Color blindness at Walmart

paintbrush-24251_1280It’s getting time to repaint the downstairs of “this old house”.  I’m not terrible adventurous when it comes to paint, so I’ll probably just stick with white.  I was checking out some options at the paint department.  Do you know how many shades of white there are? 

Neither do I…

Interestingly, the definition of “white” (in terms of paint, anyway) seems to have more to do with comparison.  Pick just one, and yeah, that’s white.  But put it next to a “whiter” white, and I can see that the original looks more blue, or green, or whatever. 

And the names they give to these infinite variations on a theme are pretty funny: Rarified Air, Intimate White, Big Chill…etc.  (You know, people are paid to do that.  Someone must have a sense of humor.) Continue reading “Color blindness at Walmart”

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Bird-brained behavior

IWAA7I just finished repairing and reinstalling one of my bird feeders, and this morning I stopped in my tracks when I saw a bright red cardinal enjoying his breakfast with a smaller white-striped bird I didn’t recognize. 

Then I saw him feeding the little guy—ah, what a good parent!  Daddy even aggressively chased off a sparrow from the breakfast table so his growing kiddo could eat privately. (Poor sparrow.  He was just trying to quietly go about his morning also…)

It was fascinating to watch, this avian culture!  But I just wanted to be sure I was identifying it all accurately.  Thus, I turned to that incontestable resource—the internet—and guess what?  It wasn’t a juvenile cardinal Daddy was feeding; it was a juvenile cow bird! Continue reading “Bird-brained behavior”

Pick up your mat and walk…where?

wood 2I don’t mean to be a cynic. In fact, most people who know me probably wouldn’t think of me that way, if they thought about me at all, which they probably rarely do anyway.

How’s that for cynical?

But no, that’s just realistic. 

C’mon, we all do it, see the world through our own eyes, at least to begin with.  What’s their angle and what’s in it for me.  Everything from Wall Street to Main Street to the garage sales on my street, we want the best bargain with the lowest possible personal sacrifice. 

Perhaps, such was the case of the man lying crippled for thirty-eight years by the Pool of Bethesda.  The treatment modality of the day had to do with waiting until an angel stirred the waters, and whoever got in first was healed.  (Not sure about the veracity of this method, no double blind studies back then, but hey…)

Jesus shows up and we listen in on the conversation:

“When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?’”

I love how Jesus (a) doesn’t assume what the person wants, and (b) requires the person to verbally identify what it is they desire of Him. 

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

So, in reference to (b) above, notice that the man merely makes an excuse for why he must stay infirmed, not what he actually desires.  Hmmmm….

Undeterred, his Creator makes the decision for him:

“Jesus told him, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!’”

“Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected.”

(So what else is new?)

“They said to the man who was cured, ‘You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!’”

“But he replied, ‘The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

“The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, ‘Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.’” 

Initially, one would think this man, being in the Temple, was worshipping God for his healing. That’s a possibility, maybe.  However, we have lots of folks going into church buildings for reasons other than God in our century also.  I’ll leave it at that, because after Jesus’ injunction about changing his lifestyle, this guy seems to have second thoughts, as in, “Wait, you mean there are some moral ramifications???”  

“Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.”

This man was no dummy.  Don’t think for a minute that there wasn’t plenty of time sitting around that pool to hear loads of town gossip about Jesus and the Jewish leaders.  I don’t mean to impugn someone’s motives who isn’t here to defend himself, but…

“So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules.”

Blessings without change, salvation without sanctification, affected holiness without hardship. It is the church’s undoing.  Subsequently, we become mere subculture instead of counterculture. Where’s the modern-day Job who says, “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him”, rather than merely showing up for the church picnics?

Seems like many want a piece of the pie, but few can stand the heat of the kitchen.

That’s not cynical; it’s just realistic.

John 5:6-16 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

“What we have here is a failure to communicate…”

Ever know someone with “a chip on their shoulder”?  One story has that phrase originating from the idea of two boys picking a fight with each other, the one putting a wood chip on his shoulder and daring the other to knock the chip off, thus initiating the knock-down-drag-out. 

The problem with chips on shoulders is that they tend to fall off on their own, starting fights when none were intended.  For example: Continue reading ““What we have here is a failure to communicate…””

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~~”

Seatbelts, check.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Our youngest was only school age when she sat on her father’s lap in the driver’s seat of the car in the (empty) school parking lot while he let her “drive” for a few minutes.  Her feet couldn’t even reach the pedals, but as she clutched the steering wheel, she confidently said, “I got it, Dad!”

