LAST MONTH I completed this Ink with Pen and Brush, representing a farming village with its Church bell tower, inspired by a photograph and my interest in historic villages and a simpler way of life.
I chose this Ink to represent our Thought this week—Catalogue. I imagine what this scene would be like with snow on the ground, farmers contemplating spring planting, and their wives searching seed catalogues for the family vegetable garden that would naturally include flowers for the table.
Have You Consulted a Catalogue?
WHEN DID YOU last consult a ‘catalogue’? Before answering, lets define the term: a catalogue can be a list of anything, arranged in some specific order. When you list things, you catalogue them in some order or grouping. Since we just finished 2020 Christmas Season, its likely you may have consulted a catalogue, in print or online, to aid gift shopping.
When did you first consult a ‘catalogue’? As a young child (depending on how many birthdays you’ve celebrated!) your first catalogue may have been that of Sears Roebuck. From the first edition in 1893, one could purchase something as small as needles to as large as a house from the same catalogue. One family I lived with called it their ‘Wish Book”!
LET’S NARROW the selection to seed catalogues. In previous blogs I mentioned one of my four hobbies was flower gardening. I suppose I have always had an interest in plants, but my first experience was in third grade when I transplanted little Maple tree sprouts into paper cups then set up a stand on the front sidewall. I was open for business! It failed. In Middle School I worked in my uncle’s huge garden and part time at a Greenhouse.
Not until Marj and I were married and living in our own homes, did I begin to design and plant flowers and vegetables. I ordered ‘free’ seed catalogues. Once you order one…they never stop coming! About this time of year, I looked forward to the seed catalogue arrivals. The beautiful pictures arranged by flower color, alphabetically and zone was exciting.
YOU MAY WONDER where I’m going with all this. Actually, it’s a thought that was brought to my mind recently in my Psalm 46:10 time: Be still and know that I am God. As followers of Jesus, our purpose is to live God’s way. Then what happens?
But what happens when we live God’s way? We become His ‘catalogue’ of gifts available for everyone!
He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like:
- Affection for others,
- Exuberance about life,
- We develop a willingness to stick with things,
- A sense of compassion in the heart, and
- A conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.
- We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,
- Not needing to force our way in life,
- Able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galatians 5:22 The Message
Following a year like 2020, nearly everyone is shopping for ‘gifts’ that can bring ‘hope’ into 2021. As a follower of Jesus, your life is a living catalogue of what they are looking for. And (to use a familiar phrase) it’s not only ‘free shipping’ but the gift itself is free! That’s one of the ‘good’ things about the Good News in our catalogue.
Becoming an open Catalogue
MAY EVERYONE we contact examine the catalogue of our lives and see what God has available— ‘Hope for 2021’ from the God who loves you and them. How can we do this?
- But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. [And]…
- Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
- But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
My prayer is that you and I will have many opportunities to bring this gift of hope to those we meet this week and year. May the ‘Catalogue’ of our life be open wide for everyone to see what God is and wants to do!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV
 Sears sold 75,000 DIY Mail Order Homes between 1908 and 1939, and transformed American life.