1118. I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. ~Edward Everett Hale

The Power of One
One song can spark a moment.
One flower can begin a garden.
One tree can start a forest.
One bird can herald spring.
One smile can begin a friendships.
One hand clasp can lift the soul.
One sunbeam can light a room.
One candle can wipe out darkness.
One laugh can conquer gloom.
One hope can raise the spirit.
One touch can show we care.
~Author Unknown

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 9.00.46 PM.png

An elderly man was walking along the beach one morning after a storm. And in the in the distance he could see someone moving along like a dancer. As he came closer, he saw that it was a young woman who was not dancing but was reaching down and picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean. As he drew closer still, he called out, “Good morning, young lady! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young woman paused, looked up, and replied, “The sun is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw the starfish back into the sea, they will die.” The old man smiled, and said, “But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles of beach and thousands of starfish? You cannot possibly make a difference!” The young woman listened politely then she bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the water and said, “It made a difference for that one.” ~A parable, original author unknown

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9  ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Pixabay; collage created by Natalie

729. 
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Is there a green too green
Is there a wet too wet
In a land that has
suffered long, a drought.

DSC_0026

Is there a heaven too high
Is there a ground too low
In a world that has
suffered much, for a Savior

Is there a Father too loving
Is there a God too merciful
In a heart that has
suffered long, afflictions

Shake not your fists at the heavens
Shake not your fists at the world
Seek instead the One
who came to make a way for all
through the wilderness
through the darkness
through the confusion
through the suffering
~Natalie Scarberry

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed in gladness. ~Psalms 65:12   ✝

720. O, the month of May, the merry month of may… ~Thomas Dekker

Ho! the merrie first of Maie
Brings the daunce and blossoms gaie
To make of lyfe a holiday!
~Old English saying

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 4.11.51 PM

Thousands of years ago winter was a time to honor death and the summer a time to honor life. In those ancient times the short days, grey skies, and cold temperatures began to wear people down and that coupled with a gradual decline in food supplies took its toll on their spirits. Indeed winter was a very difficult time for the ancients, and so the coming of summer brought them great hope. As the crops and grasslands became full of life again, the animals bred, and the warmth of the sun thawed out the earth and their spirits, they celebrated the cross-over and coming change in the human cycle that reflected the turning of the seasons. It was a time for celebrating the forces of life overcoming death, light overcoming darkness, and summer overcoming winter.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 4.03.55 PM

Thus began the dancing around the May pole. A kind of maypole dance, with origins in the 18th century, began as a traditional artistic dance popular in Italy and France. Eventually, traveling troupes performed it in London theaters, thus bringing this traditional dance to larger audiences. An English teacher training school adopted the maypole dance and soon it had spread across most of central and southern England. The dance became part of the repertoire of physical education for girls and remained popular in elementary schools in both England and the US well into the 1950’s.

Screen shot 2015-05-01 at 3.58.52 PM

I remember in elementary school making May baskets and flowers out of coloredl pieces of construction paper and crepe paper. Today May Day has many different meanings, if any, but it eventually found its place in Christianity. And though considered quaint now, in decades past, like dancing around the maypole, as the month of April rolled to an end, people begin gathering flowers and candies and goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors, and loved ones on May 1st. And there were even rules about the basket tradition:

1.  Giving was supposed to be anonymous. Reciprocity was not expected. One was to leave the basket on the doorknob or doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run.
2.  Children were to give to grownups, instead of the other way around. On almost every other holiday, only the child receives gifts; so they don’t get to experience the true joy of unselfish giving.

He(Jesus) told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near…” ~Luke 21:29-30   ✝

**Images via Pinterest and the Internet; collages created by Natalie

605. It’s interesting when you read the life of Christ how much time He spent healing the sick. ~Francis Collins

The miracles of the church seem to me
not to rest so much upon faces or voices or
healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar,
but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that
for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear
what is there and has been about us always.
~Adapted excerpt by Willa Cather

Screen shot 2015-01-06 at 5.47.29 PM

I (Jesus) will restore you to health and heal your wounds. I am with you, within you, all around you–continually at work in your life. When your awareness of Me grows dim, My Presence continues to shine brightly upon you. This Light has immense healing Power. So dare to ask great things of Me, remembering who I am. I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think. Pondering My limitless ability to help you will strengthen your faith and encourage you to pray boldly.

Praying in My Name–with perseverance–can accomplish great things. Learn from the parable of the persistent widow, who refused to give up. She kept bringing her petition to a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. Eventually her persistence wore him down, and he gave her what she sought. How much more will I respond to My children who cry out to Me day and night! Though you may have to wait a long time, do not give up. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds. ~From JESUS TODAY by Sarah Young (**In all of Sarah’s devotionals she writes as if it were Jesus, Himself, who is speaking to us.)

I dedicate this post to all who read it and are in need of healing! I pray that Christ, The Bread of Life, restore health and wholeness unto you! In Jesus’ name! Amen!

289. Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. ~Norman Cousins

Image

Two Wolves – Cherokee Parable

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

~Author Unknown

…for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; …  Proverbs 2:10   ✝

229. So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. ~Gaston Bachelard

To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.
Most persons do not see the sun.
At least they have a very superficial way of seeing.
The sun illuminates only the eye of the man
but shines into the eye and heart of the child.
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted to each other;
who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Image

God sometimes reaches out at the most unexpected times to capture our hearts and attention, and not infrequently does He do that by using one of Creation’s eye-catching spectacles.  When a moment like that happens, it’s much like when a lover surprises his beloved by pulling a handful of flowers from behind his back.   And every time I’m delighted by the Holy One in such a way, I fall in love with Him all over again.  A friend of mine recently shared a moment like that with me, and as I read her description, I realized that understanding God’s parables can occur when the innocence of childhood floats up back up in our present realities.

On this cool, crisp morning, I arose before the sun and
went out my front door to look for the newspaper.
But that’s not what caused me to stop in my driveway, paper forgotten.
Overhead, Ursa Major and other stars twinkled brightly,
framed only by a few thin, wind-shaped clouds.
And at a time of the year when children take center stage,
I thought of the innocence in all of us.
For it was not my intellect that held me spellbound
but my own innocence, untarnished by age.
In that moment, caught by the wonder of nature,
blessed with its beauty, I felt magical.
~Emily Seate

Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?  ~Song of Solomon 6:10  ✝

228. Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid, CBS new journalist

Image

Every happening, great and small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us,
and the art of life is to get the message.
~Malcolm Muggeridge,
English journalist, author, media personality, and satirist

Purporting that life is “a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing” or that it’s merely the result of events that can be explained through science or reason falls short of compelling realities to the contrary.  If mortals were simply intellectual beings, they’d not emote, express feelings, or commit loving acts that are seemingly inspired in some inscrutable place within their physical being.  These things, like all happenings in Creation, are symbolic narratives designed to teach or illustrate truths about the Ancient of Days who not only created us but also wired humans with the capacity to feel, to express emotions, and to extend kindnesses to one another.  So the sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within the entire body of Creation, and discovering the sacrosanct in it can’t help but stir in the descendants of Adam a sense of connection and belonging to a higher Power.  The resources and bounty of planet earth alone give us plenteous reasons to sense the presence of a Holy Benefactor and feel His gracious, creative, and loving hands at work in our lives.  But for me what sparks an even stronger desire within my human heart to seek the Creator is that God expanded the narrative and clearly revealed Himself when He sent His Son to be our Savior; Jesus is our memory, and in coming to offer us salvation, He reminds us of who we are and to whom we belong.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  ~Ephesians 1:17   ✝