Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sweeter Than Honey





How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.
                                                                             ~John Newton




Most of you have probably heard of George Beverly Shea.  He was born into the home of a minister of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Winchester, Ontario.  George's mother woke him each morning with "Singing I go, along life's road, praising the Lord, praising the Lord."   As George grew, and his father moved their family to New York and New Jersey, it became evident that George's full and resonate voice was a gift from God.


George encountered an opportunity for a job at a radio station.  He was told he could sing an occasional hymn (obviously this arrangement indicated they didn't want him to get too carried away!).  Later one evening when he sat down at the piano to practice for the Sunday service, he found a poem.  It was written in 1922 by Mrs. Rhea F. Miller.  The words spoke to his heart and an appropriate melody came easily, as did the decision about his offered job.


George Beverly Shea
by Paul Davis
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I'd rather be true to His holy name.

He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs;
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.


...Than to be the king of a vast domain,
Or be held in sin's dread sway.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I wonder how many times George Beverly Shea sang that song.  In December of last year, The Recording Academy decided to honor him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in conjunction with the 2011 Grammy Awards.



"I was surprised to receive the call from The Recording Academy president before Christmas and am honored for the recognition," Shea said. "The music has been for God's glory."

Over his musical and ministry career spanning more than 80 years, Shea has produced over 70 albums of hymns, including nine CDs, with RCA and Word Records. He's still giving concerts near his home.  At 103 years of age, Shea still believes "Jesus is sweeter than honey from out of the comb."

 Those same words from the third verse came to me yesterday as I was listening to the Bible.  David, in Psalm 19:10 said, "The ordinances of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More are they to be desired than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb." and again in Psalm 119:103 said, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste, yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth."

My whole wheat bread recipe calls for honey.  And my granola recipe, too.  And I love honey in my tea.  Why?  It's sweet. And so are the words of my Lord, written  in the Book of Life.   

The sweet words, "Come unto me and I will give you rest."  "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love." "Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you."  Sweet, sweet words.  Just like Jesus -- He is sweeter than the honey out of the comb! 

* * * * *

Ice Cream Topping
for a
Honey of a Guy

Do you have a friend who would "give someone the shirt off his back?"  I was raised by a man like that, worked with a man like that, and RB and I have a friend like that, too.  Actually we have more than one abundant giver friend -- a couple Marks...and Ken.  Ken isn't the kind of guy that broadcasts his gifts, either monetary or practical.  But I speak from experience when saying I've been on the receiving end of a few of them -- and I also hear how others have been the recipients of his blessings.  When I do, I say to myself, "Ken's been busy." 

A couple years ago when Ken's son was in Greece he brought me (and his parents) a jar of nuts covered in honey.  I know how much Ken enjoyed the treat, so when I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart's website I wanted to try it for him.  And of course we all know that behind every great man stands an even greater woman [insert giggle] -- I included the bee plug-in from Bath and Body Works for his wife.  The bee bandana came from Hobby Lobby. 

Do any of the rest of you stock up at Bath and Body Works' clearance sales?  I'd love to hear creative ideas of what you do with your "loot." 


Ingredients

1/2 cup walnut halves 
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup good-quality honey

Directions

  1. Stir together nuts and fruit; transfer to a 6-ounce jar. Top with honey.
  2. Topping can be refrigerated in jar up to 1 month; to serve, bring to room temperature.
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Friday, April 8, 2011

It's Been Crazy



Part of being sane is being a little bit crazy. –Janet Long



Bravery. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of teachers allowing their students to thrust themselves into a full-fledged Crazy Week.

Last week was PHA’s annual Crazy Week. The week was full of mismatched clothing, slippers and cowboy boots, musical Christmas ties, Eeyore pajama pants, face paint and hair dye (washable, of course!). Mr. Scott, Mrs. Clemens, and Mrs. Coleman make sure we get the education we need, but oh boy, do they also make sure we get to have some fun mixed with our tireless efforts! It was refreshing to get out of the normal routine and go a little crazy.

