Wear your boots and wipe your feet

wood 2I don’t mean this to be any shameless self-promotion for my husband’s blog, but, hey, if that’s one of the side effects, I’ll not refuse it.  Bob has always loved dinosaurs, and all things big and monster-y.  He would get in trouble in school for drawing those big, green lizards instead of paying attention in class, and now as he approaches retirement, he’s allowing his childhood fantasies to turn into adult aspirations.  I’ve even encouraged him to take up pen and ink and start illustrating his own books, and in so doing, I’ve created a monster of my own! (Kidding—“behind every great man there stands…”)

wpenfield
From “The Staff in the Tree” by Robert L Jones, III, on Pneumythology

So his site, Pneumythology, deals with mythical stories and beasts of incredible imagination (not just his own, but throughout history) as well as eliciting inferences from the superheroes of ancient Rome and Greece and DC and Marvel. 

Now, I hope this is taken the right way, but Continue reading “Wear your boots and wipe your feet”

In the Furnace

Like my husband says, never waste a good trial. (Plus, if you haven’t met this terrific blogger, H.M. Davis, head over ASAP.)

Running the Race

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
Isaiah 48:10-11

I have yet to develop a desire for affliction. To this day, I can guarantee that the words, “I sure hope to be hit by a killer migraine today,” or “Boy, what I wouldn’t give to engage in battle with cancer,” have never once crossed my lips.

Affliction of any sort is unpleasant. Unpleasant, but not unprofitable.

In fact, I would venture to say that my faith in God has grown more through times of discomfort than times of ease.  That is not to say that my faith has been unshaken – far from it! In truth, my faith has been shaken, stirred, turned inside-out…

View original post 442 more words

Cramped quarters

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280The story of the Old Testament prophet, Jonah, is an intriguing one, and is not without a mild undercurrent of a Providential sense of humor.  Not to poke fun at Jonah’s dire straits, but he did, after all, open himself wide to at least some form of discipline.  Interestingly, as the story unfolds, Jonah never denies that he worships the God of the Hebrew people; he just persistently argues with Him, at least concerning God’s intended task for His wayward prophet.  I have to wonder what brought the man to this extreme—maybe someone from Nineveh had harmed his family somehow, causing a hatred so intense that it created a prejudice toward the whole town (along the lines of the comment about Jesus: “can anything good come out of Nazareth”.)  Maybe Jonah considered God to be unjust in His patient treatment of anyone “not Jewish”. 

Or maybe he was just having a bad day…?

Regardless, a massive storm blows up to buffet the ship carrying Continue reading “Cramped quarters”

Beware of fly-by’s

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280One thing that can’t be disputed about relationship with God in the Old Testament times—it was messy.  A lot of blood was involved: bulls, goats, pigeons,…prophets.

In one of the most historically and spiritually significant Old Testament sacrifices, Abram (not yet having his name changed to Abraham) slices in half several specimens of the animal kingdom in preparation for a special covenant with this Most High God whom very few people are even aware of any more, much less worship.  This is going to be unlike any other offering Abram has participated in, and I suspect Continue reading “Beware of fly-by’s”

Modern-day Molech

IMG_20150103_172451138HOO-RAY!!!!  

dancing

I like to celebrate whenever I can.  I’ve even been known to create my own holidays! 

Today, I celebrate (in words, anyway) a shift in women’s fashion, particularly catching on with my middle school girls.  Now, the female species of the pre-ad homosapien is particularly vulnerable to whatever is coming down the pipe from the Big Apple or Hollywood. 

I find this unfortunate…

I have three fashionista rules: Cleanliness, Comfort, and Coverage. So thankfully, the trend tends to be moving to the longer tunics, and get this—“mom jeans” are making a comeback!  (Pick me up off the floor!)  Mom jeans were Continue reading “Modern-day Molech”

Waste not; want not

tree-113924_1920

I seriously love trees.  In fact, forested landscapes are on the top of the list of my favorites.  I remember the thrill of exploring the woods as a youngster at Girl Scout camp, and conquering that amazing (although not altogether safe) tree house in our neighborhood. At this writing (July), the leaves are fully out and lush green, and our eldest just did a preschool unit on trees with our two-year-old granddaughter.  The sooner she learns that trees are our friends, the better!

God evidently thinks so, too.  As the recently Continue reading “Waste not; want not”

What a Mother’s Day gift!!!

Things that don’t make sense…

wood 2Things that don’t make sense:

  1. Why flight attendants give instructions on how to use the inflatable life jacket on a flight from Kansas City to to Los Angeles. It seems these items would be much benefit flying over Kansas wheat fields or the Rockies. Granted, my geography isn’t so good, but maybe they know something I don’t?  (Corollary: why don’t we get parachutes instead?)
  2. Why “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing. (As if the English language isn’t confusing enough, even for those of us who grew up with it.)
  3. Why a black hat stands for the bad guy and a white hat stands Continue reading “Things that don’t make sense…”

“Can you hear me now?”

IMG_20150103_172451138Several years ago we finally went the way of modern innovation by disconnecting our land line in preference to our cell phones.  That was a big step when you consider my children themselves actually bought us an answering machine for the old phone prior to that since they “could never get a hold of” us.  Of course, Bob’s cell is of little use since he leaves it lying on the dresser in the front room…all the time.

Yes, technology comes slowly to my home.

telephone-167068_1280The challenge I have with cells phones is the inconsistency.  Depending on “the service area” and “the carrier”, calls get dropped, or can be really hard to hear.  Our eldest daughter used to live in a part of L.A. notorious for bad cell reception.  During one wild fire season, (akin to our Midwestern tornado season I am told), I received something like this:

“Hi Mom….(crzhrhhhrzzz)….fires close…(zxsssssgrrrrccrr)….heard on news, ok for now….(chrrrrrsszzarckkkkk)…..

Naturally, when something important like that is coming through, one tends to strain a little more to get the message.  I think that’s also an old teacher trick to quiet down some unruly kids; i.e., start talking more softly, and curiosity gets the best of them if nothing else.  With all the newer brain studies and neuro-imagining (talk about technology!), I’d love to see what the brain looks like when it’s really focused on something.

I figure God knew something about this magnificent piece of organic technology we call the brain (since He created it) when Jesus said this:

“To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”

Interestingly, He’s not just talking about more knowledge, but more understanding.  That is, application, and how it all fits together in the context of the larger picture.  A.K.A., wisdom.  The challenge,…no, the danger comes when I don’t discipline myself to listen, even strain if you will, because we all know in our work-a-day world of noise both external and internal, real listening is a lost art. 

To only hear the first part of that phone call from California might have set off a small panic, but focused attention to get the FULL message, even though some of the words were muffled, gave me what I needed to know.  The rest was verifiable later in a follow up phone call.

God is speaking, albeit sometimes in a “still, small voice”, that strategic teacher voice.  It’s just a matter of if I’m in a place of adequate reception.

Matthew 13:12  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.

If A, then B…or not.

wood 2Bob says my head is a scary place to visit.  Truth be told, he does occasionally admit that that’s one of the reasons he married me 35+ years ago.  To this day, he says that I’m “irregular”.  In the common sense, it’s both a blessing…and a curse.

I tried teaching myself logic from an authentically academic book.  Not the term “logic” that is generously used in everyday usage, although that idea harkens back to the true definition, I suppose.  One of the few things I got out of this autodidactic exercise, (besides that fact that I probably wasn’t going to learn this without a qualified teacher…), is that false premises lead to faulty conclusions.  In other words, Continue reading “If A, then B…or not.”