Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tenting Tonight

[Dover Publications free clip art]


Tenting Tonight on the old Camp Ground

”We're tenting tonight on the old camp ground,
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home,
And friends we love so dear.

“Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,
Wishing for the war to cease;
Many are the hearts that are looking for the right
To see the dawn of peace.
Tenting tonight, tenting tonight, tenting on the old camp ground.”

(A song of the Civil War era.   See  )

Wars and unimaginable horrors still happen.  The hearts of many continue to be weary.  Will there ever be a dawn of peace?  Not fully, until Jesus Christ returns. 

But what are we to do in the meantime?  The worldwide economy is shivering.  Flames of war and violence lick at many a trouble spot today.  Will even wider, more devastating disasters choke us?  How can our minds endure the news headlines which stir up many alarms and fears? 

We wish our days to just “go on” as before – or preferably, we dream of better times, self-accomplishments, comfortable lifestyles.   Some people keep on spending money on frivolities.  Some are looking for higher status or chasing an elusive “happiness”.  Some plot great dreams for their futures.  Some clamor to join a certain dance or “belong to a special tribe”.  (People like themselves.  Acceptance and understanding.)  Meanwhile, others speak anger or hate, or applaud disconnectedness.  And still others are suffering under almost unbearable circumstances.

What will become of me?  What if I lose my house, my income?  What if I can’t pay for health insurance, or lose my job?  What if the governments of the world fail?  How is it possible for me to feel safe?  What will be my fate if terror descends, not just far away across the globe, but here – in my town, on my street? 

It looks to me like this is a time period that fits Jesus’ statement that in the last days “there will be wars and rumors of war…” 

But Jesus says, “When you see these things happen, look up; for your redemption draws nigh.”


And Peter says, “Think it not strange when you encounter various temptations and fiery trials.  …If you suffer with him (Jesus) you shall reign with him (Jesus).”

Double oh?

Yikes!  I’m a wimp!  I don’t know how to rejoice in the midst of suffering.  I’m already overwhelmed.  If more hardships are coming, I don’t see how I can endure with perseverance.  I know I don’t have it in me to remain faithful to God in tougher times.

My cry can only be, “Help me, Lord!  Please save us all!”

What should be our attitude, as Christians?  Are we going to continue to amass “things” ?  Pursue pleasures?  Insist on our “rights”?  Believe God has called us to achieve self-greatness?  Are we going to knuckle down and insist on reading the Bible more, praying harder, going to church more often, doing good deeds because Jesus is coming soon?  (Or because we’re afraid if we don’t work hard enough, God might be displeased?)

What does it mean to “seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you”?  What does it mean to be “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith”?

If I have little faith, Our Victorious Savior has enormous faithfulness.  If I am prone to let fears shake me, He is capable of carrying those fears.  When my heart grows weary – His heart is Valiant.  When I look for the right to see the dawn of peace, He already IS MY PEACE. 

Oh, how I need a “song to cheer” me!  May I rest in Him, for He is, Himself, my Good News, my Savior, My only Hope.   (And he says he’ll never leave me or forsake me, or treat me like an orphan.)

“Who having delivered me from so great a death, and does deliver me, and I trust will deliver me yet.”  (Paul.)

Then may He bestow on my inner being an unperturbed rest, As H abides with me, and I with Him, may I rejoice that I’m where He wants me to be -- “tenting tonight on the old camp ground.”

Sharing today with "Seedlings in Stone" and "The Wellspring"

 On In Around button

Your comments would be a blessing.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Collage/ God's Collage

My Collage/God’s Collage

Last week’s post showed photos of a ceramic donkey, which I then isolated from their backgrounds using a graphics program.

This little critter, just 4 inches high to the tip of the ears, is a family heirloom.  If my remembrance is correct (and there’s no one left to ask), it was fashioned by an uncle of mine whom I met in person for only about an hour in real life – and that was LONG ago.  By now the donkey might be 80 years old – or even older.  His ears have been glued back in place a couple of times.  But his bright, shiny colors are as vivid as ever.

I incorporated computer printouts of the donkey into a collage.  A collage, by its very definition, is an assembly of elements from unrelated sources, fastened or glued together to form a finished picture. 

The backing sheet was a glossy-paper advertising flyer that came folded in with a newspaper.  The yellow paper is an opened-out business mail envelope.  Cuttings of clouds emerged from the white paper around the printouts of the donkeys.  The grass is recycled blue painter’s tape that I’d used to anchor a paper I was coating with white housepaint, which will become the backdrop for another artwork.  Marking pens added the red lines, and the blue around the clouds. 

Individual, unrelated parts have been brought together to make a unique (or quirky?) design.

In the same way, God always remembers exactly who I am and who he wants me to become.  And he’s putting together pieces from many seemingly-unrelated sources.  I trust that he’s fashioning me into a surprisingly wonderful design that only he can imagine. 

“Long ago, before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for me; he decided then to make me holy in his sight – without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love.”  (Eph 1: 4 TLB)

This post is shared with "Seedlings in Stone" and
"Playdates with God"

On In Around button

It would be a joy to me to find my inbox filled with your comments.  You are blessed, and loved, today.

Sunday, June 10, 2012



 (photos of ceramic donkey, isolated from their backgrounds)


Oh, give thanks to the Lord for an isolated life.
Quiet rooms, space to move about inside
When I’m not much for going outside.
Eat when I wish to, not by the clock.
Eat what I’m allowed to, not what others would serve.
Sleep in, of a morning, if I need to.
Not much exposure to other people’s germs.  (hurray!)
Not forced to listen to disparaging prattle
That comes from the lips of  “some people”.
No keeping up with the Joneses,
No coping with a cranky boss or a long commute.
I can tell what day of the week and date it is,
By the computer clock, or the evening paper.
Few appointments equal lowered stress.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord that I have the luxury
Of filtering out the unnecessary distractions
That clutter many others’ life-pictures.
More time to focus on the main object(s),
Things that matter a lot:
Prayer, and praising God with thanksgiving.
A quiet nook and good books to read.
Not determined to set 10-year-big-accomplishment list,
Or show off a high-profile style.

Weakness and weariness, yes, that I have to put up with.
Pain, too much of it, all the time, all the way,
Surely wasn’t my idea to bring happiness!
Missing church too often,
Missing friends just as often,
Missing stimulation of being out and about
Where there are colors, and smiles, and bustling activity
And creative designs and important speeches and such.
There are a lot of things I could be unthankful about!
But it’s healthier for me to tune out the importance
Of things I can’t do.
And to choose to rejoice that there are still
A few simple activities I can do.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord for an isolated life.
“He who began a good work in me will finish it…”
And for that, I will praise him always.

© 2012 by Marilee Miller

This post is shared with L. L. Barkat and Laura Boggess

 On In Around button

Dear Friends, your comments will be much appreciated.  How may I be friends with you today?