Friday, April 28, 2023

God's Cup of Coffee


I love coffee.

I love the smell of it. I love the warmth of the cup as I hold it in my hand.  I love the wispy steam that wafts up to my nose.  I love to hold my coffee cup and just reflect upon the day ahead, or the one that just ended, but mostly upon how faithful the Lord has been throughout my life.

When our oldest two grandchildren were young, they stayed with us every other weekend for several months. I learned to use a cup of coffee in order to have a moment or two to myself.  

If you are a mother, you know how incessant a child's conversation can be...even through the bathroom door.  So I told Jack and Emma that if Grannie Frannie was holding a cup of coffee they could not disturb me, even to speak to me, unless it was a real emergency.

Jackson was about five at the time and he would tiptoe up to where I was sitting and silently peak into my cup.  If there was coffee in it (and I made sure there was until I was ready to get up) he would quietly tiptoe out.  He never once spoke to me during all those cups of coffee.  His sister Emma, who was younger, never even braved it.  Instead, she let Jackson do all the work.

Remembering this, I was instantly thankful that our Lord never has a cup of coffee in His hands.  There is no moment we come to Him that He is not already watching and listening for us to direct our thoughts toward Him.  He delights in our attention.  If we could ever fathom how great, how complete and how continual His love for us truly is, it would break our hearts that we turn our attention to Him as little as we do.

"...the prayer of the upright is His delight."
Proverbs 15:8

"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, 
seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Hebrews 7:25

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; 
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
Isaiah 66:4

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

Our Fan

 We both like to sleep to the sound (and feel) of a fan.  A very large   and very loud fan.  So when the power went out at 3am, I was   immediately awake.  It only took a moment for me to realize it   wasn't only the loss of the fan which had woken me.  There was   also an unexpected sound, the sound of hail pelting our windows.  

 My first impulse during a severe thunderstorm is to pull up the   radar and see exactly what is over us, when it will pass and what   will come in the near future. My next is to try my best to be ready for whatever comes.  I get Ellie's leash which I know will be helpful if we have to move to the hall - the "safe place" in our home.  I make sure I have my shoes on and my wallet is nearby.  I know none of these things would be of any help if a tornado were to cross our house, but I have always been the one to try to be prepared.

We actually have some experience with tornadoes near our house.  About a decade ago, two tornadoes passed close to our house within a week of each other, the second coming on Christmas day.  As it turns out, one was about a mile east of us and one a mile west of us.  While both caused severe damage to parts of our town, we were untouched.

That wasn't true the day Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.  Although her landfall was 209 miles from our house, tornadoes were spun from her wide storm which affected most states in the area.  One such tornado tore in half a huge oak tree in our backyard and discarded it on our roof.  You could actually step out our front door and hold oak branches.  All of the roof was covered except the six foot section over our carport.  We were inside at the time, but the existence of what the tree men told us was 15 tons (yes, tons) of tree on our roof was a surprise to us.  The only damage our house incurred were four small tears in our roof where branches had punctured through.   We were and felt, very blessed.  The experience gave us a new appreciation for the hymn by Vernon J. Charlesworth, "A Shelter in the Time of Storm:"

The Lord's our rock, in Him we hide, a shelter in the time of storm,
Secure whatever ill betide, a shelter in the time of storm.
O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land;
O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat, a shelter in the time of storm,
We'll never leave our safe Retreat, a shelter in the time of storm.
O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land;
O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O refuge dear, a shelter in the time of storm,
Be Thou our Helper, ever near, a shelter in the time of storm.
O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land;
O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.

  1. All of us will have times in our lives when the storm howls, the wind blows, and we know we need a "safe Retreat."  For those of us who have trusted in the Lord Jesus, He is that Rock, He is that safety, He is that sure defense.  For those who have not yet trusted in Him, it is not too late.  He waits even this minute to shelter you under His wings as a hen does her chicks.  Turn to Him and He will never fail you.  He will never disappoint you and He will never let you go.

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:  
for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."
Psalms 4:8

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: 
the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."
Proverbs 18:10

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer."  
2 Samuel 22:3

Wednesday, April 26, 2023



In our den we have a pillow that has mine and Glen's name, the names of all three of our children and our daughter-in-law and the names of all four of our grandchildren.  

