Monday, April 25, 2011

Smooth Stones

Brandee Shafer, who writes about her very full life of family, church, and friendships over at the Smooth Stones blog, is my first stranger-become-friend through this blog.  She has surprised me over and over with the generosity of her prayers and affection and especially with the gift of herself to someone she's never met.

Her post for today is lovely and poignant, especially for anyone who has watched a loved one fade away through age and dementia.  Yesterday she graciously republished her favorite essay from this blog on her own site.  Due to technical difficulties and family commitments, I'm apparently starting out the week a day late, but I don't expect Brandee will make a fuss.  She's understanding that way.

Without further ado, here is the post she chose:
Little over a dozen years ago, I sat in my first class, 601 Spiritual Life, of my first full-time semester of seminary.  Dr. Bill Lawrence, with abundant energy and clear enthusiasm for his subject and students, was a good way to begin. He told us over and over, "Repetition is the key to learning," and perhaps he was right.  Again today, as I read the account of the feeding of the 5,000, I heard his voice reminding us of what he called "the lesson of the loaves."

The first clause of the lesson describes the problem in the passage: more than 5,000 (if women and children were also present) hungry people in a remote wilderness, late in the day.  What does Jesus say?  He tells the apostles to feed this impossible multitude with five small loaves and two tiny fish.  In Dr. Lawrence's words, "You must do what you cannot do with what you do not have. . . ."

Please click below to visit Brandee's place and read the rest of "The Lesson of the Loaves":

Also, since it's Monday, I'm returning thanks to God for (gratitude list #86-101)
~the resurrection of Christ!
~turning around the cross in the garden so it proclaims, "He is risen!"
~Easter hymns and church webcasts
~the kindness of friends
~time with family to celebrate the cross and empty tomb together
~family with common faith
~a 4 year-old nephew wanting to ask the blessing at supper and thanking God for the aunts and uncle coming to play with him
~little boys, Easter eggs, blowing bubbles, and new tee ball gloves
~carrot cake
~loan of a more comfortable car for the drive back and forth
~God's protection of our travel on night of spring thunderstorms
~"chatting" by text with a sister-in-law on the way home
~Ebony's happy dance when we return
~this interview with the beautiful Dr. Helen Roseveare
~babies at the park
Photo credit: Big Al
~our new neighbors
Stanford and Maybelle Cardinal
Atticus and Molly Finch


  1. I visited at Smooth Stones to read your whole post. Very encouraging--a message I need to hear about letting HIM do with my measly offering what he will.

    I love the babies at the park!

  2. @Lisa notes... It's a good Monday message I need to hear often. I'm grateful to have been in that class to hear it and for a chance to pass it on.

    The annual duck-baby brigade never fails to make me smile. Glad you liked them, too.

    The Lord bless you, Lisa!


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.