Friday, January 22, 2016

Analyze & Appreciate

This wooden chair I can see and feel,
I know this chair is something real,
But when it’s God I want to see
I cannot find where He can be.

My little brain and imperfect eyes
Only knows things of little size;
How can a great Creator be up There?
To find the truth I really care.

What is logical?  What is true?
Does this really concern me and you?
Look at the evidence, what did Chance bring?
One tiny blob evolved into everything?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Did You Hear This Song?

Have you heard any 12 year-old kid sing a solo in church recently?  When I sang there was no applause, no standing ovation, no hugs at the door.  I don’t remember any compliments, either, although there might have been.  But I will not forget the words of that tremendous song.  
I hope hearing those words was a blessing to everyone that day, and I’m sure that over the years many singers have lent their voices to share the words and melody of “The Love of God.”  
The writer of two of the verses and the chorus was Frederick M. Lehman in 1917.   He writes about that mysterious third verse as being written nearly one thousand years earlier by a Jewish songwriter.  The website says that the 3rd stanza had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum. Does that ever stretch the mind to try to comprehend!
Listen to the song,   Maybe you’ve heard other singers perform this song.  Did it speak to your heart?  Have you considered the love of God?
Since it was 67 years ago when I sang that first solo I’m sure that now my voice cannot do it justice.  But the words are in my heart, and what I now share with other people are words I write,  not sung with a sweet soprano voice in a church in Phoenix, Arizona.  

Friday, January 08, 2016

That Word "New"

One word that certainly gets attention is “new.”  
       Whether it’s good, like a “new” idea, a “new” recipe in the newspaper we might take a look and consider it. It might be different and improved or unusual.  
Or, it’s bad, like a “new” pain in the side, or a “new” problem with the snowblower or a “new” pronouncement from the IRS.  That definitely calls for scrutiny even if you are frowning when you search for evidence. 
Here’s a thought for this “New” Year.  See what needs improvement and think about what you can do.  Then set yourself a time and start out with a confident and positive attitude.  
Even if no one is standing there to observe you, the practice of improving is something that’s good for you.  Practice makes perfect.
       (I remember that’s what Mama told us kids.)
+ + + 

by Elaine Hardt ©2016

Friday, January 01, 2016

Sing a New Song for a New Day, a New Year

The sun arose from darkness and shone brightly today;
I give thanks to our mighty Creator 
Who made all of His creation so magnificent and fine.

I give thanks for the roof over my head today
And the stuff I have accumulated
All the necessities that I say are mine.

I give thanks for the people in my life today:
Husband, our sons and their wives, and grandkids,
And I’m blessed with a good extended family.

I give thanks for the occasions I expect:
Looking forward to the days that will follow;
On to the future with opportunity.

I give thanks for what I’ve learned and know today,
Even the unexpected troubles did their job;
Challenges made me respond and grow.

I give thanks for finding Jesus, the Savior!
Amazing how He brought salvation, 
And I appreciate this reality to know

I give thanks for the invitation to pray:
To unload my burdens of confusion,
To ask and receive forgiveness for every sin.

I give thanks for this new day, this new year!
I acknowledge my uncertainties to Him
And I celebrate His blessed love I’ve received within.

by Elaine Hardt ©2016

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Grab Your Pencil and . . .

Nick pulled in the parking lot with a big smile.  When he entered the HeBrew coffee shop six friends were already seated at the big back table.  Of course, they expected to hear his cheery greeting.  “Hi, guys and gals!  Only four more days till Christmas.”
“Don’t we know!  The suspense at my house is huge.  My kidlets are peeking at the presents under the tree,” exclaimed Ronson. 
“What I like is the week off work between Christmas and New Year’s” was Miguel’s contribution.
A few other wisecracks were shared before Nick delivered his pronouncement.  “OK.  Do you have a pencil and paper at home?  Or, will you be using your iPad to follow through with my challenge?”
“Wassup, guy?” was the unanimous reply.
“Betcha haven’t done this yet.  My Grandma Marie got me going.  Here’s the thing:  Jot down what you remember from one Christmas when you were a little kid.  Nothing fancy, just the basics.  And, then write something that you remember your grandma and grandpa saying or doing at Christmas.”
Heads nodded.  None of them had written anything like that, and it was definitely overdue.  Nick added, “If you don’t write it down now, you won’t be able to remember nearly so good by next year -- when old age sets in!”
Adelle spoke up, “That’s why my Gramma Becky takes an afternoon nap.  She says that fights off old age.  I think she’s going on 80.”
“Seriously, you will give this a go, and maybe frown once you find time to do it.  But, get the ideas written down.  Go back in a few days and add anything else that’s come to mind. It will be fun!”  was Nick’s encouragement.
Bea smiled at Bennett and gestured, “This is why we privately refer to him over there as St. Nick; he will check up on us.”  
David grinned, “Nick-boy!  That is so practical, so logical.  I’m surprised I didn’t think of it before you.  I get paid for my good ideas at the credit union.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I could suggest that at our staff party tomorrow night.”

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Will You Have a Reluctant Christmas?

Will you have a reluctant Christmas?
Is what you want impossible this year?
Perhaps you can reach out to some others
and bring them some unexpected cheer. 

Often simple pleasures, a letter,
a song, a treat or meal that’s shared,
a little visit or a phone call
lets someone know you cared.

Anytime there’s a cloud of confusion
you have a Friend to set you free 
Give God thanks for all you can think of,
in childlike simplicity.  

Allow yourself a new beginning,
Let God’s love give you a new start;
Banish that reluctant Christmas,
Make a celebration in your heart.

By Elaine Hardt ©2005

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Of Course, You Can!

I think I can,
Of course, I can,
              I will.

* Considering . . . Announcing . . . Committing  
Preliminary position
Positive possibilities
Pleasing proclamation

* Tentative. . . Encouraged. . . Determined

A little reminder 
A little nudge
A little step in the right direction

* Pondering. . . Deciding. . . Pronouncing

Alert, so I will pray
Aware, so I will plan
Advancing, so I will proceed

* Cautious. . . Confident. . . Celebrating

Prayerfully with respect
Responding to reply
Pursuing the project

* Pray. . . Plan. . . Prepare

You think you can?
  You will?
  Of course, you can! 

                                                                       By Elaine Hardt ©2015

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”    Philippians 4:13

“And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 

              giving thanks to God the Father by Him.”     Colossians 3:17