Stewardship

Stewardship – Take a Time Out

 

The inner life of a Christian  has to be different.

We don’t walk to the same drummer as many other people.  We need to recognize this and HONOR it.

A  gift  was given to us by our Creator. And, with every gift we are given we see a glimmer of how another person sees us.  With the  gifts we receive, we have insight into who we are. Each gift brings with it a responsibility to be recognized and honored.

Guard your time for it is precious. Set time apart to be alone in solitude. For in being alone and set apart, we can listen to the voice of God and know our purpose.

Busy-ness is not to be desired.

“Crazy Busy” is just that – CRAZY!

“BUSY” is not a virtue.

When is the last time you were still and quiet?  Perhaps you need to be a good steward of your time? Take some “time out” to allow the Holy Spirit to communicate with you and guide your day.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Ps

Psalm 46:1

Article and Photography by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright, June10, 2017. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Lynda  McKinney Lambert

.Front Cover

Blogger:

Author:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press), 2002.

   

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017 

Lynda is a Peer Adviser  and writes articles on sight loss and blindness for  Vision Aware Blog

CONTACT ME: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 Author – Blogger – Visual Artist

My Life as a Pivot

My Life as a Pivot

 

I am pivoted from one location, to another. I turn, and move suddenly to a new route. I change. 

May is the month of graduation ceremonies.  Nearly 3 decades ago, I walked down the aisle in my cap and gown to receive my third, and final, degree.  The formal procession marked the end of 9 years of diligent work in which I earned 3 university degrees at 2 different universities, in 2 different states.  Of course, I was happy to reach the lofty educational goals I set.  But, even so, I had a strange sense of loss because I was leaving the environment of being a student in the myriad of classrooms over those years. I loved being a student. When that final diploma was in my hand, I knew I stood at a fork in the road. This achievement meant that I had reached dividing point between my student-centered life of studies and my new academic life as a professional educator.

 

When students begin to pursue the academic goals that lead to a college degree, they decide to embrace a future-centered environment that will involve them in life-long learning.

I eventually understood that even as a first semester freshmen, a university student is already a professional. It is the decision to begin this journey that propels a student into a professional. It is the decision that marks the change and not the receipt of the final degree.  The final graduation ceremony was the turning point for me because it signified a momentous modification in direction. I mourned the loss of being in a classroom, as a student, for many years. Honestly, I wanted to be a student forever.

On reflection of those years, I can say I wrote more research papers than I can remember. Writing and researching various topics in my fields of fine arts and humanities motivated me and urged me onward in pursuit of wisdom.

I thrived on doing research at the library; searching through the pages of various periodicals or books was a passion.

In the process of writing papers, I discovered new research.  I felt like an archaeologist digging in a multi-layered excavation site. Every page I turned just might lead to a new discovery.  New discoveries revealed a new set of questions and new paths to pursue.

We often find hidden pathways and ancient passages in the debris and dust we gather as we write our papers. There is always something that compels us to explore.  Dig deeper. In the course of researching and writing papers, I experienced the unexpected or unknown.  It is in these pivots of our life that we encounter our true self as we continually ask:

“What if?”  “Now what?” “Where will this lead me?”  “What is this world view?”

Miriam Webster’s Dictionary reveals that a pivot can be a noun or a verb. Yes, I can see it both ways but when I think of this word, pivot, I feel like an action is taking place. This word indicates a movement, to me. Research brings me to new information. New conclusions.

 

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Visit the  WELCOME PAGE to learn more about Lynda McKinney Lambert. activities and career.

Lynda McKinney Lambert lives and writes in the Village of Wurtemburg, in Western Pennsylvania.  Her articles and poems appear on a number of blogs, as well as Literary Magazines and books.

View Publications Page for her most recent updates.

Discover Lynda’s other blog, Walking by Inner Vision.

 

Check out Lynda’s Author ‘s Page

Copyright 2017. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 

“Thanks for rejoicing with me today.  Isn’t God so wonderful!”

