Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Grain Field Experience

. . . for the Lord was watching over me.” Psalm 3:5 NLT

When I grew up in the 1940's in Klamath Falls, a lumber and farming town in southern Oregon, our local milkman delivered milk to our front door in glass bottles. In the winter, if the bottles stayed outside too long, the paper lids popped off as the milk turned cold enough to freeze. 
Eventually, my parents changed distributors and we purchased our milk from George Davis, our neighbor. My sister Janice and I didn't enjoyed drinking the last glass of milk in the gallon container. We had a definite reason. Fine barnyard dirt always settled in the bottom of the jug. That gritty scene at the base of our glass took the pleasure out of drinking the neighbor's whole milk. The thick cream on the top of the jug wasn't my favorite either.

This same farmer owned a large grain field across the street from our house. Seeds spread and grew outside his fence along the edge of our road. I learned when the grain matured, a soft nutty treat awaited me by crushing the dried heads in the palms of my hands.

On a particular day in autumn, Jesus and his disciples enjoyed the same delicacy as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. They broke off a few dried heads and ate the grains in front of God and the Pharisees. Those religious leaders always followed Jesus and watched for opportunities to accuse Him of an unlawful act. They denounced His disciples for working/harvesting on their holy day. 
Jesus used that opportunity to declare Himself Lord of their Sabbath. 
At harvest time, Mr. Davis mowed and bailed the grain, then stored the bales in the barn. With the harvest completed, my neighborhood friends were privileged to ride in his loaded hay wagon. The trip took us around the fields to the barn.

I still remember one unusual hay ride. As I looked up, I noticed a man wearing a long white robe standing way up in the sky looking down on us. He stood at the end of a path raised about two hundred feet above the grain field. White clouds rolled up on each side to frame a pathway, seemingly from heaven. 
Who was that man? An angel? The Lord himself? That question was never answered. My friend Lois and I were possibly the only children who saw the vision.

For weeks after the experience, I spent time on my back in the middle of our lawn watching the sky. I examined every cloud formation, hoping to see the same avenue to heaven. I observed many beautifully-shaped clouds, but none led to a doorway to heaven. I anxiously looked for another heavenly being watching over me. Disappointed, I never saw that particular white formation in the sky nor my guardian angel again. 
Most people have no such experience, not even once. Indeed, the neighbor kids enjoyed that simple wagon ride long ago, but my memory of the mysterious visitor's watchful presence still excites me. 
We don't need to see an angel or the Lord Himself to understand that He watches and protects us. We possess His eternal Word in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave your nor forsake you.” As our Shepherd, He guards our souls just as an earthly shepherd protects his own sheep from danger.

Read the words of David in Psalm 91:11,12. “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.”

Remember an accident on the freeway that almost happened to you or a friend? One such occasion clearly exists in my mind. I saw the danger coming my way and shouted aloud for my Lord's help. My unseen guardian was right there when I needed His protection driving home from work. 
That particular day in the grain field, I was too young to comprehend the Lord's promises. But, having lived over 70 years, I am well-acquainted with His Words. My heart is full of praise and thanksgiving for His continual, watchful eye and protection over me whether I physically see Him or not.

Jesus told his followers, “The Son of Man will come again on a cloud with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30. 
Two men in white robes announced to everyone watching His ascension into heaven, “Jesus will return the second time in the clouds.” Acts 1:9

Keep looking up!

Happy Birthdays ~ Corlyss, Lynda, Barb, Tinsley, Geni, Sharon ! 
Happy Anniversary ~ Barb & Hal !



Monday, July 1, 2013

Firecrackers and Sparklers

“The British are coming! The British are coming!” At least it sounds like it. Rockets blasting, shots cracking in the dark. I'm sure the dogs shake with fear and run away to hide. I'm trying to sleep. The approaching holiday and celebration starts early in our neighborhood and lingers for a week. The noise of firecrackers and rockets sound loud and clear in the still night air, especially when the windows are open on these warm evenings.

Why do neighbors set off fireworks at eleven o'clock in the night? Maybe that was the time Paul Revere mounted his horse and shouted his warning. If you really want to know, I challenge you to Google search Mr. Revere. If you are a history lover, you will find the events very interesting. For me, it's been a long time since junior high history class.

I wish you a great summer doing what you love to do. I'll be on my knees in the garden; or standing in front of my easel; or writing more short stories. Probably all three!

God bless you, God bless America! Enjoy the Fourth!