Dear friend, sibling, spouse, or survivor asking this question…

Water into wine? Big deal!

We have become a society of sensationalism!

We are easily bored and distracted.

We are constantly waiting for the rush of a climactic end

that we miss the subtleties in the process which has the ability to alter our lives.

Take magic tricks for example. 

The card with the bus drivers signature, who signed it right in front of you is found on top of the Eiffel Tower in France…”Big deal, seen that one before. Do something even better!”

Take the X-games as another example.

A quadroooople back flip, launched off a mile high ramp over alligators, glass, and hot lava…landing it by ending with a kick flip…”Ho Hummmm, Do something more exciting. Didn’t we see that last year!”

What about special effects with movies,

–the news.

So the first recorded miracle of Jesus Christ could actually be considered the “sleeper miracle.”

“Water to wine? Big Deal! Can’t we buy something now at Wallmart that does that for us…”

Perhaps at the moment it brought a thrill for those who witnessed it, but reading it now is…well…

B-o-r-i-n-g.

But wait. Aren’t we told even from Christ himself: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. Matt. 13:16 (King James Version)

Do we miss stuff in the scriptures, by waiting for the thrill, keeping our eyes and ears focused so much on the grand finale that we miss parts of the process where perhaps the deeper learning lies. 

I stayed a little longer at that long ago wedding feast thinking about this first miracle wanting to see and hear more… 

I almost missed that the very first public miracle performed was Jesus Christ serving who?

Not the wedding guests…

His mother.

AND although we barely even heard tid-bits about Jesus’s childhood except for that short twelve year old incident, something happened to Mary over those years regarding her son. Something powerful and precious. She believed in Him! I believe that is what instigated this miracle. Not that the guests were thirsty!

Mary knew Jesus had the ability to fix this problem and she had confidence in that belief. Confidence in her son!

From her words to the servants, “Whatsover he saith unto you, do it.” (verse 5)

Jesus’s response to her plea to help in this need seems harsh for our time. “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” But according to the time, the term “Woman” was an endeared word for the respect and honor of one so special as a mother.

And I wonder, in that quick moment that Jesus Christ’s message to us about this first miracle was not just the phenomenon that water was turned right before their eyes into wine for only those disciples to witness, but it was a confidence confirmed between a mother who loved and honored her son to begin what he came to do.

I know it is time Jesus…

I believe in you.

It was then He began his ministry.

“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (verse 11)

But before He did, there was a mom who proved her confidence in Him…

From her own words: 

“Whatsover he saith unto you, do it.”

God doesn’t always call on the strong…

Excerpt from Regina Brett:

We’ve all heard the stories.

Elvis Presley once got an F in music and was told to keep his day job driving trucks.

Michael Jordan was cut from the high school basketball team…

J.K. Rowling lived on welfare before Harry Potter made her a billionaire.

Beethoven’s music teacher said he was hopeless at composing.

Winston Churchill flunked the Royal Military Academy entrance exam twice and finished last in his class.

Lucille Ball got sent home from acting school for being too shy…

Thomas Edison was fired twice for not being productive enough.

Babe Ruth held the record for the most strikeouts.

Walt Disney lost his job at a newspaper after he was told he lacked imagination.

Van Gogh sold just one painting his whole life.

Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression, failed in two business ventures, and lost eight elections. Tell that to the Lincoln Memorial.

The failure of those great successes convince me that our weakness is often the flip side of our strength…Our strengths and weaknesses are usually directly related. For the longest time I resisted embracing my strengths because to do so would make me confront my weaknesses. It was a long time before I learned that God can use both. It took me even longer to learn that sometimes God chooses us for out weaknesses, not for our strengths.

I find it a great comfort that, all through the Bible, God doesn’t always choose the strong. He picks the flawed and the weak and transforms them. A person like Moses, [who did not feel he was a good speaker] is chosen to lead people from bondage to freedom. David,[a child was given strength to kill Goliath and later become king], Then there’s Jesus, who included among His 12 closest followers a man who lied to Him, a man who doubted Him, and a man who betrayed Him.

My favorite Christmas passage starts with “Fear not.” Those two words mean God is going to do something powerful with someone weak. I love that moment in A Charlie Brown Christmas when Linus offers to explain the meaning of Christmas to his friend by quoting the Gospel of Luke:

Fear not: For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

I’ve heart it said that we should read the Bible as if we are each of the characters in it. One year the priest of my church, Father Tom Fanta gave a sermon as if he were the innkeeper who closed the door to the holy family on that first Christmas Eve. He acted the part from the beginning to end, from his smug refusal to his shameful remorse.

He said that we are the innkeeper who shut the door and made no room for others. We’re too busy to talk to that friend who is in the middle of a messy divorce. Our lives are too filled to make room for volunteering at a woman’s shelter or babysitting for a friend.

We are those shepherds, busy tending our sheep–our jobs, hobbies, families–afraid when God comes to us, whether in the form of heavenly angels or earthly ones–friends, family, and strangers, or in the shape of problems and crises. We balk when called to go somewhere unfamiliar or somewhere undesired, some detour from our carefully constructed career paths or highly scheduled calendars.

We are like Joseph, who could have quietly left Mary instead of getting into a relationship that might demand more of him than he wanted to give. We prefer the normal, the steady, the predictable–something we can control. We plan our lives and in the planning are careful not to leave any room for God to come in and screw it all up.

