iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “Daily Prompt”

Whoever Has Ears, Let Them Hear


I used to go to the hair salon and spend an hour to an hour-and-a-half getting my hair colored.  One thing I like about hair stylists is that they are skilled in conversation.  A sign of a good salon is the buzz of conversation going on when the hairdryers are not running.

One particular visit, I was sitting in my chair while my color was processing.  As I flipped through a magazine, I could hear conversations going on from the stylists around me that were working with their clients.  It has nothing to do with eavesdropping or being nosey, salons are set up with chairs next to each other and lined up across the room as well.  My attention was drawn to one certain stylist who was speaking louder than anyone else.  She was telling a joke to her client and I caught the beginning of it and was interested.  This stylist was animated and a captivating storyteller.  If I didn’t know better, I think I was even leaning toward her as she was setting up for a great punchline.  She was talking loud until she got to the punchline.  She practically whispered the punchline in her client’s ear.  The client burst out laughing as did the stylist.

Wait!  That’s not fair!  I think the whole salon was waiting for that punchline and she decided to whisper in her client’s ear?  Ugh!!!

Luke 2:41-50

Every year Jesus’ parent went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.  When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.  After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day.  Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.  When his parents saw him, they were astonished.  His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”  

Why were you searching for me?” he asked.  “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

I love this account of young Jesus in the temple courts sitting amongst the religious leaders of the day.  He had them captivated with his questions and answers.  He wasn’t there for an hour, he was there for three days.  If Jesus wasn’t recorded as saying, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” I would take that as missing the high point of the story.  I apologize for the horrible comparison to that of the punchline to a joke, because knowing what we know about Jesus, this is what he was all about.

My trips to the hair salon have nearly ceased except for the occasional trim.  I am; however, studying more about what Jesus meant when he said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”  This response packs a punch better than anything I have ever heard,  or didn’t hear.

Missing Dad


WordPress Daily Prompt: Dim

The number of days

compound

since I last saw you.

But they will never

dim

the memories I hold in my heart.

 

Exodus 20:12   “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

 

 

 

Who You Gonna Bug?


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Important APB


via Daily Prompt: Heard

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Colors of the Day


via Daily Prompt: Yellow

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The Floating Dock


via Daily Prompt: Float

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Orange Belt


via Daily Prompt: Crossing

In eighth grade, I was too cool for my own good.  So cool, I had to learn a lesson.  While standing on a designated corner surrounding my school, I strapped on the orange safety belt that lead to my new attitude.  I was a street-crossing safety guard.

My job was a necessity for keeping the children enrolled in the school every day.  When I saw the plastic lunchboxes and little school bags approaching with the sunrise, I knew to stick my arms out to halt their next step while they knew to stop so I could take charge of their fate.  After looking left, right, left and right one more time, I made sure the morning rush of cars were out of the way.  I dropped my arms to my sides and the foot travelers would cross safely to the other side of the street and continue on their way to school.

The excitement of wearing the orange safety belt was felt every time I put it on except for the at the southwest corner of the school.  This particular corner was on the safety rotation, even though I had protested.  Plastic lunchboxes and little school bags did not travel by foot from this direction.  After two rotations, I learned the definition of boredom and I took it upon myself not to stand guard on this corner.  I convinced myself that eighth graders had more important things to do in the morning other than stand guard for nobody.

The school year passed quickly.  Mr. Murphy was the teacher in charge of the orange-belted, street-crossing safety guards.  At the end of the school year, he took the volunteers on a special field trip to the bowling alley to reward a job well done.  As all teachers do, he tacked a sheet up on the wall to define the carpool and bowling team breakdowns.   When I finally made it through the huddle of kids to view the list on the wall, I could not find my name listed.  Could a teacher make a mistake?

“Mr. Murphy?” I called out in a questioning voice.  “My name does not appear on the list.  There must be a mistake.”  Mr. Murphy, father by nature, teacher by choice, sat me down and told me there was no mistake.  He pulled out a chart and pointed out all the times I was not at the southwest corner standing guard.  Because of my neglect of duty, I was not allowed to attend the special field trip to the bowling alley.

