Oct 262017
 

Arrived home last night weary from an out-of-town trip and was just able to squeeze the car into the wee parking space left in front of my house. It was tight because the neighbors’ trash and recycle cans are always placed on my side of their driveway, which is right on the property line, so the cans are in front of my house.

Knocked over a can of leaves and debris as I backed in. “Serves them right,” I justified to myself, “putting their cans where I need to park” (my property has no driveway). It was dark. I was tired. Lots to carry, and it was their fault anyway, so I left the mess for them to deal with.

Out to finish unloading in the light of day, saw the mess, felt convicted, so I started scooping up the leaves and noticed my trash can had been put out and was full of grass clippings. Then it hit me, “the gardeners were here while I was out of town and put these cans out!”

That was MY can of green recycle that I’d knocked over, and was now cleaning up.

Thought I was loving my neighbor as myself, but in reality, was still only loving myself.

Thank You Lord. A beautiful lesson. I will be alert to some way I can bless these neighbors in Your name soon!

 

© 2017 Melody K. Anderson All Rights Reserved

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The Bethlehem Report

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Dec 252014
 

Manger scene

What if Jesus was being born in 2014?

How might the news media cover events surrounding His unusual birth?

San Diego’s news radio team (KOGO, AM 600) gave its answer on Christmas Eve in a radio drama (remember Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds”?) called “The Bethlehem Report.”

With breaking news about a bright light in the Middle-East (even Late Night’s Art Bell weighs in), litigious scandal about a pregnant woman in labor turned away from a local inn, and possible police action in case of an insurrection over an alleged newborn king, The Bethlehem Report renders a well-known tale of antiquity as contemporary as today’s news.

When Christmas quiets down for you, why not find a comfy spot and click on the link to hear an archived copy of the 53-minute broadcast. I was blown away that such a godly program would be produced by the news radio station of America’s 8th largest city. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Merry Christmas!

 

© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
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Apr 082014
 

 

Mom editing-001Mom died six months ago today, after nearly 95 trips around the sun. Though strong, opinionated, and talented, for 68 of those years she poured her life into the dreams and goals of her husband – Christian author, speaker, film producer and director, Ken Anderson.

Scan_Pic0006“Mrs. A” as many around the film studio and the world called her, was a humble, but not common, thinking Christian woman. Shortly after her death, I found a hand-written note in her devotional, written on her 59th birthday:

“Dear Lord – Help me to be a method actress in the greatest film of life. I don’t ask for the lead part. Put me anywhere in the film. I only ask that I can give You 100% of all that I have. If all the hard parts seem to come my way, I thank You for the compliment – it means I could handle it for You. Help me to remember that You never send an actress more trouble than she can handle. Help me study the script (Bible) so I’ll know the lines. And when the director calls “cut” for me because of illness or old age, help me to accept the “wrap-up” and final scene with grace, showing love and kindness as You did when You left the setting of Heaven to come here to earth, to live and die, so that I might live forever in scenery yet unknown, leaving those who remain on set. – Mrs. A”

Strawberry patch© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
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Mar 152014
 

Malaysia jet“All right, good night” – the last verbal communication from the flight deck of a Malaysia Airliner on a red-eye from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Missing for over a week now, MH370 is one of the most mysterious and compelling aviation disappearances since Amelia Earhart’s 1937 attempt  to circumnavigate the globe, in a Purdue University-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, ended somewhere over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.

Most air disaster investigations narrow over time, but the search for Flight 370 has expanded, due, in part it seems, to mistrust, misinformation, and lack of cooperation among neighboring nations in a highly sensitive region of the world. With twists and turns too numerous to mention here, coverage of events and speculations surrounding the missing aircraft, and the 239 souls on board, read like a nail biter screenplay.

Recent revelations include facts indicating the Boeing 777, one of the safest commercial crafts in the air, seems to have flown over multiple countries on its diversion path to oblivion (being forgotten or unknown). Oblivion, that is, only if it is found. The very real possibility exists that MH370 might never be found, which is possibly the only way it will maintain its mystique.

Pray God Miracles Do HappenAs Patrick Smith observes in his Ask the Pilot blog, “It’s the very missing-ness of the plane that the public finds so captivating. If and when the wreckage is discovered, I have to wonder if suddenly people will stop paying such rapt attention.”

My fantasy is that MH370 landed somewhere and released some of its passengers and crew, who are temporarily being held against their will for some reason. I have prayed for them and their families, and for God to be magnified through all this.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

But regardless of whether we humans, with our many fears and frailties, ever solve this mystery, one thing is certain:

God is aware of every intimate detail involving Flight 370. He knows what happened, moment-by-moment. He knows the thoughts, feelings and intents of the crew and passengers each mile of the way, and He sees where the plane came to rest.  There is no hiding information from Him. The deep mystery of Flight  370 holds no surprises for Him.

