his head. “Las’ time the boss tried to send me on an errand with only an address I ended up in the south forty. Don’t want that happenin’ again.”

A teacher questions an eleven-year-old boy who has been playing with matches around the building.

“Anthony, would you stay a moment please?” Miss James turned from cleaning the blackboard to address a freckle-faced, curly-headed scamp just about to slip out of the classroom. “It won’t be long.”
“Yes’m.” Anthony’s desk creaked again and Miss James finished clearing off the blackboard before coming down to sit in a desk opposite the little red-head.
“Anthony, do you know why I kept you back?” Miss James spoke kindly to the boy, who looked down at his desk, red curls falling about his ears. “I think you have some sort of an idea.”
“I guess ‘cuz I was pulling on Jemimah’s braids again.” The boy ventured a guess, avoiding the terrible subject that was now burning his brain as assuredly as it had the side wall of the schoolhouse that morning. “I jus’ couldn’t help it Teacher.”
“Well, that is a good guess, but it wasn’t what I was referring to.” The teacher straightened up a little and looked down at the Anthony, her gentle hand resting on the smooth desktop. “I do think that Jemimah would appreciate you not pulling her braids, though.”
“Well I don’t think I know then, Teacher.” Anthony finally dared to look up, facing Miss James with a look of blue-eyed innocence. “I ain’t done nothin’ else today.”
“Oh?” Miss James’s eyebrow cocked, and Anthony looked back down at the desk in apparent agony. “I think you might be telling me a falsehood, Anthony.”
“I ain’t tryin to lie!” Anthony cried out, burying his face in folded arms on the top of the desk. “You’re a’makin me feel guilty, so I got to!”
“Anthony, no one is making you say anything. I just want the truth from you—nothing more or less.” Miss James looked sympathetic and half-amused at the boy’s outburst. “Come now, and be honest about it.”
“I cain’t, Teacher—I cain’t!” Anthony shuddered and quaked, head still buried in his arms. “Oh I’m just the unluckiest fellow of eleven that ever lived!”

A cranky old maid and a cheerful mother of seven discuss, over the back fence, the flu epidemic that has broken out in town.

“Good morning June!” Anne’s voice rang out across the lawn and arrested the attention of the old woman who had been beating a hasty retreat into the house. “Fine day for early spring, don’t you think?”
“Early spring it is, and no more welcome than an early end to harvest time.” Miss June stopped and turned about, glaring contemptuously at the puffy clouds sailing by overhead. “It’s like to mean an early winter.”
“But winter’s got a certain magic to it, wouldn’t you agree?” Anne leaned on the picket fence separating her property from the rack-shack, tumble-down plot Miss June called home. “I couldn’t even think of minding an early winter.”
“I don’t know where you young folk get these heretical ideas,” Miss June fairly spat as she came down the porch steps. “It’s stuff-n-nonsense.”
“I see you’ve avoided the epidemic so far.” Anne ignored the old woman’s malediction and changed the subject with tact. “At least two of my little ones have it now.”
“Yes, I don’t suppose I’ll get it this time around.” Miss June was now at the fence near Anne. “I don’t go out gallivanting around other folks like you all do.”
“Well, with a clan of seven I can’t exactly be out too much.” Anne stated things matter-of-factly, and brushed a beetle off her apron. “I think Cassie and Diana picked it up at school.”
“I would expect so.” Miss June’s voice was dark at the mention of children. “Young’uns always pick up the most heinous diseases and bring them back from school.”
“Poor old Mabel Parker has it now, too.” Anne’s tone breathed sympathy, which seemed to only rile the old maid on the other side of the fence. “With her husband gone for so many years, it’s been difficult for her to cope, and now this.”
“Mabel’s getting her just desserts—don’t know why she ever married an unstable cheat like Malcolm Parker anyway.” Miss June looked across her lawn to the house with a violent jerk of her head. “He was always bound to take off.”
“But Malcolm was always such a likeable fellow.” Anne rested her chin in one hand and looked thoughtful. “I remember him from when I was just a little girl.”
“Yes, likeable enough, I suppose: He looked like a lamb and spoke like a dragon, to put it as the preacher would. But who could blame him for running off after marrying a fright like Mabel Jenkins?” Miss June’s eyes travelled up to the top balcony of her worn house and seemed to be gazing through the walls to a place inside her dresser where a letter was kept safe, preserved from times long ago. “She never deserved the likes of him anyway.”
“But how terrible to get such a sickness when you’re all alone!” Anne was still thinking of poor Mrs. Parker, not able to see the faraway look in her neighbor’s eyes. “I hope she doesn’t meet the fate several others have already.”
“It comes to all of us.” Miss June’s voice hardened again and she moved away from the fence toward her house. “No point in wishing for something that won’t never come true.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


