Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Happy Childhood

I found myself in the throne room. God was on his throne. I was amidst a throng of angels. The most I could make out were great white wings. Like swans. There was music that broke the air like shattered prisms of reflected light. A great chandelier tinkling to the floor. Here a trumpet, there a cymbal .... the tuba and trombone. I wondered how the shepherds heard it .... that angel choir. It thrilled my soul and brought a smile to my lips.

I felt welcome from the throne. God took the form of Sean Connery  ... the man who would be king. There is a good bit of comedy in heaven.

So there was God the Father sitting on the throne. God the Son stood beside me ..... God the Holy Spirit rested within me. I thought about what it meant for God the Son to be "the only begotten". Jesus smiled at me and said that it meant that he always was. Jesus generally waits for me to ask him a question before he speaks .... most often if I ask him to tell me something he simply says' "I love you". I love him too.

I was up here today because I was grieved. Last night I flipped from one channel to another ..... the repetitive topic was child abuse. In America there are stiff penalties for it. A deterrent some, but in other countries there are fewer laws and protections for children. How do you imprison a man when his children may starve .... how do you imprison a quarter of the population? Who do you blame when children grow up to abuse children who grow up to abuse children. Where are the reference points for righteousness and holiness? I felt overwhelmed. "I want to come home." I said. The problems are too great. Jesus looked at me and said, "But you are the salt of the earth." .... a point of light. But what can I do .... how can I pray ...

Thy kingdom come ... Thy will be done ... on earth as it is in heaven ... please

I will tell you this; I knew my children were sacred from conception. I knew that to abuse them could cause fractures in the mother / child relationship that might never be mended. I knew that my children were on loan to me from God and that I would have to give an accounting. I knew to let my children go with God. He was the best thing for them. I was not a perfect mother .... I have more of the Holy Ghost now then I did then. But to my deepest joy, my children are glad to see me... glad to visit on the holidays. I sit in the back seat now. They are married with families of there own. But I still encourage, smile and listen to the latest. And I pray for them .... I know that God has his hand on them. I know they have a plan and a purpose. I'm deeply grateful that he used me as a blessing to them and I hope to continue as such .... willing to be there if needed.

I pray for Samira too and her little friends in Haiti. Don't be in too much of a hurry to grow up. Be a child. The children of heaven are so beautiful. Some passed through a difficult way to get there. But oh they are so full of joy. What would heaven be without children?  Remember your creator while you are young and be filled with the Spirit now. Don't let anyone tell you that to be a "baby" is a bad thing. You will always be my baby, just like my boys who are now men. I will protect you like I protected them. Childhood can be a happy place.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Comfort Food

A Screenplay
By Melanie R. Bird

The Milano's are a successful Italian, Catholic family living in Northern New Jersey. Johnny Sr. (Tom Hanks) graduated business school in order to take over the family business which is a fish market. He married a local beauty and well educated musical woman named Rosalyn. They live in a lovely neighborhood next door to Johnny's parents. Gramma Milano is usually in the kitchen, Grampa (Robert DeNiro) is retired from the fish market and putters around the house stopping now again to see what's cooking and wrap his arms around his wife and hum softly in her ear. She will blush, pat his arm and tell him to move on now ... she is busy.
Johnny Sr. is a methodical man. He takes care of family and business in that order. He sees that the trains run on time ... that the family is well ordered. Everything runs smoothly except his oldest son Johnny Jr. (Johnny Depp) As the oldest son he is in line to take over the family business but is not inclined. His father is frequently exasperated at Johnny's day dreaming and lack of interest in school or work. But Johnny is a musician. He is naturally improvisational but can play at the violin, cello and even an accordion that belonged to his great grandfather. So he did inherit that.
Roslyn calms her husbands upset over what went wrong with their son and encourages her husband to send Johnny to Julliard. Johnny Sr. commits to giving his son the best education and tools to hone his gifts and make his way in the world. (Besides Johnny they have three other children, Carolyn, Timmy & Jen.)
Johnny's poor study habits continue into college. But one day while checking the school bulletin board he sees that a local pianist will be playing at the school. He attends Ed Norton's (Ed Norton) concert and is enthralled. Later in checking the musicians agenda finds out that the next concert will be at a retirement community. He attends fidgeting through the concert surrounded by the dozing elderly.
Afterwards he cuts around the exit to meet Ed. Ed is used to a more substantial fan club after one of his concerts but he sees Johnny and stops to talk.
To be continued...
The rest of the story is given to visual implications and is metaphorical in places. So it waits a sponsor; 

Melanie Bird .... I accept checks.

The sequels are Timmy and Our Lady of Delaware .... another three break off  scripts in a new trilogy series is entitled Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, and On Earth As In Heaven. It traces the progress of some of the main characters. One of the interesting things about the series is that one of the actors morphs into another character.

