In other words…

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“The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God.”

Daniel 9:23  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation.

Not so bird-brained?

IWAA7The Seed Lady has returned!  At least, that’s what Bob calls me.  No, actually that’s what he says the birds call me.  Although I have been grossly neglectful of keeping the several feeders filled for quite a long time now, I have finally gotten my act together in the hopes that the grackles and starlings stay away. 

Yes, I am somewhat discriminatory about my birdseed…bird feeder

My husband, the bio-prof, says that the avian brain is basically a visual cortex, or as his brother, the business major, interpreted, “see bug, eat bug.”  Gleefully, I noticed that a mommy cardinal chose to grace my eating establishment with her morning presence! Sparrows came by also to test the menu. How cool, after all this time, I give them food, and somehow they find it. To paraphrase Kevin Costner, “if you feed them, they will come…”  

Even so, I’m impressed by the birds’ innate Continue reading “Not so bird-brained?”

Glam-nails vs. Garden-nails

garden lastI have friends and co-workers who are into the glamorous nails thing.  Even many of my middle school girls are now sporting the artisan versions that are glued on, and more than once I’ve been asked if I have any “super glue” to fix a wayward piece.  (School nurses get asked for all sorts of random things…) 

As nice as they look, I’ve never been good at fingernail etiquette—the paint chips, it looks terrible, and I’m too lazy to fix it!  So I’m resigned to be content with what I have.  By contrast, one sure way you can tell I’m happy is if I have dirt under my fingernails.  A little gross maybe, but true.  It means I’m outside in my garden making a mess, or as Bob calls it, “tearing up the pea-patch.”

I’ve done plenty of tearing up, but have yet to grow any peas.    

What I have grown, with limited success, ranges from begonias to zinnias, (I could say from A to Z, but the astilbe died…)  However, here in the land of Herefords and harvestores, it’s also a noteworthy Continue reading “Glam-nails vs. Garden-nails”

Babar rides again

IMG_20150103_172451138Children are amazing.  I have three of my own, all grown up, and now I have a granddaughter, definitely the most beautiful and intelligent child on the planet, right?

To a small child, everything is better than it seems.  Things are easily forgiven, if not overlooked completely, and the world is pretty far away as long as they have food, shelter, and caring adult attention.  Even with a lack of those things, they’re still pretty resilient.  But even more remarkable than that is their trusting nature.  Even if things aren’t logical, practical, or realistic, if the adult they look up to says it’s okay, then it is.

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By kingleonlionheart.deviantart.com

So I find my oldest daughter’s perception comically enlightening now that she is reading some of the same Continue reading “Babar rides again”

Blind leap

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Wheeee!!

I don’t mind heights; I really don’t.  It’s the sensation of falling that I’m not too keen on.  We took the youth group kids to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City and one of the other leaders convinced me to go on one of the big roller coasters with her.  As the attendant buckled us in, my friend turns to me with the sagacious advice that, once we get to the top of the first drop off, if I hold my breath and tighten my stomach muscles, I would be less likely to vomit…

It was most definitively “not fun”.

It was, in fact, ninety seconds of sheer bone-wrenching terror, as I white-knuckled the restraining bar and buried my face into my friend’s shoulder while she laughed and screamed for me to Continue reading “Blind leap”

Patient Man

quill

Patience is not always one of my best qualities, but somehow I think I’m probably not alone.  It’s usually no fun when I’m told to “wait”, or worse yet, “STOP”.  Or how about this one—“No.”  (I especially don’t like the period after the no…)

Here’s a piece from the blogger Pneumythology.  He says this on his “about” page:

As a writer, I particularly enjoy creating new myths: allegorical monster stories with heroes, villains, and spiritual themes. In one sense or another, myth arises from or is based on reality, and so it breathes and is in some way alive… Imagination frees us to consider reality from different perspectives, and it is therefore pragmatic when employed properly.” 

PATIENT MAN

Working alone in the meadow at sunrise,

What are the thoughts that you keep on your mind?

