This, That, & the Other

This is a personal Christian blog by Marsha Roland, sharing thoughts and inspirations to encourage others.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Odd Triumvirate

His feather flame doused dull by ice and cold, the cardinal hunched into the rough, green feeder, but ate no seed.
Through binoculars I saw, festered and useless his beak, broken at the root.
Then two birds: one blazing, one gray, rode the swirling weather into my vision and lighted at his side.
Unhurried, as if possessing the patience of God, they cracked sunflower seeds and fed him, beak to wounded beak, choice nuts.
Each morning and afternoon the winter long, that odd triumvirate, that trinity of need, returned and ate their sacrament of broken seed.

John Leax

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two Horses

Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse, but if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those whom God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see. Good friends are like this; you don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours."

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Author unknown

I Have Learned...

I have learned...that life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I have learned...that we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I have learned...that money doesn't buy class.

I have learned that it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I have learned...that under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I have learned...that the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I have learned...that to ignore the facts, does not change the facts.

I have learned...that the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

Author unknown


Society today has duped many of us into believing that the world owes us. It owes us a good living, a loving spouse, good health throughout our whole life, sexual pleasure when we want it, and paid vacations the rest of our lives.

The world has told us if we work hard and do right, we are entitled to these things. This is the Esau perspective on life. For a mere meal, he sold his own birthright for a simple pleasure to which he felt entitled.

Society, and even the Church, is more pleasure-focused than ever before. George Barna, the Christian researcher, cites, "We are not a society that simply enjoys its time off. Our leisure appetites drive us. It is increasingly common to hear people turning down job offers because the hours or other responsibilities would interfere with their hobbies, fitness regimens and other free time activities. Even our spending habits show that playing has become a major priority. The average household spends more money on entertainment than it does clothing, health care, furniture or gasoline. Recreational activities have jumped more than 10 percent in the amount of time given to them." [George Barna, Frog In The Kettle (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1990), 82.]

What are the motives for our work life? Is it only to gain increased pleasure and leisure time? Jesus said He came only to do the work of the Father. I am sure that Jesus had times of refreshment in His life that allowed Him to get recharged for the mission God called Him to. However, He understood the balance of maintaining mission and play. When we view life with an attitude of entitlements, we are susceptible to becoming disappointed, resentful, and even bitter when our expectations go unmet.

Ask the Lord if you need to relinquish any rights that may be hindering your freedom to experience His love and grace.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross
Philippians 2:8

Os Hillman

Church Survey

What if, at least once a month, you put a survey into the hands of your church attendees and asked them to express their honest opinion about your church, the services and maybe even the content of your sermons?

Let us consider a few simple questions:

Were you greeted and made to feel welcome when you arrived?

Did the music point you to the preached Word or was it simply one song after another?

Did the message have relevance? Did it apply?

Were your children well cared for?

Was the Lord's house honored with neatness and order?

Did you feel the church service was performance-oriented or Christ-centered?

The big questions:

Will you return?

Would you invite someone else to attend with you?

Author unknown

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If God Brings You To It

If God brings you to it
He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17