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Monday Morning Musing – March, 2017

Have you heard a song from the 70’s entitled “What the World Needs Now”?  Over and over again the lyrics to that song have been playing in my mind.  “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  That’s the only thing that there is just too little of….no not just for some, but for everyone…”  There, now it will be sounding in your mind too.  I hear that the scientists call those melodies and thoughts that replay in your mind an “ear worm”.  But, I don’t care for that phrase.  Instead, I call most of those replays “whispers from God”.  Wouldn’t you say there is quite a bit of difference in those phrases?  But, I really do pay attention to those long-lasting thoughts, lyrics and notions.  I pay attention because there have been plenty of times those whispers have been helpful in a way that can only be attributed to the guidance of God.  Perhaps Christ has provided a timely or beneficial whisper to you as well.  There is no doubt about it, we are living through a time of uncertainty right now.  I just left a Bible study group where people shared their worries and the list was lengthy.  We will spend this week praying for decision makers in government, concerns for loved ones, ourselves and all who are in harms way.  But when the study ended, there was that whisper from God playing in my mind again.  “What the world needs now is love sweet love, it’s the only thing….”   Scripture stays “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  They that love not know not God, for God is love.  Beloved, let us love one another.”  (1 John 4:7-8).  The love this scripture calls us to embody has the same heart that my elementary school teachers taught in the classroom and wanted us to model every day. There was Valentine’s day, for instance. If we chose to bring Valentine’s Day cards to school, we were expected to give one to all of our classmates.  We couldn’t give cards only to our friends.  It didn’t even matter if your classmate said crummy things about your art project. It didn’t matter if the card our classmate shared with us was plain next to the glitter and bright colors a more privileged child could offer. Our teachers taught us to rise above pettiness and to just be kind. The love of God is a gift that is shared abundantly and equally with all of God’s children.  We matter to Him.  This love is both simple enough for children to sing of...

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Does the Star Still Shine?

Scripture:  “While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby.  She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”  (Luke 2:6-7) For Christmas this year my girlfriends and I are doing something different.  We all like to thrift shop, so we are going to exchange only treasures found at one. ( I think they were inspired by the Kid’s Shopping Day in Gladbrook.  Now that is an amazing event. All of the organizers, helpers and those who donate deserve a star in the crown they will wear in eternity.)  As I rummaged through the pile of CD’s at a nearby thrift store,  I stumbled across one entitled ‘Merle Haggard’s Christmas Present.’  What a find.  As youngsters my friends and I rode a school bus and the driver always tuned the radio to the local country music station. Therefore, if were you name a country artist who recorded between 1960 and 1976 I can come up with a song. Mr. Williams deserves my thanks. Merle Haggard recorded a song we heard at this time of year but I didn’t associate with Christmas. Still the song struck a chord with me.  Its name was “If we make it through December.” Merle Haggard  surely knew a lot about tough times and wasn’t afraid to sing about them.  During his youth he dropped out of High School and lived a shiftless life.  He even spent time in prison.  So, when Haggard sang “If we make it through December, everything’s going to be alright I know, it’s the hardest time of winter, and I shiver when I see the falling snow…”  he was singing straight out of his own experience. His song spoke to something deep inside of us too  as we rode with Mr. Williams in that drafty, old, yellow  bus that took us back and forth to school. Standing in the thrift shop I flipped to the back of Merle Haggard’s Christmas Present CD.  It surprised me to see “If we make it through December” was listed there.  Christmas CD’s are ones filled with sacred, sweet and happy tunes.  We sing about joy and the wonder of the season. That kind of music is in harmony with our desires for the season because lot of us want to look forward to gathering with family and friends.   There are many special events such as a school concert or activities we are planning such as the Christmas worship services our churches host.  These songs tell us that this is the happiest time of the year. But is it?  Perhaps this is true for most of us on most days.  But during the December...

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