The Kraken (#12)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

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

XII. Departure

The morning came when all was done. No task the prophet gave,

Save breakfast, which he barely touched. His countenance was grave.

And Galen’s pulse was quickened then.. His chest began to heave.

He knew just by his master’s look that it was time to leave.

 

“The time has come, “the prophet said and took him by the arm.

“Be carefully attentive lest we come to major harm.

There is more than one aspect to this problem to be solved.

Tomorrow, when the sun is set, this part will be resolved.

 

“Of course,” he paused, “wear proper dress, and don this garment here.

Despite our plan, the Kraken’s speed might best you, and I fear

You’d meet your end within its coils if not for this disguise.

One dressed in white upon the ice stays hidden from its eyes.”

 

Then quickly Galen slipped the robe on top of what he wore

But asked, “However shall we go with no boat on the shore?”

His elder went to fetch the saddles hanging on the wall

And gathered spears. Then, with a rope, he tied and bundled all.

 

He said, “I know your heart is set on striking out by sea,

Yet, nonetheless, we shall proceed as safely as can be.

No vessel born of human hands can breach the Kraken’s lair.

No ship that plies the sea is safe, but these will take us there.”

 

And as he stepped outside the door and pointed overhead,

A flock of griffins landed, calling shrieks to raise the dead.

With eagle’s front and lion’s haunch, and terrible in shape,

Each one arrested Galen’s eyes and held his mouth agape.

 

The wise man held the saddles out in effort to explain.

“Be calm. You should be thankful for the speed that we will gain.

There are no reins. You use your arms to balance as you sit.

The saddles only they allow. Their beaks refuse the bit.”

 

Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed

In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed.

All through the night and into dawn, the expedition flew

To find a world of gray and white had entered into view,

 

A frozen sea encrusted with the ice of broken flows,

Pale, jagged blossoms grown from seeds the deadly tempest sows.

Calm water in an open space was ringed by icy crags,

Bare, lofty, snow blown pinnacles on which the north wind snags.

 

The griffins banked and steered their course to land near water’s edge

And skidded on the hoary frost to stop along a ledge.

“Unpack your spears,” the prophet said, “before it grows too late.”

He added with severity, “It’s here that we must wait.”

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

Not about me?

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I’m gifted.  At least, that’s what my folks were told back when I was in 5th grade.  So they put me in different school for a couple of years, which was really nice of them, since it meant mom had to carpool a few of us “gifted” kids to and fro.  (Never mind that fact that my older brother, who was not recognized as “gifted”, went on to be the Purdue engineer, celebrated in his field as international keynote and author, widely traveled, as well as musician/artist on the side.  Yeah, don’t overestimate manmade “tests” for gifted-ness….just saying.)

Right, so here I am, gifted.  Of course, a gift is something that is innately given, something for which the receiver has no claim to credit, nothing they can legitimately boast about, because it’s, well…a gift.

Which, clearly, can come in all forms, some of which are recognized and valued, some of which are undisclosed and certainly undervalued.  And, just as obviously (at least, to me, maybe that’s part of my “gifted-ness”), what Continue reading “Not about me?”

“Birth”day takes on new meaning when you’re the one birthing

IMG_20150103_172451138To begin with, I haven’t given birth to a baby for over thirty years.  That, in itself, is worthy of thanksgiving.  (And beyond that, if you are a man somewhat faint-of-heart, you might consider going to the next post on your reader…)

Not that I would trade any of it—that miracle of another human being growing within me and then passing through me into the world, and, as my husband’s mother mused when our first was born, someone who is “50% mom, 50% dad, and 100% herself”, well, that’s just unspeakably cool. 

Back in the early ‘80s, they were going with these new things called “birthing rooms”: comfortable bed in a wallpapered, home-like atmosphere, etc.  I got to use one when our first made her global debut.  For all the “coaching” classes we had, poor Bob was ultimately relegated to silence and the important task of providing me with ice chips. 

For our second, however, the birthing room was not available, and so I was taken into the old standard: an operating room atmosphere with Continue reading ““Birth”day takes on new meaning when you’re the one birthing”

What Your Feet Mean to Me

quillYea!  I met a new blogger!  If you haven’t already met him, let me have the pleasure of introducing you to Mr. Rusty Foerger, proprietor of the blogs Curriculum of the Spiritual Life and More Enigma Than Dogma AND the author of this beautiful poem.  Personally, how can anyone deny the existence of God with such a thing as poetry (Or art in general, for that matter, thank you Mr. Chesterton.)  Enjoy this contemplative “selah” moment.

WHAT YOUR FEET MEAN TO ME

You say I am doing a beautiful thing for you.
It’s just like you to say that.
All I am doing is washing your feet with my tears;
They come from a fractured place –
A place of stain and shame;
Now they flow out to clean your feet.

