In other words…

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The words of the wise are like prodding goads, and firmly fixed [in the mind] like nails are the collected sayings which are given [as proceeding] from one Shepherd.

Ecclesiastes 12:11Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)  Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

Photo credit: Biblical Faith – WordPress.com

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Mud fun

Mud slinging—

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http://www.utdallas.edu

This photo looks like a tun-o-fun to me!  Personally, getting slimy muddy in the name of a great good time is quite appealing.  The problem comes when we start slopping mud onto each other—with our words.  Here’s the story:

“One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, ‘Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.  And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth…”

Check out the context.  Jesus and a select few of His disciples had just experienced the great Transfiguration—a “mountaintop experience” if ever there was one.  On the heels of that, as they return to the rest of the disciples, there is a crowd of people (typical) and this gentleman in dire need with his precious son.  What I find interesting is what is happening as Jesus approaches: Continue reading “Mud fun”

Words From Beyond

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Here is one for those of us who think that God still communicates in specifics to His own. And, man, do I need specifics!  Just how do I apply this Bible verse?  What am I supposed to say to this person in pain?  I’m worried, confused, or just plain bored.

Please, somebody tell me I’m not alone here.

This beautifully refreshing offering by Sibella at Arts and Rhymes encourages me in that conversation.  She is also a very talented visual artist.  Be sure and check out her site!

Words flow
Resembling
A whispering
Mountain stream
Or
Fly high
On the wing
Of a crying eagle

They tremble
On the rippling
Water surface
Or
Break darkness
With power
Of the light within

And somehow
You know
They were
Meant for you
Or
At least
You hope

And if not
You’re still glad
They were
At the right place
At the right time
In your sight
And that makes you
Happy
And you even
Smile 
A little
As you look up 
And say
Thank You

Where’s the delete button?!?!

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I read somewhere that Norman Rockwell was not actually considered one of the truly great artists.  Okay, so maybe his photo-like images don’t grace the Sistine Chapel, but the Saturday Evening Post sure liked ‘em.  And even though Michelangelo’s “David” has probably moved many a sensitive heart, Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” came at precarious time in our history when we needed reminding (and, BTW, still do) of what makes America great (and still does.)

I’m not an artist, and by no means do I profess to know what causes the moniker “truly great artist” to be conferred on someone.  And as such, I’m not “qualified” to even discuss art, at least at what would be Continue reading “Where’s the delete button?!?!”

The offspring of Encouragement

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I would seriously stand in line at the Pearly Gates to meet Barnabas.  Great name that one; I’ve read that it means “son of encouragement”.  I don’t know if his parents named him that when he was born, or if it was a moniker he picked up later in life, but such a name is one of the best anyone could have, especially Continue reading “The offspring of Encouragement”

Who reads YOUR blog??

My labcoat, but adorned with my father's old RCA pocket protector, circa 1960's.
My lab coat, but adorned with my father’s old RCA pocket protector, circa 1960’s.

My parents called to wish me a happy birthday.  It’s no fun living as far away as I do from the family that I love.  Hurray for all the modern available communications modes like wireless calling (we used to have to pay extra for “long distance”), and video chatting (something from the old cartoon “the Jetsons”), all part of this ubiquitous thing called The Internet.  Mom and Dad bought my book, and then they actually read it.  I flat out don’t deserve parents this good. 

Then I found out they are reading my blog.  All of it.  Each and every page.    

Before anyone snickers, I hasten to add that I’m really okay with that.  In fact, I’m more than okay—I’m thrilled!  If there are two people who have earned the right to correct me, disagree with me, and speak into my life, it’s Mom and Dad.  (I repeat, I don’t deserve parents this good….)  Here’s the thing: I’ve been reading their lives for many years.  I know the pain, well…some of it anyway.  I’ve seen the triumphs.  I’ve heard the regrets (not all well-founded, in my not-so-humble opinion, but certainly sincere).  And overarching it all, I see the love; I am a product of the love, the love that
“believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” like Paul talks about in his letter to the Corinthian church back in the day. 

And I am then very pointedly reminded that others read my life also. Others that I’m not even aware of.  In fact, everyone has a hidden congregation of sorts, ones we’re not cognizant of who are reading the blogging in our lives and deciding whether to click the star, tap on the retweet button, or most importantly, hit the follow widget. 

And God reads our lives. Dad likes to tell the story of a few years back when he and his brother,  Gene, each independently  found a $20 bill laying loose in a grocery store.  Separate incidents, separate cities, same reaction: both Dad and Uncle Gene walked up to the counter and turned it in.  When they heard about each other’s encounters with a little extra cash, Dad said it was like my grandmother was watching from heaven to see whether her two boys were going to remember what they had been taught so many years ago.  I can only imagine her smile, and God’s.

Today is a new day, or as they say, a blank page.  Okay, so maybe mine has a few smudges and ink spots from past mistakes, but it’s still a new page.  What I choose to write on it is ultimately up to me. 

And may I choose my words carefully—Mom and Dad are reading!!