Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Psalm 121: I Look to the Mountains

How clearly the sky reveals God's glory!
How plainly it shows what he has done!
Each day announces it to the following day;
each night repeats it to the next.
No speech or words are used,
no sound is heard;
yet their message goes out to all the world
and is heard to the ends of the earth.
God made a home in the sky for the sun;
it comes out in the morning
like a happy bridegroom,
like an athlete eager to run a race.
It starts at one end of the sky
and goes across to the other.
Nothing can hide from its heat.
Psalm 19:1-6
I look up to the mountains –
Does my help come from there?
[No!] My help comes from the LORD,
who made the heavens and the earth!
He will not let you stumble and fall;
the one who watches over you
will not sleep.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never tires and never sleeps.
The LORD himself watches over you!
The LORD stands beside you
as your protective shade.
The sun will not hurt you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The LORD keeps you from all evil
and preserves your life.
The LORD keeps watch over you
as you come and go,
both now and forever.
Psalm 121

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Every time we move (which has been often in the more than 37 years that we have been married) we have to find not only a new family physician, a dentist, and a veterinarian, but also a barber, a plumber, a mechanic, and many other service providers. Stumbling upon a gem of a beautician is no accident—it is a gift from God.

Putting your hair in the hands of a stranger takes courage, but at one time or another most of us have to bite the bullet and get help to tame our unruly locks. Today I reached my limit. I finally got tired of the tumbleweed look and decided to get professional help.

Since my husband needed to run out to the mall to check on something for his cell phone, I went along and stopped by the beauty salons. The first salon sported two beauticians, both with big 80’s style hairdos. When I asked what they charged for a haircut, one woman quoted me a price for a shampoo and cut. If I wanted my hair dried it would be an additional $8. Antiquated hairdos aside, I thought $8 for hot air was a bit pricey.

At my next stop the only person working was the very young girl attending the sign-in desk. Her blonde/black/and pink hair was lopped off here and there in jagged steps. To be honest, I was alarmed to think what I might look like when I left the salon. Considering she had no other customers, I guess I wasn’t alone in my reservations.

The last shop offered a haircut for ½ what the first charged and had multiple hairdressers available. However they were also busy, which didn’t surprise me after my previous encounters. So I went home and prayed over the phone book.

Praying over the telephone book is something I have done frequently. I have prayed for a compassionate veterinarian and a name jumped out at me from the yellow pages. I have asked God for a thorough carpet cleaner and was very satisfied with the company He pointed out.  I even prayed for a specialist and found the most wonderful ob-gyn.

So, when I I needed a haircut, I opened my trusty telephone directory and prayed for a beautician. Several beauty shops caught my eye and I decided to do a little Internet research on them. I linked up with “On Route 30” via their Facebook page. Their welcome message seemed genuinely open-hearted and inviting and their photos showed the friendly, stylish, experienced staff having a lot of fun and enjoying their jobs. I felt good about this shop so I drove out.

The woman who greeted me lived up to their Facebook welcome and took me right in, as she had just gotten a cancellation. I showed her a picture of what I wanted and she grasped what I had in mind immediately. We chatted non-stop while she worked; the time flew by. When she finished, she had cut and shaped my hair till it looked exactly like the photo!

How very good our God is! He directed my search to just the right beautician and guided her hands so I got just the haircut I wanted.  Thank You so much, Lord, for Cathy at “On Root 30”!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Cat and the Curmudgeon

Old Man and Cat by Iryna Smolych

A friend loves at all times. . . Proverbs 17:17

"The only thing a cat is good for is a block under somebody's tire," the old curmudgeon often said with a scowl. If he had then spat on the floor, I would not have been surprised.

Thankfully, my husband did not inherit his father, Bill's sentiments and always loved cats. After Bill suffered congestive heart failure, he was forced to come live with us for a month. I was curious to see just how he and our cat would work things out.

