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'...TABLES OF THE HEART'
Howard L. Pierce
Not For Sale
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As we age, we may feel 'bound' to circumstances: aches and pains, expensive medicines and health insurance premiums, fixed incomes. However, there remain 'freedoms' in which we can rejoice, and one of the best may lie, simply, in 'remembering'.
In remembering, we can evaluate those EVENTS in life that have brought us to where we are. We can recall PEOPLE who have influenced our direction toward who we have become. And we can assess the guidelines, tenets, and practices that have become a part of our nature; all comprise the contents of the "tables of the heart".
The basis for behavior might be directly connected to what we have written-or have ALLOWED to be written-in our hearts. When I was a child, I had an elderly friend who turned sixty-five the year I was BORN. He would take me on his lap and recite to me, the Twenty-third Psalm so sincerely and so convincingly that even today-and I'M sixty-five-I still believe "the Lord is my Shepherd".
Then there was the strange lady at chrch who sang badly and LOUDLY, "OH LORD, I WANT TO BE IN THAT NUMBER, WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN!" Nowadays, I find myself expressing that same sentiment; not so loudly, but every bit as badly.
The man who could neither read nor write carried a well-worn Bible constantly. When asked 'why', he also reverted to a song famiiar to all in those days and in that location. His song was "We'll Undestand it Better, Bye and Bye". Funny what is so indelibly written. From the lips of a multi-millionaire industrialist, I heard the words "GIVE GOD THE GLORY". I was eleven years old and that, too, was proclaimed with such enthusiasm that it was written down.
Perhaps, that which is MOST precious AND effective comes from the words and examples of Godly parents. Those who have taken the time to dip the pen of instruction into their understanding of God's plan and enlighten their offspring, the words that will "fit them for service". It was my good fortune to have such parents, and while my MIND misdirected my effort many times, that which was written on my heart somehow survived. How could I ever forget Mother's favorite song, "Take Time to be Holy, Speak OFT' with thy Lord", or Daddy's favorite scripture, "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is ABLE....."? And WHO could forget being 'forced' to stand at the front of the church and sing, "Climb, climb up Sunshine Mountain" while going through the motions of 'climbing' and 'beaming' when your heart was elsewhere? But we always got to the best one, "Jesus loves me, this I know", and that, somehow, eased the pain of the more 'active' choruses.
Those days are long passed. But forgotten? NEVER! They are a small part of the precious volumes..."the tables of MY heart".
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