Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bloom, no Matter the Circumstance

Roses make me smile. In our current location there are two nice roses bushes growing near the shed. One is pink and the other yellow. They are loaded with blooms, and when the sun bathes them in warmth and light they give off the most wonderful fragrance.

Hidden between the yellow and pink rose bushes is a very scrawny plant that looks like it was a rose bush once upon a time. I don't know why it was even permited to stay in the flower bed. It's ugly and half dead.

But today, today I saw this gorgeous flower blooming on that same bush. I don't notice the plant anymore, I just see the beautiful work of Father God.

I was quick to judge the rose bush as unworthy. It only needed time to show its true colors. Now, I wouldn't dream of uprooting the plant. It should be cultivated, not thrown away.

How quickly do we judge the people around us as being unworthy of our attention and care? Perhaps they are unkempt, unsophisticated, or unlikeable. Perhaps they've made some serious life mistakes. For whatever reason, we somehow think time invested in them is wasted. But Father God sees what lies dormant within each one. He knows that each can rise above their circumstances and bloom. All they need is a chance and some cultivation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Never Forget

Unfortunately, the joy of Luna Moth Day has been dampened by the fact that today is also Holocaust Remembrance Day. While in Baltimore two summers ago we visited the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial. It was quite sobering. Warning: The last photo is quite disturbing.

Let's never forget. "On both sides of the track rows of red and white lights appeared as far as the eye could see...
with the rythm of the wheels, with every human sound now silenced. We awaited what was to happen."

" an instant, our women, our parents, our children disappeared. We saw them for a short while as an obscure mass at the other end of the platform." ~ Primo Levi Survival in Aushwitz

In the front center sits the Joseph Sheppard Holocaust Sculpture. The statue depicts the horror of the Holocaust by portraying emaciated bodies of the victims’ bodies contorted in a ball of flame. The base of the sculpture bears the quote from George Santayana:

Those who do not remember the past are destined to repeat it.

1st Luna Moth!

Our family has a strong affection for luna moths. Several summers ago we fed four luna caterpillars, watched them cocoon, and emerge as moths. We don't see that many over the course of a year. They aren't as plentiful as other moths, but they sure are beautiful. I noted in my calendar that I saw the first one in 2008 on April 20th. In 2009 I saw the first one today. Here it is resting on the bricks outside my kitchen window. I've now declared today Luna Moth Day! Here's hoping you see one soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Red Bluff

Today was the most gorgeous day I've ever seen! The temps were in the upper 60's to low 70's. The sky was clear. And a light breeze whispered spring. I'd been wanting to take my girls to Red Bluff which is sometimes called Mississippi's Grand Canyon. It is located between where we're living now and my parents' house. Today was the day.

How beautiful is that!

Can you see the white circle in the center between the tree line and the bluff? That's my dad and Candace.

These girls surely scared 20 years off my life by getting so near the edge!

My mom, dad, Cassie, Candace, and started for the bottom. My mom wasn't able to quite make it. I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of her. :-( I'll have to take extra when we go on our next excursion to the Palestine Gardens in Lucedale, MS.

The girls and I made it to the very bottom and walked the tracks a short way. My dad didn't come down the final incline so he could help us back up.

We didn't have time to hike to the Pearl River, but we did find this beautiful creek. We want to go back some time and follow the creek for a while.

My dad and I.

Candace and Grampy.

Look at what erosion has done! The roots made a great ladder. There's my dad.
It was an awesomely beautiful day of making memories.
(And sore muscles.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Power to Forgive

“If you forgive anyone his sins they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them they are not forgiven.” ~ John 20:23

That only God can forgive sins is clearly stated in Scripture. So what can John 20:23 possibly mean? A theologian I am not, but I’ve been wondering….

While stones were hurling Stephen to his death he prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60)

In the ultimate act of clemency, Jesus asked God to forgive the crowd for crucifying the Lord of the universe.

What if God answered those prayers? What if, as those executioners stand before God on the day of judgment, their sin of murdering the Messiah and stoning His servant Stephen is no longer on their rap sheet? Could John 20:23 possibly mean that God won’t bring to account the sins against us we’ve forgiven?

Think about it:
The rapist forgiven by his victim won’t face God on her rape charge.
The forgiven murderer won’t give an account for the lives lost at her hands.
The lying backstabber won’t be punished for destroying a reputation.

Hmmm? Let me think on that.

The point of this pondering is not to determine my ability to keep someone from being judged based on my forgiveness. The point is…do I want to?

Very often I pacify my anger with the thought, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) I say I forgive, but secretly I hope ole “So-and-So” gets his/her “just desserts” one day.

And yet, somehow I know it’s true: if I can’t honestly pray, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” then I haven’t truly forgiven.

© Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009


In the car with time to spare, each of us was carefully dressed and ready for church. The cloudless sky and bright sunshine were welcomed reprieves from the past week of storms. A sunbeam splashed across my lap as my husband backed out of the drive. It was a gorgeous day.

While smiling down at my personal sunbeam, I noticed dozens of white cat hairs and fuzz all over my black skirt. My smile faded. Surely they weren’t there earlier. Where did they come from? Well, obviously they weren’t clearly visible in the artificial light of the house, but in the sunlight all was revealed. I brushed them off the best I could learning a valuable lesson: “Be sure to keep a lint roller in the car.”

Ok, so I learned more than that.

I was reminded that when I check my attitudes, habits, and spiritual growth in the artificial light of what others do, I’m sure to miss something and feel pretty smug about myself. But when I stand in the Sonlight, I see myself as I really am. All my imperfections are revealed. They cannot be hidden. Jesus doesn’t even attempt to brush my faults away. He gives me a new garment without spot or wrinkle; He clothes me in His perfection. He clothes me with Himself.

“…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” ~ Galatians 3:27

(c) Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009