Romans 8:28

 

 

 

Lynda Lambert: Interview

I was a guest on the Branco Broadcast

on Monday, March 6, 2017

The interview is recorded and you can click on this link to listen in to my presentation on how my latest book developed.

Lynda talks about her NEW BOOK

You can also listen to my FIRST interview on the Braco Broadcast, last December. In this interview I discuss my sight loss  and how I learned to live and work in new ways. I discuss my first book,

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage. 

Lynda talks about INTENTIONS

 

 

I am the author of the new book

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems 

Lynda’s Author Page

It is well with my soul

Epiphany

Friday, January 6, 2017

Epiphany: At 6 am we walk through the snow in the darkness.The morning is still and peaceful.
My dogs and me.  We are early risers.
I notice cat tracks that leave a trail from my porch and over the snowy sidewalk; sown the driveway; and across the road. He is a black and white cat who visits for the food, shelter, and comfort that Bob provides daily. We see him come and go. He’s afraid of people. We get glimpses of him.
Along the edges of the ridge,  deer tracks are fresh. I am thankful for these majestic creatures who pass like ghosts through the woods in all seasons.
Back inside the house, I read a blog post that gave me a window to wisdom I’ll need for this day. Peace, like a river…it is well with my soul. I am standing.  My soul sings to God. How GREAT  Thou art! Here’s my heart.

Gentle Zephyr

Gentle Zephyr is an Abecedarian Poem.

Each new lines is a letter of the alphabet. Look down the LEFT side of the poem and you will see the first line begins with “A” and the final line ends with “Z.”

*****

 

Gentle Zephyr

 

Angel of the Lord

by night you

called me without warning.

“Do not be afraid,” you said.

Even so, I shuddered

fearful and ashamed as you

granted me a message

“Holy, holy, holy,” you sang.

I heard you that lonely night

“Just as I am?”  I AM. “Let me

keep this night forever

locked in my memory,” I thought.

Miraculous, our Messiah has arrived. We are

night watchers near the City of David

only Jehovah saw value in us.  

Patiently, we kept waiting

quietly, the angel came; a brilliant star

revealed the message to

shepherds! The sheep barely stirred,

Tonight, the sky was falling, spinning,

until the Angel spoke. Divine

visitations are unexpected. I’ve been

waiting for the One called

X is for the newborn Christ. Oh, come, Emmanuel.

YHWH.  El Shaddi. Come quickly, gentle

Zephyr.

_____

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

Visit Lynda Lambert at www.lyndalambert.com

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL

 

Envision a Ship Coming In

Envision  a Ship Coming In

by Lynda Lambert

People often say, “I hope my ship comes in.”

In other words, they WANT to have something good come to them in some unexpected way. It usually means they need  a financial windfall  or help with something material they want to come to them. Definitely, this phrase expresses a need in their life and a longing for a quick fix.

The phrase also signifies a person feels helpless and really doubts that anything will change for them. It feels a bit helpless when you hear this longing desire for “somehthing,” doesn’t it? It makes me sad.

There is a universal law known as “SOWING & REAPING.”

When we are in need of a HARVEST, we must first plant the seeds for it.

Without the actions of preparing the soil and planting the seend, there is seldom a harvest.

As I hear a person  wondering if their ship will come in, I have to ask:

How many ships did you SEND OUT?

 

I send out a LOT of ships, so I can live in the expectation that many ships will come in for me.  And, just like we ENVISION, they DO come in – or come BACK ,  in DUE time.

Often my SHIPS come back through the mail. When my husband brings in the mail each day, I ask him:  “Did a ship come in the mailbox today?”

What DOES your SHIP LOOK LIKE? 

My SHIPS come in the form of CHECKS that arrive by MAIL Some  ships come in the form of INVITATIONS to important events that I will enjoy.

Occasionally ships come in the disguise of AWARDS for work I have done in writing and art. That is what I DO, it’s my profession. When I do it extremely well, I get paid with MONEY, FRIENDSHIPS,  LOVE, RESPECT, AWARDS, Publications   or  PUBLIC RECOGNITION.

