May 4, 2021
Inspirations for Daily Living / Reflections
Shared by Pam Williams
I have always enjoyed the return of the Canadian geese each spring, hearing them fly over our yard and seeing their goslings grow. This message spoke to me. I hope you enjoy this message as well.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice, let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. Psalm 5:11
A ROADSIDE REFUGE
It’s about a 20- minute drive to church from our home, winding through the flat open country. There is a Buffalo farm, cows, and horses along with native wildlife such as deer.
One of the delightful things we see each year is a pair of Canadian geese near a small pond. It is a small swampy area not more than 15 feet from the pavement. Each year these same geese, who mate for life, return to nest in that small space between the road and the pond. And each spring we see five or six newly hatched goslings flocking around the mother while the father stands guard.
There is a larger pond across the road and each week we watch as the number of little geese decrease. Some hit by cars and others fall prey to the predators nearby – raccoons, snakes, snapping turtles and foxes. Sadly some year these parents head south with none to follow.
Last Sunday we stopped to get a closer look, the mother hurried her family off to the edge of the pond, while the father came right out toward our van, neck extended, yelling at us in goose talk. This little family always seem anxious and fearful.
Yesterday, however, we went to town and saw a strange but amazing sight. In a deep drainage ditch were 3 pairs of Canadian geese with 16 goslings between them. We stopped to watch and they did not even notice us. These were happy geese making happy sounds unruffled by the passing world.
What was the difference between the city flock and the country flock? No predators for one thing. The ditch open into a marsh, but for the most part the creatures that might harm them stay far away from the strong scent of humans.
Another difference is that there isn’t a reason to cross the road, no greener grass to lure them into traffic. So their drainage ditch is a refuge of sorts, a personal paradise in the middle of a concrete world. The real difference is that the parents had picked the right spot.
It’s good to know that our heavenly Father has picked the right spot for us, too. As Jesus reminds us, if the Father knows when a sparrow falls from a tree, he most certainly know and cares about our fears and failures. “Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus said. “They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
In a hurried, hectic world, he knows the place beside the road where we are safe. Like the young goslings, those who take refuge in him rejoice and sing for joy. The goslings are not songbirds, of course, and yet neither are we. But we can and should praise God for our refuge by the road.
Lord; I’m glad that you picked the spot where I can hide. Please show it to me today, and give me joy.
April 28, 2021
Inspirations for Daily Living / Weekly Reflection - Shared by Pam Williams
This week’s reflection is taken from a book that was given to me by my mother. I hope you find this uplifting. ~Pam
The Promise of Hope
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. - PSALM 31:24
A friend of mine wrote a song called “Be Brave”. My friend has a big strong voice, and when he sings the song I feel tears come to my eyes. I feel wonderfully hopeful and encouraged. I love the song, he mixes individual bravery and a “light” that comes from outside of us and shines on us. Some days we feel strong and look forward to facing the world, but other days we have to count on a courage that comes from beyond ourselves.
The psalmist is likewise telling the Hebrews to keep their focus on the Lord, to a strength beyond themselves. The Psalmist recognized that the people have a strength that can be encouraged, however he ends the Psalm with the deeper strength of the Lord. (I do believe that this is true for all of us even through this pandemic)
To be strong may not be a matter of physical strength yet rather an orientation toward God, who gives us incredible courage in a world that is often filled with fear and violence. To be strong is to know that Jesus is calling, that God is coming, and that HOPE rests in God’s hands.
Beginning your mornings with a time of prayer and meditation, a time of waiting on the Lord, opens our world to so many possibilities. Asking for God presence, asking for courage, and, because God promises to be with us in all circumstances, we have hope. We can go through each day hopeful and with confidence that God will guide us and challenge us. Be strong, let your heart take courage, and trust in the Lord.
While optimism makes us live as if someday soon things will go better for us, hope frees us from need to predict the future and allows us to live in the present, with deep trust that God will never leave us alone but will fulfill the deepest of desires of our heart.
Henri Nouwen; Here and Now
August 7, 2020
Dear Friends and Family,
A few weeks ago I invited reflections, thoughts and/or poems from those of you who are willing. As with our Lenten Book, it is always wonderful to share in this way with one another, bringing us together more deeply.
The following reflection today is from Dodi Wait. I imagine you will resonate with her thoughts.
Thank you, Dodi for your willingness to share.
"Blowin’ In the Wind”
At times in the past five months as we have learned how to live and survive in this pandemic, I have felt like the branches in a tree “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
Continuously, each day the pandemic was rapidly spreading and the news was swirling around us bombarding us with so many do’s and don’ts on how to deal with this contagious virus. Just like the branches are first blown in one direction and then a gust of wind comes along and blows even harder; the branches are blown in another direction. The tree is able to survive because of its trunk and roots that secure it.
With the pandemic and all its ramifications blowing at us and sending our lives into new sets of what is normal, whether we like them or not, our emotions are swirling just like the branches in the wind. However we can’t live as if we only have branches. We need to realize we too are secure in the trunk and roots of God’s love. The overwhelming good news is that the strength needed to withstand life’s challenges caused by this pandemic isn’t done on our own. Prayers, mediation, and spiritual growth help us grow ever deeper roots in the love and hope of our gracious Savior.
Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down in God’s love and keep you strong.