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Why I Love Dandelions

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Some people consider dandelions an annoying weed that they most destroy at all costs. Our neighbor had been one of those, out every day with herbicides and garden tools killing the plant the moment it popped its tiny head above the ground’s surface.

I, on the other hand, love dandelions.

They mark spring with their bright yellow faces. But that’s not why I love them. They make good wine. But that’s not why I love them. Served with a hot bacon dressing, they make a fine side dish for ham. But that’s not why I love them. They also make mighty tasty jelly. But that’s not why I love them.

                          Dandelion Smiles

I love dandelions because nothing puts a smile on a child’s face more than giving her mother a bouquet of freshly picked flowers. And what kind of flowers are readily available to children? Dandelions.

This week, my daughter and her two-year-old daughter ushered me down memory lane about thirty-five years, as I watched them pick dandelions. Little Lilly’s eyes sparkled with delight with each pluck of a stem just like her mother’s eyes sparkled when she and I picked dandelions so many years ago. She was so proud of her accomplishment. What a cherished memory.

In many ways, dandelions remind me of me.

Cancer has left me with the mark of suffering. I’m not as strong and vibrant as I had been. I don’t have the motivation to do the things I once did. I can’t even walk like I did. I lack stamina. To make matters worse, like a dandelion, my yellow hair has turned white and flighty.

It may be difficult to find beauty and value in my current condition, but my Father loves me with an everlasting love. When He looks at me, His eyes sparkle with delight. He draws me near and holds me when I’m feeling down. Even when I’m feeling good, He’s there admiring me. Oh not because of anything I’ve done or how I look but because of who He is and what Jesus has done for and in me. When He looks on me, His glory shines over me. I’m precious in His sight.

That’s why I love dandelions.

How about you? What flower that speaks to your heart?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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Little Things Matter

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid. (Luke 12:7)

 

Little things like eyelashes matter a lot to God.

Even your eyelashes are numbered

We take many little things for granted until we don’t have them … take eyelashes and eyebrows for example. Those little hairs that adorn our faces give us expression and, yes, beauty. I missed my lashes and brows to the point of drawing them on every day to avoid that blank look. I even took a class to learn how to apply eye makeup effectively so they wouldn’t look fake.

About three months ago, I noticed dark “shadows” above my eyes. I tried scrubbing them off, thinking the eyebrow pencil had stained my skin. A couple of weeks later, I realized those “shadows” were tiny hairs. My brows had returned. I showed my almost nine-year-old granddaughter who replied, “Cool. Now you can raise your eyebrows at people again.”

A week before Christmas, a friend mentioned my eyelashes, which I hadn’t noticed until then. I was all smiles Christmas Day when I applied mascara for the first time in six months.

Vanity. Vanity. Perhaps. But think about this. Little things matter to God. He is so concerned about the details of our being that He even numbers the hairs on our heads. I always thought of the hairs on my scalp when I read that portion of Scripture. Now I realize my eyebrows, lashes, and even the forbidden chin hair are included in the hairs of my head.

The knowledge of God numbering the hairs of my head flabbergasts me. Imagine, he knows every detail of our beings, not only how many hairs are on our heads, but how many cells in our bodies. He was aware of the cancer cells in my body and revealed them to the diagnostic doctor so He could demonstrate His sovereignty over all things concerning me.

How about you? How has God shown His love to you?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Joy in Sorrow

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:1-4)

celebrating-life-eternal-4-webSix weeks have passed since my mother met Jesus face-to-face. We who remain are in the process of settling her estate. Not that she had much with which to contend, but there are possessions to disburse or to sell. My sisters, brother, and I have agreed to give the grandchildren whatever they’d like as memorabilia including furniture.

Last Saturday, I had the privilege to meet my daughters and one of my nephews at my parent’s house to allow them to make their selections. It was interesting to watch them pick and choose items that brought back precious memories. My older daughter, Melinda, chose Gram’s rolling pin with only one handle. My younger daughter, Rachel, chose Gram’s colander and wants to learn how to make Gram’s applesauce. My nephew, Bill, chose a silly, plastic, cartoonish statue with a saying on it about fishermen. He said it reminded him of Papa. Of course, they chose somethings of more value. But it was those items that amused me.

The time spent with those three “next-generation” adults was precious to me. There was no arguing over the more valuable items. They exemplified Paul’s instructions in Philippians 2:1-4.

But for me, I had the honor to say, “Here is your inheritance. Pick whatever you want as a token and memory of Gram and Papa’s love for you.” Each one came with items, “Can I have this?” With the exception of a few things that were promised to someone else, I replied, “Yes. Take it.” It delighted me to grant their wishes and to see the delight in their faces as they packed up their treasures.

