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Archive for August, 2006

Little Umbrella

little-umbrella.jpgLast Monday night a single knock was heard at our front door. A package lay on our front porch for which we had been waiting for some time. It was our new deck umbrella. As I heard Mike and Jeremy begin to open the box and assemble our newest deck gadget, I decided to leave them be until they finished their construction. After about 20 minutes, Mike called for Mom and I to come take a look. By this time, the sun had set, and the deck was awash with the soft glow of the outdoor lighting. There in the corner in the midst of our table, proudly stood the new umbrella, ready to serve us. It was a muted red color, and underneath its canopy rested a night light in the shape of a UFO. What a neat invention! How nice it would be to have shade from the hot glaring sun. The next evening, we shared our first meal under the umbrella. My brother Tom was our honored guest as we feasted on a sumptuous meal of Popeye’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Cajun gravy and rice, corn on the cob, coleslaw and homestyle biscuits.

I love to study word origins, and today, I got to thinking about the word umbrella, and decided to look up its meaning in my “Dictionary of Word Origins”. Here is what I found: “Etymologically, an umbrella is a ‘little shadow.’ The word was borrowed from Italian ombrella, a diminutive form of ombra ‘shade, shadow.’ This in turn went back to Latin umbra, source of English somber, umbrage, etc. It originally denoted a ‘sunshade,’ and that meaning followed it into English, but it was not long before the vagaries of the British climate saw it being applied to a ‘protector against rain.’ “

Then my mind started wandering to the Book that has most influenced and impacted my life, The Bible. And I got to thinking about a scripture I had read in Psalms 91:1, which says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The word shadow in this scripture comes from the Hebrew word tsel, which means shade, whether literal or figuratively; – defence. There are several scriptures in the Psalms that make reference to being under the shadow of God’s wings. Psalms 17:8 …”hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” Psalms 36:7….”trust under the shadow of thy wings.” Psalms 57:1….”in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge….” Psalms 63:7 ….”in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice..”

I’m thankful for our new “little umbrella”. But I’m even more thankful to God for His big umbrella of love and protection. He is a refuge to me.

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AFTER THE FURNACE

It seemed that life in the furnace was never going to end.  Our A/C had been out for about a month.  We had struggled through 10+ days of triple digit temperatures trying whatever desperate means we could to cool down; even if that meant standing for a few seconds next to the open freezer to catch a blast of arctic pleasure.  After an aborted attempt by Sears to install a new A/C system, our hopes had been dashed, and we were just resigned to sweat it out until kingdom come.  The book of Proverbs states that “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick”, and we were SICK in heart and body!

So when Sears promised us that we would have our new A/C up and running on Monday, July 31, I was a bit skeptical.  I left the house that morning and decided I would not even call or go home until after 5 that evening.  If I was going to be disappointed again, I didn’t want to know about it until the day was over.

When I arrived home that evening, the Sears van was still parked in our driveway, in my parking spot, mind you!   That did not bode well with me.  As I entered the house fearing the worst, I learned that not only was the A/C and new furnace fully installed, but they had already sealed up all the ductwork and would not need to come back the next day!   The cool air wafted ever so gently out of the kitchen vent and down over my entire being as I stood underneath its benevolent grillwork.  No matter that we really didn’t need it now.  It was only in the 70’s.  Suddenly life had became rosier and all my troubles faded into the background. All was well…..Thank you Jesus!  There is life after the furnace! We have A/C!!!

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