"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's safe to come over

     Welcome to 2011! As he has for years, my brother Ted in Michigan called us at 9 PM our time to assure us, "It's safe to come over."
     It still isn't midnight here yet. When I looked at this page a few minutes ago, I squeaked, "Jerry, I already have another follower! Matt Blick!"
     Jerry came over and kissed me. "You mean I'm not the only follower of your non-existent blog?"
     Nope. There are three of us now.

     I'm still feeling sweet peace from the New Year's Eve service at our church. Recent rain and wind had left everything beyond the glass doors clean and cold. There might even have been a few stars.
     Folding chairs had been unfolded in the foyer to make the time more intimate. A few logs of different lengths, on end, grouped close to support a large lit candle and three hourglasses quietly snowing drifts of variegated sand.
     We were on the hinge between two years, the leader said. First, in God's presence, he had us "remember rightly" the past year. After a few moments of music-scented meditation, we were to list first the joys and blessings, then the pains and sorrows of our year.
     Then I sat, pen poised, to list my pains and sorrows. I waited but I couldn't come up with a single one. God has woven or is in the process of weaving each one into something beautiful.
     Next we were to "remember forward," listing our hopes and fears for 2011--on the twelve glass doors of the lobby with dry erase markers. Jerry and I went up right away. I knelt, drew a childish stick figure, and printed, "A baby for Ben and Jill."
     On the way back to our seats, we stopped at a table where someone poured us plastic cups of grape juice, as much as we wanted, representing the blood of Jesus poured out for us. Someone else let us tear off a hunk of home-made bread, symbolizing His body, willingly torn for us.
     We took Jesus back to our seats and, in our own time, drank Him and ate Him, letting Him nourish us, give us strength and substance, become our bones and blood and nerves and organs. I had enough in each hand to drink and chew alternately. As I did, I found myself thinking of the left-overs at the feeding of the five thousand. Why would Jesus make left-overs? I wondered. Did he mis-count, misjudge people's appetites? Wasn't that a waste of food, of divine power?
     He made more than necessary so they could be satisfied. It says in the text, "All ate and were satisfied. And the disciples picked up the left-overs."
     He wants us to help ourselves to Him, take as much as we want, knowing there's more. He wants us satisfied.
     Because He is a generous God and a God of abundance.
     May you have that kind of year, from the hands of that kind of God.

Today I am thankful for Jehovah-Jireh.


  1. Glad I made your day!

    Would I ruin it if I told you that you could have changed the name of your blog without any need to move it or lose your previous followers?


  2. My friend Allean wrote me, "Wow, good stuff. I have another idea about the 'leftovers.' Those are the crusts, the parts we feel are unnecessary and we discard, but the disciples gathered them up and took them back to Jesus, and in my imagination, I can see him feeding some more people with them. Those are the pains and hurts that if we gather them up and bring them to Jesus, he transforms those throw away pieces of our lives and uses them to feed someone else. At least that is what He has done with those shameful, seemingly wasted parts of my life--He has transformed them and used them for others. Have a wonderful New Year. Allean

  3. hey! i am a happy follower too!
    jessica, would you mind if i put your link in my "excellent bible blog?"
    because it IS excellent!...love terry

  4. oh jessica...i just read your comment here and i really like it!
    now this reminds of my sunday school days AGAIN!!
    i was only about seven when i heard this story in sunday school and all about how they had those baskets left over stuffed with the scraps.
    well the sunday school paper that week had a picture of the twelve baskets, there were lots them that had fish heads in them and there should have only been two fish heads at the most, eh?
    ha! i never forgot that. when i used to teach sunday school and it was my job to pick out the prize books, i would get them at the bible book nook and i would read every last one of them to see that everything was right!
    what an old granny i am, eh?.....love terry

  5. I'd love it, Terry. As we sang in church Sunday, "May Your voice be louder, may Your voice be clearer/Than all the others, than all the others. . . May Your words be sweeter than all the others in my life." (Jeremy Riddle, c) 2007 Mercy) As we lift Him up on all these blogs, may He draw all people to Himself.

    Readers, just be sure you test everything you read against God's truth.