Proper use of the bulldozer.

wood 2Bulldozer—now there’s a fun word!  I did a little digging (pun intended), and evidently bulldozer is a very American term, no surprise that.  Its origin is summarily inelegant, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the helpful heavy machinery we count on today.

Not long after the American Civil War and Honest Abe’s Emancipation Proclamation, racial prejudice continued (duh) in the form of intimidation tactics, which included administering a “bull’s dose” with a whip on the backs of black Americans who would not vote for a certain party.  The thugs eventually were referred to as “bull dosers” or “bull dozers”, those who cleared a path for their own ideology. (1) Continue reading “Proper use of the bulldozer.”

More than a cowboy hat

IMG_20150103_172451138When we formally met the man who was to become one of our sons-in-law, we wanted to give him “the tour” of the small Midwestern town our girls where we live and are girls grew up.  He is Swedish, but had lived and worked in both the Big Apple and sunny Cal.  However, he had not yet been initiated into rural mid-America.  Even so, he liked camo, and he wanted a cowboy hat. 

He came to the right place.

His soon-to-be sister-in-law, (daughter #2), decided it would be a good idea to devise a scavenger hunt throughout the town, hiding clues in places that would take him all over the familiar haunts including the high school, an old abandoned farm tractor who’s final resting place was behind a local grain elevator, a landmark eating establishment with the finest in traditional, heart-stopping American hamburgers and milkshakes, and the like. 

hat-2738831_1920Of course, the end point was a true-to-earth Midwest Farm and Home store, where he got to pick out his own real life cowboy hat. 

Together, they have since put on a similar “treasure hunt” for his nieces and nephews.  There’s just so much fun in watching the kids’ excitement as they follow the clues and find good stuff! 

Which gives me pause to consider that this enjoyment must have its foundation in Someone who similarly enjoys His children searching and finding.

“He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”

There is a thought circulating that if God is so intent on us knowing Him, why doesn’t He just make it easier, speaking more directly, personally, getting our attention more efficiently.   Allowing this new member of our family to look for and find each clue was hopefully causing a greater connection with the town (experientially) and with us (personally).  It took some time and creative energy to put that together!  And he was worth every bit of it.

Granted, God has and still could use an occasional burning bush, talking donkey, or disembodied hand writing on the wall, I suppose.  Those tend to be a bit more compelling, but not necessarily as effective toward His everyday purpose.  Which is…?

Glad you asked.

“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

Eternal life—not just pie in the sky by and by, but true moment-by-moment intimacy with Creator God.  Right now.  Nothing less. 

However, the funny thing about clues is that they are easily missed unless one is actively looking for them.

“The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him.”

We were not about to let our daughter’s loved one miss out on even one clue, as we gathered around him to help him out, (which is a huge part of what God’s family is supposed to be doing with each other as well.)  We knew what we had waiting for him at the end of the ordeal.  crown

And so does God.  Only it’s not a cowboy hat… 

John 15:17; John 17:3  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.

Feast on which beast?

NR thanks
Thanks to Norman Rockwell for this amazing painting: Freedom From Want.

This is the time of year I really kind of wish I had a chest freezer down in the basement.  The 20+ pound turkeys are on mega-sale, and the fresh cranberries will only be around for a month or so.

No matter, as the traditional American Thanksgiving Day feast that so many of us are blessed to gorge ourselves on will, by God’s grace, come around again next year.  My sister-in-law is the usual head chef at our yearly family gathering.  (Personally, I prefer to stay in the background and help with the clean-up.)  The main thing with the traditional meal, however, is the fun and hilarity that can follow shortly after about the first ten minutes of feasting and before the tryptophan kicks in. Continue reading “Feast on which beast?”

Investments, and other secrets

wood 2I’m not a financier.  I generally pray before I attempt to balance my checkbook.  Bob isn’t much of a high-tier money guy either, except that D-E-B-T is probably the foulest 4-letter word in his vocabulary, (and growing up an athlete, he knows a few.)

It was an amazing act of Providential grace and Sovereign foresight that all three of our girls got through with their college bachelor degrees without school debt.  Sure, we worked and saved, and they worked and saved, but there were some other pretty amazing things that happened.  It is also a testimony to the hand of God that we paid off our house, (such as it is…), around the time of the housing fiasco/market recession of 07/08.  How did that happen?  Continue reading “Investments, and other secrets”

Dressed for success (or survival)

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280When our post-modern (whatever that means) cultural philosophy asserts that humankind is morally evolving, I like to review statements like this…

“But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves.”

…which could easily be a sound byte from CNN or FoxNews, whichever slant on reality you prefer.

The context of this fascinating OT story is that the reputation of people of Israel as a strong and conquering nation of some strong and conquering God was moving relentlessly through the land, unstoppable.  Their fight or flight options were not pleasant, so these Gibeonites decided to think outside the box… Continue reading “Dressed for success (or survival)”

“Recalibrating…”

wood 2My big brother’s phone GPS is set to a British accent, which I think is pretty cool. 

It’s also appropriate, since he’s quite well traveled due to his job—China, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Great Britain, and more.  Because of the well known company he represents, it’s important that he is culturally astute. 

Naturally, that also includes the food that is put before you.  This is where the manners our mother taught us comes into play, because Jim says there are three kinds of food: Normal, Risque, and Out There. Continue reading ““Recalibrating…””

Drivers’ Ed…again

wood 2One of my brothers works for a major pharmaceutical company and, as such, is a well-seasoned international traveler.  At this writing, he has yet another business trip coming up, this time to a place where, unfortunately, he will have to get rent his own vehicle and drive to the company’s site himself.  Not that that’s necessarily problematic; it’s just that the traffic laws in said country are more, um…suggestive, than in ours.

He’ll be careful.  We’ll be prayerful. 

Which makes me appreciate not only the little dotted and solid lines in our lanes here, but also the whole concept of why they’re important enough to be enforced: because people get really hurt otherwise.  In my Continue reading “Drivers’ Ed…again”

Not the person I thought…

quillHere’s something new.  My bloggish buddy, The Excitement Plan, posted this poem with her own interpretation, which I thought was so very great that I asked if I could share her thoughts on my “Not My Poetry” place.  

Not the Person I Thought~~

Continue reading “Not the person I thought…”

Who turned off the light?

wood 2Bob keeps turning the lights off.  I can always tell if he’s been through a room after me when I walk back in and the room is now dark.  He’s even turned off the light with me still in the room, (conditioned response—“oops, sorry, honey!”)

Ostensibly, this is to save power, which means to save money, and my husband definitely loves to save money.  Not that he’s not generous, some might say to a fault, but when it comes to getting the monthly bills, yeah, our house is pretty dark.  One of our girls bought him this gift one year: Continue reading “Who turned off the light?”

Where’s the broom and dust pan?

wood 2I think I used to somewhat deceive myself that once my three children flew the coup, my house would be a more organized residence.

 What a joke.

 The reality I have had to face a long time ago (and Bob has patiently and lovingly embraced this with my other idiosyncrasies) is that I am a “messy girl”.  Now, add our big, black dog to that mix, and my fur-covered carpet and floors just underscore that truth.

messy

By contrast, everywhere my folks go, improves.  Amazingly.  They are both from the builder generation, and are themselves two of the most disciplined and selfless people you could hope to find.  Continue reading “Where’s the broom and dust pan?”