Something internal has set you to smiling,

Already knowing what others can’t find.

 

Am I perceiving the servant in waiting,

Growing at present, perfection to be,

Always in motion, eternally resting,

Taking the time that it takes to be free?

        Patient man, just keep on living, God and time are on your side,

        Waiting’s just a part of giving, in the place where you abide.

 

Faith in a promise will bring you contentment,

Waiting of something, yet possessing it now.

Living today while approaching tomorrow,

Never look backward, your hand’s to the plow.

        Patient man, just keep on living, God and time are on your side,

        Waiting’s just a part of giving, in the place where you abide.

 

Play me song while you wait for your Master.

Though you can’t see Him, He’s still your best friend.

Lift up your head for your Savior is coming.

Soon you’ll be walking the wings of the wind.

        Patient man, just keep on living, God and time are on your side,

        Waiting’s just a part of giving, in the place where you abide.

So check out Pneumythology’s site HERE.  He’s got cool stuff on art, fantasy, movies, and other heady things like that, or in his own words (much better than mine, since, you know, I’m NOT A POET):

By means of my own stories, I wish to stimulate my readers and to provide them with a satisfying intellectual space which they can inhabit until something real catches up with them.”  So go enjoy!

Spiritual placebos

wikipedia photo
wikipedia photo

Did you know that one of the original Snake Oil compounds was found to exclude anything related to a snake?  Thus the term “snake oil” claiming to be a cure-all has become synonymous with quackery of any kind.  Just another placebo in the world of false advertising, I suppose.

By contrast, a double blind drug trial is one in which neither the scientists nor the human “guinea pigs” know who is actually getting the medicine under investigation.  One group gets the real stuff, and the other gets the counterfeit.  It’s an important way to test legitimate new drugs, since even thinking I’m the one getting medicated can produce symptoms, even if all you’re getting is Continue reading “Spiritual placebos”

The Voice Not Easily Heard

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Ed is working on his advanced degree while he and his wife are raising two small children.  I can relate, since I helped “push my husband through” his Ph.D. process with three kids in tow.  (When the very precious piece of paper arrived in the mail, I told Bob that this was “our” diploma!)

Ed is also dealing with a recently diagnosed genetic blood disorder that has thrown his health, as well as his family’s bank account, into a bit of turbulent waters.  (I can say this because it’s on his blog.) But in spite of this, and most importantly, Ed is a man of faith in the God of wonders, Who is all good, all wise, and all powerful.  Thank you, Ed, for the privilege  of posting your work!  (As always, here’s the disclaimer.)

THE VOICE NOT EASILY HEARD

written by Edmond Sanganyado

*inspired by Robert Frost’s Road Not Taken

 

Two voices whispered in a dark room

One many and the other only just solo

One a rustling mopane leaf in autumn

One a thousand and one echoes of wonder

I listened intently, but could only hear one

 

Of many, I heed with all my might

For one was too quiet in this lonely night

As the stars, the loud echoes became light

Illuminating my path, it all seemed right

I followed the snarly breeze like a kite

 

I looked far ahead as I followed the train

Not only I, but billions trailed the many

No pain, no rain, all gain, but then, no brain

Only a promise of a dance, laughter and joy

Because it was a call to a never-ending party

 

And that night both voices equally spoke

The scattered letters meant the same, Come

Indeed, I listened to the other, not the first

The second seems arose from my heart’s rest

And that communion was too luring for jest

 

One day, I will recall with bouts of shame

In the distant past, a decision once stood

Two voices once called me from the dark, but I

Heed the one with a bait of quick happiness

Yet, the still small voice never stopped calling

Let your life of faith transform society

 

Used with permission.  Drop over to Ed’s blog at : http://gracemusing.com

Burlap Faith vs. Blue Denim Faith

wood 2 

Burlap is good if you want to see through something,

Or if you want water to leak through,

But it’s not much good at keeping you warm

Or holding up when you’re working hard

Like when you’re on your knees all the time.

 

Denim, on the other hand, is sturdy and strong,

And even when it finally gets a hole in it

You can patch it with more denim

And the patch holds just fine.

