Friday, November 18, 2016

Mother's Turn


My mother would have loved having a blog. Goldie Opal Anderson McCall taught the Bible most of her adult life. She was our go-to concordance, our expositor of scriptures that can raise more questions for which human understanding is often no match. We have a few things she wrote, but said little about. Today I'm honored to share one of them, noted with her initials and 1994, the year on April 18 my dad said his good-byes to us and "Hello" to so many loved ones in Heaven. Mother joined him on April 19, 2013.



OUR VALLEYS


Just as each life needs the mountain tops for sun,
The plains and shores for work and fun,
We also need a place along life's way
To be quiet --- to rest --- and hear God say,
"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10



His plan for our lives may include a valley along the way,
As we strive to serve Him day by day.
So do not worry --- fret or fear,
He is faithful and will always be near
To "supply all your needs."
Philippians 4:19



No valley is too deep --- too long --- or too wide
To keep Jesus from walking by our side.
His word is full of His promises --- to you and to me ---
No matter where He sends us --- there He is sure to be.
"I will never leave thee or forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5

GM
1994



We love you, Mom. Your teaching is still golden, and what a treasure to find something you typed and tucked away with so many of your words of wisdom. Enjoy Heaven with Dad. We'll see you soon.




Monday, October 3, 2016

A President Prays for our Nation's House





"I pray to heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that hereafter inhabit it...May none but the honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."*



John President (1797-1801)



*The prayer was later carved in the State Dining Room.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Prayer for Our Nation



"Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen"


George Washington

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Psalm 51:10-12


"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit
."

Psalm 51:10-12



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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Come



“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” 
(Matthew 11:28, NISB)


  “Come...” 
“Move from where you are"

  “…to Me.”
“Jesus. I’m all you need. I can help.”

  “all”
               “Anyone. Everyone.”

“who are weary”
               “I want to be your strength.”

 “and heavy laden”
               “I carried the cross and then bore it – just for you. I can carry you, too.”

 “and I will give you rest.”
               “Rest for your mind, body and spirit.”



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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Music Lesson

          Two of the sources of joy in my life rest in our two beautiful daughters and the young women they've become. The younger of the two, Mandy Kniskern, and I often finish each other's sentences, reach for the phone to call each other at the same time - you know how it is with mothers and daughters.
          I was thinking through my post for this month, but just had not stopped to see if my thoughts would lead to anything helpful. No worries. I checked in to see what my facebook buddies were up to today, and there she was: Mandy. Not only finishing my thoughts, but doing it so eloquently it would be a shame for me to attempt a rewrite for "our" point of view. With her permission, I'm giving my corner over to her today. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

      "I love to sing harmony. It often makes me smile to think of how Ken’s and my singing styles speak so much to our personalities. Ken has an undeniably strong, effortless, leading solo voice. I love to blend. I love singing with and against other parts. As we were singing Sunday morning, I was harmonizing on a dissonant note, pressing in, loving the dissonance, anticipating the resolution… and it started me thinking...
      We experience that same dissonance in life...
      That tension that begs for resolution.  Whatever the situation is that’s unresolved, I can press in and learn what there is to learn, grow how I can grow while I wait for resolution. And sometimes it doesn’t come in that particular song or situation. 
          Just as some songs you hear trail off without resolving like you just know they will, such is life.  Not everything gets wrapped up and tied with a nice big bow. The closure that you’re waiting for in your situation doesn’t always come. But there will be a new song, and another new song after that. Just as our lives are a series of chapters, so are they an eclectic blend of music. Some songs will build and swell and give us that big dramatic finish that ends on tonic, the way that feels right, and some songs will deliver more complex chord structures, more dissonance less resolution.
           Who can understand why God allows the discord in our lives… We live in an imperfect world with spiritual battles being fought all around us, and I believe that there are simply times when evil prevails. But God can always work good out of what the enemy intends for our harm.

           If you’re in a particularly dissonant season, press in. Maybe resolution will come, maybe it won’t. But in time, a new song will begin."


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Monday, August 29, 2016

Out of Sight...Out of Mind


I always look forward to spring. Bedding plants, raking last year’s dead leaves from the flower beds, and cool mornings sitting on the porch are a welcome respite after the snow and ice of winter finally melt away. Then summer arrives. I abandon the fresh air and sunshine for the comfort of air conditioning and settle back in until the thermometer drops below 85 degrees again.
          My husband is an outdoor guy. Year around. He works in the extremes of each season, and he’s at home there. This past week, he has encouraged me to be outside with him more, watering trees and flowers, helping with the mowing and pulling the persistent twigs of grass from dirt that reluctantly surrenders the tiny roots.
          Once outdoors, I enjoy the physical labor of gardening, even on such a small scale. And I love seeing the buds and flowers on the rose and lilac bushes gracing a small fenced-in area on the east side of the house. We have no windows on that side of our home; consequently, as the temperatures rise, my memories of the wonders of spring fade. The small round table and chairs of scrolled metal rich in patina and not so rich in comfort sit idle and empty.
          That gentle nudge from my husband takes me back to tend the otherwise helpless blooms and blades. A surprise of new roses and promising buds await me there. The giant yellow day lilies are majestic and begging to be noticed. The two lilac bushes will explode with lavender petals any day now.
This scene reminds me that beauty is always present in our lives. In the face of intensifying headlines that spell trouble and so many loved ones and acquaintances who are in need of prayer for healing and support can sometimes blot out the beauty that God still supplies. And it reminds me of the gentle nudge of our Heavenly Father drawing me back to His beauty

"When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You,'Your face, O Lord, I shall seek'"Psalm 27:8 NASB

          There is beauty in the quiet times of prayer and reading God’s Word. There is beauty in the sound of laughter and conversation with family and friends. There is beauty in fresh air and creation with the scents and shades of life growing just beyond a porch or fence. There is beauty in each cloud, whether they are floating lazily across a blue, still sky or embroiled with storms and threats of severe weather. Sunrises. Sunsets. All a reminder that we have a loving God Who is still in control and Who has a plan that is unfolding before our very eyes.








"O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory." Psalm 63:1,2 NASB






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