Jack Daniels’ Daddy

I like storytellers. I always have. When I was a kid my Aunt Sis was the best storyteller there was. Her stories beat out the librarian’s any day and I can remember aspiring to be half the story teller she was one day. She would fill my ears with stories of childhood play, teenage adventures, and long lost lore of family folks from Tennessee.

I hold those stories in my heart and they are a large majority of my memories. Many of the stories, I now tell have been influenced tremendously by the very ones I heard as a child.

Nowadays my ears tend to perk up when there is a storyteller within my hearing.

Recently I was doing what I do when a lady I’ve known for years was telling tales. She has never once met my oldest daughter, but constantly calls me by her name, Charlotte. She always calls me Charlotte, despite a name tag worn daily that spells out my name A-M-Y. I don’t mind it so much, I’ve come to view it as a term of endearment.

As she told her story to no one in particular she was laughing and talking about her childhood. It was familiar to me, a familiar tone, a tone of contentment in the story and I took note of what she had to say. She drew me in with a matter of a few words.

Holiday meals, her family had gotten so large they’d long ago stopped going to the old homeplace, a small house, that the 11 of them growing up could barely squeeze into. She’d laughed when she had explained the sleeping arrangements, in the two bedroom, humble abode. Indoor plumbing was not yet a required item for houses and the “11 of them and Mama and Daddy” had managed to make it with minimal in the way of necessities. I knew that tale, I had heard it before, numerous times, in the antics of my Aunt Sis.

She had numerous siblings and so many aunties, uncles, and cousins they had to find other accommodations.

abundance-1868573_1280She had said now they “had to rentaplace ” rent a place, all one word. She described paper lined folding tables laden with food that made my stomach growl and my mouth water just hearing her talk. They had a side table, a meat table, and hold up just a second, three dessert tables.

Red Velvet cakes, pound cakes, strawberry cake, pies, pumpkin, sweet potato, chocolate, apple, two or three banana puddings. I found myself trying to figure out how I might pretend to be a long lost cousin or something just so I could go and eat. I told her that and she laughed.

She started naming all the people’s specialties, Pearl’s potato salad, her Red Velvet Cake, she always made two, one for the dessert table and one to give to her Uncle J.D.

Her face shifted a bit, and I saw her meander down memory lane. Her expression softened her eyes distant, she said, “She ran out of names so she just started givin’ children initials. We got a A.C. O.C. O.J. and a Jack Daniels!”

She said her Grandmother had so many children she had run out of names. Her Grandfather was a godly man but that last one she named, made me wonder if he had found his inspiration in a moment of weakness and the bottom of a bottle. She said they had a fruitful life together and when he was considerably young, decades ago, he had been diagnosed with cancer. She said, “None of us knew it until he was real old and he saw his medical doctor who told him that he had cancer he was gonna die from.”

She said upon receiving the foreboding diagnosis, he did not act surprised and simply said to the young physician, “I already knew that, I knew it forty years ago. My wife and I got on our knees and prayed for God to take it ‘cause I had all these children to raise.”

The puzzled physician questioned the old man further, asking him about protocols, medications, maintenance and such. The old man listened and said he had taken nothing. The young physician with his extensive medical training knew the physical impossibility, the aggressive cancer his geriatric patient had would not have yielded its life taking ways for a year much less decades. Perhaps his patient misunderstood, the doctor clarified, “Yes, but what did you take?” The old man looked at his young physician in the face and said,

“I took it to Dr. Jesus.”

I thought about that, about the medical impossibility, perhaps the decades ago doctors had gotten it wrong, perhaps the then young man with the brood of children had not actually had cancer. Like the young doctor, I was more willing to accept the failures of medicine over the miracles of God. How many times had I done that myself, how many more times would I? How many times have I desired healing for myself or someone I love and needed help from the King with my unbelief? I have pondered on that, and have found myself asking the King more and more to help my unbelief.

But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:22b-24

Words. Words. So Many Words

I recently got on a word kick… wanting to know where words come from, how they started out, how they are changed over time. Words that meant something centuries ago aren’t nearly as meaningful in the 21st century simply because they are removed from the context in which they my were originally spoken. I have a list of words like that and perhaps I will expound on it one day.

