Moses, what a guy. Talk about job stress—the perks were pretty great but so were the occupational hazards. (And I think I have tough days!) At least there was clear communication with the Boss; no lost email trails or intra-office misinterpretation of body language, all that. God’s instructions were always unmistakably clear, right down to what colors of decorative embroidery thread to use for the big church tent!
One year into their miraculous escape/rescue from centuries of Egyptian slavery, God now has them positioned to pull up the stakes and start their journey in earnest to the Promised Land. He has also promised to be their Guide, a cloud by day and something that looks like a pillar of fire by night. Again, fairly distinctive, even for someone directionally challenged, like me. When Continue reading “Decisions, decisions!”
When I was “back home again in Indiana”, (and, if you’re a native Hoosier, you’re probably familiar with that song, even though no one seems to know where “Hoosier” itself comes from)…anyway, when I was back home again in Indiana just last weekend to see the folks, I was helping them consolidate to move into their new apartment.
Both of them are your typical Builder-Gen—responsible, frugal, forward-thinking, hard-working. Nothing is to be assumed, (Dad taught me how to spell “assume”—it makes an “ass out of u and me”), and nothing is to be taken for granted. Gratitude is a chosen attitude, and God’s will and wisdom are superior to mine.
Yes, I know not to put my folks a pedestal, and I don’t. But let’s be real; not everyone has had parents like mine.
So while I’m helping Dad recuperate from a knee problem across the street in a separate facility, Mom and my sis (who is local—thank God!) are sorting, organizing, and packing and sweating, with Dad and I out of the way.
Mom did request, bless her heart, that my brother and I go through Dad’s old financial records (V-E-R-Y old) before she takes them to the shredder, not becauseContinue reading “Hoosier yer folks?”
Best dating story: Bob and I were coming home from an evening out. As I was still in college, I lived with my parents in the summer, and my dad, as a stickler for protecting his family, always had the door locked if I got home late enough and they had gone to bed. Naturally, I also always had a key to get in when my soon-to-be finance would deposit me at the front step.
The key, however, only fit the main entrance, not the outer screen door…
What happened next was almost something out of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Bob, being the practical science-guy he is, couldn’t understand why I didn’t just ring the door bell, (which, to this day, seems like the most sagacious option), but in deference to my objections, he pulled his little Pinto (remember those?) around to the driveway and helped me go from the big wooden storage box, to the top of his car, and onto the garage roof which led to my own second story window. Thankfully, I had left the window open, but DRAT! There was that locked screen window (what is it with screens??) that I had to poke my fingers through to raise, hoping that the family dog wasn’t currently my room ready to sound the intruder alarm.
Having successfully deposited his future bride safely, albeit not conveniently, within her home, Bob took off and I went to bed, thinking I would relate the incident to my folks…someday. Until I got up that morning and they asked me how I had gotten in last night, as Dad noticed he had locked the screen door, and Mom was wondering what my shoes were doing in the garage.
At what point in a young person’s life does she realize that her parents are not stupid?
Now, Dad is a fixer; property is something that must be improved and/or maintained, so my screen window didn’t stay impaled for long, allowing for mosquitoes, bees, and other pests equal access to my room, (geewhiz, hadn’t thought of that one). And thankfully, I didn’t dent Bob’s car, pull off the guttering or slip and break my neck scampering up the shingles. In retrospect (sigh) I should have just rung the doorbell!
Which is kinda the point the writer of Hebrews is making when he says:
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
I wonder how much wasted time, energy, and (gulp!) destruction I have caused by not first coming boldly to my Father’s presence. What fears have stolen my peace, what anxieties have poked holes in my power, and what kind of hellacious peril I have put myself (and others) in due to my lack of faith in God’s most holy acceptance of me because of His Son!
After all, I’m one of the family. If I’m feeling locked out, I just have to ring the bell.
…well, not always. In fact, I don’t even know where that cockamamie concept originated. Especially now with the various photo-editing applications and other wonders of the virtual world that continue to invade our reality. So when pictures show up on my email or on other forms of communication, I tend to be a bit more skeptical than I would have in the past.
In fact, right now the whole concept of “Fake News” is making a comeback. At least, I call it a comeback. Fake News has been around forever, starting in a Garden a long time ago, and it comes in many forms, being woven quite effectively into our modern living:
Propaganda was an effective tool to discourage the Allies in World War 2.
Most people my age have probably heard the phrase, “there are lies, there are d**n lies, and there are statistics.”
Of course, then there are the white lies. Which is like having a white carpet in a house with three children and two dogs…
There’s the infamous statement, “Just kidding”. Orson Wells tried that back in the 1930’s with a recital of a World of the Worlds enactment on radio, and that went over quite well.
Like Solomon said, truly there is nothing new under the sun…
But that doesn’t mean I just abandon my five senses as any source of honest interpretation. It does mean, however, that I need a little discernment. Or a lot. Words are cheap, but observable behaviors and definable outcomes have a place in what’s really going on behind the scenes.
Or better yet, what’s going on within the heart.
“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.”
