I was in church yesterday when someone walked up to me and announced..."I know your name, I hear it all over the place, but I have no idea who you are."
Hmmmmm.....there's a loaded statement.
One I didn't take lightly.
In order to know who I am....
You'd have to watch me....
how I interact with others and treat them.
You might ask others that know me well....
you might even watch them, as they can be a reflection of me....
"A mirror reflects a person's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses" ~Proverbs 27:19
I started thinking about Christmas....many of us, me included, know what we are celebrating....after all the name Christmas, is fairly recognizable. Whether you believe the story or not.
The question is, am I showing others WHO we are celebrating?
At times yes. I am blaring my Christmas Mixes on Spotify....I am buying presents, I am decorating, I am discussing plans....
But, am I showing Him
in the way I move about and treat others in the middle of all of this busyness?
The possibilities are endless during the next few weeks....
Can I let someone cut in front of me in line at Target? Or worse....Tekas?
Can I slow down enough, to notice the things or people I am missing?
Maybe others can see Him more clearly if we slow down and show them. Maybe then they will know WHO we are celebrating. God, Thank You for the opportunities You are putting right in front of us. In His Dust, DCC
The Shepherd isn't always out in front leading His sheep.... in the lengthening twilight, when the sheep must pass through the darkest shadows in the deepest wadis (valleys), The Shepherd drops back and walks with them." ~Ray VanderLaan
We spent one morning in Israel watching a real shepherd girl lead her sheep on a rocky hillside. It was just as you would imagine....she walked in front of a bunch sheep and they followed her....it was fairly uneventful. (Although fascinating to watch the 23rd Psalm come to life.) However, as the sun set and night came, the shepherd headed to the back of the flock...among the sheep. In the dark valley where it was "hard to see" where there were "unknowns"...the shepherd walked AMONG them. And in our valleys....and our dark nights....OUR Shepherd walks among US. I...love...this.
"Because You are with mein those dark moments,
with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted." ~Psalm 23:4b
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." ~Isaiah 43:2
"Be strong. Take courage. Your God, is right there with you.
He won't let you down; He won't leave you." ~Deuteronomy 31:6
Whether you find yourself or someone you love, in a valley today...
Here is what I know....God loves you and cares deeply about each and every "desert" you find yourself in. This includes today, yesterday and tomorrow.
He knows it is hot...He knows you are thirsty...He knows you feel alone and afraid...
He knows you are overwhelmed....He knows you don't see hope, shade or water.
He also knows exactly where the water and protection are that you and I need.
He knows will be provided just for you....at the exact right time and the exact right place.
"Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, 'Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! The Scriptures declare, Rivers of living water will flow from their heart." ~John 7:37
God. Thank You for being exactly Who and what we need.
Friday morning..."What on earth are helicopters doing flying in circles around Alamo Heights?"
"Do you think you can update my iPhone?
Friday night...."If I make you a drink, can you fix my iPhone?" (which is a lovely trade.)
Saturday morning..."Where do dinosaurs fit in Genesis? Also, can you help me update my iPhone?"
Sunday afternoon...."Have you updated your iPhone & iPad? Do you think you could do mine? I'll make dinner? (excellent trade)
Sunday night...my 7 & 9 year old neighbors as we watched the moon wanted to know-
"What makes it red and why is it turning dark? How do we keep warm at night with no sun?"
(Before you try to enlighten me on blood moon or any science facts- save yourself the effort. Like I told teachers in the past- I don't care. Then. Or now.)
Monday morning walk....sun not even up....in the pitch black I heard, "Chesney- that you?
Why are there 50 kids on the AH football field this am. They aren't in band or dance team."
The one question from this weekend, that caused me to stop and really think was from a Senior Rabbi and a Cantor after a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday.... "Debbi, why do you believe.....Why does your church practice...." I stood at attention as if I had just heard Weezie yell, "DEBORAH CHRISTINE CHESNEY get back here right this minute!" I wanted to be honest, confident and gentle in my answers. I immediately thought of Peter and his wise advice when put in this position.... "Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy." -1 Peter 3:15 From what I can gather, God seems to be drawing my attention to questions people are asking me- at all hours of day and night- at all places from football fields to synagogues.
He has also pointed out to me that He has never asked to explain science or creation or who's on the AH field at what hours- or why a helicopter is flying over head in the hood -(clearly He has given me the lesser known spiritual gift of iPhone-ology)
I am ok with not knowing all things....because I know The One Who does.
Here's what I do know about the moon.....
it was bright and pretty and lit my path this morning...
And The Very God who hung it up there knows my name. And Your's.
God, Thank You for being The Answer. You are all we need.
Happy Anniversary... It was September 4, 1965 at 8:00 pm when you stood at Christ Episcopal Church.
As you stood there, you made a promise to God and to each other.... and September 4, 2015....50 years later.....you both continue to keep that promise.
I am so blessed and grateful to have watched your marriage for 48 years. You have shown me what real love, real commitment, a real life Godly marriage looks like.
Love is patient.....
Love is Kind....
It does not envy....(but it laughs...alot)
It does not boast,
It is not proud.
It does not dishonor others....(although it apparently had a stache at one point)
It is not self seeking....
It is not easily angered....
It keeps no record of wrongs....
Love does not delight in evil, (although does delight in travel)
Love rejoices in truth....
Love always Hopes....
Love always perseveres.....
Love never fails.....
And today September 4, 2015.....Love is 50......
and it looks just like you Mom and Dad.
Happy, Happy 50th Anniversary! I love you so very much!
God, Thank YOU....for connecting these two in Your Name. Thank You for two people who know how to keep a promise....to you and to each other. For richer, poorer, sickness, health hard times and good......Thank You especially for choosing them to be mine. In His Dust, DCC