Thursday, October 26, 2017

Not My Plans? by Gynis M Belec

I am an agenda person. I love my agenda. I have to have my agenda. Writing my plan for the next day, is one of the last things I do before I drift off to dreamland. If I don’t have a completed daily agenda, my day seems fractured and incomplete.
So last week, when my day did NOT go as (I) planned, I contemplated going back to bed. But, instead, I chose to whine. It was at that point that I noticed I had missed something a day prior, when I returned from an out of town event. I had not heard about the terrific winds that played havoc in our area. When I arrived home, the weather had settled and I only learned about the unwelcome winds that gusted in my absence after the fact, so I looked outside - straight ahead. All seemed well.
When I happened to step on our back deck the next morning, I realized that I perhaps should have looked left, too. Our portable canvas and metal storage shed that had stood solid for four years, was now uprooted, upended and had obviously been lifted up in the air, over the fence and was now upside down in the neighbour’s yard. The contents were scattered and strewn. We hadn’t noticed and it seemed our lovely neighbours hadn’t seen it, either.
But I sure did this morning.
“God. Seriously? You know how much I have to do today.”
My agenda was full. I began to whine. Company was coming and the last thing I felt like doing that day was battling with the bulky, mangled metal and canvas monstrosity. I had to make meat pie and apple crisp. I needed to get my Dad up and I had deadlines. But I also had to get outside and figure out what to do.
The neighbours weren't answering the door. My husband wasn't answering his phone.
My moaning intensified. 
“Why me, God? Why now, God?”
Do all things without grumbling or complaining. Phillipians 2:14
That still small Voice came a-whispering again.
“Glynis. Seriously?”
My mind drifted to James 1: 2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Then I remembered Texas and Florida, and Las Vegas and Somalia, lost children, exploited women, persecuted men ... my silly mangled metal and scattered contents didn’t seem to matter anymore.
I left a text message for my hubby to call when he got a second. I got Dad up and ready to face the day. He was up in good time and we weren’t in a rush. The telephone rang. My husband would be home in a few hours. Just enough time to whip up a meat pie and apple crisp. Company would be coming soon. The kettle was on.
And my day continued. The meat pie and apple crisp were delicious. We enjoyed our company. Hubby came home just in time to enjoy some dessert and then we headed outside and worked together to clean up and toss out. Dad had a nap. I met a deadline and all was well with our corner of the world.
 Tonight, I will write in my agenda again. I will copy some of the things I didn’t get done the day before. But I will also, perhaps write – at the top of my to-do list Proverbs 16:1 [NLT] We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.

Glynis lives, loves, laughs and does an awful lot of reading, writing, publishing and praying in her home office. 
        How thrilled Glynis is to be part of CHRISTMAS WITH HOT APPLE CIDER - an anthology filled with a wonderful assortment of Christmas short stories, memories, drama and poetry. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Sand is Slipping Away, by Carol Ford

Board games often include a miniature replica of an hourglass. It is used to time a player’s turn. The timer is set in the middle of the table and everyone watches the sand slowly trickle through the narrow opening. If it’s my turn, and the sand is running out, my heart races and I become noticeably agitated, because once it has all sifted through to the bottom half, I know that ‘time’s up’.
I use this imagery of an hourglass, not to create anxiety or stress, but to draw your attention to the natural laws of God’s timing in our lives and reinforce the idea that there are no surprises—we can expect change.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV) says: 
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Can you identify with many of these positive and negative changes?
The author of Ecclesiastes was Solomon,  King of Israel. He had an important job and big shoes to fill; his father was King David.  He asked for the following from God:
“ So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” 1 Kings 3:9 a (NIV)

What happened to Solomon when he prayed for help from God? Read 1 Kings 3: 10 -14
How has God helped you in your vocation?
As Christians we have an amazing advantage. God expects and will be pleased (as he was with Solomon) when we ask for wisdom and guidance in all areas of our lives.
An authentic hour glass is a fragile and a precise time piece. Our life is also a fragile and a unique creation.  
Here’s what Psalm 139.16b (NIV) says about our time on earth, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be..”

Carol Ford is a speaker, career coach and writer. She shares her adoption reunion story with women and senior groups. Her short stories My Mother's Gift and My Forever Home, 1948 are published in Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon and Christmas with Hot Apple Cider. As a contributor on Hope Stream Radio, she gives advice on work life.  Carol volunteers with The Word Guild and leads a local writers’ group. The group has written As the Ink Flows, Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers (Judson Press)

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