But, God…!

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God has such a sense of humor. 

“God answered, ‘I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain…'”

Why would God tell Moses that He would confirm this commission AFTER this little errand had been completed? 

I repeat, God has such a sense of humor. 

This comment marks the beginning of Moses’ courageous “but, God…!?!” speech.  Not that I would have done any better, to be sure.  I love that he begins at this most uninspiring place and ends up in the Hebrews 11 hall of fame, but that’s another story….

God graciously proceeds to give a few more confirmations:  You will find Continue reading “But, God…!”

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A scar isn’t ALL bad

IMG_20150103_172451138If there is one advantage to having a nurse for a mom, it is that you are vaccinated against seemingly innumerable nasties that would love to invade your bloodstream.  (I suppose it might be difficult to understand that advantage, depending which end of the needle you’re on…)  Particularly, being a school nurse, as new recommendations and requirements come down the pipe, I would be getting my kids stuck with those also, except that they are now out of my household and that maternal syringe isn’t quite long enough.

vaccination-296946_1280As I write this (December, 2016), there is an unfortunately significant mumps outbreak in one of our major college towns here in Missouri, most assuredly fueled by parents’ decisions to not vaccinate their children when they were younger against this very preventable disease.  When you have 18 to 22 year-olds crammed into college dorms and classrooms, transference of nasties is bound to happen.

Not that I would intentionally expose Continue reading “A scar isn’t ALL bad”

The Kraken (#15)

(Pssst…In case you missed any, you can start from the beginning at THIS LINK.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XV. The Restoration of All Things

A transformation soon ensued from Lordly Griffin wild

To lion then to bleeding lamb, both terrible and mild,

Who laid his wounded head upon the morbid maiden’s breast.

The color came into her cheeks. She breathed as if at rest

 

And then exhaled with softened moan to Galen’s glad surprise

As, with a start, she sat upright and opened long-shut eyes.

The former mist from when she first walked plainly in his sight

Was missing now, and in its place there shined a brighter light.

 

A bleat turned to a lion’s roar and then an eagle’s screech,

Then, suddenly, the Griffin King flew upward out of reach.

As Galen gazed upon the lass, revived in time of need,

From north and west the prophet flew, approaching on his steed.

 

Alighting next, he looked around, excitement on his face,

And smiled at Galen as he said, “Recipient of grace,

Believe your eyes. Be not surprised. It is the right of kings

To fashion something beautiful from dead and broken things.

 

“Now would it be too much to ask, what is this maiden’s name?”

She rose and spoke in wondrous tones, “Through trial I became

More of myself for this good man who sought to know me best.

My parents named me for the stars. Dear sir, I am Celeste.”

 

He joined the couple hand in hand, then to the griffins led.

A far off look was in his eyes as joyfully he said,

“Celeste and Galen, rise and fly. There are but saddles two.

Consent to take one final gift I have to offer you,

 

“In wedded bliss to live within my cottage by the sea,

But here I’ll die. Then this good host will take what’s left of me

To safer shores beyond the veil of this world’s atmosphere

To bow before the Griffin King in reverential fear.

 

“Life’s vivid moments rise and fall like waves upon the shore.

Each breaker passes over me. I want for nothing more.

My sojourn by the ocean past, and, now, my waiting through,

My course is flown. I am fulfilled in what I’ve done for you.”

 

So, tearfully, with warm embrace, they bade their friend goodbye

And, later, perched on griffin backs, conversed within the sky.

They shouted high upon the wind and spoke of many things

Until they reached that happy shore on which the ocean sings.

 

Then, earnestly, they made their vows among the griffin host

And went inside to contemplate what they both treasured most.

They hung their saddles on the wall, forever, some would say.

For after that enchanted ride, the griffins flew away.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The old-fashioned, hand-held, page-turning and fully illustrated version can be ordered at Amazon.com, by Robert L Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood.

The leaves are waiting

garden last

I’m writing this in winter, but there is very little snow on the ground.  Which means I can readily see the work I have waiting for me in the months to come.  I prefer to burn leaves, but I do try to be a good neighbor by only doing it once in the Fall and once in the Spring.  It gives me that really good rich, black soil that my garden, such as it is, truly loves. 

My husband used to be in charge of the yard clean up until I decided to start growing things.  Now he is content to clean bathrooms while I love being outside.   No complaints from me!  But there was one time, when trying to expedite a job that was fairly disagreeable to him, Bob decided, rather than rake the leaves into one big burn pile, he would instead create several small piles throughout the side and front yard, even connecting them by trails of leaves and Continue reading “The leaves are waiting”

Away in a bathtub…er, manger

IMG_20150103_172451138At this writing, our second granddaughter is celebrating her first Christmas, having been born only a few days ago.  This was an interesting birth.  Granted, all my girls were born 30+ years ago, but to make things even more interesting, this wonderful event took place in Scandinavia, and things are a little different there—our little jewel was birthed underwater in a special bathtub, after which the new family was taken to a special area in the adjoining hotel for three days while they adjust and learn and ask questions and are generally pampered, rested, and supported until released home.   

Finally, someone is making some sense!

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Not sure what Dopey’s part was in this reenactment….

Which is a far cry from the little Lego manger scene that I’m looking at right now (belonging to our first granddaughter, whose home we are in for Christmas!)  In fact, right now everyone is still asleep, the packages are just itching to be unwrapped, and I have enjoyed a few quiet moments reading Luke chapter 2. 

Now, if Scandinavia could provide such a nice environment for our sweet new bundle, why couldn’t God provide something a little more upscale than a dirty feeding trough in a stinky stable for His own Son??  On the surface, one could think…well, one could think many things, I suppose.  And do, but mistakenly.  

