Dante in a graphic novel??

wood 2I’ve mentioned before that Bob and I take on a somewhat Rockwellian look as he reads to me while I crochet in my great-grandmother’s rocking chair.  At this writing, we’re still on Ayn Rand’s famous American novel, Atlas Shrugged, but are somewhat bogged down in the author’s voluminous rant via the character John Galt.  I finally opted out when my more intellectual half offered to read the rest of that chapter on his own and pick me back up when the plot resumes…

Bob has also read the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Euclid.  Why, you may ask?  Not sure.  I’ve enjoyed some Virgil and Augustine, but I also tend toward Calvin and Hobbes.  (In all honesty, Bob is well rounded  Continue reading “Dante in a graphic novel??”

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Run, run, run-away

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280The Israelite judge, Jephthah, is generally known for the weird story about his daughter, poor kid.

But I think we generally miss the importance of this guy’s backstory and how God may have used it to his (and His) advantage.

Back in those days, having sons was pretty well tantamount to status (as opposed to having daughters; now where they thought the baby boys came from, gets me…)  And although even our secular Western culture has fairly well done away with that mindset, they (and us) still deal with the “world’s oldest profession”. 

So while Jephthah’s dad, Gilead, had several socially legitimate sons, little Jephthah was not one of them, and was treated accordingly. 

“…and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. ‘You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, ‘for you are the son of a prostitute.’  So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him.”

Because, back then, with those kinds of credentials, that’s about all the following you’re going to get.  I can only imagine what hardship he must have suffered going from the house of his father (probably bullied while he was growing up anyway, but at least provided for) to ousted into the “real world”, possibly as a teenager.  Homeless.  Despised.  Without family or connections.  Or money.

As usual, the plot thickens—

“At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel.  When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob.  The elders said, ‘Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!’ But Jephthah said to them, ‘Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?’”

Run off the farm, rather than living in the lap of luxury, Jephthah has been hardened by life’s boot camp, and is now evidently the one most suited for rescuing those same brothers with soft, un-callused hands. 

And rescue he does, like the rushing in of the cavalry. 

The point is this.  People do us injustices.  We have to suffer the consequences of others’ stupidity, prejudices, unkindness, or just low-down thoughtlessness.  I’m bullied, kicked out of the club, whether physically or emotionally.  Bereft.  Alone.  (At least it feels that way.)

But God has other plans, and this is just part of the Divine Boot Camp.  Plans for rescue, not vengeance, for redemption, and restoration, and it may be for the very ones who turned me out.  

man-2257145_1920Jephthah’s hands and muscles may have become just as soft as his brothers had he stay in his dad’s house all that time.  Instead, he became the hero.

Which is God’s training for all of us, to be heroes in one way or another. 

Judges 11:2-7 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.

Pass the duct tape

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Boy, how I wish I had purchased stock in duct tape!  Not only do they now have this universally revered product in a seemingly infinite array of colors and patterns, but have you seen the bandaids with the same kind of fiber embedded in them?  They’re the BEST!  (And, as a school nurse, I am, after all, a connoisseur of fine bandaids.) Do they even use it for ducts anymore?  I wonder if they took a roll of it into space during the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission; I seem to remember Tom Hanks and his crew using it…

I have discovered, however, a weakness in our beloved Continue reading “Pass the duct tape”

Seatbelt sign on

wood 2I’m writing this on the way out to California to visit our eldest and her family.  One thing about typing on a computer in a jet flying through turbulent weather is that I will at least be able to read this later.  Not quite so easy were I writing this longhand.  (Although, that challenge sometimes applies to my handwriting with my feet on terre firma also…)

We’re kinda intermittently bouncing around up here, which reminds me of the time I flew to the Big Apple by myself to see our youngest daughter’s first art show.  At that time, closing in on the airport brought us directly into the path of a thunder and lightning storm, reminiscent of the Midwest I had just left.  It was something out of the beginning of a Steven Spielberg movie; foreboding Continue reading “Seatbelt sign on”

Definitely graphic, but not novel.

IWAA7I love birds.  Not like Audubons love birds, but Bob and I do own a cheap pair of field glasses and a nice Peterson’s Guide.  Here in southern MO, we live in a fly-over zone, and also near a conservation area, so we’re just geeky enough to enjoy a “date” seeing how many avians we can identify.  Our day is made if we are visited by a bald eagle or a close up view of a gaggle of something. 

Listening to Jesus, one would think that His Father was pretty keen Continue reading “Definitely graphic, but not novel.”

