Friday, September 28, 2007



You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.


"Did you see the house they built down the block? Twice as big as any in the neighborhood. And did you see the car they are driving? Man, I wish I could afford something like that." or

"I work really hard and never seem to get ahead. I do my job right, not taking any shortcuts. And I'm honest. But look who got the promotion. They make mistake after mistake and are never called on it. Now they get the office with a window." or

"Look at little miss 'dressed like a model' coming to the grocery store and trying to act like the rest of us." or

"I just don't know about the future. Other people have big retirement benefits and insurance. Not me. I have had to work for every penny I have. Will I have enough, as I get older? Will I have enough to take care of myself?"

It is hard not to look at what other people have. How other people live. How they dress. How their children behave. How many friends they have. This could be a very, very, very long list. It just seems like someone else always has more.

Maybe, just maybe, we are looking in the wrong direction. Maybe we should look at what we have instead of what we don't have.

That fancy house and car -- are they paid for? Does that family work so hard to pay for the house and car that they have no time to live? Maybe, just maybe, there is someone looking at your house wishing they could afford such a grand place.

That promotion -- would you do your job differently just to get ahead? Would you be dishonest? Would you let someone else take blame for the mistakes, just so you would look better, or would you take credit for someone else's work? Maybe, just maybe, there is someone trying to get ahead and would be thrilled to have your job. Or any job.

That 'dressed like a model' -- is it really her fault that she has the genes to be thin? Or maybe she never had children and has never had the joy of extra maternity pounds. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there looking at you, at your confidence, and wishing they felt that comfortable with themselves. With how they look.

The future -- Thankfully, we do not know what tomorrow will bring, so is it really worth missing today to worry about what someone else has? And remember, someone may be looking up to you and wondering if they will ever be able to retire? Or go on a trip? Or just have the time to sit under a tree?

"You shall not covet …………"


What do you have in your life that another person would love to have? Do you take time to be thankful for your home? For your family? For your health? For your job? For having time to sit under the tree?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


God, You told us in the very beginning of the Bible that we should not covet. That we should not be envious of what other people have. Teach me to see the blessings I have and not compare them to what other people have. To how other people live. God thank you for ………………………………… Amen

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Year Later


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A Year Later

It does not seem possible, but I have been posting to this blog for one year. I am never sure who reads it, but that is okay. I am happy if one person reads what I write. I am thrilled if my words help someone. Three weeks ago, I wrote about gossip and about how words can be used. Words are powerful! Words bring an image instantly to your mind.

Read a word. Close your eyes. Picture the word. Do this for each word.

Tree ----- Dog ----- Mountain ----- Spider ----- Turnip ----- Water ----- Rainbow

What did you see? What kind of tree? There are so many. What kind of dog? Bet you didn't see the same dog I saw -- a Newfoundland named Wally. How did you picture a mountain? Was it green and soft like the Smokey Mountains or was it high and sharp like the Rockies? Did the image of a spider make you want to open your eyes? Do you even know what a turnip looks like? And water. Did you see an ocean? A slow moving stream? Something to drink? I would bet we all saw the same image for a rainbow.

Words are powerful. They give us images and they give us feelings. Again, read a word. Close your eyes. Feel the word. Do this for each word.

Hope ----- Love ----- Laughter ----- Tears ----- Touch ----- Children ----- Music

What did you feel? Can you feel hope? Do you know that it is there? Did the word love make you feel safe or lonely? Laughter -- Did your lips curl into a smile? Tears -- Did you remember a time when you cried? The word touch could bring good memories or bad. A hand placed gently can make a heart leap. I hope you remembered a gentle touch. And children. Did you picture a sweet child, being good? Or a normal child being loud and getting into trouble? Music -- Did you hear a favorite song? Did you move just a bit as you kept time to the music of your heart?

Words are powerful! The words in the Bible are powerful. They are there to teach us. To guide us. To tell us about mountains and water. To tell us about hope and love and laughter. And tears. Read the Bible. Picture the words. Feel the words.


So what is your favorite word? What word do you use when you are mad? What word do you just absolutely hate? What word gives you the most comfort?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for words. Words that make a memory appear. Words that remind me of a person. Of a place. Thank you for words. Words that make me feel. Words that give me comfort. Or make me excited. Or make me laugh. Thank you for the words in the Bible. Words that teach me about you. Words that teach me about myself. Words that teach me how to help others. ………………………………… Amen

Friday, September 14, 2007


Today’s Scripture: PSALM 148

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.


