By Inspirational Columnist and Author: Linda Mose Meadows


However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
1 Corinthians 2:9

Friday, November 8, 2013

REFLECTIONS OF SUCH A SWEET, SWEET DAY! ACKNOWLEDGING THE SERVICE OF NEW MINISTRY


Then the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
    \

we were like those who dreamed.[b]  

Our mouths were filled with laughter,

    our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations,

    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
 
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy
Psalm 126:1-3



The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut's Service of New Ministry 

St. Luke's noble ancestors and elders,established June 1844


Father Richard Dean Meadows, Jr (Priest) and Sister Linda Meadows (wife)

 Rev. Matthew L. Brown, 
Pastor, Teacher 
(Homilist for Occasion delivered a powerful message of hope and faithful conviction!)


Regal Processional for Installation


 Applauds from congregation 
and The Rt. Reverend Laura J. Ahrens, Suffragan Bishop
during the introduction of St. Luke's 17th priest of St. Luke's Episcopal Church


Father Richard D. Meadows, Jr. and "Joyous" Family

Masterful interpretative dance: 
"The Journey to Calling" 
by Wes Yarbor


Gospel Medley by Rev. Paulette Thompson-Clinton 


I Believe I Can Fly, St. Luke's Steel Band

We joyously celebrated one of the newest ministries in New Haven, CT. The presence of the Lord was evident during this historic installation service for St. Luke's 17th Rector, Rev. Richard Dean Meadows, Jr. The prelude performances of Rev. Paulette Thompson-Clinton's duet with Maria Fusco our Musical Driector, our beloved St. Luke's Steel Band and the masterful interpretative dance by Wes Yarbor regarding Rev. Meadows' spiritual and personal journey were all outstanding and surely anointed. The stately and reverent processional reminded onlookers that collectively hearts, hands and prayers were the testament for this holy occasion. It was indeed a day we will long remember. The letter below was a part of the "installation booklet".  As you read my settlements, you'll quickly grasp that all that our eyes witnessed and hearts experienced made for such a sweet, sweet day! Many thanks to you Lord!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*INSTALLATION NOTE WRITTEN FOR THE INSTITUTION AND INDUCTION OF THE 17TH RECTOR OF ST. LUKE'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH (NEW HAVEN,CT)
7 PM WEDNESDAY,OCTOBER 30TH, 2013



*"Dearest St. Luke's Family, 

My husband requested that I share a note with you and today it seems that I'd rather sing then write. In my spirit I am singing because finally we've arrived at home in Connecticut with you. It's refreshing and assuring that you also can attest to this! It's an enthusiasm that seems to be bubbling up! It's that giddy, offbeat, joyous song about a new day which has evidenced the "goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!" Sandwiched in my spirit are many songs from the traditional to the rousing musical numbers acknowledging that we've come this far by faith-all to the glory of God.

Not long ago I traveled with my husband to Hartford, he was conducting business with The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. When he invited me along, originally I thought of it as "tagging along"- an opportunity to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and simply marvel at the fall foliage! This "joy ride" was reminiscent of our past excursions which always seemed to evolve into something much deeper. My hunches were right! Once again it was much more than I could have imagined! After our quick arrival we met and greeted the warm Diocesan staff and before long, we were perusing the aisles of Connecticut's parish publications, clergy resources and mounds of historic documents.

In The welcome mat was rolled out and there we sat in the historic archives, marveling at the huge collection of books, artifacts and the treasure trove of documents highlighting St. Luke's amazing heritage. And then it was apparent this was God's intention! His intended mission that we travel to the Diocesan Archives and see the elder's vision "up close” on paper, in weathered photographs and be humbled by their massive mission, appreciate their struggles, their  victories and grasp a greater understanding of the immensity of this call to serve St. Luke's! It was a field trip that I would forever honor. It was as though a flood gate of enlightenment burst while we huddled together reading newspaper clippings, clergy accounts and letters written in the 1800's, all of it was mesmerizing!  After my husband met with the Bishop I began scouring over the  insightful articles, gazing upon the aged black and white photos, learning of the past church rectors, noted vestry and energetic parishioners.

