CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 11, 2015

Things Really Haven’t Changed

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THINGS REALLY HAVEN’T CHANGED

SCRIPTURE: Haggai 1:5-6   5.  Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hoses, Consider your ways,   6.  Ye have sown much, and bring little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. (KJV)

REFLECTION:  Haggai, living in pre-Christ times, describes today’s society. I watch, read and sometimes experience all the behavior he describes.

I see people who work hard and have little to show for their labor. I myself sometimes eat and drink gluttonously and yet remain hungry and thirsty.

Media ads convince us we never have enough clothing to keep warm (or at least, enough clothes reflecting the current trend). And bankruptcy is routine and acceptable, as people incur so much debt their earnings fall through holes like water through a container filled with holes.

These behaviors are not new to our society, although we somehow feel they originated with us. What caused the existence of those behaviors in Haggai’s time? What causes them today?

The root causes are probably similar: too much stress, greed, the need to have (more…)

December 14, 2014

Thy Wife Shall Bear Thee a Son

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THY WIFE SHALL BEAR THEE A SON

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SCRIPTURE  Genesis 21:2, 25:21, 30:22; Judges 13:2; 1 Samuel 1:19-20   21:2. For Sarah conceived,…. 25:21.  And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  30:22.  And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.  13:2.  And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. 19. …And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. 20. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived….(KJV)

Luke 1:13, 2 4   13. …and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  24. And after those days his wife conceived,… (KJV)

Related Scripture:   Mary 3:10-11

DISCUSSION:   Note that God is always punctual to his time: although his promised mercies come not at the time we set, they will certainly come at the time he sets, and that is the best time. It wasn’t by the power of common providence, but by the power of special promise Isaac was born. Note: True believers, by virtue of God’s promises, are enabled to do that which is above the power of human nature, for by them they partake of a divine nature.  (1=38)

When Sarah heard the angel’s message to Abraham she was shocked and laughed. Her plight was poignant. She had ceased to be in the manner of women,” and she asked “After I am worn out, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”  (1=38)

REFLECTION:  Surprise, Sarah! God has good news for you!

Likewise, March 17, 1997 was a good news day in our family, as was a day in May 1971 a good news day.

After much struggle and fear, Sandy and Greg announced that they were with child—evidenced by Sandy’s physical symptoms and a home pregnancy test.

After struggling with a lengthy infertility problem Monte and I discovered we were with child in the spring of 1971 was the time .

Both news announcements were preceded by many prayers and much lost hope (more…)

December 7, 2014

Saving Beyond Necessity: A Question

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SAVING BEYOND NECESSITY: A QUESTION

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 41:34   (and Joseph instructed) Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.   (NIV)

 Related Scripture:   Genesis 41:35-36, 47-48

DISCUSSION: Joseph not only interpreted dreams, but also presumed to make practical suggestions for a course of action necessary in light of the interpretation. He presented his case successfully to the Pharaoh, who immediately began to sift through candidates for the position of “Secretary of Agriculture.” Finally, he said to Joseph: as much as God showed you all this, you shall be over my house. Pharaoh conferred on Joseph symbols of the high office to which he had been appointed. (5 pp. 103)

REFLECTION:  A question occurs to me: If there were to be seven years of abundance, then seven years of famine, would not one save one-seventh of each good year’s harvest? Yet Joseph instructed Pharaoh to take one-fifth of the harvest, a significant difference (14% versus 20%) beyond what would be needed to pull the Egyptians through the famine, assuming one-seventh would be sufficient for one year’s sustenance.

Why the extra? Possibly because (more…)

October 26, 2014

Tie the Thread on My Finger

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TIE THE THREAD ON MY FINGER!

Remind Me

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 41:9   Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharoah, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings….” (NI)

DISCUSSION: Finally, the hand of God jogged the cupbearer’s memory, creating a situation that brought release for Joseph. Pharoah needed interpretion of two dreams, and the cupbearer told of Joseph’s gift. Pharoah sent for him. (5: pp. 102)

REFLECTION:  Forgetfulness is a characteristic of mine. Once I complete a task or leave a situation, it is done. I no longer remember details as I move on to other things.

I excuse this as part of today’s high technology information age where one cannot take time to reflect, a memory enhancer, because the requirement is to multitask or to run from one event, memory or thought to another with no pauses in between. Time is of the essence. Production is what counts.

I also tend to have what I call “specific name and date memory deficit.”  It is not age related. Throughout my school years I has trouble with courses needing specific name and date recall—history, Latin, science. I recall substance, not specifics.

On school tests, I would (more…)

October 19, 2014

Angel Rescues Traveler in Massachusetts

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ANGEL RESCUES TRAVELER IN MASSACHUSETTS

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A Night Time Ride to Safety

Along a Circuitous Path as

Angel Rescues Traveler in Massachusetts

(A Devotion)

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 40:23, 41:9    23. But (even after all that) the chief butler gave no thought to Joseph, but forgot (all about) him. 9. Then the chief butler said to Pharoah, I remember my faults today. (AMP)

Luke 17:18   Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise to God except this alien? (Amp)

Related Scripture:   Luke 17:12-19

REFLECTION:  Gratitude. For major events. And most commonly rudely forgotten.

For Joseph, who interpreted the dream for the chief butler and whose request to be recognized to the Pharaoh was “forgotten.” For Jesus, nine healed lepers neglected to thank him.

I, too, can be ungrateful. I don’t express gratitude often enough.

Sometimes, though, verbal thanks seems insufficient.

I traveled to New England by myself in the spring of 1996, and left Brocton, Massachusetts after 7 p. m., unconcerned about finding a hotel. I would be on a main road. No problem. I’d drive towards Merrimack, New Hampshire and stop along the way.