I’m fairly sure that words have always been important to me but when it comes to the Love language preference and expression… words of affirmation makes the list but is super-ceded by some other expressions of love. I’ve found myself more and more immersed in the world of words and it’s left me to ponder.

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine, we are co-laborers in ministry and friends of over a decade. She’s a real life writer, she has a journalism degree and she wrote, writes (present tense) beautifully published pieces. She is no stranger to a byline.
I read her words and I’m in awe. I find myself wondering how she can take such disjointed, separate things and weave them together to create a mosaic of literary beauty. It fascinates me and in some regards I’m a teeny tad envious of her abilities. (For the record she’d absolutely blush, and humbly deny what I’ve just said about her… she’s just like that.) She is the embodiment of a gracious, humble, writer.

So on that spontaneous morning as we sat around the table I almost fell out of my chair when she called me a writer. I laughed that loud obnoxious unexpected laugh, the one that can give way to the snorting laugh because I was so surprised. I adamantly denied her accusations. We talked of words and she made a statement that has left me to ponder the words, the writer, the wordsmith.

“So many words. Words. Words. So many words.”

In the context of our conversation we had been discussing the words written, words read, and words said.
Words.
Words.
So many words.

The value of them contingent on the context in which they’re expressed. I have always been a tad verbose and the more words the merrier. Alone they mean less than they do when woven together to formulate sentences and paragraphs, complete and coherent thoughts. There seem to be many words and I found it more and more difficult to muddle through them and pick out the ones of value. The words that matter.

The King addressed words once. In Matthew 6:7 he said, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.Ouch. Are my words numerous and empty? Are they words just for the sake of words? Or are my words beneficial like those of Ephesians 4:29? Good for building up.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Words have power. They can build up and tear down, they can be beneficial or not.

I recently had a conversation with another friend. I had asked her a question. Finding myself in a frustrated situation, I asked her, “Do you not just want to say something? Don’t you ever just wanna be like, yelling your disappointment with the person you are frustrated with?”

To which she said to me, “Yes, of course I do. That is our human nature, but as I walk with the Lord, I have come to realize that I would rather have a season of silence, than to say something I would regret.”

That has resonated with me and I am coming to the realization that often times fewer words are better and Words. Words. So Many Words, may not be the best thing after all.

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Let My Words Be Few by Philips, Craig & Dean

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ephesians 5:2

Fan the Flame

When I was little I loved to play outside. I would run and skip and jump and do all the things of childhood in an imaginary world all my own.

I would make cakes and gourmet meals with pine straw and mud. I would play house in the midst of trees as tall as I could see.

I loved outside.

I can still remember my Mama or my Mam-maw within sight, burning stray branches or raked up leaves. I remember the distinct feeling of warmth and cool covering my body at the same time. It was magical and therapeutic and I didn’t even know it. I would run barefoot, and surely I stunk to high Heaven by the end of the day, but it was a glorious feeling.

selective-focus-photography-of-people-holding-sticks-with-3569890Sometimes for lunch we’d straighten out an old wire hanger, or find a real sharp stick and we’d place a wobbly cheap hotdog wiener on the end of it. I can still taste it, and while I’m not an adventurous eater, I’d be willing to bet few things culinarily compare. That’s how life works when you’re a child, I reckon.

The simple things brought healing and restoration. The hurt of the world farther from the mind than in adulthood.

The days of late have been difficult, progressively worsening and heavy.

That cool morning, I made my way outside accidentally, there was no level of intent other than to pick up the stranded paper wrappers and sticks dotting the premises.

Life had been especially difficult and I seemed to carry a burden that none could take. And even if they could, I lacked the voice to tell them how. My mind gets muddled and foggy when I am heavy laden like that. I struggle with figuring out what to do and in what order. Basics will often get ignored in those times, the basics of life like good nutrition, writing, ability to remember. Laughter is far from frequent and the words get lost. I find myself staring at the blank canvas of the computer screen, becoming frustrated with myself, slamming my hands down on the keyboard, and walking away angry.

