The Burden of Another

Would that within the church each of us had someone to whom we could go and to whom we could express our doubts, our fears, our questions, our disappointments, our hurts–all of it, a real “gut-spilling”–and be assured that person would not unfairly judge us, nor tattle on us, but also would guide us and instruct us, and if we were wrong, who would tell us so. Surely there are a few such ones, although I suspect there to be a wide and dangerous dearth of such people.

20140329-untitled (665 of 751)

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2


I know these situations call for extreme carefulness and wisdom of the highest sort, for it must be acknowledged that sometimes when a person approaches another because of trouble in his life, he/she may adamantly reject the advice that is offered, or even take offense at the suggestions. Yet, I believe we must take the risk . . . if we are to fulfill the law of Christ. For we must remember what burdened is, how it looks, how it may act, how ugly it may have become. A truly burdened person may virtually in some ways have lost touch with reality and may be unable to recognize viable solutions. In a funk. Disconnected.

20140329-untitled (669 of 751)Brave

Courage and a mantle of bravery are required of a pastor who sees one under his care who is floundering and who instead of ignoring the situation or of excusing himself by saying I will pray approaches the person and offers help. (Certainly there are times when prayer is the sole answer, and we must have the wisdom to discern the difference.)


Very recently I was approached by a person who pointed out a flaw in me that had hurt that person. I was stunned for I had no idea my actions/words had resulted in that effect, and certainly it was not deliberate. Yet I suffered and felt deep pain. But I respect that person, and I am thankful he/she felt comfortable with telling me of their hurt and that they felt comfortable enough to reveal their questions. I will help them bear their burden (wishing I could do more.) I will be more careful with my own actions and with my own words. Thereby we fulfill the law of Christ.

20140329-untitled (672 of 751)Action

So what can we do? A couple of things come to mind. One is that I look around at my own life. Is there order? Am I progressing? Am I growing in Christ? Are relationships within my family and within my circle of friends healthy? Do I even have friends? Real ones? If I see a serious deep issue here, may I find someone to whom I can “spill my guts” and from whom I anticipate direction. May I determine to take no offense at what is offered me.

Second is that I look within myself to discern whether another human being who is in pain, who is floundering, can feel comfortable with coming to me for help, for direction, for healing.


The pictures? Taken from a high seat in a double-decker bus last Spring as we toured Rome.

To Be a Christian

To be, not merely to seem.

20140718-untitled (220 of 284)

Today, I want to be a Christian. Not only do I want to appear so to you, but from the deepest fountain of my mind and from the widest river of my soul may I embody the mind of Christ. May I radiate His love as I move about my home and as I walk the streets of my village. May a wisp of the Holy and a fragrance of the Divine entangle me today. 20140718-untitled (234 of 284)                                                        To be, not merely to seem.      

Of Light

The words and the concept burned within me as I went about my routine activities this morning. Not being sure of the exact reference, I opened my Bible to its beginning pages, and found the verse in mind to be the 4th one of Genesis chapter 1.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Confusion lurks inside darkness, indistinct barriers and thorny walls, unknown ways, perhaps of chasm or of buried embers. Danger nudges against me, and I peer through the black, then with my hands tear aside the inky grit and film. Stock still now, for I find my unlit efforts to be in vain, I turn my head to search the light. A glint flares tiny in the distance, and to that point I make my way.

God knew the perils of the dark. And did He create the earth “without form, and void” with “darkness (being) upon the face of the deep,” or as some think was there a cataclysm between verses 1 and 2 . . .so that He must now separate dark from light? I don’t know. I know little except that my verse today is that God said the light was good.

I need light today. I need light in my spirit, and in my emotions; I need light in my everyday walk about the earth, in my decisions, in my ambitions, and in my dreams. And as darkness lay on the face of the deep, no line drawn between earth and sky, no hinge to connect the two, and as God spoke: “Let there be light,” and there sprang light, a separation, a divine intervention, let such be so in every facet of my being. Today and forever.


My Swath of Earth

Since my claim is that God lives within me, should not my walk through the world leave a swath of peace and hope, of beauty and promise. Perhaps, too, will I create an aura of hunger, perhaps even of conviction. Let it be so, God, let it be so. Humbly, I breathe this prayer today.

untitled (14 of 19)

No Hiding

“How sad,” I had noted in the margin, and when I read there again recently, I agreed with myself, for the words noted in the third chapter of Genesis are in reference to Adam and Eve as they hid themselves from God. Pitiful is the thought that I should have the urge to hide from God.

Admittedly, there are times I am ashamed of myself, and it would be with raw embarrassment and with much trembling should I find myself in the visible presence of God, and there be pressed to lift my downcast eyes into the gaze of He who is indeed holy and perfect; holy and perfect to such degree that I strongly suspect I cannot hope to comprehend. Yet,  my pragmatic side fusses and insists on my recalling that I cannot hide from God. Ever. He sits high, looks low, nothing is hidden from Him. Besides that, I really don’t want to hide from God. I can’t imagine–even in my darkest, lowest state of being–that I would want to be away from the presence of God. For it is only in Him that I have hope, and where even a scent of grace and mercy wafts about me.

untitled (31 of 42)

Hide from God? No, instead I rush to Him, He who “knows my frame,” and thus understands my underpinnings, my weaknesses, my holy desires, my ambitions, my longing for Him.

