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Friday, June 26, 2015

My Morning Conversation With God

Good morning, Lord.
Thank You for letting me see the light of another day.  
God, You are awesome and I am amazed at Your greatness.
I praise You for Your mercy and love.

Your Word says I can come boldly into Your presence, so I do.
I come in faith and obedience.  I come with great expectation.

I speak health to my body . . . 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Important Message to Friends, and You, Too

Happy Birthday today!
What more can I say?
The date I don’t know;
Not to fret, now and so 
I send my greetings to you.
Hope that this poem will do!

And while we’re at it, this too:
Happy All Holidays to you;
Let your calendar say
If it’s a special day.
Remember, I think you’re nice,
So perhaps celebrate twice.

We pray for friends every day
That many blessings come your way,
So until we see you sometime
Be encouraged by this rhyme.
Happy All Holidays to you!  
Celebrate them all, not just a few!  

by Elaine Hardt ©2015

Sunday, June 07, 2015

The Race, the Competition, the Loser

        The first time I lost a race was 7th grade in Des Moines.  I remember lining up on the track with the others, the firing gun going off and my knees instantly feeling like rubber bands.  Everyone else got to the finish line before I did.
The second time I lost a race was in Scottsdale.  It was a 3K that spring of 1973 and the only reason I entered was that all the girls in the exercise class had entered and talked me into it.  There were hundreds of runners.  And off we ran!  Up and down streets, on and on to the finish line by the shopping mall. 
I lost, of course.  
Afterwards my sister Carol wrote to ask, “Didn’t you feel bad when all those people ran past you?”
“No.  When they went by they’d say, ‘Oh, good.  We passed Elaine!”
I haven’t run anywhere since then. But I do like to watch races, the horse races, the running races, the dog races in Alaska.  I know just a tiny bit of the anticipation, the training, the preparation of the day, the exhaustion afterwards.  I just don’t know the excitement of winning or the frustration of coming in second or third after having everyone watching the exceptional effort.
Yesterday's horse race grabbed my attention and, of course, I watched it on TV.  What a big deal with the huge crowds cheering thunderously as the jockey and that short-tailed horse crossed the finish line first. 
What good does it do to work so hard and train and enter the race? What was the goal?  What was the challenge?  What was -- or can be -- the lesson learned?  
Putting words on the computer screen helped me focus on a newly-hatched thought.  See if you can get any challenge and encouragement and help for yourself personally from this:  

                     The Goal, the Challenge, the Lesson Learned

Those other runners,
The challenge of the race,
It made me better, try harder, run faster;
I didn’t win, but I did improve.

My outlook was focused on winning,
My abilities were pushed to do more,
And I heard the cheers for the others;
I didn’t win, but I did improve. 

It was just a race to run,
I was just expecting to do good,
It was more effort than I had;
I didn’t win, but I did improve. 

Maybe someday my training will kick in,
Maybe someday the crowd will cheer for me,
Maybe someday I’ll win the race;
I can appreciate the stress of losing now.        + + + 

This different point of view tied all the earlier random thoughts into a useful lesson, a reminder of what it means to exert yourself, invest your stress and your strength into a huge goal.  Wow!  Those competitors made the race more important.  If I had been the only runner I wouldn’t have trained and participated at all.  Is that life for you, or what!
So, in the quiet minutes after the excitement of viewing the race on TV, seeing the winner so pumped up, the crowd so excited I could identify a little with all the losers. 
Later I found this verse  “ . . . Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Let us look to Jesus . . . “  Hebrews 12:1-2.  This lead me to another verse, “Do not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart,”  Galatians 6:9.  And a similar verse is in 2 Thessalonians 3:13. 
Now I made this a matter of serious prayer:  Oh, Lord,  I want to do something good with my life.  I haven’t amounted to much, but I am so thankful that You love me and there is a purpose for my life.  I can reach out to others to tell them about Jesus and the amazing, gigantic future of life after death. I am “somebody” in Your plan You enable me to do what I cannot do just by myself.  Thank you!
+ + + 

By Elaine Hardt ©2015 

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Worrying: Yes? or, No!

“Yes, I know I worry,” he said,
“but I think it means I care.
If I don’t worry enough
A careless attitude is there.”

“Hey, you’re missing something,” she said.
“When you trust the LORD you don’t worry.
You keep aware, but you grow in faith;
A new point of view you see.”

He said -- she said -- how about you?
You’ll want to consider -- and pray!
If worrying is something you do
You can learn a better way.

by Elaine Hardt ©2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

        The stirring sounds of music from the PBS annual Memorial Day Concert both lifts the spirit and challenges the heart.  We acknowledge those who serve our country in the armed forces,  those who died, those who are were wounded and are disabled and still healing, as well as those now in active service. What an example of dedication.  What a reminder to pray for each man and woman and their families.  What a reminder to pray for our leaders.  

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mother: A Remembrance of Her Encouragement

        Here comes that annual celebration of Mother’s Day.  What a nice reminder on the calendar to pause from our busy days and remember Mom.  She loved us
        What an example she set:  cleanliness: washing the clothes, the dishes, the never-ending housework, sweeping the porch, wearing your Sunday dress and then taking it off & putting on your every-day clothes when you got back home. 
        What words she said to teach us:  sit up straight, don’t slouch at the table.  Tell the truth.    Eat what you took on your plate.  No making faces at that new boy at Sunday School.  
        What encouragement she gave us:  smile as much as you can,  let little old ladies ahead of you,  your report card is better this time,  you ran your best in the race and next time you might win.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Understanding Mothers

Mothers come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and ages.  Maybe we are one, but at least we all have one. Understanding mothers is something we all should make a sincere effort to do. 
Mothers are different;  how?  why?  
A mother’s eyes sees something that needs to be done, so she gets up and does it, or she tells you to do it.
A mother’s heart sees something unfair, and she says —or feels like saying, “Cut that out.  Where are your manners!”
A mother’s memory sees her chubby babies, laughing and cooing, and she feels like scooping up the nearest baby and hugging the tiny stranger, right there in WalMart. 
A mother reads the newspaper and feels like saying, “What would your mother say!  Straighten up, or else!”