Friday, February 25, 2011

Morning Coffee - Launch out into the deep.

 “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”    Luke 5:4

How deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilities. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water. So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God.

Streams in the Desert
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman

Time to pour a second cup and consider the depth of where I stand, knowing full well it’s not nearly deep enough.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Morning Coffee - Happy Birthday Erma!

Today is the birthday of Erma Bombeck, who was born on this day in 1927.  Erma had the gift of expressing the essence of suburban family life in her columns and many books.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be reading her take on today’s families - in today’s culture?

“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, "Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams." Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there.” ~ Erma Bombeck

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” 
~ Erma Bombeck

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”  ~ Erma Bombeck

Time to refill my cup and re-open my box of safely stored dreams!
Happy Birthday, Erma!!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Ministry of One - Yours!

Our son and a couple of his buddies have begun a simple ministry of helping the homeless in our downtown. Today was the fifth month that they have loaded their cars up with boxes of fresh, hot pizza, lots of clean dry socks, cases of bottled water and a variety of jackets, hats, mittens and other clothing. Friends, family and co-workers have donated these items as well as the cash for the pizzas they take to serve.

Some who have donated have asked just how they handle their distribution. That’s the reason for the photos today. As you can see, it is a casual mingling. You would be hard pressed to pick out the guys who are doing the serving.

This is a simple yet effective effort proving that large organizations with tons of overhead are not needed to serve those in our midst who have basic needs. It can be as simple as handing out pizzas and dry socks, knitting warm mittens and hats for less fortunate kids or making cozy lap quilts for our elderly shut-ins. There are plenty of places and ways to plug in where your own special talents can be put to work.

Or as Christopher likes to say: It takes “just one” to make a ministry.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Morning Coffee - Heading Home

It's been a fun trip roaming the back roads of Iowa, but it's time to head back home.  Which isn't a bad thing; I love "home".  I've got my coffee and some cookies and we're ready to hit the road!

"Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, 
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."
Robert Montgomery


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Morning Coffee - Waking up in Iowa

One of the Bridges of Madison County, Iowa

St. Charles, Iowa
Presbyterian Church turned Visitor Center

Birthplace of Marion Robert Morrison
Winterset, Iowa
May 26, 1907


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Morning Coffee - Emerging Patterns

I’ve discovered that one of the fun things about knitting socks is using “self patterning” yarn.  (I learned this term from Jane in an earlier comment.) I was given a skein of multi-colored yarn as a gift and it has been so interesting watching the pattern emerge as I knit with it.  The colors are constantly changing, but in a way that creates a very pretty pattern.  Lights and darks are mixed in what appears to be a haphazard way in the raw skein.  Yet in reality there is a plan – a very wonderful plan - that reveals itself as the sock progresses.

As I concentrate on each row and each little stitch as I work, I fail to see and appreciate the pattern.  It’s only when I stop for a minute and step back and view the project as a whole that the master plan shows its beauty.  The lights, the darks, the specks, the colors all have a purpose in the master plan.  It’s a lot like our life as He has designed it, isn’t it?

I think I'll pour a second cup and step back to better view my own emerging pattern.


Friday, February 11, 2011


The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.  
~Thomas Campbell


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Morning Coffee - Accounting my Stitches

One thing I’ve discovered while learning to knit on teeny tiny needles is that one little dropped stitch can be a huge problem in the blink of an eye.  While a large, easy to see, stitch moves slowly and is easily retrieved, those tiny little size 2 needle stitches unravel down your project with lightening speed.  And working them back up through the unwoven yarn, to make your piece whole again takes time and concentration and more than a little skill. 

It sort of reminds me of life and my own personal “dropped stitches”.  The big obvious things I seem to catch and rectify quickly before any real harm is done.   But it’s those little missteps – the ones that seem to fly under my radar – that can get out of control quickly, cause real harm and ultimately need lots of work to restore.   
Time for a second cup of coffee and an accounting of my stitches.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Morning Coffee and Straspberries!

"I like nonsense -- it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope... and that enables you to laugh at all of life's realities."
~ Theodor S. Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss

I feel that Dr. Seuss has just given me permission to continue playing Farmville. It is nonsense and it is fantasy and it is looking through life in a different way – all necessary and fun ingredients in life! 

I believe I’ll pour another cup of coffee and then go plant some spraspberries!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Morning Coffee - Source Alignment

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~
Henry Ward Beecher

I’ve always used the mental image of a magnet to give a picture of how my daily life is going.  Some days the iron filings are lined up like little soldiers and my energy level is high, all is well.  But just as often, it seems, my magnetic field is a mess – no order; no energy; thoughts going every which way.  When that happens I know that I am not fully attached to my personal magnetic source. 

It’s amazing how simply moving toward and reaching out for that powerful source brings everything into alignment again.  Every time!

Time for a refill and some morning source alignment before beginning my day.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Morning Coffee - Sitting Still

“Ye shall not go out with haste.” Isaiah 52:12
“This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life; we want to do something to be Christians when we need to let Him work in us. Do you know how still you have to be when your likeness is being taken?

Streams in the Desert
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could’st thou for Him fill?
’Tis hard! Ah, yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
’Tis hard, ’tis true! But then—He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
J. Danson Smith

Time for a second cup of coffee and a little more prayer on keeping my self sitting still and finding that sweetest place.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Morning Coffee - My Spiritual Career

In Mrs. Cowman's devotion for this morning I encountered this phrase: “a soul’s spiritual career”. Now I’ve never before thought in terms of my soul having a career but I like the idea.

A career is defined as one’s calling in life; a person’s occupation or their profession; or their work and goals over their lifespan. And isn’t that what my soul’s “spiritual career” should be? A life’s calling; my major occupation; a goal to pursue. Something I work hard at and try to advance in. Something I put first and invest time and resources in.

Time for a refill and some honest analysis of just how my spiritual career is progressing. Would I deserve a promotion?


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Morning Coffee - Do You Not Know?

My morning devotions this morning led me to Isaiah, chapter 40, to a selection of verses that has always been a help to me both in its message and its beautiful image.

28 Do you not know?
   Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

We all stumble - young and old alike - but the promise is that "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength and soar like eagles.  This is my prayer for today.