Saturday, September 18, 2010


You know the phrase, "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today!"  Well, like you, perhaps, I have been somewhat of a procrastinator.  That's doing the opposite of the phrase's counsel.  My excuse is also the typical one used by just about every one I encounter these days.  "I would but I just don't have time!"

I heard this phrase and a reply that I thought appropriate in the situation.  "I don't have enough hours in the day!"  The response - "You've the same 24 hours everyone has."  It wasn't meant to be cruel or mean, just reminding that all are in the same "boat, often going upstream, against a wind" - some are using a paddle, others struggling with their hands, etc.

Related to this interchange, I shared recently that I had been finally getting back to doing something I really enjoyed but had not done for some 20 years.  I guess you might say, in the vernacular of the day, I've stopped putting off one thing on MY BUCKET LIST! Painting on canvas.  When I shared this, some who know I do have a rather busy "retirement" schedule ask me how I had found the time to do such.  My response was that I could not find the time, I had to make the time.  And guess what, I have found that making time for something that is different activity from my other pursuits, really gives me a restful break that causes my other activities to not only have adequate time to pursue, but give me a feeling of accomplishment in tasks that I can complete with satisfaction.

In fact, here are three I've completed and prepared for a local Art competition next month.  The first is a photograph that I took in 1983 in Bangladesh.  It is the Pabna river (a branch of the Ganges).  I was on a ferry crossing and captured this, which I have put on canvas and framed as one of my offerings.  What do you think?

But the real BUCKET LIST products are in the genre group of acrylic painting, and I have chosen for my first productions a western and early American Christian centered theme.  My first came from a photo I took in the early 1980s, of a friend of mine named Richard Hunt, who not only leads out in his church as a music leader, but is a true cowboy.  He trains horses, makes saddles and other leather products, and when I can catch him, poses for pictures I'd like to paint.  This one I called the Cowboy's Prayer.

The other painting I've just completed today portrays early pioneer missionary Luther Rice with his horse and buggy.  Rice was appointed as a missionary in 1812 to the Far East, but due to his need to return to the states after only a year away, to secure support for his missionary partners, the Judsons in Burma, he became a "home" missionary to travel all over the early frontier for some 30 years.  Needless to say, I had no snapshot to model, so I used other means to capture the idea that I wanted to show.  (I might add that in my drama ministry, I portray Rice, so I do have somewhat of an acquaintance with him, in a way.)   So, got any suggestions?


Well, I've shared a little of my BUCKET LIST and discovered that it's not just a BUCKET of last stuff, if you get my drift! 

Ok, fess up! You've got something in a BUCKET you'd like to do, don't you? Take the advice of someone who feels that time is awastin' - Make time and do it!  It's never too late! 

Well, I need to break from this blog and do a little on this thing, so I'll be ready for my lesson next week.

You know what? We've just BUCKETS of TIME!

I like what the "preacher" wrote in ECCLESIASTES:  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted...a time to weep, and a time to laugh: a time to mourn, and a time to dance;...a time to keep, and a time to cast away;...He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:...for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life."  Just a few clips from chapter 3, verses 1, 2, 4, 6, 11 and 12.

Be encouraged my friends.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Why do think that by much worry and fret and scurrying here and there that we will find rest for our souls? Haven’t we learned that all that occurs with these dreaded activities is a weary body and tired mind? Easy for me to say, you say? If I am pointing my finger at you, I am directing the other three back at me!

Yesterday, in some devotional reading I was doing in “Springs in the Valley” I read this excerpt from Mrs. Cowman’s take on the matter. “In giving a lecture on flame a scientist once made a most interesting experiment. He wanted to show that in the center of each flame there is a hollow – a place of entire stillness – around which its fire is a mere wall. To prove this he introduced into the midst of the flame a minute and carefully shielded charge of explosive powder. The protection was then carefully removed and no explosion followed. A second time the experiment was tried, and by a slight agitation of the hand the central security was lost and an immediate explosion was the result.” Mrs. Cowman then observed, “Our safety, then, is only in stillness of soul. If we are affrighted and exchange the principle of faith for that of fear, or if we are rebellious and restless, we shall be hurt by the flames and anguish and disappointment will be the result.”

The passage she cited for the devotion was Isaiah 43:2, “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned.”

This passage put me in mind of the three Hebrew children who were thrown into the firey furnace for their refusal to bow down to the king. When it was seen that they were unharmed by the fire, and in fact, the perceived Son of God was walking with them in the midst, they were brought out of the furnace unsinged and did not even smell of smoke! What a testimony to a WALK of STILLNESS.

Further, I was reminded of Jesus asleep in the boat (Mark 4:39) when the storm blew up and the disciples were afraid. They had to wake Him up – imagine, He was sleeping in the storm. And His words to still the storm I believe were meant for the disciples’ hearts, as well! “Peace, be still!"

I chose the title of this blog from yet another passage: Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God.” Indeed, knowing Who God truly is by an intimate relationship with Him, and moment by moment recognition and acknowledgement of His presence and care is the place where the flames of worldly fires, and even God’s judgment upon man’s waywardness, cannot singe nor even leave a smell of smoke upon our lives. Our STILLNESS OF SOUL in the center of His presence will not be in danger of exploding the peace we are given. And if you need another challenge for this, consider the testimony the earth gives us according to the psalmist (Ps. 76:8). At the recognition of God’s judgment, “the earth feared, and was still.”

Are you facing a fire, a storm that seeks to leave you fearfully pacing and fretting about what might happen? BE ENCOURAGED, MY FRIEND, “BE STILL AND KNOW” HIM WHO HAS A WALL OF FIRE ABOUT YOU FOR PROTECTION, NOT DESTRUCTION.