Bigger boat for bigger teeth

shark-2317422_1920As I begin to compose this, I hear a raptor behind me.

No, I’m not imagining yet another Jurassic Park spin off.  In the pre-dawn hours here on my patio, there is an owl perhaps not less than fifteen feet in the trees at my back.  My dog, Buckley, seemed to be a tad unnerved by the sound.  I assured him he was too big to tempt the creature toward an attack, and I made some big human noise to assert my dominance and position as well.

This guy can have all the mice he wants, thank you very much; however, I have heard of owls carrying off smaller canines.  When it comes to enemies with teeth, to quote the old movie, Jaws, we gotta get a bigger boat.

Pardon the corny segway, but the disciples discovered a similar thing when they found themselves in a crowded and small vessel when a nasty storm blew in.  Thankfully, they had someone on board Who was bigger than the storm.  Interestingly, His being there didn’t prevent the storm, as in “oh wait a minute, there’s Jesus, let’s wait ‘til they all pass.”  (How convenient would that be?)   Jesus, did, however, have to assert His dominance in the situation to make it go according to His plan, rather than the storm’s plan.

Neither does Satan keep away merely because we bear Jesus’ name.  Sometimes that Name acts like a magnet!  Satan himself has some pretty big teeth, and he knows it:

“Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Nevertheless, we are in a pretty sizable boat:

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.  God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.  And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”

Which the writer (Paul) follows in the next chapter with:

“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”

Part of being united with Christ is learning how to, like Christ, assert His dominance in and through me when I see the enemy.  “Take up your cross and follow me” includes that part; that is, not only the sacrifice, but the proper use of the authority and power which was paid in full by His own cross.

I can spend a lifetime learning how to fish in that boat!

1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:6 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.

Advertisements

Pop Quiz!

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I have a tendency to make improbable things happen, rarely intimated by what others would consider sorely inconvenient or even overwhelming obstacles.  Bob considers it one of the challenging/scary parts of my personality compared to his very ordered/cautious one.  There are several common analogies for this particular trait:

Mover and shaker.

Trailblazer.

He who hesitates is lost.

God can steer a boat easier if it’s not tied to the dock…all that.

Then there’s this one:

Biting off more than you can chew—yep, I know about that one also.  Sometimes, it includes my own foot, if you get my drift.  And things can get messy. Continue reading “Pop Quiz!”

Tie your own shoes

Dawncartoon[1] (1)TO THIS DAY, I still have middle-schoolers walking around with their shoes untied!  Kids!  This is NOT a fashion statement, this is a HEALTH HAZARD!  You trip, then I have to take care of you!

Remember teaching your little ones to tie their shoes?  Some used the bunny ear technique.  In my house, we used the old-fashioned loop/knot design.  It all takes time and practice, but then, of course, my youngest ended up wearing flip-flops to high school in January, so why bother?

The point is that teaching self-sufficiency is a 
Continue reading “Tie your own shoes”

Mud fun

Mud slinging—

tug-of-war-1100-2013-10
http://www.utdallas.edu

This photo looks like a tun-o-fun to me!  Personally, getting slimy muddy in the name of a great good time is quite appealing.  The problem comes when we start slopping mud onto each other—with our words.  Here’s the story:

“One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, ‘Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.  And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth…”

Check out the context.  Jesus and a select few of His disciples had just experienced the great Transfiguration—a “mountaintop experience” if ever there was one.  On the heels of that, as they return to the rest of the disciples, there is a crowd of people (typical) and this gentleman in dire need with his precious son.  What I find interesting is what is happening as Jesus approaches: Continue reading “Mud fun”

Modern parenting

IMG_20150103_172451138I have discerned that one of the buzz-words in behavioral training is “redirection”.  It’s the idea that instead of simply scolding and saying “NO”, which certainly has its place (I’m old school), it is important to add a positive element to the situation by redirecting the child’s focus to a more, shall we say, profitable activity. 

“NO, you must not put the Tinker Toy into the wall socket; how about I help you build a bridge?”

“NO, your baby brother would not prefer eating his applesauce over your ice cream made of Lego blocks.”

“NO, we must not cut the feet off your sister’s Barbie doll and glue her ankles onto the snow skis you just made; let’s fashion something else to fit her orthopedically challenged posture instead.”  (Hmmmm…wonder where THAT one came from??)

God, our perfectly loving Father, must also have something Continue reading “Modern parenting”

Watching the clock

wood 2I’m not one to wait excessively well.  (Just ask Bob.)  Especially if I have somewhere I need to be at a particular time, like showing up for a party “on time” is one thing, but showing up for work “on time” is something else.  I’m seriously time-oriented, and if there has been one sticking point in our marriage, lo these many years, it invariably has to do with time management.  To me, the clock tends to be a mandate; to my husband, it’s merely a suggestion…

So, in a sense I tend to relate to the disciples waiting on Jesus to arrive at the boat for their departure to the next place of ministry.  I can only imagine what possessed them to be so impatient as to leave the Main Attraction behind while they Continue reading “Watching the clock”

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”

Anchors Aweigh, My Boys!

sailor-40090_1280.pngMy dad was a sailor, and we love to hear him tell his stories about when he was not quite into his twenties wearing that white “dixie cup”, old photos and all!  Fast forward about 20 years, and I also love the story about when he and my soon-to-be stepmother were dating:

Dad had taken this nice woman for a fun day of sailing on our little Sunfish, when I get a call from Dad saying that the sailboat had caught the wind and had capsized, both he and Jane had been dumped into the cold water, and he had lost his keys (as well as his glasses) in the lake.  Jane’s son (the only one of us kids who had a driver’s license at the time) was coming by to pick up an extra set of keys, and would I please get those ready for him??? 

(In Dad’s defense, his stint in the navy didn’t include sailing anything.  He worked on airplanes and Continue reading “Anchors Aweigh, My Boys!”