When Bill lost his wife twelve years earlier, he also lost interest in life in general and his health deteriorated. Naturally, the doctor did not want him to be home alone during his recuperation, so we brought Bill to our house.

Instructed to rest and relax, my father-in-law spent a lot of time just sitting on the recliner, watching TV. Daniel, our cat at the time, loved the comfort of a warm lap. Finding the temptation irresistible, Daniel jumped up and stared at Bill. Glaring at the cat with disdain, Bill said, "What do you want?"

Ignoring Bill's growls, Daniel made himself comfortable. His persistence gradually won Bill over and we found the two of them asleep on the recliner many times during those weeks Bill lived with us.

About three months after Bill returned home, he completely surprised us with the news that he had adopted a cat of his own! It seems his neighbor's cat had presented her with a litter of kittens and Bill had selected a little female he named Myrtle.

What a wonderful difference Myrtle made in my father-in-law's life! No more whiling away the hours sitting in front of the TV. Myrtle became his entertainment—hiding under the daybed in his living room in wait for him to walk by so she could run out and grab him by the pant leg, racing Bill to the phone and wrestling with the cord, exploring every nook and cranny of his apartment, including the back of the refrigerator and inside the desk drawers.

Bill loved Myrtle’s antics. She gave him reasons to get up off his recliner and move around, (usually to rescue her from some mischief she had gotten herself into.)

Myrtle also provided Bill with much needed companionship. She followed him from room to room, even into the shower! At meal time she sat beside him, begging for tidbits. When Bill napped on the recliner, Myrtle curled up on his belly. And she eagerly greeted him at the door when he returned from running errands. Bill needed that rambunctious little bundle of fur!

One day as my husband and I were leaving Bill’s home, we looked back to see Myrtle sitting on the porch rail with Bill looking lovingly down at her. The picture of the two of them will be etched in my memory forever. Not long before I would have scoffed at the very suggestion of Bill loving a cat. But Daniel thrust a paw into the door of Bill's heart and Myrtle eagerly scrambled in.


©2011 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shouldering Others' Burdens

God knows how often I pray for you.
Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God.
Romans 1:9
Awakening early one morning, I found that my much-loved but ailing 16 year-old cat Daniel had taken a turn for the worse. I attended to his needs as best I could, and then went back to bed.

Sleep eluded me as I mulled over his condition. Grieved that I was losing my longtime companion and pained at his suffering, I asked the Lord for wisdom about what to do for Daniel. I needed God’s comfort and peace. Finally I got up, dressed and went to our church for Tuesday morning prayer time.

When I got there, my friend Cindy came up to me and said "Pam, you have been on my mind since early this morning and I have felt compelled to pray for you. I almost called you. Is everything all right?" I dissolved into tears as she hugged me.

Although concerned and saddened by Daniel’s poor health, that was not the cause of my tears. I cried at the overwhelming realization that God truly cared for me and knew when I was troubled. He loved me enough to wake my friend and prompt her to pray for me at the hour I needed it most.

The events of that morning impressed upon me the importance of praying for others when God brings them to my mind.  I don’t have to know the specifics; I just have to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Only God knows just how much that person may need His hand of comfort and healing that day.
Galations 6:2 encourages us to share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. In light of this scripture, I ask you to help shoulder a huge load for my friends, Cheryl and Frank. Frank has been diagnosed with a rare, treatment-resistant form of multiple myeloma—cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. Frank will be having an autologous stem cell transplant that involves harvesting Frank’s own stem cells, subjecting Frank to very heavy duty chemo, and then re-infusing the harvested stem cells. This process is currently scheduled to begin Sunday, Sept 25th. PLEASE pray that they can harvest enough stem cells to do the transplant!! That is the first huge step.

Cheryl said that each time she sends out an update, she and Frank are overcome by the thoughts of all the prayers and the love and support surrounding them from SO many places and SO many special people...some they don't even know! I covet your prayers for these friends, as you and I know that the prayers of the body of Christ are very powerful!

Thank you!
©2011 Pamela D. Williams