Waste not; want not

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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.”

In other words…

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“We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments.”

[This puts a different spin on loving the church: I love God’s people by obeying Him, which brings up the idea that the BEST thing I can do to love others is to draw closer to the Lord myself.  So, what does that say about my love for the church when I neglect my time with God and His Word?]

1 John 5:2 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.

Boasting in My Weaknesses???

Yeah…what he said. Wow.

Brandon J. Adams

wreckI hate my brokenness.

I want it to end.

It’s been a tough week at work. The kind that leaves you feeling like a rusting wreck in the desert. Ever found yourself dreading going to work and finding out what little mistake is coming back to bite you this day? You’re breathing, so yes.

I know my weaknesses well. We’re old acquaintances. Not friends, though. I want them out of my life.

Tonight, though, I have to deal with the fact that they’re not conquered yet, that tomorrow hasn’t come yet, that the next opportunity to win hasn’t come yet. I have to deal with the shame and inadequacy that swarm toward this vulnerable chump like flies toward a carcass.

I’m reminded of a familiar saying.

God does not call the qualified; he qualifies the called.

But…there’s a but in my heart.

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Not the life of the party

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Jeremiah was probably not invited to many parties, but his demeanor had more to do with reality than a serotonin imbalance…much more.  God’s people had been repeatedly warned about their idolatrous and otherwise unfaithful choices.  Even as segments of their society were intermittently carried off—warning shots across the bow, if you will—they still hardened their hearts to stubbornly go against what God wanted them to do, and this after God had so Continue reading “Not the life of the party”

It’s the brain chemistry

wood 2I am awed by some of the newer brain research that has been coming out in recent years, particularly as regards the developing child/adolescent brain.  Here are a few factoids of interest:

  • The brain develops from back to front; that is, from critical life-sustaining functions in the brain stem (like breathing) to the more complex, problem-solving matters in the frontal lobe (perhaps calculus…personally, I never got there, but you get the point.)
  • The limbic area (further back in the brain) is the home for our fight/flight/freeze response when we are afraid or angry—again, part of the life-protecting response to some perceived danger, I suppose.
  • The frontal lobe (housed right behind the forehead) is also for decisions involving the word should, (as in, “no, I definitely should NOT take calculus”), and involves moral and ethical capabilities.
  • And here’s the kicker—the frontal lobe does not fully develop in the human brain until the early to mid-twenties.

 Explains a lot, don’t it?

So when I read this from Continue reading “It’s the brain chemistry”

Pass the duct tape

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Boy, how I wish I had purchased stock in duct tape!  Not only do they now have this universally revered product in a seemingly infinite array of colors and patterns, but have you seen the bandaids with the same kind of fiber embedded in them?  They’re the BEST!  (And, as a school nurse, I am, after all, a connoisseur of fine bandaids.) Do they even use it for ducts anymore?  I wonder if they took a roll of it into space during the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission; I seem to remember Tom Hanks and his crew using it…

I have discovered, however, a weakness in our beloved Continue reading “Pass the duct tape”