Monday, September 29, 2008


At one point in our married life we had bought and sold three houses in four years, moved to England and back, lived in the country for a while, returned to city living, then finally after my late-bloomer husband finished college we moved to a small city in the far northern part of the state. By the time we were able to even think about buying a house I recall simply wanting "my own tree!”
During these in-between years we were raising our family of teenagers and the efforts required each time we were uprooted took something from each of us. It’s likely that my mother-heart felt the urgency to re-establish the semblance of “home” as quickly as possible with each move so when the opportunity came I desired a house of course but the need for my own tree was by then so firmly planted that the need for a tree seemed of utmost importance to me!
The house we bought turned out to be where we lived the longest in one place in our married life until our current home. An apple tree in the back yard was the answer to my unspoken prayer for a tree and fulfilled the desires of my heart just as God so long ago promised in His word: “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NASB)
Who would have thought I needed a tree?
© Marilyn Sue Moore 9-29-08

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Do we take advantage of every opportunity as soon as it is presented? If we wait too long the moment will pass along with the perfect present.
In John 9: 4 Jesus taught us, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” (NASB) and again Paul through the scriptures teaches, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10 NASB)
From the very sudden and early death of my daddy I learned and I continue to learn a little more all the time that we must never take anyone nor anything for granted, that we must always be aware and appreciative for everything whether it appears large or small in our own eyes or anyone else's.
A lesson on point was the morning I looked out our office window to see the yucca cactus that has grown so huge presently blossoming profusely. The sun was beginning to shine on portions of it and my thought was that it would make a really pretty picture so I immediately took my camera and went outside. I was bountifully rewarded.
You know, I have never liked that plant very much. Its sharp blades have poked deep into my flesh when I have tried working around it to get to the on/off nozzle of the only hose access in our front yard. Many times I have thought of asking for its removal and replacement with something less wieldy and not as likely to cause bodily harm, but just about the time I am ready to do so, out comes an additional stalk of blossoms and my resolve melts. When it was a new plant it had one attractive stalk that came out; a few months later, two appeared. Now the beauty of its flowers is winning me over with more stalks of glorious glamour every time it blooms!
This poking plant that I have wanted to banish from my yard has shown me a beautiful side that I need to remember when the blossoms have fallen. No, it won’t always be as pretty as it is today but I can choose to remember its beauty and look forward to the next time it blossoms. Maybe if I talk to it just right instead of threatening to rip it from its roots it will reward me with even more stalks of fluffy flowers in the future!
One of these days I may come up with a prize photo taken at just the right moment in time. I think I just did.
We must remember that the flowers in God’s Garden are human souls ~ far more beautiful than anything we find in the focus of the lenses of our cameras, yet also here today and gone tomorrow, so we must take advantage of every opportunity or the perfect moments will pass. And, like the times I have had with the yucca cactus, there will be times when we will want to banish these human souls from our lives because they will poke us with their sharpness and their forms of wielding will irritate us, but then out will come a stalk of beauty followed by another, and finally a whole photo will emerge that is a prize-winner. Let’s try to help this to be the prize of a soul won for the Lord! There is no greater picture.

© Marilyn Sue Moore 9-24-2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I recently heard a question posed regarding how we as Christians deal with poor service in public places. No one seemed to want to answer when asked if we should complain. I finally responded I felt we should but the manner in which we did should show we are Christians and that we stand out as far different than others who treat the same situation in a much different manner.
The impression I got was the questioner had worked with the public and tried to treat everyone as though they might be having a bad day. Due to time constraints and because others were now adding to the discussion what I didn't add was that the service person represents someone bigger than him/herself.
Because I don’t think fast on my feet, what I didn't think about at the time was the example of the regular mail delivery person who appears careless about our mail delivery. On several occasions mail that is not ours has been delivered to our locked box, an ordered and paid-for irreplaceable children's book mail addressed to and said to have been mailed to me never arrived, additional mail we know we should have had has never been in our mailbox, my husband’s prescription medication was brought to our door one day recently having been put in another's locked mailbox, etc. I am sure our mailman believes our neighborhood to be just that, a neighborhood in which neighbors will kindly take care of one another, but sadly he has misjudged a few. I don't think we should simply pat him on the back, smile and say, "Have another great day," ignoring his carelessness. Neither have we gone to his boss yet. It seems the right approach is to mention the mis-delivery to him again…as we have spoken to him about mis-delivered packages in the past...and give him a fair but firm warning because he is a friendly guy. He does seem harried and I believe he is put under a time constraint, and while medications are a bigger deal than a missing book, he still has an obligation to do his duty of accurately delivering the mail.
Should we complain? Instead of using the word “complain” perhaps to remember the definition “express dissatisfaction” would move us towards being less harsh and judgmental. Either way it seems the situation is similar to raising children: you learn to choose your battles. Is the argument over hairstyle worth it? Or is it primary to dwell on the importance of, in this situation, squarely facing the facts? In the above-described circumstance a pat on the back for a job not well done seems to me to be akin to a lie, yet as one of God’s Ambassadors, (2 Corinthians 5:20) I have a responsibility to remember to treat it as best I can as He would have me to do. A flat-out character assassination attack would benefit no one and bring great harm. My hope is the friendly yet firm and factual reproof will achieve the desired effect of correcting the situation. Therefore, my task is to look to my learning from God’s Word and follow the teachings I find there: “Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let you speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4: 5-6 NASB) © Marilyn Sue Moore 9-16-08

