Morning Silence, #SoCS

As the morning wakes today, the birds are chirping, sun is ever shining reminding us of the hope of survival. This morning’s reading came from Isaiah 41:13 says, For I am the LORD your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.

That is so profoundly true as we watch and wait for the Mississippi to once again crest, hopefully for the last time at this stage for many years, currently at 21.54. But this morning is beautiful and as I sit and watch the birds fuss over the feeder, I am reminded of God’s care and love of them. Then I see the sun as it shines over my violets, their flowers shimmering like they are covered with tiny glitter.

And then I remember the history of this beautiful plant. I had bought three little violets to have in my office area when I was still working, you know, the $2.00 variety at Walmart. We were under florescence lights so they should do well. I worked in a manufacturing facility that make plastic buckets. The presses were on one side of the building and my office along with maintenance and the print shop were on the opposite side of the building, a building more long than wide. One day a hydraulic line ruptured from one of the presses just across from my no wall office shooting my side of the building with hydraulic fluid. Talk about a mess. And of course the three little violets were covered in oil, plants where the leaves should not get splash with water as it could cause them to spot and die.  Now what. Well the thought was they are going to probably die but lets at least try to save them. So I gently washed them off and re-potted them in fresh soil and clean pots. I only lost one and you see how big they are today. This is proof of survival beyond visual odds with God’s loving hand.

So silently this plant reminds me every day, this too shall pass. So, grab God by the hand as he offers his love and strength and hang on. He will get you through. And as you are trudging through, remember others are trudging as well, although you may not realize it. We all trudge through life’s ups and downs. So remember to always be kind. Kindness reflect God’s love and hope for all.

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As Linda’s prompt for today’s SoCS of silence, I am reminded of the healing powers of silence. So come along and share your silent thoughts.

Precious Time

In the mornings I read from Sarah Young’s devotional Calling Jesus. It really spoke to me this morning as I know today’s labors are going to be intense as I work to clean the damages of these intense spring rains in my flooded basement. It reminds you to turn your focus to Him first before dealing with the demands of the day. “Bring Him the sacrifice of your time. This creates a sacred space around you permeated with His Presence and Peace.” Jesus Calling, May 30

The Psalms also have many uplifting verses to help with you when you think no strength is left.

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which can not be shaken but endures forever. Psalm 125:1

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth and it endures. Psalm 119:90

For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the sky. Psalm 108:4

So even when life seems to be drowning you, remember His hand is always reaching down to you, so reach up and grab it.

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In my reading this morning I also read a verse that goes along with how I always close…

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16. 

Some many think only of sharing physical items but sharing of your time when others are in a desperate need is critical. A simple smile and gentle hug can share the warmth of Christ to provide endurance to finish a hard task. So remember to share of you, which shares of Him, and be always be kind.

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Here We Go Again, #1LinerWed

You are probably as tired of hearing about this as I am tired of living through it.

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We are above major flood stage AGAIN

Do take into consideration we have yet to leave any flood stage status since March. Some areas along the Mississippi have been at flood stage since February 17th, 2019. On May 3rd we reached the new record of 22.7 feet and you can see the projected path on the chart above but that may change since we got 3″ Tuesday. For Memorial Weekend, a weekend we will remember, we took in 2.79 FEET of rain. And yes, my basement is flooded. There is simply no where for the water to go. And rain is in the forecast for the next week plus. So my dear friends in South Africa, I wish I could send you some of what we have. You don’t have enough and we have too much.

In this Friday, May 3, 2019, aerial file photo, flood waters from the Mississippi River surround Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa. Officials in Davenport say the city's public works department has spent over $1 million on flood-fighting efforts and that figure will surely rise as more costs are added in preparation for the potential of future flooding.
In this Friday, May 3, 2019, aerial file photo, flood waters from the Mississippi River surround Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa. Officials in Davenport say the city’s public works department has spent over $1 million on flood-fighting efforts and that figure will surely rise as more costs are added in preparation for the potential of future flooding. (Photo: Kevin E. Schmidt, AP)

As of Tuesday, more than 370 river gauges along the Mississippi were reporting levels above flood stage in the central U.S., the weather service said. And of those, 71 gauges reported major flooding. There is a reason the Mississippi River is called the “Mighty Mississip”.

But even with this tragedy, we can be ever thankful that there have been no fatalities. And as hard as it is, sometimes these tragedies bring out the best in us. So try to remember to always be kind. Even when frustrated beyond your means, take a deep breath and let go to allow God to shine, and be kind.

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Today is Wednesday and time for Linda G Hill‘s #1LinerWed. I know mine is longer than a line, sorry. But do come join in on the fun and say hi to everyone.

Rise and Stand Tall

Life can be scary and overwhelming when those floodwaters of life seem to dump on top of your head and threaten to drown you. But I encourage you today to rise and stand tall. God has not forgotten you. Scripture tells us over and over that he is always there beside us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.’Then all through Joshua, II Chronicles, Psalms, Isaiah and Hebrews, he reminds us over and over ‘I will never forsake you.’ Then there is a full page of reference notes of God saying how much he loves you- I Chronicles 17:13, ‘I will never take my love from you.’

