Seatbelt sign on

wood 2I’m writing this on the way out to California to visit our eldest and her family.  One thing about typing on a computer in a jet flying through turbulent weather is that I will at least be able to read this later.  Not quite so easy were I writing this longhand.  (Although, that challenge sometimes applies to my handwriting with my feet on terre firma also…)

We’re kinda intermittently bouncing around up here, which reminds me of the time I flew to the Big Apple by myself to see our youngest daughter’s first art show.  At that time, closing in on the airport brought us directly into the path of a thunder and lightning storm, reminiscent of the Midwest I had just left.  It was something out of the beginning of a Steven Spielberg movie; foreboding Continue reading “Seatbelt sign on”

Not about me?

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I’m gifted.  At least, that’s what my folks were told back when I was in 5th grade.  So they put me in different school for a couple of years, which was really nice of them, since it meant mom had to carpool a few of us “gifted” kids to and fro.  (Never mind that fact that my older brother, who was not recognized as “gifted”, went on to be the Purdue engineer, celebrated in his field as international keynote and author, widely traveled, as well as musician/artist on the side.  Yeah, don’t overestimate manmade “tests” for gifted-ness….just saying.)

Right, so here I am, gifted.  Of course, a gift is something that is innately given, something for which the receiver has no claim to credit, nothing they can legitimately boast about, because it’s, well…a gift.

Which, clearly, can come in all forms, some of which are recognized and valued, some of which are undisclosed and certainly undervalued.  And, just as obviously (at least, to me, maybe that’s part of my “gifted-ness”), what Continue reading “Not about me?”

This Old House, the continuing saga…

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Our house is a hybrid of the do-it-yourself series, This Old House, and the hilarious movie from the 1980’s, The Money Pit.  Never mind that my kitchen is probably from the 1950’s; we are evidently concentrating on the outside for the time being.  At this writing, our fairly large free-standing garage is being resided to match the main house we re-sided not too long ago.  A few months ago we had a friend put in a brand new concrete front walk, which necessarily included two sets of steps (we live on a small slope.)  He’ll be out later for the back steps and the driveway.

Try cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in a 1950’s kitchen.  At least I Continue reading “This Old House, the continuing saga…”

Zinnias, and other gifts

garden lastHere’s another status report on the new garden.  Writing this in June, during a hot/dry spell here in southern MO, but with my watering (and Bob’s sweet patience with the water bill…at least so far), color is exploding round about. 

Now, my sister-in-law, Bu, is quite the avid landscaper.  She advised that I start cutting these beauties so that more would continue to pop up throughout the season.  She’s usually right about this sort of thing, so I have trustingly clipped a few of my prizes to enjoy indoors and await a new crop as they come.

zenniacut

Pretty cool, huh?

It’s actually quite good for me, since I have more of a tendency to hoard things, you know, “make them last”.  Like books that set on the shelf, not imparting any knowledge, just collecting dust.  Or unused hanging planters, nurturing spiders’ nests in the garage instead of flowers on my patio.  Things you save “for a rainy day.”

I’m thinking we tend to do that with other gifts also.  Like health, and money, and talent, and those things we think we might make use of when retired, or on vacation, or….just later. 

Jesus said something about “burying it in the ground” rather than investing it wisely for a future return.

Not that timing isn’t important; clearly providing food on the table for the family is a more imminent need than being in a rock band (unless that’s what puts food on the table.)  Relationships take precedence over personal pursuits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are mutually exclusive 100% of the time. 

Here’s the point: 

“Send your grain across the seas,
    and in time, profits will flow back to you.”

And just for kicks, here’s the footnote for this particular translation:

Give generously, / for your gifts will return to you later. Hebrew reads Throw your bread on the waters, / for after many days you will find it again.”

Generosity is one of those hallmarks of Christianity, and it’s not merely money. Believe it or not, sometimes greenbacks can be the easiest thing to give!  Time and talent, gifts—both spiritual and otherwise—(and even making the effort to inventory what I have in my own storehouse), is incredibly important, because it’s not about “just me and mine”.  It’s about what the Creator, my Creator, has put inside of me to cast out there to bless and benefit others.

Right.  So some neighbors might wake up to find bouquets of zinnia blossoms on their front doorsteps in a few days….

Ecclesiastes 11:1 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.

Divinely illogical

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If P, then Q, unless of course you are Aristotle’s universal affirmative, at which point all of your P’s are also Q’s, unless only some P’s are Q’s, and this mustn’t be confused with an introduction that permits us to infer a biconditionality from a pair of closed subproofs, one of which assumes P and deduces Q, the other of which assumes Q and deduces P.*   Not to be outdone by the truth value of the presupposition of sentence S.  (Where’d that letter come from?) That is, unless you have a Boolean Connective…..

I wish I had at least audited Dr. Rouintree’s logic class.

Okay, let’s bring it down more to my level:

If I go to Walmart for groceries and come home with a puppy from the nice woman in the parking lot, and don’t tell my husband, THEN….

