Friday “Walks”–Jesus Is Even in the Mundane, Ordinary Work

Photo Credit: P. Booher

One afternoon I was at the laundromat, putting clothes in the washer. It was an ordinary household chore–nothing glamorous–it just needed done.

Suddenly I sensed the Lord’s Presence beside me, and I felt as though I was doing the clothes for Jesus. It seemed odd, because doing the clothes is such a mundane thing, and no one would benefit except my mother and me.

The thought occurred to me that Jesus cares if people have clean clothes. That thought changed my perspective, and doing laundry was lifted from the mundane to an activity I was glad to do because I was doing it to serve Jesus.

As I reflected on this, I remembered Jesus doing a mundane, even dirty chore, normally left to slaves– washing His disciples’ feet. Jesus is no stranger to doing the ordinary things of life that must be done.
Because He knows what it’s like, I can ask Him for help with my attitude. Because of Him, I can find joy in doing the ordinary things.

Some Scriptures: John 13: 1-15, Colossians 3:17, 22, 23

©P. Booher

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Re-Blogging: Renovation

I enjoyed reading this post by Gracespeak. It’s well worth sharing.

GraceSpeak

Turn on your television, and you will find a home improvement or makeover show. Renovation is the going thing. People are updating, creating, repairing, and they are telling everyone else about it.

Even our bluebirds got into the action this year. Our family put up a beautiful new birdhouse, but it evidently did not quite meet Mrs. Bluebird’s ideal. When we went out to look, we found that on the sections where they nested the entry holes had been painstakingly enlarged. They renovated!

I confess, however, that the renovation shows frustrate me. They spend way too much time on the details of demolition, foundation repair, and other behind the scenes work. I just want to see the before, the plan, and the finished product, with lots of attention to the finished project. When I stream a show, I often fast forward to the last few minutes…

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This Is Important to Me

For most of my life I’ve listened to voices in my head. The voices belong to authoritative people from my past. They say things like, “Why do you want to do that?” “Why bother with that?”

It’s likely the questions were designed to help me see I needed to put some more thought into what I was proposing. But the tone in the questions led me to believe the speaker didn’t take me seriously or worse, considered me stupid. I lacked the inner resolve to take the matter any further and didn’t know how to figure out solutions for the problems. I dropped the matter, even though I considered it important.

At this late stage I’m finally learning I have to take the position of: “This (whatever it is) is important to me. It is what I’m going to pay attention to, no matter what you say.” I’m learning no one gives that right to me; I have to take it, and be prepared to stick to it.

Writing is the activity which allowed me to realize this. I believe my desire to write is something God gave me. To other people He gave an enthusiasm for sculpting, or working on cars, or decorating, or any number of endeavors. To me He gave an enthusiasm for writing. It is that thing which makes me say, “This is important to me”.

I decided I can take that example of inner resolve and extend it to other areas. There are places where I need to speak up.

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Bringing Order

Photo Credit: P. Booher

I had looked at the unkempt grass under the peony bush and around the flower beds long enough, so I grabbed a pair of grass shears, brought the garden cart, rake, and pitchfork out to the yard, and went to work.

As I trimmed the grass and weeds, the thought occurred to me that I was bringing order back to those spaces. On a much, much smaller scale I was reflecting what God did when He created the world and set it in order. 

When I pray for people, organizations, countries, or whatever the situation, in a sense I am asking God to bring order to those situations. His order may involve providing needs, resolving problems, bringing healing to fractured relationships, or peace to upheaval. Jesus brought order as He calmed storms, healed people, and illustrated God’s Kingdom in these and many other ways.

I am thankful God still works today to bring order, and I can participate in His work, albeit in a small way!

Some Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-31, Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew 15:29-31, Matthew 15:32-38, Luke 8:26-39

©P. Booher

 

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Handling Creepy Summer Visitors

Several years ago, as I sat on the couch in the living room I happened to look into the laundry room. I saw a shadow slide on the floor between the dryer and the washer. With a sense of dread I went into the laundry room and looked behind the appliances. Sure enough, a three-or-four-foot snake looked up and hissed at me. Remembering that snakes don’t like light and they don’t like noise, I turned on the light and banged on the dryer. The snake quickly found a hole and disappeared. I called my cousin, and he and his friend came out, went outside and killed a snake in the weeds. When my nerves calmed down, I plugged the hole the snake had disappeared into.

Because we live near the woods and there are lots of rocks around, snakes are always a possibility. Keeping in mind the following ideas helps me feel a bit more prepared, especially in the summer.

  1. Snakes don’t like light. Put on all the lights you can. Make the area as bright as you can.
  2. They don’t like noise. Stomp your feet, put on a radio and turn it way up–whatever you can do to make noise, do so.
  3. Snakes do not like the feel of kitty litter, so spread that around, if it’s an unoccupied area.
  4. Fill any size hole. A snake can go in even small holes.
  5. Get any clutter cleaned up. Snakes do not like open areas. They want places they can hide in.
  6. Practice rodent control.
  7. Keep grass and weeds cut short.
  8. Wear long boots and blue jeans when outside. Tuck blue jeans inside the boots.
  9. Carry a shovel.

Some people may object to the idea of carrying a shovel to kill a snake, because snakes have their place in the environment. They do kill mice and rats. For me, I just feel better knowing I have a weapon to use if one is too close for comfort.

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Cutting Anxiety–The Power of Praising God

Photo Credit: P. Booher

For awhile now I’ve been experiencing bouts of anxiety. This evening I felt an urge to praise God. As I did so, I could almost feel the anxiety melt away, and peace flow in.

“Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. (Psalm 113:1, NIV)

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3, NIV)

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.” (Psalm 95:6,7, NIV)

“For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise…” (Psalm 96: 4a, NIV)

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1, NIV)

“Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, NIV)

“O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O LORD, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.” (Psalm 89:8, NIV)

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 150:6, NIV)

“You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11, NIV)

Note: This is just a few of the verses in the Bible which praise God. The Book of Psalms, particularly Psalms 107–150, is full of praises to God. For me, praising God breaks through dark moods and anxious moments, and I want to praise Him more often.

P. Booher

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Monday Reflection

God is Love.

He is not rude.

He is patient and kind.

He is not irritable.

He keeps no record of being wronged.

He does not boast of himself.

He does not grow tired or weary.

He renews the strength of those who hope in the Lord.

He does not shout or cry out or raise his voice in the streets.

He will not break a bruised reed.

Neither will he snuff out a smoldering wick.

Scriptures: I John 4:16, I Corinthians 13:4,5, Isaiah 40:28, Isaiah 42:2-4

P. Booher

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What I’m Enjoying Now

Photo Credit: P. Booher Begonias on their “Summer Vacation”

Photo by Barbara Webb on Pexels.com

What I am enjoying these days:

  1. sensing God’s Presence in church and being in awe
  2. His Voice bringing comfort to me and giving me insight into His heart
  3. hearing the song of a thrush while I rake grass
  4. the scent of rain in the air
  5. having the window open and hearing the gentle patter of rain on leaves
  6. new opportunities to learn more, do more, contribute more
  7. being able to have the window open and feeling warm breezes
  8. big, beautiful, pink peony blooms which I can bring inside and put in vases
  9. being able to go outside without heavy coats and boots
  10. the sight of the begonias in the bed—my mother and I moved them from their “winter home” upstairs to their “summer vacation” outside. We agree the red begonias accent the grey bricks nicely.
  11. more blessings under the category of things which could have happened, but didn’t: Today I had a flat tire. I was irritated, but realized a couple blessings. The big one was that the flat happened while I was in my own driveway; I was not driving down the road at 50 miles per hour. Had it occurred a few minutes later I would have been on the road. The afternoon was sunny and pleasant, not pouring down rain as it was yesterday. The AAA man who changed the tire patiently answered my questions regarding the temporary tire.
  12. iced tea with a slice of lemon
  13. sitting on the porch reading
  14. having shelter to be out of the rain
  15. anticipation of more blessings, more pleasurable happenings, more spiritual victories

©P. Booher

 

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Nature Books

Photo Credit: P. Booher

Photo Credit: P. Booher

This post is for the nature lover, as I list different books featuring nature—either ones which help identify flora and fauna, or ones where the author draws from nature to express a deeper truth. Please note: these are all older books, but it may be possible to find them on used book sites.

  1. Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife—An Illustrated Guide to 2,000 Plants and Animals. I have spent time just looking at the beautiful pictures and illustrations in this book, let alone reading the text. The book not only shows what the plants and animals look like, it shows where they are found, and in the case of birds, it shows on maps where they are summer residents, winter residents, or live all year around. While this book is too big to take into the field, in my opinion, it’s wonderful to sit and look through and enjoy all the diversity shown. It’s also an education in environmental awareness, as the first part of the book describes various wildlife communities.
  2. Homeland: A Report from the Country by Hal Borland. I enjoyed reading this book by Mr. Borland, who was a nature columnist for the New York Times. I also have Hal Borland’s Book of Days. I must confess I haven’t read it yet, but believe I will enjoy reading it as much as Homeland. I’ve skimmed through Book of Days enough to know that, like Homeland, Mr. Borland relates nature facts as well as his thoughts about nature. Besides Homeland and Book of Days, he wrote many other books, most about nature in some way.
  3. By the River of No Return, by Don Ian Smith, is his first book about living in the mountain country of Idaho. 
  4. Wild Rivers and Mountain Trails, another book of devotionals by Don Ian Smith, celebrates living in the rugged, beautiful high country of Idaho. As with By the River of No Return, Pastor Smith does a wonderful job of using nature to illustrate eternal truths. His appreciation for the country and the animals in it shines through in this volume and By the River of No Return, and because of that, these books are a joy to read.
  5. Pathways To Understanding—Outdoor Adventures in Meditation by Harold E. Kohn, speaks about nature reflecting the Creator. Pastor Kohn also did the brush and ink drawings which illustrate his writing. 
  6. Country Chronicle by Gladys Taber, is drawn from the author’s life in New England. Gladys Taber’s columns used to appear in Family Circle or Woman’s Day magazines.

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–The Power of Words, Part II

Photo Credit: P. Booher

Words have such power! As creative as words can be (see The Power of Words, Part I, here,) they can be equally destructive. I think we often underestimate that destructive power. We repeat the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That saying is so untrue; it goes against the reality of the power of words.

Consider that words are important players in relationships. Think of it: a husband puts his wife’s family down; a wife belittles her husband’s ability to provide for the family; a father tells his son he will never amount to anything. The words used and the tone in which they are said, are like an invisible nuclear blast detonated in a person’s spirit. The fallout can last a long time.

What are my words like? Are they untrue, rude, thoughtless, insulting put-downs? Are they filled with the venom of gossip? Do they carry the hot coals of destruction?

Some Scriptures: Matthew 5:22, Ephesians 4:25, 29, 31, Ephesians 5:4, Philippians 2:14, Colossians 3:19, 21, and James 3:5,6

©P. Booher

 

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