I ordered it online and when it arrived, I was very surprised at how thin the material was.  Our youngest grandchildren, Ewan (age 6) and Evelyn (age 4) love to play with the throw pillows in our den.  Once, when they were spending the weekend with us, they were occupied in this play and I noticed them throwing and falling on the "Davis" pillow.  I told them to be very careful with that pillow.  My exhortation was simply because I didn't know if the pillow could withstand their play.  But Ewan inferred a different reason.

Last week, the children were once again playing with the pillows, but this time when Evelyn picked up the "Davis" pillow, Ewan very seriously interrupted her.

"Evelyn, be careful with that pillow," he cautioned, "it is very special to us."

It was one of those moments when the adult has to turn away so the child doesn't see their smile.  The part that tickled me the most was the "to us."  He didn't say it was special to Grannie Frannie or to Granddaddy, but to "us."  His authoritative tone made the statement seem even more important.

He is indeed part of "us".  He is a part of the Davis family and he knows it. I see the traits of his father, brother and Grandfather in him every time we are together. Even at age six, he has shown a great respect for family and he loves to have his family all together.  

Just as Ewan was born into our family, when we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus, we become God's son or daughter.  We become a part of the family of God.  Even more than that, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell our hearts.  We will forever be a part of that "us."  The Bible tells us that " are the temple of the Living God; as God hath said, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them:  and I will be their God, and they shall be my people,' " (2 Corinthians 6:16.)

Wherever we go, whatever we do, we do not do it simply as "me," but as "us,"  our spirit joined to the Holy Spirit.  He is with us and within us so that we can face whatever comes to us, not in our power and strength alone, but with His power and strength as well.  We are and will forever be a "we."  

Of what do we then have to fear?

"Now have we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, 
that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
1 Corinthians 2:12

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Common Meter

In poetry or music, Common Meter is a poetic meter consisting of four lines that alternate between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.  These ones consist of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  Perhaps the most commonly known example is the song "Amazing Grace."

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

The interesting thing about the meter in songs is that for any songs in the same meter, the words and melodies can easily be interchanged.

Think of the tune to "Amazing Grace," but sing the words of "Joy to the World"...

Joy to the world, the Lord is comeLet Earth receive her KingLet every heart prepare Him roomAnd Heaven and nature sing.

Or think of the tune to "Amazing Grace," but the words of  "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing":

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise
The glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of His grace!

Unless you think this is limited to hymns, try the tune of "Amazing Grace" and these lyrics:

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

(The theme song to the television show, "Gilligan's Island.")

The point of this is not a music lesson, but rather a lesson in finding that which is common between us.

It seems so often in this day and time people seem to focus upon the areas where they disagree.  However, when we emphasize that upon which we agree instead of that upon which we disagree, we will find we have so much to agree upon, especially when conversing with fellow believers.

Even with those who do not trust in the Lord Jesus surely we can find some point of agreement.  We should always begin by concentrating on that which we have in common.

The point should never be to win an argument or to feel like we have convinced the other person that our way is superior, but to enter into a relationship with that person.  Relationships require mutual respect and sharing, giving and taking. This cannot be done if we are intent upon winning an argument.  While we cannot agree with what is in opposition to the character and nature of God, there is no place for a disregard for others, regardless of their beliefs.  

There is not a person on this earth who cannot truthfully sing "Jesus Loves Me," for He loves everyone.  Each person we encounter is a person for whom the Lord Jesus Christ died.  If our Lord loves everyone and desires everyone to know Him in spirit and truth, how much more should we, as His children, show them respect and love?

So perhaps they do not want to sing the same words to the song as we do, let us concentrate on the common meter of the music.  Perhaps in time, we will learn to sing in unison the same song.

"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."  

Romans 12:17

Monday, April 24, 2023

Two Little Birds

The other afternoon I was walking our beagle, Ellie, at a local schoolyard near some bushes and brush.  I heard sounds coming from the brush and immediately my mind conjured up some large menacing dog, an irate person or even a huge black bear. 

Now, there are no black bears in our area, but I have a history of imagining such things from when we have been backpacking.  At night, when nestled to sleep with nothing between us and the forest except a thin nylon tent, any sound from the woods becomes, in my imagination, a nine-foot, hungry black bear just waiting to gobble us up.  Just as there are no black bears in our area, along the Appalachian Trail where we have backpacked, bears are not waiting in the woods to eat hikers.  In fact, the bears are usually more frightened of the hikers than the hikers are of them.  Still, at night in the tent, I have to remind myself that the sound I am certain was caused by a black bear was probably made by a bird.  This was the case in the schoolyard that day.  As I focused my eyes on the bushes, out hopped two little birds - not nearly nine feet tall - and obviously the source of the sounds I had heard.

But isn't that just like fear, to make us think something tiny and small is large and dangerous and set upon our destruction?  Our fears always escalate if we give into them.  The more we concentrate on them the more they grow and grow and become something that no one could overcome.  Unless that person trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible clearly tells us, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

The Lord Jesus frequently encouraged His disciples to "be not afraid," and His Spirit within us does the same.  We must make a choice, will we listen to the fear or to our Lord?  Fear yells and shouts.  The Holy Spirit speaks with a still, small voice.  Fear invokes feelings of anxiety and sometimes even panic.  The Holy Spirit is called "The Comforter."  He is the source of all peace, comfort and joy.

In those moments of our lives where we imagine the black bears in the bushes, let us choose, by faith, to listen to the still, small voice of the One who loved us so much He willingly died for us.  Let us choose the One called the Prince of Peace. 

"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, 'Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.' " 

Matthew 14:27

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Fly-swatter Lady

There is a woman I pray for frequently whom I have never seen.  I don't even know her name.  I refer to her simply as "the Fly-swatter woman."

Anyone who grew up in the Deep South as I have, is well aware of the importance of owning a fly swatter.  No matter how diligent you are in trying to keep flies out of your house, there will always be one persistent little insect who manages to sneak in.  But today I found the absolute best purpose for the fly swatter, thanks to the Fly-swatter Lady.

Cleaning the glass on the door of our stove was on my "to-do" list.  Not the outside of the glass, the inside.  I had previously researched the options for cleaning this.  Removing the door and/or the glass was not an option I wanted to pursue.  Then I watched a video in which a women used the slots of the bottom of the door to access in between the two planes of glass.  I tried using a yard stick with a kitchen towel on it, but the small piece of wood was not flexible enough.  It reached some areas, but left other areas untouched.  I tried everything I could think of without success.

As I was on my knees in front of the stove attempting yet again to clean the glass, Glen was standing behind me trying to find a magic answer online, and he did. 

"This lady says to use a fly swatter." 

Of course!  The aluminum handle is flexible enough to move without breaking.  

"And she says to put a sock on it," he continued.

A sock!  So much better than a towel.  And I had just the sock.  We had gone bowling with our grandchildren a few weeks before and had purchased socks at the bowling lanes for that purpose.  They were perfect, thick - but not too thick, fluffy and long enough to cover the head of the fly swatter.

I "dressed" the fly swatter with the sock, doused it with liquid cleaner and began vigorously cleaning away the portions of the glass I could not reach before.   I was so proud of the results when I was finished I took a picture and sent it to my daughters.

I would have loved to be able to thank the "Fly-swatter Lady,"  but I did not know where she was or even who she was.  There is one thing I can do for her, however.  I can pray for her.  I don't need to know anything about her to do that, not even her name.  The Lord knows everything about her, and I can just lift her up to Him.

We all have people who flit into and out of our lives in an instant.  They may have even had a significant impact on us, yet we know we will most likely never encounter them again.  That doesn't need to stop us from being involved in their lives by praying for them.  It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give them.  Not only does praying for them do good for them, it does good for us as well.  It keeps that person in our remembrance when we might have otherwise forgotten them.

Let us choose to follow the example of the Apostle Paul and make a point to pray for those who enter our lives, if only briefly.  Our encounter may have been brief, but the results of our prayers will be eternal.

"For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you in my prayers," Romans 1:9.

"I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you 
in my prayers," Ephesians 1:16.

