I bought a flexible bin to hold odds and ends. With it, to my surprise, came four rigid rods. I discovered that there was a vertical “pocket” for each rod to be fitted into, with a velcro (hook and loop) flap to keep the rod in its pocket. The bin was flexible, but with even one rod, there was some sturdiness about it; certainly with all four rods. Without the rods, the bin would collapse.

Then, not two feet away, I noticed my iPhone cable. It was straightened out at the ends but in the middle, I had it looped over several times and held with a velcro (hook and loop) strap. The phone cable was quite flexible. It supported my phone not so much in its cableness but in what flowed through the cable.

And I thought, God is that way. He is capable of being rigid enough to be supportive when He needs to be, yet He can be flexible as my phone cable, when that is called for. Many think of Jesus as being more rigid than flexible. They speak of His being “unchangeable,” assuming that this means rigidity at all times. I believe His unchangeable nature is capable of being either rigid or flexible or anywhere in between, depending on the situation. If God isn’t able to meet every situation, who is? Unchangeable doesn’t mean always rigid; always stuck in the past; always out of step with now. No, He can be unchangeable yet here with us now, in the now of our human progress. He can be modern as well as not. He can be like the branch in the springtime that bends with the breeze; yet the same branch, not a different one, can snap and break in the winter wind. We haven’t changed branches; just the nature of the branch has changed. The nature of God can change without His changing. He can be the rod or the telephone cable. He made them both. And He made me. Certainly He has some flexibility about Him not only to accept the free spiritedness of me but to find me useful to Him with such characteristics. I think some people narrow their view of God to where he is perceived as just a rod; not a cable. I think they do Him an injustice, in fact, they are insulting Him. He is more than they think;more than I think.

The air we breathe undergoes some changes when we breathe it in and back out. But it does not cease to be air. As air, it is unchangeable. Yet it is flexible enough to handle our breathing it. God can be a supportive rod or go with the flow; He can do either but remain God. In Jesus’ name.

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Some people consider that only those who have graduated with degrees can be teachers. I submit that as we are all students, we are all teachers also.

One day when my daughter was quite young, I was correcting her on some point. She suddenly snapped:”You’re not my teacher!” I informed her that indeed I was her teacher; perhaps her very first teacher. I further told her that it was my job to listen to her and it was her job to listen to me. On some occasions, she did.

Though it is okay for me to listen to what some sighted people have to say about my blindness, it also behooves them to realize that I am also their teacher. They might learn something of great value from me. Those who assume I cannot do a thing may want to rethink that point and to listen to my sharing how I, indeed, do accomplish that thing.

Jesus does not require that I be sighted to live my life and to educate others as to my capabilities and alternative ways to do everyday tasks. Jesus knows that, in fact, I might have a perspective on something unknown to many of the sighted. He would encourage you to ask when you do not know; never to assume. He knows that each of us is not only a student, but also a teacher. Let us learn from one another. Let us ask, and learn from Jesus, our greatest teacher. In Jesus’ name.

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When I was in school, I asked a CATzillion questions. I had a teacher in fourth grade who would answer my questions by saying: “that’s not in the book” or “that’s not in our lesson” or “go look it up in the library.” So I did.

I have experienced that so often, when some sighted people speak to me, they tell me what I already know. They often assume that my brain is out to lunch–sometimes it is, haha. They feed me what they perceive my life to be. Sometimes they are not all that interested in finding out the truth of how I live as a blind person. Their fear level is less if they think along their own lines, not discovering mine. Consider the following:A Prayer For The Student; written by a father whose son was in school where he was

having some problems. This boy was 10 years old and he came home from school

depressed. The reason the boy was depressed is because he said that the teachers

wouldn’t let him learn. The father said, “What do you mean they don’t let you learn,

that’s what you go to school for”, he said. “No, no, the teachers only want to

teach me what THEY know, they don’t want to teach me what

I want to know.” And the father who was a famous Chilean biologist named

Umberto Macheralo wrote this poem called , “The Prayer for the Student”

So the student says to the teacher, “Don’t impose on me what

you know, I want to explore the unknown, and be the source of my own

discoveries. Let the known be my liberation not my slavery. The world of your truth can be my limitation, your wisdom can

be my negation. Don’t instruct me, let’s walk together.

