Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Cud of God’s Word

“Look! That cow is chewing and chewing. Do cows chew bubble gum, Grandma?” a young boy questioned his grandmother.

“No, cows chew the cud,” she answered.

“Cud? What is cud?” he asked.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


photo by Gillian Hamsher

Daddy and I were cut from different bolts of cloth. I don’t remember ever sitting down and just talking. Our conversation always drifted too quickly to subjects that one of us found uncomfortable. So, to avoid upsets, Daddy and I simply kept our thoughts to ourselves, and stayed to safe, short-lived topics like the weather, kids, sports, TV shows, and pets.

What would I have enjoyed talking with him about?

  • What was it like being the youngest of eleven children?
  • Were you doted on by older siblings?
  • Were you closer to your mom or your dad?
  • You often wished you had used your GI Bill to go to college and become a teacher. What changed your dream?
  • You always went to church when I was little. Who took you to church as a kid? What happened that you stopped going as an adult?
  • When I was a kid you took us ice skating, swimming, and to Licking Creek to picnic and play ball. We vacationed somewhere many summers. So, what made you become such a "homebody” the last 30 years of your life?

Guess I’ll never know. But that’s okay. Daddy and I loved each other. And when it’s all said and done, that’s what matters.

Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

©2012 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autumn Treasures

Apple Dumplings by Johnny
Through the rich colors and flavors of Autumn, God offers us a beautiful closure to Summer. Just saying the word “Autumn” evokes the yummy taste of hot chocolate at a chilly Friday night football game, hot apple dumplings for supper, and the pleasant whiff of smoke from a neighbor’s toasty wood-burning stove.

At this time of year I frequent the local produce farms. I love the many-hued flowers and the diversity of both edible and decorative produce. Seasonal fruits, especially apples, tumble from overly-filled baskets. Clever crafters show off innovative house and yard décor. Tasting tables scattered throughout the stores tempt the pallet with samples of new varieties of fruits and vegetables, salsas and dips, and sweets that can be made from produce sold at the farms.

One of my favorite places is Benders Potato and Produce Barn and petting farm here in Chambersburg. Last week I took each of my toddler charges to see the pumpkins. The reactions of the kids were as diverse as the produce.

Michelle couldn’t wait to pick out a pumpkin—she insisted on holding it while we meandered over the grounds. Although I purchased a cup of chopped veggies to feed the goats, the overly enthusiastic buck frightened her; she preferred to hug her pumpkin instead. Later, her mom thanked me for the pumpkin, sharing how much the family enjoyed the stew she prepared from it. I wondered how she wrestled the pumpkin away from her daughter. J

Micah, on the other hand, wanted the stroller as close to the goat pen as possible so he could feed the animals himself. He giggled when they sucked or nibbled on his fingers. Showing the goats his empty hands and shaking his head with regret, he said, “All gone,” after they had eaten all the veggies. However, when we went over to choose a pumpkin, he flat out refused to take one! No matter what size or color or shape I showed him, he wanted nothing to do with pumpkins.

Pumpkins by Libraryman
Just like God fashions snowflakes, He makes no two pumpkins exactly alike. No two falling maple leaves are either. And we all have discovered that no two people, whether kids or adults, are utterly and completely the same.

And that's what makes each of us special. Only God is that creative. He made us what we are and loves us with unconditional love. Even more than we delight in picking up unusually beautiful Autumn leaves or choosing a distinctive pumpkin, God cherishes each of us as His unique treasure.

I thank Him for you, my friend. You are loved by the God who made this brilliant season of the year. As you gaze at the beauty around you, may you see the evidence of His presence. As you look in the mirror, may you be assured of His love.

©2012 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Glorious Morning

Picture by Don Ardery

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the sky displays his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

What a thrilling sight met my eyes this morning, Lord, as I walked out onto the porch. The awesome sunrise streaking the cirrus clouds instantly reminded me of swirls of pink and blue cotton candy. In a twinkling, I am once again watching the vendor twirl the paper cone through the wispy confection. As I gaze up at Your fleeting creation, I can almost taste the delicious sweetness of that carnival delicacy melting in my mouth.

One day, Lord, I want to see your color palette and watch as you brush the brilliant and subtle hues across the canvas of the sky. The beautiful beginning to this Saturday fills me with praise for who You are and for all You have made. Thank you, Jesus!

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart, awakening, cries,
“May Jesus Christ be praised!"
(Katholisches Gesangbuch, 1828)

©2012 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Desert Will Rejoice

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
by Ron Niebrugge
The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands.
(Isaiah 35:1)

"The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, east of San Diego, is a vast stretch of wasteland, devoid of life and beauty," says a visitor from Arcadia, CA. "But, in the spring, the park flourishes with wild flowers that carpet the desert floor with brilliant shades of purple, white, crimson and yellow." (

Like the Anza-Borrego, we go through times, even as Christians, when we feel as though our life is an emotional or spiritual desert. Challenging circumstances, stressful situations or rocky relationships can wear down our determination and dry up our energy. Our hearts cry out for God’s mercy, but our call seems to evaporate into thin air as soon as it leaves our lips, like dew in an arid, barren land.

Isaiah 35:1 offers us hope. If God can revive desert wastelands, like the Anza-Borrego, and produce a plethora of colorful flowers, then He can rejuvenate us. Using our difficulties and hardships to train, prune and strengthen us, God transforms you and me into the persons He wants us to be.

God will resurrect bouquets of roses from ashes; give us joy instead of mourning, a praising heart in place of a languid spirit. For the Lord has planted us, like strong and mighty oaks of righteousness, for His own glory. (Isaiah 61:3)


©2012 Pamela D. Williams