No paper or plastic

IMG_20150103_172451138When Bob and I were engaged to be married, I decided to register for stoneware and stainless rather than fine china and silver.  Some may have called that “common”; I prefer to call it practical.  Even so, for years I would store my special dishes in the corner hutch and bring them out only for special occasions; c’mon, ladies, you know how we do. 

Finally, after about 35+ years of collecting dust, I decided this was actually kinda dumb.  Why not use the good stuff on a daily basis?!  Are we not worth it? Good grief, it’s dishwasher safe anyway! (Unlike the fine china of the 70’s, I might add.)

SoooOO000ooo….not too long ago, out of the hutch and into the kitchen it came to be lovingly used along with the stainless Continue reading “No paper or plastic”

What’s in YOUR cupboard?

wood 2We had some funnies while visiting our youngest daughter and her family in Norway this Spring when we were talking about some of her new Swedish family’s idioms that she is learning.  Translating them into English can be more than mildly hilarious!  I took the liberty (a fun waste of time, actually) to look up a few from other cultures as well.  For example:

“Stop hanging spaghetti on them ears” is a Russian expression asking somebody to stop lying.

“I think my pig whistles” is a German exclamation of surprise.

And my daughter sends me this one with love from Sweden:

“Now you’ve gone and [defecated] in the blue cupboard”.  (I think that one needs no explanation, although I don’t know what the color of the cupboard has to do with anything…)

Of course, we have our own.  I personally like the one about not putting the cart before the horse: 

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Which probably made more sense to my grandparents than to the middle-schoolers I serve now in the 21st century who rarely even see a horse, much less a horse-drawn cart.  Nonetheless, the wisdom remains, and, unfortunately, so does the human tendency to ignore it.

This makes me appreciate the very orderly and systematic way that God establishes for His people to serve Him~~

 “In this way, you will set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel, and the Levites will belong to me.”

See, first, there were sacrifices, blood and guts and a total mess that needed to happen.  It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t cheap, but God said it was necessary to cleanse, consecrate (that’s a really good word study, BTW), and prepare his priests for the next step, which was~~

“After this, they may go into the Tabernacle to do their work, because you have purified them and presented them as a special offering.”

Now the priest could get to the real work of why they were made priest to begin with!  First the purification, THEN the service.

Hmm.  So why do we think we have to clean up our act before we come to God??  Why do we think we can work our way into God’s favor?  Clearly, we simply can’t clean up our own act; they couldn’t even do that in the Old Testament!  (That’s why they had to keep killing off all those poor cattle.) And Jesus came into our very messy world to die on a very excruciating cross to provide us with this purity of Relationship with God—FIRST.

In fact, that’s the horse part.  That redeemed Relationship is what provides the “horse-power” for every other service, every other sacrifice, and every other thing that goes into the cart that follows—BEHIND.   

The interesting part of this Relationship is that purity doesn’t mean perfection, it means process.  Because the horse never comes by itself; no, it always comes with a cart.  Always.  In other words, there are no perfect Christians, only serving ones who are in process of becoming perfected in the service of their King.

Which means He’s not intimidated by what might be in your blue cupboard…or mine.

Numbers 8:14,15  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.

Still Water Reflections

quillA great idea (in the form a beautiful poem) from Enthusiastically, Dawn, (yes!  another Dawn to BLESS the blogosphere, just sayin’!!)  If you haven’t seen her site, definitely stroll over (her Instagram is fun also).  Here’s a thinker for us all today:

Still Water Reflections by Dawn Paoletta

I have an idea…

for you

to keep you from judging your peers,

to help you not criticize your neighbor –

the one who brings out your fears…

that person you just don’t get

yet.

Am I judging my peers,  criticizing my neighbor?

Do I? Am I?

I have an idea, for you-

to keep you from logs in your eyes,

to keep you from tripping over them

to guard against compromise,

to help you listen, really listen to another

not just think your thoughts

while they talk

and you supposedly listen,

waiting to interject- and inject your

poison.

Do I listen, really listen?

Does my compassion and empathy rise

or do I just wait to stop pretending

I’m listening?

Do I listen? Do I lie?

I have an idea for you,

to keep you from corrupt

communication

to help you not discuss with others,

what was never meant for discussion.

To keep you from speaking lies, disguised

as truth,  masquerading as prayer

but lacking the one thing that matters

before words are ever spoken about another :

love.

Is grace my motive to speak?

Do I love that which I speak of?

Am I guilty of slander or gossip?

Do I hate?

Do I? Am I?

I have an idea, for you-

one to keep you shining like gold,

one to help you reign in your tongue

whether you’re young or old:

Do you grumble under your breath,

murder others with your speech,

excusing your comments and conversation

before you begin to preach?

The words that flow from your mouth,

may seem wise in light of today,

but if you don’t stop the flow,

how can you ever pray?

Adam vs. Zeus

wood 2Everyone’s a movie critic, and I’m no exception.  I have two beloved family members in “The Industry”, and when I’m around them I try to be a least a little discreet in my comments so I don’t look like a total dweeb.  Or not.

(Then there’s our own bloggin’ bro, Mitch Teemley!  Go check out his site, and watch for his wonderfully reviewed upcoming movie next year!!  GO, MITCH!!) 

boy-2029807_1280Anyway, my movie prowess is not, how would you say, sophisticated.  I cried at Bambie and Jungle Book…in college…even though I had seen them before and knew the story line.  I’m okay with reversal of fortune, but still need that contrived, oh-there-you-are-again-how-did-that-happen Hallmark thing.  And above all I have to have a happily-ever-after ending.  I mean, I might even allow the glass slipper to have a few smudges and scratches and cracks, but it still basically fits her foot as they dance their way into the castle, roll credits. Continue reading “Adam vs. Zeus”

You mean I can relax?

