I really like dogs, man’s best friend and all. But there are a few I could do without, admittedly. Just a few. I’m not even talking about the yappy fur balls that are a perverse progeny of wolverine descent; they have a purpose in that they make some people happy. No, I’m simply referring to the dangerous ones out on the country roads that don’t like cyclists.
Granted, most big back-road hounds will just bark and run, and when I stop and give them treats (which I carry), we make friends with each other. I actually used to go out to see a Great Dane—fell in LOVE with her, and she tried to get in my lap, hilarious!
One winter day, as I was riding without Bob, I was accosted by a particular nasty that decided his property included the road. So I did what my husband had taught me, getting off my bike to put it between me and my enemy. As I began to back up, the dog followed, snarling and barking, indicating he had one thing on his mind—a piece of me. (Unfortunately, another big one had joined him on the other side of the street, so now I had tandem trouble.) Continue reading “Or you could just peddle faster…(ha!)”
A gruesome site greeted me when tending the garden after being gone for a week of family vacation. Sure, there were the typical weeds and such, no big deal, just hands and knees stuff. But what gave me a drop-shoulder-roll-eyes kind of pause was the leftover feathered carcass of a bird that had obviously been trying to pilfer my blackberries, but had gotten entangled in the netting.
Not a pretty site. Not a happy ending. (I will spare any readers a photo.) I mean, he was, after all, just trying to get something to eat, doing what birds do naturally. It’s not like I could put up a “No Trespassing” sign, although my dad suggested I could hang up some brightly colored ribbons. That could help them at least see the netting, but the berries are just so inviting, I’m not sure it would divert them enough. Continue reading “Scissors, please”
The days of the Crooners were a bit before my time, but I still love the old movies with them as the stars. Of the best well known, Frank Sinatra probably had one of the longest careers among them. One of his (many) hit songs was “I Did It My Way”.
Now if that’s not the American motif, I don’t know what is.
Not to dis Old Blue Eyes, but really, we all have that one in us. Even the Most Beautiful Three Year Old On The Planet, (our eldest granddaughter), showcases her opinion of her opinion…regularly. Actually, the Most Fabulous Infant In The Universe, (our other granddaughter), already does the same thing….loudly.
Certainly, I see it in myself—uncomfortably so, I am quick to add. It rears its ugly head (and it can get pretty ugly) in all sorts of relationships: with my children, friends, Bob…God. Even with myself. (Think about that one for a minute—all sorts of repercussions there.)
Culturally, this attitude of “doing it my way” spills over into our theology as well. Truth is often defined by opinion, rather like one who prefers ice cream over Brussel sprouts. (After all, I know which one I would choose.) Even if I accept the Christian definition of truth, it’s still an easy trap to try and “earn” God’s acceptance by my own goodness, rather than that of Jesus alone. Which means I’m still trying to do it my way.
However, even in the Old Testament, God was setting us up for this. Here the Hebrews were (still) getting ready to head into the Promised Land. But to live there, they are told~~
“Your pattern of worship will change….you must bring everything I command you— your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow— to the designated place of worship, the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored.”
BINGO. They couldn’t do it “their way” anymore. If they wanted to live in God’s presence, they had to do it God’s way.
New Testament interpretation: Jesus is God’s way. Period. Not crystals. Not Buddha. Not Mohammed. Not reductionism. Not capitalism.
Not even the Republican Party. (Wow. I might take some heat for that one…)
The only way to live and move and have our true being in God’s salvific presence is in Jesus alone. It’s one of the many things I so appreciate about Jesus—His directness.
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’”
This is in no way an intolerant statement, at least not anymore than in saying that “my begonias are red and not lavender” is an intolerant statement. Or the rain is wet, and not dry.
Or that Frankie-baby had unbelievably blue eyes…(swoon.)
Deuteronomy 12:8,11; John 14:6 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.
There’s gotta be a banjo on the worship team in Heaven. Yep.
