Amen – So Be It!

Amen, so be it.” 

A few things thrust me into contemplation over this phrase, today. 

With out a doubt, I definitely overdid during the past holidays! We were helping kids move and our house was being prepped for some big repairs.  My eating and sleeping had been upset. As a result, my energy level fluctuated wildly!
For breakfast one day, I flat out stuffed my face with some of the rich chocolates my husband bought me from See’s.  Yum!  Once I mindlessly crammed in two chocolate covered cherries while I was sitting at the computer working. No problem!  My coffee was nearby!   Thinking about it now, when I cram-jammed these goodies in my craw, could I actually say, “Amen-so be it?”   Dear Lord, help me !
Of course, I would never dream of driving above the speed limit on purpose!   You must understand, it was all those other cars pushing me!  When I was speeding, could I acknowledge what I was doing and honestly say, “Amen – so be it?”
About a week ago, when someone actively tap-danced on my last nerve and my callous thoughts ran wild, could I stop right then and truthfully say, “Amen – so be it?”
Swearing? Although I’ve never been given to swear words when I stubbed my toe or worse, I wondered about certain circumstances where I, quickly, silently, flashed on my Creator and shot blame His way. “God why did YOU let this happen?”  Could I really hold up my fist at Him and then follow that action with “Amen – so be it?”
Could I fittingly pronounce an affirmation after any of these things? As I commit a few of these things to paper, I find myself shaking my head and chuckling.  “Amen – so be it” is a declaration of affirmation.  Most people say it after a prayer.  I suppose it means they are affirming what they just said and the “Amen” seals it!
I‘ve heard some comical, albeit, powerless, faithless prayers over the years.  Where do people come up with this stuff?  Certainly, I would NOT want to seal any of these prayers with an affirmation.  If God really did what they spoke, they’d be in real trouble.
Bringing it closer to home, however, I can see that my words and actions could use a tune-up as often as, let’s say…oh….about everyday!!! 
See what trouble meditating on The Word gets me into?  Now I’m stuck giving it some consideration!   Calisthenics for my mind.  According to II Corinthians 1:20, all God’s promises are Yea and Amen.  Good thing they are   Good example for me!
At this point, I am obliged to “Selah – PAUSE and calmly think of that”, first! Then I can incorporate the lesson; make the changes, toe-the-mark.
The upshot for me is that if I “Selah” first, I will most assuredly be able to firmly seal my words and actions with an…..   “Amen – so be it!”   
Nancy Kehr  3/31/11

The Road is Closed! Here’s Your Sign!

Let’s Go to Reno!  To many people, these words indicate joyful abandon to a gilded, carefree world of sparkles and thrills! 
No matter the conditions, opportunity for escape from the daily grind, beckons travelers like the bewitching song of the Sea Sirens,
The morning news featured weather-related travel reports.  A newscaster interviewed several people who were stuck overnight in a small Northern California town.  CalTrans halted traffic at the Nevada state line; it was too perilous to travel.
One woman’s sarcastic tone was apparently aimed at the CalTrans people.  Never mind the huge storm that had barraged the area, she couldn’t’ understand why “they” hadn’t cleared the roads!   
My response – – Duhhhhh !!
Moderately miffed, another man exclaimed disappointment that he wasn’t able to celebrate his birthday, as planned, in Reno.   What would normally have been a two-and-a-half hour trip had stretched into twelve!  Did he actually say “planned?”  
Another driver’s impulsive road trip made no provision for food or shelter, and now they were really stuck. They didn’t bring enough money for gas, and couldn’t go forward, OR return home.  Imagine that lack of foresight.  We‘re not talking about kids, here, either!
The camera panned elsewhere. This picture punched my funny button, and I laughed out loud!  Typical Californian!  Ornate flip-flops were hardly what I’d call protection from the snow.  An obvious shortage of awareness plagued one young woman as she struggled to put on her chains while her feet froze!
It was all there, though.  The news was fraught with information!
“Avoid the area” – – – “Poor road conditions!”  An online road advisory noted that because of mountainous terrain and climate, “it is wise to be informed about both highway conditions and weather before venturing far.”  Ya think?
Warnings cautioned travelers about high winds, storms and snow slides.  On-going reports of multiple spinouts, zero visibility, and avalanche-control filled TV and radio newsrooms.  Webcams furnished a clear view of the hazards.  What more could be needed?
My mind was boggled!  Just how tough is that to understand?   Where in the world do people get the idea that those instructions are for someone else?
How could so many people be caught off guard, and why, suddenly, was the lack of preparation on the part of these people, the burden and responsibility of someone else?  They inconvenienced themselves by their own shortsightedness and failure to prepare!
Could CalTrans be expected to affect the visibility issue?  How about an avalanche?  Could they dial-down the precipitation simply because the driving public thought they should?
My thoughts churned. How many people really live in this type of a mindless bubble?   I think we are insulated by the fact that most of us are used to doing just about whatever, whenever!  In fact, it seems that we’ve learned to be a flippant lot!  Arrogance supersedes practicality.  Short-sighted, insensitive, spoiled, and deaf we are.  And – -.we have delusions of self-importance.
Once that “Me” bubble gets squeezed by the unpredictable….or even bursts… people’s reactions vary.  Either they suddenly returned to their senses, or they aggravated blame on an outside or innocent factor.
Perhaps scores of things have become just a little too easy for us so that we do not seriously heed warnings!  My thoughts flashed to the guy who recently lost his life in the tsunami at Crescent City, CA. 
Back to the TV. Stranded motorists blamed CalTrans, or the weather.  Seriously?  Granted, some people seem to have more common sense about them than others, but whatever happened to ownership of consequences for one’s own actions?
The popular saying, “You gotta follow your heart,” is overrated – on so many levels!   A friend’s e-mail nearly pushed me over the edge of incredulity.
She wrote, “I don’t care that the roads are still bad.  We are going to tackle the mountains and go meet our new granddaughter.  Can’t wait.”
The weather forecast predicted clear travel in a couple of days.  Given any weird twist of fate and weather, I wondered if my friend could become a statistic.
A later post revealed that a 3-hour trip stretched to over eight and incorporated both car and road problems.  While assisting them, AAA had an accident.  Had she considered possibilities, or was she simply guided by heady desire?  What was wrong with waiting to make sure of safe arrival?
We’re fatter by the minute, dying while trying to live, unsettled, can’t sleep, lack peace, have less joy and are self-absorbed.
Our microwave mentality can only deal with the 5-second sound byte, Reality TV, tweeting 140 characters, Fun-With-Face Book, Farmville, pre-occupation with gaming, or dumbed-down education.  Our culture now breeds the “blame game.”  Someone or something is always at fault for our actions or mishaps. Strength of character is waning.
The signs are all here now!  The world is slipping and sliding, erupting, storming, overflowing, flooding, and burning. God said it would.  It’s overspent and overindulged.  Mired in mindlessness and struggling to survive, it is toxic to our souls!
Look out!  Be sober!  Be vigilant!
I can’t help but wonder where we are placing our expectations – in false reality, or in Truth?  Cocooned in a myopic and naïve world view, we suffer from attention deficit!   Yes, the signs are all there, and that brings HOPE. But, what will we do with them?
Here’s your sign!

This post has been shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

Coffee Break, Cold Water and Bob

Husband Randy and my daughter
photo by Nancy

Rushing in the door, immediately on the lookout for my husband Randy, my daughter, pushed past me because something was wrong with her car.  She had come to pick up the grandkids – two precocious 10 year olds – but half way to our house, her car began making a loud knocking noise!   
I was ready for everyone to be gone!  For a myriad of reasons, getting to my work while these two were here was next to impossible!  At least I had the evening to catch up.
“Rocker arm’s loose,” was Randy’s diagnosis.  “She can’t drive it home…we’ll have to take them home to Modesto.”
Poof!  There went all our plans for that evening!   Seems like whenever we have a boatload of stuff to accomplish, it often takes second place to something like this!  Well it couldn’t be helped, and they had to get home.  I would have to be up early the next day to drive one car while Randy tried to drive hers to the auto shop.  Hadn’t we had just done this for her in February?
Everyone loaded up into the big truck and we made the trip to Modesto.  It was already getting late so only one of our errands could be accomplished.  The car was filled up but our stomachs were on empty! 
On the trip home, Starbucks beckoned from the freeway. It was not our usual store, but we decided to make a bit of a “date-night” anyway!  Date-night.  That’s where we kick back; forget everything but each other, talk, sit close, talk, hold hands and talk.  Yes!  That’s what we’d do!
There it sat!  I noticed it as we scouted the place for a good out-of-the-way place to sit. Had the Gideon’s been there?  We eyed a Bible at one of the empty tables.   No one was there so, the Book marked our spot!
An UPS man arrived at the counter about the same time as I did.  He deferred to me to order first.  I thanked him; we made small talk.  Meanwhile, Randy headed for “the spot”.  Order complete, I headed there too.  Behind me was the UPS man.  Randy picked up the Bible, while I got comfortable.
 “Oh, that’s mine,” said a deep voice.  A look up revealed the UPS man.
We told him we had been meaning to read Psalms 27 all day, and he motioned for us to continue.  

