Thursday, August 25, 2022

Sheltering Tree - Ordinary Days of summer

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

Everything You Need - Ordinary Days of Summer

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart . . .

Thou my best thought by day or by night

Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord . . .

Heart of my own heart whatever befall

Still be my vision O Ruler of all

"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

Super-moon Day! - Ordinary Days of Summer

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

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Embracing What God Does - Ordinary Days of Summer

. . . by the mercies of God: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

The Scripture above is more familiar in the translations that use phrases like living sacrifices and be transformed by the renewing of your mind, but The Message gives us examples of how we are to be these phrases. Becoming too much like the world is a constant danger for us. The power of the world entertains our imaginations, teases our thoughts, heightens our emotions. Darkness will always lure us down to its level of immaturity. So, how are we to be transformed? We must keep our focus on God, whose compassions... are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (
Lamentations 3:19-23 NIV)

Faithful Father, transform me! Make me more like You; change me from the inside out.
Renew me! Find me where I am; pour out Your mercies everyday.
Teach me! Give me life lessons that grow faith; develop perseverance.
Refine me! Take my joys and my burdens; melt me into Your will.
Create me new everyday with Your unlimited possibilities!

You are Living Hope! Amen. dho