We were entreated with informative community news, birth announcements, salutations and memorabilia. Loyal and loving seemed to resonate in my spirit. God was once again ordering our steps and giving us a glimpse into how St. Luke's foundation was layered with dedicated ancestors and a community collectively endeavoring to forge their way leaving an indelible imprint not only in New Haven, the surrounding community but, also Haiti. It's no wonder we are such an outstanding parish. Oh it gives me such pride and exhilaration that now this HBCU graduate and post VTS seminarian stands on the shoulders of forthright, determined, and insightful individuals.  They were prayer warriors- movers and shakers of their era (affecting us today). Now we will stand confidently with St. Luke's Episcopal Church's 17th Rector, Rev. Father Richard Dean Meadows, Jr. and continue in carving out our history's next chapters. Yes, our stories will be filled with the complexities of our day, but we will journey with Jesus, shepherded and growing spiritually. In our assured faith walk we'll be confident that he's lead of the Lord. And it won't just be a leisurely ride, but prayerfully an amazing mission.

We are a mission intent on providing intentional ministry for generations to come-erecting lives, loving the Lord and serving our neighbors. Oh St. Luke's, I thank God for merging our paths and our hearts believing together with a prayerful countenance that with God all things are possible! Oh it's wonderful to be in the hands of the Lord, come on family let's sing to the Lord a new song, written for our time.

Trusting in God's Peace and Blessings,
Linda Mose Meadows"

Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

Friday, October 11, 2013

AN ABSOLUTELY PERFECT DAY

Great game of  Jacks! 
This was an extraordinary inter-generational event!


The fun is just starting! Amazing day of fun, fitness and literacy!
I am still humming the melody, "Lovely Day!" Imagine a day filled with fun, fitness and literacy. Well that's just what our Double Dutch Fun Day and Outdoor Games was! It was sandwiched with those essential elements and it evolved into a marvelous day of  sheer fun. St. Luke's Episcopal Church and The New Haven Free Public Library-Stetson Branch hosted a terrific multi-generational event in the historic Dixwell Community on September 28, 2013. This was indeed a super Saturday! Enjoy this ISUU celebrating our many community supporters and participants. I praise God for providing me with the vision, the backers and most especially bringing the Double Dutch Fun Day and Outdoor Games to fruition!









Oh it was indeed a party! How we love St. Luke's Band!


Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 
 http://eyesoffaithmagazine.blogspot.com/   

Thursday, September 19, 2013

IT'S GOOD TO BE HOME!

Rickey greeting the Moving Van in New Haven


'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11


July 1st we happily became residents of New Haven, Connecticut. Once my husband accepted a new ministry assignment as the 17th Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church it seemed as though time had slowed down and we’d never get to our desired destination from Florida to the northeast “New England”. So many blessings, prophetic encouragements and prayers were sandwiched together; it was no doubt that we were headed in an amazing direction. We’d known the hard knocks-was well acquainted with ministry hurdles, understood the signals, experienced the many past life lessons, endured much and was once again extremely thankful for the divine progression.  Oh to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! As I’ve heard it said and do enjoy repeating it also: “For real, for real!” moving to Connecticut was another Jeremiah 29:11 confirmation!


'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11




We acknowledged that we were not only transitioning regionally, but mentally and spiritually to a new place in our lives, a place we’d never frequented.  But never the less it was HOME! And, yes it’s refreshing!

Joy erupted as we eagerly embraced the realization that it was time to head north “back home”.   Back home to the changing seasons of the northeast and a familiar urbane social and cultural terrain. Oh friends it was time! I am sure that my soul acknowledged that. “Yes, it is time to experience God anew.”

And of course we arrived in New England before our belongings and daily counted down the days when our truck load of furnishings would arrive. The house had an empty hollow “house echoing sound” and that was very distracting. After 2 weeks it struck me how we had adapted to having fewer material possessions. It was a new rhythm. As is said, “We didn’t miss a beat!” We gleefully sat at the kitchen bar to eat our meals, smiling and had fun jockeying for the thrift store treasure of the chair with matching ottoman. If I wanted to languish outdoors I’d sit on the comfy furnishings on the backyard deck. And in that time our focus shifted from our stuff to learning about our “new” New England surroundings, becoming acquainted with members of the church, learning about the active ministry events, connecting with neighbors and making friends. And when the moving van finally did arrive I realized that we could make it with fewer treasures unpacked.  Exhaling, I acknowledged that there was no need to open each and every box and/or hang our entire art collection. Our focus and ministry direction has shifted beautifully! Once again God has done exceedingly more than we could imagine. Hearts are receptive and the anointed works are blossoming. The past month’s activities have reflected unspeakable joy which is captured in the photos below. There is a joy that is assured that God has planted us here because..." our desires are in agreement with His thoughts for us." 1 John 5:15.