Glory in the Future

Let us not glory in our history, golden though it may be, for the past is finished, cast in concrete, unchangeable. (Yet will come the day when such memory is profitable and should be recited, for the analyzing of accomplishment and the knowing of its structure is of value.) Neither let us wallow in failure’s slough where sour scents may disgust us and where dank reflections may mar our vision.

Rather let us circle our hands about this new moment, this new year, these new opportunities–raw, ethereal, and pliable. Edging beside us, beside each of us, is this splendid fresh day, a pristine journal, multiple dangles of hope that shimmer into the future.

The hands of Another cover ours and steadies our tremble. The mind of Another encapsulates our thinking and settles our apprehension. The arm of the Almighty circles our shoulder, pulls us to Him, and turns us so that our face shines with the glimmer of hope, of faith, of opportunity.

untitled (35 of 42)

Early this morning, I read some startling facts about myself–and about you–and while the proving of the accuracy of the statement far exceeds my abilities, I do believe the words to be true. But first take a look at the Psalmist’s writing in 139:14, for David’s words make a cool wrap-around what follows.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

In 1956 neutrinos were discovered by Clyde Cowan and Frederick Reines. This is said about their discovery.

In the time it takes you to read this, hundreds of billions of neutrinos have passed through your body. Specifically, close to 65 billion neutrinos from the Sun pass through every square centimeter of you that is currently perpendicular to the Sun every single second that passes.

The human is amazing . . . our intellect, our body that is designed to withstand the onslaught of energy from the sun, and our soul.  God, the creator of all that is, the architect of the universe and beyond, is the One who scooped up new dirt and created the first man. How fearfully and wonderfully . .

He calculated our beauty. . .and within little girls He injects a sweet sense of mother and of baby . . .And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.


The Wind Rider

Yesterday, Jerry and I ran about the mountains, eating, taking care of errands, and admiring this magnificent part of God’s earth in which we are allowed to live.

Summer has sneaked away, a gradual escape, so that when I first took out a jacket from the coat closet, I wasn’t definite about needing it, but for sure now, those languid days of summer with meals on the deck and tall frosty glasses of lemonade have seamlessly dissolved into the exciting and colorful days of autumn.

“Shirley, I saw the most magnificent tree,” Jerry said as he picked me up at a store where he had left me while he ran an errand, and it was not far back to Lake Arrowhead so we turned

Image the car around and he pointed out the towering tree. “It’s almost pink,” he said. And so it was, and from across the highway, I stood beside the car and snapped this shot.

Golden trees lined up as crowned royals.


. . . and some weren’t through changing out their attire, their green frocks still hanging about.

ImageYesterday was warm, I wore only a light jacket, Jerry wore none.

Beside a shallow creek bed stood a nearly bare tree, its small branches mere sticks, black and slender. It’s outfit had once been red, a deep crimson. I could tell for a few leaves fluttered in the wind, their bloody hue a mark against the black of the limbs. Their glory had danced away. Early had they known of the impending change. Image

A significant change in weather had been forecast, and we were to expect rain on Wednesday here in Crestline with snow at elevations just higher than ours. In the early evening of Tuesday, well before dark, fog began to pour over the mountains. I watched through our dining room windows, and as I’ve thought often when thick fog rolls in, it’s as though a giant hand has poured out a bucket of white foam, and it drifts down through the alpine forest, makes silhouettes of the rising trees, and settles silently onto the surface of Lake Gregory. Finally it presses our way until it is against our windows and no longer can we see Ken and Nancy’s house across our lane.

During the night the wind rose, so that when we awoke this morning, it seemed as though winter has arrived. The rain had not yet come, but the heavy fog left puddles on the decks and mist on the windows.


Somehow all this beauty I’m enmeshed in, and the drastic change in weather reminded me of Scriptures that speak of God and weather elements. I’d like to share a few.

When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind from his treasure. Jeremiah 10:13

He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth, likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. Job 37:6

By the breath of God frost is given. . . by watering he wearieth the thick cloud. Job 37:10-11

Love this final one. Can’t you just see it?

Who maketh the clouds his chariot; who walked upon the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:3

The thermometer outside our kitchen window reads 39 degrees here in the middle of the afternoon. It is raining, and the weather gurus have changed the forecast: snow down to 4500 this evening. We’re at 5000! Wood has burned all day in the fireplace, we had bacon and eggs for breakfast, and marinara sauce is simmering in its pot.

Loving God, His fascinating Word . . . and life in Crestline, CA.

In His Steps

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD; and he delighteth in his way.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

…………………..The 37th Psalm verses 23 and 24


How cool it is to know our steps are ordered of the LORD. Amazing to think of such personal attention from the region of the heavenly . . . from the very throne room of God. Contemplate on that. One caveat: Our spiritual ears must be critically tuned, always sharp, so that we plainly hear His directions.

To Sense His Presence

Today, let me not be as Jacob who looked about him after the night of angels ascending and descending and said,

“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I knew it not.” . . .

May I early recognize His presence: Every moment of these 24 hours (and beyond) . . . may I know the brush of Him against my shoulder and sense His feet on my way. . . and feel the warm breeze of His Being.