Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2011_Mar_Blogw2 - Perrenial Promises

Perennial Promises

By Pam I. Barnes
March 2010

As I sat near the garden waiting for my friend to arrive, I found the spring-like day was colder than I had anticipated. The blue sky was fading to gray and the gentle breeze had turned more brisk. It looked as though we might have another rainy day after all.

I returned to the house for a jacket and umbrella to prepare for our afternoon trip. Upon my return to the garden, I looked around to observe the busy birds pecking around the ground for seed. The squirrels playfully scurried about the yard also searching for food.

After thumbing through my magazine, I glanced down at my watch and noticed the time. My friend was running late but it did not matter; we would be in no hurry with plans for a casual outing. As I was determined to remain light-hearted, I finished reading my magazine and then walked around the yard, finding many tasks to do.

Upon my return to the garden bench, I began to think and to pray. I prayed for my family, friends and their loved ones in need. I prayed about work issues and our country too. As soon as I had asked God for help with my troubles, I felt drawn to turn around and look behind the bench where I was sitting. I looked over my left shoulder and saw nothing. I turned to look over my right shoulder and still saw nothing of interest. About that time, I heard a car door and began to make my way over to the gate.

“Oh, what beautiful daffodils!” exclaimed my friend. Just behind the bench where I had been sitting was a row of bright yellow, budding and blooming flowers. I had not seen them when I looked back just moments earlier. Maybe these flowers were the reason for the nudge to turn around when I thought I had seen nothing behind me. The first flowers of spring were there with a message just waiting for me to see!

A couple of dictionary versions of “perennial” are as follows:

lasting for an indefinitely long time; enduring.

perpetual; everlasting; continuing; recurrent.

Just as God’s promises to us are eternal, these perennial flowers are gentle reminders that hope is always there. These little bulbs weather the cold storms of winter and just as spring arrives, they poke their little heads out of the ground in search of sunshine and rain. “Seek and ye shall find” shows us how the flowers triumph over the harshness and hardship of each winter.

Thank you, Dear Lord, for spring’s beauty to remind us of your love and your perennial promises.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 -Jan_Blogw4 - Lighten Your Load

Lighten Your Load!

by Pam I. Barnes

When the knock at the door comes, it sometimes seems like an interruption. However, the Lord is patient. He keeps knocking. We probably put Him off with the likely reasons or excuses of, “Not now, I am way too busy” or “I am too tired today” or “These other things are top priority now”. Therefore, we keep juggling our issues against the clock and the weeks and even the years tick away. The gentle knock at the door keeps tapping.

When we finally answer the call from God, we hear His offer of giving us more. It may be more tasks or it could be more gifts from Him. Occasionally, we sidestep His call by remaining so busy in our own self-created “to-do” lists until we stumble or even fall down in order to reach for His strong hand.

The Lord is there, patiently waiting for us to hear His knock – waiting for us to open the door, ask Him into our lives and to be obedient to His will.

Walking around with a heavy heart or with your shoulders broken down by life’s load will

certainly get in the way of doing the things God asks of us. Carrying around things unworthy of our Lord or becoming overloaded can divert us from following the path He provides. Satan thrives in chaos and discord! He loves it when we go astray!

When He offers to give us more, we probably hesitate because our days are already filled to the brim with tasks we cannot complete. Some of the things He wants to give to us are wisdom, guidance and strength. Add these three things to your basket and see how much easier it will be to carry your load!

Our charted paths should include a focus on our missions in life, including our writing goals. Lighten your load by accepting these gifts from God and you will continue to be better equipped to reach higher, constantly raising the bar or raising the standard for all the things you do. With this approach, I bet we will find it easier to accomplish our tasks and have more energy to devote toward giving trust, faith and love to God and our loved ones.

Lord, when I seek your voice, I hear you. When I ask for wisdom and guidance, you provide it. I seek strength from you and my weakness diminishes or even disappears. Dear Lord, your many gifts comfort me!

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

2011_Jan_Blogw3 - Dancing Leaves

Dancing Leaves

by Pam I. Barnes

As the summer heat changes to the crispness of autumn, I can’t help but reflect on the past years of this favorite season. The cool breezes and the colors of fall are only offered to us in short duration but my thoughts of this time of the year are always met with excitement.

When I was a young child, my dear mother would often tell me to look at the colorful mountainside to see how God had painted the trees in their new colors just for us. I always believed her and looked forward to seeing the “painted” spectrum each year. Even now as an adult, when fall comes around, I like to picture the paintbrush in action creating yet another beautiful masterpiece.

One particular autumn morning about twelve years ago, I was visiting my mother in Alabama. We were preparing to leave for a short drive into the mountains so we could view the colors of fall. Before our departure, she received a phone call - news about a close family friend who had passed away during the summer.

At first, I was upset to have found out so late, and then I just needed to cry. I went outside to sit alone for a few minutes to pray and to reflect. As I felt sad, I also found a peace and I knew God was there with me, comforting and consoling.

As a brisk wind came about, it chilled my tear-stained cheeks and tossed around the pile of leaves I had raked earlier that morning. The leaves seemed to dance in mid-air as I watched and even laughed out loud. I didn’t mind that I would have to rake them up again – for now they were going to dance and play one more time. They had done their job in making me smile as if to give me a special message from God, and I was reminded I was not alone.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011_Jan_Blogw2 - Class is in Session

Class is in Session

So you think you learned everything you need to know by now. All you have to do is put this knowledge to practice. Go ahead, mark that answer as a missed question, and open your book to page 99,999.