Joy is spilling over because it's good to be home…..

I’ve begun to weekly volunteer at St. Luke’s Clothes Closet. I look forward to being there. Truly the selecting, folding, sorting and arranging puts a smile on my face and lifts my spirit when the community comes for free clothing and household items. I eagerly greet and interact with them and sometimes help them with hunting for particular items. Often a conversation ensues and I realize they are in need of much more than the tangible. A word from the Lord often brings an assurance and a relief that they’ve come to the right place. As they search for items God is extending a helping hand through our volunteer services. On one particular day, I noticed a little girl “helping” her Mommy shop and I discovered a pink jacket asked her Mommy if she could have it and the child’s expression was absolutely precious! Permission was granted for me to share and photograph this blessed moment. I trust you are also smiling! Joy is contagious!


  
The doors of the church are open! St. Luke's Services is indeed a beacon of hope in our community-lifting, feeding, edifying loving and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’d like to think that ministry is an action word!





Our beloved and devoted parishioner Edward F. Mapp, Business Manager of St. Luke's Steel Band has music in his heart! St. Luke’s Steel Band ministers throughout New England and the surrounding states! These stellar musicians bring tremendous  joy wherever they travel and perform.




Morning Glory! Breakfast partners: the Community Soup Kitchen and St. Luke's Episcopal Church serving our guests-the children of God of course! It’s a meal that is certainly appreciated!




Partnering with the community for creative fun and cultural ministry opportunities is another demonstration of God at work. He gives us the energy, creativity and our heart’s desire and before long paths are crossed and the fruit of partnerships beautifully blossom (i.e. St. Luke’s parishioners, Shop & Save, New Haven Dept. Of Recreation, Yale Health Systems, Anthony Thompson, The Diaper Bank, Fish, New Haven Free Public Library Stetson Branch, Hon. Jacqueline James, Alderwoman Ward 3, Yale University’s Dwight Hall tutors) with far reaching effects. I realize this is just the start of good things to come! St. Luke’s ministry bounty and community outreach is truly growing! And clearly God is touching hearts and directing our path!






I am sure you agree that it’s a wonderful season where faith is abounding, joy has erupted and we can’t help but, smile! Thank you Lord for all you are doing!



Pastor Richard Meadows and Linda Mose Meadows, Inspirational Author


Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?



 Cocoa Beach, Florida~photos by Linda Mose Meadows

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary 
and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. "
Matthew 11:28

What a great idea to enjoy breakfast on the beach intent on catching the sun rise. It was nothing complicated; we grabbed our beach chairs, a piece of fruit and filled our baggies with crunchy cereal. That morning was ripe with discovery! It was our first trip to Cocoa Beach. I had heard so much about this vacation lovers spot and my expectations were high. It started with our enjoying the gray blue streaks and faint clouds zig zagging across the Florida sky.


Several mornings prior to that, we’d experience first hand the gray blue sky and dark waters evolve into an almost blinding bright blue sky. Hours later the sky would hover over a clear ocean, visible sea turtles, fish life and scorching sand. The sun was very harsh on the eyes and skin.  We’d have to run for shade, pull out our beach umbrellas and sun screen lotion to make “playing” out on the beach tolerable. But it was still early morning and that moment the sun hadn't yet showcased it blistering rays heating up the ocean shore. For now this stretch of beach was a breezeway- a corridor of turtle treks, early joggers, the bicyclists, seashell scavengers and hurried sandpipers sharing this sacred space. Admittedly, you could be so absorbed in the activity that you'd forget to lift prayers of thanksgiving. But certainly it was a time to appreciate God’s lovely handiwork and marvel at all of this.


As we strolled the beach, chatted and appreciated the sights and sounds it was easy to become “caught-up” in the natural arena.  Oh the sand underneath our feet, squishing through our toes was like a cool clay to the touch and simply perfect. After returning to our beach chairs to sit, reflect and just be still, the frothy waters danced. And then it was a most peculiar sight. It just seemed out of context. There he was, a man from outer space! Ok maybe that’s an exaggeration!  But, his gadgets and his intent stroll seemed out of place on the beach.  His metal detector, and equipment positioned for unearthing lost treasures was all new to me. It seemed he appeared out of no where! Oh I was so tempted to ask him if he had any success finding what he was looking for and instead just gazed at him and wondered-thought to myself, “Really?”