Randy read the whole chapter out loud.  I prayed while Randy continued to talk, as he shared the Word with related stories. This tired fellow seemed to enjoy the unexpected twist in his evening. 

His practice was to save up all his breaks until the end of the day, and then finish paperwork, and unwind at Starbucks before heading home. 
Upon parting, I commented that he probably never expected to spend his break with fanatics!  He laughed and remarked that he needed it, emphasizing that he was there every evening at the same time!
His name was Bob.  Funny how we thought we were just getting ourselves some coffee.  Instead, we were sent to bring him a cup of cold water!

This true story is linked to “Tell Me a True Story.”

Tell Me a Story

Got My Coffee, Got My Chair!

Got my coffee, got my chair
Kicking Back, a moment rare…
Thinking on some days gone by
Certain memories make me cry.
Tears of sadness, tears of bliss
Thanking God for, joyfulness
Wishing never, changed a thing
Only God can purpose bring
Life is shorter, than we see
Hurry, scurry….just to be
Looking back now, all too fast
Year have faded, into the past
The past is gone, I can’t amend
Today is what I have to tend
I’m glad for Peace that Jesus brings
He gives purpose to everything
Shuffled around so, as a child
Uncertainty trained emotions, wild
It always was hard to believe
Let alone Love to receive
As a child my fears would worsen
But now I am another person
Contentment grows in me each day
I let God come and lead the way
Inside and out, He’s restored
Praise to Jesus!  Praise You Lord!
He brought me to, His fountain deep
He said I would be His to keep
I remember, when we met
A place in time I won’t forget
From that day, there’s been a song
He built me up and made me strong
Now it’s my turn, just the same
To build up others in His Name
To help them see that their life matters
And God can patch up all their tatters
A warrior sturdy, of God’s own hand
My own devices cannot stand
That news I bring with clarion sounds
Deliverance flows, when God abounds
Though I can’t see my future time
I thank my God today is mine!
Got my coffee, got my chair
Zest for Life is in the air!!!
Thank you God, for another day!
Nancy Kehr 3/2811

I Am His Little I AM

Seems, as a kid, I always lived in dread of the other shoe dropping.
It puts a person on continual edge.  I was really thankful for being able to learn about God’s Merciful and Fatherly qualities.  It helped me develop trust in Him.

So, I wrote a song like as a little girl telling someone naa-naa- you can’t get me!  Make up your own tune and sing along – – – –

I Am His Little I AM

I am my Father’s glory
I am His joy and pride
I march right into the throne room
I run right up to His side
I try to be just like Him
In all I do or say
I’m spoiled and I know it,
But He loves me anyway!

I am His little “I Am”, I am!
Runnin’ around the throne
In the Name of my Big Brother, Jesus
I make all heaven my home
I am His little “I Am”, I am!
Some say I look just like HIm
I am His little “I Am”, I am!
I am, ’cause He lives within!
Oh, I am ’cause He lives within!

