Puzzled

wood 2Disclaimer: this is not a political statement.  I really am not concern with anyone else’s partisan persuasion, it’s just that America’s recent history (translated: in my memory, which is longer than some of my current contemporaries, I realize…) lends itself to a good comparison.

Anyone old enough to read this has an opinion of some kind about the Trump/Clinton election and the media’s reaction.  Sparks are still flying over that one, and will continue to do so.  It’s the American way.

What many of the younger generation may not remember, to no fault of their own since many of them were in diapers or not even born yet, was the Reagan/Mondale landslide of 1984.  Continue reading “Puzzled”

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On the way out the door~~

IMG_20150103_172451138Remember sending your kiddo off to kindergarten that first day?  Or camp?  Or that first solo in the car? (GAG!) Or college?  I remember the anxiety of allowing our teenage girls to go on month-long mission trips out of the country. The first one was to Hong Kong when it was still under British rule, and I found out (after the fact) that my 14-year-old smuggled Bibles into China.  She assured me it was safe. 

Because 14-year-olds know these things.

On one such excursion, one of our daughters reported that when she arrived at the staging complex, there signs posted everywhere that read “CALL YOUR MOTHER!”  Somebody there must have compassionately understood.

Now, by the grace of God, all three of our children have Continue reading “On the way out the door~~”

Where’d I park my car? (or, Adventures on Asphalt.)

wood 2I’m notorious for forgetting where I parked my car at Walmart.  If you ever see someone wandering about in a parking lot, it’s probably me.  And to make it worse, since Bob and I drive old cars, we don’t have that fancy fob that makes the car beep, honk, or otherwise send up a flare that says “over here, stupid!”  So I just consider my wanderings as getting in a little more exercise before going home to put away the groceries…

I do have some vestige of pride, however, after walking around somewhat dazed pushing a cart with melting frozen corn.  I would much rather identify my own vehicle BEFORE putting the key into the lock and realizing it doesn’t Continue reading “Where’d I park my car? (or, Adventures on Asphalt.)”

More than tomatoes

garden lastI was interested in canning a long time ago.  I saw what one of my friends was doing to “put up” fresh tomatoes; talk about a LOT of work!  The boiling and peeling and grinding and washing and timing…

I’m not so much interested in doing it anymore.

But I’m still mightily impressed with the process and commitment of those who do their own food storage.  Back before the days of Walmart Superstores, if you wanted to feed your family, you either canned, or you didn’t eat very well after harvest season was over.  But, oh! what a feast you could provide for your family in the dead of winter with fruit preserves, canned vegetables, dried homemade noodles, and the potatoes snuggled in the nice, cool cellar.

Kind of makes me think of what Paul is trying to get at here with the people in Galatia.  When the apostle was writing this, these folks were under a serious attack in the form of (once again) legalism.  Let’s eat only these things and celebrate these certain days and keep these special regulations to get in good with God, and oh yeah, then there’s the Cross, let’s not forget that…

…except that Paul knew there was no such thing as a Cross-plus gospel.  The Cross plus not wearing makeup.  The Cross plus which day of the week you assemble for church.  The Cross plus not stepping inside a bar or a theatre or listening to that “devil rock music”.

 But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you.”

The Truth of the Gospel.  THE Gospel.  The only good news that God provides for our acceptance by Him, and purely good new it is: the Cross and Resurrection…period. 

It’s not that I throw behavioral decisions to the wind of culture and narcissistic whims, far from it.  Rather, only in the preserving of (and subsequent feasting on) the true good news of God’s acceptance only through Christ can I have the wisdom to know HOW to behave in the ways that honestly please Him.

Whew!  What a relief.

But here’s the kicker—how crucial (pardon the wordplay) it is that I preserve this truth, not merely for myself, but for those around me!  Like my friend and her tomatoes, it takes skill, knowledge, passion, and persistence.  Thankfully, Paul had plenty of all four, not just for the Galatians, but for me as well.

And, oh, what a feast it provides.

Galatians 2:5  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.

Lion tamers, to name a few

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Gary Smalley, a gifted family counselor and founder of the Smalley Relationship Center, conceived a simple personality test using four animals as examples; the lion is used in his demonstration as one who tends to have inherent leadership potential, but is also fraught with some significant relational challenges.  I’m thinking the Apostle Paul was, perhaps, one of these:

“Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to Continue reading “Lion tamers, to name a few”