I find comfort in this as I face the unanswered questions in my own life. Proverb 15:3 assures that, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good,” and Proverb 15:11 affirms that, “Hell and destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.”

The question of why things like this happen, why there is suffering in the world, is worthy of consideration beyond the scope of this blog post.

plane searching 2But for now, even as hundreds of searchers, from 14 countries, in 43 ships and 58 aircraft at last count, scour both land and sea looking for any scrap of evidence, God’s word promises, “…you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul,” (Deuteronomy 4:29) and, “…you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

As much as I want searchers to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, I want every spiritual seeker to find the one true God immeasurably more. Journeying into the unknown with God is the only way for anything to be “all right,” and for anyone to have a “good night.”

© 2014 Melody K. Anderson
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I ran and I RAK – Happy Birthday!

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Mar 272012
 

This post is not about the countries of Iran and Iraq, as interesting and important as they are, but rather about two birthday gifts I’m celebrating today.

I ran – the gift of health

First off, I want to thank a dear friend who called to share the bible radio quiz with me this morning during my 2.75 miles (.25 for every 5 yrs of life) run. That conversation stimulated the thinking in this post.

Oh how happy, blessed, to be 55 and still able to enjoy running, senior women’s basketball, a standing desk, and so many other activities, without pain and without medication.

The state of one’s health is partly the result of life choices, but ultimately in God’s hands. I’m thanking Him for the state of health He’s entrusted me with today.

I RAK – the gift of giving

Luke the physician recorded Paul the apostle quoting Jesus the Christ in Acts 20:35, “You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.'” (that’s the Message version of “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”)

One translation of the Greek word “blessed” is “oh how happy,” so in that context, happy birthday could be thought of as blessed birthday. Once, when I worked in an office where the culture was to have cake and a celebration on one’s birthday, a friend suggested I might give something, rather than expect something, so I brought a rose for everyone in the office. It was much more fun to give than to receive.

This morning I posted a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) in the MouseWait Lounge (Mouse Wait is a great phone app that provides wait times and many other helpful resources related to the Disneyland Resort). In the Lounge, a RAK is a gift you give just because, and today I offered one in celebration of my birthday. It was another fun way to focus on giving rather than receiving.

When is your next birthday? As a Thinking Christian Woman, can you think of some fun ways to give more than you receive? If so, brace yourself for a very happy birthday!

© 2012 Melody K. Anderson
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Sep 222011
 

Mourning doves frequent this yard, often scratching for fallen seed in the soft ground under the bird feeder. They grace the days with their gentle, drawn-out calls.

Working at the desk recently, just steps from the bird feeder, with office door open and heard a strange flapping sound. Twice thought the neighbors were working on something. The third time, stepped out to investigate.

Two doves immediately took flight, their wings whistling, leaving their stricken comrade, seemingly trapped.

 

Got a towel, gently covered its head and wings for calm control, then discovered one foot twisted up in frayed landscape fabric.

 

 

 

With scissors and knife, I unraveled the fabric and liberated the foot, while my fine feathered friend remained calm and trusting in my thin towel grasp.

 

 

Once all traces of bondage were removed, I released the patient, who quickly flew to a nearby wire, then out of sight.

 

“This day in history”  – sometimes I like to read the current date’s journal entry from previous years. Last year around this time I had a dream in which a peregrine falcon got his foot caught in something and was frantically trying to fly away. I knew helping him barehanded could be dangerous, so I got a towel, gloves and goggles and determined to speak gently to him, cover him with the towel (something my nature-savvy brother Max taught me), and free the foot.

Lord – first You had me dream it, then You had me actually do it – What does this mean? I’m listening!

I know that sometimes, even when we’re just going along minding our own business, we can get so tangled up in things that we need someone to help us unravel the mess and regain our freedom (a la Lazarus and the grave clothes).

Do you have any thoughts or insights you’d be willing to share about what the love messages from the Lord might be in this dream and experience? I’d appreciate hearing!

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
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Aug 262011
 

I did something the other day I’m not proud of – the night before trash day, I left a big item in my alley that had some value, but was no longer wanted. This is common practice (people regularly cruise the alleys looking for things – it’s like an anonymous flea market/swap meet), so that was fine, but the bad part was that I left it by a neighbor’s fence rather than my own.

That property is a rental, and the alley there is almost always trashy with loose dead weeds, water bottle caps, cigarette butts, cardboard, etc. Last year I took a “before” picture, cleaned it up, took an “after” picture, looked up the owner’s name/address, and sent a nice (at least I thought it was nice) letter. Nothing changed.

