A SUMMER NIGHT AND TWINKLING LIGHTS
One summer night at our cabin, an approaching storm was playing music on our wind chimes awakening me from a deep sleep. The clock by the bed told my sleepy head it was 2:30 a.m. as my feet hit the floor to go check out what was happening.
I walked through the dark cabin and looked out the windows into the night. The blinking lights of fireflies were everywhere. This night though, they seemed much bigger than normal tiny fireflies. It was almost as if the window I was looking out was a big magnifying glass and I was seeing the insects much bigger than they really are.
I stood there in wide-eyed amazement as I watched them. They were high in the trees, they were down by the creek, they were up by the road, they were way down in the valley. How could I see them that far away? Maybe the sky was just darker than usual that night causing their lights to shine brighter. Maybe they were brighter because the males were really trying hard to impress their lady friends. Maybe God was just giving me a special blessing that night.
As the storm got closer, lightning lit up the dark sky. It wasn’t streaks of lightning though. It was more like burst of light. It was like there were now gigantic fireflies joining in with the smaller ones to add to this special time.
I sat there watching and thinking about how God created the fireflies and everything else in nature. I believe if more people learned to enjoy nature and being outdoors they would find that they will feel closer to God than they could ever imagine.
Eventually the rains came, the fireflies quit blinking and I went back to bed. I lay there listening to the rain on the roof and grateful that God had woke me to remind me He is still in control. I drifted off to sleep thinking of this summer night and twinkling lights.
It was the afternoon of July 4th as the pontoon boat pulled away from the dock. An American flag hung from the bow blowing gently in the breeze. A family of three generations of soldiers were celebrating Independence Day by going out crappie fishing. The father was a veteran of the Viet Nam War. The son fought in the Gulf War. The grandson just returned from Afghanistan.
They laughed, they smiled, they caught crappie. They talked about their family deer camp and camping trips they had been on. They talked about vacations together as a family. They talked about their dad, grandfather and great-grandfather who had been one of the “Greatest Generation”. One of them said how much he would have loved to have been with them this day. They all kind of felt like he was. Lots of stories were shared but none about war and the things they had seen and been through.
A beautiful sunset lit up the western sky. A great day was coming to an end. They had all caught their limit of crappie and were getting ready to pull up the anchor when the fireworks started across the lake. The flag still waved on the front of the boat with the fireworks as a backdrop. Without anyone saying anything, they all stood at once. They bowed their heads, held each other’s hands and thanked God for his many blessings on their family and for this nation they had fought for. When their prayer was over, they all looked up and with tears in their eyes, they saluted the flag and began singing “God Bless America”.
AND GOD MADE A FATHER
(THIS IS A PIECE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY MAE PATTERSON BUT EDITED DOWN FOR OUR NEWSLETTER)
At the dawn of time, God looked down on all He had made and said, “Now, I need a caretaker.” So, God made a father.
God said, “I need someone to teach children to fish, and to ride a bike without training wheels, and to play catch in the backyard. It must be someone who’s tough enough to run a chainsaw, yet gentle enough to join his little girl and her dolls for tea.” So, God made a father.
“I need someone to bring the car around when it’s raining, so everyone else can stay dry. Someone who will keep jumper cables in his truck, just in case he needs to help a stranger. Yes, he will struggle to find his glasses and keys but, I’ll help him find time for the important things, like tumbling with the kids in the floor, or saying ‘I’m proud of you, son,’ or giving Mama a hug.” So, God made a father.
“I need someone who will stand by his family through laughter and tears, tornadoes and snowstorms, good times and bad. Someone who will love his kids and love their mother even more.” So, God made a father.
God said, “I need someone to provide for the family. I need someone who’s willing to make unpopular decisions and stand by them. Someone to provide authority and discipline, as well as love. I need someone who will work the second-shift, take second-best, play second fiddle, so that his family can have it better than he did. I need someone who is willing . . . willing to man up and provide the love, support and strength his family will so desperately need.” So, God made a father.
“There will be times when he fails to live up to my ideal standard. But when his family needs him, he will show up, or do whatever needs to be done. Yes, that’s exactly what I need, thought God. “A father to love my children, and if necessary, to lay down his life for them. Someone . . . well, someone like Me.” So, God made a father.
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