It's a word that we all either chill or thrill at: runaway. Runaway horse, runaway vehicle, runaway emotions, runaway train... All of these things, at one point or another, have caused a terrible scene somewhere in our world. "Runaway" is one of those things that you can't just push to the side as a light's real, it's heavy, and it hurts.

Hurts? "Runaway"? ...mhm. Try this.............................................runaway father? Runaway mother? Runaway child? Runaway friend? Starts to get more of a picture, does it?

Running away often looks appealing. When I was 13 years old, I came close to it. I was ready to run, but afraid of the consequences of throwing myself at the mercy of a cold, unfriendly world. I was ready to go...I was convinced to stay. I was nearly a runaway myself.

And then when I got older, I experienced another type of runaway. A friend, very near and dear to my heart; one I trusted nearly above all the other friends I possessed.... someone I loved..... became a runaway. Not in the traditional sense, but in an emotional sense. When I needed them most...when I was trusting them to be there, they "ran away"; from the problems, from the responsibility, from the commitment such a friendship most assuredly demanded. He ran, and I wished for a place to run myself.... But this time, I couldn't be the runaway. Someone else had taken that place, and I had to stay and face the reality. No running, no escaping.... I could only hide my broken heart in an impenetrable castle and hope that I'd never have another precious friend become a runaway.

Through the time, since then til now, I've had more experiences with runaways. I've watched still more friends run away, as it were; listened to stories from runaways, who were desperately searching for something more and couldn't find it.... Runaways are common. Do you know any?

Fairly recently, I've experienced another type of runaway, one I never had to confront before. In a literal sense, yes.... They're gone for right now, leaving me with little idea, if none, of their actual geographical location. But there's always a reason behind someone running away, whether physically or only emotionally. Often, the only reason is pain--coupled with rejection, the sense of abandonment, the fear that no one cares, and the desperate heart cry for love, this can be a devastating kind of pain. My knowledge of this only leads me to believe that when one literally runs away, they're crying for help...and crying for love.

I'll be very honest: I've been a runaway all my life. It's never been something I would've termed myself as, but as I look at the facade, the false front, I've placed before people for most of my life, I realize that I'm a runaway. I've run from reality, run from God, run from pain, run from rejection... Run like my life depended on it. Which, in a small sense, it did. I've been a refugee as it were, fleeing from everything for most of my life; a runaway.

How about you?

Are you running away from things? Pain? Fear? God? Family? Rejection? Loneliness? the list goes on, but I can only name so many; the ones I've known the best are the easiest to relate to. What are you running from? Who are you running from? And why?

It's not easy to be a runaway, but in the last few months, I've come to commence the learning of very vital lessons. Lessons that are showing me more and more who I really am, what I've really been all my life, and what I'm not. And I've come to learn, very forcibly in this case, this very salient, and life-changing truth.....

You cannot run away from anything. Running away from God is like leaving your shadow behind; running away from your problems doesn't work either, because they're your problems, and you take them with you. You can't run away and have it be a doesn't work.

But there is a solution. A solution to pain, to problems, to a love deficiency. It's not a parent, a sibling, a "significant other", a distraction, a potion, or a magic utterance. It's a Friend--Jesus Christ.... He's been waiting to be the answer for all the runaways in the world... How many of them actually take Him up on His offer, and ultimately, His greatest desire? Very few...... and yet, I want to be one of those very few. And I want you to be one of them too.

Are you a runaway? Where are you headed?

