Ain’t nuthin’ like the real thing, baby…

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I am not an artist, which perhaps makes me appreciate those who are, like my bloggish buddy at A Time To Share and her husband.  Our baby girl is an artist, as is one of our sons-in-law, and all three of my siblings and our dad.  Even Bob has taken up the pen and pencil! 

But me?  Nope.  I must have been like a flat rock that went skipping over that part of the gene pool.  I can sort of draw a tree…

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Tree. By dawnlizjones All rights reserved, no part of this artwork can be reproduced, blah, blah, blah…but why would you want to???

Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate art…well, some of it.  Admittedly, I’m more a Rembrandt to Rockwell fan than, say, Pablo P.  I’m a bit of a realist in that sense.  I’m a nurse, and I like body parts to be where they are supposed to be.  Is that so wrong?

But then, I would also make a lousy existentialist; I’ve been ruined by day-to-day living and breathing and working to give too much heed to alternate universes, virtual or otherwise.  In my profession, what I do either causes my Continue reading “Ain’t nuthin’ like the real thing, baby…”

Leavin’ on a jet plane

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A reasonable facsimile of the driver, only through a thick thunderstorm. Gotta love ‘im!

At this writing (just after Memorial Day), Bob has braved getting up at 4AM, driving me through an impressive Midwest lightening storm and torrential downpour two hours north to the Kansas City International Airport, dropping me off so I could catch a flight to see my dear parents a few states away.  I informed him that I’m a big girl and would be perfectly fine doing this on my own.  But no, chivalry is not dead in my household, and I’m not nearly “progressive” enough to rock that boat.  Add to that the fact that my husband is nocturnal by nature, and getting up at 4AM is generally only a few hours after when he might be coming to bed anyway.

Yeah, I pick a good one.

But he is a cautious animal at that, which means here I sit with a couple hours to spare. Even the airport isn’t quite fully awake, which is honestly one of the things I like about the Midwest.  

 

I’m not really much of a people-watcher, but it’s kinda hard not to do it in an airport.  We’re all just squished together in one mass of humanity, hoping that no bombs get though on anyone’s shoes or hairspray bottles, hoping that the toddler sitting behind us sleeps the whole time, wondering if “they” will be there to meet us at the other end. 

Or if the peanuts will be too salty this time.  Whatever.

As I sip my tea and read my Bible, and look out on, oh, so many people, I connect with these words of Jesus:

airport 3a

At first, these words may seem intimidating.  Actually, as a disciple of Jesus, they are meant to be comforting.  Bob said, just this morning on the way to the airport in fact, that I was probably quite introspective as a child.  The challenge was, as my father told me back then, philosophically “you’re trying to do calculus before you understand algebra!”  (You can see where I get my penchant for analogous reasoning….)

Because I have a deep seated need to understand, that is, to understand myself.  Similarly, there are secret places—some treasures, some not so much—buried in each of us, all of which need to be exposed—some to be utilized, some to be healed.  However, and this is important, none of this can be accomplished without the proper exposure first.

Which comes to the next part of Jesus’ comment: 

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I find this intriguing.  He’s not so interested in how we are informed; no, that comes in all sorts of ways, many of them unpleasant, (can I get a witness?)  It’s not the the mode of information that’s critical, it’s how I process it, how I “hear” it:

Okay, my dad is a retired Purdue mechanical engineer, and my brother is a chip off the old block. Jim has spent many years specializing in industrial containment, and could talk ad infinitum about filtering and micro-particles, et. al.  Not my area, but suffice it to say that how you filter something is critical to the purity and usefulness of the final product. 

Easy segway: only through the infinite love of our Creator Father can we proper “hear” the secrets of our hearts—the good and bad—so that we can process and produce all that we have been created to be.  Not only for ourselves, but for others.  Not only for now, but for eternity.

Okay.  Time to go catch my flight and see my folks!  (How much you wanna bet Bob takes a nap today?)

Luke 8:16-18  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.

