Plug in the ears

books-3322275_1920You know that saying “so many books, so little time”? I’m considering an audio-book app for my phone.  It’s that time of year where I spend a considerable amount of daylight in the garden, which means my mind just kind of wanders, I suppose. 

I’m checking out the one from Amazon, lots of books I can download for around $15 a month.  However, that’s a chunk of change over time, so I may need to do some creative budgeting if I go that route. 

Of course, they have that inviting hook of a 30-day free trial, cancel at any time and get one or two books free to start the subscription.  And there’s this one book on prayer I’m interested in.

Hummmm…. Continue reading “Plug in the ears”

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Pass-downs, and other investment strategies

stock-exchange-738671_1280Clearly, Bob and I are not financial moguls.  Our newest car is an ’04 (or is it an ’03?  When it’s that old, who cares?) But it runs, and it’s paid for, so that.  I say we’re the Joneses that no one tries to keep up with.

Bob’s parents were likewise not investment wizards.  Frugal and responsible, yes, but they were not big names on Wall Street.

However, Bob’s grandfather worked many years for a particular company in which he was able to acquire personal stock.  This “stock” continued to “split” (whatever that means), and through the long time of continued reinvestment, grew somewhat impressively. 

To see his grandparents’ home, one wouldn’t think much of their investment strategy, the financial legacy of which was passed down to their two children and was then passed down to Bob and his brothers on the death of his parents.

My (also very frugal) husband has chosen to invest this share, with the intent of not only passing it down to our children, but with the hopes to adding to it for them as well. 

Which means our newest car is still an ’04…

Nevertheless, we both have and continue to realize the benefits of a financial inheritance in ways we’re probably not even aware of to this day, including while growing up.  Likewise, we have both been reaping the even more important benefits of a spiritual legacy passed down to us through both of our families.   

 “The priests will not have any property or possession of land, for I alone am their special possession.”

What a countercultural statement for back in the day!  Land acquisition was all that!  Property was your security, your status, and a major part of the financial legacy to hand down to your family.  What I hear God saying here is that knowing Him is a far more necessary and sufficient inheritance than anything else.  Then this:

“I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Jesus is talking here about a kingdom harvest of souls for God, but I’m thinking the principle applies to the spiritual pass-down in our lives as well.  And what do I do with it?  I can squander the spiritual and physical resources I have, which are largely due to blessings of our parents’ godly obedience.  Or I can invest them for further growth (the dividends of which never fluctuate with the cultural moral tide) to be passed down to my children and beyond. 

My own dear parents have discussed with us some investments which they someday intend to leave with “no strings attached”.  In my usual levity I quipped something like,

“So, you mean I can go buy that bright red Ferrari?”

“Well, if that’s how you want to use it,” was the sincere reply.

Nah.  The ’04 is fine. 

(For some practical and encouraging info on passing down the spiritual blessing to your children, you might find this interesting:)

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/passing-along-a-blessing-to-your-children

Ezekiel 44:28; John 4:38 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Because enquiring minds want to know.”

newspaper-2874482_1920The above title was the advertising tag for one of those insipid tabloids from years past that grace the check-out counter at the grocery store.  They tend to be right there with the candy bars to make it more convenient to rot your body and soul at the same time.  In my mind, tabloids rank up there with Harlequin romances and other forms of mental/emotional snake oil. Continue reading ““Because enquiring minds want to know.””

Go around…again?!?

secret-3037639_1920I love, LOVE to hear my dad’s stories about then he was in Navy!  Back when Bill Haley and his Comets were getting ready to Rock Around the Clock, Dad was off on some semi-covert operation overseas serving his country, doing the things that Uncle Sam thinks invincible 19-year-olds can do. 

I’m thinking that, at the time of Dad’s tour, we weren’t technically at war with anyone, but we all know what that means.  Realistically, we’re always at war with someone, even if it’s under the radar, especially for those of us back home.  There are always enemies, and it behooves us to keep some operations covert, I suppose. Continue reading “Go around…again?!?”

From our dear friend, Oneta

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Hey, all!  Oneta had hip surgery but is on the mend!!   Here’s a quick update from the saint herself:

“It has been a rough three weeks and you have called it right. I’m tired; however the last three days I’ve been tired because of progress. That’s good. I’m on schedule to go home Friday. Mostly my brain has been a washout as well as my body. But through it all, God has been faithful. That is not just a triat statement. He has shown me one more reason for things that mystify regarding what sometimes appear “questionable “ about my extremely loving God. I hope I can share before long. He is so undeserving of the hate and distrust we lay at his feet. Share this with our friends in your own special way. Love you, Sweet Friends..”

Keep her in our prayers!!  Send her notes at her website: Sweet Aroma.

Copying this to:

Let’s Run the Race

Cookie Crumbs to Live By

A Time to Share

Truth in Palmyra

Just give me the box

present-150291_1280I had the honor of attending the baby shower for one of my bestie’s up-and-coming first grandchild!  This was just wonderful, considering Bob and I were dinner guests at her house the night she went into labor with her soon-to-be-a-sleepless-father youngest son. 

As all the gifts were being opened, once again the topic came up among the wizened elders of how the little ones often prefer to play with the boxes rather than the expensive gifts inside. 