If you like, I can point you in a direction to run..... Right up that hill, to the foot of that cross. There's a Man waiting up there who told me He wanted you to come to Him.... and I guarantee, when you run in that direction, you'll never have any need or desire to run anywhere else..... ever again......

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unconventional Romance

Its Valentine's Day again. Are you excited?

I wasn't. I'm not still. It's the one day out of the entire year when people celebrate that blessing (to those who employ is correctly) and curse (to those who misuse it) called romance.

Romance. Its a lovely word, I won't deny it. However, to those of us who have never experienced the conventional romance, that word can be a torturous, receding, seeming never arriving term--and it can also be a painful, heartbreaking term to some who have known a little and yet lost it. Its a word that brings on many different types of emotions in people all over the world.

I won't ask you, but I know for myself, the word romance is a beautiful expression, but a painful one as well. Not because I ever experienced it and lost it...not because I'm pining away for it... But because I see it in the world all around me, and have to view it constantly. In church, at prayer meeting, and everywhere else; and frankly, it hasn't touched me. Conventional romance that is...

There's another type of romance. Yes, read it again if you have to.... There's more than one type of romance.

Have you ever experienced unconventional romance? I know I have.

For example, the wind in the tops of the trees--a gentle breeze whispering through the evergreens lofty heights, almost a tune that you could sing to...

Or the pound of ocean surf as you walk along the shoreline, foaming up onto cool sand and then receding, erasing the footprints behind you....

Or the power of a high mountain majesty, viewed from it's base, and looking up to its summit and feeling the awe of something that is so much larger and higher and more rugged than anything man can create....

Is that romance? I say yes. And that romance was the kind that was in the beginning... God created it as surely as He did conventional romance--and in a way, unconventional romance is almost more precious.

But then, what about coming home after a long trying day and finding a feast set out on the table, complete with candles and confetti stars and little cards and a few small gifts, and having two of your housemates rush around fixing things up and then come running to your room, all smiles, and announce that they're ready? Is that romance? .... I think so...

It's the unconventional romance that touches your heart most... Often it will leave the most indelible footprints on your character that never are erased. It is unconventional romance that makes people what they are.

But Valentines Day isn't just a day to enjoy the beauty around you... It's also a day to tell those you care about that they mean something to you. It's a day to celebrate friendship; to let people know that you really are so happy you know them, that you love them. It's a day to tell your friends you're there, and you care, and that they'll "always be in your heart". matter where they go or what they do. Saying "Will you be my valentine?" just is another way of asking "Will you be my friend?" That too, is unconventional romance....

So, Valentine's Day: a day to celebrate conventional romance. I'm single at present, and while that may change two or three years from now, I'm content to be so for now----just so long as I can continue to enjoy the unconventional side of romance with my friends, my family...and my Creator--the One who loves me best.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Never forget that you are special to someone... even if that Someone is the One who holds the universes in His hands......

Monday, February 13, 2012

The little engine that can't

Ever feel like that?

Many of you probably know the story of the little engine that could, and how he, against all odds, pulled the other bigger trains over the mountains and was acclaimed as a hero. But that's romanticism. Yes, I have quite the cultured romantic in me, but really, let's talk about reality. What about the days when that little engine was hitched to those huge engines, facing a monstrous mountain and he just knew that he couldn't ever do it? What about those?

It's those days that really get us--when things just seem to go all wrong, or even when they aren't going wrong, but you just want to collapse in a corner and sob. Those days when you may (astonishingly enough) be happy, but still want to just hide yourself somewhere. Those days when ...well, you feel like the little engine who can't.

I'll be 100% honest: I feel like that alot. Things that come my way seem to big; too much to bear--and yet, they have to be born. They can't go anywhere else: I can't transfer my broken heart to another world and leave it there and move on in perfect wellbeing. I can't just dump all my stress into the sea and let it sink to the bottom and never hear from it again. So my solution is to just stuff all my tears in a closet where they'll never be seen or found, grit my teeth and bear it...because, really, that is the only option. That or give up; and how appealing does that look? Not very.

I think, that no matter who might be reading this post right now, you can in some small way identify with what I'm talking about. You understand; you've been there. You're nodding your head, maybe ruefully smiling--you know. You get it. But what's the antidote? Chocolate and a day of sleep?