That cool morning I was in just such a state, so the distraction of the paper scraps of debris left by the recent storm were a welcome sight. I managed to wander around and collect enough sticks to start a small fire. It was unintentional in my conscience, but maybe deep down long ago parts of me knew I needed that reminder. that something can be made from nothing in the hands of the Creator, that beauty will come from ashes, and that in the Refiner’s fire, albeit a painful and at times frustrating process, I can trust the end result to be beyond what I can comprehend or imagine.

photo-of-pile-of-burning-wood-1070054I chose to sit by my fire, to watch the flames dance and to remember my childhood. I must have been smiling when my husband sat beside me, because he asked, “Whatcha thinking about?” We sat a while longer and the flames began to die down, the cool more prevalent than the warmth, when he said, “I wish I had something to do Matt Crawford method for that fire.”

I had no idea what he meant. I looked around and was not at all surprised to see our former neighbor with whom we had enjoyed many an evening fire, nowhere to be found. It had been many years since we had been neighbors and now they lived across the country.

About that time my husband brought a large plastic something and began to wave it rhythmically over the embers. To my astonishment the fire grew and the dying embers were now flames that began to rain down ashes.

Laughter rolled out of me as it looked like snow falling, and we were covered in ash in a most literal way, beauty from ashes. As he fanned the flame and it grew I was reminded again that the Creator can be trusted and even if the process is painful, tedious and slow, the healing will come.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God. 2 Timothy 1:6a 

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Boots With the Spurs

Boots with spurs are synonymous with cowboys. When I think cowboy I think old Western, like Bonanza and The Big Valley. Those were the ones available on my TV growing up. With the hindsight of adulthood, I realize those were not entirely historically accurate. In my imagination when I think spur, I imagine a closeup of the back of a boot, spur spinning, the boot-wearer having taken 10 paces and turned around to face his opponent in a duel. (Duel always prompts thoughts of Aaron Burr, spur, Burr…not quite the same but enough to keep me focused.)

Spurs worn on boots, spiked, metal wheel designed to urge a horse along by thrusting it into the animal’s side.

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So as I pondered the word and mulled it over, spur, I immediately put it into the context with which I am familiar, “spur one another on.”

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

I have a few spurs in my life and for that I am grateful.

By definition to spur is to “encourage” an “incentive.” The horse definition fits me a tad better. I’m sluggish and despite already moving in a direction, I get weary: I know the word tells me not to grow weary in doing good so that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I do not give up. It tells me to keep my hands on the plow and move forward. I know those things, and I keep moving, but it’s at a slower pace. Then someone will come along and do that spurring. That spike in the side, so to speak, of urging me to move, to keep the faith, not to give up hope, and to press on with a good steady pace.

Those spurs in my life challenge me.

Am I a spur for others?

When I am prompted, do I encourage others along, trusting the leading of the King, to direct that at just the right moment?

I am challenged to do just that to encourage and spur one another along toward love and good deeds.

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You Woke?

“And tell me your name?”

She smiled in my direction, and paused. I looked around, half trying to figure out if she meant me. The others were mostly looking in my direction; she meant me.

“Amy Martin.”

I always use both names, I have no idea why but I do.

“I am Amy Martin.”

She told me where we were in the questions from the homework. We had made it to the question that had asked why there had been a hovering of the Spirit over the expanse. I knew that, or I thought I did, I had remembered the word ruach and had written it down, I mentioned that in my answer.

We are studying Genesis, more specifically, The God of Creation. So as we were seated around the pushed together tables, after having rolled in almost tardy, but not quite, I beautiful-businesswomen-career-caucasian-601170studied the ladies seated with me. Some I knew well, others not so much. I listened carefully among the chatter of the other tables and as we moved onto other questions my overactive imagination got the best of me.

Another question, “Does God get tired?” The ladies sharing the tables said, “No.” I had remembered that question too. Before I had continued down to the scripture references I had already written in the margin, “He does not sleep nor does he slumber.”

Psalm 121:4, says Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

To illustrate further the Table leader went on to say, “It doesn’t matter when I wake up, God is always awake.”