It is easy to take for granted all of the many different things our teachers do for us every day. But when I stop to think about the hours they spend repeating the same formula over and over and over, trying to get it into our heads; or explaining the differences between gerunds, participles, and infinitives yet one more time; or patiently listening to us stumble through passages we have “memorized," I become extremely thankful for the time they invest in our lives.  Just knowing they truly care about each one of us, well, that’s indescribable.


I have been blessed to have attended Christian day schools from kindergarten through the present day, and as I reach the end of this chapter in my life, I become more and more grateful for this privilege. The theorems, postulates, punctuation rules, and history lessons do not begin to compare to the lessons I have been taught in the weekly chapels, and morning devotions, or personalized talks with my teachers. Each one in their own way has taught me so much, and has become a wonderful influence in my walk with the Lord. I treasure these times, and as I turn the page to discover the next chapter, I will remember their loving discipline, their encouragement, their instruction, and their friendship.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Little by Little




“Little by little, inch by inch.
By the yard it’s hard, by the inch – what a cinch.
Never stare up the stairs - just step up the steps.
Little by little, inch by inch.” Ron Hamilton

Discovering you’re pregnant! Proudly state your need of eating for two. Going ahead and eating for two. Packing on the pounds because of your previous decision. Baby arrives. Needing to lose the weight you so happily added to your physique in the first place. Exercising like a mad woman to fit into your normal clothes once again. Weight taking its time falling off. You sigh. Such. Hard. Work.

Expecting #4
Familiar with that scenario? Maybe stress from school/work/daily routine/crisis is making you cram into your mouth every mouth-watering carbohydrate in sight? It’s tough getting those extra pounds to leave. It takes more than just one day of just a few calories, eight glasses of water, and saying “no” to dessert to drop those pounds. Little by little – that’s how it’s done.
Learning to be like Jesus is much the same. Jesus didn’t come to Earth for a week and speed talk His way through the rules and teachings to His disciples. Those men were probably overwhelmed from the start, since they had left their livelihood and all they owned to follow Jesus. They really would have felt pressure if they had been allotted only one week to learn all about reaching the world.

No, no. Little by little. Jesus came and spent time with them by ministering to others -- leading by example. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Jesus answered questions and prepared them to be on their own. He also explained that when we failed to remember, He would gently remind us. “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14.26)

Camron Lucas
Listen to what Jesus said: “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.” (John 16:12) Do you see what this verse is screaming at us? Little by little. Step by step. Moment by moment. Day by day.

Sometimes we feel as though everything should happen overnight – at least I do. I will lose “x” amount of extra weight by tomorrow. I will totally be over-wanting “me” time – all the time - by tomorrow. I will not get angry at my family at all tomorrow. I will pray 30 minutes tomorrow instead of my usual minutes sandwiched in between child care duties. I will not get frustrated when life interrupts my schedule. I will slow down and share a listening ear to one of God’s dear children (without looking at the clock). And on, and on. Remember: little by little.

Jesus doesn’t expect us to go from zero to 120 in a few seconds; imperfect to perfect. All He asks is that we follow Him wholly and strive every second to be like Him. Whew! Relief floods in. Deep breathing allows the oxygen to flow and clear our minds. How much better can we follow Jesus’ example than by being relaxed and joyful about our circumstances? Tough times come – and go. Little by little, we press on. Good times of growing in grace come, as well. Little by little, we press on.

I have made a little craft project for a friend. Found this idea online (somewhere) and thought I’d give it a whirl. If you happen to do this project, take time to reflect on what you need to accomplish for your life to be fully pleasing to Jesus. But remember, little by little. Just as a rose bush creates beauty by starting with only one rose and increasing by one bud at a time, so we strive to be like Jesus – one step at a time.

* * * * *

One Bloom at a Time

[½ price] flower and branch stem
Rocks, pebbles, clear gel or moss
Coordinating Ribbon
Glue gun
Vase


If your project is for a gift – here is an idea for your card: “Becoming a beautiful creation of God is a process…one bloom at a time. The more you follow God, the more you grow and blossom until you are an eye-catching display of God’s workmanship.

Thank you for showing God’s beauty 
to those around you!

Side note: I glued flowers onto both sides to make it look pretty either way my friend decided to turn it.

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