I’m a bit fascinated by the concept of Prayer Wheels. Put somewhat simplistically, a Prayer Wheel is cylindrical collection of Buddhist mantras wrapped around a central core that turns (usually clockwise) so that every time it makes a full revolution, the virtue (“merit”) of those scripted prayers are incurred by the one who turns it. It’s generally recommended that the practitioner use a form of meditation at the same time, but I’ve read that, even in a distracted state of mind, merit is still obtained. The more it is turned, the more benefit is received. This from Lamayeshe.com: Continue reading “The wheel keeps turning, but am I going anywhere? (Prayer journal #3, cont…)”
I had no idea how much my middle adult daughter loves jigsaw puzzles! We rarely did any when she was growing up, just not my thing, you know. She says it’s a stress buster, and just plain fun.
Now that I know this little tidbit of info this one who lives half a continent away, I’ve decided to give her a year-long birthday present of a puzzle a month. Only with a little twist: Bob and I will build the puzzle first, turning it over when completed and writing a message on the back.
She’s all in!
But wait, there’s more. I’ve sent out an APB to family to get them involved. Now, when the hub and I finish a puzzle, I (carefully) wrap it up and mail it to different family members for THEM to write/color/draw on the back, send it back to me (postage pre-paid) and then I break it up and send it off to its new coastal home.
They’re all in!
Okay, yeah, this is getting expensive. Hopefully I’ll have some ready and rolled up when we travel to actually be with family and get a few done in advance that way. It’ll be worth it though, helping my middle child connect with family in a unique way, dontchaknow?! Continue reading “Puzzled”
Neuroplasticity, (and other foreign languages).
I’m trying to learn Swedish. My son-in-law, the family Swede, says that such a project is not terribly practical since only an impressive minority of people on the planet speak his native tongue.
Since when is the grandmother of the most precious one-year-old in the universe expected to be practical?? So, Duolingo gives me updates on how I’m doing. Currently, it says I’m around 34% fluent in Swedish.
Clearly, they define “fluency” differently than I do. For example, if I wanted to say something like, “your dinosaur has a funny nose”, I would be woefully lost for words.
And Duolingo doesn’t teach you any expletives, which probably a good thing when you’re a 58-year-old trying to learn a new language…. Continue reading “Neuroplasticity, (and other foreign languages).”
Bob has been a little concerned about my hearing. Of course, when it comes to watching our beloved British shows on TV, we both have to turn up the volume, if you get my drift. Our very entrenched Midwest American minds don’t always pick up the subtleties of our Anglo-neighbors, and we end up asking each other—
“What did he just say?”
“I dunno…turn it up.”
Neither of us want to miss any of the important plot developments for lack of communication, y’know.
Which is absolutely what could have happened here, but thankfully somebody was listening closely: Continue reading “Say, what??”
Things that don’t make sense…
Things that don’t make sense:
- Why flight attendants give instructions on how to use the inflatable life jacket on a flight from Kansas City to to Los Angeles. It seems these items would be much benefit flying over Kansas wheat fields or the Rockies. Granted, my geography isn’t so good, but maybe they know something I don’t? (Corollary: why don’t we get parachutes instead?)
- Why “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing. (As if the English language isn’t confusing enough, even for those of us who grew up with it.)
- Why a black hat stands for the bad guy and a white hat stands Continue reading “Things that don’t make sense…”
If at first…
I’m writing this in the early weeks of autumn as the leaves are beginning to succumb to gravity and the thermometer is gratefully beginning its slow decline from the ravages of an early hot, dry summer. I’ve cleaned out my garden plots, pruning back a tomato tree; I’ve never seen one get that big and bushy and likewise produce so little fruit (there’s another analogy there, I suppose), and the zinnias basically cut off the sun from the struggling lavender. Evidently, I was not aware of the potential within the plants, the effect of such good dirt, and the needs of the individual varieties. So I’ll try it all again when this old planet limps back around the sun once more this Spring.
I’ve decided that gardening is not only a science, but an art. Unfortunately, I’m not much of either, except like Edison, in that if it doesn’t work the first 999 times, persistence might make the 1000th be the winner.
I am, at the very least, persistent.
Relationships, I’ve decided, are also both a science and an art as well. We have three children. We had them early in our marriage, and I was young. I didn’t really even know myself very well, and here I was mothering three little girls, all with different personalities, talents, and destinies! Are you kidding me??
As they were approaching that wonderful American invention called “adolescence”, Bob and I did a Gary Smalley personality survey on ourselves and our kiddos.
Our eldest is a Golden Retriever—let’s take care of everybody and make them feel loved.
Our middle is more of a Beaver, organizing, accomplishing, business-minded.
Our youngest (sigh) is a full scale Lion….the kind with teeth and claws. This is not a bad thing, and I sigh only in part because her mother is an Otter. An a fun-loving, fly-the-seat-of-your-pants Otter. An Otter raising a Lion.
Yet another proof that God has a sense of humor.
I love this passage from Isaiah and leave it here for an encouragement to young mothers:
“The farmer knows just what to do,
for God has given him understanding.