 

Ships can arrive in dreams, in the middle of the night.  Ships will  come in conversations with others. Ideas for new projects or answers to difficult questions we are wrestling with can come unexpectedly.

 

Ships can be SENT OUT anywhere and at any time.

Ships can COME IN anywhere and at any time, too!

best-of-show-ribbon2

 Many years ago, I read a book by a well-known California pastor, Rev. Robert Schuller.

He spoke on reaping a harvest from God for our work. He said to CELEBRATE every award we receive, put those AWARD ribbons and plaques on our WALL and LOOK at them EVERY DAY – to remember that all our harvests come from GOD.

In my art studio, a wall is covered from ceiling to floor with colorful satin ribbons from all over the world –  they inspire me to do MORE and they affirm that what I do has been recognized by colleagues in my field. Each award is an affirmation by an expert in my field that my work passed the test and came in as a winner.

Likewise, in my office where I write; the walls are adorned  with plaques and framed recognition certificates I have received over the years  from  organizations I  served.  My diplomas from universities  where I earned 3 degrees push me forward to stay focused on what is important in my pursuit of  life-long learning.  I plan to do research and share my gifts with others even more in the years ahead. Diplomas are far more than a piece of paper. They are ships that vrought me through years of personal effort and dedication. When I look at them now, I feel like they are anchors that hold my ship fast  in any storm and keep me on course.

How about you?  

You may have many ships  yet to come in but if you have not yet sent them out, you will never be able to say, “My ship came in!”

When your SHIP does come IN, be sure to thank God for it, put the award ribbon or plaque on your wall, cash your checks, see your work in publications, and send off more ships – plant more seeds for an abundant harvest.

And, yes, stand proud and take a bow and pause to recognize your harvest.

 

OH, I almost forgot to share a ship that returned to me this morning.  You can read my wonderful NEWS today at this link:

http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/personal-stories/recreation-and-leisure-personal-stories/introducing-lynda-lambert-seasoned-writer-and-artist/1235

Please LIKE my  POST and offer me some comments. I enjoy it so much.

 

____

Copyright 2016. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 

Contact Lynda: riverroad@zoominternet.net

Lynda’s newest book, “Walking by Inner Vision” will soon be published.

She is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage,” by Kota Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals or Intentions?

Goals or Intentions?

What’s the DIFFERENCE?

Goals are NOT Intentions. 

Intentions are NOT Goals!

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

What’s the BIG DEAL?   Well, it is a very big deal and can make all the difference in the world as to How you ENVISION  your life: what you DO;  Who you ARE;  What you will BE,

I will be important to know the differences between two words that many people misunderstand. 

The two words are not  interchangeable.

Knowing the difference can make a remarkable change in your life this year.

 

Photo_Chopra_Intention

What is a TRIGGER for Transformation?

 

I would like to explore this idea with you today!

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting15_Scarf9_4

Lynda  McKinney Lambert 

I feel like a star  and I love to sparkle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Bob Lambert, 2015

Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert – author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. To order, click here:  Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Lynda  authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.
She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
Currently, Lynda  has two books in development for publication in late 2016.

If you would like a signed copy of my book, contact me for information.

Are YOU at the Beginning of a New Vision for 2016?

The End -or- the Beginning?

SCANdalous-Recollections

 

Kaleidoscope: Collecting Images of Light and Dreams

I’ll sing a farewell song as 2015 comes to a close. My writing has appeared in many publications this year and I am thankful so many publishers, editors and readers found my work worthy of their time, efforts and reading enjoyment. Most of all, I am thankful for the shared time we spent together in 2015. And, I am so proud that I shared the work of 6 writers here on the blog this year!

The symbolic image I envision for the New Year, 2016, just ahead, is the

KALEIDOSCOPE

 

A Kaleidoscope is symbolic of Constant CHANGE.

I’m making an INTENTION to VIEW life filled with BEAUTY, COLOR and extraordinary PATTERNS of light and dreams.  This is my INTENTION for 2016.  I’ll be writing articles throughout the year with the magic of a Kaleidoscope in my mind as I write.