Thank you for not stepping on me with your feet
Or trampling over me;
Or hurrying past me to the next big thing,
Or merely to a better thing.

Thank you for letting your feet be nailed in place – in my place.

Thank you for not kicking me with your legs
Or jumping past me: the undesirable, the unlovable.

Thank you for not holding me down with your arms
Or holding me back with your grip.

Thank you for not raping me with your body,
Or stripping me with your eyes
Or looking past me with your gaze.

Thank you for not abusing me with your lips
Or spitting on me with your mouth.

Thank you for not thinking the worst of me,
Or worse:
not thinking of me at all.

Thank you for walking up to me with these feet, these beautiful feet:
For holding me – for holding me up with your arms.

Thank you for listening to me
When I babble on
When I pray
When I lament
When I sing,

Thank you for seeing me – for seeing into me.
Thank you for being able to overlook my sin
And for being willing to do that.

Thank you for talking to me,
For speaking such fantastic words:
Words like honey
Words like light
Words like rock
Words like flight
Words that sing
Words that ring.

Thank you for forming them into living sound:
Songs of joy
Hymns of truth
Feelings of comfort
Trumps of exaltation!
Pronouncements of peace
Words of wisdom
Psalms of beauty
Proclamations of release!

Thank you for shaping words into keys
To unlock yet another chain, to take off yet another yoke.

Thank you for thinking of me – the best of me.
For such beautiful thoughts, such loving thoughts –
With such a capacity, as if each star you flung into space
Was another bright idea you put into place.

Thank you for Your imagination – the truth of who I am to You.
No one else could find it in themselves to create this truth –
To the contradiction of overwhelming evidence.

While tears had long emptied into a careless street of users
Now each one poured out like a 1000 years, a 1000 pounds, a 1000 moments of darkness.
Now each tear is precious to me, to remind me or what it means to touch your feet.

You say I am doing a beautiful thing for you.
And it’s just like you to say that.
All I am doing is washing your feet with my tears
that come from a fractured place –
Split open by the spring of Your own relentlessness
And made to worship the One I love!

This is what your feet mean to me.

Copyright: Easter 2004; R.H. Foerger

No Tide Pens back then

IMG_20150103_172451138My biological mother was a fabulous 1960’s stay-at-home suburban homemaker.  (My beautiful stepmother was also, I just hadn’t met her yet!)  Now, granted, Mom didn’t waltz around in a dress, heels, and pearls like the old black and white reruns.  But she could clean and cook with the best of them.

And, wow could she sew!  She made play clothes for me, and she even made beautiful formal gowns for herself. 

IMG_20160227_094854094Now play clothes were different than church clothes or school clothes back then.  Play clothes were to do things you expect to get dirty in, like climbing trees.  And your school clothes might even get a bit scuffed up.  But church clothes, if you were fortunate enough to have them, were a bit more top shelf.  Those you kept clean, generally speaking.

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Definitely play clothes for the sandbox Dad made for us.

So this cracks me up when I read what God was preparing for the newly-delivered slaves from Egypt:

“Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful.”

If you remember, Aaron was Moses’ brother, and God had appointed him to be the first installment of the high priesthood of God’s nation, Israel.  This was a pretty big deal, as we can see by the expansively immaculate and expensively decorative apparel that was being prepared for the office.  It included:

  • Fine linen cloth embroidered with gold, purple, blue and scarlet thread complemented by a matching sash,
  • Braided cords of pure gold attached at the shoulder
  • Multiple engraved gems and stones like onyx, emerald, moonstone, turquoise and amethyst, (to name a few) set in gold filigree,
  • A hem of gold bells and colored yarn made into pomegranates
  • A turban sporting an engraved gold medallion.

No offense to my mom, but this was a bit more upscale than what her old Kenmore could crank out.

Now here’s the kicker.  At the dedication of this priesthood:

“Then take some of the blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his sons and on their garments. In this way, they and their garments will be set apart as holy.”

Are you kidding?!  Can you imagine what the “skilled craftsmen (and women)” were thinking when Moses doused their beautiful work with oil and blood?  (And you men, do you have any idea what it’s like trying to get oil and blood out of clothing??)

I just love this.  It’s telling me that whatever I bring to God, my most beautiful craftsmanship (career, music, blogging?), my most precious possession (husband, children, reputation?), must first be covered by the blood (redemption) of Jesus to be fully serviceable, and drenched in the oil (power) of the Holy Spirit to be effective in that service.  Who am I to think otherwise?

So heed a little warning—think before you commit to Christ what you consider your most prized “possession”, because it’s going to get stained. 

For eternity.

 

Exodus 28:2; 29:21  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

By Anonymous (he must be famous by now)

quillThis sweet poem about practical love comes with an even more precious story that can be found at Judy Journeys’ site, Another Perfect Daughter.  It appears to have been penned at least prior to the Great Depression of 1929.  A child’s poem, but more importantly, one with a great lesson for all!