"I thank God...that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee 
in mu prayers night and day," 2 Timothy 1:3.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Jack the Cat

Our beagle, Ellie and I were in the middle of our afternoon "snuffle."  Unlike our morning walks, which are primarily for exercise, her snuffle is a time we walk around the neighborhood and she is allowed to stop and smell as often and as much as she likes.  Being a beagle, this is quite often.

As we walked along, we passed a gentleman sitting on his front steps.  We exchanged pleasantries and I noticed a beautiful white, brown and black cat sitting quietly at his feet.  The man then suggested to the cat he "go say hello" to Ellie.

My first thought was that no cat was going to just do what someone tells them.  My next thought was that my beagle in close proximity to any cat was definitely a bad idea and I said something to that effect.  The gentleman told me the cat was very sweet (I've heard such falsehoods from pet owners before).  He also told me Jack wasn't actually his cat, but lives across the street and comes to visit him every afternoon.

At that, Jack got up, stretched and began a slow walk toward Ellie. His movements, leisurely and purposeful, were somehow comforting and almost mesmerizing.

Surprisingly, Ellie, who is normally scared of a blade of grass blowing in the wind, didn't move a muscle. She didn't strain at the leash or show any signs of fear. She just intently watched Jack as he came closer and closer. I was watching intently as well, ready to jump between the cat and my dog if necessary.

Finally, Jack was within an inch of Ellie. Ellie did not move. Jack leaned in a little closer, his nose almost touching Ellie's and he sniffed her. Then he did something I would never have expected. He gently rubbed his face on her face, much as a mother dog rubs her face on her puppies. Jack did this two or three times, then laid down in front of her and rolled to his side, exposing his belly.

 At that point I began to believe that Jack was indeed the nicest cat I had ever encountered. However, he was still a cat and I felt it was time to end this encounter on a high note. I said as much to the gentleman and explained the last time she was that close to a cat it had reached out and slashed her ear.

As Ellie and I continued our walk down the sidewalk, I turned back to look once more at Jack. He had gotten up and taken a few steps toward us, watching us as we walked away.


As much as I wanted to protect Ellie and remove her from possible harm, I was sad the surprising encounter had ended.  I had expected Jack to be something he wasn’t - a threat to Ellie- and he was something I had not expected him to be – a kind, motherly sort of cat.  I had misjudged him on both counts.

This made me wonder how many times I might have misjudged people simply based on past experiences with others. I think most people will surprise us if we just give them a chance.   If we expect the best from others, I think they will often rise to the occasion. It helps bring out the best in us, too.  If we expect the worst, that is likely what we are likely to be giving out and getting in return.

Sometimes all we have to offer those we meet along the way is a friendly smile and a pleasant greeting. We can never know the impact those two simple things may have on someone's day, even in their lives.

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.” Romans 12:10

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Token

 A token is a sign,  a sign of a promise. 

Each time we leave our beagle,  Ellie, we promise her we will be back,  (and yes, I do say that to her) and we give her a token of our promise.  It is a red,  rubber dog bone.  The ends are hollow and we stuff them with chicken. She loves the bone and she especially loves the chicken.
The bone is a token that we are coming back.  I know it sounds silly, but somehow, I think she understands.

God throughout ages has given His people promises marked by tokens. He promised Noah He would never again curse the world with water and marked that promise with the token of the rainbow.

"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth," Genesis 9:13.

He promised Moses that he was the one to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and marked that promise with the token of the mountain in which they would dwell.

"And He said, 'Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain, ' " Exodus 3:12.

He has given us what the Apostle Peter called, "exceeding great and precious promises."

He has given us tokens as well.  The cross of Calvary was a token to us that He had made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins forever.

"But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high," Hebrews 1:3.

The empty tomb in Jerusalem was, and still is, a token that He will come again for His people. 

"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," Acts 1:11

As long as that tomb  in Jerusalem is empty, and it will be so forever,  we can know the throne in glory is occupied and He will return again. He will fulfill His purposes, for the earth, for the heavens, and especially for His children.

"...lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh," Luke 21:28.

His word is never untrue,  His promises are never broken and His tokens never fail.