Someone watches it all. He's waiting--and yes, I speak to myself as well--to be allowed to bring peace to our hearts just like He did to that stormy sea so long ago. He wants to take the broken hearts, shattered dreams, and wounded spirits and create something beautiful. He can you know; He created the world--who are we to say that our problems are too big for God? Who are we to say that God is too busy with other things that He can't take time to cry with us?

Did you ever think of that? God crying with you? The King of Kings, Lord of Lords--Ruler of the universes and vast expanses of illimitable space--cries with you...not just because He has extra time on His hands, but because He feels your pain down inside His heart. Because He knows.. He's been there. He gets it.

So what to do now? You may not be able to exile your broken heart to some unknown land, but you can place it in a nail-scarred hand. You may not be able to dump your stress into the sea and watch the billows carry it away, but you can hold out your hands with a plea for help that God never could or would reject. You can reach out and find that the hand of Infinite love is reaching back to you...You can, through Jesus, find peace amid the pain, joy amid the sorrow--and, as I've said before, a dance amid the rain.

My challenge to you tonight, no matter who you are or where you are, is to look to Heaven and let God be the force behind you and turn you into a little engine that CAN.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I have never been more assured of the fact that human beings are, through God, capable to love as when I read this. If you don't cry when you read this, get a tight feeling in your throat, tear up, or have to read it all over again, I'm sorry........ The remedy for that would be to listen to the link at the bottom of the page and read this at the same time. If that doesn't work, it's pretty hopeless....

May a day come when these two will be reunited once again.....

Oh, and enjoy the song... It's touched my heart over and over again today. It's beautiful....

This is a true story of Mother’s Sacrifice during the Japan Earthquake.
After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman’s house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supporting by an object. The collapsed house had crashed her back and her head.

With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescuer team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure.
He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reasons, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruin house of the dead woman. Again, he knelt down and used his had through the narrow cracks to search the little space under the dead body. Suddenly, he screamed with excitement,” A child! There is a child! “
The whole team worked together; carefully they removed the piles of ruined objects around the dead woman. There was a 3 months old little boy wrapped in a flowery blanket under his mother’s dead body. Obviously, the woman had made an ultimate sacrifice for saving her son. When her house was falling, she used her body to make a cover to protect her son. The little boy was still sleeping peacefully when the team leader picked him up.
The medical doctor came quickly to exam the little boy. After he opened the blanket, he saw a cell phone inside the blanket. There was a text message on the screen. It said,” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” This cell phone was passing around from one hand to another. Every body that read the message wept. ” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” Such is the mother’s love for her child!!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crying in the rain

Sad, isn't it?

And yet, how many thousands can relate to this picture? I found it on Facebook, shared and commented on by so many people I could never recount them all to you. Their comments were along the lines of: "Aw....", and "I so understand" and "Yep, that's me" and so on. Why? 

Is it so terrible for someone to see a tear roll down a cheek; even if that cheek is yours? Is it a death sentence to have someone witness an expression of sorrow coming from you--an expression that will clearly indicate that you're hurting? 

The answer, for yes. And no.

No in the sense that I'd cry if I could. Maybe you're nodding your head at that one; maybe you can relate. "I'd cry if I could, but I just can't, so why bother?" But yes in the sense that, whenever the tears are unrestrainable, they're hidden.... On a sleeve, in a rainstorm, in the pillow, behind a locked door, shed in complete silence, or just running rivulets down a heart. 

But why all this restraint? I know for me, I've learned it--it's become a part of my inherent nature, and that's just the way things are. I don't cry... Unless you can find a way inside. But I know I'm not the only one. 

I'm aware of the events that have shaped my life and made me the way I am. But what about others? I don't know their stories; I never can understand or fully comprehend what someone else is going through, has gone through, or will go through in this life. I just can't. None of us really fully can until we've walked a mile in their moccasins, to put it plainly. But really now... Why not just cry?

They say the cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. I'm inclined to believe them in a small sense. In a larger sense, however, I know that the greatest cure for anything is the One who loves each one of us more than any can ever comprehend. He sees the tears, whether shed or unshed...or are they really unshed?

Tears. They can be the most precious...and rare...things on Earth.

