heaven’s gift

what is the one thing everyone says they want more of?  the one thing everyone says is in short supply?  we say we wish there were more hours in the day.  it’s something we can’t get back and we can’t make more of – time- that elusive, unstoppable, uncontainable, untouchable, unalterable commodity we call time. We bemoan our lack of it even as we long for more of it on a daily basis.

this is a gift of heaven to each of us – time – that’s what eternity is; unlimited, infinite time – we will never run out of time again.  This is something our finite minds cannot properly grasp, but it is something to look forward to, nonetheless, as we are always desiring more time with those we love, often feeling the brevity of the time we do spend with them, earnestly wishing it to be more than what we experience here. This gift of time without end or limit is ours in heaven.  (kind of like unlimited phone minutes but so much better)

James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  How in keeping with His character that He should give us the gift of time, something we crave now, then we shall have in abundant, unlimited supply.  Time to know each person’s story, time to know our infinite Creator, will require an equally infinite amount of time – which is what eternity is – God’s gift of time to me and to you.

“For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.  He rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.”  (Daniel 6:26-27)

“Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.”  (Ephesians 3:21)

” . . .  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  (Psalm 23:6)

“And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”  (Luke 1:33)

time without end – eternity – heaven’s gift

sincerely,         Grace Day


traveling light

it’s that time again – we are getting ready to begin a new year.  now based on my past experience, the new year always seems pretty much like my old year, I am hard pressed to see any difference and I don’t feel any difference.  My present seems pretty much the same as my past.  Could that be because I bring my past, all of it, into my future?  No wonder each year my load becomes heavier, my step slower as I labor to live under the weight of all I carry with me.

Have I not learned the secret of traveling light through this life?  (my garage and basement would shout a resounding “NO”)  I love new beginnings, fresh starts, clean slates, second chances . . .  isn’t that what the new in New Years is all about? Is that why all those people stand in the cold in Time’s Square for hours, waiting for a ball to drop?  Are they waiting for and wanting a new beginning?  I wonder if they give to that glittering ball their hopes and dreams for the new year, all the while continuing to carry, even cling to, the bags from their past?

So what can I do to lighten my load on my life’s journey?  What would make this truly a new year?  First, I need to decide my purpose.  Moses asked the people to make a choice in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 when he said, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life . . .”

Later, Joshua would issue the same challenge to the people saying in Joshua 24:14-15, “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.  . . . But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,  . . .  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”   Jesus would say essentially the same thing centuries later when He said “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.”  (Matthew 6:24)

So clearly I need to make a choice.  Trying to please too many people (masters) can be exhausting.  But how to choose?  Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened; and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)  I know I am often tired, but maybe it’s soul rest I’ve been seeking all along, soul rest that I need, not so much physical rest.

And a burden that is light?  Now that’s an oxymoron if ever there was one.  This I want to experience for myself.  And I can – the choice is mine!  I must first choose this day whom I will serve.  I have found living for or serving myself to be deeply unsatisfying, empty and purposeless.  Time to choose a new master!  Time to loose some old baggage.  Time to travel lighter in the new year.

How do I do this?  How do I travel light through this life?  Hebrews 12:1 has some good advice for me; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,  . . .  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Throw off everything that hinders?  Does that mean get rid of everything that holds me back?  This requires me to discern the difference between what hinders me and what helps me in my race to serve the master I have chosen.  I have chosen the Lord God, just as Joshua chose for his family so long ago.  Now I need to repack my bags.  what to throw out?  what to keep?  what to add new?  I need some guidance!

Fortunately, I found some good advice in Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”  That will definitely lighten my load, those are heavy burdens to carry around.  And there’s more, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”  (1 Peter 2:1)  My bags are getting lighter by the minute as I throw off these things that have been weighing me down, hindering me in my race.  I am feeling so much lighter already!

Still, there is one bag that is especially heavy, one that I keep close and carry with me always.  Will I continue to ignore God’s command?  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  (1 Peter 5:7)  If I am going to travel light, I am going to have to let go and “throw off everything that hinders”, including this.