But in my spirit I believe that the Holy Spirit desires that we take our eyes off this fella. That we instead reflect on our own“gadgets”, search our hearts and ponder if we have found, or discovered what we are looking for?


What are you in search of? Can you touch it? Is it in arm’s reach? Is it for sale? Is it just a matter of not having the funds to purchase it? Or is it in the position you seek? Is it in the back of your closet? Or is it out of sight tucked in the beat up trunk or lodged under the sand? Is it underneath the floorboards in the "family home place", displayed in cabinet you seldom open? Maybe it’s in another relationship (you believe), a travel destination you have yet to reach?  Or is your treasure tucked in your heart’s desire-your spirit and it can’t readily be accessed with a metal detector? I bet there’s possibly an aching, a yearning that retail therapy won’t remedy! Is your disposition, your bad attitude, your outlook feigned and excavation needed. What will be unearthed? I'd wager that possibly self actualization and an inner work is required? What are you hungering for? As my Sister friends might inquire, “Whatcha’ need honey?”


I believe that much of what we search for; hunger for while coveting our possessions with a “need more” mentality really is our desire to fill a void. A void that can’t be filled with the stuff, relationships, behaviors and treasures we accumulate and continually acquire. It’s evidenced by a physical act that won’t fix the need at all. We search and search like our friend with metal detector to no avail. It’s an exhaustive search that may last longer than we wish. I’m no Iyanla or psycho-therapist but I truly think our search for meaning and relevancy often is a longing to embrace more of the things of God, more of our authentic longings to get in touch with our thirsty soul’s elixir-a divine tug that echo’s, “You’ve tried that, now come to me all you who are heavy, weary, wounded and tired!”


Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, 
and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28



CeCe Winans sings a popular song, Thirst for You. The lyrics are poignant, go on and read them:

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

Oh Lord, we are waiting
Let Your river flow
Come flood our hearts again
Quench our thirsty souls

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

Oh Lord, we are waiting
Let Your river flow
Come flood our hearts again
Quench our thirsty souls

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

http://www.songlyrics.com/cece-winans/thirst-for-you-lyrics/#OE6qIJ7XPvVjul3s.99 

Friends take a moment to put down your heavy equipment. Seek God, read His Holy Scripture, pray for direction, take heed, get the for real help and surely you’ll benefit from the discovery. A discovery that quenches your thirsty soul!




Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

Monday, August 5, 2013

HOMEGROWN LOVE!


photo collage by Linda Mose Meadows

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
PSALM 96:1-3


Just yesterday I had several ah-ha moments with a dear friend of at least 27 years. She’s one of the truth tellers in my life, I can always count on.


There are gifts in our lives that come in many forms. And it’s been a delightful waterfall that I can see and experience! The past several weeks have brought some timely blessings. As Sara Ban Breathnach would acknowledge (for sure) it's simple abundance all around!


The recent gift of home grown cherry tomatoes, the orange shaped cucumber, outings with new friends, some offered direction, sage advice and countless blessings. These blessings are ATP's (answers to prayer)-many of which can only be felt in our hearts and experienced in our restored souls. These ATP’s all confirm that we are not alone and truly God cares for us! At those healing moments it's good for the spirit. Our spirit is now experiencing divine fortification. It’s our moment to release, acknowledge, inhale and exhale cleansing breaths, surrender in joy, cry if we are moved and whisper, sing, rejoice and dance!  Yes, it’s a homegrown gift! Feel God’s presence! It’s our opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus and with heartfelt prayers express our thanksgiving!

Friends see it for what it is and experience your home grown bushel of blessed bounty and know that God loves you!

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96:11-13


Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CONNECTING THE DOTS!


 
Photos by Linda Mose Meadows
Amy Wormley of St. Luke's Services and Yury Maciel-Andrews of The Diaper Bank            
  (New Haven, CT)


“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you.
You have to go to them sometimes.” A.A. Milne  (1882-1956), English Author

I had an awesome ministry field trip this morning! Thanks to Sister/Mrs. Amy Wormley (President of St. Luke's Services) for the insightful visit to The Diaper Bank! Meeting the staff, seeing the warehouse with diapers, including baby essentials and watching the busy volunteers-instantly I understood how essential this service is! And certainly it provides rays of sunshine and hope for countless parents needing costly diapers and essential baby items for their little ones.

