Mud fun

Mud slinging—

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http://www.utdallas.edu

This photo looks like a tun-o-fun to me!  Personally, getting slimy muddy in the name of a great good time is quite appealing.  The problem comes when we start slopping mud onto each other—with our words.  Here’s the story:

“One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, ‘Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.  And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth…”

Check out the context.  Jesus and a select few of His disciples had just experienced the great Transfiguration—a “mountaintop experience” if ever there was one.  On the heels of that, as they return to the rest of the disciples, there is a crowd of people (typical) and this gentleman in dire need with his precious son.  What I find interesting is what is happening as Jesus approaches: Continue reading “Mud fun”

…and party on, and on, and…

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280There’s nothing like a good party.  We had Christmas caroling parties for the girls, including D.Y.I. tree ornaments, stringing popcorn, games, and of course, singing around the neighborhood.  One activity had to do with picking up a nickel out of a mound of flour—with your teeth.  It turned into a riotous flour fight in my front room, (I loved it, but found flour in the floor boards for years.)

There is just something about celebration that draws people; good stuff is happening and they want to be a part of it. As a bit of an introvert, even I know that exuberant celebration is good for the soul and can encourage and inspire us to even greater things.  

And if anyone knew how to party, is was God’s people.

Backstory: The family of God was in disarray.  Israel and Judah were Continue reading “…and party on, and on, and…”

Pass (or pass on?) the gluten.

wood 2I frequently have kids come into my office as a school nurse complaining that they have a “migraine”.  I think that term has become a generic reference to a bad headache, sort of like the registered trademark “Kleenex” has come to mean any disposable tissue.  But as any true connoisseur of headaches can tell you, not all headaches are migraines, and not all migraines are even headaches.

But inarguably, true migraines are a pain, in more ways than one, and the triggers can be so very elusive. In my own personal struggle, I even went gluten-free for two weeks—thankfully, it didn’t help. I think most people can’t appreciate how expensive gluten-free diets are! (Not to mention the taste bud reorientation.)

Perhaps it was my beloved tea; so I invested Continue reading “Pass (or pass on?) the gluten.”

Spiritual speed traps

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280In, lo, these many years of driving, I had never had even one point against my license, despite what my husband refers to a my “lead foot”. There is in our small town, however, a place drivers affectionate refer to as a “speed trap”—you know, the limit is 30mph, but in a few yards it goes up to 45, and in between the road gently slopes downward…

bodyworn-794099_1920The officer was nice. Nonetheless, I was a several dollars poorer and a few “points” wiser. 

The idea is that I was responsible for what I didn’t know, but should have known.  I didn’t know I was going ____mph over the speed limit.  I didn’t know there was an officer just biding his time.  Both of these bits of information would have been helpful in preventing my mishap, but no matter.  I still had to “pay the man.”

Which makes King Josiah’s response so much the better in my mind.

After a long and sordid line of (mostly) wicked rulers over God’s people, Josiah had a interesting idea—let’s follow our God.  In fixing up the temple, one of the workers found the Book, the Law where their God explains the conditions of the covenant with the people. 

Now, the king was already on the right track in terms of his heart-attitude, and being raised in a very ungodly and confusing family/social environment, he was doing what he could with what he had.  But when presented with this additional info, his reaction was, well, possibly a bit better than mine when I was pulled over…

“When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.”

One of our family catch-phrases is “what am I supposed to do with this information.”  It’s really a good test to see if there is something the other person is expecting from me, or if he/she is simply, you know, just talking.  This seems to be exactly what Josiah did, and he discovered, in no uncertain terms, that God wasn’t just talking.

Someone once said that the Holy Spirit speaks to those whose hearts are positioned to act upon His instructions.  So when Josiah heard God speak, he took one of the offensive idols and…

“…he burned it. Then he ground the ashes of the pole to dust…”

Pretty definitive statement, that.  And it wasn’t the only culture shift that was made as Josiah “turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength”.  Love it.  The kingdom of Judah was responsible for what they had neglected to know (even though it had been available), but God blessed them for the changes, (formidable ones, difficult ones), that were accomplished.

It would behoove us to follow his example.

2 Kings 22:11; 2 Kings 23:6   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.

In other words…

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“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”

Proverbs 31:8-9  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.

So it doesn’t get lost in translation…

wood 2If you’re older than, say, 15, you may have realized that what you mean to communicate is not always the message that is received.  Now, when my dog wants to go outside for some biological necessity, he is fairly clear in his insistence; there’s just not a lot of ambiguity to his request.  And a similar scenario happens in the afternoon when he thinks it’s time for me to put his premium brown crud into his food bowl.

Oh!  That it were so easy with humans!  Alas!  The ability to clearly transfer (I do like that word) what I’m thinking, wanting, needing to someone else is a skill that takes a lifetime to master, if then. 

And if it can be that difficult to communicate what’s really going on inside of me to another human, I can only speculate how my Continue reading “So it doesn’t get lost in translation…”

Just say it

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Face it, there are just some things we don’t like to admit.

I think I’m getting pretty good at the phrase, “I’m sorry”.  If something goes wrong, I just kind of figure it’s probably my fault.  There’s an art to apologizing and I’ve had plenty of practice. 

I’m also quite adept at “no”, as in, “I can’t accommodate what you want me to do at this time.”  That just has to do with personal boundaries and allocation of resources, also a finely honed skill. 

Possibly near to the top of the list of difficult things to say is Continue reading “Just say it”

In other words…

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Photo credit: http://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/photos/2016/10/19/photos-the-2016-presidential-debates?slide=7

“You should keep asking each other, ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What is the Lord saying?’”

Jeremiah 23:35  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.

Reality, Clear As Mud

Uh, yeah, what she said.

See, there's this thing called biology...

I just happen to like this little animation. A fair amount of people seem to enjoy telling me that believing in God defies reality. I don’t feel that way at all, mostly because I have enough intellectual humility to accept the fact that we people are not even able to firmly grasp the nature of reality and define it properly.

One of my favorite debates about God comes from a couple of guys with some disabling cognitive issues. I have really learned that wisdom and intelligence do not go hand in hand. So in the process of arguing, one guy says, “Are you real? If you are real, than God is real. If you’re not real, than don’t even worry about it.”

I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read, how many lectures I’ve attended, how many branches of science I’ve tried to study, all just to finally come…

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