What to pack in my now empty bags?  ” . . .  clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.   . . .  Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  (Colossians 3:12-14)  And there are even more things I can carry with me into the New Year as I run God’s race, namely the gifts God gives.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  (Galatians 5:22-23)  That’s a lot, but these things are a help not a hindrance to me in my race.  They are not a burden.

And there is something else I need to carry with me that is not a burden but a blessing.  “This is love for God:  to obey His commands.  And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”   (1 John 5:3-4)  So obedience to God and faith I keep as I also, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  (Ephesians 6:11)

What to keep?  What to add?  What do I bring into the New Year?  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)  A lot to carry, yet all of it is uplifting.  These things will help, not hinder.  His burden truly is light.

So maybe as I enter into this New Year I will not drag my old bags with me, but will exchange them for  “the easy yoke and the light burden” of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I will obediently throw off anything and everything that hinders and run the race in the strength that God provides.  I will  ” . . . not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  (Romans 12:2)

This, then, is my calling for the New Year.  ”  . . . I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.   . . .  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:12-14)

Lord help me to travel light

sincerely,        Grace Day








a point to ponder – person or place?

is heaven a place or a person?  I think both:  heaven is the place where the Person, Jesus Christ, makes His home – and we are promised both – the place and the Person.

“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:2-3)

we are promised not just eternity, but eternity with Jesus – that is the promise – that is the hope – that is “the certainty of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1) for we, who like Abraham, will believe God and God will credit it to us as righteousness.  (Genesis 15:6)

like heaven, home is both a place and a person – how fitting then, that one day heaven will be home for us who believe

sincerely,      Grace Day

the secret of the bling

it seems as if we are always looking to add a little glitz, a little glamour or glitter, some sparkle or shimmer or shine, some beautiful, bedazzling blitz of blinding bling to our everyday world and to everything in it, in order to transform it into something new and exciting and wonderful.  This morning I discovered the secret of the bling as it were, as I walked my ordinary morning walk just like any other mundane Monday morning.  I literally walked into a world of stunning beauty, but it took a dead brown leaf to open my eyes, before I could behold what surrounded me.

I almost stepped on this leaf in my path, a large deep brown, golden maple leaf lying face down on the ground.  Every vein was etched in glistening, sparkling moving points of light, giving depth and definition to this ordinary leaf making it an object of unspeakable beauty just as it was.  (here’s where a picture would truly be worth a thousand words, wish I had one to share with you, dear readers)

It was then I began to notice more leaves as I continued my walk, some on the path, most off to the sides covering the grass in various forms and formations.  But they all sparkled and shone as if they were outlined in dazzling diamonds, diamonds which were reflecting the early morning sunlight in all its’ glory.  God had bedazzled the world while I slept.

It seems we add glitter to a lot of things, especially around Christmas time.  If we want to make something stand out, make it more appealing, we add some glitter. (after all, glitter is to a decorator what spices are to a cook, namely the secret ingredient)  Well, God certainly knows the secret of the bling.  While the world is dark and sleeping He frosts everything; housetops, tree branches, grass, leaves, nothing is left untouched. Then God lets the light reveal His handiwork, slowly, breathtakingly, stunningly, with the rising of the sun we behold a world bedazzled by a trillion twinkling lights, everywhere we look.  This morning I saw that, everywhere I looked, everything shimmered as though covered with glittering diamonds, even dead brown leaves.

All those dead, brown leaves lying in such beauty all around, reflecting the morning light and reflecting the miracle of a Creator who “makes everything beautiful in its’ time.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  A Creator who, ” . . . gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”  (Romans 4:17)  A Creator who said, ” . . . I am making everything new!”  (Revelation 21:5)

Frost is not God’s only secret blinging agent.  I think of the diamonds dancing on the water of Lake Michigan or on any water for that matter.  Sparkles too spectacular to count or to describe properly, thousands of points of light bouncing on the waves, moving over the water, magnifying the light of the sun on the water in infinite brilliance, almost too much for human eyes.  and yet we get a glimpse of such beauty here on earth.

One of God’s best bedazzling jobs is, of course, the night sky.  We call them stars, too numerous for us to count, too far for us to ever reach them; (although God calls each one of them by name and puts them in their place) they fill our sky night after night with the beauty of a trillion twinkling lights.  Christmas Eve every night of the year.  You want to witness true bling?  just look up at the night sky!  It’s like God sprinkled glitter across the cosmos just for us.

