The Shadow in the Window

*Changing things up a bit todayMoraldiplomat
It’s Sunday…April 30, 2017 Have a comfortable evening.

2 Corinthians 7:1

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

The Shadow in the Window

‘It sat just inside the broken upstairs window, leering at people passing by. An ugly red head with a hooked beak topped shoulders that were hunched in seeming indifference to its repulsive appearance….anyone brave enough to go upstairs would quickly be turned away by the smell. This was home for a vulture family.

The same house also sheltered a small family of people. The diligent housewife cooked, swept and washed; keeping everything clean and tidy- but only downstairs. The hard-working father mowed the lawn and maintained the outbuildings. He never went upstairs either! it made him sick to think of the second story of the house, with its peeling wallpaper and filthy floors. Besides, it was embarrassing to accommodate a disgusting family of vultures. He hoped no visitors ever noticed the shadow lurking in the window.

Unbelievable? Well, I agree. Well would live like that?! But if we think about it, many of us are in the same situation; if we maintain the appearance of a pure life while hiding the putrid presence of sin we are harboring. Our lives are totally cleansed when we accept Christ’s offer of salvation, but we dare not stop there! If our faith doesn’t include continuing victory, we are sure to lose out. The vultures of sin will bring their corruption into our souls and will make the benefits of our salvation of none effect.

All who profess faith in Jesus must allow Him to continue His work of purification and holiness in everyday life. If we are plagued by besetting sin, we need to confess it and cry out for help. The Lord “……is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,…” (Jude 24) Nobody wants vultures in their house amen?’

*Thanks: Benjamin J.

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Broke Eggs

SHARED STORY

. . . . with my sincere thanks to those late night pranksters!

On a recent Saturday evening at around midnight, my wife and I were just about to turn out the light and go to sleep when we heard the sounds of a group of people talking in the street, outside our home. Then out of the blue came two loud thuds above our bedroom window, followed by the noise of laughter and people running away down our street.

We both jumped out of bed, I turned on the external lights and rushed outside unsure of what had caused the two thuds or what damage I could expect to see. The silence of the night was broken by the distant sound of people laughing and at that moment I was of a mind to chase after them, however, running bare-footed on the road in the dark is not a very wise thing to do.

I could hear dripping noises on the driveway and the flood light above our garage helped me to identify just what had happened. Our home had been the victim of an egg bombing!

Being faced with the prospect of cleaning up this sticky mess in the early hours of the morning was not a pleasing thought, on top of which I was less than impressed that we had been singled out for this annoying prank. I decided that it was too late to clean up the mess, as it would disturb our neighbors, so it could wait to the morning.

Early next morning with a bucket of warm water and scrubbing brush in hand, and with the extension ladder placed on the front wall, I was now ready to wash off what was now two dry yellowish, egg grit impregnated, 1 meter long patches above our front bedroom windows.

My task was made even more challenging by the two large canvas awnings which protect our bedroom windows from the heat and glare of the afternoon sun. My annoyance with the late night pranksters was again building to the level of the night before.

After retracting each of the awnings, something we rarely do except when there is are very high winds, I then climbed the ladder to clean up the first patch of egg stain and then move the ladder to clean the second patch.

As I climbed the ladder for the second time, I noticed that the glass in a small window just under the roof line was very badly cracked. On closer inspection the crack ran around over half of the outer edge of the window pane. As the awning protected the window, it was clear to me that the damage had not been caused by the egg bombing. As I carefully placed my hand on the glass, I discovered that the pane of glass was very loose and had the window been closed with any force, it would have most likely shattered and the glass dropped to the drive way, some seven meters below.

Just a few meters away, we have a basketball ring and on most days of the week there are up to six young people who play in the immediate area, including both my sons. My thoughts immediately turned to what could have happened if the broken glass in the window had gone undetected for much longer and then suddenly shattered. The likelihood of my two sons and their friends being seriously injured was extremely high.

After quickly washing the remaining egg stain off the front wall and with the help of Tom, my youngest son, I got to work with some heavy duty masking tape and secured the cracked window as best I could. Within 24 hours the cracked window had been replaced and all was back to normal, except for the small bits of egg shell I kept finding on the front drive way and stuck to our garage doors.

Over the next few days, I realized that had our home not been bombarded by those eggs late on that Saturday night, I may not have discovered the broken window pane before it shattered and came down all over our drive way.

Even though it had been an annoyance at time, the broken eggs and the stains were cleaned up very quickly, however, the pain that could have been caused by the shattering of glass would never gone away and would have haunted my wife and myself, forever and a day.

The cold shudder that ran down my spine when I first discovered the cracked window and the thought about the consequences of someone being seriously injured or even killed, made me realize just how very lucky we had been.

Frequently in life, the small things that happen to us may have a negative impact and cause some form of pain, sadness, discomfort or personal aggravation. It is often said that we should not ‘sweat the small stuff’ and always look for the positive outcome or the silver lining in those dark clouds of the current circumstance, even though at the time that is not always an easy thing to do.

My personal experience with the egg bombing on that Saturday evening reminded me that in most cases there is always a flip side to everything that happens to us and that often the flip side can provide a positive outcome or an even greater benefit, if not now, then at some time in the future.

From now on whenever I see or break an egg, I will think of the egg bombing incident and say a thank you to those late night pranksters. Equally, I will always be reminded of Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote:

What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us

Credit: Keith Ready

 
Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Thanks Keith

A Window to Look Through

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*Dedicated to mothers and daughters and the unique and special love they have.

She watches through her window, her little girl at play,
Memories flood back to her childhood, of her yesterdays.

As she tucks her gift into bed, and kisses her precious face,
She says a prayer of protection, “Lord keep my child safe.”

And as days turn months into years, she sees her little girl grow.
She begins to realize that a time will come, the time when she must let go.

Suddenly she hears a gentle voice– saying, “No greater love is this,
Than what you’ve done for your little girl, go seal it with a kiss.”

“Honey I want to kiss your face, but I know I can’t by phone.
While looking through your bedroom window, I began to feel alone.”

“So many days through this very window, I’d watch you laugh and play
And I can almost see you tucked in bed, on those nights we’d talk and pray.”

“Mom,” her daughter uttered, “There’s something I want to say…
You may not know how many times, I saw you watch me play.”

“That window that you’re looking through, is the same one God looked in.
He saw you by my bed each night, when you’d tenderly tuck me in.”

“So mom please don’t feel all alone, you know I’ll always be there…
Just like God is with you now, no matter the time, or place or where.”

Her mother paused and then replied, “Sweetheart I know you’re right…
You’re grown, married and have a child, that you now tuck in at night.”

“Mom, I better go now, I have some things I better do.”
Her mom replied, “I know it dear, you’ve got a window to look through.”

Tit 2:4 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,…”
Prov 31:29 “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Do You See God’s Face ?

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Where do I go to see God’s face?

Is it in the reflection from the stained glass windows of the ornate church or in the rainbow after a summer evening’s shower?

Is it in the wooden cross that hangs prominently in the front of a chapel or in the hand, blistered from creating a home for one who had none?

Is it in the podium from which magnificent sermons are preached
Or in the fulfilled faces of children who won’t go to bed hungry today for the first time in their lives?

Is it in the flickering candles in the front of the church
or in a friend’s eyes as they wipes tears from your heart?

For God is not confined by adorned walls or symbols of His glory.
He cannot be described by an ancient relic or historical artifact.
His face is in all He created.

God’s face is in the fading sunset over a wintry landscape.

God’s face is the quiet meadow as the three week old fawn nurses at her mother’s breast.

God’s face is the laughter of a little boy as he wobbles on his bicycle down the sidewalk for the first time without support.

God’s face can be found when we open our hearts to His love.

Where do I go to hear God’s voice?

