I’m becoming so weary of turmoil. Is it all social media driven in this country? Maybe so, but who drives those sources? Often I feel a need to warn or inform my friends on Facebook of certain facts I have been sent. After all, the information appears factual and should be passed along. However, within an hour, if not sooner, I am sent a link that describes what has been written as truth actually has no basis of truth whatsoever. Why didn’t I check out the information before forwarding it onward? Didn’t I desire to know the truth beforehand?
What is it about our culture that often causes us to hit the forward button immediately? Why not take the time to actually check out a source and the possible damaging incorrect information it contains? Sounds like the game of gossip we used to play as children. In that game, one sentence is spoken into the ear of the first participant and passed along to others. By the time that sentence reaches the ear of the last participant the sentence is completely different. Yes, this is a child’s game, but currently it appears this country is behaving like children.
God teaches us to love one another; to do for others as we would want others to do for us and to put Him first in our lives. Is that a rule you have embedded into your own life? I’ve heard countless people speak less of God and more about how we should all be good people, doing good things and living good lives. How’s that working for the country as a whole?
This world, although we are made in God’s image (and that includes every single individual ever born), has a carnal nature. Add to that carnal nature the gift of free will to choose how we live, what we do and to whom we give our love and allegiance, and we have a world of Eves ready to bite that shiny apple of doing what we think is right without any help from a Supreme Being. The world of “goodness” that is trying to be attained is a lofty goal that will never be reached until Jesus returns.
We can blame media and they should take some blame. After recently watching a series on the life of Princess Diana, how can media not take responsibility for hounding that woman 24/7? Yes, there were other circumstances on the night of her accident, but really, needing to watch her every move and reporting it to the public as if we needed to have a peephole into the intimate parts of her life?
Do we honestly need to know every step the military is taking to defend us? Do we need to issue an opinion about each decision that is made in the Oval Office? Do we need to rewrite history and slash moments that we can use to teach further generations about the Civil War? Shouldn’t we teach the wrongs about this particular war? Should we take all the remnants of the Holocaust out of Washington, D.C., so as not to offend future generations raised in the Jewish religion instead of teaching humanity and all religions this should never transpire again?
I was reminded recently of the Viet Nam war. Such a time of unrest in this country as the war was blasted by young people. Meanwhile, my brother was serving his country in Viet Nam. While the support of the troops was at an all time low, my brother was hitting the ground trying to get to the barracks where breakfast was being served because some of those from that country, disguising themselves to be helpers and workers in the kitchen, were lying in wait underneath the barracks shooting at the soldiers as they were making their way to breakfast.
Was there a ticker tape parade for him? Did he receive special treatment when he returned home? Should my family be raising our voices for something that happened in ‘60’s and protest injustices? Should we demand anything that is visible that supports the remembrance of the Viet Nam War be removed because it brings back harsh memories of my mother crying every night when she watched the nightly news attempting to get a glimpse of her son and know he was still alive?
Speaking of the military, don’t we share a disappointment to the point of outrage that the freedoms upon which we enjoy are watching as a small percentage of individuals in the public eye take a knee to the National Anthem? The blood of family members and friends, shed on foreign fields to keep us safe from harm, sung in those words of an anthem that represents the United States of America, is being used for demonstration purposes? All the while these individuals are collecting an astronomical sum of money for playing a game on the football fields of the United States of America?? They can only take that knee due to the freedoms given through the bloodshed of our military warriors representing that same red, white and blue? Will that man or woman who died to give you the freedom to take a knee….will their loved ones ever receive a paycheck in the amount of one of yours?? Would you give your life for the flag that flies over your head every day as you live in this great country??
This country appears currently to be at one another’s throat. Let’s get Americans against one another and have a brawl…what exactly will that accomplish? Whether you are a Christian or not, I can tell you from my personal belief Satan is having a hay day. He wants us to hurt one another, speak injustices, and hate opposition to our self-inflicted, self-righteousness. He desires to dredge up each and every mistake ever made in our country’s history inciting an attempt to erase occurrences that took place hundreds of years.
Truth…we desire it, we crave it, and we long to know it. But we also need to understand truth can only be revealed through belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Until we seek the face of our Creator and fill the deep longing in our souls for the peace that only He can give, we will never know the true meaning of truth and live in harmony with our fellowman.
As time slowly marches on I'd like to share a recent visit with my mom. It was not only heartwarming, but heart wrenching. Reflecting on her current situation, I long to be with her more and provide more of her care to make sure her days are comfortable and full of love. Blind, due to strokes she experienced two years ago, Mama has been a really good sport living in a nursing home. We have employed caregivers and now are blessed with the aid of Hospice. Thank goodness many loving souls are surrounding her and helping with her needs.
However, as I look into those eyes that seldom see me, it's just plain sad. It's sad that she doesn't remember readily events I call to her attention; places she has visited, people who have recently visited, comments she has previously spoken that were filled with humor or what she was served for a meal a couple of hours previously. But when I speak of Jesus, the hymns of old and lessons we have learned from the Bible, she's right on the mark. You see, Mama loves Jesus. She is so ready to meet Him and gain access through those pearly gates and take up residence in that mansion He has so diligently been preparing for her. Those thoughts bring a smile to her face and an anxiousness that makes it a bit easier to desire that journey for her, but will fill our hearts with grief and sadness.