Are you hiding your tears? Keeping them in for fear of vulnerability? Forcing them to remain inside? Do you only cry in the rain? 

I would encourage each of you, whether your tears come easy or no, to lift your faces up to Heaven and let God see your tears. Let Him share in your sorrows. Let Him comfort you, and assure you that "everything will be okay". Let Him hold you in His arms and let yourself weep out your sorrow to Him. He's the best place for that, you know.

And my challenge to you tonight is this: Look around at those who you come into contact with often. Many times, they're pasting a smile on a hurting heart. Are you living your life, concerned about your own troubles, and not bothering to look around long enough to perhaps unlock another heart and dry away the tears inside? Am I looking for tears? Am I allowing myself to shed tears? Or am I crying in the rain?

I can say this much with perfect certainty: I look for tears. 

To the other two, I haven't much to say.... But for now, I'll probably just walk in the rain.

What about you? 

Are you crying in the rain?

Or are you dancing in it? 

To Dance in the Rain
It had been MINE, I fiercely protested,
And now it had been stolen from me.
For that precious blessing I had earnestly fought, 
for it everything I had wanted to be.

But it fluttered away on the wings of the wind, 
perhaps nevermore to return:
leaving my heart in a tangle of feelings,
with so many lessons to learn.

"Just let it all go," some said in reply, 
"and things will turn out for the best."
But how could I let go of something like this,
when so close to my heart it was pressed?

I tried but a bit, succeeded not at all,
and utterly gave up in despair.
"I cant let it go," I said in dismay, 

"Twil forever and always be there."
So anger, pain, and resentment grew;
they burned inside my heart.
I wept and fumed over something lost,
when it hadnt been mine from the start.

I sat with my head hung low in bitterness,
low thunderclouds crashing above,
when I heard a Voice speaking so softly and clear,
filled with light, and with warmth, and with love.
It said one phrase again and again 
that I vow I could never forget;
"Lifes about learning to dance in the rain,
not stomping in puddles of regret."

I looked up from my puddle of pain and remorse
and realized I wasnt alone.
Jesus was standing in front of my puddle,
with a face just as sad as my own.
I inquired of Him why He looked this way; 
what was it that made Him shed tears?
His reply nearly made me forget all my pain,
my sorrows, my angers, my fears.

"Ive been standing here waiting for you to look up
and realize that you need My peace.
Only through Me can you hope to let go,
only through Me that blessing release.
You never can know the joy that youll find,
or the freedom that youll surely feel
from the anger and jealousy now in your heart
til you at My cross finally kneel."

It didnt take long for my tears to rain down,
and regret to course through my mind.
Here I had sat in my anger and grief,
when so easily I couldve left it behind!

With effort and with a fierce struggle inside,
I took Jesus' hand and stood to my feet,
and as down my face bright raindrops streamed,

through Him I finally that blessing released.
A flood of relief broke over my soul
and with a glorious smile on my face,
my heart soon began to dance in the rain,

full of life, love, forgiveness, and grace. 

Choose. Will you dance, or cry?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Who have you talked to today?

You're right; that is what I asked.

Who have you talked to today? 

Do you not tell anyone who you talk to, whether via email or chat or phone call or even real life? Or would you just rattle off the answer for me, were I to ask it of you in person?

Have you talked to anyone today? If I really asked you that question, would you look at the ceiling and hem and haw for a moment before responding, "Well, not really anyone..."? Or would you fire a long list of names back at me with enthusiasm? 

Maybe I should ask the question like this: Whose life have you made better by talking to them today? Have you made anyone smile? Laugh? Have you just sat and had a good conversation with anyone? Have you encouraged someone? Wiped tears from their eyes, as it were, and pointed them Heavenward? Who have you talked to today?

There's something about talking that we as humans can't get along without--we seem to need to talk, no matter how introverted we may be, there comes a point when every one of us will NEED to talk to someone. Talking is apart of our nature; we learn to talk, and then never stop. Like the quote that says "People who don't know me think I'm quiet; people who do wish I was!"... All of us have a need to talk at some point in our lives. 

What about God? Does He have a need to talk? 

God said "Let us make man in Our own image." We are made in the image of God.