If I get a puppy from the nice woman in the Walmart parking lot, and tell my husband, THEN….but that Continue reading “Divinely illogical”

Lovin’ those hot showers!

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Water heaters in our town are infamous for only lasting about five years, at least so I was told.  No wonder our showers were cooling off quickly in the mornings!  It had nothing to do with the heating element, but everything to do with the integrity of the container.

We have since had a visit from our plumber.  He knew better than to simply patch the old one.  No, a completely new outfit was needed. 

(It makes me think of an old folk song, There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza.  Evidently, Liza didn’t fare too well getting that situation fixed on her own, either.)child-392971_1280

Structural integrity is important for more than old water buckets and modern showers.  In the ancient times of the Old Testament, that area of the world could get pretty dry.  And they didn’t have a Lowe’s to purchase a nice hard plastic rain barrel.  Instead, the workers would carve out cisterns in the rock, and sometimes cover the inside with a type of plaster to prevent the water from leaking out.  It was this water that could help sustain them during those parched times.

So it makes sense when God uses the life-preserving cistern to make a point for His wayward children:

“For my people have done two evil things:  They have abandoned me—the fountain of living water.   And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” (1)

That’s quite a one-two punch.  Not only had they refused real and immediate H2O, but decided to hope for some “better tasting rain water” to come along and try to collect what they could before it all leached through the home-made plaster!  (I guess they attended Dear Liza’s school of water conservation.)

All jocularity aside, this was, and IS, a tragic reality in many cases.  How often to I search for something “better” than what my Heavenly Father has for me, abandoning His presence in my current situation for an enticing present in another.  The promise goes both ways.  His water, His abiding all-sufficient provision, never runs dry, whereas anything else can suddenly and without warning…

…evaporate.

It’s also telling that, in the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as “the living water”, which was a statement that not only relates Him to God, but equates Him as God. (2)  This being so, it follows that my allegiance to Him, regardless of my current circumstances, is what will cause the proper outcomes in my (very temporary) earthly existence. 

How much better to rely on the integrity of our Creator and Sustainer to provide what we need when we need it.  When I bring my cup to Him, it will most assuredly, in His time, “runneth over”.  (3)

(Perhaps someone needs to tell poor Liza.)

 

  • Jeremiah 2:13 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT
  • John 4:14
  • Psalm 23 KJV

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”

T.G.I.T. (Thank God It’s Tuesday) journal

An entry from my TGIT (Thank God It’s Tuesday) journal, 5:15 AM:
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003Still typing with a bandaged pointer, now that it’s almost 12-hours later. TGIT was a good day, but more on that another time….dawnlizjones

#Hat or #Badge?

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Still with me on the “pouring-out-that-with-which-you-sustain-your-own-life-to-feed-the-hungry” thing from a few blogs ago?  Good.  Got another thought.  I’d say one more thought, but that would be risky.  Anyway, here goes…

Once we are able to tap into that internal flow of life to pour out to others (the “what”), once we correctly recognize our congregation, hidden or otherwise (the “who”), it can become r-e-a-l-l-y easy to wrap ourselves in that as our identity.  Here’s one way of looking at it:

I reside in farming country and I love it.  I mean… I LOVE it.  Our little house is in the middle of town, and I can ride my bike less than ten minutes to be with the cows.  Here where I live, men wear hats for a reason, not necessarily for style.  A John Deere cap isn’t something meant to be pretty, but sweaty and dirty, because it’s been on the farmer’s head in 90+degree heat with equal humidity for 12-16 hours getting the corn or milo out.  Of course, they’re not the only ones that wear hats for practical reasons.  The surgeon’s cap can get somewhat wet about halfway through heart surgery…on a child.  The constructor worker’s hardhat has a definite purpose also, as does my bicycle helmet (also sweaty at times), as does the military helmet of the 20-year-old defending my country overseas.   The point is that, foremost, a hat is meant to be functional .  It speaks of what we DO.  We talk about someone who “wears a lot of different hats”, who does lots of things in various areas of utility.  Not only are hats for getting dirty in the line of work, we can change hats (functions and jobs, even throughout the day) without really changing ourselves.

Now a badge, on the other hand, speaks of who we ARE.  A badge is meant to identify us to others.  The badge I wear at work has not only my name written on it, but my position (nurse) and which buildings I am allowed to be in at my school system.  There is authority that goes with it, I might add.  Same with my American passport, and the sheriff’s badge even more so.  The challenge with badges is that they need to be kept clean, or polished, or otherwise protected.  Same with our identity.  Once it gets stolen, lost, or trashed, we’re in a world of hurt.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but the truth of the matter remains: I’d better make sure my identity is secure in something (Someone) that can’t get trashed or lost or stolen from me.  What I can pour out to others of myself may change as time marches relentlessly onward, but with my true identity in my Creator, I can be secure while He’s busy rearranging my hat collection for me.

Thanks again for reading….dawnlizjones

#johndeere #badge #wearingdifferenthats #farming

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