Oddly enough, since my mom and I have shared a close connection throughout my entire life, on those days I need her and long for her advice, God gives her clarity of mind to give me support and encouragement. It's as if the curtain of dementia is rolled back and Mama surfaces to spread words of wisdom and hope. To God be the glory for granting me those glimpses.
Mama's hands have held mine many times. They have swept my porches when she would visit, changed diapers when the kids were babies, cooked my favorite foods, washed our clothes, dusted furniture, cheered us on at every turn and given warm hugs that are still available even in her weakened condition. And those are things she has done just since I married and moved away from home. I can still recall us on our knees in the bathroom when I would accidentally drop one of my hard contact lenses. They were so expensive at the time and I only had one pair. Mama would pray as we carefully crawled around seeking that one lost contact. Ironically, we found that little sucker every time and mama gave all the credit to the Lord!
Yes, Mama's hands have been a great source of comfort and this past weekend she just wanted to sit outside and breathe in the fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun and hold my hand and my husband's as we were seated on each side of her. Just to feel the touch of a loved one even though she couldn't see us filled her with joy. (Of course, milkshakes, hot dogs, hamburgers and coconut shrimp bring her joy as well, but the nursing home doesn't readily serve those items!)
Well, that's about all I have to share today. I pray one day when my hands look like my Mama's, they will tell a story about love, compassion, good deeds and show traces of how they were used for God's glory.
Blessings, my friends!
I am not a gardening expert....that fact needs to be stated first in this writing. I can plant and I can water, but knowing the names of flowers, plants, trees and various other beauties leaves me in the non-knowledgeable category. I have books that I was given for Christmas at various intervals that I requested thinking maybe I would use the winter days of lesser outside activities to learn about God's beautiful creation. But no, winters have come and gone and I still can smell the newness of those books when I dare open them to peek inside.
With all that being said, Gary and I have watched as various trees and bushes we planted in our yard years ago have gotten sick and died. We've lost a burning bush that was incredibly beautiful in the fall; a Cleveland pear that once shaded a great portion of the front yard and a Lilac bush that I dearly loved. Since we have a lawn service to aid with controlling weeds, we inquired of a tree service to investigate our Cleveland pear's ailments. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was herbicides.
Now, looking up this term on the web leads one to believe that herbicides kill weeds and do not harm the vegetation. But no, here is an added statement I read:
"Contact herbicides kill only the plant parts contacted by the chemical, where-as systemic herbicides are absorbed by the roots or foliage and translocated (moved) throughout the plant. Herbicide activity can be either selective or non-selective. Selective herbicides are used to kill weeds without significant damage to desirable plants. Nonselective herbicides kill or injure all plants present if applied at an adequate rate."
Bingo! Evidently, one of the companies that serviced my lawn used, at some point, a nonselective herbicide and it went into the ground and was sucked up by the roots of these trees and adult bushes. We are currently treating one of our Dogwoods that we are hoping makes it through this chemical storm.
Remember the last story I wrote concerning the aggressiveness of my Blackeyed Susans? Well, those little babies have nothing on the aggressiveness of the nonselective chemical havoc running through my lawn! After further investigation we discovered the particular herbicide used on our lawn is no longer being used....only a Cleveland Pear, Burning Bush and Lilac too late!
Okay, what's the spiritual point? Well, I think you know where I am headed with this lesson. My Blackeyed Susans are in the process of taking over, but I saw it coming and did nothing. I knew that these flowers were mounting an uprising and bottom line, I was too lazy to get out and dig them up. But I was extremely surprised that I never knew or realized a lawn service was applying a deadly chemical on my yard that would penetrate into the root system of my yard and vegetation. To be perfectly honest, I wonder if the lawn company was completely aware of the situation. It took about two years to surface and then it was too late for some of my beauties. The unknown...a dangerous concept. In the Christian life, we are continuously needing to be a watchful child of God. We can't grow lazy and allow the world to bombard us with aggressive tactics. Nor can we sit back until we are totally surprised that a wave of deceit was being disguised in plain sight.
What is possibly in the lawn of your life that has been treated with a deadly dose of worldly chemicals? Is there an area you've become accepting of that a couple of years ago you'd never entertain being associated? Are there signs of withering leaves where initially evidence of growth existed resulting in shade for relaxation and refreshment? Does your life appear green and lush on the outside, but dark, dead and dying on the inside where only God can see and you can feel?
Deadly herbicides have wreaked havoc on my lawn, bushes and trees. I will be much more astute in the future as to what is being placed on the lawn by these companies. Watch out my friends, not only for the protection of your lawn, but for the wellness of your spiritual life. Pray that God will give you discernment to recognize the warning signs of worldly advancement.
Father God, please help us as Christians to be aware of the traps set before us on a daily basis. Give us the courage to live a life that is bold, but sincere and gracious, filled with the love of Jesus. Guard our hearts and minds with knowledge. Sprinkle our answers with sweetness, causing others to evaluate the road they are currently traveling if it is not paved with following You.
May your name be praised from this point onward. In Jesus' Name, Amen!