TAKE THE WINTER CHALLENGE

Please Note: This is an unsolicited post. I’m not being paid. I just wanted to share how something I read this morning affected me.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Occasionally, I contribute to Alive Now, a devotional publication of The Upper Room. I didn’t write the devotion that appeared there today, but I read it. And it touched me. 


You can receive Alive Now online.

Today’s meditation asked what aspects of winter I found most appealing and most difficult. 

It also encouraged me to think about people who are less fortunate than I and consider ways I could help. 

I’d like to share my answers in hopes they will encourage you to think about these things on this cold 31-degree February morning in 2016.

The Things I Like Best About Winter

Winter’s not my favorite season, but I wouldn’t want to live year-round where I couldn’t feel the crunch of frozen grass underfoot or see my frosty breath at least a few times a year.

For Rent?


On sunny days when the temperature rises, I like to take walks. I rejoice at the discovery of a bird nest tucked into the crooks of bare branches and ice-covered berries glistening in the sun.

Dogwood Berries

I smile and savor all these things as I return to my warm house.

I love seeing geese V over the river and songbirds dine at our feeders.

Let me not forget to thank you as I watch from my tightly insulated abode.

Our Private Wonderland

I still get a thrill out of waking up to a blanket of snow or even better, watching snowflakes silently transform the our neighborhood.


I’m thankful that I don’t have to get out on icy streets. Thank you that I’m warm and toasty inside my house.

I delight in sitting down to a steaming bowl of soup or a scoop of hearty meat pie.

Mo’s Hamburger Soup

Thank you that I can buy such an abundance of  food in my grocery store and that I own modern appliances to cook it on. Let me not forget my warm house.

It feels luxurious to snuggle beneath thick a comforter and warm blankets every night.

My Cozy 
Sleeping Quarters
Let me never take my comfortable bed and warm home for granted.

The Thing I Like the Least About Winter  


The hardest thing for me to tolerate in the winter are the bone-chilling temperatures.

Can You Say Freezing?

Growing up, I could never play outside as long as the other kids, especially in the snow. My feet just froze. Well, not really, but they felt that way. In high school when my friends ran around without their coats, I didn’t dump mine.


Peggy Brazil McCall & me 
in the early 1960s
You’ll never hear me say I hate coats. I bought two on sale this year, and I”ll stay bundled up until temps hit at least 60. 

I cheered when I discovered fleece-lined shoes and boots.

Thank you that I have always had a warm coat and for the invention of cozy footwear.

Sometimes at night when the wind howls and the rain pounds on our windows, I think of the people huddled in homeless camps or sleeping in rescue shelters. 

Check out this site.
Homeless Veterans Programs


And I wonder, Who am I, Lord, to have been so blessed?


So many people in need.

Then I go to sleep thanking him for my warm house, ample budget, and comfortable bed. I pray for mercy for all the poor and homeless people in the our world. 


In the morning, I get out my checkbook and gather those letters of appeal and salve my conscience for one more time.

Be a Cheerful Giver

Then I pray again. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Thank you for the many blessing in my life. May I always give with a generous hand, open purse and full heart. Show me who, where and how to help those in need.

When I finish here, I’ll gather up the warm coats, caps, gloves and sweaters languishing in my closets and drawers and find a place to pass them on.

How about you? 

Are you snug and warm today?

Have you thanked your Maker?

Do you have enough to share?

Will you give out of your abundance?

I hope you can say yes to all these things today.


“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “
Matthew 25:45

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved

Break Forth

In decorating my tree, I came across a butterfly ornament my friend, Karen, gave me last year. She had attached the following legend to it with a ribbon. I decided to display the butterfly with a familiar Christmas blessing. I hope you enjoy it.



Legend of the Butterfly

Old
Legend
Has it that
The butterfly is a
Symbol of resurrection to
Eternal life. The beautiful creature 
Emerging from the cocoon represents the 
Resurrection of Christ from the tomb. Just 
As the butterfly bursts forth with a new body, 
Those who trust in Christ come forth to new 
life. The butterfly represents Flight, Freedom
And
Creative
Thinking.
Break forth, fly and create, my friends.


And he that sat upon the throne said, BeholdI make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Rev. 21:5 KJV


Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2015. All rights reserved

Sunday Remembrances

It’s the time when night gives way to a new day. I slip out onto the balcony and wait for the sun to peep over the horizon. 

Closing my eyes, I let the gentle rhythm of the surf wash over me. Words to an old hymn come to mind:

This is my Father’s world, 

and to my listening ears 
all nature sings and round me rings

the music of the spheres.

As I sing softly to myself and God, I’m back with Karen, Judy and Becca in Sunday school opening exercises at the First Methodist Church in my Searcy. 

Will, Paulette, Irvin and the other older kids are there, too. And we’re all singing our hearts out.

Our Sunday school department at FMC Searcy in 1954. 
I realize you can’t really see us in all our 7-year-old cuteness, 
but Karen’s the first one on the  left end of the front row.
I’m next to her and Becca’s next to me.  Judy is that tiny little girl, 
second from the end on the right side of the same row.


Gratitude wells up within me. Blessed to have been taken to Sunday school and church. Blessed to have been told about our Creator. Blessed to have heard about a heavenly Father who loves me. Even me. Especially me. 

I need that when I stumble and fail at this thing called life. I don’t claim to understand it, and I sure don’t deserve it. But I give thanks for God’s mercy, grace and love. I think, if only everyone could know. 

Like a whisper, I hear, You could tell them.

This is my Father’s world, 
the birds their carols raise, 
The morning light, the lily white, 
declare their Maker’s praise…

May we be bold enough to tell others how deeply and completely they are loved by God.


This is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world,

and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,

the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass; 
he speaks to me everywhere.


This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!


The United Methodist Hymnal Number 144
Text: Maltbie D. Babcock
Music: Trad. English melody; adapt. by Franklin L. Sheppard
Tune: TERRA BEATA, Meter: SMD
Last year, Karen, me, Becca & Judy–
still connected by love, faith &
memories of those early years.




The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein.
Ps. 24:1 KJV

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2015. All rights reserved