We are like Mary, who, first greeted by the angel, was scared. Would we really want God that close? “Fear not,” the angel proclaimed.

What would happen if God called us to something higher. It sounds good–for a second. Until we count the cost. What if it means moving? Earning less money? Going back to school?

When God called Jeremiah, he wanted to decline; he claimed he was too young for the job. Moses wasn’t so hot on being hired to corral the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land.

A priest once told me he was unsure before his ordination whether he was strong enough to become a priest. Then someone asked him,  Are you weak enough?” Saying yes to God isn’t about being strong, but about being weak and saying yes anyway.

Mother Teresa once said that she wasn’t called to be successful; she was called to be faithful.

If your answer to the question “Are you strong enough to serve? is no, maybe you’re asking the wrong question, Are you weak enough to serve?

Brett, Regina. (2012). Be the Miracle. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing.

What a job taking off the wallpaper!

Magazine’s, home networks, and electronic sites

encourage us to

declutter, tear down the old, refresh, reorganize…

It is good to do those things.

But not

when

it feels like your life

is being peeled and scraped off walls

and all the little pieces are put

in the garbage can.

It is strange

that the first photos

sent out of my childhood home

being torn apart

to get ready to

sell is of

my childhood room.

The room that stayed the same…

so all the little children who ever entered

our family home

would have a “toy place.”

Looking at this picture makes me tender!

Layers of my life stripped away to my very beginning

Layers of my life stripped away to my very beginning

This paper knows all my secrets–knows me as me.

 I was first put in my crib right there with those new butterflies to look at.

My parents kissed me goodnight every single night right there.

I learned to pray kneeling beside my bed there by a yellow bed spread.

I played dress up and lined my bed with all my dolls and stuffed animals right there.

I watch the sun rise through my window and would catch the rays in the dust while lying in my bed next to the white sheen wall paper, with my white doggy, Joey warming my feet, and day dreaming of all things a young girl wishes at different stages of her life…right there.

I heard through that very wall, lined with blue stripes, the last breathes of my mother, barely one year ago as I said good-bye for the last time…

Refreshing is good.

I am sure the freshly painted white walls will look very clean and nice.

And someone soon will walk in that freshly painted space and look all around and make some comment about using it for a gym, or office and not have a clue the spirit and life that grew up in those walls

and learned,

and loved,

and experienced

  life

right there

in that tiny little room!

The garbage truck just pulled away with junk and paper inside…can you hear it.

It is gone!

More letting go…

The memories

I will keep inside forever.

Haiku-3 Little Words

photo (1)

don’t forget to say

these three little words to me–

  it makes me happy

Monday’s hearts shared…

For Madelene

For Madelene

http://www.mondayheartsformadalene.com/www.mondayheartsformadalene.com/Welcome.html

The most breath taking creations

often are inspired by

love and tragedy.

Read about this beautiful

act of love

created early

every Monday morning

and now shared over the world.

If you want to be included in this act of love which continues each Monday,

go the website and receive an electronic version every week,

of the heart created for Madelene.

(The book is called Monday Hearts for Madalene by Page Hodel)

 

HOPE

One year ago today I walked a message in the snow to my mother who had stepped into heaven only a few short hours earlier. I felt bitterly cold to the core, silent, lonely, and empty…

Exactly one year later, in the exact spot, a new warmth emerged…

Angel watching over us

“Hello dear hearts.”

My parents are together!

Together again

“We are so happy!”

They are happy.

We are right here...

“We are always close to you, every single day…”

They are watching over me and my family.

Even when I peeked out the window at midnight

and could still see them waving, watching, and smiling,

I couldn’t help but hold on to–that hope!

It made me smile.

It made me feel connected to them.

I guess angels DO come in all shapes and sizes.

I miss them.

But that is because they taught me about LOVE.

Holy Vomits

I hate those yukky sick days.

We’ve had some lately!

The Orange Vomit Bowl and the Infamous Couch

The Orange Vomit Bowl and the Infamous Couch

But,

strangely

even though

they are awful,

and gross,

and scary,

and sooooooooooo inconvenient

I love what happens inspite of

them!

Life changes in one second!

You cut straight through the

(pardon my naughty word)

CRAP!

Priorities which felt sooo

important,

Don’t matter

with such passion,

in fact

some just float away!

You get

to the very core

of life.

Someone needs

care,

love,

nurturing,

healing–

right NOW!

Our modern-ness has evolved with huge human flaws.

We do not NEED each other!

To need someone in the twenty first century

is viewed as a giant sign of weakness.

Until

you vomit and get the runs down south.

Until you spike a fever

or pull out your back…

Then

its

okay

to be

3,

23,

63,

83,

and still want

your mommy,

and your own pillow,

and a bowl of hot soup.

We humans DO need each other.

Once again,

it took

getting out

the orange vomit bowl,

and a virus

to remind me

about such holy

and precious things

which

surround me every day.

Sitting on the couch,

rubbing feet,

watching

Family Feud or

Thomas the Tank Engine,

and

nothing else mattering,

except

what is right there–

right then.

Spending time doing nothing but

helping each other

feel

better!

That is why I love yukky sick days!

 

 


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