An open letter to my family and loved ones: I regret to inform you that the man I married, your father/brother/brother-in-law/uncle/friend is not the man I thought him to be 36 years ago. Bob Jones (ha! I should have suspected even then…anyone could easily get lost in the system with a name like that!), the mildly irascible, small town college professor, has revealed his true identity. With an name unpronounceable to the human tongue, this long lost alien from another world (and, incidentally, good friends with Zaphod Beeblebrox), is none Continue reading “Hold the spandex”
Mission Impossible. I was probably watching Peter Graves do his thing when Tom Cruise was still eating his stained Gerber peas. That whole, “this mission, should you decided to accept it” [yeah, right, like you have a choice when you work for the government…] and then the whole this-message-will-self-destruct-in five-seconds thing. Simply iconic.
I wonder how often I’m given my own seemingly impossible mission, but choose to self-destruct instead. And I mean me, not the mission.
I like the story of an Old Testament woman named Hannah. There were few women’s rights back then, like, zero. Continue reading “Hannah’s impossible child”
Ever feel like you have an empty heart and head when it comes to prayer? Okay, so if you grew up in the traditional church of the 60’s and 70’s, you always have the fallback of the Lord’s Prayer and maybe Psalm 23, but sometimes even those inspired pieces of liturgy are coming out dry. Reams of paper have been used up on books concerning the topic of communication with the Almighty, which we read with a renewed determination to ‘try, try again’, after which the passion cools once more and our souls start feeling as dusty as the books that now sit on the shelf. Then there are passages in the Bible itself that seem contradictory (except they aren’t) when it talks about persistent prayer without using meaningless repetition.
Right. Join the club. And I suspect it’s not an exclusive one. But rather than just give up to my natural boredom monster (cf: About Page), it behooves me to explore other strategies in this oft times challenge to obey my Lord’s injunction to “pray without ceasing” and to “not grow weary in doing good” and all that. If it was important to Jesus, then it must be so to me.
But here’s the encouraging part! Picture an Olympic diver. (Just not one wearing a Speedo. I’m sorry, but that 70’s style irrefutably should never have happened….)
In the beginning when he started learning this artful skill, naturally it took hours of instruction and practice, and he had a platform and/or a springboard. The good news is, now that he has progressed to the level of an Olympian, he still uses a platform and/or springboard!!
Now, being a child of the 70’s, I used to kind of pooh-pooh the idea of scripted prayers. The Jesus Movement that occurred in the middle of the last century brought really important reforms into the church, but there were unfortunately some really sweet babies that were thrown out the bathwater: the substantive lyrical teaching of the traditional hymns, the respect for the grandeur of Deity, and (catch this) the springboard of litany and liturgy, that is, scripted praise and prayer.
So here is my offering. Jesus’ modern day disciples should never feel downcast for a lack of inspirational prayer. Because our physical bodies do have an effect on our spiritual motivation. Because the alarm clock didn’t go off, or the baby was barfing all night. Because I made a mistake at work, and my beloved parent is ill. But all this overabundance of life circumstances doesn’t preclude a lack of communication with our Heavenly Father; if anything, it necessitates it even more.
This page is resource of Sacred Springboards. Some modern, some aged, some ancient, all incredibly useful. And you can go “off script” at any time.
Just be careful if you do, ‘cuz you might find yourself swimming in the deep end with God!
Here’s the selection, with new ones being added:
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
At this writing, a dear young friend of mine just received her D.A.D.—for the uninformed like me, that stands for Diabetic Alert Dog. Jay (name changed for privacy and all that, not that she would care) has had several years of being a “brittle” diabetic, indicating that her blood sugars are fairly unpredictable, and she can have a medical crisis with little or no warning in her symptomology.
That’s scary. And really dangerous.
So she has worked hard to be able to purchase her own specially trained D.A.D. to help her in these situations. It’s been quite a L-O-N-G process, and this month she was able to bring home her personal furry friend and guardian who will be able to smell (that’s right—pretty cool, huh??) when her blood sugar is out Continue reading “Leave it!”
Since my wonderful dad’s 86th birthday is fast approaching, I’m going to indulge with another account of his stint as an enlisted sailor in the USN. I grew up wearing Dad’s old white seaman pull-over (I’m sure there was an official name for it; I should ask Dad), and even had one of his sailor hats, you know, the kind that turns up on the rim. Something that I didn’t remember having, although I have since learned that it made the rounds throughout my many cousins as the years rolled by, was his dark blue, woolen Navy peacoat.
Dad recounts a time when he and his buddies were all lined up out in the cold on a pier for inspection—by a visiting admiral! (He impressed upon me that this was a pretty big deal.) They were, naturally, all wearing the navy-issued peacoats. As the big-wig perused the young men standing ram-rod straight (and probably hardly Continue reading “AT-TEEEEEENNNN-TION!!!”
Have you ever seen someone use a shotgun to kill a flea? Sounds silly, I know, but it provides an interesting mental image. And what a waste…
Yet, it’s sometimes what we expect of God, that is, to answer our prayers with the full cavalry, flags flying and guns blazing. Now, certainly, He is “the Lord of Heaven’s Armies”, and someday He will come back in full array. It’s just that occasionally I feel like I Continue reading “Canons, or Can of Raid?”
My garden, such as it is, does well with things that thrive on neglect. In keeping with this strategy, there are four spider plants hanging up and flourishing beautifully under the slight overhang of the garage. Er,…I mean they were, flourishing that is. One in particular was all but overflowing its expensive self-watering pot. And they all look(ed) really nice, too. This morning, to my non-gardener dismay, I noticed half of the biggest plant was missing, and the one next to it had only a Continue reading “Squir-R-R-R-R-R-els!!”