Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Time for Praise

Hello friends,

I'm sitting here, at my computer, with dirt all over my clothes and face. My hair is plastered to my head, and my face is a rosy red. No, not a sunburn. I stay covered up. I've been gardening since 7:30 in the morning, and now it's time to call it a day.

The sun is now high in the sky, and even shade gives little relief, but I WAS GARDENING!!!! That, my friends, is a miracle. After my relationship with God and my family, there is nothing else I love to do more than gardening. Because of my health, I have not been able to garden in five years! And even when my health was not at stake, I have never been able to garden after the 4th of July. Here it is July 19th, and here I am, covered with dirt. What a blessing it is to play in the dirt and watch the earthworms scurry away.

It's a funny thing about earthworms. They have no idea just how much I love them. I take great care to keep them safe, as I return them to do their job in the soil. But the earthworms are unaware of me. They only know that their lives have been interrupted.

This has gotten me thinking. How often is my life interrupted, and I have no idea why? I can't see the One who is lifting me from the soil and laying me gently in another, safer place. I wiggle and squirm, panic and moan, and I never look up to see His face. Like the earthworms, I have my panic attack, focusing only upon myself.

Now, I am more than an earthworm. Jesus said, that not a single sparrow falls to the ground, that our Heavenly Father does not know. (I know, I've just used double negatives.) Then Jesus tells us: "You (meaning you) are worth more than many sparrows." This is revolutionary! God knows who the sparrow (or the worm) is. He loves each sparrow, but he loves us more...MORE THAN MANY! He loves me. He loves ME!

So, now, that I find myself out in the garden at 7:30 in the morning...weeding, planting, planning, and saving all the worms...I cannot help but praise the One who made this all possible. I know there are those who would say: science, not God, made this possible. My answer, of course, is this: Who made the scientist? From where did the scientists receive their intellect, their need to explore the unseen world, their desire to reach out for a treatment for a certain disease?

I believe that God is the Author of my life. I know with a great certainty that I needed to be sick. I needed to take the time to reach a relationship with God. Oh, how lovely is the gift which comes to us unexpectedly, after much asking! And what about the gift that we receive after we have given up? It is difficult to not feel humbled, when God steps in and fills that gap in our lives with Himself. So, now I praise my Lord and my God.

Father, I stand in awe because of Your mercy and grace. I am humbled by Your love for me. Forgive me Lord for my tremulous faith. I know that You love me, and I can only praise You at the foot of the Cross.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Time for Clearheadedness

Hello friends,

Do you ever feel as though the world is going insane around you? Yeah. Me too. Right and wrong has been eliminated; whereas expediency is now a profound virtue. Expediency: self-serving, self-seeking, conniving, calculating, thinking only of oneself. This is now a virtue? It's okay to cheat when it serves your purpose? And, my word, "TV Hell" has become the thief of inner peace! You know what I'm talking about - the not really reality TV? I believe it is a reflection not of what we have become (or at least I hope not), but it is a reflection of what we allow. Then, there is politics...American politics.

America is suffering from, what we call, an election year. It's kind of like the year of blowing smoke. Politicians say anything to get elected, and then they do little or nothing. But the lunacy does not stop with the politicians. It also rests in the hearts of the voters, many of whom (and I say this without rancor) seem to be out of their minds!

Americans are, by nature, centrists. Usually, if one is a Democrat, one leans a little to the left. Liberal. Those who are Republican, usually lean a bit toward the right. Conservative. Liberal does not mean unpatriotic, and Conservative does not mean salvation. In the middle are Independents, the sort of live and let live voters. Independents swing elections.

In our present election for President of the United States, we have John McCain and Barack Obama. Barack Obama is not a demon, and John McCain is not the answer to our prayers. Barack Obama is a Christian. He has won me over on that. It is obvious, not in his speeches, but in the way he answers questions about his faith in Christ. I was amazed. He is so comfortable in his expression of his faith...thoughtful, and to tell you the truth, with awe and reverence.

Faith is not where you park your body on Sunday morning. It is an expression of where your heart is. Now, I disagree with many of Barack's more left-leaning opinions, but he has made it clear to me that he loves our country more than he would love the power of the Presidency.

