Chocolate: a little something for everyone, (HO! Yeah…)

Get out the chocolate Easter eggs!  Anyone remember this little slogan from Hershey’s chocolate?

I’m fascinated how the Bible has something for everyone.  For the artists, the adventurers, those who love the ancient equivalent of chick-flicks, and (gulp!) yes, even horror stories! This is a tome that communicates both in the concrete and the abstract, through definite laws and regulations, as well as metaphor and poetry and song.  

So here’s a nugget for those of us who are treasure hunters, looking for veins of gold in the pages that most of us are tempted to just skim over.  For me, one of those Continue reading “Chocolate: a little something for everyone, (HO! Yeah…)”

CUT!  TAKE 26!

wood 2My son-in-law, Michael Greenholt, and Bob’s brother, Doug Jones, are both in “The Industry”.  Now, to me the word industry (lower case “i”) conjures up mental images of 3-M, Lilly Pharmaceuticals, or General Motors; but then, I’m from the Midwest.  Bob and I quickly learned that “The Industry” in southern California meant that which is the bread and butter for a large portion of the populous: the silver screen. 

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My kids’ Uncle Dougie as “Abe Sapien”. As you might imagine, this gave me some street-cred with my middle school students… (photo: Wikipedia)

It’s actually a fascinating business for an outsider-looking-in.  Mike took us into one of his work spaces and we were mightily impressed with his expertise and artistic skill as an animator.  Naturally, we have followed Doug throughout his career as a prosthetics actor, and some of his stories of being under the heavy get-ups that can take HOURS to put on are pretty hilarious!

So when we go out West to visit, we inevitably run into writers, stage people, and those who are in various strata of “The Industry”.  I still know so very little about the process, but I now have at least a small concept of part of it (and am certainly willing to stand corrected for those in-the-know…):

First, there is a story, perhaps from a book, which then is followed by the screen-writer who puts in much of the blocking and movement, which is followed by the actors who get “into character” and learn their lines, but who are then instructed by the director who tells them how he wants certain things to look, albeit it make takes several times for the players to get it just right as the director thinks it should be.  (Naturally, this doesn’t preclude some personal interpretation on the actor’s part, which leaves their own distinctive stamp on the roll—who else but Ian McKellan could play Gandalf, I mean, really?!)   At last the producer shreds much of the film onto the cutting floor and picks out only those pieces he thinks makes the movie just right, those things that will remain as the true story.

Ah, that life should be so clear cut….

And yet, to a degree that we are not fully aware of (yet), this is very similar to what God is doing in our lives. 

God, the Ultimate Author, has given me a unique story, as well as all the other players with whom I have to interact throughout my life.  God is also the Director who guides me until I get it just right, which can unfortunately mean several “takes”, (or sometimes, more than several…) This doesn’t mean He expects me to be a robotic automaton; quite the contrary, He has given me a personality with nuances that lend special “flavor” to my roll.  (In other words, He wants me to play me, not someone else!)  Finally, and this is truly amazing grace, there are parts of my life that (thankfully, gratefully) end up on the cutting floor so that the final reading in the Eternal Filmfest with that “great cloud of witnesses” will read just like He wants it.  In fact, He’s just so good at what He does, sometimes He even allows that editing to happen on this side of eternity as well—check out how Abraham’s wife, Sarah, is set down in history as a woman of faith in the book of Hebrews compared to the historical account in Genesis!  Now, that’s heavenly production at its best.

“The Lord will work out his plans for my life—

for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever…”

I’m in for as many takes…as it takes.

Psalm 138:8  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.

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….(Yeah, it’s a old song)

sasI’m writing this in Heathrow International, London, waiting on the last leg of our trip to Norway to see our second precious bundle in the form of a granddaughter.  Naturally, I’m drinking English Breakfast Tea.  My body doesn’t really know what time it is, although my watch says it’s going on 2PM here, which means it’s close to 8AM back home in the Show Me State, so I guess breakfast tea is still appropriate…somewhere.  We had a few complications due to wind in Chicago, (also appropriate, if you know Chicago), as well as human and technological mishaps—such is international travel I am told—but compared to what could go wrong, these things are merely inconveniences. Continue reading “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….(Yeah, it’s a old song)”

In other words…

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A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!

Proverbs 27:13  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.

Some assembly required

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’m saving for a new kitchen.  They say the first rooms of any old house that should be remodeled are the bathrooms and the kitchen; okay, now that we’re 25-years into this already old house, it’s probably time.  So I’m saving my dollars as I am hoping for a visit from the contractor in the months to come.  (Bob, honey, take note.)

This past Christmas, our oldest granddaughter received a “new kitchen” from her father’s parents.  I have rarely seen such an elaborate and beautiful play thing, and I’m thinking of writing them to request they send me one, only on a bigger adult scale!  It’s magnificent! 

The challenge is that it Continue reading “Some assembly required”

That’s what doorbells are for.

