Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I've moved

Dear readers, 

I've moved to a new blog address; from now on, you will find me writing here. Same blog, new address. I look forward to seeing you there!

Blessings, Rosi

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lest we decieve ourselves...

I have recently begun to use the popular Swiffer Sweeper on my tile know the one,  skinny handle with a rubber pad at the bottom to which you attach a special dry or wet cloth. There are few products that I would endorse but this one gave me such a rude awakening, I would have to agree with its claims. In preparation for guests, I have always assumed that once I swept the floor, it was clean. 

Then I used the Swiffer with the dry 'magnetic' cloth and went over the floor again. I was appalled at what the broom had missed! So I changed to a new cloth...still more dirt and dog hair. Finally I switched to the wet Swiffer cloth. Surely after sweeping with a new broom and two Swiffer dry cloths, there can't be any more dirt. Did I say that I was appalled before? Well now we are talking A-P-P-A-L-L-E-D.  More dirt, more dog hair and a few dead ants mixed in. Much head shaking and heavy sighing.

It reminded me of a devotional piece that I wrote years ago when I authored a column in a local newspaper titled Reflections. The parallel to my plight is too obvious to miss.  If you, too, are in need of some prodding, join me in reading on.

                                                                       ~ ~ ~ ~

She thought her house was clean; not spotless, but clean  enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. But the morning sun shown through and revealed a room full of dust, grime, crumbs and fingerprints. "But wait until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts."

She seldom bothered to clean a couple of places she was sure no one could see anyway, but there they were. "Be sure your sins will find you out."

Other things - important things - had kept her busy, kept her from doing a better job, but all the excused seemed useless now.  "So then each of us will give account of himself to God."

After all, there would always be time tomorrow. "Today is you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."

She could think of several friends who homes were surely worse then hers. "For there is no partiality with God."

Oh, Father, I want to be ready when You, the guest, come for me. Keep me diligent as I go about my spiritual housecleaning with the same determination that I give to my floor.

Copyright 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Changes coming

Readers - May I just say that I will soon be switching to Wordpress and will let you all know when that happens. The frustration of the text repeatedly looking one way on the preview and quite another on the published post has made the decision for me. What good is it if the format doesn't hold for publishing?!? So I will just ask you to pay attention to the text of the last post rather than how much eye appeal it has. Thanks. :)

On Priorities

pri-or-i-ty (noun) 1. Precedence by order of importance  2. An established right to precedence 3. Something deserving prior attention (American Heritage Dictionary)

                                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 The tsunamis of life force us to evaluate - or re-evaluate as the case may be - our priorities. What matters the most to us? Where do we spend our time, our money, our efforts? What steals the most energy?  The old addage that the squeaky wheel gets the grease is ever true - the tyranny of the urgent. And yet, where do those ‘wheels’ fit in the big picture of our lives? Are they done with a Godward purpose?  Most importantly, do they match up with what we say is most important to us?

It has been said that - despite our words - the proof of our priorities is found in our checkbook and on our calendar. Ouch.

I had a conversation this week with an executive of a major corporation about priorities.  He is highly respected and considered to be one of those people who has ‘three feet on the ground’ ….solid….trustworthy…unruffled by what I call corporate craziness and not impressed with money or position. Unlike many who receive a new title and promotion, he doesn’t buy a bigger house or more expensive car.  To the contrary, he has lived in the same house he bought 17 years ago when he was making $40K a year; he has never driven anything but the dependable Toyota Corola and has no plan to change. His list of priorities is taped onto the bathroom mirror so he is reminded of them every morning while he is shaving. 

