Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Last night, under the bridge, was downright balmy! I think it is the prettiest night we have had for a long time. It stayed light until we were finished, so we didn't have to use the big lights we take down there in the winter. We had them there just in case, but I expect it is the last time we will take them until the time changes again in the fall.
I always work at the dessert table, and I was by myself there since Becky and Stanley are on vacation. We only have packaged desserts since the virus hit back in March, so it isn't as hard. Last night we had candy bars. Before the virus we had cakes that we had to cut and put on plates.
After all the candy was gone, I stacked the two boxes they came in on top of the table to carry back to the truck. One of the homeless women came by and asked if she could have one of the boxes. "Of course," I said. "You can have both, if you want." She said that one would be plenty. Then, she looked up to heaven and said, "thank you Lord."
As she walked away, I have to tell you, I felt ashamed. I thought of all the things the Lord had done for me that day, and I wondered how many times I had stopped to say, "thank you." I go under the bridge every week, and every week someone down there teaches me a valuable lesson. Sometimes it is a lesson I didn't even know I needed to learn!
I wondered on the way home if I spend more time fretting because of the supposed "hardships" of life, than I do thanking the Lord for the blessings. All of which I do not deserve, but He gives them anyway.
Next time you find an empty box, pick it up. Be sure to say "thank you."
We live in a wind tunnel here in Dutch Valley. I have lost 3 outdoor umbrellas to the wind. It happened again this week. This time it was my newest and prettiest! One of the spokes was broken so it is beyond repair. My nephew, Michael, gave me an umbrella and a whole outdoor set of table and chairs, and that umbrella is still intact. The newer one was turquoise (my latest favorite color.) The old one is red (another favorite color).
I told the guys that I needed to throw the turquoise one into the dumpster. When I walked outside, I saw that the turquoise one was still in the table, and the red one was gone. I asked where my red umbrella was and Tommy said "in the dumpster!" "OH NO!", I said, " Run over to the warehouse quickly and see if it's still there. Take the turquoise one and throw it when you go."
Fortunately the red one was still there and all was well. John boy said, " what we have here is a failure to communicate." Tommy said, "there has to be a lesson in this.." I think there is.
Sometimes something that is new and not faded will fool us...like my turquoise umbrella. Underneath the bright color, there is brokenness. Sometimes beyond repair. At the same time, there is the older umbrella with a more faded exterior. The looks are no longer there, but underneath, the frame is still intact and the use for which it was intended is still strong.
As Tommy and I were driving to the store earlier in the day, before I saw that my old faded umbrella had been thrown away, I said to him..."I hate looking in the mirror. Seems like I age more every day." He said "I don't see that. I see someone who can still lift banana boxes full of cans."
So, I guess the lesson in all this is don't be too quick to discard something just because it doesn't look good! Tommy said to add a p.s. Here it is. PAY ATTENTION!
And your son (who is posting this) is adding another p.s. YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL!
It has been awhile since I have written a blog. No excuse, just lazy I guess. I have, however, been reading quite a lot. I read at night to help me clear my mind of the day's activities so I can sleep. I just finished a book by Terri Blackstock called The Restoration Collection. It was a continuous story all contained in one book. I read it on my Kindle, so at first I thought it was going to leave me hanging when the first book ended. Then I noticed that I had about 80% of the book left, so that made me really excited.
This book has impacted me like no other book I have read recently, and I read a lot! A supernova knocks out all the earth's technology. About the only people who aren't affected are the Amish. I wonder sometimes just what the Lord will have to do to get our attention. A verse in Isaiah 26:9 says, "For when the earth experiences your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."
Hosea 5:15 says, "in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."
When we feel that life is all about us, we become narcissistic. We should know that life is all about God. When we get to that point, our lives will be so much better. Until we declare that our hope is in Him and not in a politician, or in money, or in having "things" I am afraid that God is going to have to send something disastrous to get our attention.
John boy said he had trouble sleeping last night because he read the news before he went to bed. Big mistake! We may have to face something huge in order to turn back to God. If that is so, we need to start now drawing very close to the only One who has the power to save us.
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."