And that is when it happened…I realized the obvious, something I have known as long as I have known the King, but in that moment I finally connected the dots. I am fully aware that God does not sleep, He is always available and is willing and ready to fellowship with me.

I thought about my Mama. She is an early riser and I am too, sometimes. When she wants to talk to me she will typically check the status of my sleep, wake cycle. She will usually send a “test text.” I do the same for her. It goes something like this?

Me: “You woke?”

Mama: “Yes. You woke?”

Me: “I’m woke.”

It always makes me laugh, if neither of us was woke we obviously wouldn’t be texting.

You know Who is always awake, who never sleeps or slumbers?

God.

I have never had to ask Him if He is awake prior to talking to Him. What a gift to have a God that is always awake and ready to talk with me. Never once have I said to the Lord,

“You woke?” and there is silence. Not. One. Time.

As the questions meandered on and the topic of conversation changed I pondered on and held onto the wonderful revelation that the King helped me to see clearly that Tuesday morning.

He is ready and willing to talk with me (and you) anytime of the night or day.

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You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12

Press In and Press On

I have a tendency not to remember.

I write to remember.

I write to empty myself.

I write because over the span of my lifetime I’ve learned writing is a good medium with which to express myself. In all honesty I do not feel that alone I am any good at it. I have come to realize and understand the words are a gift from the King. He gives the words, I just pen them, or type them actually. I am not even a good typist, but with time and practice I have become a better typist. I would say I am a 60 WPM gal, but I don’t peck at the keyboard like I once did.

For my birthday Scott Martin gave me a large print, extra-space-to-write-in-the-margins Bible.

I needed the large print so that I could make out the words even before my eyes were fully awake and functioning. She is a hefty thing. Larger print begets larger words which beget more pages filled. Despite her size I have grown accustomed to her clumsy nature. At present she is held together with a rubber band, her cover came off weeks ago. She is crammed full of stray papers, hand written notes, and an occasional candy wrapper turned bookmark. I tote her back and forth, she gets tossed around more than her fair share but she is truly a treasured possession. Despite all of her unique characteristics, it was her extra space to write in the margin which made her a perfect candidate to become mine. Scott Martin recognized in her something I needed, substantial note taking space. He knew I would appreciate that more-than-adequate note taking space to serve as a tool of remembrance, a place to jot down the things I did not want to forget.

Recently as I sat down to have my quiet time, I was seated at the kitchen table, Scott Martin was talking in the background and everyone else was still sleeping. (The early morning sun streams through my kitchen window and hits the table in such a way that I especially enjoy my quiet time when it is sunny out.)

That particular day, I was directed to read Psalm 5:1-3 and then I was supposed to answer a question about hopefulness and expectation in prayer.

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

As I looked in the space I noticed an imprint of my own handwriting, as I turned the pages I noticed it was present next to Psalm 8 and by the time I had gotten to Psalm 10 it timelapse-photography-of-falls-near-trees-707915was just beginning to be less noticeable. I flipped left until I found the original text next to Psalm 1. I had dated it, and written a note to myself about the home of William Faulkner. A friend of mine had been there for a visit recently and was telling me about the red cedars planted all about the grounds. Legend has it those cedars were thought to “cleanse the air and were planted to ward off a typhoid outbreak long ago.”

She read Psalm 1, with a focus on verse 3,

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.

I made note. I wanted to be like a tree, a cedar tall and straight, not withering beneath the foreboding conditions of this world. I wrote to remember.

The force with which I had written the original text and had pressed down so firmly, made its way onto the pages of the next 10 Psalms.
I laughed at what I had done.

My mantra these days is to “Press In and Press On!”

Press tight into the hem of King and Press On to the next thing.

The fact that I had pressed in so hard I’d marred the next 10 Psalms pages is not lost on me. I’d pressed down so hard with my pen, writing furiously in a time of desperation that the lasting impression was made and would not soon be forgotten.

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Candy Quarter

He came out of the door marked “Kitchen” wearing an apron and a t-shirt with some BBQ something like WGPM (world’s greatest pit master) or something about Smokin’ something.