Once he’s at the office, he ‘brings it’ 110% but at the end of the day, it’s just a job.  His top priority is his family. He comes in early so he can leave early to spend time with them. He turns off his cell phone and doesn’t check emails or do any work-related tasks until the kids are in bed…what an example.
That conversation caused me to take a look at my own priorities. I found that thinking about them is far easier than listing them and holding myself accountable to them.
The Old Testament prophet Haggai wrote in the 1st chapter “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little; you eat but never have enough; you drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm; you earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
That conjures up an image of the hamster on the wheel going nowhere fast as days fade into years with no do-overs.
After reading the words from the prophet, I had to go back to the first paragraph of this post and ask myself the same questions. My answers will determine, not only what the list on my bathroom mirror will say, but how I live out that list. In short, will my walk and my talk align? Will I live my priorities in a way that is honoring to God and beneficial to those I love the most?
Thinking must happen.  I, too, must must give careful thought to my ways. I do not wish to be like the hamster.
Copyright 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Few of Our Favorite things

Readers...after having way too much trouble with this post from random dates on photos that can't be removed to preview looking nothing like the original post and photos deciding where they will end up, I am posting anyway as this has been rattling around in my head for a couple of weeks. Thinking seriously about switching to Wordpress. Until then, here's a little something from Ernestine P. Jones.


Msrosib said that my very first post last week brought lots of page views; I’m not sure what that means but since she smiled about it, I guess it’s a happy thing, so she said I could have more words now but to choose them carefully as I know too much about her. (Indeed I do.) She has been kind to me, though, so I shall return that kindness as we relish Christmas 2012. 

The other day I heard her singing “A Few of My Favorite Things “ from the movie The Sound of Music. She likes to sing;  I like to listen. 

She has her own list of favorite things – surely music is near the top. She also has a new little journal that she bought at New Seasons in Washington. It’s her favorite (one must always have a new journal with the 'right' feel and the 'right' look and the 'right' combination of art and writing space on the pages).  And of course the first entries must always be about new and happy things.

mountain home
Her newest and happiest things are treasures from the people who know her best and love her the most …she even made up a song about them to the same tune as ‘My Favorite Things’ …well it started out that way, but then she resorted to a simple rhyme.  She loves simplicity and all things cozy; obviously the gift givers do as well.

Coffee from Portland and African beauties,
Photos of wee girls and brother – such cuties!
Handstitched and freehand - a treasure called JOY, 
Bookmarks and drawings by small girl and boy;
Candles – both scented – and one smells like roses;
Cozy and pleasant to everyone’s noses.
Napkins and cutting boards - snowmen galore,
Books about birdies – who could want more?
Cardinal shakers and music from iTunes,
Better than parties with lots of balloons.
ESV Bible with softest blue covers;
Just the right size for my travel endeavors.
Ticket to concert of lifetime desire,
To soak in such blessings, must sit by my fire
To ponder my life and God's goodness to me; 
A life richly blessed more than any should be!

Until Next time.......Blessings,
Ernestine P. Jones

Copyright 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Life According to Ernestine

Introducing Ernestine -  Ernestine P. Jones, my little praying angel-bear friend.  (We keep the 'bear' part a secret because she doesn't know that she isn't people.)

 Ernestine came to live with me several years ago and for the most part has lived in a survival basket in the front seat of my car observing all of life – my ‘happies’ (so many of them), my ‘sads’ (c’mon, folks, life happens – don’t tell me you don’t have them) and even a few ‘mads’ thrown in. Fortunately she’s learned that the ‘mads’ don’t last long because they are futile and waste energy.

While she is not quick to engage in conversation, she is eager to share some of what she has been privy to over the years.  I trust she will speak kindly of me. I think her little head might be ready to explode with so many words, causing her halo to be a mite too tight. She has asked me to transcribe her thoughts because her paws are forever bound together in prayer and her knees are calloused. We should all have such maladies.

That being said, I trust that her words of wisdom are noteworthy…some are results of my own growth while others are quotes from those I admire.
                                                        Red ribbon in heart shape                                                     
“I must say that being chosen to live with Msrosib has given me a much different life from the one on the shelf at the hospital gift shop. She has been very good to me though there are times when, in her haste, she has covered me with coats, purses, groceries or blankets. On occasion, she has even put my basket/home in the back seat where I can see nothing except the back of her head. Eventually, she uncovers me but not before I have been licked and sniffed by a red furry thing she calls Lexy. I don’t care much for that Lexy thing or her bad breath.  Nonetheless, under the blankets or in full view of life, I have absorbed words, thoughts and bits of what she calls journeying.  I’m not exactly certain what all of them mean but I like the way they roll off my tongue and  tickle my heart. I don’t think she minds if I pass on a few of them.
~ Live simply ~

