Be Thou My Vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18 KJV

Do your words create a vision for people? Are your words faithful to the Bible? Are not those who are teaching to be held accountable for the direction they steer?

In the land, there was chaos and turmoil. Men sinned and lost their way. They hungered for righteousness and looked high and low. False doctrines spread like cancer and souls vanished. Good works ceased and faith withered. The protection of a mighty God was absent.

Men hungered for death. It would not come. Then as a mirage, a shepherd boy strolled casually singing songs of praise! The men held their hands out, drank the cup and ate the bread of life. Restoration! The angels in heaven proclaimed “Glory to God in the Highest. Peace and Goodwill to man!”

From the ash heap!

In a twinkling of a star, a thought enters your mind and your life is forever changed.  You will not forget the past, however, everything from this moment on will never look the same.  Have you ever experienced a moment like that just described?  Your private world burns to the ground and arising from the ashes is this new you, ready to tackle the universe?

So where do you go from here?  Proceed with caution.  To begin, start here:  Know what is important and what is not.  Learn what to pay attention to and what is not worth your time or energy. Take care of yourself, you will need you and many others who depend on you.  Here’s some more great advice:

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime.  Never make a negative decision in the low time.  Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods.  Wait.  Be patient.  The storm will pass.  The spring will come.   Robert H. Schuller

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.  Thomas Sowell

The discipline of daily devotion to God undergirds decisions.  Edwin Louis Cole

 God is a parent that allows our will, dreams and faith to be trusted.  We learn from experience with God. Trust God to have your best interests at heart. Learn and obey, follow His lead. Rest in His arms always. He will never leave nor forsake you. Those are sweet promises from your Creator.

 Blessings friends,

Jeanne Elizabeth

Coloring pages…

I still love to color. A fresh box of crayons each September is a treat. My old broken ones are unwrapped, shoved into the oven on an old cookie sheet, to melt and be formed into new crayons.

Here are a few of my favorite coloring book webpages. 

http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/ Do not resist what you will enjoy.

http://www.janbrett.com/activities_pages_artwork.htm Her art in colorbook form, how wonderful!

http://www.momes.net/coloriages/coloriages-peintres.html You do not need to speak French to color these famous works of art.

These should be enough to get you started doing a pasttime that you may have brushed aside.  While you are coloring the paintings of Goya, Cassatt, Monet, Renoir, perhaps pick up Wendy Beckett’s lovely books and her appreciation for art expressed so vividly.

Writing Tools

We all have a list of “musts” at our desk.  This is mine: laptop, pencil, paper, web address book, candle, coffee, and limber fingers.  I notice something is amiss.  My coffee keeps getting cold.  The remedy, a candle warming tray that I can set my cup on.  It works!  I’m happy and I don’t need to leave my tasks to microwave the coffee for 45 seconds.   

Wait, my web address book and calendar are missing.  At one point I had five calendars floating around the house.  Trying to keep them all up-to-date was impossible.  So I settled on one calendar which currently hangs on the back door.  I really dislike walking to and fro, but the inconvience beats taking two hours everyday to update multiple calendars.  As far as the web address book location, well, one of the children must be using it to check their grades online.  Perhaps two of those will be needed.

I am forever rearranging rooms and space.  Seeking a better place to stash something, utilizing fancy plastic boxes to put things into only to find myself needing to take something out and forgetting where I stashed it, has become a preoccupation I deplore.  Why this infatuation with organizing?  Am I trying to make sense of the world or am I just being tidy.  Sometimes I think my life is a puzzle that never stops moving.   Like the magic mirrors and mobile walls  in the funhouse ride at the carnival, you enter one room  thinking you are heading in the right direction, only to find yourself up against a wall that does not move and you need to adjust yourself to break through. 

The creativite process is a science that has tricks and tips significant to our unique being.  What works for you may not work for me. Why I find myself pounding out chapters sitting at my favorite chair and not at my desk, is beyond my understanding (and a possible explanation why nothing ever stays stagnat and I am always on the hunt for a pencil).  

I wonder if Jane Eyre or Beatrice Potter ran into these same phenomenons?  I know I spend far more time organizing than getting words formed into books.  My motto is this “Forever writing and never having said a word”.

Just say it!

How long will it take to write a novel?  I welcomed this passion of carving a story out of thoughts some time ago but have never pursued it as diligently (well some days) as I have for the past 6 months.

My googling craze charges my creative slumber.  The thoughts I vacuum up stir my imagination and soon I embark on another journey.  (This is a time when a focus disorder is fruitful!)

Recently, while searching, I discovered a novel writing contest that spurs you to write 50,000 words in one month.  (www.nanowrimo.org) I was instantly hooked.  It has been well over 20 years since I first picked up a pen and jotted my musings down (many garbage bags full have subsequently been destroyed).  I believe if I can wrap up my urge to get a rough draft accomplished, I could rest this uneasy spirit.  Will this be the trick to free me from this obsession?

I plan to post my progress and to keep me from shame, I do not anticipate failure.  I frown at mistakes and firmly believe there are no errors in life, just journeys that have dead ends.

Blessings friends,

jeannelizabeth

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Hope and Still Hoping

How many times must I fall down?  Is it possible to ever move forward or will I continue to rewind the memories?

Life is not fair.  Most of us learn this quite early.  Some of us learn it the hard way and others witness people who struggle with injustice.  The innocent among us are usually children.  Thankfully there are still ways we can protect them from the horrors of life.  A recent tragedy that hit me in the heart was while volunteering for a pro-life pregnancy center. 

The phone rang.  That is how the conversation started.  It was a simple phone call that Erin encouraged me to answer even though it was my first day acting as receptionist for Life Centers.

