Finding Spiritual Lessons in Everyday Living

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal”—Matthew 6:20 (ESV).

When my phone rang, I hesitated to answer because the caller was unknown. I answered to an urgent voice. “Carol, there’s black smoke coming out of your house near you deck stairs.”

Thanking my next door neighbor’s sister, I hurried out the door. Standing on my deck, I couldn’t see anything to my right or my left.  Returning indoors, I grabbed my cell phone and headed out the front door to seek the source of the smoke. Walking around the exterior on all sides of my house, I still didn’t see anything.

Calling Diane back, I asked, “Where exactly did you see the smoke?”

“Underneath the deck,” she replied.

Running around the side of the house again, I peered over my fence and saw black smoke pouring into the frigid air. Without hesitation, I dialed 911. My heart pounded as I raced back into the house, grabbed my dog, my car keys and my purse. Just as I pulled out of my garage and parked my car out of the way, the city police and fire chief pulled in, followed by a fire truck and an ambulance.

We Are His Marvelous Works

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well”—Psalm 139:14 (NKJV).

Sharing the Good News and encouraging others in their faith walk is my passion. My other passion is my grandchildren. In May, we will welcome grandchild number seven, a girl.

For Christmas, I received a journal from my future granddaughter, courtesy of her mother. Inscribed in ink on the inside cover is the following: “Nana, Please use this journal to write your favorite scriptures, recipes and stories just for me!”

Her parents have chosen the name Ruby for granddaughter number three. When my daughter-in-law mentioned the name to my son, she wasn’t aware that Ruby was my mother’s name.

As Ruby’s grandmother, I want to impart how “fearfully and wonderfully made” she is by a loving Heavenly Father. Her older siblings and her cousins will be a wonderful example.  I continually remind them of the importance of “living for Jesus” because He is what matters most in life.

In a Noisy World

In today’s noisy world, it’s often difficult to stay focused on Jesus. For today’s generation, the opportunities to become distracted are more prevalent than ever before.

When I grew up in the 50s and 60s, we didn’t have the myriad options available today. Nature was our playground, where God’s creation spoke to us of His marvelous works.

Paid in Full with One Glass of Milk

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”— Colossians 3:12 (NIV).

On a spring day in Pennsylvania, a poor boy was selling goods to pay his way through school. The year was 1863, and the boy was going door-to-door to meet his goal. While traveling through the countryside, he became hungry. He only had a dime left, so he decided to ask for food at the next house.

However, he lost his nerve to ask the young woman who answered the door for a meal. Instead, he asked for a drink of water. Thinking he looked hungry, the woman brought him a large glass of milk.  After he slowly savored the nourishment, he asked her, “How much do I owe you?”

The young woman replied, “You don’t owe me anything. Our mother taught us never to accept payment for a kindness.”

The boy said, “Then, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

As the young man walked away, he not only felt physically stronger, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up.

Finding Blessings in Everyday Living

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”— Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV).

photo by Carol Round

Varying hues of red, gold and orange decorate my lawn. That’s why autumn is my favorite season. Watching the leaves change colors and drift to the ground is a reminder to count my blessings. If I couldn’t see, I would miss out on one of God’s gifts. I’m thankful for my eyesight.

Walking across my lawn, I hear the crackle of the shriveled brown oak leaves. While they’re not a thing of beauty, and the mess they create causes more work for me, they are a reminder of the blessings of hearing and an able body.

When I take a daily walk through my lakeside neighborhood, I continue to count my blessings. I love the scent of the neighbor’s burning leaves. I am thankful for the sense of smell.

Inhaling all God has to offer us in nature and being thankful each day for the simple things we often take for granted has made me more aware of how much He loves His children. When I stop by the cove near my house, I am in awe of the variety of birds He created. How could anyone not believe in a Creator God when viewing the diversity of wildlife, trees and flowers?