Here in the midwest we are beginning to see the river start to go down. Second street in sections is dry and the chairs at the Le Claire Park band stand can be seen poking their backs out of the water, standing tall. I thought the picture below showed the resilience that nature shows us about their survival and if they can rise and stand tall, then we must as well. God always shows us small signs that he is with us every step, just look around.

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Rise and stand tall

These tulips are a testimony of survival as their street is still underwater and we should follow their lead, rise above the floodwaters of life and stand tall. God will be standing right next to us.

May you all have a calm and beautiful weekend. I know some parts of the nation are still having major issues of storms; my prayers for you is safety and feeling God’s peace. And in the midst of all storms, there is usually a moment when kindness will be needed. I remind you to always be kind when the helplessness of life can effect us all.

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Monster Eats Town

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Quiet Before the Storm

The quietness was eerie and deafening. The mist rolled over the glassy stillness of the sea as it waited the approach of the monster storm that had been forecasted. As the cloud approached, a gaping separation in the cloud appeared as it began to engulf the town like a huge mouth.

Twitter Tales #135 from Kat Myrman reminds me of the weather we are currently experiencing with the massive flood now ongoing. Weather can indeed be a monster in the making.

And I remind you that even in the midst of an oncoming and engulfing storm, you can still radiate kindness. Kindness can be as quiet as a mouse or the strength of a lion depending on what is needed. Always be kind.

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Horrifying to Amazing, Worship

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Even with the roof debris scattered on the floor, the cross remains…and seems to be glowing.

So many feelings have run through us over the tragedy at Notre Dame. Watching it blaze, knowing what the building stood for over the centuries. The history that took place in that building. The love the people of Paris, France and around the world people had for this building. The art it contained. Such a loss, and yet, now as the dust is settling, we are amazed at what was not lost. The millions of people who visit this place daily were not there. The most sacred artifacts were saved. A lot of the artwork was saved. Some of the beautiful stained glass windows as in the beautiful rose window was saved. The fireman did an amazing job saving as much of the structure as they did from the over 200 foot high flames that rose about this structure with an intense heat that I could never imagine.

The unity of the people on the streets as they sang hymns in loving memory of what it used to be but I think the comment I heard says a lot about this tragedy and the fact it is Holy week. As Christ died this week, he arose to bring new life. This building will again rise to bring new life. My hope is that the love and passion felt in the streets as it seemed the building would die, would remain and go forward in the Godly love that is to come out of any building of worship of our Father.  However, Acts 7:48 reminds us that ‘The Most high does not live in houses made by man.’ We must never worship the building or anything in the building. And we must also remember that we who follow Christ have Christ living in us and we together are the church. We go to worship in a specified building to honor him for what he did for us on the cross. This is Holy week and that must be our focus, whether we are a fine church or a tent meeting, needs to be Christ and what He did for us.

Jansen-photo challenged us for today’s Tuesday Photo Challenge on Worship in  honor of the tragedy of Notre Dame.

I am enclosing pictures of my church as it is nearly 200 years old and has many beautiful stained glass windows. It would be tragic for us if we lost it but we know we would continue onward. In 1955 a tornado took off the tall spire of this church and it was not replaced when repairs were done.

Below are the 3 large windows that I thought you might enjoy. All of the windows in the sanctuary and parlor are beautiful stain glass that reflect color all through the room when the sun is shining.

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My favorite. Jesus carrying us, His beloved lambs.
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Baptism by John
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Jesus in His youth

As we focus on the meaning of this week, Holy Week, let us remember to share the love God shared so richly with us. You never know what tragedy someone may be going through in their own life so always remember to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love.

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Gift of Thankfulness, SoCS “fab”

My devotional reading this morning was about thankfulness. When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, you inner mind becomes dark and disgruntled. When you approach God with thanksgiving, the light of His presence surrounds you. Lets have some examples from my life –

The harshness of this past winter only to be reminded of the ever resilient fabulous bulbs of spring.

The poor commitment of the “handy man” that showed up to get the old curtains down but has yet to show up to put up the new rods. But yet the light shining through the windows has been beautiful and helped my violet to burst forth in fabulous white and purple blooms.

The most inconvenient idea of being without a refrigerator for 10 days, yet I can still enjoy a fabulous cup of hot tea. And last but not least…

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Mandarin Oranges

The ability of being able to enjoy fabulous fruits all year long from those warm climate zones and the trucking industry getting them to the stores for us to enjoy.

The inconvenient challenges of life can drag us down or we can give thanks to God that we have an ability to view those challenges through His eyes and find that silver lining – there is always one however small it may be.

So all the more reason to understand you inconvenience and be thankful of the light they can shed on us and bringing forth kindness to others who are also experiencing inconveniences themselves. Remember to always be kind.

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Show kindness to others

Linda G Hill’s challenge today for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fab.” And I think if we really look around we can find more fab than non-fab. You just need to correct frame of mind. So I challenge you to review and give thanks for all the fabulous things you have in life. You could probably amaze yourself in seeing your gifts.