As I reflected on this process the other day, I realized a deeper meaning … a foreshadowing if you will. It is our privilege, as Christians, to do the same thing with people we witness to. We have the keys to open heavens gates to fellow believers and non-believers and say look at your inheritance. It’s yours for the taking. Come. Receive. Drink. Eat. Embrace the love of God. Cherish it is as the great treasure it is from the Father who loves you with an everlasting love. Keep it in your heart. Display it for all the world to see. It’s yours. It’s mine. There is more than enough for everyone. His house is abundant with treasures and always shall be.

How about you? How have you found joy in sorrow?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

A is for Almighty

But there is [a vital force] a spirit [of intelligence] in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives men understanding. (Job 32:8 Amp)

Some of my writer friends are doing an alphabet challenge. I thought it would be interesting to join them with an alphabet names/references to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

Almighty God is He

Almighty God is He

Almighty God…the above verse says it all. Without the breath of the Almighty humans would be just like all other life forms without intelligence, understanding, or wisdom. Think about our power to reason and to create. Our understanding of morals and justice outranks all other animals. Our sense of decency has to come from a higher power—from Almighty God. He created us in His image and breathed the breath of life into us after He created all other life forms that were living and breathing. So the breath of life must mean something beyond inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon monoxide, right?

Almighty God granted humans the breath of life as a gift for eternity, and we became living souls without end. Souls with the ability to pick and choose our futures.

Almighty God’s love endures forever and He desires our allegiance, our love, and our fellowship.

How about you? What are some God references that come to mind using the letter A? Add yours in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Suspended by Grace

This video is dedicated to my sister, Janie Neff Haines and her husband Gene Haines as a memorial to their son, Clint who was killed in a tragic motor cycle accident September 2013. May God’s sustaining grace continue to carry you forward into His everlasting presence.

With much love, Brenda

[youtube http://youtu.be/O5QErV44sRY]

 

Suspended by Grace

The brightness of the day succumbed to angry storm clouds. I scarcely noticed them. The turmoil bellowing within my soul created a far greater threat, shoving me to the very edge of destruction.

Stones shifted beneath my feet. I teetered, arms flailing to regain my balance. The crackling of debris cascading down the side of the cliff echoed through the valley. Several rocks crashed on the wall before splashing in the raging sea below. Was that to be my fate after all?

A scream … a cry of despair drew my attention eastward. At first one, then several close relatives slipped over the edge and plummeted toward the crag that stuck out of the icy water. “No!” I screamed with them. I stood paralyzed on the edge unable to do anything more than pray. I wanted to rescue them, to throw out a lifeline … something to prevent the inevitable. But I had no rope, no vine, no means of aide. Their screams tightened into shrieks and sobs … then silence. Their anguish-filled hearts impregnated the atmosphere with inaudible songs of grief.

Yet, instead of crashing into the sea, they floated above it as if suspended from parachutes. They rose and drifted farther eastward toward the sun. In the far distance, a beautiful city graced the horizon.

I suspected the refugees didn’t realize God’s grace had sustained them, not at first at least. But inch-by-inch they rose upward and eastward into the brilliance of His presence. As they live out the remainder of their lives, they radiate with an inner strength, of which they seem unaware.

I, also, suspected then, as I do now, that eventually I too will slip over the edge of despair. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I can trust Him in the darkest night, in the midst of the storm, in the depths of despair. He will keep His word. By the testimony of my friends and family who have lived through the horrors of this world, I see Jesus’ sustaining grace. And I know the breath of God will lift me up and propel me into His Light and eventually into His everlasting presence.

Thank you for viewing. Please share.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Perfect Gift

I know you received this a few hours ago. But I discovered there was no sound to the first one. Sorry about that.

This is the final product of the project I’ve been sharing with you since the beginning of December. I hope it blessed you. I sure enjoyed creating it. It now hangs in my mother’s living room. She was delighted to receive it for her 87th birthday.

Next week, I’ll share another art video pertaining to God’s grace. In preparation, study Ephesians 2:1-10.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Life

Advent 2014

Day 26

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 b  KJV)

Abundant LifeA few days ago, I found myself sitting in the social security office. Unbelievable! I’m at retirement age. How’d that happen?

Reflecting on my life, it seems to have been filled with a lot of insignificant activities in comparison to what others have accomplished. My life is filled with unattained aspirations, fading dreams, and just plain failures. But Jesus promised to give me life … and that in abundance.

So where is my abundant life? While I have had my share of disappointments, I’ve also enjoyed many of life’s pleasures—an adoring husband, beautiful daughters, marvelous grandactives, a comfortable home, and always enough to eat. If you want to get a little more philosophical, I take great delight in my surroundings—the wonder of the sky, the glory of the mountains, and soothing chirps of birds singing in the morning. I am blessed indeed. But is any of this the abundant life of which Jesus spoke?

Read More

Next we’ll peek inside the gift of Light via an art video, which wraps up the past four messages. Prepare by reading and studying John 8:12.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks