Sunday, January 22, 2017

Alec's Amazing Ability

        A stroke of genius, he called it.  It was totally out of his range of experience and completely unexpected.  But oh, the interesting results.
It was terribly short notice, but someone had to do it. Substituting for the teacher of the third grade Sunday School class on the holiday weekend was not on schedule for Alec. 
The big smile was his way of establishing himself as the “one” for the “day.”  Fifteen kids were already seated in the small classroom, and their chattering could be heard down the hall.  
“Yes, girls and boys, I have here in my hands the most interesting book there is.  What is it?” his voice was clear and deep.  For being twenty-years old Alec knew how to sound like a man in authority.
Between frowns and smiles one chipper kid pronounced, “That’s the Bible.  We hear about it every Sunday.”
“Ah, very good.  And today you have a chance to show off for me.  I will tell you a little story.  But . . . “ he paused for emphasis.  The children were totally paying attention at this point.
“Every time I say something that is incorrect you will speak out with the word that is right.  See how often you all agree on what I’ve tried to trick you into . . . “ He nodded his head.  “Now, not too loud, we don’t want to wake up the fourth and fifth graders next door in the event that they have been assigned to take a nap by Mrs. Sterling or Mr. Gruber.”
“Let’s do a practice, first.  My name is Santa Claus . . . “

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Finding Things in My Head that I Want to Remember

Sometimes all sorts of things
go and hide out of my mind!
I frown a lot and complain
when I need that stuff to find. 

WHAT CAN  I DO ? ? ?

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Average, Ordinary, Slightly-Prodigal Person

   No, this isn’t a tale of terrible sin. 
   This is a look at just an average, ordinary person who doesn’t do anything really bad. This is the short version of a story of an almost—not quite—Prodigal Person, someone you might recognize. 
   One day this nice, normal person left home. There were no assertive words of goodbye, no angry words; in fact, I didn’t say goodbye. I didn’t pack up and walk out the main gate of the Homestead.  It just happened that morning I was working on my job and faintly heard a bouncy melody.  I could not make out the words, but it sounded somehow familiar, yet intriguingly new.   
   Gifted with an inquisitive nature and energetic determination, I decided to find out more.  Perhaps what I would discover would enrich my life.  I owed it to myself to learn more. Once my mind was made up I began to whistle that catchy little tune.  I headed out to follow that compelling urge. 
   When I reached the broad paved highway I made better time. I had no idea how big and fascinatingly complex the World actually was.  
   As I began my explorations I didn’t yield to temptation to do anything really bad.  I just sort of wandered impulsively here and there, following a new-found freedom. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted.  Entertainment became a full-time pursuit.  People there invited me to parties and welcomed me into their homes.  
   At first I thrived in this environment, and can’t really recall when I drifted over to the Worldly Café.  Here I ate my fill of Bitter Grapes, Crab Apples, and an appetizer called Grumble Crumbles.  With a little urging I tried the Barbecue Creature and chased it down with Whiners Wine.  That was a long night.  Soon I’d acquired a taste for the World’s food. 
   If my spiritual eyesight had still been on alert I would have seen a shadowy figure following me, planning on ensnaring me into slavery. It was the farthest from my mind as I strolled along Diversity Drive towards Culturally-Creative Circle. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

From Funny to Famous?

“Good evening to You-all.  See, I am from the south, south Phoenix that is.  We start off with scratching your head and remembering back 20-30-40 years when you were still a kid.  How long ago was that!  Oh, well . . . “
The couples sitting in the backroom of Della’s Diner did expect a humorous start to their weekly meal and fellowship hour. Jackie went on to explain. “Give us something you recall, and prune it down to maybe a dozen sentences.
Howard was the first to volunteer.  “When I was a teenager I discovered why I’d been such a well-behaved kid.  Every Sunday in church I heard the people say,  “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Howard be thy name.”  I was amazed that mom and dad had named me after God.  I knew my reputation was important to them!”
Lola spoke up,  “When I was a little kid I remember my cousin Carrie coming over with Aunt Amy and Uncle Martin.  When they got in their car to leave my mom would throw her a kiss and she showed me how, too.  It means ‘I love you.’  So, after that I’d throw a kiss to the LORD, after my bedtime prayer.”  
For Ronnie it was suppertime that he remembered.  “I thought mom said we were having Chicken and Doodles.  Later when I was maybe 10 or 11 I understood it was noodles.  A couple of years ago I found a website on the computer “How to Doodle.”  It just takes some paper and some kind of markers.  You can turn on your artistic skills and have fun.  Your history teacher thinks you’re taking notes; well, you can listen and doodle at the same time.”

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Encouraging You

Growing older means you’ve learned a lot, 
so keep on doing good. 
You can!

Growing older means setting a good example
 for older and younger people.  
You can! 

by Elaine Hardt ©2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Encouraging YOU, with Something to DO

Who are you encouraging today?  
Might it be important to them?
Is it worthwhile for you to do?
Take a minute to think this through. . . 

Would you just speak some words
that can encourage him or her?

Could you write some good words
so they can read them over again? 

And, here’s the biggie one for you:
is this something that someone could do
and send encouragement to you?
Just consider what those words would do. 

Yes, of course, I WILL do

by Elaine Hardt ©2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

You Will Remember THIS December

You’ll remember this December
If you’ve found that holiday peace
That comes from a personal quiet time:
A new satisfaction will increase.

You’ll give yourself the bold honesty:
Ask God about your uncertainties;
Yes, speak directly to the LORD,
Tell Him your perplexities.

You’ll gift yourself with thoughtfulness
When you treasure a time of prayer;
This can meet your greatest need,
And of course, you certainly do care!

Why now?  (Obviously, a busy time)
Because He is the only Creator who
Has declared in the Bible what He has 
Done to give His love to you.

Open that mostly-neglected book:
What Jesus did, what He said, you need to see.
What makes the difference?  It’s love!
The LORD is not an imaginary deity.

It’s forgiveness, tied up with a red ribbon,
Vital for your future after you die;
It’s a new dimension starting today
When you question yourself, “Why?”

This December brings celebration,
You don’t want to miss the important part;
Christmas peace can start right now!
Welcome God’s presence in your heart. 

By Elaine Hardt ©2012