Whatever is Pure - November 2007
Sometimes, A Card Just Isn't Enough
I've always been a treasure seeker of sorts when it comes to unique and meaningful greeting cards. I believe my quest began when as a young Christian; I participated in a quarterly youth retreat where the good news of Christ's love was shared with unchurched youth. As part of the leadership team, I was asked to write notes of encouragement to new believers. I would do my best to personalize each note with homemade stamped stationary or with an enclosure of a leaf, a flower or some other token that I though would be a blessing. My quest continued in a refugee camp in Thailand, as I discovered several Cambodian artists who supplemented their incomes by creating beautiful watercolour cards. My friends truly enjoyed the cards as they added visual enhancements to the descriptive newsletters I sent monthly. I became hooked and to this day, I giggle with glee when I discover a shop that sells cards that have that certain creative and individual flavour.
After the painting party that I mentioned in a previous devotion, I sorted through my collection of 'thank you' cards, looking for just the right sentiment and theme for each person who attended. Although I found some perfectly suited cards, I still needed a few more and off to the store I went. After much consideration, looking carefully at the graphics and the text of every thank you card in the racks, I was satisfied that I would be able to express my gratitude through the chosen cards and a personal note of thanks.
Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and the safe arrival in a safe haven, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the simple fact that Canada is further north. Canadian Christians take this day a step further, giving thanks for all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Although I usually am confident in my ability to express my thanks to my friends and family for the blessings they are to me, I confess I am stymied when it comes to adequately giving God the proper thanks and gratitude for all he has done for me. There is no card, no sentiment, no picture, and no word that can possibly express my heart. What does one say to someone who not only saved my life but also adopted me as a full heir and a member of His family? How can I possibly say thank you for the riches he has lavished on me, for his friendship, healing and intimate love? How does one find the words to say thank you for his unconditional love, unmerited favour and forgiveness? All I can say is 'thank you, God' and hope that those humble words convey all that is in my heart. Andrae Crouch penned "My Tribute" in 1971 and the song speaks eloquently of this common inability to give adequate thanks for all God has done. Written over 30 years ago, it still registers deep in my heart.
How can I say thanks
© 1971 Bud John Songs, Inc.
Looking for quotes on Thanksgiving and gratefulness? Check out Quite A Bunch
"O the deep, deep love of Jesus Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
We're "quite a bunch," aren't we? Pristine, gracious, friendly. At peace. Spirit-led. Joint-heirs with Jesus. We may give up our pew to a newcomer, shake hands with a stranger and invite visiting guests to Sunday lunch. At a distance, we may glitter and glow like an Olympic gold medal. But when the Sunday sermon ends? What's the story Monday through Saturday?
During the week that pristine, serene Sunday exterior is often just that - an exterior. A façade that hides hurricane howls of rage, a soul corroded by bitterness or a tongue with a barbed-wire bite. The "Sunday go-to-meetin'" veneer may hide sloth. Complacency. A freeze-dried heart. Envying, in-fighting or insincerity that would turn Kermit the Frog chartreuse.
Weekdays may include yelling at our kids, cheating on our taxes, stabbing a co-worker in the back to get ahead, and saying things we wish we hadn't. We may sandwich our lives with a thick slice of self-righteous myopia topped off with hypocrite gravy, wrapped with the cellophane fear of discovery.
The truth of the story is, we're nobody's trophy. But just as every Story has its Villain, this one also has its Hero.
There's a powerful, poignant line from James Fenimore Cooper's epic romance, The Last of the Mohicans. The hero, Nathaniel, says to his lover, Cora: "I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far-I will find you."
And that's exactly what our Hero, the Great Lover, does. He will find me. He can and does come for me. For my Heart and yours. Over and over and over. The Lord Jesus Christ sees right through our feeble attempts to cloak our sin-soaked selves with pristine-pure pretense. He shines His Truth into our lives, revealing every hidden agenda, disingenuous motive, darkest secret, reeking resentment, and deepest shame. We may fool others, but the Great Lover? Not a chance. He knows it all - and still He comes. No matter how long it takes. No matter how far. His love will find us.