Obama was naive in the beginning, and I was fervently for Hillary Clinton. I was offended by the way she was treated, but I was proud of her honor in defeat. Since then, I've seen a change in Obama, a deeper humility that just may be the mark of an outstanding President.

McCain is not the man he was in 2000. Maybe he never was. He has totally disappointed me. He loves to drop insulting remarks, parading as humor. On a personal level, I don't like people who make insulting remarks and call it humor. It's fine for smoke filled rooms, but not in the Presidency. There is something unlikeable about him these days.

There are only two choices for President. McCain or Obama. Obama's campaign with Hillary Clinton served him well. There's nothing like feeling humble to change a heart. Some-where in the midst of the Primary Election, Obama had a heart change. He's suffered shock and loss. I think he's learned. And I believe the greatest gifts a President can give to his country is humility and the desire for change.

So, in spite of myself, Obama has won me over with style and grace. I'm certain that he loves his country as much as I do. I don't know if I care to sit across the table from him and share an arugula salad and latte. Who thought that one up? Some reporter, no doubt. I don't want a coffee buddy; I want a President who loves his country more than he loves the power it gives him.

So, I'm looking closely at this election. I watch everything about the election on T.V. I believe that the world is watching too. I'm amazed at the argument as to who is actually qualified to be President. No one is "qualified" to be President. It is strictly a "place your hand in the hand of God" endeavor. I just pray that God will truly be with us, and that He will choose the best man.

Lord, we have asked for the President whom we need, rather than the President that we deserve. Have mercy on us, please. This is a journey we are taking together, a journey that fills our hearts with much trepidation. Please take our hand, Lord. Remember that we are in the midst of a tempest. The sea, Lord, is so big, and our ship is so small. Have mercy.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Time to Think

Hello friends,

Do you ever feel as though you don't have time to think? Your mind races, trying to find answers to your life. Why am I unemployed? Why am I in a dead-end job? Why is he or she complaining, when they HAVE a job, and I don't?

Lord, help me to think. Help me to find the time, and grant me the focus to understand what is happening! Slow me down Lord. Let my heart seek you in the troubled sleep of the night. Why, Lord, do I seem to be taking two steps forward and two steps back?

My friends, all these things, and more, may be keeping you awake at night. Or, perhaps your sleep is giving you no rest. I, too, wonder things, and I, also, seek God's guidance while I drift off to sleep.

There are those who will declare that they don't worry. After all, they say, that they are the Captain of their souls. Those were the last words of Timothy McVeigh. What a sad admission.

I believe that it is illogical to believe in no higher power. The evidence is all around us, and yet, there are those who spend most of their time trying to prove that Almighty God does not exist. Why? Why do people fight against what they insist does not exist? This is a mystery to me.

I don't care if others think I'm a fool. I am a fool. I'm a fool for Christ. I love Him. I believe in Him. He is my Savior. He is my Lord.

There once was a famous scientist who proclaimed to the very end of his life, that there is no God. God did not exist. However, he believed in alien life forms. He also believed that asthma was a psychosomatic (imagined) disease, along with other auto-immune diseases. He believed in nothing. Not what he witnessed. Not what he saw. Nothing. He believed in nothing that was greater than himself.

Well, in the early days of space flight, this scientist worked on a project, which would send a rocket ship into space and across the universe. It is probably still beeping back at us. While all this was wonderful to me, I did not mistake an earthly space craft for my higher power. He did. As the primitive ship was blasted into space, the scientist, who believed in nothing greater than himself, stood transfixed, with tears streaming down his cheeks. Surely this effort would reflect back on us should some alien come across it.

Isn't that sad? He didn't believe in God, but he worshipped the work of his own hands. How transitory we all are. I bet that if I gave you the scientist's name you would not know whom I was talking about.

I guess what I am trying to convey, as I invite you for a journey into my own heart, is to take the time. Someone is out there, and if you don't believe in Him, He believes in you. So, take this time to think, as I will, and ask Him where you are going; why you are here; and what is His plan for you.

Lord, in these troubled times, it is easy to doubt, even though you have kept your hand of protection upon each of us. Please forgive me for the times I have forgotten You. And thank You for never forgetting me. Help us through the storms of life, and by your grace, bring us safely to the other side. May we never forget that You have carved us upon the palm of your hand, and that we are a treasure to You.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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