It behooves me to be reminded that God Almighty sees it all as it really is, no spiritual photo-editing in Heaven. The first order question, then, is what does He see in my life? In His church? And whatever He sees, and however He sees it, IS worthy to be believed.
“God answered, ‘I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain…'”
Why would God tell Moses that He would confirm this commission AFTER this little errand had been completed?
I repeat, God has such a sense of humor.
This comment marks the beginning of Moses’ courageous “but, God…!?!” speech. Not that I would have done any better, to be sure. I love that he begins at this most uninspiring place and ends up in the Hebrews 11 hall of fame, but that’s another story….
At this writing, our second granddaughter is celebrating her first Christmas, having been born only a few days ago. This was an interesting birth. Granted, all my girls were born 30+ years ago, but to make things even more interesting, this wonderful event took place in Scandinavia, and things are a little different there—our little jewel was birthed underwater in a special bathtub, after which the new family was taken to a special area in the adjoining hotel for three days while they adjust and learn and ask questions and are generally pampered, rested, and supported until released home.
Finally, someone is making some sense!
Which is a far cry from the little Lego manger scene that I’m looking at right now (belonging to our first granddaughter, whose home we are in for Christmas!) In fact, right now everyone is still asleep, the packages are just itching to be unwrapped, and I have enjoyed a few quiet moments reading Luke chapter 2.
Now, if Scandinavia could provide such a nice environment for our sweet new bundle, why couldn’t God provide something a little more upscale than a dirty feeding trough in a stinky stable for His own Son?? On the surface, one could think…well, one could think many things, I suppose. And do, but mistakenly.
No matter how much we learn about conception, pregnancy and birth, even I have too much of an artistic soul to arrogantly think we can ever fully grasp the sublimity of it all, nor can anyone within a paradigm of a closed universe grasp the Grand Design. For crying out loud, those of us who ascribe to a divinely open universe can’t see it all either!
Which makes me think that this temporal life is likewise akin to a pregnancy as we are being formed and ready to be birthed into Eternity. A whole bunch of things take place inside the womb preparing a child for their first appearance. Isn’t the same happening to me, and those whom I so dearly love? Who am I to question or doubt God’s unique plan and mysterious process He is using to bring about their preparation for the heavenly birthing process?
“Just as you cannot understand…the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.”
I follow my actor-brother-in-law, Doug Jones, on Instagram and Facebook. We rarely get to see his face, but he has been nonetheless amazing as Pan in Pan’s Labyrinth, the fish/man Abe Sapion in Hellboy, the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four, and Chochise in Falling Skies, to name just a few. And we just found out that he is going to be (yet another) alien in the up and coming Star Trek spin-off Discovery.
Of course, I’m old school, with the original Kirk and Spock and Bones and Scottie and all that. But far be it from me to consider myself a snobbish connoisseur of fine sci-fi—I also enjoyed Galaxy Quest, and the “famous” quote from Captain Jason Nesmith, “never give up, never surrender!”
So, okay, I’ve not yet donned any cosplay nor stood in line for hours to talk to a personal hero of the silver screen. Heck, I hang out with Doug and Laurie on fam-jams anyway, and they ARE heroes in my book!
I also appreciate the actors in the Hebrews 11 “Heroes of the Faith” line up—it reads like something out of one of Doug’s movie credits. Allow me to review (from my human perspective):
Gideon, cowering in the barn trying to hide his grain, and who needed a fleece (twice) to convince him of God’s answer.
Moses, who’s recorded conversation with God (as if standing in front of the burning bush wasn’t enough) is replete with “but God!?!”
Sarah and Abraham, who both thought God needed a little help, (since that always turns out well…)
Amazingly, God chooses to interpret their history differently:
“Their weakness was turned to strength.”
Say what? How is it that God somehow overlooks, not only their failures, but also the consequences of those failures, and chooses instead to record in the New Testament rendition (for all eternity, no less) their successes?
Like it or not, “oops” is part of a Christian’s vernacular, and “I’m sorry” should roll off the tongue more and more easily as time goes on. One important thing that can be said for these heroes of the faith is that they never gave up. They may have given in a few times, but they never gave up.
In that, Captain Kirk has nothing on Captain Nesmith.
My dog, Buckley (otherwise nicknamed the Mighty Wonder Buck—my husband is into superheroes and such things) loves to play tug-o-war….with anything. Sticks, his flying disc, that colorful rope thing tied in big knots, shoes (if I let him, which I don’t).
The challenge is that this particular game of his tends to wear out the playthings, because as affable and loving and gentle in nature as Buck is, his teeth are impressive. Thankfully, it doesn’t occur to him that he could rip my hand off.
So after a while, playing tug-o-war with his rope becomes tug-o-fringe. This, however, does not deter him in the least. In fact, the ratty old rope—or what’s left of it—is generally the first toy he pulls out of his box to entice me to join him in some all-out contest of strength. (Just for the record, the one with the opposable thumbs generally wins.)
The Buck is not intimidated by his worn-out things—to him they are still functional without a second thought. It occurs to me that God is not intimidated Continue reading “The Fringe Counts!”