Which Loved Best (by Anonymous)

“I love you, mother,” said little John;
Then left his work, and his cap went on;
Then to the garden, high in the swing,
Left her the water and wood to bring.

“I love you, mother,” said rosy Nell,
“I love you more than my tongue can tell;”
Then she went pouting full half the day,
Mother was glad when she’d gone to play.

“I love you, mother,” said little Fan,
“To-day I’ll help you as best I can;
How glad am I that school doesn’t keep,”
She rocked the baby till it fell asleep.

Then stepping softly, bringing the broom,
Swept up the floor and then cleansed the room;
Busy and happy all day was she,
Helpful and happy as a child could be.

“I love you, mother,” that night they said;
Three little children were gone to bed;
How are you thinking that mother guessed
Which of her children really loved her best.

As usual, here’s my disclaimer, but take the time to check out Another Perfect Daughter and the reflections/insights she has there!  Well worth your time.

Bring on the livestock

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Our pastor is very open about both his successes and, shall we say, learning experiences.  I really appreciate that, since my “learning experiences” sometimes tend to seemingly outweigh the successes, if you get my meaning.  One story that he tells is about the time he went to visit a friend and missionary in Haiti, Jay Threadgill.  Dr. Threadgill has been in Haiti for over twenty years, and Pastor Lawrence has gone down there several times to be “on site” with this incredible ministry. 

Among his many other accomplishments, Pastor L. also plays the trumpet.  In preparing for this particular visit, he felt that God was telling him to take his trumpet along.  Well, you know, it’s just another thing to lug around on the airplane, it’s hot and sweaty down there, who knows if he would even have the occasion to use it, blah, blah, blah.  Nope, that wasn’t God speaking…

Until he got down there.  And, yes, talk about missing a real opportunity—oops.  A little more than the “I coulda had a V-8” variety.

We are bent to compromise our giving to God, a.k.a. sacrifices, due to personal convenience.  We are experts at being “practical” and thereby missing out on situations that may never pass our way again. 

Moses may have recognized this concept when, standing before Pharaoh, he refused to budge from what God was telling him to do.  After the beginning of what was to be epic hardship for the nation of Egypt as they position themselves between Yahweh and His people, the king offers a compromise (more than once) by amending what Moses says they are to do. 

Moses says the Hebrew nation as a whole is to go into the wilderness to worship God together.  Despite a few warning shots across the bow, Pharaoh still thinks he’s in control, and bargains—y’all can go, but leave the cows.

Moses’ reply:

“All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the LORD our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the LORD until we get there.”

Once again, what a profound principle is embedded in a obscure little sentence! 

Everything I have I must be emotionally and practically positioned to sacrifice to God.  And here’s the kicker: I won’t know until I get to “that place” in my life what and how to sacrifice it

In other words, when I come to Christ, I bring it all.  Not just the “good” stuff, but ALL the stuff.  My future, my present, and yes, even my past.  The things that are pretty, and the (many) things that are not.  The unwanted and shamed and broken pieces, as well as the best of the best. 

Nothing stays back “in Egypt”.   

Otherwise, it will likely be used for the wrong side.

 

Ex 10:26 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2) (Kindle Locations 3751-3753). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Please and thank you…or not

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“And I didn’t even get a thank you note!”

‘Fess up.  How many times have you thought that, or some version of it?  You let someone cut in line in a traffic jam, and instead of them giving you a polite wave, the guy behind you gives you a not-so-polite one finger salute.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Just a little appreciation for the sacrifice, if you don’t mind.  At least, that’s what mom taught me back in the day.

Here’s another good one—you choose to start this tithing thing to your church, and end up getting a rejection notice from your insurance company about those impacted wisdom teeth you just had removed.  Now who you gonna aim your frustration at, hmmm??

And yet, for some wisdom beyond Continue reading “Please and thank you…or not”

Chess—the game of kings (and queens, and castles, and bishops, and….)

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My brother-in-law still teases me about the time I invited him to play a “quick game of chess”.  Right.  Like such a thing exists, unless of course I’m your opponent.  More recently, I had the opportunity to learn a little more about this masterful diversion from my niece’s husband.  Naturally, I still didn’t win, which in my case was not really the point.  And, let’s be real, the man’s an engineer and actually understands the game.

One of the few things I do understand about chess is that sometimes you have to sacrifice certain pieces to gain access to others as part of an overall strategy to conquer the opposition.  (I like that word “conquer” since we’re dealing with kings, queens, knights, and the like, things we Americans are not overly acquainted with except in our video games and whatever else Hollywood feeds us.)

But the concept of sacrificing for a greater good is not altogether foreign, especially Continue reading “Chess—the game of kings (and queens, and castles, and bishops, and….)”