Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Live Wisely

Paul continues to give encouragement to the Colossians:

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best
use of the time. (Co. 5:5)

As I look at this verse, I find myself examining how I have
lived out the last 24 hours. I come up with a lot of failure.
Tender spots are touched and protective flesh rises to the
surface. I express an opinion about something that does
not really matter and it causes offense, distance. Paul is
addressing something far deeper here than speech. He has
discussed details in the previous verses. I am reminded of
a verse that seems to summarize wisdom:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do
all to the glory of God. Give no offense...
(I Corinthians 10:31)

Papa, I cannot live this Christian life wisely so I turn
to you in my need and say, "help."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Open Season

In Colossians 5:3,4 Paul says: At the same time, pray for us...”

What does he want them to pray for? Release from prison, a clean 
cell above ground, a hot shower, health? Does he pray that the
persecution of Christians will stop? No! He prays:

“that God may open to us a door, to declare the mystery of Christ,
on account of which I am in prison--that I may make it clear, which
is how I ought to speak.”

I have heard it said that there were more Christians killed for their
faith in the last century then all the previous centuries combined. 
There are an estimated 400,000 Christians in North Korea today,
of which 100,00 are in prison for their faith. It is also open season
on Christians in Iran where scores are coming to Christ every day.
China has killed numberless Believers.

Papa, I sit in the warmth of my study and I ponder Paul’s prayer for
You to open a door so that the mystery of Christ, the Gospel, would
continue to reach out to those who are imprisoned in the darkness
of despair. So, this is my prayer also. May you open doors for the 
message of the Gospel to be declared in all of the hidden places
across the earth, but especially in the prisons.

See my stories:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was a very special holiday for me.
Bigger than christmas in SOME ways. I loved getting together with extended
family for a turkey feast. Then, adults worked in the kitchen while children
played. Now, most of those adults have died and our relatives, including our
children, are scattered across America.

Yesterday we invited a couple of people to join us for an early dinner. It was
a beautiful day. I so enjoyed getting the table ready for my guests. I carefully
set out my wedding china, my mother's wedding crystal, and my great grandmother's
silver. Memories flooded my mind as I worked, so many sweet memories.

Our guests came early and we laughed together as we prepared the food. There
was a discussion about the turkey. It had been baking far longer than the directions
suggested but the temperature was not moving past 160. Raw turkey was not acceptable.
During this time it was noted that the refrigerator was not working. (We hustled around
to find ice and moved the freezer items into a small freezer in the basement.) Turkey
with all the trimmings and no place to put the leftovers? It turns out that the
thermometer was broken and the bird was completely cooked through, the meat
absolutely delicious. A guest took the left overs home and today we discovered
that all we needed to do was reset the temperature. It was not the compressor after all!

After a sumptuous meal we pitched in and had the kitchen cleaned up in a record
15 minutes leaving us plenty of time to take the dog on a long walk in a wooded area.
After some light refreshments we played a rousing game of cards. Laughter flowed
like water. What a perfect day to give thanks.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Pilgrims--some unknown facts

When I was in grade school I loved the celebration of Thanksgiving because
we got to dress up as both Indians and Pilgrims, and we got to taste some of
the foods they ate. We also heard their story every year. 

There were about 102 passengers and 30 crew members on the Mayflower,
but some of the passengers were called Strangers because they were not
part of the Pilgrims and were not coming to the new world to escape 
persecution. The Mayflower sailed from Holland where the Pilgrims lived 
for a number of years after fleeing England. (One Thanksgiving we visited 
Leyden and attended a Thanksgiving service in the church where the 
Pilgrims had worshiped.) Two died on the 65 day voyage in a very stormy 
crossing. The ship was forced by storms to go further north than intended  
and landed in an uninhabited area in November of 1620. They built a common 
house which was destroyed by fire in January of 1621 which meant losing 
supplies and  forcing them to shelter on the cramped ship. William Bradford 
said of that winter: “...soon a most lamentable blow fell upon them. In two or 
three months time half of their company died...scarcely 50 remained, and 
sometimes two or three persons died in a day. In the time of worst distress, 
there were but six or seven sound persons, who, to their great commendation 
be it spoken, spared no pains night or day, but with great toil and at the risk of 
their own health, fetched wood, made fires, prepared food for the sick, made 
their beds, washed their infected clothes, dressed and undressed them; in a 
word did all the homely and necessary services for them which dainty and 
queasy stomachs cannot endure to be mentioned.”  Approximately 55 people
survived the voyage and that awful winter but in March when the ship sailed, not 
one of the Pilgrims was on board. 