A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin;
rather, it is beaten with a light stick.
A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin;
instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.
Grain for bread is easily crushed,
so he doesn’t keep on pounding it.
He threshes it under the wheels of a cart,
but he doesn’t pulverize it.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher,
and he gives the farmer great wisdom.”
And just as there is no cookie-cutter approach to child-raising, God does not use the same approaches with us, His children, either. How boring would that be?? What He is, is persistent.
So Edison and I are good company.
Isaiah 28:26-29 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.
In other words…
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
1 Corinthians 9:19-22 Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ye Olde Blogge, or, “Oh, it’s you again…”
This month I’ve been blogging for two years, and having a ball doing it, meeting terrific people and being encouraged in my own journey with God. I’ve recently met yet another very cool person via the blogosphere who is just starting out and asking me for advice. (Yes, asking ME!! Seriously?!?)
So I confidently sent her the WordPress Blogging U. link, and also told her that in addition to those several and free courses, (emphasis on the word “free”), we are abundantly provided with tutorials to browse on our own, trying things out here and there and at our chosen pace.
At least, that’s what I did. And I’m happy that I still can, especially as the company upgrades and changes “the look” I have grown accustom to when I first started. Plus, I know there are some improvements I need to make in the look and ease of the site, some strategies I’d like to try. But here is one of the most interesting take-aways I’ve gleaned from the experience, especially starting out as I did from the ground level, just slightly above “this is where you turn on the computer”:
Persistence is priceless.
If the look I wanted didn’t happen the first time, then let’s give it another go. Let’s see what’s available, or insert this particular widget, or drag and click on this button. Then there’s always the option of (gasp!) reading the directions, again,…and again. Or asking questions. And funny thing, shock of shocks—it works!! Of course, I’ve never been one terribly intimidated by the trial and error process anyway, and really, the security of the free world does not depend on the quality of my website…
Which translates into the intangible reality of our relationship with God. The prophet Hosea knew this. After exposing the error of the people’s idolatry (and accompanying observable behaviors) which was to be followed by the long-forecasted consequences, he then calls them to this hope:
“…Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn…”
God is not intimidated by our trial and error, even with Him. Reference King David! Simon Peter! Moses! One thing these guys had in common was that they never gave up. It was never a question of God showing up; it was, rather, up to them to keep at it, even in the face of personal confusion or temporary moral defeat.
Because, when it come to a quality relationship with the Almighty God, persistence is priceless, and really, the security of someone else’s eternity may actually depend on it.
Hosea 6:3 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.
Are we there yet?
Bob and I saw the movie, Arrival, on the big screen when it, well, arrived (…smile). He’s a real heady sci-fi fan; that is, explosions in space are fine, but he prefers the more cerebral plots, and this flick definitely filled the bill. If you haven’t seen it, no spoiler here. Suffice it to say that the Earthlings must be very intentional and persistent in learning to communicate with this obviously advanced race of beings, even in the face of fear, opposition, and unrecognized danger from outside sources who misunderstand.
Bob loved it; I walked out with a migraine, but that wasn’t the movie’s fault. Despite the headache, I was still thinking about the Continue reading “Are we there yet?”
I follow my actor-brother-in-law, Doug Jones, on Instagram and Facebook. We rarely get to see his face, but he has been nonetheless amazing as Pan in Pan’s Labyrinth, the fish/man Abe Sapion in Hellboy, the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four, and Chochise in Falling Skies, to name just a few. And we just found out that he is going to be (yet another) alien in the up and coming Star Trek spin-off Discovery.
Of course, I’m old school, with the original Kirk and Spock and Bones and Scottie and all that. But far be it from me to consider myself a snobbish connoisseur of fine sci-fi—I also enjoyed Galaxy Quest, and the “famous” quote from Captain Jason Nesmith, “never give up, never surrender!”
So, okay, I’ve not yet donned any cosplay nor stood in line for hours to talk to a personal hero of the silver screen. Heck, I hang out with Doug and Laurie on fam-jams anyway, and they ARE heroes in my book!
I also appreciate the actors in the Hebrews 11 “Heroes of the Faith” line up—it reads like something out of one of Doug’s movie credits. Allow me to review (from my human perspective):
Gideon, cowering in the barn trying to hide his grain, and who needed a fleece (twice) to convince him of God’s answer.
Moses, who’s recorded conversation with God (as if standing in front of the burning bush wasn’t enough) is replete with “but God!?!”
Sarah and Abraham, who both thought God needed a little help, (since that always turns out well…)
Amazingly, God chooses to interpret their history differently:
“Their weakness was turned to strength.”
Say what? How is it that God somehow overlooks, not only their failures, but also the consequences of those failures, and chooses instead to record in the New Testament rendition (for all eternity, no less) their successes?
Like it or not, “oops” is part of a Christian’s vernacular, and “I’m sorry” should roll off the tongue more and more easily as time goes on. One important thing that can be said for these heroes of the faith is that they never gave up. They may have given in a few times, but they never gave up.
In that, Captain Kirk has nothing on Captain Nesmith.
Hebrews 11:34 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.