Wrong! I was traveling through a “bedroom community.” No motels!

At 8:45 p. m. I stopped at a drugstore in a strange town not too far from Framingham. “Are there any motels around?” I asked the pharmacist. Neither he nor the customers knew of any.

One customer said she felt bad. She had a spare room, but she also had company. She knew a place in Framingham but the dark night, the late hour and the heavy construction would create travel difficulties, particularly to a stranger. But she knew of a Bed & Breakfast out in the country. She’d call from her car phone.

A room was available! She drew me a land-marked map, then said (more…)

October 12, 2014

God’s Creation: Is It Disgusting?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

GOD’S CREATION:

IS IT DISGUSTING?

NOTE: This devotion was entered in a devotional writing competition at a conference. The judges didn’t know how to handle it because the content and the style weren’t in the typical format. One judge pulled me aside to tell me that the committee members were befuddled and didn’t know how to respond to this devotion. She ended by saying I should know and write to my audience.

I remained quiet while she explained the situation to me. When she finished  I explained myself.

“I did consider my audience. I was writing to a reader who studied science: biology, chemistry. This audience wants references (she’d told me devotions shouldn’t include references). Typical devotions aren’t written to this audience, so I thought I’d try writing several for this purpose.”

I don’t know if the judge was mollified, but I stand by the option to write devotions that speak to specific audiences.

Let me know what you think.

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SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:27     God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NI)

   Related Scripture: Psalm 139:13-14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (KJV)

REFLECTION:   Although God created a wonderful being, the human, I’ve found that a built in life-saving technique may be—is—unpalatable for most people. It has to do with what we consider human waste.

Human waste, urine, not only stops infection when applied to wounds, but it can also be recycled as a re-hydration beverage.

“Disgusting,” you say.

But be patient. Release your prejudice and bias, if only for the moment it takes you to finish this devotion.

“There are many survival stories where people saved and drank their own urine to (more…)

September 28, 2014

Tarantulas: Those Scary Creeping Things

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TARANTULAS: THOSE SCARY CREEPING THINGS

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SCRIPTURE: Genesis 6:7   So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.”  (KJV)

REFLECTION:     Many people would be happy if somehow the creepy, creeping tarantulas were destroyed, removed from the earth. But some people set out to save sick ones.

The June 5, 1999 AP headline captured my attention: Sick tarantula getting top-notch care.

2 ½ ounce Goliath, No. 79011, had an infection oozing from her side and an abscess the size of a quarter. The infection gave the salad-plate sized eight-legged critter value. She could teach doctors about medical care of tarantulas in captivity.

The antibiotic wasn’t working. Veterinarians planned CAT scans to identify problems during surgery that hopefully would correct Goliath’s problem.

Goliath, with her dark brown hair and turret of eyes atop her flat head, able to make a fearless person arachnophobic, must be a special spider. Such great lengths to save a creature that has “a habit of showing her fangs and shooting barbed hairs from her rump” doesn’t seem like something I might consider.

One of my pre-married era boyfriends would think differently. Stanley, my senior prom date, attended (more…)

August 24, 2014

Preparing Meals From Scratch

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PREPARING MEALS FROM SCRATCH!

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 18:7-8   7.  And Abraham ran to the herd, and brought a calf tender and good, and gave it to the young man (to butcher); then (Abraham) hastened to prepare it.  8.  And he took curds, and milk, and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before (the men); and he stood by them under the tree while they ate. (AMP)

REFLECTION:  I thoroughly plan Thanksgiving dinner. I know (approximately) when people will arrive, when they will leave. But the meal is always big enough to feed extra people. It is cornucopic table, a table of plenty.

At other times I plan for unexpected guests by having easy, pre-planned menus on hand. Meals not taking hours to prepare. Or we dine out.

Our unexpected guest chomps on my summer flowers.

Our unexpected guest chomps on my summer flowers.

This scripture amazes me when I read it. Abraham had unannounced guests. Realizing they were (more…)

August 10, 2014

Nine Hundred Years Old

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

NINE HUNDRED YEARS OLD!

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 6:3   Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years. (NI)

REFLECTION:  I’m awed with the longevity of Old Testament life spans. What a great deal they could accomplish with that life expectancy!

Then I reflect on the question What would I do with those many years?

Certainly I could have a larger family. I could raise several families in that time..

Eight-hundred and eighty anniversaries with the same man? What a wild thought! Maybe we would have time to get it right! Yet, evidence from our day’s limited increase in life expectancy proves different. It shows there is just more time for repeated divorce and remarriage rather than time for moving on to perfection. However, three score and seven doesn’t seem enough time to perfect the marital relationship.

I would have time to develop the six different (more…)

August 3, 2014

Names Are Important: Genesis 2:19

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

NAMES ARE IMPORTANT

IMG_4896E  131226Genesis 2:19     Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  20.  So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. (NI)

REFLECTION:     Noah’s task was to name all the animals in the Garden of Eden. There was no stigma to names then. Life in the garden was perfection.

Names today are important. They not only create a sense of relationship with the namer, they have relationship to history and personal experience.

Jane and John are so common they are used to refer to the Does, a nameless couple. If you pick a name for the unknown choose the most common one.

Plain Jane implies a basic, steady person, with little personality.

Desiree, a name I like, images a too-lively but sophisticated, sexy person.

We’re stuck with the names our parents give us. Or so we think.

Gary decided he could do better with a name other than his given one. He went to court to court as Gary—he left as Noah.

Growing up as a Cornell I felt I should have been named Katherine. That was what many people called me, anyway. Combine my first name, Carolyn, which sounds like Katherine, with Cornell. It was an understandable mistake. Katherine Cornell was the elegant name of a (more…)

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