• Surround yourself with positive reminders • Those positive reminders strengthen hope • Decorations tell the story of God’s great love • Keep Christ’s star ever on top to light the way • Lights show the way and bring cheer and security • We pray for messengers bringing good news of peace • A safe place of rest is never too lowly • Shelter and care are sometimes taken for granted • The occupation of service is a universal call • Watch over and guide those precious ones in your care • Those who live humbly and compassionately are life’s greatest strength • Like newborn babes and children… we seek nourishment • Encourage each other and freely offer your all • The constant evergreen love of God for us is the greatest of gifts
from “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen 12/12/2020
Hosea 14:8b(God said,) “I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.” NRSV … “I am like a flourishing juniper; your fruitfulness comes from me.”NIV
Isaiah 11:1A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.NIV
• The bits and pieces we leave behind speak of life lived • We gain in wisdom as we are shaped • The remnants we leave are our legacy • A protective surrounding will shelter and nourish new life • Warmth and support bring contentment • A soft bed and peaceful rest are not to be taken for granted • The smell of worked wood inspires creativity • The unfolding of outer layers can be difficult • An artist forms things of wonder and beauty • The Master’s hand can form beauty from the roughest exteriors
• Each day needs slipper moments • Rise to a new day with anticipation of good • A warm smile and kind touch bring comfort • Soft words encourage healing and rest • Protecting others is a most noble call and occupation • Reach out to others like a warm home on a cold day • Slip on true friendship and slide off falsehood • Put on that which will enrich life • Embrace laughter and silly slippers for a joyful heart • A peaceful evening of rest is a great blessing • Knowing we are useful brings contentment • The Comforter is always with us
• Size does not determine wisdom • Don’t disregard the value of hard work • Never pausing to rest will soon burn you out • Things which look enticing may also bring negative results • Never consider things from only one small perspective • Focusing on only what is right before us can blind us to everything else • Regular communication is key to life
• Working together for a common purpose brings results • Helping those who are hurting strengthens everyone • There are seasons to draw together and seasons to venture forth
Blink, flash… rumble-rumble. I paused to watch the display in the night sky. Cool air, smelling of rain, drove away the last of the day’s heat. Watching from a distance provided a larger perspective and I considered the power of the storm and the wideness of the heavens. As the storm drew further away, I drew a deep breath and the rain-washed quiet began to draw from mind and body the day’s lingering roar. It was good to stop and rest.
When I find myself caught up in the rush and stress of life, taking time to pause helps both mentally and physically. Can’t you just imagine that “ahh” as you sink into a favorite chair, slide into bed, or arrive home after a long and busy day?! Wherever our “comfort spot” may be, it is a place to rest our soul and calm our spirit for a time.
When the crowd was pressing around Jesus, he too needed a time of rest. For those who wanted to follow him, Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” * Like us in our daily lives, He too had to seek those special times and places alone and in prayer with his Father, God… places of rest and places where daily needs could be met. The book of Mark tells us that the apostles, the followers or disciples of Jesus, had the same challenge and had to be intentional about taking time to rest. After they had shared with Jesus all that they had been doing and teaching, he reminded them of the importance of ‘stepping out of the stream’ for a while. “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while,” Jesus said, “For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So, they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.” *
I think sometimes we don’t give ourselves permission to step aside and rest. We are driven by so many things… I pray for you “rest stops” along life’s way. Times of comfort with friends and family. Quiet reflection with God who loves you. A welcome place to pause, stretch your legs, and relax before continuing on.