Archive for April, 2012

Linking with Five Minute Friday @http://thegypsymama.com/2012/04/five-minute-friday-community

The FiveMinute Friday topic last Friday was community.  I am a little late, and a little more than five minutes, but here is my offering:

The Store

I have seen community.

I saw it in the country store my in-laws ran in the small hamlet of Murrells Inlet.  A white clapboard two-story building, steps climbing up the side like ivy, housed the store.  Upstairs, ancestors lived and loved and rested from hard work.  Gas pumps waited out front, under the Amoco sign.

Inside, white and black alike, you were greeted by  name.  In winter, a cozy wood burning stove and scattered chairs welcomed chat and gossip. Some, unable to pay, enjoyed credit extended: sometimes paid back, sometimes not.   Al’s homemade cut lunchmeat sandwiches filled stomachs. Glenda knitted behind the checkout counter.   Sons came and went, helping when they could.  The great white german shepherd Snow King kept a watchful eye, his descendants still roaming the Inlet. The wet earth smell of the marsh mud was ever present.

I saw community at the death of my father-in-law.

Looking into the many faces of the white choir, I teared up thinking that my sister-in-law belonged to them.  And they to her.  My heart swelled at the sound of the black choir, people from three different churches who came to be with our family that day to honor Al.   I cried when my husband’s fourteen Masonic brothers lined up in front with him to pay last respects.  White preacher and black preacher, they all shared one message, one community.


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He asked if I knew love.

I do I replied.

Its a feeling, but

So much more.

Boots on the ground

hard work.

Its whats for supper and

who goes to the grocery store.

It can be joy, it can be pain

Forgiveness is a must.

Its hating and loving at the same time.

Its disagreeing but still being there in the morning.

Its laughing and it can cry.

Love is cleaning the house,

Its picking up toys.

Its asking about making mistakes,

and the honesty that goes with it.

Love is sacrifice and freedom,

Encouragement and disappointment

all rolled into one.

Love is

a life journey.

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…and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17, New Living Bible)

 God’s Word is an indispensable weapon (The Message)

Last week I took the opportunity to be mad at someone.  I mean really mad.  He was a business partner;  my husband had been working on a deal for several months, and was in the last throes of completing it.  Then this guy changed his mind.  In my eyes, he did a one-eighty from what he promised us he would do.  I felt the anger rise in my heart and in my mind, consuming me.  In the heat of my moment, I became an idiot, and I called the business partner and left a message saying some terrible things in a quite angry tone and hung up still mad.

The thing of it was, I knew I should not have made that call before I picked up the phone.  Nonetheless, I picked up the phone.

Then something worse happened.  As I sat at my desk thinking how terrible and Un-Christian-like I was, he called back.  Did I calm down and listen to his side of the story?  Of course not. Continuing on as an idiot,  I raged and rambled some more, and I hung up on him.

Here’s the crazy thing:  two Bible verses came to me.  The first one convicted me: “Your anger can never make anything right in God’s sight” (James 2: 20).   The second one (in my mind) convicted him: “…for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  They can’t make up their minds.  They waver back and forth in everything they do” (James 1: 6-8).  I understand I cannot change anything about the business partner’s decision, but that one sure made me feel good.

Astoundingly, I was able to link the Word with my life.  These particular verses came to mind because I have been memorizing the Book of James.  I took a Beth Moore course about James in which she challenged us to memorize the whole book (it’s five chapters).  It has amazed me how often those verses will pop into my head at the appropriate time.

This was a living example of spiritual warfare.  The Message says that God’s Word is an indispensable weapon (Eph 6: 13-18).

Anger is one of the Devil’s tools, and I forged a wall with it.  I had a friend who told me one of his mother’s sayings was: “Those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make angry.”  Oh dear.  The next day,  I applied what I memorized, and I called and e-mailed the business partner and apologized.

We are a work in progress with our sinful nature. If we commit to fighting spiritual warfare, one of the best uses of our time  is memorization of the Word.

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To you I pour out my

  confession and repentance,

My confession pulling itself

  up over the dune,

My repentance

  looking at the horizon

  feeling the sand between its toes

  and the lapping of the waves.

Your forgiveness stretching

  over the sparkly gray water

As far as the eye can see.

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Beach house

The south wind whispers

  in the palms; it

  flattens the unruly sea.

The pier stands at attention

  as the flag salutes

  its Maker.

This poem is dedicated to Ms. Peggy, CL and Darwin for letting us use their beach house.  Blessings abound.

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Hundreds of fiddler crabs

The photographer and her dogs

195 pound Mastif at the Dog Park

My boy Roscoe

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Good Friday

I imagine the angels today, on Black Friday, singing an Italian opera, in words I can’t understand, with tears streaming down my face, as my friend is murdered.

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