We are not finishing with learning! I believe God sends us daily lessons if only we would slow down enough to see, hear and feel them.

Safety. Do you remember when you were a wee one and heard one of your parents warn you about the danger of a hot stove? As you got a little older, they may have mentioned looking both ways when crossing the street. How about when riding in an automobile – you should buckle up for safety. Did you learn these lessons well enough to continue applying them through the years?

Trust. Every time you have ridden on an elevator, you trusted the engineers to have things working well, and you trusted the inspectors to properly check out the equipment to ensure its delivery each and every time you simply press a button. You also exhibit trust when you fly on an airplane. Have you learned trust from things in life depending on others to do their job well?

Faith. Have you ever had surgery and put your life into the hands of the anesthesiologist, then the nurses and the skilled surgeons? You are not able to be awake to tell any of them how to do their jobs, yet you have a bold faith that they will perform at an optimum level and be very successful. Have you learned to have faith in things you may not fully understand?

Believe. I know you were a little kid once and you may have believed in Santa Claus – a jolly old soul who dressed a little wild and performed a far-reaching miraculous gift delivery to every child on this vast earth - all in one magical night. However, I doubt you actually saw him deliver gifts to you or your friends with your own little eyes. Yet you believed and it was easier to believe when your friends also believed. For this lesson alone, I do not mind the commercialism Santa shares with our savior at Christmastime. For it is this lesson where we learned early in life to believe in something we cannot see or explain.

Love. Those of us with loving parents get this lesson early in life. Those of us lucky enough to have pets learn to give, not only receive love in the same fashion. Those of us lucky enough to find a loving spouse and lifetime mate truly experience love in the most beautiful way. Those of us lucky enough to be parents are blessed beyond the boundaries of our understanding. Have we learned that love is greatest when we give it to others?

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

2011_Jan_Blogw1 - Oh! What a feeling!

You can study the wind but you cannot really see it, only its results. Not all winds we experience are good, nor are they all bad. Who would protest the feeling given by a soft and gentle breeze? However, a harsh and destructive wind is perceived to be dangerous or costly depending on the amount of damage occurring. Still, both situations offer experiences of wind, the invisible stirring of air.

Emotions and beliefs are similar to our perception of wind. They are intangible and most often not easily explained. Something happened or something changed and you made a decision about an issue or event and now you believe one way or the other. Like the wind, the outcome can go either way.

Faith takes this to an even deeper level. When you believe, you know it in your heart but may or may not be able to explain all points within scientific definition. Still, you believe by your choice and within your heart.

When you have a feeling of accomplishment or when a plan all comes together, you sense an inner joy and this feeling, belief or emotion is the foundation for peace. If peace and joy were relatives, they would certainly be twins! It would be most difficult to be at peace with someone or something and not feel joy. Visa versa, it you felt joyful about an issue or an event in your life, surely you would realize a peaceful status.

Growing up, I remember seeing the words so often used during our Christmas season. I remember seeing the word, “joy” before I truly knew what it meant. I also saw “peace” spelled out on decorations and Christmas cards frequently. “Noel” was there along with “Merry Christmas” and then the occasional “Happy Holidays.” The point is that we always seem to wish someone a good feeling, be it “happy” this or “merry” that.

“Joy” is the greatest feeling, emotion or gift we can give to one another. We each have our own method of delivering our own unique joy to one another. We can give compliments or help out with a chore. We can encourage each other and offer a listening ear. We can share about life’s ever-growing list of wisdom learned along the way. We can celebrate the best of times and offer a shoulder when the tougher times come around. We can show our love in so many ways but we have to choose this approach. I bet when we do, we not only give the joy but we receive it at the same time and find it deep down inside our very souls. Thank you, oh Lord, for our gifts from you of peace and joy. Oh! What a feeling!     pib0111

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010_May_BlogW3 - Yestermoments

Have you ever been caught thinking about days or years gone by? Even caught there by yourself? It's okay. I think we all do this for good times or bad. After all, we are human.

On the occasion of my significant birthday this week, I found myself remembering childhood birthday parties and other fun events of more youthful celebrations. Many members of my dear family have passed away but their thoughtfulness and love lingers on with me through the years. Cause and effect. . .ah! the days and moments of "yester!"

Celebrate those times but don't live there too long, missing what is right in front of you. Cherish the memories of loved ones you have lost but look around and embrace the smile of those in your life now.

As I write this, I get the news of a high school friend who just this week passed away. Kathy P. had been very sick as I understand it and I had lost touch with her through the years. Still, I grieve and miss knowing she is amongst us. It made me remember times in school where we giggled when we shouldn't have and how we all enjoyed the senior trip to Florida. I recalled her smile and how everyone always loved her.

Events like these should encourage us to take time for each other, make the effort to spend time. Time. . .make a memory point at every chance you get!  pib0510

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Welcome to my little "blogging" corner of the world . . . you are reading the first of what I hope will be many entries for your encouragement and enjoyment.

"MemoryPoints" make up our days in minutes, hours and even into eternity. You interact with other people daily and whether you win or lose, are happy or sad, are fair or unfair leaves an imprint onto your day or your MemoryPoint. You are also instrumental in how you affect the other person by the "feeling" they have as they review and remember their day.

What an opportunity - be an instrument of encouragement today! It is certainly more fun than being difficult, mean or rude. Be nice and pleasant at every chance you get and let your light shine!