Typical.  Not just of her, but of humanity in general, right?  Now, Bob and I hope that we have been reasonably responsible parents, and as such had our three children take drivers’ ed while in high school as well as teaching them our own white-knuckled version just like our sweet parents did for us back in the day.  There was Continue reading “Seatbelts, check.”

One Size Fits All

wood 2I don’t fit. Or maybe it’s that things don’t fit me.  I’m a five-foot-twelve-inch (think about it) woman in a 5’6” woman’s world.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m somewhat more comfortable talking with other woman sitting down together rather than standing in a group, since the latter arrangement has the conversation hovering several inches below my ears, and I find myself slumping a bit.

Shopping is a quite the challenge.  Once I walked into a retail store at the mall and asked if they had jeans with a 35” inseam, but the incredulous expression on the saleswoman’s face said it all.  Even the J.C.Penny’s Continue reading “One Size Fits All”

Seeing is believing…

wood 2…well, not always.  In fact, I don’t even know where that cockamamie concept originated.  Especially now with the various photo-editing applications and other wonders of the virtual world that continue to invade our reality.  So when pictures show up on my email or on other forms of communication, I tend to be a bit more skeptical than I would have in the past.

In fact, right now the whole concept of “Fake News” is making a comeback.  At least, I call it a comeback.  Fake News has been around forever, starting in a Garden a long time ago, and it comes in many forms, being woven quite effectively into our modern living:

Propaganda was an effective tool to discourage the Allies in World War 2. 

Most people my age have probably heard the phrase, “there are lies, there are d**n lies, and there are statistics.”

Of course, then there are the white lies.  Which is like having a white carpet in a house with three children and two dogs…

There’s the infamous statement, “Just kidding”.  Orson Wells tried that back in the 1930’s with a recital of a World of the Worlds enactment on radio, and that went over quite well. 

Like Solomon said, truly there is nothing new under the sun…

But that doesn’t mean I just abandon my five senses as any source of honest interpretation.  It does mean, however, that I need a little discernment.  Or a lot.  Words are cheap, but observable behaviors and definable outcomes have a place in what’s really going on behind the scenes.

Or better yet, what’s going on within the heart.

 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.”

It behooves me to be reminded that God Almighty sees it all as it really is, no spiritual photo-editing in Heaven.  The first order question, then, is what does He see in my life?  In His church?  And whatever He sees, and however He sees it, IS worthy to be believed.

Revelation 2:19  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.

A scar isn’t ALL bad

IMG_20150103_172451138If there is one advantage to having a nurse for a mom, it is that you are vaccinated against seemingly innumerable nasties that would love to invade your bloodstream.  (I suppose it might be difficult to understand that advantage, depending which end of the needle you’re on…)  Particularly, being a school nurse, as new recommendations and requirements come down the pipe, I would be getting my kids stuck with those also, except that they are now out of my household and that maternal syringe isn’t quite long enough.

vaccination-296946_1280As I write this (December, 2016), there is an unfortunately significant mumps outbreak in one of our major college towns here in Missouri, most assuredly fueled by parents’ decisions to not vaccinate their children when they were younger against this very preventable disease.  When you have 18 to 22 year-olds crammed into college dorms and classrooms, transference of nasties is bound to happen.

Not that I would intentionally expose Continue reading “A scar isn’t ALL bad”

Archaeology—it’s all in the way you sift the dirt

IMG_20150103_172451138I have inherited some very cool pieces of furniture from my father’s family.  An old Victrola, grandmother’s rocker (who knows how many babies have fallen asleep in that!), a secretary desk, and some others.  And I love the stories behind them.

Part of this is because I do so enjoy history.  Not the dates and places so much, but more the people and events.  I also appreciate archaeology.  As a pseudo-gardener, I enjoy digging in the dirt, but to pull something out of the dirt other than food or flowers, now that’s an adventure!

Evidently, there is some disagreement over whether archaeology proves or disproves the historicity of the Bible.  Although I find the artifacts fascinating, I don’t put my faith in them. (Remember the big ta-do over “the shroud”?)  It’s interesting that God has never allowed us to find the cross, Noah’s Ark, or even the Ark of the Covenant.  Some might say this is an argument against the Bible, but that Continue reading “Archaeology—it’s all in the way you sift the dirt”