Let my richness begin where yours ends. Show me so that I can stand on your shoulders. Reveal yourself so that I can be something different. You believe that every human being can love and create.

I understand then your fear when I ask you to live according

to your own wisdom.

You will not know who I am by listening to yourself. Don’t instruct me – let me be. Your failure is that I be identical to you!”

Jesus wants us to learn from Him; however, He wants us to use our own minds, too. He wants us to learn from each other and from our own individual study. Some of us are students for life.


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ADDENDUM:I found this addition to the verse I quoted previously:I found this to be a great reminder that God is always around us in the little and simple things that we take for granted. . . even in our electronic age . . .

So I would like to add one more:

The man cried, “God, I need your help!” And an e-mail arrived reaching out with good news and encouragement. But, the man deleted it and continued crying.

~ ~ ~
In Jesus; Name

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Several posts ago I talked about not missing out on God and/or your personal relationship with Jesus. I cited the piece regarding the man on the roof who did not recognize God in various guises. I have been privileged to receive another, similar, but different verse conveying a similar message. I am, as you know, one who thinks that important points bear repeating. I believe way too many people–including those who claim to be Christians–miss out on the very God who creted them; who loves them; who wants to guide them. Don’t let yourself be one of them–ASK Jesus to help you recognize Him in the everydays of your life. And now the verse:

The man whispered, “God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled, “God, speak to me!”
Thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”
A star shone brightly. But he noticed it not.
And the man shouted, “God, show me a miracle.”
And a life was born. But the man was unaware.
So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God, and let me know that you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

The man whispered, “God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled, “God, speak to me!”
Thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”
A star shone brightly. But he noticed it not.
And the man shouted, “God, show me a miracle.”
And a life was born. But the man was unaware.
So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God, and let me know that you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Moral: Don’t miss out on a blessing because it isn’t packaged the way you expect.


In Jesus’ name


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Jesus, we ask that You help us in releasing the old year and accepting the new one, in spite of much sadness around us. Bless our lives and the lives of our loved ones and those we do not even know. We ask for the comfort we know You, only You, can provide. You are waiting to help us; to love us; to comfort us; to bring us peace. We know even at these sad times that there is joy in You; joy we can share with You even now as we grieve. We give it all to You; we know You can handle it. We await the joy and peace from You as You comfort us. In Jesus’ Name amen

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We are in a new year. We’ve been shouting out “happy new year” to our families, friends, and people we don’t even know. However, I feel a sadness.

In December of 2014, my Dad passed on from cancer. This past November, one of my classmates died of heart and breathing issues. In December of 2015 my Mom passed mostly to old age and after complications from an infection. Then, just a week before Christmas, my boss, who is such a good guy, was informed that his 22-year-old son was found in bed, deceased. Then the world sent a lightning bolt into my life with the news that Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, had passed away at age 65. That’s very close to my age. It could have been me.

But wait, there’s more! I just received an email informing me that my mother-in-law had passed on Thursday evening.

I realize that the older I get, the more this kind of thing will happen; however, it is not easy to take when you know you will not physically ever see them or hear from them again.

I’ve heard people say, under such circumstances “It was their time to go with God. God needs them more than we do. It’s all in God’s plan,” etc. Though there could be some truth in those words, such utterances rarely console the grieving person. My parents and mother-in-law were older, so their deaths were almost expected. But what about my boss’s son; Natalie Cole, and so many others succumbing to an untimely death?