Ain’t it the truth?  Now, you can go drop some serious coin for a colorful BPH-free cartoon-branded hard plastic play house, or….if your husband is a poor grad student with three small children living in married student housing, you can go to the nearest appliance store and get a refrigerator box (or two) for free, some crayons, have a blast, and still afford groceries. (Ask me how I know this.)  But I’m a bit off topic here. Continue reading “Just give me the box”

Stinky feet

argument-3312463_1280 (1)“Now, if I were in charge…!”

Ever had that thought?  ‘Fess up, because who hasn’t.  And not just about the government, but the media, the job, or even the church…(c’mon, Someone bigger than me is reading your thoughts.)

It’s been said that absolute authority corrupts absolutely.  I’m sure that’s probably true in a human sense and, although I’ve never had absolute authority, I know what I messes I’ve made with the little authority I have had.  Continue reading “Stinky feet”

A bird in the hand, (unless it’s a starling…)

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It appears a male starling is making advances to the female, who in turn is playing hard to get.  At first, I hear sweet tunes, which quickly have turned into unpleasant assertions.  Then arrives male #2 and the competitors have at it, chasing each other through the branches while the female ignores them, rearranging her coiffure and powdering her beak.

One of the males is run off (how can you tell them apart?), and the young couple is left to negotiate their terms of endearment.  Not that I care; good grief, it’s not like we need more starlings in the world. Continue reading “A bird in the hand, (unless it’s a starling…)”

Which way?

flu-1679104_1920Week #2 of what has turned into a nasty sinus infection.  The cough is so persistent that REM is a luxury, and of course, lack of sleep sets me up for another migraine, which greeted me this morning when I woke up after a few hours of rest.  Bob was about to drag me to the doctor (nurses are such good patients, you know) but I betook myself yesterday and was first in line. 

The doctor (one of my former students, BTW) basically said I was already doing all the right things, and then added an antibiotic and high-powered cough syrup into the mix. 

As I write this, I’m sitting on the patio.  The birds are singing, a distant rooster is trying to wake up the town, and Bob—bless his heart—is sound asleep in our bedroom which I vacated in the middle of the night so at least one of us could get some Z’s.

And I realize I am at a juncture.  I can follow my symptoms down that road of negativity, or…

I could rewind what I just wrote: I am sitting (not lying in a sickbed) outside (the weather is beautiful, sunshine dappling through the trees in the cool morning air) listening to birds.  I’m drinking my pot of Yorkshire tea.  I have a healthy husband who loves me and our family.  Most of my plants are actually thriving in the garden.  (Okay, people, that’s a big one, just saying.)

The list goes on from there.  And I’m reminded of someone in worse straits than I:

“A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.  Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”

Severely beaten and thrown in a dungeon, not a pretty site.  There was no denying their pain or predicament, but they were also at a juncture.  Gripe and complain, or focus on and use the resources they had (each other, love of God, voices to worship).

Admittedly, God doesn’t always send His breakthrough in the form of an earthquake.  But almost always there are others watching and listening to how we respond prior to the breakthrough. 

The highest miracle, and the bottom line of all life’s situations, is the spiritual breakthrough of those influenced by Paul and Silas’s reaction to their circumstances.  Hmmmm…

My tea is now gone, and thankfully, so is the migraine.  Time for a little gardening.  (Shhhh…don’t tell Bob.)

Acts 16:22-25 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Stone, wraps, and other impediments.

I wonder if Martha gets a bit of bum rap.  She’s the calculating one, knows what needs to be done and does it herself if necessary.  The list-maker, the bean counter.  Martha was the chief cook and bottle washer when Jesus came to visit her and her siblings.  She alone was the one who received a gentle rebuke from the Lord when she demanded that her sister, Mary, come and help her in the kitchen instead of sitting with the Master, listening and absorbing.

I bet Martha as the older one, the one who helped her little sister growing up to put on her clothes and lace up her sandals.  You know how older sibs are called upon in a family.  Insert all of that on Martha’s shoulders.

Now Mary, it’s possible that Mary is same woman mentioned in another of the Gospels as the “unclean” prostitute who broke the jar and anointed Jesus in an act of repentance for her now-former lifestyle. The jury is out on that one, but for argument’s sake…

In this context, I can perceive Martha’s frustration, helping to sacrificially raise her younger sister only to have her go off and ruin the family name.  Perhaps this is why no spouse is mentioned for Martha— in that culture once the family is disgraced, who wanted to marry into that?  If this is case, like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal, I get it.

Then their beloved brother dies. 

Interestingly, when Jesus finally decides to make an entrance, Mary is the one who stays behind, but it’s good ole’ practical Martha who goes out to faithfully meet the Master.  Of course, the first words out of her mouth are, guess what, cause and effect:

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

Problem defined, problem solved.  That’s Martha.  If Plan A didn’t transpire, she always had a Plan B.  It wasn’t, however, quite what she expected:

 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

How often do I ask God for a miracle, only with the proviso that He does it my way.  Good grief, don’t open the tomb!  Don’t expose the decay and don’t make the smell of death public.  No, I like to keep things private.

I forget there was nothing private about Jesus dying on a cross—for me.

There is something about the things we keep hidden which allows them to fester and multiply.  I’ll try to deal with it on my own. If my first plan is tanked, then I’ll think of the next step, but by all means, let’s keep stench under control.

window-806899_1920Except life doesn’t actually work that way.  The only way Lazarus was going to walk out of that tomb was to roll away the stone and let him breathe God’s fresh air.

How’s your air quality today?

John 11:21,21,39 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.