“Northeast Life Centers, this is Jeanne.  How can I help you?” despite having had no rest the night before my voice rang sweet.

“Do you do abortions?”

“No.  You can make an appointment and we can discuss the options available to you.” 

She was in a hurried rush.  She didn’t want options.  She did not want to be pregnant and was begging for a solution that was spelled A-B-O-R-T-I-O-N.

“No.  Just tell me who does abortions.  I cannot call all these centers listed in the phone book.  I just need the number of the clinic that does abortions.”

I hoped she couldn’t hear the crack in my voice as I tried to convince her she did not have to abort her baby.  Could she not see beyond the moment? 

The rest of my words are lost.  I did not win her over to visit with a counselor here at the office.   A few days after the phone call, my mind filled with the idea of having asked her to pray over the phone.  What I cannot possibly do is what God is great at.  His batting average is perfect.  I left Him out of the picture and it was cold.  I still shiver at the possibilities.  Her child might still be alive.

Our choices have consequences.  Deciding to have sex seemed fun but without practicing good judgment she set herself up for long-lasting misery.   Whether she grieves now or in a future time, despair will have to be worked through in order for her to find freedom from the past.  I will be praying for her and me.

What is the cost?

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 5 (KJV)

It is still summer but I can feel the crispness of fall seeping into the evenings which means winter is near.    The old is passing away and the new will shine again.   That is the beauty of climates with four seasons, you experience stark reality in 3-D. 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7 (KJV)

Thank you to SnowCrystals.com for the use of his brilliant photographs.

Discomfort

What is it that causes one’s mind to be ill at ease?  Certainly life never stays the same for long.  Even if you manage to avoid watching the newscast in the evenings or gossiping with the neighbors about the latest spike in the gas price, one can never seem to escape the doom that fills the horizon.  The sunny skies that bless us with tranquility and comfort are but a short distance to an ever increasing energy towards chaos.  One begins to wonder when the sky will tear open and rain down wrath.

No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price  of wisdom is above rubies.   Job 28:18

Pearls in the Word of God represent wisdom.  Do you have wisdom in your situation?  When an irritant enters your mind, how do you soothe your weary head?  Do you reach for God’s Word to give you a glimpse into heaven through the pearly gates that are so narrow to enter to behold the glory of the eternal City of Peace?

Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials.   James 1:2   Trusting God in tough situations is never an easy go.  The mountain seems too high and the valley too low.   Our hearts are ever seeking rest, and all the while we traverse far and wide in search of relief.  Who brings Good News?   There can be joy amid our earthly sorrows if we know and recognize our Father’s voice and what comfort He brings to us.  Those irritants that cause us so much pain can be soothed over by His Promises to us.  By learning to trust in His grace that brings love and peace, we can rest in His presence daily knowing that this too shall pass.

National Day of Prayer 2011

The day is finally here.  Everyday is an official day to pray, but how mighty to have Christ-followers assembled around this country praying for the world’s needs.  This isn’t just about “us” anymore.  It is for the unbelievers, believers, those who are being deceived and those who are deceived, for our families and for our neighbors around the world.  The time is now.  Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? 

Everyday, a Christian is tortured, murdered, or denied their right to freely worship.  Jesus said we would suffer here for His sake.  We are told to count is as JOY when we suffer.  It seems unreal to think someone could be in a joyful state when they are obviously in physical turmoil, but a CHRIST-FOLLOWER is in CHRIST and with that comes PEACE with GOD! 

Pray, and never cease praying!    Blessings of hope and reassurance that GOD has not left you nor forsaken you.  May the God of Israel bless you with faith, peace and hope through His Son–Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah!

Jeanne

Day Five!

Everything turns.  Round and round they go. 

Momma and Andy stoop to see the caterpillars on the milkweed plant.  They turn a leaf over to watch one caterpillar munch away at the poisonous leaves.

Andy sees the caterpillar is yellow, black and white.  It looks like a rubber tube with legs.  Tiny legs.  Lots of legs. 

Andy asks “Can we take a caterpillar home and put it in a jar?”  He holds up a jar he brought from the kitchen. 

“Yes.  These caterpillars need lots and lots of milkweed leaves to eat.”  So Andy picked a handful of leaves and stuffed them in the jar lightly.  He gently picked up the squirmy caterpillar and lowered it into its new home.

“You’ll need to find a stick.  The caterpillar will use this to spin its’ chrysalis. ”  momma whispered.  Andy found a sturdy stick to place in the jar.  The caterpillar’s house was finished.  “Don’t forget a lid with air holes.  We do not want Mr. Caterpillar climbing out into the bowl of apples on the table.”  Momma and Andy laughed.

At dinner each night, Andy added more leaves until finally the caterpillar was full.  Daddy, momma and Andy watch Mr. Caterpillar climb up the stick and it began to spin thread from the bottom of its’ body.   

In the morning, when Andy came down for breakfast, a lime green chrysalis was waiting for Andy.  It was lined with golden flecks and it shone brightly in the sun. 

Days past.  The lime green chrysalis had turned black.  Andy looked closer and could see the chrysalis was now transparent and the wings of the butterfly could be seen.  It was a monarch!

The butterfly stretched. And stretched and stretched and stretched. 

Kaboom!  Mr. Butterfly was free.  It flapped its’ wings to dry them.  Andy took the jar outside to let  Mr. Butterfly enjoy the sunshine. 

Momma and daddy joined Andy outside.  “How long will the butterfly stay?” Andy asked.  “Not long.” daddy replied.  Mr. Butterfly flapped its wings and took off.  It sailed away in the summer air to find a friend.