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Yes, every night I have a ‘date’ under the stars. It is with someone I love dearly with all my body, mind & soul. Even in bad weather when I may have to stand in the doorway to be with Him, still -He wants to hear from me, because I AM WORTH IT to Him! If I forget or get too busy, I get that gentle heart-nudge to come outside. It is the part of my daily routine I anticipate the most and I can’t miss it or I go to bed feeling incomplete.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)
Yes, the Lord waits patiently for me. Men may complain about women constantly chattering, but the Lord never complains. He actually waits to hear from me every single day, as much as I want or need to air out my thoughts and worries. He never tires of it, especially when I am lifting up my friends and family to Him in prayer. I can tell Him anything and He never flinches, no matter how bad my confessions or thoughts seem to me, because He knows everything anyway. I walk away refreshed, at peace knowing He heard every single word and He still loves me. This motivates me to do better at living a better and purer life.
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Even Jesus sometimes stole away from his friends and the chaotic tours during his ministry, and he would find a quiet place to talk to God. It was His bread and water, His lifeline – as the Lord has become mine. The evening that he prayed before His betrayal (Matthew 26:36-56), he separated himself several times from the disciples and went to pray, with heavy-heart and a need for a good talk with the Father. Jesus knew that God heard him each and every time.
Why do I pray outside under the stars on the coldest nights? I have been asked this and the answer is quite practical. It can be freezing wind or snow, or muggy and bug-thick outside sometimes, but to talk to God under the Heavens that He created is somehow special for me – more comforting and confirming. There are less distractions and I don’t feel the elements too much when I am with Him in prayer. What I do see is the wide open universe before me that cannot contain even the wisdom and might of God. If He can arrange this whole universe and name the stars, then God can surely handle my puny earth-bound problems. They seem so little in the grand scheme of things spread out before me.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)
I get a sense of being a welcome part of something much bigger. Still, even the little things that I dream of or wish for matter to Him because they matter to me.
That joy in confidently approaching and standing before Him – THE King of Kings – and the unconditional love is there as He waits for me daily – it’s unequivocal. A close second would be the love and hugs of a child, and that is a gift, a sample of His own love.
The darker the sky, the better to see all the constellations more clearly in light-polluted New Jersey, but a full Harvest Moon is a sight to behold as well. Every night, I prepare for my nightly prayer time with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Sometimes in my robe & slippers, or the warmer weather begs for a can of Deep Woods Off!. I am still there!
But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The best thing about it is, I know He would do this for anyone who comes to Him earnestly seeking and confessing. He waits for you. It does not have to be under a blanket of stars in a yard or even outside. He waits wherever you are at this moment, even in a jail cell and dwelling in your own personal hell.
The Lord waits for you too – no matter who you are or what you’ve done – to call on Him for a new start to a new life, and to BELIEVE in Him.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
My earliest memories were when I was in the hospital, and many of them were actually pleasant memories. I can easily recall my dad (and mom too) visiting me every day, always with a big smile on his face and plenty of hugs and kisses to give, and gifts. He always told me to keep smiling, no matter what happens. Then, when that part of my life was over with, I was lovingly encouraged to walk and live a normal, happy childhood.
As I grew up, my dad and I were always close, and we went everywhere together. He’d take me to pony-rides, lakes, the beach, and many other places. And when I was sick he took me to the five-and-dime for a toy just to cheer me up when I was stuck home. Everywhere I lived there was always a swing in the back yard, a bike, and a puppy. As a teen, he’d get me out of school just to take me to lunch in Cape May, and he trusted me enough to drive his super-truck. We always had the same interests and tastes too. I was very much a daddy’s-little-girl all my life.
He was always very loving, giving hugs and kisses whenever asked for, and not just to me but to any of my cousins and aunts as well. They all have their own special story to tell about Chuckie, and how generous and kind he was to all.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he purposely held on long enough to see his baby granddaughter, Dink. Little Dink had an immediate bond with him, and gave him all the kisses and hugs – and french fries – he wanted, and was often the only one who could make him smile sometimes in the midst of his pain.