The t-shirts always crack me up. I appreciate a funny t-shirt.

america-1293768_1280He made his was around to tables handing quarters to his youngest patrons. He would pause at the tables and ask how lunch was and if everything was alright. My eyes followed him around the room. He would pause at tables making small talk with the adults and passing out quarters to his youngest patrons. There were rambunctious little cowboy boot wearing girls and sneaker wearing boys. When he would hold up the quarters in their direction, their faces would shine with excitement as they gazed upon that silver circle held between his thumb and forefinger.

I mused on his small business owner cohort at the end of the road in the opposite direction. He does the same thing, hands out quarters to the children who frequent his establishment, and despite the obvious differences in that one is a restaurant and one is a tire store, the proprietors, at least in that regard are similar.

close-up-view-colorful-candy-chocolate-65547.jpgThe tire store quarters will yield a gum-ball. I learned that afternoon the restaurant quarter will yield a handful of slightly squashed m&ms or a handful of rainbow colored candies.

I watched as those children raced to the machine and were elated over a handful of candy. Their mamas attempting to coax them back to the table to finish their lunches. I noticed that many of them literally had nutrition on their plates, yet they readily abandoned it for the handful of crushed candies. A momentary sugar exchanged for real Sustenance.

I was reminded of the quote by C.S. Lewis.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

I too, am like those tiny patrons, ignorant of what truly awaits me, satisfied with the temporary and non-beneficial ways of this world in exchange for the beautifully beneficial things of God.

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Never Alone

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He sat alone.

I noticed him facing my direction. I am a bit of a people watcher, I take mental inventories and notice things. My eyes are constantly darting back and forth. I typically notice my fellow shifty-eyed, people-watching, cohorts.

I took notice of him as he was looking in my direction yet, he was not looking directly at me. He was alone and I felt a pang of sympathy and sorrow for him.

I wondered if it were just his lunch break at work or if he had met with some tragedy that had afforded him his lunch alone. For a brief moment the thought crossed my mind, given the choice, would I choose to enter a busy restaurant and dine alone. I decided I would have opted for my meal to be shoved into a paper bag and would have eaten it in my parked car.

I surveyed the crowded dining-area of the bustling fast-food restaurant that day. I made a mental note. In the following weeks of the Christmas shopping season places like this would be filled to capacity on any given day of the week, but today, there he sat all alone.

I made note. His food was delivered to him and he folded his hands in his lap, closed his eyes and bowed his head. I watched, occasionally his mouth moved and formed word fragments, all silent. I recognized immediately that he was praying. I felt intrusive and averted my gaze. I instinctively made an attempt at conversation with those with whom I was sharing my table. I made small talk, yet I could not keep myself from
glancing back and his head remained bowed. I don’t know for how long, but I made note he had a salad and was glad at least that portion of his meal wouldn’t be cold.

I have no idea what he was asking or saying. No idea what expressions of gratitude or reverence he expressed, but it mattered not. I was struck as I watched him eat his meal how wrong I’d been about him being alone. He wasn’t alone. Jesus Christ sat opposite him and in his quiet petitions I have never been more aware of the presence of my King for another as I was in that moment.

Tears welled up in my eyes, so much so that the Modern Day Bethany 3 thought I was having a moment with my sandwich.

The King’s Word promises he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) It also promises that where two or more are gathered, He is there. (Matthew 18:20) I then pondered His name Immanuel, literally God with us (Matthew 1:23) and I realized that fall afternoon that one of those two can be THE ONE, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, despite what appears to be one in the physical, when we have Christ we are never alone.

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All the Things For All the Reasons

I hadn’t seen my friend in a long while. Whenever we see each other she hugs me big. I am not a big “Hugger.” Some people are. Some people will throw their arms around another and squeeze. I’ve known some Huggers to even make a um-um sound as they give the Huggee the Hugger’s most valuable form of affection. Most people find it surprising that I am not a hugger. The conversation usually goes a bit like this:

Me: “ I am not really much of a hugger person.”
Hugger: “What? No! I’ve hugged you lots of times. I wouldn’t have guessed you weren’t a hugger.’
Me: “Usually I stiffen up, brace myself because I know you are a hugger. Have you never noticed that?”
Hugger: “Hmm, now that I think of it I have.”
Me: “The stiffening is usually a good indicator of a non-hugger.”