Spiritual speed traps

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280In, lo, these many years of driving, I had never had even one point against my license, despite what my husband refers to a my “lead foot”. There is in our small town, however, a place drivers affectionate refer to as a “speed trap”—you know, the limit is 30mph, but in a few yards it goes up to 45, and in between the road gently slopes downward…

bodyworn-794099_1920The officer was nice. Nonetheless, I was a several dollars poorer and a few “points” wiser. 

The idea is that I was responsible for what I didn’t know, but should have known.  I didn’t know I was going ____mph over the speed limit.  I didn’t know there was an officer just biding his time.  Both of these bits of information would have been helpful in preventing my mishap, but no matter.  I still had to “pay the man.”

Which makes King Josiah’s response so much the better in my mind.

After a long and sordid line of (mostly) wicked rulers over God’s people, Josiah had a interesting idea—let’s follow our God.  In fixing up the temple, one of the workers found the Book, the Law where their God explains the conditions of the covenant with the people. 

Now, the king was already on the right track in terms of his heart-attitude, and being raised in a very ungodly and confusing family/social environment, he was doing what he could with what he had.  But when presented with this additional info, his reaction was, well, possibly a bit better than mine when I was pulled over…

“When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.”

One of our family catch-phrases is “what am I supposed to do with this information.”  It’s really a good test to see if there is something the other person is expecting from me, or if he/she is simply, you know, just talking.  This seems to be exactly what Josiah did, and he discovered, in no uncertain terms, that God wasn’t just talking.

Someone once said that the Holy Spirit speaks to those whose hearts are positioned to act upon His instructions.  So when Josiah heard God speak, he took one of the offensive idols and…

“…he burned it. Then he ground the ashes of the pole to dust…”

Pretty definitive statement, that.  And it wasn’t the only culture shift that was made as Josiah “turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength”.  Love it.  The kingdom of Judah was responsible for what they had neglected to know (even though it had been available), but God blessed them for the changes, (formidable ones, difficult ones), that were accomplished.

It would behoove us to follow his example.

2 Kings 22:11; 2 Kings 23:6   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.

Just say it

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Face it, there are just some things we don’t like to admit.

I think I’m getting pretty good at the phrase, “I’m sorry”.  If something goes wrong, I just kind of figure it’s probably my fault.  There’s an art to apologizing and I’ve had plenty of practice. 

I’m also quite adept at “no”, as in, “I can’t accommodate what you want me to do at this time.”  That just has to do with personal boundaries and allocation of resources, also a finely honed skill. 

Possibly near to the top of the list of difficult things to say is Continue reading “Just say it”

Spiritual streakers

wood 2I never quite understood the whole streaking phenom from a few decades ago.  Chalk it up to cultural weirdness, although I’m sure the psychologists would have a few other differential diagnoses.  Or maybe it was just a fashion statement…?

Personally, I have three fashionista rules: cleanliness, comfort, and COVERAGE.  Really keen on that last one.

Anyway, here’s another one of those little obscure passages that leaves me scratching my noggin trying to figure out why God put it in the Bible.  This is right after Peter, James, and John kept falling asleep in the garden while Jesus was sweating blood praying about His imminent crucifixion.  Judas has now singled Jesus out, the guards have seized Him, and the rabble is Continue reading “Spiritual streakers”

Clean-up crew on board

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I love the imagery and symbolism in the Bible.

Well, okay, some of it (lots of it) is more than a bit gruesome and could rival anything coming out of Hollywood.  I mean, why spend eight bucks at the theatre when you can read about the concubine who was cut up into twelve pieces and subsequently Fed-Ex’d (via chariot?) to each tribe of Israel? 

And some people regard the Bible as outdated, irrelevant milktoast.  Go figure.

But that’s not the stuff I’m talking about. 

When read as a cohesive whole, the entire picture of the Bible is painted on the canvas of war.  Kings rising and Continue reading “Clean-up crew on board”

Out of the mouths of babes…

why-meditating-on-christ-helps-us-fight-sinOne of my bloggin’ buddies, Slim Jim, has started a new series which I call “Post-It Note Theology”, based on the above picture which I have also stolen from his most worthy and informative site.   He certainly has longer, more in-depth treatments of Christian apologetics and other scholarly things, but I likewise appreciate these spiritual sound bytes for my brain!  To my exceptionally non-techno mind, a sound byte is like a food bite. It’s not enough to fill me up and sustain me indefinitely, but it gives me something to chew on and draw me back for more.
Here’s his most recent tidbit:

As we adore Him, we abhor sin.

