Jackson Five Friday: Making Known His Deeds

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Happy Summer Friends,

I hope you are all kicking off summer break (or soon will be) in a way that draws you closer to those you love.  May the downtime be just productive and structured enough to maintain sanity.  Getting the balance right between rest and structure is a laudable goal, but I hope you’ll give yourself a lot of grace in the coming months to know it is just a goal, and not unlike so many aspects of life, perfection therein is totally, and I mean totally, unattainable.

This week in my devotional I read 1 Chronicles 16:8 Monday through Friday.  I like revisiting the same verses for a string of days because it really makes them sink in.  Maybe read these words through a few times to get a good feel for them: “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” (ESV).

Perhaps it is an odd reaction, but I sometimes feel justified in intentionally not making known his deeds.  Let me explain.  Say I have one of those experiences that I know — know deep down — is God.  Sometimes I might tell someone about it, more often I would share it with just my family.  But lots of times, I tell no one.  Honestly part of it is that I don’t want to be known as some loon who only talks about how good God is.  There is a part of me that feels like if I am always talking about what God did for me today, I won’t even come across as legitimate.  Like people will roll their eyes and say,” There she goes again…a regular 21st century church lady.”

So this is verse is challenging for me.  Make known his deed among the peoples?  Wait, not just my people?  The peoples?  I need to be more willing to share God’s loving provision for me, even in the smallest of matters.  Even in the small matter of the earring pictured below.

About FullSizeRender-13a month ago, my niece, Maddie (13) was in DC on an end-of-middle-school field trip.  Her schedule was jam packed.  But I couldn’t have her less than ten miles away without seeing her.  So I studied her itinerary and decided that we’d just happen to visit the Jefferson Memorial at the same time as her group.  The thing was, her group took a detour on the way to the Tidal Basin.  I took only my oldest son, Will, with me.  We were on the steps, taking in the sunset above and her group was driving by some unknown park that the bus driver insisted needed to be seen.

“I’m sorry,” I told Will after Maddie texted me about the detour.

“I like sitting here,” he answered.  And it occurred to me that my apology was ridiculous.  It was a beautiful night with no rushing about, nowhere we needed to be.  We just sat there, the two of us, talking a little, but he’s thirteen as well and never prone to be overly chatty.

Eventually Maddie arrived.  We hugged her, snapped a few pictures, met a few of her friends, and said goodbye.  It was brief, but worth it.

On the way back to our car it was getting pretty dark, but as we walked I saw something shiny on the pavement.  I instinctively reached down to see what it was.  I picked it up and gasped.  It was my earring!  Did I know that I had lost an earring?  No, I did not.  I was not on the lookout for anything.  I just happened to look down and find my own earring that I did not know was lost.  The chances of that may be infinitesimal, but I don’t live in a world of chance, and neither do you.  I believe God showed me that earring as a little reminder:  “You know I’ve got the whole world in My hands, right?  Nothing goes astray — not a little sparrow, not a little earring — nothing falls to the ground without Me knowing.”

So my friends, I am resolving to be more faithful in making known His deeds — His endless loving deeds — toward me.  I’d love to know what He’s done for you as well.

Have a fabulous weekend soaking up His love!

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Jackson Five Friday: Heaven

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Dear Friends,

It’s been a soggy week here in DC.  On Monday I heard a forecast about how this system was going to move in and then park here.  I thought it was a novel description of a weather pattern, and unfortunately they were exactly right, for once.  Nary a trace of blue sky since Monday, and off and on rain every day.

I’m terribly sensitive to weather.  I can hardly wait for the sun to peak out later tonight as my phone says it will.  I think if I lived in San Francisco I’d just have to cross the Golden Gate on days when the fog wouldn’t lift.  I actually haven’t spent much time there, but both times I went across the bridge when the city was misty and gray, pure, almost blinding, sunshine was just on the other side.  I imagine that’s almost a glimpse of what heaven is like.  One side full of a confusing fog, the other absolute clarity.  One side beats you down with the pain of this world, the other side a tearless existence.  One side relentlessly tugs at you in a million different directions, the other side there is no conflict, inner or otherwise.  On one side darkness seems to be tightening its grip, on the other side ONLY LIGHT.

I am blessed with many wise friends, one of whom lost both a baby girl to SIDS and a brother when she was growing up.  I lost a baby (a miscarriage that even after nine years I don’t feel ready to write or talk about much at all — although I did have a good cry over her (I’m quite sure it was a girl) with my husband a few months ago, which I’m pretty sure he was alarmed by).  And my brother Craig died when I was thirty.  This wise friend intimately knows loss and exemplifies faith.  Like pretty much all my favorite people in this world, she also happens to be extremely fun!  Anyway, she and I were exchanging messages not that long ago and she suggested that our hilarious brothers were sharing their humor with our daughters.  I cannot tell you how much I love this thought.

I hope that clouds make you long for heaven too, that you look forward to a great reunion, that even though the darkness of the world can press down hard sometimes, that you hold on to the promise that in the end Light and Love always win.

In John 8:12 we read this: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”

May I follow Him today and always, walking in the Light and knowing that one day clouds will be no more.

With Love,

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