Is it in the pipe organ that plays a solemn hymn or in the screams of a newborn baby as she sucks her first breath?

Is it in the words of a preacher as he pounds his fist on the pulpit or in the whisper of flapping butterfly wings as a gentle breeze carries it over the rustling grass?

Is it in the chorus of a melody that is sung on the radio or in the quiet prayers of children kneeling beside their bed before sleep?

Is it in the typed text of a worn devotional book or in the quietness of falling snow under a full moon at midnight?

For God’s voice isn’t limited to man’s simple understanding,
But the awesome power of His genius.
God’s voice is in all He gave voice to.

God’s voice is heard in the whistle of wind through the willows on a country lake sheltered from civilization.

God’s voice is heard in the clap of thunder during August storm.

God’s voice is heard in the last serenade of the crickets in the cool autumn air.

God’s voice can be heard when we still our hearts to His love.

Where do I go to feel God’s touch?

Is it in the embrace of a familiar stranger sitting next to you at church or in the soft stroke of a grandmother’s weathered finger’s on her grandchild’s cheek?

Is it the hand that distributes pamphlets proclaiming God’s wrath on a street corner or in the grasp of a toddler as he wraps his tiny hand around his father’s finger to guide his first steps?

Is it in the statues and decorations that adorn a sanctuary or in the silent reward of an unseen kind act?

Is it in the lukewarm words spoken in a time of need or in the strength of another’s shoulder when yours are too weary from life’s struggles?

For God’s touch isn’t felt in the objects or things that we fill our lives with, but in the indescribable moments when His presence is near.

God’s touch is in the painted face on a purple pansy waltzing with a gentle spring breeze.

God’s touch is in the warmth of the sun shining through a frosted window in the dead of winter.

God’s touch is felt as He guides us through the deep valley that lies in front of us.

God’s touch is felt when He wraps His unconditional loving arms
Around the child in all of us that longs to call Him Daddy.

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For more on the face of the Lord CLICK HERE 

 

That Boy Was Me

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One day while I was shopping with my mother, we were walking past a store with a big front window. In this window there was a little boy, just standing there looking back at me. He had a black eye and bruised cheek. And the look in his eyes was so sad. They were filled with so much pain and sadness that just looking into them brought tears to my eyes. And I turned away.

Some years later, while walking past the store again, I saw that same little boy. He had grown some but it was apparent that it was the same boy. He still had bruised cheeks and his nose was taped up from being broken. In his eyes I could still see all his pain, his loneliness, his sadness. Once again it brought tears to my eyes, and once again I turned away.

In my teenage years, I walked past the store again. And again the boy was there. He had grown into a tall young man. No bruises on his face this time. But his eyes had changed. They hadn’t lost their sadness or their pain or loneliness, but they had taken on a hard edge. Looking into his eyes this time scared me. This time I not only turned away but I walked faster than I had before because I couldn’t bear to see this boy’s eyes anymore.

Since I’ve been a man, I haven’t gone back to that store. Maybe because I’m afraid to see the man that boy has become. I was going to go once, but I decided I didn’t need that in my life at this point. I mean what is he to me anyway? I don’t need it. My life is happy.

Yesterday, I was in my house and I just happened to walk by a mirror. The strangest thing happened. That boy from the window, he was a man now, and he was in that mirror staring back at me. His eyes don’t have that hard look to them anymore and he actually looked happy now.

When I think back to the little boy in the window, staring into his eyes, into my eyes, I can’t believe I was ever that sad. And I can’t believe that his eyes, my eyes, scared me so bad that I couldn’t bear to look.

It shows me that anyone’s life can change for the better. In my life I’ve had ordeals that produced many images reflecting back at me; and it wasn’t until I came to know the Lord Jesus that the image inside me changed for the better- If that little sad boy, who turned into a hard angry teenage boy, can be changed into the happy man I saw yesterday… then anyone who calls out to God can get changed for the better, and help others do the same.

Rom 10:13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 
Col 3:10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:...”

 
Rom 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.