Author Archives: Lauren Merryfield

HIS WORDS

HIS WORDS: What someone else says about you is their stuff, not yours. My Mom, who just passed on slightly less than a month ago, said some pretty cruel things to me that she didn’t say to other family members. … Continue reading

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MY CHRISTMAS POEM

For Christmas, I offer you this poem which Jesus and I composed in November of this year. Merry Christmas! Let Our Lord Be Manger-Free by Lauren Merryfield     It is now that time of year When we think of … Continue reading

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INDISPOSED

I apologize for the lack of posting as of late. I had pneumonia plus experiencing the death of my Mom. Last year, it was Dad, during the holidays; this year it was Mom. I know it cannot happen again next … Continue reading

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GETTING IT RIGHT

GETTING IT RIGHTThanks to Google Chrome my screen reader finally read this blog’s elements properly and I was able to find two separate fields to type into–a title (where I have been typing) and the message (where I was probably … Continue reading

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I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ITSome people are quite adamant when it comes to hearing about Jesus. I wonder why they protest. Perhaps there is some longing deep inside to know Jesus. Perhaps someone earlier on pushed Jesus on … Continue reading

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THE BALL OF YARN Some of us women at our church are involved in a Life Group called “knit together.” We are approaching the idea of “knit together” from various angles. The other day, we unscrambled words that were related to “knit together.” I have some practice at unscramblind words and helping people do crossword puzzles, so I was able to participate in that project quite successfully. The other day I was out with a friend when I decided to roll a ball of yarn from a skein I had in my bag for one of my projects. Things went well for a while until I came upon snag after snag. I was rolling baby yarn, so the knots were more difficult to untangle. I was successful until I came near to the end where the tangles were so bad and so many that I decided to cut that whole end of the skein off. It occurred to me that I am better at unscrambling words and untangling yarn than I sometimes am at untangling some of the difficulties in my own life. I am quite capable of problem-solving in some cases, and I have certainly been told that I can always solve my problems. I’m not sure where this has come from because there are times when, hard as I might try, I need help out of some situations. Jesus has had much patience with me; just waiting for me to tackle life’s snags to see how far I get. At times I feel as if He is refusing to help me; however, He knows I am going to work and work in my mind on a given issue. He gives me the free will to, as the song went “do it my way”. But He is right there waiting when the snags get too difficult and too many at once for us to undo ourselves. It is not a sign of weakness to ask Jesus for help. It is actually a sign of strength; a sign that indeed we *can* problem-solve by knowing when to turn to Him for help. I am at that point as I write this piece. My life is resembling the end of that lavender skein of yarn I was untangling the other day; too many knots, too close together; a rat’s nest! My cutting that part of the yarn off and throwing it away was not a sign of giving up or failure. Once I let it go, I was free to go on with my crochet project. Once we let Jesus help us, we are free to rest, come up with answers, go help someone, or go feed the cats. Speaking of the cats, my cats are not showing any sign of weakness by asking me for food or to clean their cat box or to play with them. They know who to come to for the help they need and when I do something for them, they are happy and successful at what they’d meowed for. If we let Jesus know we are “hungry” He will supply our need. I am currently waiting for this to happen. I know He will work everything out, though the waiting and living on the edge can be exhausting. This is where prayer comes in. Although there are real difficulties in my life right now, I am so grateful not to be facing them alone. Jesus is with me no matter what. Praising Him no matter what is something I am currently working on. Perhaps you can do that, too. Try it; you might be surprised how it helps you! In Jesus’ name.

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DOUBTING THOMAS Just the other day I was emailing someone from one of the Yahoo groups I’m on. She had noticed my signature and asked about my new relationship to Jesus. She said she was reluctant to even try to have a better relationship with Him because she was doubtful. In the back of her mind she would think “what if this Jesus story is as much a myth as Greek or Roman mythology?” I do remember reading the very interesting books, Homer’s Odyssey, the Aeneid, Prometheus Bound, the Illiad, and the like. I admitted to her that I had, at times, felt somewhat doubtful, too, but I did not consider that a reason to put off getting to know Jesus. He knows if we are doubtful or not, and He can work around that. I told her that in my own case, my baptism and getting the Holy Ghost were real and my feeling His Presence in and around me is real. The “hunches” I get, in the form of communication from Him are real. When I doubt that He would really care that much about me I remind myself how He *rescued* me, he wanted me so badly! And I must have wanted to be with Him badly, too, more so than I realized, or I might have put up a fight. I actually went willingly where He led me, from one church to my current one. Once in a while I think “oh, that never really happened. It is just wishful thinking.” This is simply not true. It really did happen and no amount of doubting will change that. Jesus is with me in a way never before. He has touched my mind, heart and soul and I love Him and want to get to know Him even more. And I really enjoy worshiping Him now. If I waited to be totally doubt-free to have Him in my life, I’d have missed out on my salvation. We need to let go of whatever reasons/excuses we have for keeping Jesus at bay and let Him in! The doubting Thomases and Thomasinas of the world (I had to get that catly name in there), need Jesus and they need Him now! Waiting could be CATastrophic. Saying yes to Him now could be the cat’s meow! In Jesus’ name!