 

Kudos to the Business Manager, Yury Maciel-Andrews and her dedicated team for their worthy calling! They are the hands and hearts distributing diapers by the truck loads to many community service agencies via "community partners". These folks are delivering the diapers-connecting the dots and doing a great work! Looking for the right organization to seed your gifts? Look no further-support a worthy cause like this which provides diapers for the multitude!


Learn more about the diaper bank by visiting www.thediaperbank.org and if you're aware of a parent needing assistance in the New Haven community contact St. Luke's Services at: 203-865-0141 ext. 106 because we too have a heart to make a difference. Yes, we endeavor to connect/provide/deliver resources that meet the need! We at St. Luke's Episcopal Church (New Haven, CT.) thank God for the many effective community partnerships! Truly, it's a blessing to witness faith in action! Friends come on and join in with connecting the dots!


He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Luke 10:2 NIV


Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

APPRECIATING KINDRED SPIRITS!


Photo taken by author's son, Michael. 
Amazing bronze sculptor by Nnamdi Okonkwo.

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
 but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”
Johannes A. Gaertner (1912-1996); Art History Professor, Theologian, Poet



Last Sunday we were preparing for my son's return to Baltimore. Instead of him catching a train to New York City, my husband offered to drive Mike to New York instead so that he could catch his bus to return directly to Baltimore. Little did I realize that God had a wonderful treat in store for us! We were enjoying the many sights and sounds of a bustling metropolis. We couldn't done better with any other tour guide. We rolled through side streets and main thoroughfares. Truly we enjoyed the scenery including catching a glimpse of Central Park and watching the natives and tourist feast on their outdoor activities on a warm summer's afternoon.   

Before long we were in neighborhoods imaging which brownstone we'd occupy, where we'd shop and play. Broadway (On and Off), China Town, Manhattan, Harlem, the Garment District, The Met, and Wall Street were on the itinerary.  I was giddy with joy, when my husband said, "Linda look over there!"  Brother Nnamdi Okonkwo's work was right there, in "my face!" Yes, it was in broad day light!  I ran across the street as though I were greeting beloved friends. What came to mind were these are kindred spirits. Little did I realize until again visiting the artist's website that just what he calls them! How about that!  Kindred Spirits! And my being able to connect with the artist's work! These figures are robust, as large as life! They are ample, alive, beautiful! All I could do was smile and request like a little girl, "Come on Mike take my picture!" I wanted to be apart of this divine work and have a photographic moment to relish.

The irony about the sculptures was, not that long ago I stumbled upon the artist website and marveled at his work never imagining that I would see, visit and experience up close Nnamdi Okonkwo's powerful work on a Sunday afternoon, An afternoon spent in NYC taking our son to the bus station. As Craig would say, "Who knew?" This was surely another simple abundance moment that God had orchestrated. I can't help but celebrate! God is great!

If you haven't made it to New York City just yet, in the meantime be sure to appreciate this amazing sculptor at: http://www.nnamdiart.com/sculpture_monumental.html your heart and spirit will be glad you did.


Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 


YOU'VE GOT TO FOLLOW YOUR ROAD!


Photos by Linda Mose Meadows

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
 My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him Psalm 28:7


I haven't seen this commercial recently, but it was one of my favorites. I am guessing you may remember it also? Here's the scene (of course I’m taking creative liberties): dusty cowboys are gathered around a campfire, we imagine them settling in for the evening. It’s a lone, quiet atmosphere, an ebony blanketed starry lit sky which envelopes them is complete with loud crickets. 

This scene is the backdrop for the "grubbing" cowboys hungrily eating their meal. For a split second the television viewer is given space to imagine many things.  First what in the world are they eating? Is it really that good?  Many agree with Van De Camp and me, that it is just that tastey? Yummy baked bean by the fire. But there's more to the message.