Bob reads to me while I sit in my great-grandmother’s rocking chair and crochet, complete with the dog on the rug—seriously, we look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting, only in blue jeans.
Our most recent book (at this writing) is Ayn Rand’s tome entitled Atlas Shrugged. Not for the faint of heart, mind you, and not something you’ll find in the religious section of Barnes and Noble, but with some very timely and important ideas on economic integrity, possibly more applicable now than when it was written.
In her novel, she refers to the conflict between the “producers”, those who put their hand to the plow and make stuff, and the “looters”, those who somehow feel entitled to live off the hard work of the producers without significant contribution of their own, simply because they feel they need it. Of course, “need” is precariously defined to the destruction of those who produce.
My disclaimer: I’m not an economist. Anyway, that’s not the thought I want to convey here.
Context: the Hebrew nation is (still) about to step into the Promised Land, and Moses is (still) giving them last minute instructions. Check this out:
“When the LORD your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land,…”
I see a definite partnership with God here—the Almighty will destroy the enemy while at the same time the Hebrews are to clean house (“drive them out”, which is dirty work as well) and occupy. The Promised Land was just that—land that was promised, but that didn’t mean they weren’t going to have to work for it. And hard. Sweat, blood, sacrifice, mistakes, and try again. (Read about it, it’s pretty dramatic, and makes me feel better about myself…)
Interestingly, when I compare that to my personal salvation, and that 21st century idea that turning my life over to Jesus is “all there is to it”, uh, I don’t think that’s what God has in mind:
“But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’”
“He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
…to quote only a few.
Do we earn our salvation? Of course not! Do we partner with God to change into the likeness of all He purposes for us to be after He saves us—absolutely! And it calls for blood, sweat, and tears, hard work, mistakes, and (oftentimes) self-forgiveness.
Because I don’t want to be a “looter” of God’s amazing grace, but a “producer” in His kingdom on Earth.
Hand to plow, and keep it there.
Deuteronomy 12:29; James 2:18; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 12:2 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.
How’s your prayer life? Is it a lively discussion or more of a stale habit? I think as Christians we often get caught up in checklist prayers. How boring is that? Not only is checklist praying an often empty habit, it’s also leading us to miss out on real connection with a Living God. I…
This week I had my last “first” day of the kiddos returning to school. As if that isn’t enough to make a school nurse’s hair stand on end, add to it that I work at public middle school, where hormones run rampant and drama is just a part of life. Everything from “do you have any Super Glue for my broken [plastic, garishly painted, glamor] fingernail” to where-did-I-put-my-multi-page-child-abuse-form,…it tends to land in my office.
I have a well-worn path to the Counseling Center, (not always just for the students, mind you.) God bless them…lots. Continue reading “More than first day jitters”
Have you ever gotten a gift you didn’t need, or better yet, didn’t really want? You smile nicely, (‘cuz that’s what your mom taught you to do), and find something, anything, nice to say about it, (“oh, my, these earrings will match perfectly with the stain I can’t get out of my favorite shirt when my granddaughter…”).
I admit, I have a stash—a small one, so be kind to me—of items to use as “re-gifts”, you know, as things to give away at a party or what not. ‘Fess up, ladies, you have it too. At least, if you’re on a limited budget and/or are a frugal recycler who has cast off the collar and leash of guilt a long time ago when it comes to gifts, (“but that was from dear Aunt Betsy!”) Well, dear Aunt Betsy may have a larger piece of property to hoard such things. Me? I’m still storing stuff for my 30-somethings who are now strewn around the globe.
As wonderful as it is when people give of themselves sacrificially to another, what really makes it meaningful is when they take to time to find out what the person on the receiving end really wants or needs. That’s when the giving actually becomes about the one who is on the receiving end, not about the one who is doing the giving. Continue reading “Heart to heart”
GOD BLESS THEM REALLY GOOD!!!!