~ Remember, when it comes to judging, there is always one more fact about which you know nothing. ~ Oswald Chambers ~

~ There is always something to be thankful for ~

~ Choose your words carefully for some day you may have to eat them ~

~ Freely offer grace, forgiveness and kindness – it costs nothing ~

~ When you hear a siren or see flashing lights, pray. Unless they are coming from a parade, most likely it isn’t a happy occasion. ~

~Obey God and leave the rest to Him ~ Dr. Charles Stanley ~ 

~ Listen more than you talk. God gave us two ears and one mouth ~

~ Do the next right thing ~

“I am very excited to have words on what Msrosib calls a blog. That’s a funny word, but if it’s a good and happy thing, I hope to be here again.”

You will, Ernestine P. Jones. You will indeed.

Copyright 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

No Turning Back

Goldfish jumping out of the water

"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things become new." II Corinthians 5:17

We have before us a brand new year; 365 days completely untouched, unused and unmarred.  Businesses will take inventory, Uncle Sam will collect his due taxes and many a New Years resolution will be made -- all with the same purpose -- to wipe the slate clean and start anew.  It seems to be a universal need to leave our past behind. All the world wants a 'do over.'

Jesus surely understood this as He dealt with the woman caught in adultery; He understood it when He talked with Nicodemus in the wee hours. He understood it when he decided to build His church, beginning with Peter; bumbling, fickle, cowardly Peter, who opened his mouth when he shouldn't have and kept it closed when he shouldn't have and made a general nuisance of himself. But the second the big fisherman confessed Jesus as Lord, all of that was forgotten. All his failures were blotted out never to be remembered. And we know the rest of the story.

We can have that same experience.  It's promised to us when we step within the fold of the family of God!

No U Turn road signAhead OnlyA new year with all its possibilities; a new life with all its potential. What will you do with 2013?

                   Father, for those of us who need to make a new start, let this be the time.

© 2013


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Heart for the New Year

I don't make New Years resolutions because I have yet to keep them. I have learned that it is better for me to seek to be better rather than to do better.  I came across this writing from years past and decided to post it, hoping the reader will find it relevant. I still do.

Father, more than anything, I ask you to create in me a clean heart.  That was David’s prayer in Psalm 51 and it is my prayer in 2013.  David knew his heart was selfish and in need of a spiritual circumcision; his was no different from ours. Lest we think too highly of ourselves, Jeremiah reminds us that the heart is deceitfully wicked above all else. David knew his heart was far from pure and even further from what you desired of him as king.  You desire no less from me as a child of the King. 

Above all, he wanted to return to sweet fellowship with you; he wanted to be able to sing your praises, drink in your mercy and bask in your grace. So do I, Father; oh, so do I! He wanted to return to the place where you were his first love and where closeness with you mattered more than all the gold and silver that were his.  In the pit of despair, he called out to you, acknowledged his sin and grieved over it, knowing that he could never feel the heights of repentance until he had reached the depth of admission.  He accepted your forgiveness and lived with the consequences.  But you took sin that was directed against you and turned it into a blessing for all mankind – one of those being his son Solomon and where would we be without his wisdom?

David had multiple faults, falls, and failures.  Yet in all of Scripture, he is the only one you refer to as “a man after my own heart."  I want to be a woman after your own heart, Father.  I want to accept what you give with grace and gratitude.  I want to be unselfish, desiring what you want for me rather than what I think I need.  I want to be obedient to your Word and for that obedience to be as natural as breathing. And when the year has ended, I want to look back and know that I am a little further down the path to being the woman you desire me to be.