"O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Washed. Redeemed. Loved with an everlasting love by the Greatest Lover of all. Now that's a story to sing about!
I Am My Brothers's Keeper!
I was having a tough time with attendance that morning and a small group of 3rd grade boys were taking advantage of it. They were having a good time playing in the back of the classroom. I glanced back and warned them several times about the noise.
Among all of the little clean cut boys with new school clothes, was a tattered child with dirty clothing and uncombed hair. Grime from many meals was on his cheeks, shirt and pants. I wondered why the school had not done anything to help the child. Anyway, he was having a great time with the others. As a matter of fact he seemed to be the life of the party!
I finally made it through the attendance and decided to nip the noise in the bud. I was writing down the names of the guilty boys for their teacher when I heard a voice speak up. The voice said, "Pardon me teacher. I have an excellent explanation of why these young men were laughing so much." The voice was that of a child but it was a voice that was cultured and self assured. It was educated, mature, and knowledable. I looked up sharply to see who had spoken. Was that a 3rd grader speaking? Peering at the group, I asked, "Who said that?" "Who was that speaking?"
The students pointed, "Thats Jonathan. He's our president."
The boy in the dirty clothing stood up shyly. The children continued, "He's the smartest student in the class, Miss Jean!"
Jonathan's clothing held dirt from many days, but his face was the picture of a cherub. He had on one torn sock. His sneakers were nearly hanging off his feet.
Jonathan spoke up to explain why the boys were laughing in the back of the classroom. His speech and language was so mature for an 8 year old that I did not hear exactly what it was he said. I was too busy wondering about him!
At lunch time I got the facts of this interesting and amazing little boy who had been in the school only a matter of weeks.
He lived in a homeless shelter at night with his mother who had been diagnosed as chronically depressed. Although he wore the same dirty clothes each day, he had very high self esteem. Jonathan got his wisdom from the mother who had been a teacher herself before she became ill. Each night without fail she taught her son about God. She read him Bible stories at night at the homeless shelter. He learned that Jesus loved him despite his problems, and that he could learn and achieve whatever he put his mind to. He was popular with the children because he told them Bible stories also and had such a wonderful kind spirit.
We decided that we were going to do all in our power to help Jonathan and his mother. We prayed and organized ourselves. Soon they had a place to stay. His mother found a part time job, and someone donated counseling for her.
Jonathan soon had a little wardrobe of clean clothes just like the other students, and he continued to excel making straight A's in all subjects.
The teachers of that school "adopted" little Jonathan and nurtured his talent for speaking. He won an oratory contest a year later. His speech was entitled, "I Am My Brothers's Keeper."
The Valley's Deep
The valley's deep
The valley's deep
Ny spirit pants
The valley's deep
I long for You
The valley's deep
my fears are gone
The valley's deep
I cast my crown
Jesus You lived
Can't Get A Word In Edgeways? God Knows The Feeling.
Sally met Mary through the glowing recommendation of a mutual acquaintance, Lacey. Lacey found Mary to be a compassionate, intelligent and trustworthy friend with much wisdom and charm and devotion. The two new friends met for lunch on almost a daily basis in a quiet corner, as they worked close together. On most days, Sally's appetizer would sit mostly untouched as her fork was more oft than not utilized as a gesturing device to emphasize key points in her story.. Mary, on the other hand, would make steady progress through her salad, entree and dessert, having tried and failed to interject her own point of view into the conversation at several junctures over the weeks. Mary would make valiant attempts at each meeting to interrupt Sally's free flow of thought but rarely saw much success.
From the DCQ Archives
March 23, 2005
Communication with God - prayer - is a two-way conversation! It is not just the voice of praise and petitions, but often communion . Sitting in silence with God, listening for whatever He may want to say. Simply enjoy the fact that He is, and you are, and you have a relationship with Him. These special moments with God are when His fresh breezes can enter your heart and refresh you.
As of May 2012, "WHATEVER IS PURE" ARCHIVES will no longer be seeking submissions. As most authors and poets now have their own blogs, we noticed a significant drop in submissions over the past year and felt it was best to move on to other endeavors.
Please note: All graphics and articles within this site are ©2012 Katherine Walden unless otherwise stated.
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