Thursday, May 29, 2014

Emerald Mining

The emerald is May’s birthstone. It is considered a symbol of rebirth and is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. While in North Carolina last week, we visited a mine and tried our hand at emerald mining. We had three options and tried them all. 
  • Digging with a shovel for whatever we could find
  • Purchasing and sluicing a prefilled bucket of dirt and gems
  • Screening in the creek
Digging with a shovel with no direction as to where to look or what to look for was disconcerting. The only thing intriguing about this experience was the snake my husband found. 
Sluicing through the dirt in prefilled buckets was a guarantee to find emeralds, but there was no feeling of satisfaction.

Screening in the creek was my favorite. Moving rocks and filtering small shovels of sand through a screen gave the thrill of discovering something of value from my own effort.

I find the same thrill of discovery spending time in God’s Word. It gives me direction so I don’t enter each day helpless to the snakes crossing my path. Though prefilled with treasures, it is only in the moving of rocks that I find the time to filter small shovels of Scripture each day and discover its treasure. 

I pray you will move whatever rocks that might keep you from opening God’s Word. Filter through at least small shovels of Scripture each day. Treasures are waiting to fill your spiritual jewelry box. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Big Picture – 10 Highlights from our trip to North Carolina

Here are ten highlights from our trip last week:
  • Tennessee highways = Road Construction = Patience
  • Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference = Best writer’s conference yet
  • Antiquing – Found a cool book on English from 1909
  • Emerald Mine (more to come on this later)
  • Lunch with friends from last year’s conference
  • Took the southern route home = time in the car with hubby through 7 states = awesome
  • Found a Stuckey’s in North Carolina – Didn’t know they were still around
  • Found a Piggly Wiggly in Mississippi – Didn’t know they were still around
  • Texas roads – Confirmed now by experience that Texas has the best roads
  • GPS navigation = A bigger picture on the tablet

As we drove home on Saturday, we used our GPS. Just choose home, and the “nice” lady gives you turn by turn directions. I also brought my tablet and set up a second navigation system. It was helpful to see the big picture of where we were traveling and the roads around us. I could see alternate routes we might take if we didn’t like the “nice” lady’s instructions.

This reminded me of how God directs us. We may only see the next step or next turn ahead, but God has the tablet in his lap and sees the big picture. If we take the wrong turn, he can give us directions for which road to take to get back on track. “Make a legal U-turn” is not his only option.

I keep coming back to I Chronicles. Chapter 10 verses 13-14 tell us that Saul didn’t inquire of the Lord, so He turned the kingdom over to David. Then in Chapter 14, twice it says David inquired of God. I must remember to inquire of God because He has the big picture.  

“O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” (I Chronicles 17:20).