Monday, March 29, 2010


Recently I came across some faded flowers or what some would consider flowers past their prime. By themselves the words would seem to tell tales of lack of attraction, but the more I saw of those flowers whose blooms had lost their luster, the more beauty I saw in each one.
Dandelions came before spring to our West Texas yard brightening the drab gray-brown grasses with brilliant bits of leafy green topped with bright, well, dandelion yellow blossoms. I have always liked bright yellow. I have yet to live down the fact that there was a time in my life when it was such a favorite color I somehow talked my husband into helping me paint three of four of our living room walls a muted shade of that color. And, it was off-set on the fourth wall by a soft yellow background wallpaper filled with a Jacobean design of loden green leaves and muted red flowers. A few years prior to that I had crocheted a dandelion yellow cape for our pre-teen, dark-haired, deep brown-eyed daughter and when a dear friend saw it, he asked her, “Couldn’t your mother find yellow?” Wherever it is these thirty-some years later, I suspect the yellow of that yarn hasn’t faded one iota, but the yellow of the back yard dandelions left almost as quickly as they came. One day they were there and then the rains came. As I went to the back yard one morning, there were some dandelions with a few remaining bits of dandelion dust stuck here and there but what really got my attention was the leftover symmetry of basic beauty that held what had once been a dandelion flower. That morning as I stood in the rain-dampened grass, I discovered a tiny green, many-pointed star-shaped flower base of gorgeous green, not the deep green of dandelion leaves, but almost a light neon green that said, “Look at me! Aren’t I beautiful, too?” It didn’t take me long to get my camera to take a picture of its beauty. Finally, many shots later, I was satisfied. I even found the perfect Bible verse to go with it! “The flower falls off; but the Word of the Lord abides forever.” (I Peter 1: 24b-25)
Is it possible that we look at God’s Word like I first did at the dandelion dust on the faded flowers, thinking, “Oh, I’ve seen it all before” until I looked a little closer and found that bit of beauty that was right in plain sight? Yes, the flower does fall off, but His Word abides forever; a flower that never fades, but with closer inspection becomes more beautiful.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-29-2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


What image enters your mind when you read or hear the following verse from I Corinthians 12:26 ? “ If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
That was one of the verses in the reading from our night’s Bible message a few evenings back and afterwards as we discussed it, I asked my husband if he, like I, chose to dwell on the positive, rather than the negative portion of that scripture. In thinking about the scripture in relation to the church family, while my thoughts went to the recent rejoicing with a local youngster’s winning a major spelling bee, the author of the article had written regarding the suffering of a fellow human being and the compassionate concern of another to do all in his power to alleviate the stress and strain brought about by his condition.
What did that rejoicing image in my mind say about me, that I want to overlook the suffering part and just go on through life as if everything is always blue skies and rainbows? Did it say I always have a cheery outlook for everything? The answer to each of those questions is a resounding, “No!” although I suspect deep down it does say I would rather have fewer shadows and lots of sunshine on the road of life for myself and for others.
There’s a story in Mark 14:1-9 that tells of the woman who poured a vial of very expensive perfume over the head of Jesus. This is just prior to Jesus’ death and we are not told what prompted her deed, but she was scolded for doing so by some of those present. They spoke openly of how it could have been sold and the money used to care for the poor, but Jesus spoke in her defense, praising her, saying, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
Imagine being a part of the scene: Weeping with those who weep? Jesus was facing death and He knew it. Rejoicing with those who rejoice? The woman was praised by the one they called Rabbi. Does her example cause each one of us to want to be more aware of sharing the suffering and rejoicing opportunities that are in our daily lives? We can’t do everything for everybody but let’s remember to apply the lesson from Jesus’ own words: “She has done what she could” as we go about our daily lives always ready to share the suffering with our brethren as faithfully as we rejoice in their good times.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-23-2010

