By Janet Morris Grimes -
God has a universe at His fingertips.
I never really stopped to think about it in those terms. The world is so big. So busy. So diverse. Sometimes I think it has too many people with too many opposing beliefs. How can He possibly pay attention to all of us at one time?
But He doesn’t see it that way. It’s all part of the creation that He so adores. He knows us by name, and I think He thrilled when He gets the chance to prove it to us by using His own created universe to touch our lives.
God has a way of working through the details of our lives—details that He has lovingly worked out in advance because in His world, all things truly do work together for good, for those called according to His purpose.
All things work together for good.
In my own life, I’ve seen it happen numerous times. My current job is a position opened up for me at just the right time, after a period of years where I applied for countless positions in three different states.
When our daughter was a baby, money was extremely tight. I desperately wanted to buy a coat with a matching hat for her, but it was too costly. I said nothing to anyone about it, but prayed and hoped to find it later on a clearance rack at the end of the season. A week later, my mother-in-law handed me a bag in it with that exact coat and hat.
The gift meant much more because we could not afford it on our own.
When our youngest daughter was only two weeks old, a wicked ice storm caused power outages all over Nashville that lasted as long as three weeks. Our house was the only house on the street that maintained power throughout, something that even our electric company could not explain.
Logistics. What you need. When you need it.
God is the master of this. He is immeasurable. His universe, vast.
He adores you. And if you allow Him to do so, He will prove it to you in the most intricate and personal of ways.
PRAYER: Dear God, You are almighty. We are not. Thank You.
By Janet Morris Grimes -
Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killers. The Dead Sea Squirrels. The Band Formerly Known as Sausage. The Dukes of Hazardous Material. Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program. Guitarantula. Shirley Temple of Doom. Vampire State Building. Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of Death. Amputatoe. Pooper Scooper of Love. Chronic Halitosis. Stuck Zippers. Gopher’s Bow Tie. Intellivisionairies. Elizabeth Taylor’s Husbands. Hockey Teeth. People With Chairs Up Their Noses. Pontius Co-Pilot.
These are all actual names of actual bands. Music groups. But I wonder what type of music they might offer.
I marvel at the creativity, the sense of humor, and the way a name can tell you nothing about what you might get if you open up the package to hear more. Am I likely to be moved by a song from the Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of Death or the Shirley Temple of Doom? Do the Dead Sea Squirrels have anything inspirational to offer me? Do I want to be a part of the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program?
There are many times I hear a song on the radio for the first time and think, “Wow! I wish I had written that.”
Whether I love the music or not, I love the creative process and am drawn to it when I detect it in others. I may never hear a song by the Intellivisionairies or Guitarantula, but I am already impressed by them because of the cleverness of their chosen names.
Our God is the Creator of all things. He used color and scents and tastes to develop a beautiful and harmonious world. He stretched the neck of the giraffe and squished in the nose of the Pug for reasons only He will understand. He demonstrates a marvelous sense of humor and continues to create on a second by second basis.
I believe He created us to do the same, by sharing those same creative genes with us. Or is it creative jeans?
Regardless, I applaud those who find a way to do it. I may never be a fan of the music from The Band Formerly Known as Sausage or Pontius Co-Pilot, but I am a fan of the One who created them.
Because creating is one of the most worshipful things we can do, to lay our gifts, whatever they happen to be, at His feet.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for creating us to be creative. Use our talents to point others toward You.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
By Janet Morris Grimes -
I have this odd little quirk. Call it crazy. Call it focused. Call it annoying. Call it brilliant. Call it my attempt to slow down enough to absorb the message of something that matters.
I leave the television off, turn on my music, and listen to it on repeat. All. Day. Long.
It’s whatever I need to hear on a particular day. The music lays the foundation while the lyrics pierce my soul. I find it comforting Freeing.
Today, my song of choice was The Little Drummer Boy, by Jars of Clay.
I adored the television special as a child, until the part where the little lamb was run over by the ox cart. But later, as he is healed and dances to the music of the drummer boy, I melted. Every time.
Even back then, I recognized that this was the one true Christmas special that had nothing to do with Santa Claus, reindeer or misfit toys. It was the only one that focused on giving instead of getting, on Jesus instead of Santa, and on people instead of things.
Today, as I listened to the lyrics, minus the pa rum pa pum pums, I was fascinated by the simple message.
Come, they told me
A newborn King to see
Our finest gifts we bring
To lay before the King.
So to honor Him
When we come.
I am a poor boy, too.
I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give the King
Shall I play for you?
On my drum?
The ox and lamb kept time.
I played my drum for Him.
I played my best for Him.
Then, He smiled at me.
Me and my drum.
The Little Drummer Boy is a fictional story, but is still so very true.
All Jesus asks from us is whatever we have to offer. For this boy who was hurting, it was a song on a drum. Nothing more. Nothing less.
For me, it is my writing. It is all I have to offer, and the only way I know to give back to Him.
As the song says, “so to honor Him, we come…”
I will show up, bringing all that I have to offer.
And when He smiles at me?
I can think of no greater gift.
Me and my drum.
Pa rum pa pum pum.
By Janet Morris Grimes –
I used to wonder if it was possible to have a relationship with a building. An inanimate structure. Four walls made of brick and mortar. They don’t move. They don’t feel. They don’t respond. Or so I once believed.
But now I know better.
Home. If anything, the past four years have taught me that ‘home’ is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Home is the last place our family resided together. Home was the place the friends of our kids gathered with an open invitation. Home was the place we grew up; learned to be a family, let our guard down to renew our strength to face the challenges of each day.
Defined as ‘the physical structure where one may live; a house or apartment, I realized that when painted with laughter, love and cherished memories, ‘home’ becomes much more than a physical structure. ‘Home’ is a point of reference reserved in the heart that means completely different things to different people. This is proven by the countless songs written about the winsome nostalgia and belonging of ‘home.’
None of these are more powerful than the recent hit by Miranda Lambert entitled The House That Built Me. She tells the story, perhaps her own, of a person who has left home and longs to make one last visit to her childhood home.
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothin’ but a memory
From the house that built me.
We have lived in two different apartments since we left our home behind. And those have been fine. And to be honest, God has used this entire experience to sever my ties to things, and for that I am thankful.
But still, there are moments that my heart hurts and I truly miss it. I miss the harmony I felt when I walked through the door. I miss the way I thought it was part of the forever plan for our family. I miss decorating it for Christmas or baking chocolate cakes in the kitchen. I miss the friends who would drop by unannounced.
And then I remember Heaven, and how no structure here on earth was meant to be a permanent dwelling anyway.
How wonderful that home will be for all of us.
By Janet Morris Grimes –
On the twelfth day of Thanksgiving, my family gave to me:
A less than thankful turkey
2 football games
3 rounds of refills
4 rolls of Tums
5 photo sessions
6 men a snoring
7 naps a waking
8 unknown cousins
9 ladies cooking
10 extra pounds
11 potato casseroles
12 deviled eggs.
We truly do have much to be thankful for. May God bless you all richly this holiday season.
From the Devotional Team at The Christian Pulse