Charlotte, in all her glory

At this writing, my back is still sore from hauling dirt to the garden and turning the two big compost bins with my American Gothic-esque pitchfork a couple days ago.  Sad commentary on my current level of fitness.  I’ve also been neglecting the compost for most of the winter, unfortunately.  Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to warmer temps coming back more consistently to my part of the planet, and I want to take advantage of them. 

Another thing that also returns with the rising thermometer are the arachnoids… Continue reading “Charlotte, in all her glory”

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Just a thought

wood 2

We become like the entities we worship.

[King Ahab’s] worst outrage was worshiping idols* just as the Amorites had done—the people whom the Lord had driven out from the land ahead of the Israelites.”

*NLT note: “The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.”

Too bad he didn’t know this part of the Book—

“And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”

‘Nuf said.

1 Kings 21:26; Psalm 135:18  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.

It’s Complicated…(Part 1)

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’m not into overt government control, but anarchy doesn’t appeal to me either; I’m much, MUCH too familiar with human nature to rely on our own ability to play nice together.  That’s why this statement from the Old Testament book of Judges is really quite chilling—

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”

No king, including Yahweh God anymore, evidently. What used to be a theocracy was no longer, so do-your-own-thing was the rule of the day. Here are just a few examples: Continue reading “It’s Complicated…(Part 1)”

If A, then B…or not.

wood 2Bob says my head is a scary place to visit.  Truth be told, he does occasionally admit that that’s one of the reasons he married me 35+ years ago.  To this day, he says that I’m “irregular”.  In the common sense, it’s both a blessing…and a curse.

I tried teaching myself logic from an authentically academic book.  Not the term “logic” that is generously used in everyday usage, although that idea harkens back to the true definition, I suppose.  One of the few things I got out of this autodidactic exercise, (besides that fact that I probably wasn’t going to learn this without a qualified teacher…), is that false premises lead to faulty conclusions.  In other words, Continue reading “If A, then B…or not.”

God’s “love language*”

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280In the part of the Christian pool that I tend to swim in, corporate and private worship takes on many different forms.  Personally, I not one to dance, but I don’t begrudge those who find that particular expression of worship fulfilling.  I do like singing, as well as “dinging, shaking, and otherwise banging” on various instruments.  And generally, those swimming around with me don’t begrudge me that, either.

I was very, very blessed to grow up in a deeply authentic denominational church with a L-O-N-G history of evangelical mission-oriented Continue reading “God’s “love language*””

What’s in YOUR wallet?

wood 2

It kind of sounds like paper money is rapidly becoming an antiquated art form; even though we still use it here in the US, my daughter in Norway informs me that nobody really uses paper (including checks) over there; “money” is either in the form of plastic or is digitalized via e-devices. 

Sigh.  Yet another piece of skillful beauty succumbs to society’s need for efficiency, (similar to the LP record jackets giving way to small CD covers only to fall prey to artless MP3 players.)  I suppose those in-the-know have decided that such a form of monetary movement is somehow more secure, which in my opinion is debatable.  But as usual, I was not consulted.

Not only is the craftsmanship of our paper money exquisite, but through the years, different features have been added to make it increasingly difficult for counterfeiters, unarguably artisans in their own right, to succeed in their objective.  Case in point: did you know that if you hold up a magnifying glass (since my multifocals are obviously not sufficiently empowered…) to the rim of the main Continue reading “What’s in YOUR wallet?”

Spiritual speed traps

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280In, lo, these many years of driving, I had never had even one point against my license, despite what my husband refers to a my “lead foot”. There is in our small town, however, a place drivers affectionate refer to as a “speed trap”—you know, the limit is 30mph, but in a few yards it goes up to 45, and in between the road gently slopes downward…

bodyworn-794099_1920The officer was nice. Nonetheless, I was a several dollars poorer and a few “points” wiser. 

The idea is that I was responsible for what I didn’t know, but should have known.  I didn’t know I was going ____mph over the speed limit.  I didn’t know there was an officer just biding his time.  Both of these bits of information would have been helpful in preventing my mishap, but no matter.  I still had to “pay the man.”

Which makes King Josiah’s response so much the better in my mind.

After a long and sordid line of (mostly) wicked rulers over God’s people, Josiah had a interesting idea—let’s follow our God.  In fixing up the temple, one of the workers found the Book, the Law where their God explains the conditions of the covenant with the people. 

Now, the king was already on the right track in terms of his heart-attitude, and being raised in a very ungodly and confusing family/social environment, he was doing what he could with what he had.  But when presented with this additional info, his reaction was, well, possibly a bit better than mine when I was pulled over…

“When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.”

One of our family catch-phrases is “what am I supposed to do with this information.”  It’s really a good test to see if there is something the other person is expecting from me, or if he/she is simply, you know, just talking.  This seems to be exactly what Josiah did, and he discovered, in no uncertain terms, that God wasn’t just talking.

Someone once said that the Holy Spirit speaks to those whose hearts are positioned to act upon His instructions.  So when Josiah heard God speak, he took one of the offensive idols and…

“…he burned it. Then he ground the ashes of the pole to dust…”

Pretty definitive statement, that.  And it wasn’t the only culture shift that was made as Josiah “turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength”.  Love it.  The kingdom of Judah was responsible for what they had neglected to know (even though it had been available), but God blessed them for the changes, (formidable ones, difficult ones), that were accomplished.

It would behoove us to follow his example.

2 Kings 22:11; 2 Kings 23:6   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.

Trade In Value

 

wood 2We drive old cars.  No, I mean old—not vintage, not antique, not retro.  There is no moniker of dignity you can put on the age of our automobiles.  Case in point, the morning I approached the garage to go to work only to notice that both our vehicles had been “broken into”.  I say that tongue in cheek, since one of the cars we dared not lock anymore, or it might be locked forever.  I giggled all the way to work, since there was really nothing of value to take and the would-be burglars wasted precious time.

But they are paid for, they run (usually) and somehow Continue reading “Trade In Value”

B.Y.O.G…. (Bring Your own God)

 

IMG_20150103_172451138Prior to the 1700’s, the concept of the supernatural was taken for granted.  You worshiped something, somewhere, society even becoming largely defined as a “B.Y.O.G.” (Bring Your Own God).  The thought that we are not alone in this universe was simply self-evident. 

 Then came the so-called Enlightenment, and that mode of thinking crept in as a polar opposite ideology throughout all strata of society disguised as rational, scientific, and evolved.  The supernatural was quite passé, and the human intellect took center stage.  There was clearly no room for any deity among the test tubes and Bunsen burners.

 So I continue to think it most Continue reading “B.Y.O.G…. (Bring Your own God)”

Mirror, mirror…

IMG_20150106_175751214 (2)Today, I am 57.  I’m reaching that age where you look in the mirror and think, “who is that old woman?!”  I will confess that I’m still working on this adulthood thing.  I’d say most of my grownup life I’ve been pretty responsible.  Being in charge of a 40-bed wing of a big city hospital at the sagacious age of 20 tends to bring that out in you, that is, if you (and your patients) are going to survive.  And believe me, there were times it could seem like an emotional and mental warzone.

Unfortunately, being responsible is not the same as being mature.  Maturity, I am still learning, is a matter of jurisdiction over one’s own heart, and it will Continue reading “Mirror, mirror…”