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

With Thanksgiving

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with 
thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

I want to move on, find something exciting that will grab my
readers and hold their interest. Some of you may want me 
to move on too. After all, it is such a small verse. However,
it is pregnant with life and so it has to be eaten in small bites.

How appropriate to find ourselves looking at the word, 
“thanksgiving,” the week we celebrate the holiday. It is 
a day set aside to celebrate, with gratefulness, all we have
received--and we are richly blessed.

Gratefulness means that we understand that we are the
recipients of kindness, and that we are ready to acknowledge
it. It takes humility to express gratefulness. Pride has need of
nothing and no one, but at the center of humility is the 
recognition that I need others because I can’t make it alone.
When the Pilgrims celebrated that first Thanksgiving they 
were giving thanks to God because they KNEW, they would
not have made it without Him. Half of them had died the first 
winter and without the help of a friendly Indian, they would 
have continued to die.

Glen and I have been in many third world countries. We would like
to bring their gift of hospitality so generously given, to this land, but
without having to give up central heating and running water!

Papa, As I think about the coming Thanksgiving Day when we will
gather with some special friends to eat our planned feast, I am so
grateful to you for the abundance I have received on so many levels.
I am especially thankful for the gift of eternal life. 

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Be Watchful

Yes, I am still on the same verse!!!

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with 
thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

Watchful means “to keep awake, to be vigilant.”

What are we to be watchful of? The government, our enemies, 
current events? No, that is not what Paul is talking about even
though the early church was under persecution.

I found a couple of verses that answer this question:

Watch and pray, that you might not enter into temptation. The spirit
is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) 

“Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)  

Adam was told to watch over the garden. He had no idea what was 
coming his way. The snake took out his wife while he was getting 
a sandwich! The night Jesus warned his disciples about keeping alert 
was the same night he was arrested. The disciples fled and Peter denied 
he knew Jesus.  We as Christians find ourselves broadsided by attacks 
on a regular basis. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. However, 
do you notice that every time failure came God intervened? He lets us 
fall into the pit so He can rescue us! I love this about Him!

When I detach myself from the Vine, I start believing lies about my friends, 
myself, and my God. This combination leaves me feeling isolated and alone. 
As I try to work this out within me, I end up discouraged and depressed. I 
remember a blurb on TV that aired many years ago. It went like this:

“Does God seem far away?”
“Who do you think moved?”

Papa, I thank you that Your love covers my stumbles and failures, that
"All things work together for good to them that love God and are called
according to His purpose."

The time leading up to the wedding, REALLY happened. I know, I was

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Continue steadfastly in prayer being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 4:2)

Prayer. What a huge subject! I am reminded of many years ago when
I struggled with the verse: “Pray without ceasing.” I could not imagine
how this was possible. At one point I attended a church whose goal was
to transform the city so we fasted and prayed all night in order to make
this happen. I went on a prayer journey to some very spiritually dark 
countries. What were the outcomes of these initiatives? God knows, but
I don’t.

In the last few years prayer has become something so natural, like breathing.
Often I am not aware that I am talking to God or that He is talking to me. It
can also be specific, urgent and emotional. The “steadfastly” part of the verse
means to me that I don’t stop praying, even while waiting years to see results.

My Dear Papa, My morning was so perfect today. There was the quiet sense 
of your presence as I went from one thing to another. How wonderful to 
experience this kind of prayer on the day I would be writing about it!

I pray for my readers. May they discover how much you desire their friendship 
and how you lean into them to listen when they speak. 

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Masters, Treat Your Slaves Justly

Paul does not let the Masters of the slaves off the hook.

"Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that 
you also have a Master in heaven." (Colossians 3:25)

I have been thinking about the makeup of the early church.
Slaves and their Masters, all of whom were hungry to know
more of God, would meet nightly to worship, share, pray and
listen to Paul teach. Paul never taught more than four months
before he was persecuted and cast out of the city. After that he
did not visit these churches without coming in by night. Years went
by between visits. So, who was in charge after he left the area? 
I can’t find that he named a master to be over the slaves in the 
congregation. They came into the presence of God as brothers 
and sisters, equal in the sight of God. Paul did write letters to the 
Holy Ones, to reinforce what he had taught to them and to answer 
their many questions. It would seem that questions came up as to 
relationships in the home and at work which is why Paul addresses 
these things to the Colossians. The churches were birthed out of a 
pagan world and there were lots of questions. Surely if they lived 
out what Paul was teaching, it would draw many into the kingdom. 

I have been in small groups where the focus was body life in Jesus. 
These were wonderful times! We saw God answer prayer in so many
lives. We would leave these meetings full, not empty. It was a little
taste of heaven!  I sense that the pressures of persecution and mis-
understanding toward the early church provided the strong desire for 
the Believers to meet with each other in the evenings.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wrong Doers Will be Paid Back

By now some of you may be muttering: what about the abusive
husband, wife, master? Does God notice, does He even care?
Why would God put such impossible demands on us? He is 
certainly not politically correct!!! I know that at times I react to
these verses--which are also in the book of Ephesians. But
listen again to verse 24:

(Do these things) “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive
the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has 
done, and there is no partiality.”

What an encouragement for me to “stay the course.” God does
see, God does know, the abuser of power will be punished, and
God does not show partiality to those in high places of authority.
God is a God of justice. Hallelujah! 

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Slaves, Obey in Everything...

“Slaves, obey in everything, those who are your earthly
masters, not by way of eye-service, as people pleasers,
but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you
do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing
that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as 
your reward. (Colossians 2:22-24)

The early church was filled with Believers who were slaves--men
and women who came under the domination of Rome and were 
taken into slavery. They had no worldly possessions, worked 
seven days a week, and died young. Paul did not tell them to rebel, 
or try to escape, but instead asked them to “obey in everything!” 
Rome was a terrible taskmaster. The word “justice” was irrelevant to 
Paul. Why? Because Paul was looking at something far bigger 
than their current circumstances. He told them to:

Work, not to please people, but fearing the Lord.
Work hard, but do it for the Lord and not for men.
You will receive your inheritance from the Lord--later.

Paul points out that our behavior, our work ethic, is not 
to come from outward pressure but from an inward 
attitude of the heart. I can’t help noticing that Paul puts
the emphasis of these verses and the ones prior, on the Lord.
It is not about me; it is all about Him. And... there is a promise!
I have a future no matter what happens here on earth.

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Children, Obey..."

Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 
(Colossians 3:20)

“To Obey” in Strongs: To conform to a command. To be below in an 
inferior position. To hear; to understand.

(I find it interesting that Paul uses the word “submit” in terms of the wife, 
and not the Greek word for “obey.” God does not regard married women 
as inferior--single ones either.)

Children are to be trained to listen and obey their parents but, according to
scripture, the weight falls on the Dads, “Fathers, do not provoke your 
children lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)

Obedience does not come naturally to children. They too want to be in 
control and the toddler age depicts the battle very well. I saw this while 
visiting my children and grandson.

I watched Noah implode just before bedtime. His mother asked him to pick up 
his toys.  I watched as she picked him up and said:

“Noah, look at me”

(Noah looks away and screams.)

“Noah, I want you to look at Mommy.”

(Noah looks down and continues to cry.)

The words are repeated and the mother lifts his chin.

“Are you ready to stop crying?”

(The crying begins to subside and Noah nods slightly.)

“Are you ready to put away your toys now?”

( A “yes” follows--a word stretched out beginning low and ending high-- 
and Noah smiles)

See my NEW story:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Husbands, Love..."

“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”
(Colossians 3:19)

I like this verse!

There are four Greek words for love. This one happens to be Agapeo.
This word is not about friendship but a sacrificial love that only God 
possess. So how is the husband to love his wife? The same way that 
Christ loved the church, by sacrifice.

