Sometimes my faith falters, not in my salvation, but that God will provide, heal, salvage. In the next few years, our goal is to get out of debt, have a sizeable savings account, an emergency fund, cash to pay for things, and be able to give more to missions and to other causes we would love to help. We are dreaming big here. First things first, though, get out of debt. And with our truck in the shop needing repairs, it seems we just took two steps back! Frustrating. But I need to remember that God doesn’t work in ways we understand. He works when we become available to let Him provide without expectations of how it is to be done. I need to pray, confide, trust, and be willing to let God show up in unexpected ways.
Proverbs 4:25, 26 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”
“Hear! hear!” screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time, “winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel, if you know where to look for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau, 28 November 1858 journal entry
Beauty is all around us, and we will see it if we are looking for it. Photo taken while my son and I were out for a walk around the neighborhood the other day.
(Trying a new ‘format’ out here that is labeled ‘status’. Since I am still figuring this new blog site out, I thought I would see what it looked like).
Wednesday. Hump Day. The middle of the week. Many are just trying to make it ’til the weekend. Surviving, not thriving. I get it. But I do not want to be counting my days like that and with the new year fast approaching, I would like to resolve to do more than ‘survive’ in 2018. On my former blog, I had started a section “Midweek Minutes” posted on Wednesdays on the topic of wisdom, and I hope to post here as I am able. One of the studies I had done was about listening. Not.an.easy.topic. Do I listen or talk more? Do I have an opinion formulated before the other person is done talking? Do I often interrupt? No comment. I will admit I need to work on a few areas. This week’s entry came from a quote about ‘listening skills’.
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” -Doug Larson
I looked up a few synonyms for ‘listen’:
→ Take notice
→ Be on guard
There is more involved than just hearing when it comes to listening. It takes action, effort, discipline even…which sounds like work, doesn’t it?
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” Proverbs 19:20-21
This week’s concept is not about just listening to others in conversation (family, friends, co-workers), but about hearing counsel and receiving (accepting, acknowledging, deferring to) instruction. When I am given advice, how do I respond? Defensively? Most likely. There is no expiration date on this verse or an age limit. Wisdom is a journey, it seems, and a concept I wonder if I will ever grasp. When I think of a lifetime of listening, hearing counsel, receiving instruction, it can feel a bit overwhelming. “Practice makes progress”, I have been told. Wisdom is the reward when I remember to practice observing. Wisdom is the reward when I develop consideration. And wisdom comes when I am faithful to focus and wait on God to show me His direction.
We celebrated today the ‘dayspring from on high’, the dawn of our faith, the horizon where the Son of God visits us every single day. The magnitude of that takes my breath away. Every day, Christ shows up and is as dependable as the sunrise. He shows up to give light and to guide our path. May we never forget the tender mercies of our Lord and Savior and always look to the Light. Merry Christmas.
Luke 1: 76-78, “And thou, child [John the Baptist], shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring [Christ] from on high hath visited us.”
Let Every Day Be Christmas
by Norman Wesley Brooks, 1976
Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.
Peace on Earth, good will to men,
kind thoughts and words of cheer,
are things we should use often
and not just once a year.
Remember too the Christ-child, grew up to be a man;
to hide him in a cradle, is not our dear Lord’s plan.
So keep the Christmas spirit, share it with others far and near,
from week to week and month to month, throughout the entire year!