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ALL ABOUT JESUS It seems to me that there are times when we have a strong opinion about a matter pertaining to Jesus when someone has the idea that we think an issue is all about us when it is truly all about Jesus. I started making up songs when I was six years old. I may have mentioned previously that my first song was, of course, about cats:”mew, mew, my little kitten.” I’ve composed some secular and some sacred songs throughout the years. Most of them were shared at specific events for which they were written. The other day a song came to me. I asked if I could share it at church. I was informed that yes, I could present my song, with the understanding that there was a high likelihood that the song would not make it past the music committee’s decision-makers. I had felt some trepidation even mentioning the song and now, I felt even more. I felt sad. It seemed to me that the Holy Ghost had given me the song, meant to be shared. Now that process seemed to me to be being thwarted. To top it all off, it was made to sound as if it was all about me. Really? Of course it is partly about me, since the song came through me and could be shared through me. But, I am aware that it was a gift from Jesus, meant to glorify Him. I really am quite aware of this point. Being one not to be thwarted, or have the Holy Ghost thwarted, I will be working on some other way to share the song. It would seem sad to me if it were to just die of an early death for lack of sharing. And the congregation might miss out on enjoying the song. It is entitled “Jesus is the reason.” The tune was originally “Toby baby kitty”; however, Jesus-related lyrics came to me the other day that fit the tune PURRfectly. I think that part of the creative process is the desire to share the outcome with others, so they can benefit from it too. I think that the more of us glorifying God through sharing His gift is what He wants us to do. It’s like a book query. Someone may reject it; someone else might reject it; another might reject it; on and on. But just when we’ve had it with rejections, someone might accept it. That is what the creative person hopes for, and often plugs away for. So I’m not done yet. When something has been birthed from us, we want to share it, and it is not necessarily all about us. It is all about Jesus! “Jesus is the reason.” In Jesus’ name.

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THE FREUDIAN SLIP It was Halloween. I took a taxi to the grocery store. As I entered the cab, the driver proclaimed “happy Easter!” We both laughed. He felt embarrassed; however, I explained that Easter is much more important than Halloween, so his Freudian slip was actually a good one. He did not want to say much about Jesus, but I did. It is openings like this for which we need to be aware so that we can mention Jesus as a logical continuation of a conversation. It has been helpful for me to witness this way rather than out of the blue asking “Do you know Jesus?” or “Are you a Christian?” However, the latter was asked of me last year and it brought me to where I am now. So perhaps asking such questions is not as inappropriate as I was just thinking. I wonder if this taxi driver’s Freudian slip was Jesus’ way of helping me to turn the conversation to Him. So far, when I’ve given my testimony, I haven’t asked “do you want to hear my testimony?” I just tell them I have something interesting to share. So far, no one has stopped me from my account. I did, however, get into some trouble the other day when I mentioned church-related issues on a couple of the email lists I am on. There were people there who very defiantly did not want to hear about my church experiences or my relationship with Jesus. I am quite sure that there are some nonbelievers on that list. I was hoping to help them. I was accused of dishonoring God by making my comments public. Huh? Okay, in mainline Christian churches, we are taught to keep our faith and our relationship with Jesus, such as it is, to ourselves. It is considered a sign of reverence. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, there’s more than one way to be reverent. Singing at the top of our voices can be a sign of reverence also. Witnessing can certainly include a kind of reverence. Such is the advantage of having my own blog. I can say what i want here because you can always skip sections you’re not currently into at the moment. You can always come back later and reread these posts. You might come to very different realizations by rereading the comments here. It is very possible that I can find food for thought within these posts that I might have previously missed. “Happy Easter!” In Jesus’ name!

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THE GRAY MASS: Years ago I read a book in which they gave an example of a “religious” woman who showed up to church services every week like a gray mass HUDDLED IN THE CORNER IN A BACK PEW. She was reverent and appeared to be constantly in prayer. … But no one knew her. She seemed oblivious to her surroundings. She was certainly shutting out the world. … Then, near the front row, was someone dressed in a bright red dress, with shoes to match, singing her heart out in worship, dancing in front of her pew (they didn’t mention running the aisles in this book). She, too, had a connection to God, however, she was participating with others and sharing the Gospel with others outside of the church services. She seemed so much happier than the “gray mass”. I wonder what would have happened had the two met and shared their love of God. I have spent most of my life in mainline Christian churches where I participated in the service music, and, in one church, taking my turn as platform assistant. Although I was expected, by some, to stay in the margins, as a pew-warmer, where the hesitant ones were not confronted with dealing directly with a blind person, I chose full participation in our services. I often felt like we were involved in rituals and that God was up there somewhere and, regarded, as the song put it, “from a distance.” I had no idea what I was missing. I thought everything was okay between God and me. Although I believed, on some remote level, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, I mostly thought of Him as a distant teacher. I wonder how many people reading this blog have felt that same way. Now that I am in an apostolic church setting, things are quite different. Jesus is real to me; He is present within and around me; He will never leave me and I will not leave Him; He guides me in my everyday life; when I am praying, it is to Someone right here, not to someone way off beyond the clouds. I used to sing the old hymns, often in harmony, and I certainly enjoyed that. However, now we “make a joyful noise,” and experience the nearness of the Holy Ghost. We want revival! We want to tell everyone about Jesus! I still tend to shy away from doing this outside of church, but our participation in our services encourage it. So, as I would want to put it “there’s more than one way to …” connect with God. One way is not necessarily better than another, however, I am glad I am where I am now. I wish the same for you. If your church services, (if you even attend) are boring, come and join us! Jesus is in our midst! … In Jesus’ name.

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