IMG_20150103_172451138Best dating story: Bob and I were coming home from an evening out.  As I was still in college, I lived with my parents in the summer, and my dad, as a stickler for protecting his family, always had the door locked if I got home late enough and they had gone to bed.  Naturally, I also always had a key to get in when my soon-to-be finance would deposit me at the front step.

The key, however, only fit the main entrance, not the outer screen door…

What happened next was almost something out of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.  Bob, being the practical science-guy he is, couldn’t understand why I didn’t just ring the door bell, (which, to this day, seems like the most sagacious option), but in deference to my objections, he pulled his little Pinto (remember those?) around to the driveway and helped me go from the big wooden storage box, to the top of his car, and onto the garage roof which led to my own second story window.  Thankfully, I had left the window open, but DRAT!  There was that locked screen window (what is it with screens??) that I had to poke my fingers through to raise, hoping that the family dog wasn’t currently my room ready to sound the intruder alarm.

Having successfully deposited his future bride safely, albeit not conveniently, within her home, Bob took off and I went to bed, thinking I would relate the incident to my folks…someday.  Until I got up that morning and they asked me how I had gotten in last night, as Dad noticed he had locked the screen door, and Mom was wondering what my shoes were doing in the garage.

At what point in a young person’s life does she realize that her parents are not stupid?

Now, Dad is a fixer; property is something that must be improved and/or maintained, so my screen window didn’t stay impaled for long, allowing for mosquitoes, bees, and other pests equal access to my room, (geewhiz, hadn’t thought of that one).  And thankfully, I didn’t dent Bob’s car, pull off the guttering or slip and break my neck scampering up the shingles.  In retrospect (sigh) I should have just rung the doorbell!

Which is kinda the point the writer of Hebrews is making when he says:

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

I wonder how much wasted time, energy, and (gulp!) destruction I have caused by not first coming boldly to my Father’s presence.  What fears have stolen my peace, what anxieties have poked holes in my power, and what kind of hellacious peril I have put myself (and others) in due to my lack of faith in God’s most holy acceptance of me because of His Son!

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And he STILL takes me on dates: roses and camo. What more could a girl want??

After all, I’m one of the family.  If I’m feeling locked out, I just have to ring the bell.

Hebrews 4:16  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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“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  

2 Peter 1:5-8  New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

“Happiness is Up to You”

This is simply B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T.

Brandon J. Adams

celebrate2I entreat you for a respite from our usual Christian talk about how joy and happiness are different things.

Joy is possible in any circumstance, generated by intimacy with God and hope of heaven, not our earthly trappings. I fully embrace that as a central and crucial tenet of our faith. I even embrace the idea, without flinching, that God will withhold happiness if it makes us holier. That is well and truly believed on this blog.

But since I also believe that God does not exactly hate our happiness, let me share a verse from a poem that I ran across yesterday…

I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said, “No”,
He said, “I give blessings,
Happiness is up to you.”

– author unknown

Wow.

Yes, I know…I took this from a larger poem containing a few other ideas that some might differ on. That’s why I only reproduced this paragraph, because…wow.

How many…

View original post 395 more words

The “I’s” have it.

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Yes, I know it’s spelled “Aye”, as in—

“All those in favor, say Aye!” or “Aye, aye, Captain!”

Here’s a few different “I’s” that I’m using in praying for others which someone else may find helpful:

Interruption – typically, we don’t like these, at least I don’t.  But like it or not, we probably will be gratefully surprised when we find out (in Eternity) how the interruptions were many times God’s fatherly disruption, preventing only He knows what in our lives or in the lives of those we influence.  If I truly believe that He is in control of my time, then the renewed thinking process Paul speaks might make a little more headway (pardon the pun…)

Interception – Let’s be real.  As Christians, we believe in the existence and activity of an unseen world.  Not that I want to give my hellish Opponent too much credit for the stupid decisions that I am very capable of making on my own, but I must rely on God’s angelic “ministers to the saints” working on my behalf.  Pastor L. calls this “proactive preventative prayers”.  Prevention is something that is easily overlooked in our prayers for ourselves and others. 

Interaction – Interaction, not only one-on-one with Jesus Himself, but also through His people, who patiently and persistently present the Good News through both words and actions.  Lord, surround them will Your people who will “not shrink back from declaring anything profitable” to them. (And me!)

Interpretation – My dad refers to “the School of Hard Knocks”.  That pretty well describes life on this side for most of the planet, and who am I to think that I or my loved ones should be exempt?  The key here is how we choose to “see” our life experiences, which determines how we integrate those lessons into our lives (and how they effect the lives of others….’cause it’s not just about ME!)  

Praying for all four of these is a true exercise in faith, especially when seeking these of God for our loved ones, since many of them are not things we can necessarily evaluate in others…until later.  Nevertheless, Truth, like water, has a way of finding the cracks in someone’s life and seeping in quietly and unannounced.  Because He promises that:

It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

And… 

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” 

 Which means, the “Ayes” have it! 

Isaiah 55:11; 2 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 5:16  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.