Where have they been? Where are they headed-just what is their destination? And why are they so tired? Then one cowboy says in a matter-of-fact tone to the others, that the one who's responded to his comment about the delicious bake beans is from New York “Yurk” City!  His words place great emphasis on the sound of "ORK" and "ITY" in an exaggerated twang!  Hearing this always caused me to laugh out loud! The over-the-top diction was clever on the part the ad agency. I surmise that by then they had our ears and our purses. We now associate their product with a destination and recall that the outrageous enunciation of New York City. I suspect this humorous method worked. But on the flip side there were other messages I suspect. It was surprising to witness the apparent discomfort that these rugged trailblazers were having with learning about a distant land. A place they had yet to venture. They had noticeable trepidation. Why of course it’s unfamiliar territory. The cowboy’s seemed to be in shock and awe. Seemingly their experiences and bravado belied their truth. These trailblazing gun totting cowboys possibly being timid seemed strange? "Umph, ain't that a contradiction?" (I could hear you saying that!)  Yes, my friends even for rough, tough people unknown places can be frightening, no matter the proximity! It's the bigger than life fact of the unknown. In defense of these cowboys and often being timid regarding the unknown- they had no frame of reference. They simply knew New York City was far from their familiar prairies. Awe, but there was one who dared to venture out. Thank God for the courageous heart! For those that step out on faith and score! This unknown cowboy's tenacity to venture out  makes me think of the countless scriptures that assure us that God hasn't given us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of  power/courage, love and a sound mind/clear thinking! (2 Timothy 1:7) It's evident that when we are with God we are safe-complete.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, 
and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7

It blesses our spirits when we realize that often like the timid and the free spirited cowboy our authentic spirits yearn to move beyond the familiar frontier borders and when we do often it's rewarding! Our horizons are expanded and life lessons occur that richly bless us.  As Pauline Wilson aptly penned in her lyrics, "you've got to follow your road, follow your road..."

Well let's fast forward to our recent drive from Florida to Connecticut one mile at a time, crossing one state border after another. Our rocking-over packed vehicle was filled to the interior roof with essentials for starting anew. (At least until the moving van arrived.) Onlookers must have wondered where are they headed?  Well the journey wasn't for the faint at heart! Surely we were capturing and living out our spiritual urban cowboy and cowgirl experience.  Truly it’s been a long awaited sojourn. This again is a heartfelt journey that we’d never before traveled, but earnestly longed for.We were reminded in prayer to shake the dust off our feet and push fear aside. Scripture has assured us that God had gone before us and made room for our arrival. We’re anticipating ministry in places and spaces we’d never seen; excited about seeing more of God-realizing His plan over our lives and others. Like our ancestors and many others we desire witnessing again the Holy Spirit first hand. The 2 day drive was long and packing was labor intensive! But so much and many awaited us! God rubbed stamped the journey-it was confirmed through the many expressions of kindness experienced before and during our destination!

It was comical but true, almost at our destination's end; finally seeing the New York City and Connecticut highway traffic signs, and then being in a traffic jam. Yep, for 90 minutes not being able to move. (Imagine instead of an hours delay, suffering through years of being at a standstill? You are ready to move forward and can't!) The traffic was nothing like I imagined for a Sunday afternoon! Instead traffic halted before moving toward the George Washington Bridge. It didn't matter if drivers selected the upper level or lower level, all roads converged towards the toll booths! (Pay up!) Mind you this was the route we believed was necessary to reach our destination. There we were seeing our destination in view and stuck! What to do? The answer was to simply wait! Wait our turn and proceed when an opening occurred. It was just that simple!  Friends, we are headed somewhere like the brave cowboy! And so are you! So as you embrace your call and are sailing, driving, galloping, trotting, trekking, moving steadily and facing an occasional interruption in plans-be encouraged by God's leading and Pauline Wilson’s Follow Your Road. 


However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
 and what no human mind has conceived" 
-- the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 Corinthians 2:9



Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

Inspirational Author & Columnist, Linda Mose Meadows

Inspirational Author & Columnist, Linda Mose Meadows
Rickey and Linda Meadows

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THE BLESSEDNESS OF BELIEVING: A DEVOTIONAL JOURNEY OF LIFE'S LESSONS AND GOD'S PROMISES By LINDA MOSE MEADOWS

"The Blessedness of Believing: A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises is expressly written with a heart that seeks after the righteousness of God with uplifting personal sentiments and prayers, referencing Holy Scripture, encouraging lyrics and deep expressions of faith ."

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But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him! I Corinthians 2:9

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I pray you have continued joy for your journey!
Linda