Will somebody please check the plumb line?!

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

I like to think that I’m fairly open to trying new things; if something needs fixing, why not try it on my own first?  Not that I’m against supporting the economy by employing the local workforce; it’s just that I like supporting my own economy better.  Needless to say, I have had varying degrees of success, some of them comical.

I do, however, tent to shy away from all things electrical, with the exception of changing a light bulb (all existing jokes aside, I really can do that by myself.)  Albeit one day I Continue reading “Will somebody please check the plumb line?!”

Chess—the game of kings (and queens, and castles, and bishops, and….)

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My brother-in-law still teases me about the time I invited him to play a “quick game of chess”.  Right.  Like such a thing exists, unless of course I’m your opponent.  More recently, I had the opportunity to learn a little more about this masterful diversion from my niece’s husband.  Naturally, I still didn’t win, which in my case was not really the point.  And, let’s be real, the man’s an engineer and actually understands the game.

One of the few things I do understand about chess is that sometimes you have to sacrifice certain pieces to gain access to others as part of an overall strategy to conquer the opposition.  (I like that word “conquer” since we’re dealing with kings, queens, knights, and the like, things we Americans are not overly acquainted with except in our video games and whatever else Hollywood feeds us.)

But the concept of sacrificing for a greater good is not altogether foreign, especially Continue reading “Chess—the game of kings (and queens, and castles, and bishops, and….)”

Marching to the beat of a different Jdembe

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One of my childhood memories is that day in grade school when “they” (whoever “they” were) brought various instruments into the classroom for us kiddos to try out.  I wanted to play the drum. Now, I don’t know if it was because this was the mid 60’s and girls didn’t play drums—similar to the thinking in high school where  girls took “home-ec” and boys had “shop”.  Or maybe I was just too scared to ask, but for whatever reason, I didn’t get the drum. 

In fact, by the time I was in 4th grade, I ended up on a violin.  Later on, my parents gave me lessons on the organ (bless their hearts, they really tried).  In early adolescence I finally got my hands on Dad’s old guitar, and with a Continue reading “Marching to the beat of a different Jdembe”

Are the bagworms winning?

garden last

What is it with these bag worm things??  Sheesh!  The trees around town look like Mordor. 

I am told by my gardening guru at work, that the weather conditions have been very friendly for the proliferation of these wicked creatures that are nibbling steadily away at what was to be my beautiful autumn color.

The good news, she tells me, is that no matter how bad the tree looks, the timing of this outbreak is just right in that the trees are shedding their leaves anyway, and this will take care of the problem before the trees are killed off.

Timing.  Hmmm. 

I’m not always real good with that concept.  We have a special word in English for what I’m feeling:

“NOW”

I’m not sure waiting gets all that much easier in adulthood than from when we were two.  Our expectations tend to Continue reading “Are the bagworms winning?”

Hold the spandex

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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”

Sacred Springboards

swimming-pool-149648_1280Ever 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….)

(credit: www.pinecrestdiving.wordpress.com)
(credit: http://www.pinecrestdiving.wordpress.com)

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.

(credit: www.thehindu.com)
(credit: http://www.thehindu.com)

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:

Very Old and Very Cool!

King David, the One and Only

1700’s-The Grace was Amazing!

John Eldredge–Waking the Dead (so to speak…)

1600’s–The Good Ole Days (NOT)

Personal Life Statement

Squir-R-R-R-R-R-els!!

garden last

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!!”