“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.

In other words…

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A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!

Proverbs 27:13  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.

Frail, but Strong

quill

For this week’s installment of Not My Poetry, here’s a beautiful one from Peaceful Journey, a thought well worth contemplating at this time in our history.  Thank you, Yvonne, for the encouragement!

Frail, but Strong

Frailmother

She stood frail while others listened attentively.

Her wisdom was beyond her physical weakness.

Many sought her to understand the world’s mysteries.

Many sought her to tap into the cistern of her spirituality.

Her frailty was only a noticeably weakness to herself.

It was certainly not an outward sign of weakness in her moral character.

She lived a life dedicated to those impoverished.

She knew the secret,

love for all mankind make you rich.

Yes, she was frail, but strong

mother-teresa-quotes-111

alove1`Yvonne L

Ice Beauty

quill

This is from Mitch Teemley.  Mitch keeps us smiling and chuckling with the terrific sense of humor through which he view life.  This little jewel of a poem reflects a deep sense of awareness…

Ice Beauty 

                                                 The world is born in the spring

rejoices in summer

and bundles its blessings in autumn

But only in the winter

does it learn who it is

In other words…

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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.

Compassionate haircut

IMG_20150103_172451138I think it’s not an uncommon scenario, a young mother dressing up her precious little ones in the new clothes from Grandma for a family photo only to have the 3-year old get ahold of mommy’s lipstick and use it to “paint” his little 1-year old sister.  On the way.  The baby’s face is sufficiently cleaned off, and miraculously (mercifully) none of the red “paint” got on the dress…only to have the other “end” of the situation explode, uncontainably. 

One of my personal favorite recollections is Bob coming into the room where I was napping before going to work nightshift at the hospital one evening.  He enters with this question, “Honey, do you love your middle daughter??”

Great way to wake up.

Robin had decided to give her little sister a haircut.  And I willingly leave Continue reading “Compassionate haircut”

The Wisdom of Wildflowers

garden lastI think this is called Spiderwort.  Such a weird name for such a cool plant, as I was not aware that spiders have warts—sounds like something out of Harry Potter or C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.  It grows wild here in Missouri; you’ll find it along country roads or railroad tracks.  Since I have some in my own garden, I observed its fascinating property of opening in the cool of the morning, and closing up shop in the heat of the day.  Check it out:

It’s like this little wildflower knows its limitations and adjusts accordingly to keep itself safe and therefore more productive (and beautiful, I might add.) 

If only I had such intrinsic wisdom….

Dr. Henry Cloud, in his brilliant book, Changes That Heal, also speaks Continue reading “The Wisdom of Wildflowers”

Cold Mountain

quill

Cold Mountain is the popular name of the famous Chinese poet, Hanshan whose history is a bit elusive, but lived long, long ago in a place far, far away…from me, anyway.  I’m interested in the thought that his poems were written on rocks, evidently pen and paper not be available, or perhaps not invented yet.  In any case, beauty must find a way to be expressed from within its creator.  I like this verse, as it speaks to the vanity, even selfishness, of too much solitude, of not allowing your voice to be heard.  (Yet another reason I Continue reading “Cold Mountain”

“God is more powerful than my stupid”

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My husband’s brothers and their childhood friends are an interesting lot.  Nice guys, really, but growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, they made their mark, and thankfully were also prevented from doing so a time or two.

One of the (many) stories that has passed into family lore has to do with Bob’s brother and a friend who were caught as they were trying to set fire to some old newspapers in an alley within a neighbor’s garage.  For “some reason” (thank God for guardian angels), the Continue reading ““God is more powerful than my stupid””

These Tangled Lines

quill

Sometimes it’s discomfiting to look in the mirror, but it helps us see what needs to be rearranged.  This poem by https://robertlambertjones.wordpress.com is a commentary on the consequences of how we live our lives.  (And if you like mythology and monsters and superheroes, check out his site.)  Here’s my disclaimer.

These Tangled Lines

In common speech, we’re coming and we’re going,

So often unaware of what we’re showing,

Our choices have been etched upon our faces,

Expressions formed by sins and saving graces.

            But deep within these tangles lines

            There writes a higher hand Continue reading “These Tangled Lines”