by Nancy Kehr

Instant in Season

A big, indistinguishable lump of green-gray clothing and blankets lay near the front door of Honest Automotive. 
It was still early morning and the shop had not yet opened.  My husband pulled his truck to the left as I swung mine closer the entrance so I could exit with ease.  Randy sat bundling up a note along with his truck keys to poke through the drop-slot as I parked.
Immediately, all my senses went on alert!  Dirty bare feet stuck out of the mess.  My mind raced, assessing the situation.  Mentally, I began locating supplies from various places the back of my truck. 
The morning chill hit my arms as I flung open the door. Brrr! I forgot my jacket. Even though the weather predicted a hot one today, the morning air was still quite cold. 
Dirt-encrusted and horribly callused, those feet had seen a lot of miles.  They looked red and cold; the crusty, thickened nails appeared infected.  As the muddled lump became clearer to me, I could see that the feet were attached to some legs in camo pants. A filthy thread-bare blanket was thrown over the upper body and head of this individual.
The bare feet stirred.  What a relief! 
Shoes!  I have shoes!  In the back of the truck!  Just last night we had loaded a bunch of things into my vehicle. I knew there was a complete homeless bag made up just for a man.   
Hygiene and personal care items, socks, underwear, t-shirt, food, water – it was all there!  Grabbing the bag, I hopped out of the truck and made my way toward a man who was now sitting up but with head still drooping.  Quietly I placed the bag before him and said,
“Good Morning, here’s a little breakfast!”  Without waiting for a reply, I hurried back to the truck to see what else I could locate. By then, my husband was talking with the man. 
Scraggly hair and filthy clothing encased this dejected soul.  He could barely look  up at us through the gnarled locks.  A well-worn army backpack had been his pillow.   He sat cross-legged, looking at the ground and shaking his head as we kept bringing things to him.   He mumbled ‘thank-you’ and ‘God bless you’ over and over. 
His stomach growled in loud protest as he pawed through the contents of the bag for food. He continued to mumble his thanks, shake his head and apologize. We told him he didn’t have to apologize but that God sent us to help.  Randy asked if he had any water and how much he could carry and helped him to his feet.
Brushing back his tangled, matted hair, the man greeted us with tired blue eyes. Thirty?  Thirty-Five?  Guessing his age was hard.  Stained, broken and missing teeth told of his hardship.  He began apologizing that we had to see him like this. He and his traveling buddy had been attacked the previous evening and now the buddy was hospitalized.  The police had dumped him there last night.
His name was Carl.  He was from Arkansas. Obviously, he had been roaming around quite a while. He said he made it to Alaska in five days, but he was now two months trying to get back home.  Granny was waiting. He had a place to go.
His eyes brightened as we spoke.   He put on some shoes and stood as we asked if we could pray with him. I told him that I may never see him again in this life but that, when this life was all done, I wanted to see him in heaven! 
Hanging his head and recoiling a bit as we attempted to grab his hands for prayer, Carl objected,
“You don’t want to touch me, I’m filthy, I’m dirty!”
“As far as God is concerned, we are all filthy until we let him into our lives and sort out our mess”, was my reply. 
He allowed us to take his hands and he stood as erect as he could!  Randy began a powerful prayer pronouncing God’s love for Carl and rehearsing what God had done for us through Jesus.  Tears filled Carl’s eyes……… and mine. He squeezed our hands.  My heart pushed past the nastiness of his condition.  Randy hugged him.
No we didn’t lead him to the Lord.  Somehow, this dusty soul seemed to know.  All we did was to remind him that he needed to return to God and trust Him alone.
Work beckoned, calling us back into our world.  We had to hurry so that Randy wouldn’t be late.  In silence we drove home to pick up Randy’s work truck.
Pondering God’s faithfulness, I had forgotten how cold I was.

Let them Go

My Goal is to Let them Go!
Past rejections, let them go !!
They can’t control you, so let them flow
So far away, no more they’ll scar
They have no power, to hurt and mar
Jesus freed you, let Him heal
His Life within you, will now reveal
How close to you, He’ll always dwell 
Assuring you, all fears He’ll quell
Past mistakes are over and done
You are more than their total sum
Assaulting thoughts, try to condemn
Don’t yield at all, just run to Him!
Your were always, special indeed
God’s strength is what you really need
Accepting you with imperfection
He’s given you His own reflection
Guard your heart and bolt it tight
Think God’s thoughts, walk in His might
You overcome, by what He did
You’re blessed, you’re loved; you are His kid!
By Nancy Kehr 3/21/11

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