I Corinthians 13 says it very nicely:

“Love is patient and kind.
Love does not envy or boast.
Love is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way.
Love is not irritable or resentful...
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, 
endures all things.”

The verses of these two days are ridiculous! Did I hear someone mutter,
“impossible?” It is true. Women do not easily come under authority, and 
men do not love with their hearts easily. Actually, when I first got married I 
thought that marriage was a joke, something to keep God amused. But, it 
is not so. In the book of Genesis we find that, “it is not good for man to be 
alone; I will make a helpmeet for him."  It is a picture of Christ and the 
Church. The love that Paul is speaking of is beyond our comprehension 
and will take eternity to unravel. 

So where does this leave the husband? Usually struggling to understand
the woman God gave him and finding out that he cannot love her. Only
God can. God dwells in him if he is a Christian. He only has to give up 
and ask God to love her through him. Papa God loves “help me” prayers.
(I briefly thought about getting Glen to write this post...)

See my NEW story:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Wives, Submit..."

Yuk! I don’t want to have to do this verse. Would love to leave 
it out, but here goes...

“Wives submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting
in the Lord.”  (Colossians 3:18)

Then there is the verse in Ephesians:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For
the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is head of
the Church, his body...”  (Ephesians 5:22,23)

Strongs Concordance: To subordinate, be in subjection to.

Paul says the same thing to both churches. What tough verses 
to consider in our culture in the 21st century! Well, perhaps, Paul 
was writing just to the church at that time and it has nothing to do 
with me today? Ah, but there is the little phrase indicating that I am 
to submit to my husband as to the Lord, which ruins my argument. 
My flesh rebels at this thought. I don’t want to submit--to either of 
them. As I am thinking this through and trying to figure out what 
is being said, I think of something we are going through in the present.

I want to retire from the Northern Virginia area and move to Arizona 
where I can be near a beloved grandchild, but my husband has an 
interesting, fulfilling job here and is certainly not ready to retire. My 
decision is to defer to Glen and appeal to God who has the plan, and,
who knows my desires. I know from experience that God has been 
very good to me and will not withhold His best from me, so why are 
we still here? 

Papa, you know what I want and you know what Glen wants and they
seem to be so different. I am willing to walk with you through this 
season with the attitude that You are in charge of Glen. I choose 
to wait on You. 

See my NEW story:

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Story is Up!

A Fairy Tale Wedding, by Jane Corwin Reeves

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yesterday Morning at the Park

Yesterday morning I took Noah to the park down the street. There were some wonderful things 
to climb on, a a slide just his size, sand to dig into. What did he play with? His umbrella stroller, 
of course! I watched him as he reached up high to hold onto the handles, then steer it until it 
went into the sand or the grass. I watched him work to get the wheels unstuck from the sand 
by backing up. He knew how to lift the back wheels but not the front wheels. He learned that 
to steer with one hand only turned his toy in circles. He stopped when he came to an obstacle 
and turned the stroller away. It was only at the end of 30 minutes that he began to call out for
 help. He was tired and needed someone to help him navigate. 

What did I learn in that half hour? I learned that a toddler works hard as he plays. He is testing 
things out to see what works. He is able to handle frustration much better at the beginning 
than toward snack time. He knows when to call out for help. As I watch Noah I also see 
transparency. He is what he is at any given moment and he can go from laughing to crying 
in a split second. He reveals his emotions. He is a lover. He likes to please. He is surprisingly 
able to follow simple commands--does not always want to! But, with patience on the side 
of the adult, he can be distracted.

Evidently, these are characteristics that God loves for Jesus said, “Let the little children come 
to me and forbid them not, for, of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Papa God wants me to be me, 
because He loves me. He wants me to express my emotions and He wants me to ask for help. 
As I continue in this Christian life I realize that trying to live the Christian life through my own 
effort gets me stuck in the sand. When I was younger I “could play the game” longer before 
I got tired and gave up. More and more I am amazed at how little things come together that 
I had no idea were important until afterward. My Papa God is there even when I don’t know 
He is paying close attention, just as I paid close attention to Noah yesterday. He was oblivious 
of me--until he needed something.

See my stories: