Friday, September 30, 2022
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers [and sisters] to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Brother Lawrence, Practicing the Presence of God
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Reflecting back to 11 years ago, our family waits for a plan from neurosurgery at Duke University Children’s Hospital for my 9 year old nephew who has just been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. In the PICU, severe illnesses surround us, even share our room. The reality that we are not the only ones to suffer becomes the only buffer between urgency and panic. All anyone of us can do is pray! The 48 hours before and the 48 hours after become the LONGEST day and launch an unexpected faith journey.
Many faithful friends and their friends and friends of their friends prayed with us and for us during this journey of hope and healing. Literally, people all over the world prayed. For any who do not know about our journey, this link http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/thomasmcgirr will take you to Thomas' Caring Bridge site that chronicles this amazing God-story. As always we must say to God be the Glory, for His Faithfulness is the anchor of our souls.
There are times when emotions make finding the words to pray feel impossible. Remember, the language of prayer is not about the right words. To be in the presence of God is prayer. Find His presence and rest there. Scripture assures us that if we do not know what to pray, the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress and prays for us, speaking our deepest, wordless groans. [Romans 8:26-28] Allow the presence of God to settle around you and embrace you. To God be the Glory! Hallelujah! Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are currently living a cancer journey with a child! May you know God’s loving embrace. - dho
Thursday, September 08, 2022
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
A Remnant of Love
Thursday, September 01, 2022
Bless the LORD, O my soul! You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” Psalm 104:1
The last walks on sandy beaches with warm, gentle breezes give way to the emerging beauty of nature’s newest fashion show, leaves of crimson and ocher and gamboge. With these few fleeting days, let recollections of laughter and leisure and love crowd your heart, cherish the smiles, chase the passing moments once more. Like childhood, summer will end, too soon for some. One fall night, we will sit beside a toasty fire and retell our great summer adventures. Under the beauty of a majestic, extraordinary canopy of stars and planets and galaxies, we will look up and know these ordinary days to be priceless! - dho
Thursday, August 25, 2022
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT
The sharing of the Holy Spirit lays at the root of Christian friendship. Mutuality involving encouragement, good counsel and accountability remain essential components, but a relationship that has Christ as its core becomes a priceless interrelationship. Ecclesiastes 4:12 describes the strength of more than one: A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better than one, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. A common proverbial expression in ancient literature, this "threefold cord" indicates value in companionship and preparedness. Experiencing unity and grace through Christian relationships helps to deepen our understanding of God's love.
Friendship is a sheltering tree. Coleridge
While every relationship differs, certain characteristics define Christian friendship. God must be first. This friendship must share a common love for God which brings spiritual joy, even in times of distress and chaos. Communication involves giving and taking both encouragement and counsel. Within the relationship, security comes from loyalty, from honoring confidences without fear of betrayal. Christian friendship can be an enduring kinship ~ but only if Christ makes three!
Consider this Yiddish Proverb: There are 3 types of friends; those like food without which you can't live, those like medicine which you need occasionally, and those like illness which you never want. Then ask yourself: What kind of friend am I? ~ dho
Thursday, August 18, 2022
"Be Thou My Vision" is a hymn but has its roots in Ireland. Written in the 8th century as an Irish poem, it was translated in the early 1900's and later put to music. In Hosea, God is reminding Israel who He is:
It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; from Me comes your fruit. Hosea 14:8 NASB
God is where we are to look for our best thoughts, our wisdom; His presence is with us. What comfort to know that whatever happens we can find God's Vision. Heart of my own heart whatever befall, still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
The Message translates the Hosea verse: Everything you need is to be found in Me.
Our sacrifice of praise ~
My "best thoughts" will reflect God's wisdom if He is the "Lord of my heart". Let God be our Vision in this world of darkness. ~dho
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Reading an article this week I encountered a word I had to look up in the dictionary - quotidian! This means “daily, something recurring daily, usual, ordinary, commonplace. Turns out it means “ordinary”! It is pronounced kwoh-tid-eye-uhn. This strange word likely makes more sense in Latin and seems a little too fancy for “ordinary”.
Often we see the simple, ordinary, commonplace as unique and grand and majestic, like the skies at sunrise and sunset, the blooms of a flower, the waterfall deep into the woodlands. Tonight there will be a full moon, a super-moon, the last one of 2022. The low tides will be at their lowest, and the high tides will be at their highest because of the gravitational pull of the moon which will be at its closest point to earth. Tonight, the moon will be its biggest and brightest self. But the moon itself has no light at all, instead all the light of the moon is reflected light from the sun.
We think little about the moon or sun and their interdependence on each other. They are just in the sky above us, recurring daily. The sun is a bright star, more massive and stronger in its gravity than the moon; yet the moon is closer to earth, but is mostly a large mass of rock and dirt. Ordinary but majestic beyond my comprehension. Our Creator placed the sun perfectly, knowing if the sun was even slightly closer, the earth would melt. The infinite possibilities of creation always leave me in awe.
May you have a quotidian day! Hope your day is filled with unexplainable, commonplace moments. Tonight when you look up at the super-moon, it will be beautiful and grand. It will be, however, the same moon that is always in the sky, just rotated perfectly to catch all the sun’s light, just in the perfect orbit to seem bigger than usual. I hope in some moment today, you recognize God, the Creator of all, the Source of all goodness. May God be the light of your life! Shine for Him, especially in the ordinary moments. - dho