I made a meme!

Look!  I made a meme!

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Ask me how I know this!  And since 99% of the time I play a 12-string, where most guitar-players have one indentation per fingertip, I get to have two! 

So, right, forget the diamonds; for me, calluses are a girl’s best friend, at least they have been since I was about 15 years old, when I semi-attached myself to my dad’s 12-string guitar.  And I can sure tell when I haven’t been giving enough attention to “toughening up the tips”.  It takes pretty consistent Continue reading “I made a meme!”

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.

Scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Alright, parents.  Remember assigning duties to your children, like cleaning their room, doing their laundry, washing the dishes, et. al.?  I’ll admit, I wasn’t the most consistent at this one, but it is an important part of parenthood, regardless of the amount of grousing that can take place.  Cries of “Unfair!” can abound.  I mean, really, between cleaning the bathroom or mowing the lawn, I know which one I’d choose.  But the choice is made for them, and for good reason—no one should let the 6-year old mow the lawn and leave the 15-year old to pair up the clean socks. 

And yet…

Change direction (but not really).  Re: the continuing saga of the wandering Hebrews on their way to Canaan—the absolutely ornate meeting Continue reading “Scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush”

Temperature’s rising…it’s the flu.

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This is the time of year, in my job as a school nurse, that I like to see where we are with the annual spread of the influenza.  Missouri has just recently been upgraded to “local” instead of “sporadic”, which is not bad considering it’s February (at this writing).

Understand, this is just about the true flu, not the stomach flu, not strep throat, not “just a cold”.  This is the one, if you’re smart (in my not-so-humble opinion), you get a vaccine for, especially if you work every day among all those walking petri dishes known as school children.

I once had a middle schooler tell me that it was okay with him if he got the flu, presumably so that he could stay home from school. 

Yet another evidence that the prepubescent frontal lobe is not yet fully formed.

The influenza is bad, like, r-e-a-l-l-y bad.  High fever, cough, aches, you feel like you’re gonna die, and sometimes wish you could.  And in fact, people still do, die that is, from the true flu.  So, despite what my sweet middle schoolers might think, I’m quite pleased about “The Map” for this time of year where I live.

I can only imagine and try to appreciate what was happening to Simon Peter’s wife with her mother being so very ill (and probably highly contagious) when Jesus came for a visit. 

“Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them.”

Right.  No “don’t worry, Mom, we’ll just have leftovers, you go and rest.” No “here, Mom, let us take care of the dishes, you put your feet up.” I am fascinated by the woman’s response.  There seemingly was no sense of victimhood entitlement, no pity party, not even an inkling of self indulgence.  What was her response to this healing (or we could fill in “deliverance, provision” or any number of God’s other good, good gifts to us)?

Service.  Paying it forward by serving others was her way of paying it back to the One who cared for her the most.  Instead, we often find (including in ourselves, the church) an unhealthy sense of ownership, of what I feel is “due” me for all the hardship I’ve endured.  Or there’s the temptation to hoard my good fortune (truly a misnomer) for fear of losing it again. 

I don’t think Jesus was terribly concerned about where or what He was going to eat that evening.  But I do think He was interested in what that dear woman would do with the gift He had just handed to her.

We are blessed so that we can serve.  And serving is contagious also, but for a Christian, there is no vaccine.

Mark 1:30, 31   Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2) (Kindle Locations 5792-5794). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.