Snack time!

popcorn-1085072_1920I love to eat.  In recent years, it has been showing a bit more than in the past. 

One of my challenges, when it comes to food, other than the fact that I live in a place of overabundance and a culture of overindulgence, is that I have a touch of hypoglycemia.  Low blood sugar, that is.  Hypoglycemia isn’t mere hunger pangs and gastro-growling.  Hypoglycemia manifests itself in things like blurring of vision, headache, jitteriness, and irritability.  When it hits, I’ll grab just about anything besides what I should since the craving for sugar is my body’s way to sustain life, even though it may be temporary. Continue reading “Snack time!”

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Blessing of blooming late!

garden last

Whee!! It’s cooling off!  Of course, I’m writing this in early October, so by the time it gets posted, we might be in the middle of a blizzard.  But for now, I walk out to my patio with my pot of steaming hot tea in the morning to find leaves on my table, and fewer and fewer mosquitoes. 

I love my Midwest autumn.

The flip side is that my gardens are getting less abundant (which, this year, is a relative term, unfortunately), and the flowers are getting ready to bed down for the winter.  But look what I found!!~~

flower

Now that’s a late-bloomer if ever there was one!   What untimely but welcomed color!  Elegance in the midst of common, new in the midst Continue reading “Blessing of blooming late!”

Move over, Mac

wood 2Alright, all you techno-wizards.  I’m to a point in my experience (and it’s not the first time) when computer operating instructions seem to be in a different language.  I know the words are English, but somehow I’ve woken up in a parallel universe and the dictionary has changed. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around this Mac Keynote program to upload a presentation to YouTube. Not just slides, but time-lapse clips and music.  Looks great on Keynote, but it rejects the upload when pushing the button marked “YouTube”.  (And, no, QuickTime cuts it off also….and iMovie is, well—that’s another story.)mrxfbpjymwiyy

I refuse to be an old dog who can’t learn new tricks.  I’m totally fine with the old dog part (especially considering the alternative), it’s the refusal to learn new tricks that’s rubbish.  These presentations mean a lot to me, so I dig my teeth in like an old pit bull and keep at it.  (Thankfully, Bob has also been locked in combat with his latest creation, doing much better than his wife I might add.)

Then, this morning I read this:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment…”

This is more than mere problem-solving and trial-overcoming.  (And certainly much more than wrestling with a computer program that doesn’t do what it promises to do!)  It’s about producing a quality of personhood within me that will stand regardless of discouragements, diversions, and changes of direction.  And more importantly, it’s about a goal that is eternal, i.e., my intimate, ever-increasing relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. 

I was a bit amazed when, in my (very) limited study of church history, how many leaders of our faith went through periods of doubting their salvation, such as John Bunyan, Martin Luther, and John Wesley.  The important thing is that they persevered, pushing through questions and mental combat to pursue God’s promises and expose Satan’s lies.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the main agenda of the enemy is to drive a wedge of any kind between me and my Lord, to attack any confidence in the relationship.  (Took me a while to figure that one out.   Duh.)

Paul here says that it is through these struggles that our “confident hope” in salvation is hard wired into our souls.  This makes sense, because our spirits are already secured in Christ; it’s my soul (mind, thinking) that gets bogged down.  That’s still a mystery to me, but I’m becoming more and more comfortable with mystery when it comes to God’s way of doing things.

Much more comfortable than with the mystery of Keynote and YouTube, for sure

Romans 5:3-5 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.

Not My Poetry

quill

I R-E-A-L-L-Y want to introduce you to Mitch Teemley’s site.  His sense of humor mixed with his poignant comments (not to mention his writing skill) will keep you coming back again and again.  And then I found that he even writes poetry!!  Okay, enough talent in one package already!

And, BTW, I think this should be our mantra toward all fellow bloggers (just sayin’)…

 

Whether or not, fellow soul,

I should choose to choose you,

I vow to always see you whole

and never ever use you.

Mitch also has an ongoing story line you can follow called

THE WISHING MAP

If….then

Choices…consequences.  If I eat too much chocolate, then I get fat(ter).  If I pull the car into the garage too fast like my husband has repeatedly warned me against, then I rip off the mirror, busting the window into a gazillion shards of glass, costing us hundreds of dollars, and having to call my husband to tell him that I pulled the car into the garage too fast…again.  You know, things like that.

We live and breathe if/then’s.  Of course, we’re in good company–even our stone age ancestors had to learn that fire was good in some ways…and not so good in others.

Here’s one of my fave’s that’s really worth chewing on.  It’s a quote from the book of the prophet Isaiah:

“And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10 Amplified Bible)

What do I sustain myself, my very heart and soul with?  Okay, money is always a good indicator about where our hearts are, and I’m in total agreement that no matter how little one has, some of it has to be given away to help someone else.  But how about the other things “with which I sustain myself”?

A big one for me is time.  Is my life so full of chores and projects and responsibilities that I don’t have time to pause and listen to a friend in need? Or is a child’s hug somehow an interruption?

Another one is talent and personal skill set.  Can you make music? Sing? Build a wall (or a new drum “cage”, as the case may be in our church)?  Can you make people laugh?  Cook?  Okay, maybe these aren’t the things with which you bring home the bacon, but not everything of true value is recognized on Wall Street.

I think it was St. Augustine that said “men’s souls hang on your gifts”.  Jesus, Himself, warns us not to bury what He has given us, but to invest it wisely.  IF we pour out (not dribble, by the way) these things to help those in need–not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, relationally–THEN our own personal clouds begin to dissipate as well.  Interesting paradox, this whole “losing my life to find it” thing.

If I get up at 3:30AM to write this post, then I’ll probably need to sleep in.  Good thing it’s Saturday….

NIghty night……….dawnlizjones