As several of us were sitting around his blogging meal and began sampling this morsel, the digital table conversation began.  Here is a part, (and their websites are pretty cool also):

Nice. Fill our minds with the things of God, and no room left for the things of Satan. This is a time when limited brain power is quite useful. Space is limited, so no room for the garbage if I put the right stuff in. Good reminder, Brother Jim, thanks.

Good point Wally…I for one have so much useless garbage stored in my brain that I must delete something in order to make room for more…Should I tell another joke before hitting the delete button? :)

LOL, Patrick, what you said makes perfect sense to me. My storage is limited, so if I use it for God, not as much is left over for the devil. And yes, keep on with the jokes. Your cheesy jokes are a high point of my day usually.

I am reminded of Romans 2:4. It was the quality of God’s character that made me want to give up certain thoughts and actions. They simply didn’t compare well, and they got in the way of what I really wanted. Thank you for the memory prompt.

Interestingly, I was just considering myself how we tend to “fill up on junk food” that may taste good at first (and who doesn’t like a double-scoop cone this time of the summer??) but which is actually pretty bad for you, especially compared to real food.

Real food.  Sustaining.  Which is what adoration is, actually.  A disciplined steady diet of thinking about the love of my life, (well, yes, Bob, that’s you, but I mean….), the One Who gave His life to give me mine back.

And like the future food critic says in this vid, “Umm, ummm! Delicious!”

 

Is history repeating itself?

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(Note: I put this out around Christmas-time.  In light of current events, I’d like to put it out there again….)

I am neither a sociologist nor an historian, but the increasingly virulent terrorist events of the past decade seem to rival the ancient and infamous “Christian” Crusades of the Dark Ages.  And dark they were, but definitely not Christian.  The genocide of thousands of innocent Muslims in the name of Jesus was not only travesty but, of greater significance, heresy.  We now know (in retrospect) that this was perpetrated not merely by sincere misguided Christians ignorant of the true message of the Christ they professed to serve, but fueled by the worldly greed for land, power, and by the selfish ambition of many that had little or no interest in the God of the Bible. 

Now for the best part. History also reveals that one of the motivating factors in the cessation of these unholy Crusades was the authentic Christians themselves, those who truly knew the Son of Continue reading “Is history repeating itself?”

I gotta question…

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What’s up with Psalm 109?  Here is this guy who is obviously being treated unfairly (welcome to life) and he’s asking God to not merely rescue him, but to lay it on thick to his enemy and their families. Seems a bit harsh. I’m addressing this specifically to some folks whose opins I respect, but welcome any other comments.  (Be nice.) If you feel your comment is too lengthy for this platform, please feel free to leave a link if you already have thoughts on this somewhere in your blog.  No obligation and not offended if you don’t have time.

Much obliged.

(PS, if you haven’t checked out these blog sites, please do.  Good stuff.)

To:

From the Inside Out

Truth in Palmyra

Learning to be Full of Grace and Truth

The Recovering Legalist

Mustard Seed Budget

Sweet Aroma

Domain for Truth

The True Light

You mean I have to work at this?

IMG_20150103_172451138Is this what I really signed up for?

For some reason, this God of the Bible insists, continually, consistently, on risking everything by working through His fallen creation, fallible people like Abraham and Sarah and the whole Hagar debacle.  Or the David and Bathsheba affair, (out of which eventually came Solomon.)  Then there’s the terse separation between Paul and Barnabas over some young guy named Mark (who later wrote said gospel…) 

And what about Jesus, who entrusted His infinitely important message to twelve goofballs, well…make that eleven, since one was a turncoat who off-ed himself after greasing the Lord’s way to a gruesome execution.  Even without modern Continue reading “You mean I have to work at this?”