The actor for the character Ed Norton in Comfort Food becomes Timmy in the second script. He would also morph into another character in Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Will Be Done ... and On Earth As In Heaven

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Failure to Reconcile

"Peace on earth" are often the words that reverberate during the Christmas season .... twas not peace with all and everyone .... looking at the text and to quote the angel host it was, "Peace on earth and good will to men, on whom his favor rests." ..... On whom does God's favor rest? The gospel message clearly states it is on the humble and the contrite. Those who know they have offended God and man and are heartily sorry for it and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Peace was not extended to the proud or to the incorrigible .... it does explain some of the confusion we might have as to why Jesus came to bring peace but also no peace .... but a sword (Christ never bore a literal sword but he did cause division). There are two camps.

One camp is reconciled to God and one is not. As those who are reconciled to God we are also to practice reconciliation with others. We can only truly be reconciled and be at peace with those who are reconciled to God. We would that all men be reconciled to him. So we may pray for kingdom come ... we may endeavor to live lives that reflect Messiah .... we may even speak an appropriate word here and there. We may love even when we don't agree.

But we should not enable the malefactor and the rebel. Like the psalmist we might rather be "a doorkeeper in the house of God then to dwell in the tents of wickedness". How can righteousness and unrighteousness walk side by side without some compromise .... God forbid that it should be a compromise of righteousness. Reach out to the lost and straying but don't join the camp. If an individual will not heed your warning .... walk away no matter what the personal loss. God can take care of you. He is your eternal treasure.

Now some are in this rebel camp because of ignorance ..... they certainly need patience, prayer and information. Then they need a working of the Holy Ghost in their hearts so that they may feel true repentance thus bringing them to their knees and to the Father. But some are in this camp because they have chosen an evil course. They are addicted to their sin. They need to feel the sharp pain of consequence to shake them free of their destructive course. Even a Christian can set up habitation in the rebel camp. Ti's why we have church discipline .... one bad apple can spoil an entire basket full. A bitter root defiles many. Many Christians are in this camp because of some bitterness against God and man. A little yeast affects the whole lump of dough .... tolerate just a little sin and it spreads. Is it really just a small flirtation or just a little bit of gossip or temper ..... does everything need to be addressed? No. If you see your brother sin, pray for him .... or it may need to be addressed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Driven Or Led?

And Jesus looked at the multitudes and saw them driven and harassed ... like sheep without a shepherd.... and he was moved to pity. One of the greatest blessing I have encountered out of my worship and praise time is the shepherding of Christ ... I ask for it daily. Primarily it relieves me of guilt and confusion. It keeps me from being overwhelmed of the "shoulds" ... for I am being simply obedient to his guidance and leadership. For he does things in the "Presbyterian way" ... decently and in order.

So I go about my day. Caring for myself and my home ... a business. Relating to the people that cross my path. If someone thinks I have fallen short of a responsibility, I think not for I have been following the shepherd ... my mind is at rest .... I know what it is to be driven .... perhaps by the expectations of others ... or by some inner need to be significant ... even some pressing thought .... I am sometimes plagued by critical thoughts .... since I am tender hearted by nature, I find this particularly tormenting. I do not wish to entertain the negative thought ... particularly against loved ones ....

It is these times I turn to the Shepherd for protection and relief .... he ever blesses me and others and stands willing to help us do better .... everything he assists us with glows with a heavenly glory .... you can just tell when the Spirit of the Lord is on a person or some effort. And he does use his people .... we can shepherd or use any spiritual gift if we are led and infused with his Spirit.

Not all have the gift of shepherding but we do each have at least one gift. We can be the tools in the Master's hand using that gift he has bestowed on us to bless others and to glorify him. For every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. What a delight and a relief to be guided, shepherded, led and helped by the Lord. What a consternation to be overwhelmed, driven, molested and harassed by that old Satan, the devil.

While my life has become more orderly, productive and peaceful there is still room for the unexpected ... like a trip to Haiti. Thinking of going back to collect my daughter looks to me like something of an obstacle course. Lack of funds, shots and meds, some negative opinion, a crazy foreign airport, incredible heat .... But I know I can trust the shepherd to carry me through in his time. He has already made a way for me, and he is watching over my child. We will be led and not driven.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Did I Let You Down?

Many years ago, a dear friend was reading the book Disappointed With God. I have not read it but I have been there. I can't imagine it now .... being so blind. Thinking that God had let me down .... thinking he should have done better for me ..... thinking he could cut me some slack.

I've been bitter with his people too .... stepping on my heart and my toes ... rarely with the right words to say .... poor helpless flock nearly as blind as me.

Looking back I can see how I was taken in. How a devilish slight of hand had me thinking my heavenly Father did not love me so much .... or why would this have happened or why didn't he answer my prayers. I remember the frustration of not being able to measure up and thinking that was why .... I simply must be a disappointment to him .... so we must have this mutual attitude. Actually I wouldn't have said I was disappointed in God ... it wouldn't have been Christian. It is all hind sight now. But I would have continued in a state of denial if the Shepherd hadn't been on my case.

And he helped me see. And this is the truth ...... Yes he was disappointed .... disappointed that I didn't love him so much. ... and with my ingratitude. I was looking at the temporal ..... I didn't know what to do with spiritual riches .... honestly I didn't know. I hadn't really tasted how much better my life could be in and through the Spirit. And frankly my bitter and sad little attitude was grieving the Spirit and keeping me from enjoying his presence so much.