There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on!

wood 2Here in the Midwest, we live with tornadoes.  It’s just a way of life; you kind of get used to it, but it’s best not to get TOO used to it, if you get my drift.

One thing we don’t get much of is another kind of “drift”, an earthquake.  Evidently, I’ve been in one without knowing it.  My husband said the test tubes in his lab rattled, but I sure wasn’t privy to anything.  Our family out in California, however, understands this geological phenomenon somewhat more up close and personal.  There’s just something about being woken up with your bed bouncing around that Continue reading “There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on!”

The Kraken (#15)

(Pssst…In case you missed any, you can start from the beginning at THIS LINK.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XV. The Restoration of All Things

A transformation soon ensued from Lordly Griffin wild

To lion then to bleeding lamb, both terrible and mild,

Who laid his wounded head upon the morbid maiden’s breast.

The color came into her cheeks. She breathed as if at rest

 

And then exhaled with softened moan to Galen’s glad surprise

As, with a start, she sat upright and opened long-shut eyes.

The former mist from when she first walked plainly in his sight

Was missing now, and in its place there shined a brighter light.

 

A bleat turned to a lion’s roar and then an eagle’s screech,

Then, suddenly, the Griffin King flew upward out of reach.

As Galen gazed upon the lass, revived in time of need,

From north and west the prophet flew, approaching on his steed.

 

Alighting next, he looked around, excitement on his face,

And smiled at Galen as he said, “Recipient of grace,

Believe your eyes. Be not surprised. It is the right of kings

To fashion something beautiful from dead and broken things.

 

“Now would it be too much to ask, what is this maiden’s name?”

She rose and spoke in wondrous tones, “Through trial I became

More of myself for this good man who sought to know me best.

My parents named me for the stars. Dear sir, I am Celeste.”

 

He joined the couple hand in hand, then to the griffins led.

A far off look was in his eyes as joyfully he said,

“Celeste and Galen, rise and fly. There are but saddles two.

Consent to take one final gift I have to offer you,

 

“In wedded bliss to live within my cottage by the sea,

But here I’ll die. Then this good host will take what’s left of me

To safer shores beyond the veil of this world’s atmosphere

To bow before the Griffin King in reverential fear.

 

“Life’s vivid moments rise and fall like waves upon the shore.

Each breaker passes over me. I want for nothing more.

My sojourn by the ocean past, and, now, my waiting through,

My course is flown. I am fulfilled in what I’ve done for you.”

 

So, tearfully, with warm embrace, they bade their friend goodbye

And, later, perched on griffin backs, conversed within the sky.

They shouted high upon the wind and spoke of many things

Until they reached that happy shore on which the ocean sings.

 

Then, earnestly, they made their vows among the griffin host

And went inside to contemplate what they both treasured most.

They hung their saddles on the wall, forever, some would say.

For after that enchanted ride, the griffins flew away.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The old-fashioned, hand-held, page-turning and fully illustrated version can be ordered at Amazon.com, by Robert L Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood.

God doesn’t say oops.

IMG_20150103_172451138I love that old movie, Frequency, with Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out.  I won’t give away particulars, but the gist is that, due to a strange aurora borealis, John (Caviezel) is using an old Ham radio set and finds that he is able to contact his father (Quaid) some thirty years in the past, PRIOR to John’s father perishing in his job as a firefighter.  Because of this, John warns his father, his dad survives, and the plot thickens from there.  Great flick, on several levels.

Can you only imagine what it would be like if we could be warned in advance of particular events that were going to happen?  And do you wonder if we really could change them, or not? 

So reading this account of Jesus talking to Peter is a bit intriguing.  I do just love Continue reading “God doesn’t say oops.”

Restore the Joy

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We express art in so many different ways.  Some people can sing.  Some people can write songs to be sung.  Some people can play an instrument (or several) accompany the songs that are sung. 

Then there are those who show up as the full meal deal.

Julie is one of those blessed ones, a blessing both for her, and to us.  Check out her blog:  https://isingbecauseimfree.wordpress.com  And here is her poem.

RESTORE THE JOY by Julie Harris

It’s another silent night

I’m searching for your light

Seems You’re so far away

I need your grace today

something’s just not feeling right

though I cannot see, I trust you’re here with me

restore to me the joy, the joy

restore to me the joy of Your salvation

and grant me, grant me

a willing spirit to obey You

restore the joy

upon my knees I wait for you

search my heart and make it new

take away anything

within me hindering

distracting me from seeing Truth

Used with artist permission.  Again, visit Julie and you won’t be disappointed.