And too, in Psalms 5:3, David promises God "my voice shalt Thou hear in the morning."

Does God want to hear you talking to Him? Does He want to hear you talking to others?

God wants to hear you sing, the song says. God wants to hear you talk, too. He wants you to talk to Him as if you were talking to your very best friend; the one person on Earth you would share almost anything with. He wants to be your Confidante, your Friend, your Father. He wants to be intimately connected with you even more than you want to be connected to those around you that you care about. He loves you. How much simpler can it be? 

So, who have you talked to today? Whose life have you made better so far? Anyone? 

How about God's?

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Blank Piece of Paper

Yes, it's just one of those days.

Nothing exciting. Nothing new. Pretty normal Friday. I know, I know--sounds boring.

You may be having an exciting Friday: honestly, I really don't know. They haven't equipped blog posts with the ability to capture live shots of those sitting at their computers reading my blog yet. Maybe in the next version, as my Excel tutor on said the other day.

Yes, I'm having "just one of those days" that seems boring, drab, uninviting, and expressionless: More like a blank white sheet of paper than one scribbled full of precious messages and exciting stories and funny quotes. A blank sheet of paper... Sitting on the proverbial desk in front of me... Empty. How many of you get excited about blank sheets of paper?

I know I do. I see a literal blank sheet of paper and it's like an adrenaline rush. I get so excited--you wouldn't believe how many blank sheets of paper I have lying around on my desk, in my desk, in my room, under my bed, in boxes, on my shelves, and a copious amount of other places as well. Blank sheets of paper signify, to me, a possibility... that something can be done with that piece of paper.

If there's writing on it already...or drawing, or whatever you's pretty much there, unless you take an eraser to it. And while that might seem more inviting, there's always the evidence of the fact that there was something on that piece of paper at one time. You can't totally erase anything off a piece of paper... and even if you do, the paper is never the same. It's never completely white, perfect and ready to be used for anything.

Our lives are like notebooks: each day like a piece of paper; our decisions like the pens and pencils we use to fill the pages up. We each have a notebook to fill, with song and laughter, tears and sorrows, maybe even a "happily ever after". We each have a different life to live. We each have a different colored notebook, and we use different things to write with. All our notebooks are different.

But each day, you can turn the page, and leave behind that page you wrote on yesterday. No, you aren't erasing anything: we already discussed how you can't really erase anything. But you can turn the page and get a new, clean sheet of paper to write on. You turn a page every night when you go to sleep. You choose your writing tool the next morning, and begin to write. We all do it.

Enlightening? ...I think so.

So, how is your Friday? Is it full already, or are you experiencing a writer's block; suffering from the monotony of the "same old, same old"?

I think my Friday just got a little better... And it always does when I really consider this one thing....

There's never a day like the day you choose to give your notebook to the Author of the Universe.

And there's never a "boring" day, when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords holds your pen in His hand and writes the story that is YOU.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Post that was almost not posted

I really, truly, and honestly was not going to post something tonight.

I know, I know: So why am I posting?

Boredom? Lack of something to do? ...No. Neither.

I finished out my work day and practically collapsed back into my chair. I was exhausted; mentally and physically, and bordering dangerously on emotionally. When the work is all done, and you know that there's still an endless amount to do the next day; when you're alone upstairs in the office and the only light on is the one by your desk; and when you're tired and drained on top of it, collapsing looks like a good option.

I checked my email. Nothing. I checked Facebook. Nothing. I checked my blog. Nothing. Obviously, I wasn't going to be sitting up here typing for an undue amount of time. I looked at the "Create New Post" button on my blog, and exited the window. I was just too tired, too burned out, too drained to say anything. Too upset, too overloaded. Skip it, sister; it's not worth it.

I sat back in my chair again and stared at my desktop background, and then my eyes randomly wandered to the left of me, where, on my desk, sat my Bible and marking pens and a tiny ruler. I stared at it all for a moment, just blankly. And then the thought occurred to me: "Well, since there's nothing to do on the computer, why not read your Bible?" I paused-- "Lord, I'm too tired to read the Bible."

And why is that? I seemed to have a heavenly question addressed to me.