As a Thinking Christian Woman, I knew that purposeful littering was an offense against my neighbor, who, according to Proverb 3:29, lives trustfully near me, but I excused my actions because I’m so tired of seeing the mess and thought it might spur them to clean up (thinking they might notice something as big as two plastic dog kennels!)

I was uneasy – hoping someone would want the kennels, or trash collection would take them, or the neighbors would get the point (perhaps give them to their neighbor who works with animal rescue) – anything to absolve my “crime.”

I didn’t deserve God’s blessing – we never do – and I had misused the trusting nature of alley culture.

What happened next struck me as a rebuke of life (Proverb 15:31). In “The Rebukes of Life: God’s Safety Net,” Rodger Williams observes, “Instruction prepares us to act with discernment and is the least painful way to learn how to act wisely. In cases where we have missed instruction, God graciously supplies the safety net of rebuke, lest we fall through to the most painful way of learning our lesson.”

After some errands on trash day morning, I drove down the alley to see if the kennels were still there. Not only were they gone, but another nearby neighbor had set out something I have long wanted but never prioritized to invest in – a slatted wood gardening table!

God had somehow arranged not only to remove the evidence of my trespass, but also to provide an unexpected object of my heart’s desire, all in the same fine morning. I was immediately convicted.

Conviction is the voice of God saying something in my heart like, “I am showing you a better way because I love you so much, turn and walk in it.” Guilt, from what people have told me, sounds more like, “What’s the matter with you?! You should have done (or not done) this or that! You’re a bad person!” My sister Naoma explains that conviction from our heavenly Father can stop us in our tracks and point us in a better direction, while guilt (condemnation) from the Enemy discourages us, makes us feel unworthy, gnaws away at us and can ruin our happiness and peace.

There is therefore now no condemnation

to those who are in Christ Jesus…

(Romans 8:1)

I certainly don’t expect God to always protect me from the consequences of my foolish actions and give me a gift, but every time I use that lovely gardening table, I will have a present reminder of God’s forgiveness, cleansing absolution, and convicting blessings. And maybe one way I can say thank You is to make that untidy stretch of alley my love project and keep it looking nice!

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson

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Aug 152011
 

The Thinking Christian Woman has moved to a new web neighborhood – where the pavement is smoother, the air fresher, and communications flow more freely!

 Welcome!

Here you’ll find new accessibility features like “Translate this Page” in case English is not your first (or heart) language, and an RSS feed if you’re into that.

Anyone who visits the old location will automatically be sent here, but you might want to update your bookmarks.

And be sure to check out our “new digs” giveaway

Speaking of moving, have you noticed that God has built into His creation a vigorous propensity for speed and motion?

Earth spins on its axis at 1,000 mph, while orbiting the sun at 67,000 mph. If that’s not enough, our solar system is moving within our galaxy, our galaxy is moving with our galaxy group, and our galaxy group is expanding outwards along with the rest of the universe!

Besides all this, molecules, atoms, protons and neutrons, quarks, and on and on down into the microcosm, are all buzzing, vibrating, spinning, and orbiting at amazing speeds.

And then there is time itself, constantly marching forward and somehow intricately related to all these moving bodies and particles.

In the swirling midst of all this, God encourages us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10), hold fast (2 Tim 1:13; Heb 3:6, 10:23; Rev 2:25, 3:3), and trust Him as the unchanging center (Heb 13:8) around which His whole creation is constantly moving.

Glad to see you here. I’m looking forward to our continuing dialog of discovery and praise for the God in whom we live and move and have our being! (Acts 17:28)

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
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What do you want me to do for you?

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May 182011
 

If you heard Jesus was going to be at the mall this afternoon, would you go?

What if you go, and he singles you out and asks, “what do you want me to do for you?” What would you say? For the blind man sitting in the dust by the Jericho road, the answer was, “…that I may receive my sight.” (Mark 10:51)

If the Son of God walked up and gave you a blank check, what would you buy? A million dollars? Peace of mind? Healing? Freedom? Love?

What is the most pressing need on your heart/mind at this moment?

Well, Jesus IS going to be at the mall this afternoon, even better, he’s going to be at YOUR house or wherever you are, and he wants to be involved with your most pressing need.

On some level, we probably all believe that God wants to be close to us and be involved in our lives, but how does that really work? We wonder how to have a walking, talking, living, breathing, laughing, crying, dancing, singing, eating, sleeping, thinking, feeling, powerful, productive, real-life, right-now relationship with the Creator of lakes, oceans, the beach, the warmth of the sun, eagles, puppies, the Matterhorn, the Grand Canyon, cool evening breezes after a hot day, the moon and stars, celery, strawberries, music…and you.

That’s what the Thinking Christian Woman wants to discover, everyday. And that’s what this blog is all about.

© 2011 Melody K. Anderson
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