How fitting then, that God should use a star to guide the wise men to His Son, Jesus, on that first Christmas.  God used light because ” . . .  God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”  (1 John 1:5)  And of course God was using light to lead the wise men to “the light”.   ” . . .  he (Jesus) said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ” (John 8:12)

I am thankful I opened my eyes this morning to see the brilliance of the bling God is bestowing on earth, His free gift to anyone who would look and see.  Lord help me open my eyes to see the light of Your star and to open my heart to let Your light and love and life enter in.  Help me to follow the light of Your star, which will lead me to Your Son, sent so long ago, on that first Christmas.  He is the true light.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.”  (John 1:4-5)

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  (Revelation 21:23)

No wonder God is the master blinger.  What is bling but light?  And God created light, God is light.  God fills the sky and the water and the land with His glitter and His sparkle, bedazzling us all; revealing Himself to us in a trillion twinkling points of light (like fireflys on a summer evening) every day and every night, He woos us with wonder – the wonder of His love for each of us – a love revealed for all time in the birth of Jesus into this world.  Merry Christmas to all!

sincerely,       Grace Day




the lesson of laryngitis

I thought laryngitis (the loss of one’s voice) was an illness, turns out it is a teacher too.  Laryngitis teaches one, indeed requires one to listen.  Listening is an acquired skill, learned only through actually practicing said discipline.  Laryngitis is a tough taskmaster, but then listening is a tough lesson to learn. Laryngitis succeeds by forcing her students (the ones who suffers from said ailment) to get plenty of practice at listening.  In fact, laryngitis provides a 24/7 training experience until such time as the student is released from her class.  This occurs when the student no longer suffers from the illness that is laryngitis.

In the meantime, it is surprising the things that one can learn by listening. Laryngitis takes away my voice and in so doing gives voice to others.  Laryngitis  makes it possible for me to hear so much more clearly the voices of others around me.  This is an unexpected bonus of having laryngitis as are things like getting out of any scheduled presentations or other public speaking engagements one might have and getting to play the fun game of charades at work or wherever you might be, until your voice returns. (some have enjoyed playing charades so much that they have been known to fake the continuation of their laryngitis indefinitely)

Now I said laryngitis teaches one to listen by forcing them to do so.  The thing is, laryngitis provides the opportunity, the opportunity for me to listen.  Laryngitis requires me to listen but can she teach me to listen well?  There is a difference. And this difference makes all the difference in our relationships.  People need to know that they have been heard, they need to know that they have been understood.  Laryngitis can’t teach me to listen with my heart as well as my ears.  I need to learn to listen to what is behind the words that others speak, to listen to what their words cannot express, to listen to what their hearts are saying.

I am growing weary of playing charades every day, all day.  But laryngitis is still giving me opportunities to learn the lessons of listening, the lessons of listening well.  The secret lesson that laryngitis won’t tell you, I will, dear readers. Laryngitis makes me listen with my ears, but love beseeches me to listen with my heart.  They say that “practice makes perfect”, so perhaps that’s why laryngitis is taking her time with me.  She is perfecting my listening skills by giving me lots and lots of practice!  Thank you Lord for the blessing of the lessons I’m learning while laryngitis is living with me.

” . . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”  (James 1:19-20)

“Come to Me with your ears wide open.  Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake.  I am ready to make an everlasting covenant with you, to give you all the unfailing mercies and love that I had for King David.”  (Isaiah 55:3)

“Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise; apply your mind to know them; For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you; if all of them are ready upon your lips.”  (Proverbs 22:17-18)

sincerely,        Grace Day







living life in the waiting room

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; . . . We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:19, 22-23)

So it’s not just me and it’s not my imagination; I am waiting and I am not waiting alone in this waiting room I call my life.  This unfulfilled longing, others feel it too! All of creation feels it!  So, I may be waiting – but all of creation is waiting right along with me.  I can take some comfort in that.

In my previous post I referenced all different kinds of waiting rooms, but truly earth is eternity’s waiting room and we all share it and the wait together.  I think I need to redefine this waiting room as a preparation room because I need to spend my time in this room preparing not simply passively waiting.

Now don’t get me wrong, dear readers; I feel like I’ve spent my life waiting – I always feel like I’m waiting on something or someone.  I started young, waiting to grow up, to be able to drive, to vote, to go to college.  Fortunately preparation was involved in these waits, whether in preparing for the driver’s test or  preparing to be ready for college classes by preparing in high school, these times of waiting were not idle times.

Yes, waiting is work if done properly – work in the form of preparation and prayer. We wait for/prepare for so many things in life.  A job; we wait for and prepare for many different jobs throughout our lifetimes, we prepare extensively (and possibly fanatically) for a wedding, leaving no detail to chance, though nothing can prepare us for the marriage that will follow.  We eagerly wait to become parents, but no book exists on adoption or on childbirth/parenthood whose abstract words can come close to the reality that is having children.

Inevitably, I seem to find myself waiting on various and sundry people and things at any given moment in time.  I feel like I spend a disproportionate amount of time waiting on “hold” for the next available customer service representative because they value me and my business is so important to them.  Others include but are not limited to (this is in no particular order of importance or frequency) the cable guy, the light to turn green, the other shoe to drop, the snow to melt, the sun to shine, to hear back from ?, to strike it rich, for the cows to come home, for the “right” time, for the healing of a loved one, for the healing of a relationship, for the pot I’m so diligently watching to boil, for dreams to become reality, for pigs to fly, (yes, I wait on the possible and the impossible with equal diligence), for hearts to change, for the trip not taken, for the door to open . . .

but if I am waiting on God, then I am not waiting in vain, but I am waiting in peace and with a purpose; a purpose not my own – but God’s eternal purpose.  I can take comfort in this truth when the waiting seems long with no end in my human sight.

We are all waiting on something or someone here in this waiting room we call life. A popular phrase in this culture is “prepare to meet your maker.”   Ironically, this phrase is literally true;  we are each engaged in the process of preparing to meet our Maker, whether we realize or acknowledge this fact or not.  This is exactly what we are doing every minute of every day.  We are in the process of preparing to meet our Maker/Creator.

Some of us are granted more time to wait than others, but eventually for each of us, our wait will be at an end.   Until then, Lord help me to wait well as I wait upon You.

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”  (Psalm 27:14)

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,  like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”  (Luke 12:36)

“Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to reign righteousness on you.”  (Hosea 10:12)

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

sincerely,       Grace Day

lessons learned in the waiting room

waiting rooms come in all shapes and sizes but they share a common purpose that renders them all the same essentially.  Waiting rooms are one of the few things today that are aptly and truthfully named, in other words a “waiting room” is exactly that – a room where you go to wait – a room whose sole purpose is for you and for me and for others to “wait” in it.  That is its’ only function.  So the lessons learned in one waiting room will serve you well in whatever particular waiting room you find yourself today– I don’t know about you but I feel like a lot of my life is lived “on hold” or in one or another of the many waiting rooms of life so to speak;  so here are some of the lessons learned in the waiting room; perhaps you can relate:

The first is – always bring a good book or your current read because time (like a mind) is a terrible thing to waste and you never know how long the wait will be in any particular waiting room scenario

Next – always bring adequate snacks/ beverages because of the aforementioned reason; you never know how long you will be waiting in any given room designated solely for that purpose

Third, always leave plenty of margin in your schedule; again because of the fact that you can’t predict how long you will be held captive in the waiting room and knowing that you are expected to be somewhere else at a not too distant point in the future will make your experience in the waiting room a stressful one as you watch the minutes (hours?) tick away, all the while knowing that you are late for or are missing entirely your next appointment, engagement, scheduled activity or what have you

Fourth, bring work with you to do; including but not limited to bills, correspondence, answering emails, working remotely on your laptop etc.; this way you feel more productive and are less likely to feel like this time you are spending in the waiting room is wasted time

Fifth, catch up on your sleep (if you plan to implement this suggestion, you might want to bring a comfy pillow with you)  but, be forewarned – you in no way want to “sleep” through your appointment by missing your name and/or number when it is finally called

