Thoughtful Thursday

I’m changing things up and nixing my Quotes of the Week on Friday for posts on Thursday that I’m calling Thoughtful Thursday.

The photo above is a portion of the road we travel to get to town, to our kids’ home, to church. We enjoy the landscape along the way. What you can’t see or smell is the aftermath of someone hitting a skunk. As our dear daughter-in-law’s Granny says, you travel skunk alley to get to town! She is right. In the short time we’ve lived here and traveled this road we’ve seen and smelled over 10 skunks that were not smart enough to stay off the road. Just keeping things real. One more thing about skunks, their fragrance lingers long after they are gone.

This morning we woke up to 4 degrees F. Brrr. So thankful for a furnace that warms up the inside of our home.

In the morning I’ve tried to start a regiment of reading before I turn on my computer while I drink my cup of coffee. I’m reading the Bible, a daily dose of Spurgeon and a devotional I pull off our bookshelf. The devotional with 140 meditations that I’m reading at present is Taste and See by John Piper. In today’s reading he quotes some of his beloved English professor’s resolutions from a talk in 1976. Piper says of Dr. Kilby that he had a pastoral heart and a poet’s eye. He pled with us to stop seeking mental health in the mirror of self-analysis, but instead drink in the remedies of God in nature. He was not naïve. He knew of sin. He knew of the necessity of redemption in Christ. But he would have said that Christ purchased new eyes for us as well as new hearts.

Here are a few of his resolutions I’ll share here. Awakening Amazement at the Strange Glory of Ordinary Things

  1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.
  2. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence, but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.
  3. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic” existence.

Staring at this tree…

Looking steadily at the sky.

Psalm 19:1-6

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Hoping your Thursday is filled with moments of awe and gratefulness.

Prepare

I was thinking about the idea of choosing a word for the new year instead of making resolutions. My friend Willow at Willow’s Cottage chose Simple. Jerrelea at Jerrelea’s Journey chose Rest. I decided on the word Prepare.

Snow 2016 004

: to make (someone or something) ready for some activity, purpose, use, etc.

: to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing, something that you expect to happen, etc.

: to make or create (something) so that it is ready for use

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One challenge we heard at the first worship service of this year was not to focus on ourselves but to ask the question, How can I make the world a better place? Now I wonder what will help to prepare my heart for this challenge? Time will tell.

This year there are new things that I need to prepare for, too.

Medicare, banking online, a home office space for Dear, to name a few.

Some other things I’d like to continue to prepare for through the year are hospitality, good meals, organized spaces.

Way back in elementary school I memorized the following verses that have been favorites and a comfort through the years.

John 14: 1-3 (ESV)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

I memorized these verses in the King James Version below.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

It’s amazing to think that the God of the universe is preparing a place for me!

Do you make New Year Resolutions or do you pick a word or verse for the year? Let me know if you do/did.

The photos that I included in this post are from a week ago when we got a little dusting of snow that came and went during the course of one day.