 

Burlap, like doubt and unbelief

Doesn’t wear well

Or feel comfortable

Or look particularly fashionable

 

Denim, like faith

Is durable and lasting

Feels better the longer you wear it

And never, ever goes out of style.

This old notebook was falling apart at the seams

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And this recycled “redeemed” denim rescued it,denimcircle

Made it useful again,

Which is what faith in the Living God does for us.

 

May God bless you with a denim faith

As you walk through this chapter in your life with Him!!

The “art” of baking….not.

Baking is an art form, one in which I am not well versed in.  I approach baking much like I approach gardening: instead of the manicured lawns with sculpted flower beds, I’m more the scattered wildflower variety with a yard fertilized by my dog.  Nonetheless, here are a few equally scattered thoughts about baking anyway.

Starting with friendship bread—someone gives you a small bag of tan-colored, semi-liquid mush, accompanied by a sheet of specific directions which, if followed correctly, will produce some very delicious sweet bread.  The unique thing about Friendship bread is that part of the instructions tells me to save some of the mush to give away to someone else.  The more I follow the directions, the more sweet bread is produced and the more I can give away (or eat).

Now, I kind of think faith is like that. 

Andrew Murray, in his book With Jesus in the School of Prayer, refers to some of the hard sayings of Jesus, liked moving mountains and all that.  Jesus even said that “greater things than these you will do since I go to the Father”.  Wow!  I mean, really, He brought people back from the dead, pulled money out of a fish’s mouth, withered a fig tree with a word, stopped a storm at sea, commanded demons into a herd of ham, and on, and on. 

Sometimes it’s tempting to sweep these sayings under the modern day carpet with excuses—He just meant that for His disciples at that time in history, or the generic He was referring to “something else”.  (Reminiscent of the serpent’s original question to Eve concerning eating from that certain tree—“Hath God really said…..?”)

Or else I can shrug my shoulders and relent that I just don’t have enough faith.  Now there’s a real cop-out. Or I should say, a half-truth, something the old serpent is equally quite good at.  Of course I don’t have enough faith!  Duh.  But that does not stand to reason that I don’t have ANY faith.  In fact, God tells me that He has given EVERYONE a measure of faith.

My pastor says that we all make choices, including choices concerning my relationship with Jesus. LIke my Friendship bread starter dough, I am given directions on how to increase the faith God has given me, improve upon it.  In essence, I am responsible for reading and following the directions:

  • I am given a measure, even a cup, of faith. I must receive it, even if it’s like a friend giving me the bag of ugly-looking mush. Doesn’t look too tasty to begin with! (1)
  • Mixing my faith with other ingredients particularly happens in regularly hanging around other mush-loving people. (2)
  • Lots of patience, waiting, comes in the form of study, and personal time spent alone with the Lord Himself, and my nose in His Book. (3) “Those that are pleased with Christ must study to be pleasing to him; and they will not find him hard to be pleased”, says a wise old commentator.  (4)
  • Shaking the bag regularly. You don’t have to be very old to know what the shaking of life is like. But it’s the shaking and squeezing of the mush that activates the yeast, which eventually makes the bread rise.  In other words, it gives the bread “character”!  (5)
  • Part of the directions include putting my faith into a hot oven for a specified period of time. Yeah, this is also a fun one. No explanation needed. (6)
  • Giving a cup away. As someone once said, faith is personal, but true faith is never meant to be private. Something about not putting a lighted candle under a basket… (7)

Like friendship bread, I am given a portion of faith, and it’s up to me to decide what I’m going to do with it. When you follow the directions, it’s pretty amazing what can happen with a bag of mush.

 

  • Romans 12:3
  • Hebrew 10:25
  • Jeremiah 29:13
  • Henry, Matthew (2010-11-07). Unabridged Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (best navigation) (Kindle Locations 136223-136224). OSNOVA. Kindle Edition.
  • James 1:2
  • Daniel 3 – I love this story!
  • Matthew 5:15