I know of a professor who years ago had a colleague saying that he “tried Christianity for a while” but that it didn’t give him what he wanted, so he went off in search of an alternative. Buddha or something.
Why flight attendants give instructions on how to use the inflatable life jacket on a flight from Kansas City to to Los Angeles. It seems these items would be much benefit flying over Kansas wheat fields or the Rockies. Granted, my geography isn’t so good, but maybe they know something I don’t? (Corollary: why don’t we get parachutes instead?)
Why “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing. (As if the English language isn’t confusing enough, even for those of us who grew up with it.)
Still being a bit of a novice at this grandparenting thing, I’m told that grandchildren generally chose their own monikers for their grandparents, something easy to say, at times comical and endearing little things that stick like glue: Mimi, Nana, Papoo…so I was curious what the first of this new generation was going to choose for us.
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.
Bob and I saw the movie, Arrival, on the big screen when it, well, arrived (…smile). He’s a real heady sci-fi fan; that is, explosions in space are fine, but he prefers the more cerebral plots, and this flick definitely filled the bill. If you haven’t seen it, no spoiler here. Suffice it to say that the Earthlings must be very intentional and persistent in learning to communicate with this obviously advanced race of beings, even in the face of fear, opposition, and unrecognized danger from outside sources who misunderstand.
Don’t you just love that new car smell? Or walking into a new house that still has that fresh clean fragrance of, well, prior to kids, dogs, and cats? Not that I’ve ever had a new car or a new house; I’m a definite “second-hand Rose” (or third, or fourth…), but there is something about newness that makes you want to keep it that way as long as possible.
Until it’s no longer new, that is.
There’s a truism that says “familiarity breeds confidence”. The problem is that confidence can degrade into neglect, whether it’s a house or car, or a relationship, or even my own Continue reading “That “essence of new car””
I 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.
My husband, Bob, is forever misplacing his glasses. I was not at the lake with him when one pair of glasses took a dive into the water, never to be found (by him, anyway, but maybe by a hungry large mouth bass). Another time his expensive prescription sunglasses went missing from the car, and guess who got blamed for that one…?? Our house isn’t really that big, but enough so that treasure hunting for a pair of spectacles can make you late for work. (Has that ever happened? Perhaps I shall Continue reading “Biblical coat check”
Seemingly, one of the requisite combinations of clothing in a coach’s or athletic trainer’s wardrobe is the khaki/tennis shoe blend. I attended a professional conference on concussion recognition and management, which means I was in the company of many former-athletes-turned-coach, and this is what I observed:Continue reading “Dress for success, I guess”
Water heaters in our town are infamous for only lasting about five years, at least so I was told. No wonder our showers were cooling off quickly in the mornings! It had nothing to do with the heating element, but everything to do with the integrity of the container.
We have since had a visit from our plumber. He knew better than to simply patch the old one. No, a completely new outfit was needed.
(It makes me think of an old folk song, There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza. Evidently, Liza didn’t fare too well getting that situation fixed on her own, either.)
Structural integrity is important for more than old water buckets and modern showers. In the ancient times of the Old Testament, that area of the world could get pretty dry. And they didn’t have a Lowe’s to purchase a nice hard plastic rain barrel. Instead, the workers would carve out cisterns in the rock, and sometimes cover the inside with a type of plaster to prevent the water from leaking out. It was this water that could help sustain them during those parched times.
So it makes sense when God uses the life-preserving cistern to make a point for His wayward children:
“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” (1)
That’s quite a one-two punch. Not only had they refused real and immediate H2O, but decided to hope for some “better tasting rain water” to come along and try to collect what they could before it all leached through the home-made plaster! (I guess they attended Dear Liza’s school of water conservation.)
All jocularity aside, this was, and IS, a tragic reality in many cases. How often to I search for something “better” than what my Heavenly Father has for me, abandoning His presence in my current situation for an enticing present in another. The promise goes both ways. His water, His abiding all-sufficient provision, never runs dry, whereas anything else can suddenly and without warning…
It’s also telling that, in the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as “the living water”, which was a statement that not only relates Him to God, but equates Him as God. (2) This being so, it follows that my allegiance to Him, regardless of my current circumstances, is what will cause the proper outcomes in my (very temporary) earthly existence.
How much better to rely on the integrity of our Creator and Sustainer to provide what we need when we need it. When I bring my cup to Him, it will most assuredly, in His time, “runneth over”. (3)
(Perhaps someone needs to tell poor Liza.)
Jeremiah 2:13 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT