What is a tongue?

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.James 1:26

Oh we know this, but still, we insist on chattering. Gossip is never the work of God. Backbiting is never the work of God. What we call righteous indignation is too often self-righteous justification. There is a time to call evildoers to justice. It is our own pettiness that is even more dangerous. Telling a panhanldler to “get a job”, calling prisoners of war “losers”, saying that something is fake just because it is inconvenient. These are all ways to practice ungodliness.

Shadows

Shadows are interesting things.  As christians, we like to think we live in the light and avoid darkness.  Then along comes a hot day, a place with no water, lots of concrete and every bit of sky is cloudless.   No, this is not heaven, but an abandoned industrial area.

I thanked God for the shadows of the building, and the livingness of the plum tree, completely forsaken by gardeners, yet growing in the heat.

Job, says a lot of things.  One of the things he mentions is that a servant longs for a shadow.   As a servant earnestly desires the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work, so am I made to possess months of vanity and wearisome nights are appointed to me. (Job 7:2,3)

Kind of glum, this reference, but it does fit the way I was feeling at the moment, and even so, in spite of the fact that I was tired and wanted to do nothing but nothing, there were these glorious shadows.

purple leaved plum tree with concrete and asphalt.
A bit of shadow in the desert of a parking lot

Little Birds

Psalm 84 says:

My soul longs, yes, I am fainting for the courts where God lives. My heart and all my being cry out for the God who is alive.  But look! the little bird has found a hous. The tiny bird has found a home for herself and her young.  There they are! They live at your altar, O Ruler of all creatures. (paraphrased)

This little warbler was living in Ruby Valley Nevada when I took this picture several years ago.   Their lives are short, but I cannot see a bird without praising God.

in the Ruby Marshes, Nevada, USA
Ruby Marshes

Design

Psalm 39 says:
I will praise:
I am wonderfully made;
what you do is marvelous,
I feel it in my soul.

chevrolet

I was walking to work, and saw this engine.  I am not a good mechanic.  I mean I can fix anything, but when other people, the “good” mechanics can fix something in thirty minutes, it takes me a couple of days.  It’s not because I drop my tools, (though I am usually slowed down by “righty tighty”– does that mean clock wise (where the bottom goes rightwards, or counter clockwise, where the top goes right wards? I was pretty good at tightening jar lids and screws until someone quoted “righty tighty, lefty loosey” to me in the eighties. . .Life was never simple again. . . but I digress.) it’s because there is a lot of stuff in an engine compartment.  I just look, and look, and fiddle. . . and don’t forget the instructions.  I’m the kind of person who reads them, counts the parts (several times) organizes them by size, shape, color and function or whatever else strikes my fancy, and still, tries to do something creative (aka. wrong).

My neighbors, love their cars. Thy love their engines,  They have chrome plated breather covers!  They know how the whole thing goes together.

When I see anything well made, well designed, and running, I spend just a moment in prayer.   God is the great designer. God is the great mechanic.  God is the great engineer.

Power

Isaiah 40 says:
He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases their strength.

Photo1119.jpg

This is rush hour in San Jose.  It’s called rush hour, because that’s the one thing you can’t do.  At least that’s the way it is for the cars in the lanes to the right.  They aren’t quite stopped, but they are going only a little faster than I can walk. (I’m walking, by the way.)

When I am going to work, I sometimes feel faint because, well, it’s work.  Sure, I love my job, but it is WORK, and I’d rather stay at home and read a Barbera Hambley novel, or play with my computer, or just stare at the ceiling.

When I return home, I’m tired because my job is pretty physical, and I sometimes forget to eat enough to sustain me. I seldom get my full eight hours of sleep.  I sometimes forget to drink enough water.  I seldom take time for formal morning devotions.

Good thing God’s Grace for my daily needs is not a function of my input!

To make it worse, the civilization in which I live seems to meddle with my traveling to and fro.  People and their automobiles are always in my way.  They clog the streets and sidewalks.

God is with me, God is also with all those encased in their cars. God is good at being with all His children at the same time.