This next lesson should be self-evident but in case it is not – under no circumstances make eye contact or otherwise engage with those around you. Anonymity is a cherished hallmark of the sacred waiting room space and must be preserved; as well as the fact that eye contact could lead to a prolonged discourse with a total stranger, holding you captive as they recount and regale you with tales you never asked to hear thereby violating the unwritten code of silence rule governing waiting room protocol

Or, in direct opposition to the previous lesson – make every effort to obtain eye contact or to otherwise engage with your fellow captives in the waiting room. Why?  Because you can meet some really interesting people in waiting rooms, because conversation helps the time to pass more quickly by providing a welcome distraction and because as human beings we crave connection whether we admit to it or not.  The success of this mission will depend directly upon whether there are other persons in the waiting room besides yourself who have not learned the previously mentioned lessons listed above and so are as bored as you are and desperate for any distraction to pass the time

Another lesson – loose the earbuds,  listen and learn;  waiting rooms can be full of interest and intrigue for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear

If all else fails, you can always make a list of all the things you’ll do when you are no longer “waiting” in this room but finally free

And above all, it is imperative that you hang on to hope, that you don’t give up and don’t give in to despair – continue to hold out hope that yours will be the next name or number called

Now, dear reader, there are also things you should not do – under NO circumstances should you–

feed the fish – they are there for atmosphere and entertainment purposes only, you don’t want to be responsible for killing these fish – no one wants that on their conscience.  (popular wisdom has it that fish tanks create a soothing, relaxing atmosphere) because let’s face it, waiting rooms by definition are full of anxious, hurried people; people waiting to find out what’s wrong with their car, or their pet or themselves or a loved one, or with their taxes or well, what don’t we wait on? (I’ll get to that later on)

play your music loudly – this really needs no explanation, your musical tastes are probably not the same as those of the random stranger seated next to you; also you don’t want to make the people around you angry at the outset of your wait because you have no idea how much time you and your fellow waiting room hostages are going to be spending together

take up too much space – be cognizant of this, especially if you brought a pillow because your plan was to sleep away the wait

glare at others when they get called before you do; it’s not their fault

and lastly, under no circumstances should you ever give up hope of being called out; your time will come!

Now, waiting rooms vary widely,  some are more comfortable than others –

sometimes your car is your chair in the waiting room that is the interstate highway, packed with vehicles sitting still, with no way out, no exits in sight; this waiting room lacks the usual amenities . . .

we wait for many different reasons, sometimes for happy purposes like waiting for our number to be called at the ice cream place or we stand in line for concert or sporting event tickets.  I wonder if the wait seems shorter in those places than when waiting at the doctor’s office or at the BMV?  (now there’s an all day experience!) Not everyplace has a room designated for waiting, but we wait nonetheless. Verizon, Apple, Comcast, the bank, the attorney’s, the Post Office, the veterinarian’s office, the emergency room, any government office, customer service anywhere, the line at the grocery, the drive-through line at any fast food place (here the car is again the waiting room) we pretty much go from one waiting room to another

I don’t want waiting to be synonymous with wasting time; I would like to think my time in life’s many waiting rooms is not wasted but well spent or at least that it is serving a purpose.  This is difficult to believe because the term waiting itself implies that it is not the main event – but is the prelude to whatever it is that we are waiting for.

and it turns out we are all waiting for something; whether it’s food in the drive through or concert tickets or our car to be fixed or our problem to be solved; we are waiting for our moment to be seen and to be heard, for our turn to have our problems addressed and our concerns taken care of;  we are waiting for our turn with the person who can make that happen, and for that, we wait and we wait willingly . . .

I feel like earth is God’s waiting room and training ground.  Just like the waiting room, earth is not the main event, just the place where preparation for the main event, eternity, takes place.  So I want to make the best use of my time in this waiting room, because there are lessons to be learned in the waiting room and I need to learn them so that I will be prepared and ready when my name is finally called.

In the meantime I wait and I walk by faith – I listen and I learn

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  (Psalm 27:14)

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”  (James 5:7-8)

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  (Isaiah 40:31)

sincerely,        Grace Day