ASSUME nothing

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’ve used this media file before, (that’s what we call it now, I suppose, at least it sounds more impressive that “picture”.) 

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http://www.amazon.com

Media file wasn’t a phrase when Norman Rockwell was around, or if it was, it certainly wasn’t digital.  Just about everything is digital now-a-days.  I still haven’t quite figured out what that means, as opposed to analog, I mean.  Continue reading “ASSUME nothing”

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It stings!

In the mass hysteria that is the superhero-universe phenom, here are a couple of guys that are somewhat overlooked:

green hornet (1)
Credit: Newsweek/google images

Give it time.  Hollywood will find a way.

The other kind of hornet is more real in my personal experience as a school nurse, however.  One of the custodians in my school building was called to go kill a wasp or two flying around inside the building one the second day of school because there were a couple of kiddos registered as “allergic”.  (SOOOooo glad the teachers read my notes to them—thank you and I love you!!)

Clearly, stinging insects have been around doing their thing for a long time: Continue reading “It stings!”

Just For the Record

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Bob will confirm that I’m not very proficient at keep track of things.  To parody the old phrase, he says that I have “places for things, and everything in their places.”  Same with finances, and although I’ve improved immensely over the years, I do still generally pray prior to any attempt at balancing my checkbook.  (It rattles Bob’s cage a bit if I do anything with his. I just don’t tell him about it until after the fact; it prevents anxiety.)

All this makes it even more incredible that I’m in nursing since we have to keep track of EVERYTHING, like when someone sneezes, and what color it was. 

Okay, right, that was gross without warning, (so is nursing), and mild hyperbole, (depending).  But you get my drift.  I tell people that there is mass deforestation when I return to work as a school nurse in the late summer with all the required record-keeping and paper work that transpires.  At least now with computers and email, some of that can be mitigated, but even so, documentation in some form continues. 

Continue reading “Just For the Record”

Roger, Wilco

plane-607224_1920This past summer Bob and I enjoyed visiting my parents in their beautiful Midwest retirement community—it’s like a college campus for the over-60 crowd.  They’re incredible!  Interestingly, we were also roaming around the California Redwood Forest just few weeks prior to that, and in my mind, there is a striking resemblance between the two in more ways than one, if you get my drift.

Now a retired engineer, Dad is a United States Navy veteran who worked as a mechanic on airplanes, and his stories keep me spellbound.  While we were visiting, a neighbor stopped in.  Mr. B is a 90+-year-old U.S.A.F. bomber pilot vet from World War II.  (Triple exclamation marks…!!!) Continue reading “Roger, Wilco”

Whazyurhurry?

wood 2Oklahoma—where the wind comes sweeping down the plane….

…but what Rogers and Hammerstein don’t bother to tell you is that many times “the wind” comes in a twisting form; so here’s the place on the planet where occurs the highest number of tornadoes, but you can’t have a basement because the soil content is too poor. 

Well isn’t that’s just fine. Continue reading “Whazyurhurry?”

When limitations become lamentations

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Biting off more that you can chew—now there’s a good American idiom!  And it pretty well describes one of my ongoing challenges, physically, professionally, relationally.  If enough is good, more is better, and saving for a rainy day (another fine old saying from who knows when) can turn into moth-eaten clothing or mouse-eaten…well, mice eat all kinds of disgusting things.

Not that I’m into wanton spending either.  I have to be careful, especially with time commitments; Bob says I tend to “give away the store”.  It’s also sometimes difficult for me to share responsibilities, you know, just easier to get it done myself.

However, there is an important fulcrum that I miss when I start playing the psychological game commonly known as “Turf Wars”.  This easily could have happened here as Joshua was slicing up the hard-fought for land of the Israelites:

“This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Simeon. Their allocation of land came from part of what had been given to Judah because Judah’s territory was too large for them. So the tribe of Simeon received an allocation within the territory of Judah.”

Boundaries are good.  Actually, good is too generic a term; boundaries are crucial, without which there is no clear definition, identification, or even personality.  In personal terms, when I set my own (emotional, mental, physical, etc.) boundaries, I become increasingly in control—and therefore accountable—for what comes in and out of my personhood.  That sounds nice and psychological, because it is.  I didn’t come up with it; Dr. Henry Cloud did in his book about (guess what) boundaries.