(insert baby pic)
The other most important and precious memories I have to keep in my heart are my dad’s little life lessons. Dad always had a smile on his face and said it was important to always be joyful and to Love the Lord, regardless of life circumstances, and to never think a mean thought about anyone else, ever.
My dad left this life with a peaceful heart, and anticipated seeing the Lord Jesus. Nothing in anyone’s life is more precious than peace with the Loving Father in the heart, and the smile that God’s love puts in the eyes and upon the lips for all to see. My dad’s life reflected the Lord’s kindness, generosity, and unconditional love. I am very proud he was my dad, and his legacy will live on forever in all of us that had the privilege of knowing him.
That is his legacy! What is yours?
Proud to say the writer’s group I started 7 years ago is going forward with the 2nd Anthology of short stories, also a great mix of genres. I am so proud to be part of such a talented group of artists who can weave memorable and enjoyable stories, and many of them will become famous – I know it! If you haven’t already, you can order the 1st one (shown below) through me or on Amazon.com! It’s not too late!
I hope you’ll consider contributing to the future success of some great authors as we share more great tales from South Jersey. And in this 2nd book there will also be the winning entry of our first ever SJ Writer’s Group Contest!! Good luck to all the writers who enter!
The minimal donation is $1.00 and there are great prizes for higher donations, of course. The link is below. The best part is contributing to the world of art, something that touches each of us in different but equally edifying ways.
My gratitude in advance,
South Jersey Writers’ Group 2014 Anthology
The South Jersey Writers’ Group is publishing a second anthology, and we’re looking to take our publishing game to the next level.
Catching you up…..
I couldn’t have guessed that the setting sun would grab my attention this intensely on this last day of 2010. It isn’t the most beautiful or lingering one tonight. The sun ducks behind approaching rain clouds quickly, forgetting to show off the colors and awes I love to see. I have to stand by the cold front door and remember warmer nights with brightly painted skies by the sea.
But it is only fitting that this is short and steely cold long before the daylight is gone. The year’s last evening didn’t deserve the prettiest sunset. It had been a bleak year and though many wrinkles were worked out over time, it still ended with a lot of uncertainty for the future. It’s been like this for 8 months, with a few varying steep peaks that had to be climbed, leaving me stranded for periods on deserted mesas, and I couldn’t get off and move forward. I was stuck.
In a spiritual sense I know my future is firmly protected and safe within my faith in the Lord but in a physical sense it is a very flat and brown and dry landscape that seems to go on past the horizon line, with only rough and deep seas beyond that.
Yes, the sun will still shine behind the clouds tomorrow, and I know I may have another 365 days to make life worth living somehow. I plan to start it right with visits to family and then a job interview on Monday, with hope of that being the last interview for a long time due to fortunate employment.
As I sip warm wine tonight and watch the crowded Time’s Square ritual on my TV, I ponder why we think that just because a calendar year had ended that we should be acting wild and crazy to celebrate it. Why not celebrate each day like this? A time may come when we wish we could.
Time is seamless to the clock, so shouldn’t my joy and hope be as well? This is definitely something I should work on – my daily reflection of my daily attitudes instead of my annual ones. Time is seamless and eternal from where the Lord sits, so I should spend much more time thinking of what’s ahead and how to be part of that GREAT BIG PLAN HE HAS instead of my measly one that doesn’t go past the horizon line every night at sunset.
Indeed the sun set down on a lousy, short-minded way to view life. I vow to see the sunset in the days ahead as merely rest time from all the neat things I’ll get to do in the future while here and living, and so much more than that when I’m gone.
Now as I look out to the west one last time to see that the sky suddenly lit up with vivid streaks of fuchsia and salmon colors.
In changing my own outlook and mood, I am immediately and unexpectedly rewarded with a colorful landscape to end this day after all, and more hopeful 365 + tomorrows.
“Weeping may endure for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning…” Psalm 30:5b
“Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 2:12c