Saturday, March 15, 2014

Reminiscing about...  

The Secret

              My attention roused, I scooted to the edge of the seat listening closely. This missionary speaker promised to reveal a secret that I wanted to know. I longed for a closer relationship with my Savior. Now, before me was a man whose words indicated he had the answer.

“I’m going to tell you ‘the secret’ of the Christian life,” he said. That’s exactly what I wanted to know! But his next words stunned me!

“Read the Bible and pray,” he said with absolute confidence.

“Read the Bible and pray?” My mind repeated his words. “Is that the secret…is that all? I already know that! But am I doing it?

He went on to explain that it’s not easy to make Bible reading and prayer a daily priority. Yet, that’s what it takes to have a close abiding relationship with Christ. As we do this, we find that we not only learn about God, but we understand Him and His purposes better. We begin sensing His nearness. Our praying ceases to be only a list of concerns and shallow blessings, and becomes a conversation with a trusted friend. But it must be done intentionally.

As a young mom with small children something more in my busy schedule felt daunting. Yet I wanted a relationship with the Lord that was close and personal.

“Lord,” I prayed “help me to make my relationship with you a priority. Help me read your Word and pray consistently with an open heart.”

              How is your relationship with the Lord? Do you need to apply “the secret” as I did? It’s never too late to start reading the Bible and praying regularly. Choosing to draw close in relationship to Him is what life is all about.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8 NKJV)

Saturday, March 8, 2014


It’s not pretty, lacks color, and isn’t even valuable…this special ring of mine. In fact, it looks more fake than real. Yet it is real. It’s too big for my little finger and too small for my ring finger. I put it on my little finger anyway even though it was loose. I didn’t think it would actually fall right off, but it did. That’s how I lost it.

I was sad. Why would I be sad about loosing a non-valuable, ugly ring that doesn’t even fit? Sentiment. Yep, that’s the only answer I can give. But there’s always a back-story when something has sentimental value.

My remembrance started with a writing group assignment about a relative. So I wrote about my Grandpa, his grocery store, and the great depression. During that time, many men were out of work, and therefore unable to provide for their families. Their wives came to grandpa’s small grocery store needing to somehow obtain food to feed their children and themselves.

My grandpa had a generous heart, but he also understood the value of dignity. Housewives would offer him jewelry in lieu of actual cash. A lot of the jewelry was only costume; but a few pieces had a little worth. My tiny ring was one of those pieces. Grandpa had saved it, most likely in case its owner could redeem it at some point in time. She never did.

The ring is made of some kind of pot metal that is gold washed. The wash is mostly gone. It also has 6 tiny diamonds chips across the top that are dark, dull and gray with no sparkle left. At the time of the exchange, the owner of this ring was given $20 worth of groceries. Before you gasp, this was the 1930s, and $20 worth of groceries would be like filling a grocery cart to the brim. The fact that her ring was obviously not an expensive wedding band, speaks to the fact that this woman had little to begin with. These were indeed hard times.

To enhance the story of the ring for my writing group, I found a picture of grandpa in his store, and took the ring out of my special keepsake box to take along. After the group ended, I came home completely forgetting about the ring so loose on my little finger. It wasn’t until that night I realized it was gone. I searched my house to no avail. I prayed about my lost ring and left the result with God.

The ring, along with its story had been given to me long ago by grandpa when I was ten years old. My grandpa had a special place in my heart. I’d valued the story and felt blessed that grandpa chose to give the ring to me. So that little unattractive ring became my sentimental treasure.

After it went missing, I went on with normal activities, yet the ring kept popping into my thoughts. With a sigh, I tried to resign myself to its loss.  But miraculously two days later as I approached my computer desk, my eye caught a tiny glint of shine on the carpet under my chair. As I bent to look, there was my ring! The sunlight had caught one of the remaining gold washed spots on its rim. Picking it up, I rejoiced and thanked the Lord, then joyfully informed my husband. My little ring with its treasured story was found!

It made me think of the lady spoken of in Scripture who lost her special coin. She was so happy when she found it that she called all her friends and neighbors together and told them. Her story analogizes how the angels hear heaven rejoice when one lost soul is found; when just one sinful person comes to Christ to be redeemed. My lost ring being found is only a small example of something to rejoice over. But a lost soul saved…why that’s a miracle of God’s grace! Rejoicing simply cannot be held back!

"…And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."     Luke 15:8-10 (NKJV)