I apologize for such a morbid post on the second day of a brand new year. I am still working on this issue as some of you out there may be also. What is important is that when we are saved by Jesus, we do physically die; however, the real essence of who we are lives on, with Jesus! We feel sad about the worldly disconnect, which is humanly natural. But think of what awaits those who have been saved and how happy and free from pain and suffering they are now. “He’s in a better place,” my boss said about his son. Knowing this can be reassuring and relieving some of our grief. And, as I’ve mentioned before, give it over to Jesus; He experienced abject grief and He knows our grief. He can take the burden from us.

Isaiah 53

King James Bible: 3He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. 4Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for {of} our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. 11He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.


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In my communications with members of several online groups to which I belong, the question comes up occasionally regarding persons with mental health issues who pray but do not take their medications. They sometimes feel that since God is going to heal them, they do not need to take their meds regularly or at all.

When we have an ear infection, for example, and our doctor prescribes antibiotics, explaining how they need to be taken regularly and taken until the bottle is finished, most people have no problem following these instructions, realizing that the medication will improve or cure the infection. But whth mental health issues there is often such a strong stigma around the issues themselves that there tends to be more negative judgments about the condition(s) and the need for medications and psychotherapy. There is no such stigma surrounding the infected ear and the taking of antibiotics. Would that either situation be treated with equal respect and dignity. This might improve the condition for people with mental health issues and bring about less homelessness among some with such issues. We can tell someone over and over “take your meds! Go see your counselor! or find a counselor!” but like the old saying says, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The person with the ear infection “drinks” immediately, whereas, the person with the mental issue may or may not “drink” may “drink” for a short time, may take a few “swallows” now and then, but not commit to the full regimen.
I believe that meds are something God created to help us,so we need to use them when necessary; however, in the long run, meds are part of the solution, but He is everything! Meds and all.


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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. I felt hurt by them and waited and waited for her to apologize. She never did. Now, today, I could feel angry and ruminate over what she said and believe that what she said was true and go into a terrible funk but I am refusing to do that. I will not let her words have power over my life. They were not my words; they were not Jesus’ words; they were hers and she can own them. I refuse to own them. People can say cruel things about us, and, yes, those words can hurt, but then we need to allow ourselves to mend from their effects on us. Sometimes when I am communicating with people with parent issues I want to say something like: “It sounds like your mother needs help that she isn’t getting. That is not your fault. I know it would be hard to let her words just roll off your back, but wouldn’t it be really neat if you could do that?”

One thing that has helped me with my mom’s angry, unkind words is that they are in such contrast to Jesus’ words. If I hadn’t heard her words, I might not realize the wonder, the kindness, the acceptance, the gift, the glory, the dearness of His words. Think on His words, because those are the words that really matter.


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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 Jesus, dear;

How He was in manger born

In a stable all forlorn.



Mother Mary held Him near;

Angels came to sing good cheer.

It was such a blessed night;

And, this time of year’s delight.



How we love the little One;

Singing Christmas carols, fun;

But some people leave Him there,

In a manger, cold and bare.



Jesus grew, became a man;

Had to follow through His plan;

Taught disciples how to live;

But He had much more to give.



He was tortured on the cross;

This, perceived by some, as loss.

Many thought that was the end;

Jesus, though, would death transcend.



The third day He did arise;

This caught many by surprise.

Some, of course, did not believe

That He came, our sins receive;



Asked us to repent, and know

True forgiveness He would show.

Some would keep Him in His grave,

Though He came, His own to save.



If we leave Him in the stall,

This is not the Truth at all;

If the cross is where He’s left,

Then our future’s quite bereft.



Our salvation is at hand;

This we need to understand.

Let the One from Gallilee

Go from manger to the tree



And beyond; His plan fulfill;

What He did for us, His will.

This is what we do believe;

Jesus’ blessings we receive.



Ring the bells and trumpets sound,

Merry Christmas all around;

For our Lord is manger-free;

Lives inside of you and me,



And around us, everywhere,

In the land and in the air;

In the waters, baptized then,

Born again women and men.



From the stall to Heaven’s gate;

(Some of us may have to wait,)

Though He’ll surely come again,

And forever, He will reign!





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