What I see in Old Testament land distribution by Joshua applies also today: 

Judah’s plot was too big, meaning they couldn’t manage it all, which in turn meant large portions would be overrun by wild animals and unwanted non-Israelites again.  This would cause (a) the need for additional clean out, (with potential loss of life, and certainly loss of time—horribly inefficient from a managerial standpoint), and/or (b) the re-infiltration of pagan religious thought, which could trigger a gross backsliding of the Judean tribe, (again, not a pretty picture, based on what did eventually happen to the whole of the nation.)

So God had a good idea, as is His habit.  And Joshua listened, and obeyed.

Unfortunately, what happens oftentimes today, a large load is given to a particular saint, or group of saints, maybe one particular church.  God may bless him/her/them with a favor or outpouring or mission field, whatever. Open doors, open hearts, (open pockets).  YEA!  Go for it! 

THEN, once it gets overwhelming, rather than ask for help or receive the help that God graciously sends, (and He can creatively send it in oh-so-many ways), we choose to see that as an intrusion into “my/our” territory. 

We allow our “turf wars” to severely limit the progress of God’s kingdom on earth, AND free up unused territory otherwise slotted for His Kingdom for another, complete with a wild beast that likes to “kill, steal, and destroy.” 

All because we were too proud and short-sighted to allow the territory to be fully occupied by God’s people…

…even if they weren’t in my immediate “tribe”.

Joshua 19:8-9 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.

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)”

How much more?

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’m intrigued by the story of the people of Gibeon who, seeing destruction on the horizon in the form of the relentlessly advancing Israeli nation coming out of the desert, decide to don some thrift-store thread bares and make like they’ve come from afar.  In so doing, Joshua, the Hebrew leader, thinks these are actually NOT people slated for destruction (per God’s instruction) but just neighboring folks, so he makes a binding oath to leave them alone.

Oops.

After the gig is up, and Joshua realizes he’s been duped, (and that it’s too late to reneg…being God’s reputation and all), the Gibeonites become their servants, which means they are now under Israeli protection as well. Continue reading “How much more?”

A, B, C, or all of the above.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’ve had a history of being a black/white, good/bad, either/or kind of person.  Give me a true/false or multiple choice test, and I’m okay.  But asking me to pull an answer out of my gray matter without any prompts is a bit more of a challenge. 

Life, however, tends not to extend itself to us in either/or definitions.  And humans, being the limited thinkers we are, tend not to appreciate that.  Dare that we would think there may be options of which we are unaware!!

Here’s just one example: either (A) God is not all-powerful to end the world’s suffering, or (B) He is not all-loving as He says He is.

Joshua, of Jericho fame, ran into that intellectual wall (pardon the pun).

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”

“ Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.”

Now, here was something Joshua hadn’t even considered, and I can only imagine it gave him pause (if not a heart attack, as I hear angels can be pretty scary…)

The point is not to try answering all the questions, because when one is attended to, invariably another will surface.  Satan has many of them; he’s been at this for years.  Not that God doesn’t invite our questions and concerns, but there comes a point in every disciple’s life when the unanswered questions must give way to a trusting relationship with the God whom we can “know sufficiently but not exhaustively.” 

In other words, God is not defined by our multiple choice answers.  He defines Himself to us.

Joshua 5:1, 14  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.

“This Old House”, (which happens to be mine)

IMG_20150103_172451138I guess some people still think that co-habitation is a smart thing before marriage, you know, to make sure they’re compatible and other such nonsense.  I have a better idea: during some of the home improvements when we first moved into our current abode, I decided then and there that it should be federal mandate for couples to work together renovating an old house prior to being issued a marriage license. 

I daresay fewer couples would continue to “co-habit”.

My husband is meticulous.  I, on the other hand, am not quite so patient.  He’s sees one job; I see ten.  He can focus for hours; I am, well, not usually quite that skilled.  Nor careful I might add.  Blogger brother Wally Fry posted a meme that pretty much hits the mark HERE. (I don’t know where he and his wife, Heather, find these things, but they’re so dag-gum true!)

However, despite my sometimes counterproductive hyperactivity, God’s plan Continue reading ““This Old House”, (which happens to be mine)”