IMG_20150103_172451138Sitting on the deck in the cool morning air of a quiet Pacific Northwest morning, I hear a light tapping on the inside window and turn to see our youngest and her 6-month old peering out to say good morning.  That is to say, the 6-month old wanted to say good morning; mommy wanted a hand off and go back to bed for an hour or so.

Of course, for a first-time mother, it’s still kind of new, this hand off thing, even if it’s to her own mother who raised three children.  Immediately after the pass, mommy was still admonishing me to let her know right away if Sweet One starts crying because she might need to be fed, and oh, she might have pooped and need a diaper change, and….

Honey, go to bed.  Right now.  I’ve got this. 

 So while I was enjoying that grandmother thing, it occurs to me that this is exactly what my Father is telling me.  Continue reading “You mean I can relax?”

Pass the kid

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Bob is smitten.

Sitting in in the cool morning air of a quiet Pacific Northwest morning, I hear a light tapping on the inside sliding glass door and turn to see our 6-month old granddaughter peering out to say good morning.  That is to say, I think it’s my sleepy, blurry-eyed daughter tapping on the door hoping grandma is up for a morning snuggle session so mommy can go back for a brief morning nap.

Well, DUH.  Pass the kid this way, puh-LEZE.

My daughter’s typical comment is, “Mom, I’m sorry to interrupt your quiet morning moment, but…”

Or then there are the times in the car, “Mom, I’m sorry for all the crying and screaming…”

Or, “Mom, sorry if you have to clean out the car seat, (or your jeans, or your shirt…etc.)”

Or…. Continue reading “Pass the kid”

The clarity of a foggy morning

wood 2An early morning in June along the Pacific coast in Oregon is a little different than mid-summer good ‘ole land locked Missouri.  By now, the heat is already stifling and the humidity is beading the on the brow back home, even if I’m in the shade.  Here up north on a family vacation, sitting out on the porch, I’m wearing sweats, sweat shirt, Bob’s hat, wrapped in blanket and drinking hot tea.

Does this place actually exist, or am I just dreaming?

They do have humidity, however.  It’s in the form of fog, and lots of it.  It hangs heavily over the mountains in the distance, and even the near pines are hiding on this particular morning. At least intermittently.  I mean, they kind of come and go.  Continue reading “The clarity of a foggy morning”

“That Guy”

Perfectly timed for me, and maybe for you. Check it out.

New Hope for Dry Bones

The other day, I read something that a cousin of mine wrote about my Uncle Norman.  He quoted him as saying, “That’s between you and God.”

I thought about that for a while.

Actually, I am still thinking about it.

One of the things I have had a hard time getting through my layers of thick bone that make up most of my head and into my often alarmingly small amount of brain tissue is that ultimately, a man or woman’s relationship with God is between him or her and God.

That may sound simple but as it usually works out, I take simple and complicate it.

I have a problem with wanting to define what makes a relationship with God.  Even when my relationship was the most unhealthy, I still found ways to insert my standards are ideals into the relationship of others.

Paul warned Timothy about people like…

View original post 243 more words

In other words…

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Jesus replied, ‘Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.'”

PS–there are plenty of quality “apologetic” Biblical studies out there to answer many difficult questions about the Bible.  It’s okay to ask questions; it’s not okay to gripe about not getting answers.  After all, it really does take a little bit of rocket science to get to the moon and beyond…!  (But it’s well worth the view.)
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.

Five senses plus

IMG_20150103_172451138There’s nothing but beauty when you look into the eyes of your own 6-month old child.  It’s just that after a grueling 12-hour flight from overseas with the precious teething infant who has refused to sleep for the past several days, weeks, months, feels-like-years, you can barely see that beauty because your own eyes are having trouble focusing…

So after scooping up our youngest (and said precious one with precious but equally exhausted daddy) from the airport and gotten everyone tucked into bed at the nearby hotel for the night, Grandma got to babysit after the next morning’s breakfast so the young couple could try for a brief nap before the next leg of the family vacation.

At this age, Sweet One is not only still trying to figure out her own sleep schedule, but is also nine time zones away from home.  She is intelligent, (W-A-Y above average, naturally), inquisitive, and most of all…

…awake.  Very awake.

She and I are walking, talking, bouncing around the hotel, and looking, watching, and then we start touching.  I can almost see the synapses connecting.  Different textures, different temperatures through tactile experience.  But one item seemed to keep her attention.

It was the glass door.

She could see though it, but couldn’t see “it”.  Her hand would pass easily through the nothingness of air until it came to the same seeming nothingness to her sight, although her hand would stop, suddenly.  Interestingly, because she had no mental/emotional grid to process this, or a priori objections to the experience, she simply accepted it and moved on. 

“Although I can’t see it, obviously something is there.”

I pray that this basic lesson will not be buried under layers of empty philosophy later in life.

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see…By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.”

Jesus affirmed a dimension more “real” than the one limited to human senses and experience.  When I deny this, I deny myself the better part of my humanity and the potential expression of that reality:

  • I hazard myself (and others) to “be all that I can be” based solely on my limited self-concept, rather than the one for which I was uniquely designed.
  • I view situations through a lens of temporary, rather than eternal consequence.
  • My sense of peace and contentment will be linked to my personal sense of control, (and even a brief survey of history or a quick look at the news should blow that one out of the water!)

We made it to our destination all in one piece after a long car ride (though which Sweet One slept almost all the way!)  Everyone is still in bed as I look into the cool fog on this Pacific Northwest morning.  I know the mountains are there, but the fog is in the way, just like the unseeable glass door was in the way the day before.  God’s reality is in play all around us. 

 

(No wonder we need the faith of a child.)

Hebrews 11:1,3 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.