__________

My Literary INTENTIONS for 2016:

Publication of my book of memoir/essays: 

Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams

 

Publication of my new book of poems:

Eclipse: Hands Folded in Prayer

 

Continued publication of my writing in periodicals, literary journals and inclusion in books by other authors.

 

New articles by me and featured Guest Blogs with special topics in the Humanities, Arts and Faith.

SCANdalous-Recollections Blog just entered the 2nd year.

Walking by Inner Vision Blog entered its 7th year.

 

Before we say “good bye 2015” I want to share where the year ended here at SCANdalous-Recollections Blog:

 

December 29, 2014 was my first POST on SCANdalous-Recollections Blog!

2015_Viewers on the blog: 2,342

2015_My Home Page had 442 visits.

2015_Articles published and written by Lynda McKinney Lambert: 33

2015_My most popular article had 951 views: https://llambert363.wordpress.com/?s=Kaleidoscope

2015_ I featured 6 Guest Bloggers this year. Each of them wrote 1 article.

2015_The most Popular Guest Blog Article is by Beckie Ann Hurter:

https://llambert363.wordpress.com/?s=United+by+Stories

2015_ Search Engine searches that found the blog: 1,051

2015_Face Book Searches:  318

See you in 2016

with

A new VISION for the YEAR!

_____

You can read my 5  previous articles on the Symbols of Advent by clicking on the links below.

*** Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

*** Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)

The Candle of Preparation (Bethlehem candle)

*** Lind to Week 3 – The Candle of Joy, or the Shepherd’s CandleWeek 2:
 *** Link to Week 4 – The Angel Candle:
*** Link to Week 5 – The Jesus Candle:
*** Link to my story, “A Western Pennsylvania Christmas”

__________

Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
_____

Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.

Skip to Walking by Inner Vision Journal:

In 2015,  Lynda wrote  30 Writing Assignments and Lessons to help you begin to write your own life story.

Symbol of Advent – The Angel Candle

Symbols of Advent

Part 4- Week 4

The Angel Candle is purple!

Also known as  the Candle of Love

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

GET READY!

LIGHT the 3rd  candle of ADVENT

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For a Christmas delight, click on the link:  Angels we have heard on high

 

I Believe in Angels!

 It is nearly Christmas once again.

I am listening to Christmas music as I write. I love to listen to the great songs  that are  a celebration of a miraculous event – the birth of Jesus.

 

Christmas celebrations of past years linger in little snippets, layered  and overlapped  like  Christmas melodies playing one by one.  Each Christmas carol I listen to brings forth more memories and more pictures of a family member, friends, and neighbors.  It also brings forth memories and pictures of our walk with the Lord over the years. The miracle of his coming into our own hearts as we turned around one day, and answered his call to “come.”  I answered that call to come, forty-two years ago.  My life turned around, never to be the same again.  How about you?

Matthew 11:28-29New American Standard Bible (NASB)

28 “Come to Me, all [a]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Blog_2014_IBelieve_Angel_PHOTO

“I Believe in Angels”

 

Folks often say Christmas is for children,

skating on ice, building  castles of snow.

Oh, I believe Christmas is a holy birthday!

a time to sit by a warm fire, sing holiday songs.

I believe in shepherds!  and angels!

and Three Kings who delivered priceless gifts.

 

It’s a joy to be with friends, to give  gifts.

Adults once again become like children,

who look out  the window to see the first snow.

The Ancients anticipated this birthday

the celebration that  began with heavenly songs

when the birth of Messiah was announced by angels.

 

The holy birth was shared with shepherds and angels,

long before mass marketing, tinsel, and glitzy gifts,

The promised Child would heal earth’s children.

Perhaps the plains were deep with snow

on the night of His miraculous birth.

Yes, I believe in angel songs!

 

In the darkest winter night, listen for the songs

sung by a choir of angels.

The greatest heavenly gift

came  to walk with earth’s children.

As I light the Advent wreath I look out at falling snow-

and remember the reason behind this ancient birthday.

 

On bleak December days, consider His birthday.

Listen in the quiet night for angel songs.

