Or you could just peddle faster…(ha!)

picmonkey dogI really like dogs, man’s best friend and all.  But there are a few I could do without, admittedly.  Just a few.  I’m not even talking about the yappy fur balls that are a perverse progeny of wolverine descent; they have a purpose in that they make some people happy.  No, I’m simply referring to the dangerous ones out on the country roads that don’t like cyclists.

Granted, most big back-road hounds will just bark and run, and when I stop and give them treats (which I carry), we make friends with each other.  I actually used to go out to see a Great Dane—fell in LOVE with her, and she tried to get in my lap, hilarious!

However…

One winter day, as I was riding without Bob, I was accosted by a particular nasty that decided his property included the road.  So I did what my husband had taught me, getting off my bike to put it between me and my enemy. As I began to back up, the dog followed, snarling and barking, indicating he had one thing on his mind—a piece of me.  (Unfortunately, another big one had joined him on the other side of the street, so now I had tandem trouble.) Continue reading “Or you could just peddle faster…(ha!)”

Them’s fightin’ words!

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I really like my comfort zone.  In fact, I tend to snuggle in with my favorite blankie and stuffed toy (it’s name was Pinkie, BTW, a big fuzzy stuffed dog of said color that I remember my big brother swinging around the room to irritate me—which worked.)  Only now my favorite toys are a bit more expensive (a house, a couple of cars, old though they be…) and I frequently wrap myself in my favorite “blankie” (my marriage, my family and friends, my health, such as it is….)  It’s not a perfect mountaintop, but it’s the one I live on, if you get my metaphorical drift, and I’m thankful for it.

Of course, when you’re married to a science teacher like my husband, the metaphorical tends to become the concrete.  He likes to point out practical things like, “Yep, those mountains were brought about by earthquakes, two Teutonic plates vying for the same space, and….” 

You get it.

In this instance, however, the point is well taken in that sometimes God has to shake us up to get us off the mountaintop and out of our comfort zone, since in reality, we are called into the war for His kingdom.  But we’re in good company:

 “When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country…Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’”

Interestingly, God could have provided everything His people needed right there on that particular mountain.  (You know, because He’s God.)  But also because He’s God, He knew that was not the best for them, it was not His fulfillment of the promise for them, and God is not One to settle for anything less than the best in, for, and through them.  And us.  For His kingdom. 

A few other things had to take place, and much later, the psalmist put it like this:

“You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver…We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.”

Unlike other kingdom conflicts happening on our current timeline, the Christian conflict is a spiritual one for our culture, our children, and even our own hearts and minds.  It’s uncomfortable (to put it mildly), but it is the place where God promises not only His peace, but most importantly, His presence—His Truth in the midst of turmoil, His koinonia in the midst of conflict. 

Given my ‘druthers, I’d sometimes rather hang out on the mountain than join the fight in the valley, but reader beware: because of the Father’s love, if a little shaking doesn’t do it, He may turn the mountain into a volcano.

Deut 1:6-8; Psalm 66: 10,12  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.

Keep your spade handy

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

I AM SO SPOILED!  (Whew.  There.  I said it.

 May I please explain…?  

As I recall the situation, the laundry was on in the basement, but I kept hearing the sound of running water rather than the typical whirring of the washer.  You know how something in the back of your mind finds its way to your decision-making part of the brain?  My frontal lobe was telling me I should probably investigate.  Good thing, too, since upon inspection it appeared to be raining from the basement rafters!

One of the washer hoses had busted and was creating this interesting, albeit expensive, illusion because it’s high powered jet spray was aimed right at the basement ceiling.  It was one of the few times I’ve been thankful that my “basement” is more of an old-time cellar, so the unexpected hydration was no problem; however, that may have been one of the circumstances (and there have been a few) where the water in the whole house had to be turned off, due to the corrosion at the hose connections.

UGH!!  No water!!  No bathrooms, no sinks, no washing dishes…and on, and on.  I love camping, just not in my own house…oh, the things I take for granted.

The “no-water” problem was just part of the daily desert routine in the Continue reading “Keep your spade handy”