As my friend saw me coming down the work hallway, maybe she heard me talking because before I knew it she was coming at me full throttle. Her arms were in the ready position before I had time to lock my knees in preparation for the inevitable impact. She squeezed and even twisted a tad. She told me she sure was glad to see me and I told her I was sure glad to see her. She then explained she couldn’t visit long because the one for whom she had been caring “Has all the things.”

All the things. A quick survey and I saw that she was correct.

All the things, for all the reasons.

A this to manage a that. A one of those for some of it. A little thing for a small amount. A large one for substantial volumes. One of those objects for that particular purpose. That implement for that impetus.

All the things, for all the reasons.

I have pondered much on that as of late. All the things that is. I have found myself saying it often.

“I am going to the Big Box Store because I need all the things and they have all the things.”

“I am not able to do that because right now I have all of the things to take care of.”

“She isn’t feeling well. She has all of the things.”

I have found that I casually say “all the things” all the time.

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I was pondering all the things when the King whispered, “But there is but One thing.”

I was transported back to one of my favorite stories. The one of Mary and Martha from Bethany. I have said many times I am the Mother of the Modern Day Bethany Three perhaps it is that kinship that keeps the Bethany Three in my mind in such a way I knew exactly to whom the King was referring.

The story goes a bit like this. Jesus and his dudes were welcomed into the home of Martha. Martha had a sister named Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to him teach. Martha was distracted by all the things and said to Jesus, “Don’t you care that I am doing all the things for all the reasons and Mary is just sitting there doing none of the things?” To which Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 41-42

The One Thing. Not all the things. Mary chose the One Thing. The One Thing, unlike the numerous unnamed all the things, has a name and it’s Jesus.

When we chose the One Thing, all the things are no longer as overwhelming. When we chose the One Thing, the King himself said, we are choosing the good portion that can not be taken away from us.

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Tambourine

I like a weird store. The kind of store where you gotta fish around and you might find yourself a hair bonnet, half melted gourmet chocolate, a hundred number 2 pencils, and any number of random stationary items for a dollar or two.

I don’t mind to dig around to find the aforementioned items and my Modern Day Bethany Three are the same way. They love a bargain and they love a hunt. They love to bring home their found treasures and show them off to their Daddy. He shares in their excitement as they display each of the items and in detail explain how the item was found.

“Mama said I could look in that blue box and everybody else must’ve thought it was a pop-socket but I saw it wasn’t it was a Jewish thing…you know Mama loves a menorah and I got it for her and come to find out it’s a real live gold coin!”

happy-hanukkah-3791393_1280.pngIt was a Hanukkah gelt she had found. And it did have a resemblance to one of those stand-up sockets that go on cellphones. (Hanukkah gelt refers to money as well as chocolate coins given to Jewish children on the festival of Hanukkah.)

Recently we were at just such a store when Maggie picked up a bent and broken tambourine. She instinctively shook it and did so with a matching rhythm of the background music playing in the random and weird store. I gave her a sharp sideways glance. She laughed and said,

“I know Mama, no tambourines in our home.”

I laughed and said, “You got it Maggie.”

She laid the tambourine where she’d pick if from and we moved on in our hunt for bargains. A short time later as the background music changed in tempo and in genre I heard the tambourine once more in time with the music.

I instinctively looked for Maggie who was within feet of me. I turned in the direction of the tambourine and saw a petit framed woman holding it, tapping it on her leg. Her long skirt danced as her legs beneath it must have been. She had a smile on her face and joy in her heart for the brief moment as she played. I laughed again, and was reminded of a verse in the King’s book,

Psalm 149:3
Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

For a brief moment in the randomness of a random store with the help of a complete stranger the King’s Word came to life and illustrated a beautiful picture of what heavenly worship will look like all because of a bent, broken, haphazardly placed tambourine.

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