No matter how much we learn about conception, pregnancy and birth, even I have too much of an artistic soul to arrogantly think we can ever fully grasp the sublimity of it all, nor can anyone within a paradigm of a closed universe grasp the Grand Design.  For crying out loud, those of us who ascribe to a divinely open universe can’t see it all either! 

Which makes me think that this temporal life is likewise akin to a pregnancy as we are being formed and ready to be birthed into Eternity.  A whole bunch of things take place inside the womb preparing a child for their first appearance.  Isn’t the same happening to me, and those whom I so dearly love?  Who am I to question or doubt God’s unique plan and mysterious process He is using to bring about their preparation for the heavenly birthing process?

“Just as you cannot understand…the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.”

And He does all things well

Ecclesiastes 10:8,9; 11:5  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.

Archaeology—it’s all in the way you sift the dirt

IMG_20150103_172451138I have inherited some very cool pieces of furniture from my father’s family.  An old Victrola, grandmother’s rocker (who knows how many babies have fallen asleep in that!), a secretary desk, and some others.  And I love the stories behind them.

Part of this is because I do so enjoy history.  Not the dates and places so much, but more the people and events.  I also appreciate archaeology.  As a pseudo-gardener, I enjoy digging in the dirt, but to pull something out of the dirt other than food or flowers, now that’s an adventure!

Evidently, there is some disagreement over whether archaeology proves or disproves the historicity of the Bible.  Although I find the artifacts fascinating, I don’t put my faith in them. (Remember the big ta-do over “the shroud”?)  It’s interesting that God has never allowed us to find the cross, Noah’s Ark, or even the Ark of the Covenant.  Some might say this is an argument against the Bible, but that Continue reading “Archaeology—it’s all in the way you sift the dirt”

The Kraken (#14)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XIV. A Faithful Flight

Observing her in silence but for sound of griffin breath,

They recognized her dignity, still beautiful in death.

Then Galen looked up pleadingly, cheeks marked by frozen tears.

His mentor looked much younger now, despite his many years.

 

He spoke with sensitivity. “Somehow, your faith is weak.

In giving you some time to grieve, I’ve taken time to speak.

Compared to what should really be, our efforts are but jest.

Now you must meet the One who can perform beyond your best,

 

“One who appears in many forms, a king without a crown.”

As he expounded on the ice, more griffins circled down.

With that, the prophet used his robe to wrap the corpse in white.

“This struggle is not over yet. If you have will to fight,

 

“You’ll take this precious bundle to complete what you’ve begun.

Now get you to the South and East to meet the rising sun.

Take no time to deliberate or question what I say.

So off with you. Be on your flight. Your griffin knows the way.”

 

Through twilight’s gloam, in haste they flew, but Galen was confused.

He held the dead weight to his chest as silently he mused.

He felt no hope or sorrow then or anything between.

This errand seemed to be in vain. What could the prophet mean?

 

Obedience was dearly learned. He would not stray again.

Had he not conquered in a fight no mortal man should win?

The glory of the day before had faded into night.

The goal of present faithfulness was hidden from his sight.

 

They came to rest upon a ridge beneath a graying sky,

And, standing by his escort, he heard flutterings nearby.

Like blades of grass that stand in such profusion on a lawn,

Were countless griffins seen to swarm the hill by light of dawn.

 

As if on cue or high command, by instinct or by choice,

They raised their eagle heads and screamed together with one voice,

And to this cry responding, as if not to be outdone,

A griffin larger than them all flew outward from the sun,

 

Its brightly colored plumage set on wings of awesome span.

As fine a sight as ever was beheld by eyes of man,

The Griffin King flew closer. Galen nearly lost control

But held his ground before the eyes that stared into his soul.

 

Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread

But never moved its gaze from Galen’s face, it must be said.

The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown,

And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The old-fashioned, hand-held, page-turning and fully illustrated version can be ordered at Amazon.com, by Robert L Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood.

Italian Nativities Changed The Way I Think of Christmas

Some of the BEST thoughts on Christmas and nativity scenes. Makes one think!

Samaritan's Song

I wanted to buy a nativity scene or a little creche in Italy.

Before we left, I declared my intent to my husband: “What better souvenir?  We’ll be in Italy.  Italy.  At Christmas!  Why not bring home a new nativity that we’ll use for the next several decades?  It’d be perfect.”

As it turns out, I did not, in fact, buy one.  This is mostly because a) home nativity scenes and creches in Italy are profoundly expensive and b) because home nativity scenes and creches in Italy are deeply involved.  I saw tiny, delicate nativities with mechanical moving parts: actual running water, donkeys drinking, sheep walking, Mary swaddling Jesus over and over again with tiny carved hands.  They were all beautiful, they all cost an insane amount, and they were all far too delicate to cram into my suitcase for the trip home.

And yet: those nativity scenes changed…

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Are we there yet?

wood 2Bob and I saw the movie, Arrival, on the big screen when it, well, arrived (…smile).  He’s a real heady sci-fi fan; that is, explosions in space are fine, but he prefers the more cerebral plots, and this flick definitely filled the bill.  If you haven’t seen it, no spoiler here.  Suffice it to say that the Earthlings must be very intentional and persistent in learning to communicate with this obviously advanced race of beings, even in the face of fear, opposition, and unrecognized danger from outside sources who misunderstand.

Bob loved it; I walked out with a migraine, but that wasn’t the movie’s fault. Despite the headache, I was still thinking about the Continue reading “Are we there yet?”