With out him it feels like bad air a musty room.... feelings of anxiety, depression, irritation, resentment, and rudeness choke my innards .... I can sense the rooms of my soul needing to be swept clean .... windows and doors flung open to let in a Holy Spirit wind ....

His work leaves me feeling like Merry Maids just left my house only I didn't have to pay .... just ask, "Please help me." Along with request the praising and singing helps too. "The Spirit of the Lord inhabits the praise of his people and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is life and health and peace.".... anxiety can not reside with peace and thankfulness .... depression cannot cohabit with joy ... so I exchange my irritation, resentment and rudeness for loving kindness..... it is the beginning of the abundant life with another happy day followed by another and another ..... how do I see loss and difficulties now? .... even death? .....I see it simply as God waiting to give me something better ..... I've seen it happen and so I believe it ever will. It doesn't mean I don't ever cry or that I'm not ever disappointed ..... but now these things don't put a wedge between me and God ..... but draw me to him for the comfort I need in my time of trouble. I love Jesus.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Attar Of Roses

Last night I settled down to sleep in Zion .... my daughter Giselle had made a place for me there. As I closed my eyes I realized I was not in my room at the Christmas House. The walls had turned from yellow to warm pink. This startled me but the Lord was there. "What is this?" I asked. "It is what I have prepared for you." He said. I could see only in a dream state but the scent of fresh rose petals registered in my brain. I wanted to breathe deep. A chandelier sparkled overhead, along with candles, they cast a warm glow. There were Queen Anne chairs by a table covered in gold leaf. At the foot of my bed was a wading pool with lotus beside a large and heavy branched tree .... I was dressed in floating garments of cocoa and persimmon.... It is so different from my Christmas Cottage, which actually is much closer to where I live now. It surprised me some .... gold leaf after all .... I thought I was more simple ..... But it felt right .... He told me I was of the earth ... My bed was like being enfolded in the center of a rose .... I thought of Thumbelina asleep in her walnut shell. Some are of earth, some wind, some fire and others water. I do not exist so comfortably in the other elements. But we can change somewhat depending on who our friends and family are.

My sister is wind .... boisterous. Her mansion is by the water ... I caught a glimpse of furniture made of driftwood .... my son Jon is water ... I saw no walls to his mansion but waterfalls and wide open spaces for adventure and conquest. He waved to me before diving in. In the depths of Zion you can breathe as though you came equipped with gills. There are caves and seaweed ... anemones and Japanese pearl divers. My son Jesse is in the Navy yet he is not water but fire. Fire consumes and is just. It is warm and golden. There is fireside too. Hearth and home. His wife Gabrielle is water. But not like Jon's .... In her world, water carries her and sunlight sparkles on it.

No ones world is exactly like another ... Samantha is sometimes earth and sometimes air. In her world I smell gardenias ... not roses. Stepping outside of my room there is another large tree and a rose garden .... the Lord did not want to show me more at present. It waits for my homecoming. I would like to go there but for now I have children coming home.

P.S. dear family .... for those of you who are left wondering how I might define you, Caelen is earth and fire .... of the ground and nature with a love for home .... Josh, like Jon is water, ready for unchartered territory. Amanda is earth ... but more shades of green .... ready for rest. Giselle is air and has a tree house with tree frogs. David is earth .... very basic. Samura, like me is earth. She has golden yellow roses ... very royal. Norelei is earth and air and has a forest with owls ... James and Lauren have a Narnia world. James is air and Lauren earth. Asher is a water baby.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bezalel & Oholiab

Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts -- to make artistic designs for work in wood in gold, siver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers -- all of them master craftsmen and designers....
Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary.
I have been collecting resources to take back to Haiti to help Ismaelle and her momma and perhaps some other skilled people to make some beautiful things with their hands. I would like to see some of these things displayed somewhere up on a wall or on counters so that folks (like our volunteers) may be able to purchase these items. Chambrun also has some computers and may be able to sell these products on line.
I'm also thinking to return this summer and hope to have Samura settled here before then. I have been collecting some clothing for Samura. All this clothing will be donated to Haiti when she outgrows it except for winter clothes which will go to a local charity. All of this preparation has gone on credit which I hope to pay down with tithe money as well as my return expenses to Haiti. Your donations are welcome if you would like to partner with me.
I would also like to see Chambrun with a good size garden and farmers market. The soil in Haiti is depleted and needs to be built up. Our back yard has much dense clay so we compost. We are digging a new garden section this spring. Every left over scrap of anything from our kitchen or small yard debris goes into a compost pile behind our house. Not only has this enriched the soil but has fed the birds and squirrels through the winter. The birds are quite happy with the worms that enrich the decomposing scraps. You can compost anything but meat and dairy products ... coffe grounds & filters, tea bags, banana peels, egg shells, vegetable and fruit peels. Soon the garden soil becomes very rich. There is more compost information online. God is ever a wonderful resource as well.