"You know what all has happened today," I said internally. "I just can't pick that up and read when there isn't any joy to speak of in my heart: Only worry and upset and overload because of everything I need to do."

That's what that Book was written for, you know, the Voice seemed to counter. I inspired all of those words, just so that people like you could read them and find joy... There's not prerequisite to reading My Word.

That's true enough. I looked back at the computer screen once more...and then back at the Bible...and then I lethargically reached out and picked it up and set it on the desk in front of me.

Once you've decided to read, where do you read? That's the next question in my mind every time I pick a Bible up--and God answered it. He suggested that I try reading more of the Psalms that I started in my morning devotions about a week ago and never got back to because of distraction with reading other things. I fought with that suggestion for a moment: If I was going to sit here and read my Bible, I wanted to read something I knew would bless me, not just some random, meaningless passage. However, I decided that reading the next two Psalms wouldn't be so bad, and I flipped open to chapters 3 and 4.

I got to verse 3 of chapter 3 and sat floored; completely taken aback by what I'd read.

"But Thou, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."

Those last 5 words held me riveted to the page. Lifter up of my head? My head indeed literally lifted a moment, and I thought about that. God wanted to lift my head up....down inside me... He wanted to give me joy.

"Lord, that's wonderful. But I still don't have that joy in me."

Keep on reading. You aren't done yet.

The rest of chapter 3 was a strange, soothing calm to my soul--nothing that jumped out and bit me like verse 3--but it seemed to reassure me that God would indeed take care of everything. The last verse said that His "blessing is upon (His) people", and I felt as though it was spoken from God Himself... My Child, My blessing is upon you...

Well, that seemed to be sufficient. I sat back again, thinking about what I'd just read and underlined and noted. But was it sufficient? Really? I felt compelled to lean forward again and read chapter 4, which I did... and ran into something else that made me blink in surprise yet again.

"But I know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto Him." 

And then, down just a couple verses more...

"Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."

God has set apart the godly... not for our sakes, but for His? For His sake... not mine... He wants to set me apart. And then, He wants to put gladness in my heart; seeming to reiterate the thought from earlier about lifting my head up and giving me joy. And after that, peace...flooding the soul like a river. That's what He wants to do for me. He has set me apart... And He wants to give me joy, lift up my head in gladness, and then allow me to rest in perfect peace and quiet, releasing the stress, the anxiety, the upset, the worry, the fears, the overwhelmingness of how my situation may seem. All of that gone, and in it's place, perfect peace.

As these thoughts really cemented in my mind, I heard it again.. that Voice that wasn't audible.

I think you have something to post about now, My Child.

I sat back up abruptly, and opened a new window on my Internet browser. Clicking that button titled "Create New Post", I kept my Bible open and began to type...the post that almost wasn't posted.

For Those Tears

For Those Tears

He sits out in front of a two car garage,
and he watches the kids rushing by.
He’d jump up and run, but he’ll never be able to;
he’s crippled you see, in both legs.
He’d give almost anything to be free from his chair,
and a tear trickles down from his eye.
But Someone above points down in love and says,
“Look; ‘twas for those tears I died.”

She’s walking alone down a portion of road
with a baby strapped onto her back.
She carries a basket of rice on her head;
she’s been married for nearly 6 years.
That marriage has stolen her childhood away,
and when she sees other children, she sighs.
But there’s Someone that sees all the tears kept inside
and He says, “See? For those tears I died.”

He sits at his desk in an office department
and tries to distract from the pain.
He and his wife just lost another child yesterday,
but life has to pick up just like before.
In despair and pure anguish he drops his head in his hands;
tears rain, he’s too tired to try. 
But Someone somewhere feels every care
and whispers, “My Child, for those tears I died.”

These pictures of sorrow He views every day
We’ll never know how much He sees.
The comforting thought is when I’m pained and distraught,
that then all His attention is on me.

He hung in midair from a cross in shame
while guards gambled and crowds jeered below.
He’s torn and He’s bleeding, He’s heartsick, alone;
does it really seem worth all of this?  
But that Someone that hung on that cross long ago
looked down through the ages of time.
He saw every tear that you ever would cry
and He said, “Yes; for those tears I will die.”