We are on vacation right now and our daughter, Terri, will be posting my blogs the next three weeks. (Thank you Terri.) This means I had to get them written before we left. As we were planning this vacation, I remembered another vacation. A few years ago, when, once again, vacation plans changed.

If we could have seen into the future, we would have known what to do. Lacking that ability, we did the best we could. It was vacation time and the vacation was planned around a wedding, in North Carolina. When Hurricane Isabel entered the picture, we had a decision to make. Do we head into a hurricane? The answer was no. We removed the dress and suit, put in a couple of sweatshirts, headed west and had a great vacation. Guess what. The hurricane went north of the wedding. We missed a celebration. This Mary’s Moment has two topics – One topic is that you make the best decision you can, with the information you have and then say – “Oh, darn.”

The other topic is “Mary has a new pet peeve.” My old crusades were “Put that shopping cart away” and “My name is Mary or Ma’am, not sweetie, dear, darling or honey.” I have a new battle now – “TURN THAT CELL PHONE OFF.”

Can you believe it? We went through Yellowstone National Park. We saw buffalo, elk, trees, waterfalls – and people talking on cell phones. We were in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We enjoyed art galleries, the Teton Mountains, great restaurants, relaxing cups of coffee – and were besieged by people talking on cell phones. We saw two women shopping, each on the phone talking to someone else. We saw parents talking on the phone and ignoring their children. We saw couples, one on the phone while the other stared off into space. We saw people try (try being the key word here) to drive, talk on the phone and take notes. Now they made us feel safe.

I know, I know, phones are handy. We can stay in touch. I agree, to a point, but the use of cell phones is getting way, way out of hand. Do we really need to be “available” all the time?

Put the phone down. Turn it off. You might just enjoy a sunset. Talk to your family. Value the time you have with a friend. See a show. Enjoy a meal. Or you might actually see the buffalo, elk and mountains.

Time to get off my soapbox and – oh, gotta go – the phone is ringing. (Just kidding.)

I hope this makes you stop and think about what you might be missing. What in your life is keeping you from enjoying the company of a loved one or friend? What is standing between you and seeing the buffalo? Or the sunset? Or the clouds?


What has a grip on you that keeps you from enjoying all of life? (A few ideas: Phone, Computer, TV sports/soap operas/etc, Too many committee meetings, Shopping) What are you missing out on?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.

Let us pray

Dear God, Are you listening? Do you hear me when there are so many praying? You created such a wonderful world and I am just walking through it. Many times, I have set the wrong priorities and ignored what is important. Help me to use my time wisely. Help me to put people before things. Help me ………………………………… Amen

Friday, September 07, 2007



When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."


Look at a key. Not very big is it? Just a little thing. It will fit in your hand. In your pocket. In your wallet or purse. Look at a key. Not very big is it?

Is the key you are holding a car key? We do not think about how powerful that key is. We pick it up, start the car and go on our way. We take it for granted. But what if there is an emergency. You need to get somewhere in a hurry and you can't find that little key. You start to panic. How can you get the car started? Where did you leave it? Why didn't you put it back where it belonged? That little key suddenly becomes extremely important.

Is the key you are holding a house key? Again, we do not think about how powerful that key is. We pick it up, lock the house and go on our way. We take it for granted. But then you get home, reach for the house key and can't find it. The ice cream is melting and you need to use the bathroom. Then you hear the phone ring. Where is that key? That little house key that you cannot find suddenly becomes valuable.

Is the key you are holding a church key? Probably not, but have you thought about how powerful the key to a church is? If the church is locked. If the person with the key did not show up, someone needing to pray would not have access to the sanctuary. Someone needing to attend a meeting could not get in. (Okay, so that one would not be so bad because we have way too many committee meetings.) Someone wanting to attend Sunday School would have to study another time. Those wanting to hear the word of God would be turned away. That little key. That little key that gives access to God's house suddenly is more important than you thought.

One more -- Is the key you are holding the key to heaven? The person with the key is powerful because that person gives access. Jesus holds the key. Jesus gives us access.


What is the most important key you have? Is it the key to your home? Your car? Are you searching for the key to heaven?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Heavenly Father, I place such importance on the big things that I forget how important something as small as a key can be. As my hand reaches for a key, let it find the key I need. The key that gives me access to you. Access to heaven. ………………………………… Amen