Forever? Really?

IMG_20150103_172451138Were you even one of those fortunate few who had to suffer through the school-age disciplinary action—because that sounds better than the word “punishment”—of writing “I will listen to the teacher” one hundred times?  (I never had that one, but I did have after school detention one time in high school for being late to class three times.  Thanks, mom, for not even wondering why I had to stay after school—bless your heart!)

I suppose the impact of such a literary consequence has something to do with the monotony of the assignment, which to me would be punishment enough, (low boredom threshold, this one), but we’re told there is also something interestingly significant about the neural connection between the hand and the head.  Evidently, when we write something, it tends to stick in our grey matter more efficiently, and can cause behavioral changes accordingly, (or perhaps in my case, to avoid the tedium of a repeat assignment…)

Monotony notwithstanding, I’m intrigued by the writer of this particular psalm.  Going through a history lesson of God working for Israel, twenty-six times he drives home this point:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

It reminds me of a story about a minister who preached the same sermon three or four times in a row.  After about the third time, his parishioners began asking him when he was going to change his sermon and move on, to which the response was, “When the congregation starts doing what I said.”

Brilliant.

So I’m thinking God Almighty was more concerned about getting this particular message across than He was about creative style, in that surely, confidently, and without fail in all circumstances,

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

In the midst of my confusion and my disappointment and my pain:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

When the loved one turns away:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

When the company closes it doors, and the retirement check stops coming:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

When the uniformed army officer arrives unexpectedly at your front door:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

When the lab results are not good:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

I’m sure we could all come up with our own list of twenty-six, but what is more important is going back through our own history with God, like this psalmist did, and recount when we actually experienced His faithfulness.  I know I benefit from those “oh yeah!” moments that I tend to relegate to the cranial archives.

scribbling-152216_1280Maybe I should start writing them out again, one at a time, each followed by, you guessed it:

“…His faithful love endures forever.”

Psalm 136  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.

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Wipe your paws, please

picmonkey dogThe Mighty Wonder Buck has a morning routine.  Actually, it’s based on my routine, which has to do with being very much a morning person.  Generally, I’m up at around daybreak or shortly thereafter, and that’s when I’m OFF work.  During the work week, it’s dark, and sometimes the birds aren’t even singing yet, unless it’s an owl, which is pretty cool in itself.

I’ll head outside for pot of tea on the patio, while Buckley noses around and sniffs and, well, does other things dogs need to do first thing in the morning. 

Except when it’s raining.  Then he’s on his own for a quick in-and-outer to do his business, which can be fairly substantial for a 60-pound pup. Because of his long hair and his feathered feet, he tends to track in LOTS of mud.   The mud doesn’t seem to bother him much; it’s just not within his canine Continue reading “Wipe your paws, please”

Superheroes, UNITE! (This means us.)

Underdog_(animated_TV_series)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The iconic Underdog character was birthed from the mind of W. Watts Biggers. I think he intuitively knew our American mindset in this area!

Bob is pretty fascinated with the superhero phenom in our culture.  At the time of this writing, we just returned last night from a date (yes, couples should still date after 36 years…) to the local theatre where we saw Captain America-Civil War.  No spoiler alert in case you’re one of the handful who hasn’t seen it, but as the title implies, it’s the flick in the interminable series where the supers duke it out against each other. 

I guess they haven’t read that part about “a house divided against itself…”

Anyway, as a society we congregate over these fantasies for several reasons, some more ominous than others.  In fact, a good blogging buddy of mine, Oneta at Sweet Aroma, left me this comment:

“And while we build supermen in the sky, on earth we live so far below what God has available for us.”

Good seg into this account about Continue reading “Superheroes, UNITE! (This means us.)”

Define “green”, please?

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We were visiting our eldest daughter and family this past summer at their home in southern California.  I don’t really know what the Mamas and the Papas song “California Dreamin’” meant back in the 60’s, but starting about 2011, it meant dreamin’ of water.  I’m also reminded of a pretty impressive draught we had back in Indiana many years ago.  The grass had turned not only brown, but so crispy that you couldn’t comfortable walk on it without shoes!

Nice, spongey green grass, on the other hand, is so soothing to the feet, smells fresh when cut, and the sheep and cows feast away.  No wonder the shepherd/songwriter/soon-to-be-king David used that in what has become probably the most beloved psalm in the Bible.

“The Lord is my shepherd,  I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures…”

I like all of that, I really do.  It’s just the “I shall not want” part that gets me a little tripped up now and again.  Truth is, I DO want, a lot, and often, and sometimes not very patiently.  And I don’t think I’m the Continue reading “Define “green”, please?”

Agabus, by any other name, would still be, um…different.

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Agabus—now there’s a name you don’t hear very often, if ever.  He’s only really mentioned twice in the early church account of Acts, as a prophet, which means he was a bit open to doing unconventional things….but that’s a different story.

The first time we see him is in the town of Antioch in the middle of Continue reading “Agabus, by any other name, would still be, um…different.”