“Sam kept a diary—a daybook about his life. It was a cheap notebook that was always by his bed. Every night, before he turned in, he would write in the book. He wrote about things he had done, things he had seen, and thoughts he had had. Sometimes he drew a picture. He always ended by asking himself a question so he would have something to think about while falling asleep.”
(Excerpt from p. 5 of The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White)
As I listened to the reading of this part of the audiobook, I was inspired to share with you about how meaningful journaling is to me.
Like Sam, the young character mentioned above, I like to write about things I have experienced or thoughts I have had. I also like to show my ideas in the form of sun bursts or mind maps as I brainstorm ideas about topics. I like to write poems and prose. Often, I record my prayers and expressions of thanksgiving and praise.
There are special times when my writing flows on the paper as God inspires me to write. My best time to write is usually in the morning when I am alone and it is quiet and peaceful. But sometimes it may even be in the middle of the night. When this happens, I try to record the time because even the numbers may bring further meaning to what I have recorded on paper. What about you? Do you ever have special times when you are inspired to write or draw?
Today, listening to this excerpt of the audiobook, I was challenged to write more at the end of the day. The idea of writing a question to think about during the night intrigued me.
I feel led, however, not to just ask myself a question to ponder, but instead to spend a little intimate time in the evening asking my Heavenly Father a question and trusting that He will reveal the answer in His perfect time and in His creative way.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)
What questions do you have?
I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to know we can come to Him for answers.
I’d love to hear if you keep a journal or diary. Let’s encourage each other too as we share our testimonies of answered questions.
When I was very young, I learned many songs and rhymes. It is amazing how I still recall their words although they were taught to me over sixty years ago.
I often think back to my childhood and remember fun times. Many biblical truths and character values were passed on to me by people who loved me and invested time with me through joyful play.
As I prepared to write this post, a special memory captivated my attention. I pictured myself, as a young child, with my stubby little fingers attempting to form a church as I said this little jingle:
Here is the church.
Here is the steeple.
Open the doors.
And see all the people.
I could feel the love of the person who was near me, helping me learn the rhyme with its finger play. I could see her hands.
As I thought about this event in my past, I also remembered the frustration I experienced when I tried to correctly interlock my middle, ring, and baby fingers so my hands, placed close together, could form the church building. I recalled having trouble figuring out how to lift both of my pointer fingers so the tips of these fingers touched to make the steeple. Then, I was challenged to put my thumbs side by side to make the doors.
Whoever was helping me was very patient! She showed me with her hands how to do it as she joyfully said the rhyme. It was strange how I could almost feel the warmth of her loving hands as she guided my hands and fingers to be positioned correctly, intertwined in unity.
Have you ever had a memory flood over you like this? . . . . making you feel like you were back in time so you could almost feel the touch of the person near you?
When I finally learned how to say the rhyme and do the actions successfully, I recall wiggling my fingers excitedly, almost as though I was making the “people” rejoice in my success.
It’s interesting that this memory came to me with Mother’s Day so near. Both my mother and grandmother are in heaven now so I can’t ask either one of them who taught me that rhyme.
But I can pray and thank God for my spiritual heritage. I had grandmothers and a mother who demonstrated the love of God to me. They taught me so many lessons by their actions. They planted little seeds of truth that grew in me so I grew in my faith. They taught me to pray. I thank God for my grandmothers and mother and I pray that I may leave a legacy of love as they did.
I believe God brought this memory back to me for more reasons. He is reminding me of the church’s purpose to share His values and truths to the next generations. As members of the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to share the gospel in ways that engage the little ones.
What is God saying for today as we say this rhyme together. I think He is wanting us to recognize how different all the “people” are in His Church. (tall fingers, short fingers, different colored fingers). He is reminding us that we are to be connected with each other in unity to grow in Him. But then we are to open the doors of our church buildings to let people in, people who are hurting, searching for love and truth. Also, we the “people”, God’s family, are to go out of the doors into the community, spreading seeds of Truth in ways that show how much God loves all people.
God wants us to be His hands and feet.
As we study God’s Word, we know how important it is for us, His body, to fellowship together especially as the time of Jesus’ return draws near. Ponder these words from Hebrews 10: 19-25 (NKJV):
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching.
All of Hebrews, especially chapters 9, 10, and 11, are key scriptures for today.
We, the people, are the church. As we fellowship together whether in a building with a steeple, in a home, or in places throughout our community, we are to encourage each other to complete the individual work we are called to do. We have great purpose! I pray we remember our mission to the little ones and the lost. May we be found faithful as the commended saints of old.
A few weeks ago, on May 3, 2018, our nation celebrated the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme was Pray for America – Unity, referring to God’s word to us in Ephesians 4:3, NIV: Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. In Ephesians 4, God shares again His perfect plan. Let’s wiggle our fingers and rejoice in knowing He has already equipped us. May we show God’s love and peace to the world as we are empowered by His Spirit, looking to Jesus.
The sun is up.
A new day is here.
My Son stays up.
There’s nothing to fear.
What others may see.
Look closely, child,
See My Son’s glory.
Within and without.
In Him, there’s no doubt.
So souls will be warned.
They will be adorned.
A day has dawned
Truth came to this earth.
Glory to Him.
Thank Him for rebirth.
Praise the Lord now.
Rejoice in this day.
My Son’s alive!
He still shows the way.
What about you? Have you discovered The Way? Jesus is reaching out to you in love and saying, “Follow Me. I’ll show you.”
Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6 NASB)
In 2017 I am challenged to live in a way that gives God glory.
In the year 2016 I wrote on the topic of glory with the Christian Writer’s Circle. See more posts about glory by clicking here.
In August, my husband and I were blessed to have a week vacation near Destin, Florida. Vacations are special times to rejuvenate.
Each morning, I tried to start the day with a time to pray and write in my journal, spending quiet time, listening. Sometimes it can be challenging to carve out quiet alone times, even when on vacation.
Usually, I started my quiet time in this location, then I’d walk on the paved walkway which paralleled the beach.
Almost every morning, I was greeted by the sound of a dove. The dove usually was perched high on the rooftop of a nearby building.
Hearing the call of the dove each morning encouraged me.
One day, as I listened to its soft call, I thought of a key historic moment recorded in the Gospels. It was the time when the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon Jesus.
When I returned to the condo, I looked up the Scripture in Matthew 3: 15-17 (NKJV) where Jesus is talking to John the Baptist:
“But Jesus answered and said, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then Jesus allowed John to baptize Him.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”
These words spoke boldly to me. I noticed how God spoke from heaven. I thought about how important God’s proclamation was to the people at that time and how important it is to us today.
If we take these words to heart, we have the assurance that Jesus is God’s Son and our Promised Deliverer.
We, as followers of Christ, also can trust that if Holy Spirit came to be with Jesus, He also comes to be with us.
Several days after my vacation. I was inspired to write this poem. I am thankful for the way God speaks.
The Call of the Dove
It’s time to look closer,
Behind the veneer.
It’s time for us to listen.
Be quiet, so we hear.
Hearts are hidden near us
Behind walls of shame.
Lonely, longing, wailing hearts,
Needing love, no more blame.
Restore us, Oh God, to You.
Tear down and build back
With You, there is no lack.
You gave us The Promise.
Jesus is His name.
When we ask Him in our hearts,
He takes away our shame.
Yet, action is needed.
Walk full of faith within.
Trust in Resurrection Life.
Transformed, released from sin.
Step out in confidence
Know deeply God’s love.
Thank Him for the hope that’s found
in the call of the dove.
In the Bible, turtle dove or dove is mentioned many times. Has there been a particular Scripture, with the mention of a dove, which has inspired you? Or have you been touched, as I have, by the call of the dove? If so, please share.
(My husband, Eric, and I standing in front of an oasis.)
At the end of June when my husband, Eric, daughter, Catherine, and I were on our westward drive to California, we veered off the main road to see the Joshua Trees at the Joshua Tree National Park. We arrived at the southern end of the park near dusk but were determined to see the unusual trees. After traveling several miles of windy roads over very parched land, we came to some interesting sites including a desert oasis and a grove of cacti. After many more miles of wandering in the wilderness, though, we never located even one Joshua tree.
It wasn’t until late that night, while my husband was driving and we were searching for a motel to stay in for the night, I read on the map about the town called Joshua Tree near the northwestern park of the national park. As I read more, I discovered the Joshua trees are only located in the northern part of the park. There are actually two desert climates which exist in the park. We had spent hours of our time that day searching for the trees not realizing at the time we had been looking in the wrong location.
Before going to sleep that night, I thought about how many people are searching for things which will bring them pleasure, fulfillment, and security. They may spend a lifetime looking only to realize at the end they had been looking in the wrong places.
I’m thankful, when we start to go down the wrong path of life, God gives us an opportunity to make a U-turn. He loves us so much, He has prepared the true roadmap to our happiness. When we read and trust His spoken and written words, and follow His directions, we discover amazing truths and experience the adventure of life as it is meant to be.
The last week of June, my husband, Eric, and I took a road trip across the United States, traveling from Tennessee to California. For a good portion of our journey, we traveled on Interstate 40, paralleling in many places the old Route 66.
You may be too young to know about Route 66. It was one of the first highways within the U.S. Highway System constructed in 1926. Its length was over two thousand miles, stretching originally from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.
The narrow highway was the main thoroughfare from east to west until it was officially removed from the U.S. Highway System in 1985, replaced by the Interstates, one being Interstate 40.
Bobby Troupe, an American songwriter, wrote the words of the song. “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1946. I found out he wrote the lyrics with the help of his wife when he and his wife were on a ten-day journey to California, where Bobby hoped to build his song writing career in Hollywood.
My husband, born in 1948, quoted the words of this popular song as we journeyed along much of the same route.
I was intrigued to find out the history of Route 66 when we stopped at a museum along the way and as I searched the Internet while Eric was driving. When Interstate 40 was built, many people who made their income with businesses along the Route 66, had to either relocate or go out of business. It was a dark time for many.
Good news! In the last several years, there has been a movement in many of the states along the route to restore parts of the old road, with signs marking “Historic Route 66”. Many communities are being rejuvenated by the tourist trade of areas designated a National Scenic Byway.
Eric and I were blessed with time to stop along the way to appreciate several of the unique places. My “kicks” are best summarized in these photos. I hope you enjoy the scenes and captions. I pray they inspire you to take time in the coming year to have your own adventure.
Anyone who has ever traveled parts of this historic westward route most likely has a story to tell. I’d love to hear your story.
Sunset in Arkansas
Countryside Scene along Historic Route 66
Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas
Boca Negra Canyon in New Mexico
Sunset at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona
For more pictures visit Grand Landforms Along Route 66.