Friday, March 19, 2010


I like to laugh and in my lifetime I have seen some funny cartoons and heard humorous jokes on both sides of the political fence; however, recently there continues to circulate an e-mail under the guise of a joke that has reference to scripture and prayer as well.
The fact is this so-called joke takes one Bible verse out of context to create “humor.” Heard by the wrong ears and taken the wrong way, it sounds like a threat to the one who holds that office; therefore, it could be conceived as a punishable crime. However, people are making it into a joke by saying, “I can pray this for the one with whom I disagree.”
In this Christian nation, I have received this message many times over, and finally I looked at the further verses in that passage and wondered, “How many others have thought to do this? Do they realize what these verses say?” I further wondered if people realized all of this, would they/could they continue to propagate such under the appearance of a joke?
In an effort to help folks understand the full impact of the circulating joke, before you automatically hit forward the next time you receive it, please take out your Bible, find the scripture referred to and read not only the verse referred to but the following couple of verses as well. Figure out if you, as a part of God’s Family, really want to be a part of “praying” this way when God “desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-19-2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I made a personal phone call a few days ago that went kind of like this:
“Hello, T~ This is Sue Moore.”
“Oh, Hi, Sue! How are you?”
“I’m okay but we’re having some family issues right now. Is D~ around?”
…and the lovely lady with whom I seldom have contact, went to call her husband to the phone.
Because of her husband’s work, I wonder how many times this particular woman is looked right past as people move directly on to greet her husband effusively. She has to have a pretty positive self-image or her life/their life will be one of many unhappy moments.
When I was young and foolish, I thought I would enjoy being the wife of a minister. My husband was capable of bringing lessons from the pulpit but I was woefully unprepared for being a minister’s wife. Thankfully he chose a different occupation, but even so, I was unprepared for dealing with much of what attracted me to him in the first place. As a student, the youth who became my husband was a class clown. In the classroom, he drew laughter from faculty and students alike. While students were left shaking with laughter, teachers were left sitting at their desks shaking their heads in an effort to clear them of the wonder of what they had just witnessed as that particular student left the room he had commandeered during the recent few moments. How blessed I felt when Mr. US Navy returned on leave and chose me, Miss Mousy Goody Two-Shoes, out of that whole class of the 226 members to be his date and later his wife. If the online dating-mating had run our personality tests, I suspect they would have run us out as totally incompatible. After we married there were times I began to think so, too, until I made the decision to be all that I could be. No, I didn’t decide to join the Army! I had simply come to the conclusion that to stay in a quiet corner while he was getting all the attention meant I could continue that way, or I could learn from him and become a personality who also gathered people. And gather people I did…and I grew…and I liked it, and me! The blessing is he found the new me fascinating and not only likeable, but lovable, so the monster he created continued to grow under his tutelage.
I still was not ready to be a minister’s wife, however, nor do I think I ever will be. The wife of a minister of any kind (pulpit, youth, counseling) has to be a very special person, because as I stated at the beginning, folks often pass right by her as though she were invisible in an effort to get the attention of her husband. Think about it: have you ever done similarly to what I did a few days ago?
The personality of the man who used to garner the attention of whole high school classrooms hasn’t changed all that much. He still draws a crowd and I still stand by the sidelines at times. Sometimes people see me, sometimes they pass right by, and I understand. I suspect that is how it is with the wives of these ministers. I hope so, because I really did “see” you that day on the phone, T~.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-17-2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


In reading recent prayer requests, I am reminded once again, of how many and varied, are the trials in this world. I am so thankful for Jesus’ comforting, parting words to His disciples found in John 16:33, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
As I read the prayer requests, I often become aware that the reactions are as diverse as the requests. Sometimes it is difficult to see past our troubles when they seem like sky-darkening thunderclouds that keep roiling over and over and over, threatening our very existence! We hear the noises that surround us and look for places to hide. As we hug our arms to our own bodies, we don't leave an open space that allows others close enough to offer reassuring hugs that say, "I am here. You are not alone." Our weeping becomes so loud it doesn't let us hear God's quiet voice of comfort saying, "I will never leave you."
In our pain we turn into ourselves much as a roll-up bug (a.k.a. pill bug) does when touched and just as when the wind blows one of those little creatures away, so we just go wherever the wind blows us in our self-imposed protective little ball.
Maybe we fear no one else can possibly understand how we feel. Perhaps someone has passed our concern off as “nothing to worry about” or “You’re a Christian…where’s your faith?” and made us think God judges us that same way? Is that how you would look at your child’s worry, real or imagined, or would you understand where it came from…your child? “If you understand and know how to take pretty good care of your child, how much more does God know how to understand and take good care of you?” (My paraphrase of Matthew 7:11)
Sometimes we have convinced ourselves that because we are Christians, we shouldn’t be feeling this way… we are questioning, depressed, and not as spiritually strong as we once were. And who do we tell…because we’re supposed to be strong Christians, right? Maybe when we are feeling far away from God, a word-picture gleaned from the 15th chapter of Luke, verse 20, would help guide our own return: “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Close your eyes…imagine that’s you and God your Father! That story is there to tell us that God loves us that way!
Also, here’s a reminder that there can be physical reasons for some of these feelings; don’t dismiss that possibility as unimportant. Not enough rest can influence physical feelings, as can a chemical imbalance, or even lack of enough bright light in our lives! I am, as a dear friend once put it, a sunshine-activated personality! I need a lot of sunshine (or bright light) to stay on the sunny side of life. Once we get the physical side of life under control, the rest often falls into place helping us to more clearly see that the real persons we are were not filled with all those questionable qualities. We’ll no longer feel the need to roll up and shut out the very voices that call to us to say, "I am here. You are not alone."
And, yes, even though in the world we will have tribulation, we can take courage because He has overcome the world, and “He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU.’" (Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-10-2010