CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

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.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

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…)

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July 6, 2014

The God-Side Protects and Cares

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE GOD-SIDE PROTECTS AND CARES

 

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 3:21   The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (NI)

REFLECTION: Although Adam and Eve’s sin had inevitable and severe consequences God did not back down sympathetically. He understood their nakedness was not only spiritual, but physical, and being empathetic, He replaced their fig leaf covering—having a sandpaper texture—with sturdier and more comfortable animal skin garments.

This is a good model for the church.

When Robin wrote personal checks off a church account there were consequences. However, congregational empathy kicked in with a consensus to open a door for her repentance. That opening allowed her to pay back stolen the money rather than to face criminal charges. The church offered clothing “sturdier than fig leaves.”

Ultimately, Robin (more…)

July 17, 2012

The Humming Bird Said: I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE HUMMING BIRD SAID: I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP

Co-written With Monte W. Holland

My husband Monte and I sit on our patio on summer mornings, enjoying coffee, breakfast, the newspaper—and the birds. The other day Monte was impressed to see a red-breasted hummingbird at the red-liquid filled bird feeder. We know they are there when we hear the hum from their rapidly beating wings.

Tennesseean Gary Dowdy and his wife also enjoy watching humming birds at their bird feeders, watching them flutter and circle, feed on the nectar, and chase each other. We marvel at their beauty, their tiny wings, and their ability to hover in midair, Dowdy said, leading into the following story he shared on the Upperroom online devotion site1:

One day after I heard a thud against the patio door, I saw a hummingbird on the ground. I picked it up and discovered that the small creature was stunned but still alive. For the next 15 minutes I held the little hummingbird in the palm of my hand. I stroked its feathers and talked gently to it until it regained its ability to fly. When I told my wife of my experience, she said it was like having the power of God in my hands.1

Monte decided to respond to Dowdy’s experience by turning the story around:

Thanks Gary for a great devotional. I want to speak for the hummingbird, from the hummingbird’s perspective:

What just happened? I was (more…)

September 30, 2010

Burnt Fat Offerings

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

BURNT FAT OFFERINGS

SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 4:8     ‘He (the priest) shall take from it (bull) all the fat of the bull as the sin offering…..10.  as it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice of the peace offering, and the priest shall burn them on the altar of the burnt offering.”

Related Scripture:  Leviticus 4:26, 31, 35; 7:3-5; 8:16; 9:10, 19-20; 16:6, 11, 17, 25

REFLECTION: It’s inappropriate in our culture to burn the fat of the bull on the altar as a sin offering. But it isn’t inappropriate to burn our body fat. After all, in our country, one of the most obvious and greatest sins is gluttony.

     Recently, adjustments were made for healthy weights in adults. Needless to say, the weight limits were (more…)

September 6, 2010

Must we Yield to the Force of Inappropriate Touch?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MUST WE YIELD TO THE FORCE OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCH?

Have We Lost Our Common Sense?

SCRIPTURE: Galatians 3:11     Clearly no one is justified before God by the law because, “The righteous will live by faith.”  (NI)

REFLECTION: Our world has been turned upside down. Signs should be posted.

AFFECTION BANNED:

YIELD TO THE FORCE

OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCH

     That is, do not hug children. Any physical show of affection is risky and can result in child abuse charges. You must bear the consequences of the actions of child molesters.

     This paranoia is fed by (more…)

July 6, 2010

“Over-Stuffed”

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

“OVER-STUFFED”

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:19-20    Do not gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal; 20. But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal. (Amp.)

REFLECTION: This scripture is sensible. And I am most guilty of gathering and heaping.

     We stored craft magazines (and other stuff) in our Slippery Rock apartment while we sojourned in Atlanta. A water pipe burst ruining many of the magazines and an antique bookcase. Floodwaters that seeped in from outside ruined (more…)

April 28, 2010

Lead Me to My Rocking Chair

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LEAD ME TO MY ROCKING CHAIR

SCRIPTURE: John 5:36     “I (Jesus) have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (NIV)

REFLECTION: The late Mrs. Grim was 94 years old when I interviewed her for a newspaper article. Her claim to fame was 57 years of service to the Salvation Army, a record in Uniontown if not in the Western Pennsylvania Division of the organization.

     She couldn’t understand why I was interviewing her. She had done nothing special, and she felt like she was bragging when I had her talking about her life. Yet, the work she was finishing testified to the fact that the Father had “sent” her.

     Through the years, she had played (more…)

April 10, 2010

I Hate My Job!

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

I HATE MY JOB! 

A Devotion

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 46:10    Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Related Scripture:  Isaiah 2:11, 17

REFLECTION: Bill hates his job as grocery store check-out clerk. Not only is it a job he does not want, but you should see the people, he says. They are nasty! I hate this job! I just ring the groceries and bag them, don’t even speak to the people unless they speak first!

     Rebecca, a Christian, tries to tell Bill, also a Christian, that each person going through the line is a child of God. They have their personal problems and pains to deal with, and Bill has an opportunity to (more…)

March 23, 2010

Have Visions. Dream dreams.

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HAVE VISIONS. DREAM DREAMS.

SCRIPTURE: Joel 2:28   And it will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, and Your young men will see visions.  (NAS)

REFLECTION: My mother, though not a young “man,” envisioned being an artist and a dancer. For complex reasons, those visions never came to fruition. She went on with her life, raising a family while working full time. When she retired her husband, my stepfather, transferred in his job so they could relocate to New England.

     Released from her child-raising and employment demands, she blossomed. She passed her (more…)

March 12, 2010

Jasper Milquetoast: Precious Stone, Physics Teacher

CAROLYN’S CREATIONS

JASPER MILQUETOAST:

PRECIOUS STONE, PHYSICS TEACHER

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 28:20     And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.  (KJV)

Revelation 21:19     The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedoyn, the fourth emerald,  (NIV)

Related Scripture:     Exodus 39:13; Ezekial 28:13; Revelation 4:3, 21:11, 18

REFLECTION: JASPER—a variety of quartz, of red, yellow and some dull

Jasper Necklace

colors. (Webster’s Dictionary)  a red, yellow or brown opaque quartz (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

     A variety of stones were placed on the breastplate of judgment. The jasper was one of the choice stones.

     Jasper is also a male name, the name of my high school physics teachers at Kensington High School in Buffalo, New York. His last name was actually Militello.

     Being the typical image of the physics teacher, he was open to teasing by the students. We called him (more…)

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