In eighth grade I was too cool for my own good.  The lesson plan for the year was the orange belt.  Only when I removed the belt did I learn what responsibility and attendance meant.  My attitude was adjusted from that day forward.

John 17:15

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

 

Going, Going, Gone!


via Daily Prompt: Gone

We celebrated birthdays in my family and it has always been my favorite time together.  My dad’s first birthday since he passed away was hard on me.  I couldn’t concentrate on my job all day, so I did the mundane things that came easy and I kept my thoughts on dad while periodically wiping the tears that fell from my eyes.  I decided it would be good for me to stop by the cemetery to see him after work, but it was February, and daylight did not last long after my 5pm “end of the day”.

I took a shorter lunch so I could leave at 4:30pm.  This bought me a little daylight.  I stopped to the store to buy him a red helium balloon.  It had to be red, dad’s favorite color.  I borrowed a black Sharpie marker from my desk so I could write a birthday message to him on the balloon.

As I rushed through the self-check out, I was scooping change in my purse while clinging to dad’s balloon and trying to put on my winter gloves and find my keys, I looked up and saw an old friend.  It was obvious we hadn’t seen each other in a while; I didn’t know she was pregnant.  She stopped me, and I could tell she wanted to catch up and tell me all about her pregnancy, but in my haste, I acted uncharacteristically awkward.  I looked at her, and looked at the setting sun out the window, and said, “I gotta go.”  And I turned on my heel and ran out the door with the balloon waving behind me.  So awkward, but I had to see my dad, it was his birthday and my favorite time together with family.

The route I mapped out earlier got me to the cemetery with some daylight left.  I sat at his gravesite and told him I love him and wished him a happy birthday.  I told him the balloon was for him and I wrote a note on it.  I said, “Here it comes, dad!  Catch it!”  The balloon left my hand and swirled with the wind up, up, and away.  I followed it with my eyes until it became a tiny dot and disappeared.  Gone up to heaven, for my dad.

Later that evening, I got on Facebook to look up my friend that I awkwardly ran into at the store.  I wanted to connect with her and tell her why I acted so strangely.  I was sure she would understand as she had loved ones die and knew what it felt like to mourn.  As I searched my friends list, she was not there.  She took my awkward actions more personally than I ever imagined and she de-friended me from her Facebook account.  Just like that, she was gone.

Revelations 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. 

 

Reflect,Then Move Forward


via Daily Prompt: Year

Today is January 1, 2017 and yesterday was so last year.  I stayed awake to ring in the new year with my husband.  Normally I get sleepy by 9:30pm and find myself crawling in bed by 10:00pm.  Because I stayed awake, I, along with millions of other people, either in New York Times Square or sitting comfortably in our homes in front of a television or other electronic device, were witness to Mariah Carey’s train-wreck of a show minutes before the ball drop.  Much to her chagrin, her reputation needs repair.  I can only guess what her New Year’s Resolution is for 2017.  However, a big round of applause goes to her backup dancers as they did a great job!

On February 12 my husband, and I,  said good-bye to our little girl, Bean.  She was the sweetest Grey Tiger-striped kitty who we adopted from a local no-kill cat shelter years ago.  My husband picked her out and the first day in our house, she owned it.  She sat up on the couch and took a nap, all while our other cats were sniffing her acquaintance.  On December 5, my niece passed away.  She was an awesome mom to her children and had a huge heart for helping people.  We are blessed to know how many lives she touched in her short 31 years of life.  My summation for 2016 is that the good die young.

This past year was heart-breaking, to say the least, but knowing that God is close to the broken-hearted brings me peace.  That means He is near to me, my husband, my family, and Jill’s friends, holding us close as we mourn.

Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”   But our minds hit replay on many episodes of days gone by, conversations that happened or didn’t happen, loved ones who were called home to eternity, or the voice of the doctor delivering news of a grave illness just discovered.  God is close to the broken-hearted and he offers His outstretched hand for us to walk into 2017 with Him.  Yes, God can even help restore Mariah Carey’s reputation if she reaches out to Him.

Isaiah 41:10 So Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

May God Bless you in 2017.

How to Eat a Horse


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