And so I pray with David “Create in a me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Waiting with open heart, 

© 2013

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On Kinship

                                                          Heart frame in spring
I am blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and even like me. My list of what I call casual friends is long but a similar list of true heart-to-heart soulmates would be very short. (You know who you are.)  We need those people in our lives who love us no matter what; who hold us accountable to live up to who we say we are; who seem to know just when to reach out to us when we think our heart cannot bear one more rip, one more attack by the Enemy, one more sadness, one more piece of bad news. The joy comes in not only having that compassionate friend but also in being one. Sometimes the best things kindred souls can share is a heartache.

There are dozens of books, cards, signs, magnets - what have you - that attempt to define that special bond, but the best one I've ever seen is simply this:

                         ~~~~~~~~  Compassion is your hurt in my heart. ~~~~~~~                                                     
I heard a story about a little girl who went next door to play with her best friend and was told to be home in time for dinner. When she wasn’t, her mother phoned the neighbor and asked that her daughter be sent home immediately. 

The concerned mother gently scolded the little girl and asked why she had deliberately disobeyed.  “It wasn’t d’libertly,“ she said.  “Isabella’s doll was broken.” 

Mother asked, “Well, were you fixing it?"  Shaking her head and blinking through thick, wet lashes, the little girl said  “Oh, no, mama; she can’t be fixed.  She’s broke real bad.”  Surprised, her mother asked, “Well, then, honey…what were you doing?” 

The little girl paused and then said softly… “I was helping her cry.”

 “…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.” I Samuel 18:1a (NASB)


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cheer Up - It Could be Worse...

So I cheered up and sure got worse...

  man_trouble Some day this is all going to be very funny – today is not that day.  It has been Murphy’s Law from the time I opened my eyes and ears to a noisy blackbird at 4:30 a.m.  Blocking out his obnoxious sounds with a pillow over my head, the next noise I heard was the DJ saying it was 6:18 – nearly an hour later than my usual rise and shine!  Oh, God, please let this be a good hair day.  It isn’t……will anyone notice that my panythose have a hole above the knee?  Not if I wear a long skirt… that the ONLY thing that didn’t get ironed…..shall I go back in and get my raincoat?….nah-h-h-h, it’s stopped – should be ok.  Half a mile down the road….please tell me that it’s just a heavy mist on my windshield…..uh oh, my badge – where is my badge?  In my purse of course…it’s always in my purse…..except when I put it in the pocket of the slacks I wore yesterday.  No problem – get a visitor badge – fill out the form – what do you mean you don’t know me? What do you mean you have to call security?!  Well, guess what – I don’t know you either – where’s the other guy?  Well, if you don’t know my name does that mean I don’t need to be here?……ok so you don't appreciate my humor...neither do I about now… it significant that MY system has shut down three times before 10:00 a.m.?  What’s with all these weird calls and requests?  Is there a conspiracy?…..ok….take a breath – take a break – go out for lunch – run some errands – head for the elevator – uh, oh…starting to rain….no, stay in…..get some lunch here… cash…..get some cash….ATM is down….better yet – go to the gym and use the treadmill…..what a surprise, says she sarcastically; visitor badges don’t open the gym door….ok, get some popcorn and go back to work….why is THIS the day the cafeteria closes early?  No prob – get some from the vending machine and put in the microwave….costs 75 cents and I have 87.  God is good.  How long do you pop this stuff?  Says 2-5 minutes – I’ll do 3 1/2.  Oh, hey, there’s Rebecca!  How in the world are you and what’s new in your world, blah, blah blah….what’s that peutrid smell…..burned popcorn….really, really burned popcorn.  Plan B – I have a can of pop and three stale graham crackers in my desk.  Remove it carefully from the desk drawer so it doesn’t fizz or anything – too late; what lovely brown spots – not on my lap or the carpet but on my white top…in the front…in the middle.  Grab a napkin and dab it with some water from my bottle …..what’s the red?!?  Lipstick from your water bottle…red and brown and white do not a pretty color make.  Will I be too warm if I put on my sweater to hide it?  No choice…I’ll just turn on my little battery operated desk fan…..the one whose batteries are dead and the only person who has them under lock and key is out all week for a funeral.  Somehow I think she has had the better day…..need to run;  I’m going to be late for a haircut…..thinking maybe I should reschedule.