Thursday, October 10


Photo taken from photobucket
The musty smell of harvest dust filters into the breeze. Farming families eat in fields; wives and children become errand boys and hired hands. The grain market and the weather report develop into the major news. The geese fly south again. Leaves fade into brilliant reds and golds and the harvest moon rises in the October sky. Fall festivals are rampant, school is in full swing and the high school football season dwindles to one game and the play-offs. Autumn in the Midwest-if only our lives could slow down to appreciate it.
Little chipmunks and bushy tailed squirrels invade my lawn. One little fellow struggles defiantly with the acorns falling among the leaves on our patio. As I step out quietly for my walk, I stop to watch his struggle. He finds them much more appealing than we do. Apparently these little creatures have been here all summer, but I have hardly noticed them until now.
On across the way, the geese are strutting around the edge of Eads Lake, staking their claim to our neighbors’ yards. Soon they will huddle, honk to one another and begin their journey across the sky. I pause to watch and listen as they rise into the blue October sky. Soon they will be gone.
As I walk on around the circle, I notice that the neighbor on the corner has planted several mums-the full-blown bushes are swathed in blooms glowing in the light of the afternoon sun. I vaguely remember he planted them several weeks ago, but I became fully aware of them today.
I return to our house and notice how my pots of mums are beginning to fade into rusty brown blossoms. It is time to remove them from the pots and plant them for next season. In other autumns, I have been too busy to even notice the dry foliage until the time had passed for replanting. I have time today. I pull up the lawn chair to rest after my journey around the neighborhood. Sitting with the sun soaking my shoulders, I begin to reflect on the spiritual side of our life. Maybe we need to sometimes just slow down there also. Sometimes we get so busy with our church work that we don’t stop to notice the little things around us.
Sunday morning our auditorium was beautifully decorated, but I didn’t take time to find out who had done it. I was too busy making plans for lunch after church, and discussing a meeting that I wanted to go to on Wednesday night. Someone would surely have appreciated recognition for their efforts, but I needed to hurry on for lunch.
We go to a committee meeting and make big decisions, but fail to take note of an absent member. No one bothers to find out why there aren’t in attendance. We are just are in a hurry to get this over with and get on to our next meeting. Someone may have needed us.

Perhaps we need to stop being so religiously busy and just slow down for more prayer time during the day, be more aware of the people who are missing at our gatherings, and study the Word more diligently rather than a cursory reading to fill the allotted time we give to reading the Bible. Somewhat like the little creatures storing their nuts, the brown leaves on my plants and the geese that will soon be gone, we may be missing a spiritual blessing and unless we slow down we may never realize what we have missed.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY: Lord, slow me down as I walk with you through this life. Help me to realize I need to take time to notice the small things you have prepared for me to do and not become so involved in “ busyness” that I neglect the little things of life that are so important. In Jesus’ name Amen

Wednesday, October 2



My Kindred Heart Writer friend has a new project. Below is her story.I know you will enjoy reading this story of hope and love as much as I did.
Laura's Story  
I took the first three chapters of Mei’s story, Pearl, to a writer’s conference and was strongly encouraged to continue. Once I finished the novel, a couple of major Christian publishers showed interest. I polished it up and sent it off, but they felt its length was a drawback as well as the fact that, although present day, most of it was set outside the United States.
I thought about finding a way to lengthen the story and add a stronger American component, and I spent a lot of time saying, “Lord, do with this story what You will.” I never felt prompted to add to the plot, so Pearl sat on a shelf here at home. I knew I had written it for a reason; I had learned so much through the whole process that I knew it wasn’t for nothing. It was a story I felt compelled to write, so write I did. I stretched and grew as I wrote, so I knew the Lord had already used Pearl.
But He had another idea. As my son and his sweet wife began to walk down the path to international adoption, we all talked of the financial cost. My son is the pastor of a little rural Kentucky church that averages a hundred in attendance, so you can imagine that he’s not in it for the money. My husband and I talked about how we could help them, and the Lord brought Pearl to mind.
“It’s a story of international adoption. Why not publish it and use the proceeds to benefit the adoption fund?” I said. My husband readily agreed, and I started researching the best way to accomplish this. We settled on CreateSpace, who designed the cover, set up the print book, converted the files for Kindle, and placed it both in their online bookstore and on Amazon.
This story has been a blessing in so many ways. Through this story and Jonathan and Kristen’s adoption journey, I’ve met new friends and reconnected with others on the same path. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of adoption as a picture of Gospel hope.
Tucked inside the Old and New Testaments are stories we know well, but we don’t always see how they brim with hope. Hope for those born in the wrong place, to the wrong group.
From David to Ruth to Rahab, we see the hope of the Gospel. This is a kingdom turned upside down. Matthew, the disciple who had lived the life of an outcast as a despised tax collector, writes the genealogy that shows us the Saviour’s earthly path. He names even who fell or who had lived less than pristine lives. As he includes them, he reminds us that our inclusion in God’s family depends upon God—not on our birth, our status, or our performance.
Adoption is a picture of the hope of the Gospel.
God welcomes home the foreigner, the outcast, the alien.
Blessed to be a part of the Gospel hope, how can we do less?