Still Water Reflections

quillA great idea (in the form a beautiful poem) from Enthusiastically, Dawn, (yes!  another Dawn to BLESS the blogosphere, just sayin’!!)  If you haven’t seen her site, definitely stroll over (her Instagram is fun also).  Here’s a thinker for us all today:

Still Water Reflections by Dawn Paoletta

I have an idea…

for you

to keep you from judging your peers,

to help you not criticize your neighbor –

the one who brings out your fears…

that person you just don’t get

yet.

Am I judging my peers,  criticizing my neighbor?

Do I? Am I?

I have an idea, for you-

to keep you from logs in your eyes,

to keep you from tripping over them

to guard against compromise,

to help you listen, really listen to another

not just think your thoughts

while they talk

and you supposedly listen,

waiting to interject- and inject your

poison.

Do I listen, really listen?

Does my compassion and empathy rise

or do I just wait to stop pretending

I’m listening?

Do I listen? Do I lie?

I have an idea for you,

to keep you from corrupt

communication

to help you not discuss with others,

what was never meant for discussion.

To keep you from speaking lies, disguised

as truth,  masquerading as prayer

but lacking the one thing that matters

before words are ever spoken about another :

love.

Is grace my motive to speak?

Do I love that which I speak of?

Am I guilty of slander or gossip?

Do I hate?

Do I? Am I?

I have an idea, for you-

one to keep you shining like gold,

one to help you reign in your tongue

whether you’re young or old:

Do you grumble under your breath,

murder others with your speech,

excusing your comments and conversation

before you begin to preach?

The words that flow from your mouth,

may seem wise in light of today,

but if you don’t stop the flow,

how can you ever pray?

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“Can you hear me now?”

IMG_20150103_172451138Several years ago we finally went the way of modern innovation by disconnecting our land line in preference to our cell phones.  That was a big step when you consider my children themselves actually bought us an answering machine for the old phone prior to that since they “could never get a hold of” us.  Of course, Bob’s cell is of little use since he leaves it lying on the dresser in the front room…all the time.

Yes, technology comes slowly to my home.

telephone-167068_1280The challenge I have with cells phones is the inconsistency.  Depending on “the service area” and “the carrier”, calls get dropped, or can be really hard to hear.  Our eldest daughter used to live in a part of L.A. notorious for bad cell reception.  During one wild fire season, (akin to our Midwestern tornado season I am told), I received something like this:

“Hi Mom….(crzhrhhhrzzz)….fires close…(zxsssssgrrrrccrr)….heard on news, ok for now….(chrrrrrsszzarckkkkk)…..

Naturally, when something important like that is coming through, one tends to strain a little more to get the message.  I think that’s also an old teacher trick to quiet down some unruly kids; i.e., start talking more softly, and curiosity gets the best of them if nothing else.  With all the newer brain studies and neuro-imagining (talk about technology!), I’d love to see what the brain looks like when it’s really focused on something.

I figure God knew something about this magnificent piece of organic technology we call the brain (since He created it) when Jesus said this:

“To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”

Interestingly, He’s not just talking about more knowledge, but more understanding.  That is, application, and how it all fits together in the context of the larger picture.  A.K.A., wisdom.  The challenge,…no, the danger comes when I don’t discipline myself to listen, even strain if you will, because we all know in our work-a-day world of noise both external and internal, real listening is a lost art. 

To only hear the first part of that phone call from California might have set off a small panic, but focused attention to get the FULL message, even though some of the words were muffled, gave me what I needed to know.  The rest was verifiable later in a follow up phone call.

God is speaking, albeit sometimes in a “still, small voice”, that strategic teacher voice.  It’s just a matter of if I’m in a place of adequate reception.

Matthew 13:12  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.

Rules

quill

Here is a thought provoking offering by Wayward Spirit.  Not being a poet myself, I asked her what her interpretation is, and so after the poem is her fascinating commentary.

Rules

I wish I knew
The presence of
The muse
Deeper than I feel
The firmness of
What rules

In other words…

yelling-35825_1280

Fools have no interest in understanding;
    they only want to air their own opinions.

Proverbs 18:2  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.

OK, OK, so the shorts are padded already!

KATYFor cycling, I wear padded, spandex biking shorts.  Yes, I do.  I readily admit this conjures up a somewhat unpleasant and even humorous mental image for a lady with salt-and-pepper hair (emphasis on the salt), but there it is.  Now, my husband, who also wears the padded shorts while cycling (and cuts a much better figure in them than I do, just sayin’) has two very practical rules for wearing spandex.  I share them here:

Bob’s two rules for wearing spandex—

Rule #1 To wear spandex, you must have the right body type, and….

Rule #2 ….nobody has the right body type.

No matter, I wear it anyway because otherwise I’m in pain.  It’s affectionately referred to as “saddle soreness”, which I get even with the padding if I haven’t been diligently riding my bike enough.  It’s that infamous truism, if you don’t use it, you lose it. 

Of course, that’s a phrase that’s been around a long time and applies to more important issues then my derrière on a hard little cycle-saddle.  For example, my algebra skills are markedly decayed, but I’m pretty doggone good at making (and eating) homemade pizza.  Evidently, skills aren’t the only Continue reading “OK, OK, so the shorts are padded already!”