A Blanket Affair


My neighbor, Linda, began a conversation with the entertaining couple in her mom’s hospital room. The gal’s boyfriend, age 99, explained that they hadn’t married because they couldn’t find the right bridesmaid!

However, the sick woman often complained of the cold and the thought came to Linda to buy her a cosy fleece blanket. She decided it was her God errand for the day.

When Linda told me about the blanket, I thought, “I can do that.” After all, the blanket lady had the same name as one of my favorite aunts. Without saying a word to Linda, I made a blanket and daringly embroidered ‘INGA’ on the corner.

Meanwhile Linda searched the stores, only to discover that January in Canada meant more bathing suits and lounge wear than blankets. Had she misread God’s plan?

She came home to my phone message, asking her to pick up Inga’s gift at my house.

When Linda gave Inga her blanket, she gasped and cried out…“Oh, that there are still such people in the world!”

And Linda had the opportunity to speak Jesus to Inga.

If either of us had ignored God’s subtle hints, Inga might have missed Jesus.

As Linda says, “That’s how it is with people who work for God. We care for strangers through Christ in us. (And I might add….even when the errands seem unnecessary, wonky or even weird!)

Prayer- Lord, may we always be sensitive to your will and pass along Jesus in what ever form you wish us to share. Amen

Yes it is Christmas Once More!!

The shopper stopped and stared at the aisle of Christmas decorations. Then I heard her cry out “No! Not again!”  And I listened while she repeated the same words, this time with a moan.

What horrors triggered this response? Was it over commitment, excessive expectations, a rude clerk or a charge card yet unpaid from the last Christmas? Nope. She saw the first Christmas decorations of the season.

It’s still early enough to make wise decisions about how we’ll celebrate Christmas this year.

If it is stressful, why not fix it? Let’s cut out the crazy. Simplify our plans. Figure out stress-less ways to save money and tame social schedules. Let’s take angel advice from the first Christmas and go right for the joy.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. (Luke 2:10, NIV)

Christmas?  “No! Not again?” Yes, again…and again… and again, or at least until the Lord Jesus returns.

Prayer- Thank you, Lord, for giving us the common sense to celebrate what really counts–Jesus. Amen.

On The Home Front


History tells us that the Chinese and the Irish and other nationalities were treated like second-class citizens when they first arrived in North America. Remember the fear when a Catholic (John F. Kennedy) became president of the United States?

The more things change the more they stay the same. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps God is bringing us a mission field? I can’t go to India or Pakistan, Syria, Russia or Asia, but I can tell my neighbor about Jesus. It’s our fields that are white with harvest now, not some strange foreign land where we would have to learn new customs and eat unknown foods. No. Our fields are here and now. If we will look past our fear, we will see that for ourselves.

everydaychristian.com

 Two Ears, One Mouth

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You might say I was a blank page waiting to happen. I sat down to write a devotional this morning, but I hadn’t one thought in mind. And I mean, not one! Generally, I have a thought, a phrase or a Bible verse in mind but today? Nothing!

This could cause a little panic in a gal like me.

Thankfully, I remembered that I could ask God for help. And I did.

“Lord, what shall I write today?” I queried.

And he dropped these three little words into my heart. “Not a word.”

“That’s not funny, Lord,” I sassed back.

Oh, oh.

I thought back over my week to the times my mouth would have been better quiet. I remembered the grocery clerk I’d snapped at. I thought of the friend who happened to be late and the answer I gave her. I recalled how the Lord had softly spoken about my lack of quiet time and my answer.

Oh, oh.

Luke 23:8-10-Herod was delighted when Jesus showed up. He had wanted for a long time to see him, he’d heard so much about him. He hoped to see him do something spectacular. He peppered him with questions. Jesus didn’t answer—not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations (MSG)

Like Herod, we’re excited to see Jesus, but too often we want his visit on our terms. We want answers to our questions. We want miracles. When we don’t get our own way, we get snippy. Like those high priests, we’re right in there saying what we think in a not-so-nice way.

Oh, oh.

Prayer: Lord, help us listen more and talk less. Amen

The Aloneness of Alone

Today I am speaking in Toronto, tomorrow in Ajax. I’ve been on the speaking circuit for Stonecroft (Christian Women’s Club) for nearly 20 years but things are a little different today.

Because Ron isn’t here to map out my driving trail, Google mapping and I are now best friends. Because he isn’t here to listen to my speech, I’ve talked it into an empty room.

Two writing awards came in the mail yesterday and I had no one to share them with.

Our mail file at church is now marked RBrenda Wood. The new slip of paper doesn’t quite cover his name. It is a silent reminder that Ron used to be there but is no longer. No one would notice but me.

Grocery shopping is so painful. I didn’t realize how much time I spent looking for diabetic food or treats to encourage Ron’s appetite. The sudden appearance of a sugar-free bar of chocolate brings pangs of grief.

P.S. You know your world is too silent when you can hear yourself licking a DQ ice cream cone.

Please pray for me today and tomorow; that I will give strong testimony and that my emotions will behave themselves,  and stay under the rule of the Holy Spirit.

I am standing on these verses today.

2 Corinthians 1:3a-Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:4-who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

For Fast-Acting Relief?

Actress Lily Tomlin suggests that for fast-acting relief, that we just slow down..

Ouch. If I did that, my feelings would catch up with me. I’d feel the despair of my abusive past, the pain of rejection and the fear of the unknown. That is, unless I also slowed down into prayer, a Psalm or two and a quiet half hour or so with the Lord.

Are you going too fast? Give yourself a break. Let Jesus catch up with you and sooth the savage beast within..

Blessings, Brenda J. Wood

blog:   http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com

Rise Above

Ever had one of those days when everything is your fault? No one wants to hear what happened but they all want to judge the result? Isn’t it fun? Ever want to tell them all what for?

But then you read your Bible verses for the day and they say something like this.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, as a sheep before his shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)

How did Jesus ever do it? Keep his mouth shut, I mean.

Well, He is God, and God can do anything He wants.

Unfortunately, you and I are not God. However, if we have asked Jesus into our lives,  we do have the Holy Spirit living in us. That means we have the power to do what God tells us to do.

James 1:26 says that if we consider ourselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on our tongue, we deceive ourselves and our religion is worthless.

Drat! Just when I’d decided to defend myself too!

Here is the truth of the matter. God is our defender. He is strong and He will take up the case against us. (Proverbs 23:11)

Note my huge sigh of relief here!

Now if I can just find that roll of masking tape…….

Brenda J. Wood

www.heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com

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