Southern Rhythms

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Anna Grace and Joseph Lee
Mary Jane and Patrick James
Polly Sue and Charles Thomas

Southern names with long traditions
Folks and family and ties that bind
…Echoes too of days gone by

Celebrations and building community
Proudly looking to new tomorrows
Trading stories and raising kids

Long warm summers and cooling days
Hard-working lives and close-knit ways
Country folks and city slickers

Local grills and jawing guys
Department store sales to catch the eye
Lazy times and long day’s work

Fishing and farming
Reunions and schooling
Parades and speeches for passers-by

Sunday worship and Christmas plays
Small hometowns and storefront displays
Dusty roads and rain-filled skies

Life’s rhythm like swaying trees
Flowing creeks and drifting clouds
Voices echo… fade and grow

Reflections on Reflections

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Sometimes we see things sharply and clearly
• On other occasions all is dark and clouded
• What we see is not always what others see
• What others see may be the opposite of our own observations
• Exaggerated reflections bring fun laughter
• Reflected images give us new perspectives
• Considering other perspectives is beneficial to all
• Our actions and words are a reflection of our character
• Struggles and joys are expressed in what we say and do
• Thoughtful reflection often yields positive outcomes

Felicity

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Felicity?!
Hmmm… What is that?
Some far-off place?
Perhaps a gnat?

What’s that you say?
Some person’s charm?
That’s not quite right?
Don’t be alarmed!

Let’s look it up!
We’ll check it out.
… An intense joy!
A cause to shout.

Or quiet calm,
Ponder deeply.
Great happiness,
Rising softly.

You said it well.
Gave careful thought.
It’s not something
That can be bought.

Spilling over
Now not empty
From heart renewed
Felicity.

 

Treasure

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“Do you want to see my treasure box?!” exclaimed the young child proudly. Eager hands removed the top and began to tell the stories of things they held dear. There was the dried flower, especially picked for mom, and a sparkly stone shining all colors of the rainbow in the sunshine. There’s my heart, drawn and colored with “I love you” carefully written in crayon. Here’s a family photo and a chew toy of a much-loved pet now gone…

As a child, I had my own treasure box too, filled with small cherished items that brought happy memories as well as some sadder ones of loved ones now gone. The thought comes to me that now my home is like a treasure box, full of memories and of current life.

The wise men brought their treasure chests too and offered gifts for a king, the baby Jesus. Jesus’ mother, Mary, treasured the words the shepherds shared, and she treasured what she saw and heard in her growing son.

I think of the things I treasure now and how those things we value grow and change with us. Have you ever kept something, only to pull it back out weeks or years later and think, “Why in the world did I keep this?!”

I think of how God wants us to treasure His words, His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Life is truly a journey to do just that and to share it with others! Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, said that God “has shone in our hearts to give…” He went on to say that “we have this treasure in clay jars” so that others will clearly see that “this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” Always, we point to Christ Jesus, to God who is our greatest treasure.

My prayer for us is that as we pull out our own treasure box, we will consider what is in it and what is of true and lasting value. That we will see in our everydayness, or plain clay jars, the treasure we are to God and the gifts He gives us. That we will offer to the King all that we have, and so give freely and fully. I know for myself that it’s easier to do this some days than others. May we join in the adventure.

*Luke 2:16-19, 51; Matthew 2:11, 2 Corinthians 4:7

 

Reflections on Dishcloths

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• We may become stiff and dry from the rigors of life
• The warmth and compassion of others can restore and renew
• A friend who listens is like a welcome scrub
• Scrubbing helps clear away dirt and accumulated grime
• Rinse away stress and fatigue
• Rest after a job well done
• We can become musty from disuse
• Putting your skills to good use is satisfying
• A worn cloth is full of memories
• Warm companionship and thoughtful service transform