Friday, June 26, 2009

A Story Gem

Leave a comment or send an email to and I’ll enter you name into the May drawing for either The Stained Glass Pickup ~ Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom or A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday

A Story Gem

Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

Genesis 29:20

In 1980, the newlywed Molly looked at her ring finger and exclaimed to her husband Richard, “I’ve lost my ring!” Shopping in a local Conroe store, Molly had glanced at her hand-held grocery list and found the familiar shimmer of her engagement ring missing.

Richard and Molly abandoned their grocery errands, and they walked back and forth in the aisles, staring at the floor. But they never saw any gleam of her diamond. Since they didn’t know when the ring slipped off Molly’s finger, they later looked through their car’s carpet. At their apartment, they flipped throw pillows over, shook out rugs and felt behind couch cushions. Molly even requested Richard remove the drain trap from under the kitchen sink. The young husband had the heart to do the job, but not the tools.

That evening was a sad one. Molly cried over the loss of her beloved simple ring, a symbol of Richard’s love. She even asked Richard if he would get on his knees and pray that they find her ring. So on his knees he went, and he prayed.

The next morning, Molly, with very puffy eyes, went to her job at Gulf States utility company. Her supervisor recognized the look of overworked tear ducts and inquired as to what was wrong. Molly told her sad story.

Early that same morning and unknown to Molly, Richard went back to the grocery store. The store had not opened, and he knocked on the door. After his explanation, the manager let him in, and he retraced their grocery cart journey from the previous day. At the meat department, he remembered the choice cuts they had looked at, but had abandoned because of their tight budget. He decided to look there.

Leaning over the bin of beef, his fingers grew cold as he shuffled the Styrofoam packages. About to give up, his eyes glimpsed a sparkle among the plastic wrapped meats. The ring! Under a rump roast!

Richard shared his good news with the store manager then drove to his bride’s workplace. Elated, he couldn’t help smiling the whole way. Arriving, Richard explained to the supervisor about his find. Leading him to his wife’s office, the supervisor walked over to Molly, who had her back to the door, and announced, “Guess who’s here?”

Molly swiveled around in her chair to find a smiling Richard. An unmistakable love shone in his eyes, and without a word, he held the ring up for her to see.

When this Christian couple shared their lost-and-found story, I saw evidence that their love is up-to-date. Even after 28 years of marriage and rearing five children, the diamond sparkle is still there.

It’s in their eyes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dads' Pet Phrases

Leave a comment or send an email to writecat at consolidated dot net and I’ll enter you name into the May drawing for either The Stained Glass Pickup ~ Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom or A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday

A television show airing in the 1950s became a household favorite, “Father Knows Best.” Jim Anderson, played by Robert Young, had his share of family problems. His character’s wife was Margaret and their kids were Betty, Bud, and Kathy.

Jim had a pet name, “Kitten,” for Kathy, his youngest. A lot of dads have pet names for their kids, and they have quite a few instructional pet phrases. Much of our wisdom and understanding of the world comes from our dads, and a Bible proverb says, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13). See if you recognize any of the fatherly wisdom and idioms, I’ve collected from family and friends:

Don’t make me come in there.

How many times do I have to tell you—clean your room?

You eat me out of house and home.

Don’t cross your eyes. They’ll stick like that.

Keep on crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.

Don’t sit so close to the TV.

Finish your dinner, there are starving kids in the world.

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times.

Sit up straight.

Use your inside voice.

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

If I have to tell you one more time . . .

No, we’re not there yet. Don’t ask again.

You’ll shoot your eye out.

Obey your mother.

Don’t talk back to your mother.

Apologize to your mother.

I can’t leave you alone for a minute.

This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.

Wash your ears out.

What part of “No” don’t you understand?

Didn’t I tell you that’d happen?

You’ll spoil your appetite.

Don’t roll your eyes at me.

This is the last time I’m going to tell you.

Once you get in your house, you can do what you want.

Stop touching your brother.

Let’s play the quiet game.

What in the Sam Hill are you doing?

Write that down in your little black book.

Cut that out.

Wipe that look off your face.

Use your manners.

Because I said so.