Monday, September 15, 2008


When we lived in Maine I often looked out over the autumn-colored country fields; in Tucson I stood by my kitchen window and often mused “I look unto the hills from whence cometh my help,” (Psalm 121:1 KJV) while not so long ago on a West Texas morning I opened our office window blinds and studied the gray-blue sky to the east to see it tinged with brightening shades of lighter blue peeking through massive rose-colored ever-changing clouds scrolling across the horizon. As I stared into God’s gift of morning I contemplated the comparisons of the beauties of my life’s personal fields, hills, and ever-changing skies.
fields of color:
When I was a toddler I tended to see everything as a field ablaze with brilliant colors, something to be examined by touch, taste, smell, sat in, bounced on, walked on, looked at from a distance then with an up-close and in-person point of view! I saw beauty every way I turned and in every thing I saw. Life was exciting and nothing marred its beauty. Everything seemed to be perfect and there just for me.
hills of help:
Of course it didn’t take many youthful experiences of touching, tasting, smelling, etc., before I found myself in trouble that taught me everything was not totally perfect and that I needed to look up for help to someone bigger than I, usually my mother who was the one close by! There was that day that I climbed the shelves of a floor-to-ceiling of a side-by-side wooden cabinet in an attached shed with the intent of reaching the top to get that brown packet up there. I was sure it was a filled inner lining of a Kool-Aid® packet. (During those years they were double-packaged: decorative outside much like today but a brown paper-lining packet inside.) I loved anything that was sweet and I aimed to get it. I got it. I am not sure how my mother found out but before I got much more than a bitter taste and a bad stain in and around my mouth, I quickly learned the packet I had worked so hard to get was clothing dye! It’s a good thing my mother was on the alert and appeared in time to help but it’s also no wonder her hair turned white at an early age. My mother was a little lady but she was also a mountain of help that many looked up to with expectation of answers for many questions, myself included.
skies changing:
Life changes like the colors in the skies. Sometimes we love looking at the colors in our life changes; sometimes we dread the storm-clouds we see at a distance or up close. During my youth I clung to my mother and developed an unreasonable fear of her death I suppose because she had many ailments. The shock came when I was twenty-seven when my mother called with the news that at not quite fifty-seven, “Daddy’s gone.” A massive heart attack with no obvious warning had taken my daddy. My youthful fears about my mother’s untimely death were unfounded…she lived to be nearly ninety-two years of age. That was a good lesson to me that we should not worry about the troubles of tomorrow (Matthew 7:34). Daddy’s early death was a release from his worldly cares and concerns. He didn’t have to live on in an impaired body which could have been the alternative and he was ready to meet his Father. The years of my mother’s widowhood gave our family time to learn more about the needs of the aging, things we couldn’t learn from books no matter how hard we tried. Whether we find youthful anticipation or aging affliction in life’s changing skies we can learn to choose to rejoice in God’s Gift of Morning.
Morning…generally thought of as the start of a new day. There is a very special start of a new day coming: ”
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Jesus ~ Matthew 24:36 (NASB)
On That Morning the gifts from each of these past mornings - fields of color, hills of help, the changing skies – will have done their jobs and be in the past - and at that moment we will truly understand The Gift of Morning.© Marilyn Sue Moore September 15, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008


Yesterday, 9-11-2008, was a day to remember the fallen of 9-11-2001. How many times did you hear the message reverberate, “We don’t want to forget those who were lost”? The question that came to my mind leading up to that day of remembrance and throughout it is, do we as God’s Children remember the fallen simply as snuffed-out lives (which is certainly great loss) or do we recognize them as eternal-bound souls?
Years ago a Korean Air Liner went down and what I witnessed on TV has stayed with me as an example of what grief with no hope is. The television showed mourners bowed down to the ground wailing in the deepest sorrow I have ever seen or heard before or since. It was almost a physical force that struck me with the sad realization of their seeming to not know God nor the power of the resurrection! At that moment the souls of those on board the downed aircraft came to my mind and I realized those souls should have been my first thought!
The point is that we as Christians seem to let the world dictate that the emphasis lie on physical life which, while of great importance, is simply a means of transporting our souls to eternity. The sooner we get that image implanted in our minds the more likely we will be to realize the importance of remembering that there is a great day coming* and not only do we need our souls to be ready but we also need to be doing all we can to help our families, friends, and neighbors ready their souls as well!
Is it a day you will remember?
© Marilyn Sue Moore 9-12-2008
*I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin

I received a very interesting article about Sarah Palin, the choice John McCain has made for his Vice-Presidential running mate candidate. As a result I am left with even stronger feelings that we MUST PRAY for Sarah Palin and her family during this trying time in their lives. Much of the press seems determined to vilify Sarah Palin and her family but I wonder if she is a modern-day Esther.
That being in my thoughts, my thoughts as a mother came to the fore as well! With all the activities foisted upon her in sudden flurry, Sarah’s mother-heart must long for time...time to be with her 19-year-old son who is about to leave for Iraq...and time to simply hug away the hurts of her 17-year-old daughter as she faces and continues to face not only the results of her own choices but also those of Sarah's being chosen for this very public position. Mothers are like that and I don't doubt for one second that Sarah is a mother.
Sarah’s being the age of our youngest daughter with children in the age categories of our grandchildren perhaps brought these feelings more to light than otherwise would have occurred. My nature is that of a "fixer" and my desire for an "instant fix" was to wonder if Sarah's mom might help with the nurturing of the soon-to-be-married daughter who will need the welcoming hug of an older woman when Sarah will of necessity be unavailable during these hectic weeks while the press continues coming down hard on everyone in their whole family.
My thoughts continued to progress in this fashion: In regard to Sarah and her family if she is a modern-day Esther the press and those with political power would do well to be aware of and apply the following scripture from one far wiser than I, said to be respected by all the people…his name was Gamaliel:
And he said to them, ‘Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men…So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.’
(Gamaliel’s counsel found in Acts 5:33-40 NASB)
© Marilyn Sue Moore 9-3-2008