The birth of Messiah, announced by the angels,

is the reason for exchanging gifts.

I believe Christ’s birthday is truly for children

like me and you who walk in a world of wintry snow.

 

Every child knows the delight of playing in snow

the joy of receiving gifts in celebration of a birthday-

I believe in birthday songs!

I’m a  child once again as I listen for angels

songs and remember the wise men who brought gifts.

the Anointed Gift from God – I believe in children!

 

*** by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 1991, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 

Blog_2014_Ibelieve_AngelStarSkyPHOTO

I wrote the poem, “I Believe in Angels” during a difficult  time in my life.  I wrote it as a Christmas message and sent it out to friends and family. Even in the darkest moments of our life,  when we seem to be alone, lost, or confused, Jesus is with us.  I can tell you that for sure because I made a decision to follow Jesus in October 1973.  I’ve had a lifetime of encounters with the Divine since that day.

 

May you find the truth of the Angels announcement in your own life.

Luke 2:10-11King James Version (KJV)

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

Fear Not!  

 
Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.
_____
You can read my three previous articles on the Symbols of Advent by clicking on the links below;

 

*** Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

*** Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)

The Candle of Preparation (Bethlehem candle)

*** Lind to Week 3 – The Candle of Joy, or the Shepherd’s CandleWeek 2:
*** Link to my story, “A Western Pennsylvania Christmas”

____________________

Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
_____

Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.

Skip to Walking by Inner Vision Journal:

In 2015,  Lynda wrote  30 Writing Assignments and Lessons to help you begin to write your own life sotry.

Symbols of Advwent – The Candle of Joy

Symbols of Advent

Part 3- Week 3

The Candle of Joy

Also known as  the Shepherd Candle

 by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

GET READY!

LIGHT the 3rd  candle of ADVENT

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For a Christmas delight, click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  JOY  to you today.

 

Listen to _While Shepherds Watched Their Flock by Night”

Kings Choir performance

One thing I know for sure is this:

God comes us  in ordinary and everyday events.

 

We can be visited in unexpected times and in unique ways.  I have experiences visitations and deliverance many times in my seventy-two years of life. I bet you have, too! Pay attention to how God comes to YOU in the mundane activities of your life.

Begin to have a consciousness of God’s presence in the ordinary!

For the birth of Jesus, historical documents and texts show that  God prepared this event in advance.  We saw that preparation in last weeks Symbol of Advent – the Candle of Preparation.  Week 2 _Candle of Preparation

 

For Week 3 of Advent, we see that  sent ANGELS  to make an announcement to  LOCAL SHEPHERDS as they were working at night in the fields near Bethlehem.   Just another silent night in the fields!  An ORDINARY night, so they believed.  But then, the MIRACULOUS came to visit them. It would become a night that the  entire world would remember. Even now, over 2,000 years after the event people all over the world stop to remember it.

Blog_2014_PHOTO_Shepherds

A miraculous visitation of ANGELS, sent from the Divine, happened without warning.  The humble shepherds  were summoned to leave their fields.   The destination of their God-directed trip was a stable in Bethlehem  where the shepherds would see a newborn baby.

My extensive background in art and art history leads me to look for a connecting thread from one event in history to another. Historical context is what I seek to understand contemporary events and life in the 21st Century.

 

The one thread connecting every character in this ADVENT story is that each person was required to make an unexpected, unplanned, trip from one place to another.  Every single one!

I feel the  underlying loneliness that underlies  this miraculous story – everyone had to give up something that was familiar  and travel to an unfamiliar place to do unfamiliar things, with unfamiliar people.

Travel – Journey – Go – Trip – Excursion – Passage – Flight

 

Mary and Joseph had to leave their home at a time when no pregnant woman would choose to be going anywhere on a trip – especially by foot and by donkey. Yet, the trip was mandated by the LAW  and they had no choice but to go.

