Saturday, August 17, 2019

 

Life Speaks to Us

 

Life Speaks to Us



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 Preface to Life Speaks To Us

Preface to: LIFE SPEAKS TO US - by: Bill C. Dotson

All through my life I have been fascinated by God’s creation, marveling for hours over lightning bugs to the moon and stars.  Having grown up in a small town in Tennessee, and to have my grandparents’ homes be rural farms, I got the chance to see most things up close and personal.  And my early childhood was at a time prior to TV.  So, most experiences were hands on, up close and personal. Ducks and chickens, horses, cows and pigs, goats and sheep were a part of life.  We had dogs and cats plus all the family hunted and fished, mainly for food.  Squirrels, rabbits and birds were a regular at the table while some were reserved as pets. 

We captured lightning bugs in a jar and strung large green June bugs by the back leg with thread and flew as a kite.  We kept certain bugs and green snakes in our pockets.  Frogs were to be handled but beware of the warts they created.  Catfish were caught at night along the banks where you swam (skinny dipped) during the day.  Poisonous snakes and tarantulas were prevalent and for me, something to be avoided at all cost. 

While in the country, candy and other goodies were delivered by a peddler, along with blocks of ice.  Refrigeration came along later so we had ‘ice boxes’ instead.  The blocks of ice were placed in a section and it usually kept food from spoiling though not for long.  Crops were grown, fresh vegetables were plentiful, hogs and cattle were there to provide meat.   Biscuits were made from scratch, butter was churned, jams and preserves were canned along with certain vegetables.  Fruit was grown and dried out for canning on the metal outbuilding roofs. Fried fruit pies were always available.  And home made ice cream was churned without the aid of an electric freezer. 

The cows were milked by hand, the chickens laid eggs and were gathered daily.  Many gave their lives for a tasty fried chicken dinner.  The horses were ridden to the blacksmith for ‘shoeing’.  While some had a name, they were mostly the beast of burden for plowing, hauling and riding, along with the mules and donkeys.  I’ve witnessed cotton being picked by hand, corn and alfalfa being cut and harvested.  Plowed fields as a youngster, behind a mule or on a tractor.  Picked corn and bailed hay.  Held calves as they are being neutered.  Skipped smooth, round, river rocks across many a creek. 

We played marbles in the dirt, compared and traded our special agates.  YoYos were big fun and the tricks you learned were awesome. Tittly winks was standard along with ‘pick up sticks’ and ‘jacks’.  Most boys owned a switch blade knife and we played numerous games of skill with them.  Card games and listening to the radio with an imaginative mind were common.   Saturday mornings were special.  Theaters were called ‘picture shows’.  Sometimes we spent the entire day watching the westerns several times.  The ‘good guy’ always won. The admission was twelve cents for children.  Food, gum and ‘cold drinks’ (sodas) was pretty well a nickel or less. 

All of this and more created in me an awareness that maybe spurred my desire to write about the many facets of life that most of us take for granted each day.  The expression “don’t forget to smell the roses” as we move through life is an invitation to observe and marvel at the Lord’s creation.  And what they say to us is volumes.  I especially enjoy reading and memorizing the Psalms since they are so expressive of God’s majesty.  One particular one may have been the catalyst for leading me to write these short expressions on life and how they each have some life lesson from our Lord.  Psa 19 begins “The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows His handiwork; day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  Thus the title:  ‘LIFE SPEAKS TO US’.  Jesus said He was ‘the way, the truth and the life’. 

I have a passion for the game of golf.  It so mirrors the ‘game of life’ and I am constantly reminded of so many life lessons from the sport.  And since one spends, on average, four hours outdoors, it gives time to observe and reflect.  Well, for me, between bad shots.  Trees, flowers, cloud formations, animals, water, beautiful terrain and much more are there for the viewing.  All are a reminder of who He is and how majestic His creation is.  It simply ‘speaks’ to us. 

I have written poetry most of my life, primarily for my enjoyment and to bless and pay tribute to special events in my family’s life.  And as I have progressed in years I have become more keenly aware of His presence and desire to express it to Him and others. In 2008 the Spirit of God prompted me to begin one morning as I was spending time with Him in the word and prayer.  Like many things, there was no major plan or an end result in sight; simply the leading and desire to express my thoughts as they came to me.  So I started writing and it seemed to flow.  As I would send these out to friends, comments would come from a few that encouraged me to do some more.  And, now,  I find that I have started looking more intently at almost everything each day to see what God might be saying to you and me.  Some I write about, some I ponder over.  Then, when the Spirit stirs within me, I find He has something to say to me.  And I write it down. 

Another circumstance probably has impacted my life that led me to this marvelous joy of sensing God’s presence is the introduction to what has become, over time, my ‘life verse’.  It has challenged me to live one day at a time, as best I can through trust in Him.  Matthew 6.33 says  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  ‘These things” are what we need for a joy filled, abundant life.  And by focusing on today, leaving tomorrow and its needs and issues to itself, we stand a much better chance to ‘smell the roses’ He has placed in our path. 

My hope is that these short thoughts will better allow the reader to not miss His glory in everything created; thus, permitting us to worship Him and trust His Divine presence and provisions in what He has made, daily.  And this way, we see the ‘Unseen’ through the ‘seen’.  Truly, “the earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”  (Psa 24.1)  It would be a shame to go through life and miss it/Him.  I hope you are blessed through these thoughts.  And, do us both a favor, send me your stories. 
bill@drem.org  - please share your thoughts