If your dad is still around, be sure to thank him for all the memorable advice delivered in simple slogans and add a plate of homemade cookies and a big kiss on the cheek.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nip Assumptions

Leave a comment or send an email to writecat at consolidated dot net and I’ll enter you name into the May drawing for either The Stained Glass Pickup ~ Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom or A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday


I started to open a carbonated cola while riding in my husband Dave’s truck and he offered to pull the tab for me even though he was driving. He likes his truck to be clean and neat, so I was immediately a little bit offended, thinking he thought I’d spray the truck’s dashboard with fizz when I pulled the tab. I didn’t voice my thoughts but soon found out my assumption was very off track.

I’d been working on avoiding guesswork, so I asked why he offered to pull the tab, and he said in a gentle voice, “I didn’t want you to break a fingernail.” Because of my earlier assumption, I misjudged—for the moment—his charitable act of kindness.

He simply offered to open a cola can, such an ordinary occurrence, and I misjudged his motives. Just imagine how many larger things in life that we make wrong guesses about.

“Knowing their thoughts” is a phrase that characterizes Jesus in the New Testament. Because Jesus knew the thoughts of men, he could size up hearts and then address a crowd or individual in a way that would help them grow in their understanding of God and others.

Only God can truly know the inner person because he has seen every hurt and privilege. He knows our make-up better than any geneticist, and God knows each facet of our environments from birth to grave. He alone can know exactly what we are thinking and what has influenced us to behave in certain ways.

We humans look at events, or listen to conversations, or even facts, and then we still give our opinions from each individual small perspective. Tunnel vision. Thinking I know what someone else is thinking is where I get into the most trouble.

James offers helpful advice for good relationships when he says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (1:19-20).

Some of the most wounding circumstances start with one person misjudging what another is thinking. Many misunderstandings could be avoided if each person clamped off assumptions, listened, asked a few questions, and sent anger to stand in the corner.

June 13, Saturday, is dubbed “Weed Your Garden Day,” a reminder and a call to action. If weeds aren’t pulled, they multiply. Take a walk around your heart garden. See any misjudging there? If so, follow the bumbling Barney Fife’s advice, “Nip it. Nip it in the bud.”

Friday, June 05, 2009

Pardon My Wrinkles

Annnnnnd the book winner for May is KAREN, notified at her blog and here.

Leave a comment or send an email to [writecat at consolidated dot net] and I’ll enter you name into the June drawing for either The Stained Glass Pickup ~ Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom or A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday

“Discipleship Journal” reported that the “Oxford Junior Dictionary” cut a few words out of the current edition, to reflect Britain’s “modern, multicultural, and multi-faith society.” They cut religious and historical words such as: sin, Bishop, empire, and nun. Some of the modern words that replaced them were: blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, and celebrity.

“Sin is out, celebrity is in,” DJ magazine’s lead words touted. That concept reflects the mindset of some of the world. Much of what God deems sinful is celebrated in society. Sin wrinkles lives, lives that can be pardoned only by the perfect Jesus Christ.

I ordered new sheers for my guest bedroom double windows, and when I opened the package out slid the long, filmy panels. They were remarkably smooth, with the only creases being along the folds due to packaging.

A slip of paper floated to the floor as I looped the sheers over my arms, readying to thread them onto the curtain rods. I thought the manufacturer’s note might contain washing instructions. Written in bold print across the top of the paper was “PARDON MY WRINKLES.”

I’ve been thinking about those words since then and about all the wrinkles folk get as they pass through life, wrinkles caused by poor judgments and giving into selfish desires. Those happenings make dents, folds, and impressions on a person. All of us sin, and none of us are without resulting wrinkles.

I think about the folk Jesus’ holy character attracted. Like us, they had a variety of sin-issues, past and present. In Jesus’ immediate group of disciples was tax collector, Matthew, who had cheated citizens, and Judas, known to steal from the love offerings.

Others were drawn to the purity and joy seen in Jesus, and sought to have the creases smoothed out, to be done with sin. Immoral women and men sought Jesus’ forgiveness and received a permanent pressing — forever relief from wrongs done and help to avoid future wrongs.

People near Jesus also had subtle sins, too. James and John were called Sons of Thunder because of quick tempers. Martha put protocol before people. Thomas struggled with doubt. Peter wanted to correct situations with a sword.

The “Oxford Junior Dictionary” is wrong. Sin is here to stay because it infects people with alarming regularity. The only thing that changed about sin happened over 2,000 years ago, when a perfect Savior came to save a fallen world.

You can’t just take “sin” out of the dictionary and hope it goes away. It can only be removed because, “God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall never perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

If only the whole world could earnestly plead to God, “Pardon my wrinkles,” then sin could disappear from dictionaries.