_____

When I was nineteen, I gave birth to my first child.  Eighteen months later, the second daughter was born. At age twenty-five, our third daughter was born. For all of those births, I was living in a comfortable home with my husband.  I had a local doctor, and when the time came, he delivered our daughters in our local hospital just 2 miles from our home. And, I remember how frightening it was – every time – when the pains of labor were intense enough that I was bent over double, unable to even stand up straight and I knew it was time to leave for the hospital and give birth.

OH, how did young Mary bear the long days of rugged travels when her body was heavy with her baby boy?

How did Mary  straddle the back of a donkey and ride those many miles with her bones and her muscles aching and cramping?

How did Joseph bear it to see her pain during the long journey to Bethlehem?

_____

Dear Mary,

Oh, Mary! As a mother living in the comfort of my own time in history, my  heart is sad when I remember  that you did not even have a warm bed or the comfort of your family  that night in a barn, in a city that had no room for you. You must have been so frightened – your first birth, your unfamiliar circumstances, your willingness to be obedient to the visitation you had from the Divine.

Mary, you knew you were carrying God in your womb, but how you must have wondered “why” you had to be so far from h home, so lonely, and in such a strange  place as a barn that night.

Mary, when I need strength to meet the demands of my ordinary life, I remember you.  Your courage, your love, and your obedience to God are more than enough to bring me through in victory from very inconvenience, every strange journey, every lonely day, and night.  Mary, I hold  you in my heart today as I write this letter to you, across the centuries.

_____

I know that in art through the ages, in songs, and now, in contemporary depictions of the Nativity, we see Angels, the Holy Family, Shepherds, and Three Kings all there together with the animals. Yet, when I read the ancient scriptures that record this event, what we see in the depictions of it are not at all accurate.

The nostalgic Christmas card scene has been pieced together over the years into a fantasy world that never existed in that way.  The centuries of lore have put together a very odd mixture of Christian history mingled with pagan practices, ideas, superstitions, and myths.  And, then add to this mixture, the cultural and racial confusion that exists to add to the fantasy.

_____

One evening in October 1997, I heard Him whisper to me, “Come away, my beloved!” I turned, and walked towards Him, and as I walked, I remembered the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man (woman); he bids him (her) to come and die.”  Like one of the shepherd’s in the fields near Bethlehem, I too became a shepherd who came to see, the infant who would one day be known as “The Good Shepherd.”

_____

There were only a very few worshippers around the manger in Bethlehem – just a handful of shepherds.  Oh, yes, the Three Kings were on the way, most likely, but it would be quite a long time before they traveled the distance and bowed before the little boy.

_____


Luke 2:7

“[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

A lonely birth. There were no midwives, no assistance to Mary at all. The Bible doesn’t even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was typical of first-time fathers, he would have been of little help to Mary. She was basically on her own.

 


Unlikely Testimony

Luke 2:8-20 describes the experience of the shepherds when Jesus was born. Think about that for a moment. Out of the whole of Jerusalem society, God picked a band of shepherds to hear the news of Jesus’ birth. That’s intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.

The very nature of shepherds’ work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel’s society. They couldn’t maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!

More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though “all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds” (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.

We are left to wonder when we search the historical, scripture accounts – about the shepherds.  We don’t   how they knew where to go. I imagine they just came into Bethlehem and began walking about, asking, “Do you know where a baby has been born tonight?” The important thing for us to know is that they came!  They came because angels had visited them while they were taking care of their flocks at night. They had a visit from God, and they left their fields and followed the direction of the angels to go find the baby.  The shepherds became that night, the first Christian evangelists. They went out from the manger, and they told others what they had found.

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Well, now that I have talked my way through the meaning of the shepherds, I can better understand Psalm 28. (NIV) and, here is where I find the connection between “joy” and the journey of the shepherds. I wish you a joyous journey to the Christ Child tonight, too.

 

 My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

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As you complete this essay, you will LOVE the music and video I have placed here for you today – Check here!

 Come, Let us adore him, Christ the Lord

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Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)

The Candle of Preparation (Bethlehem candle)

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Note: Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

This essay was written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Please share it with your friends! Thanks!

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Next week:

Look for Week 4 – The Candle of Love (The  Angel Candle).

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Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.