SCRAMBLED EGGS

I am SOOOOO TIRED, and I really need a revival of energy tonight so I can unscramble all these different messy eggs of thought into something edible.

“My child, listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble.”~Prov 4:10-12

Egg #1: When you are feeling better after feeling crummy – if you are like me – you tend to overdue it. Walk the dogs. Mow the lawn on of the hottest days of the year. Take a long nap. Alright – so that last one didn’t really take a lot of energy, but it did remind me that I need to remember “wisdom’s ways” so I don’t stumble and fall when I overdo it.

Right now, our Koay is curled under my feet, our Ryndi is in front of the fan (which is where she lays pretty much all day long on hot days) and tiny Shadow is curled between me and the side of the chair. Eyes are heavy, thoughts are like scrambled eggs, but it is a good tired since I got devotions done and spent time in my private place of prayer.

Egg #2: I’ve been reading Rabbi Cahn’s devotional book that confounds me almost everyday with Jewish wisdom and how the prophecies of the Messiah and all the stories of the Old Testament confirm and enhance Christus Yeshua in the New Testament. I’m still turning today’s thoughts round and round – examining them from all angles and wondering some more on how perfectly they point to the perfect path of the Messiah’s journey. and His journey to return.

Journeys never go smoothly in my life. That is probably true for most of us. However as long as they essentially get me where I want to go, I’m okay with a few crazy detours that God or my stupidity might throw into the path along the way. I have a feeling the Founders of our country might have agreed.

Egg #3: On this day in HIStory, a year prior to the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress issued another declaration to King George on why they would be carrying arms in the future. Like many other baby steps the Founders took, they mentioned the foundation upon which they rested their arguments from the beginning sentence where they called Him the “divine Author” to its final conclusion..

“With a humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and impartial God and ruler of the universe, we most devoutly implore His divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, and to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”~Jefferson/Dickinson

I guess since I’m yawning and kitten is stretching her claws into my thigh, I need to whisk these somewhat scrambled eggs of thought into a nifty conclusion.

I wish I had one.

Instead, I think I will finish with this – while governments and laws are necessary in this crazy world that has been colored by our sins, it is good to remember that Grace and Truth take those colors and wash them clean – which of course – makes journeys so much smoother and scrambled eggs much easier to swallow..

“For The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Yeshua The Messiah”~Jn 1:17 [google images]

 

NUDGES

Journeys are definitely interesting – especially when they are layer upon layer of the same theme. Since retirement, I’ve been on a crazy journey of revival. Revival of obedience. Revival of faith. Revival of love. Revival of body.. Come to think of it – it actually started before I retired and suddenly – today when I was writing a FB response to a couple of people about “revival”- it finally fell out of limbo and aligned itself with one of those moments that almost seem like it was highlighted in a blinding white..

God has been answering my prayer – – – and in His usual form – – – not at all in the way I imagined.

“For high have the heavens been above the earth, So high have been My ways above your ways, And My thoughts above your thoughts.”~Is 55:9

Before I retired, I kept getting these nudges to pray for revival in our country – in our world – in ourselves. When God nudges sometimes, they ain’t so gentle. His nudges can appear as a soft blink in the cosmos of the brain where everything snaps into place and . other times – – – more like sliding full speed into a snowman that has become a solid block of ice.

The great news is – He is always there to pick me up when I bounce off that sled, face first into the snow.. I may have a few dents in my head, a broken nose, and a lapse in linear time, BUT He’s there. Dusting me off. Wiping off the blood. Carrying me until I can stand. Answering prayers.

God nudges are just powerful things that are meant to move us forward in our faith journeys. Revivals are the same thing. A powerful force meant to move us forward in our faith journey.

“He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”~Ez 9:9

On July 2, 1776, the thirteen colonies voted to declare independence. The debates were over. The wrangling of aligning all pro’s and con’s to sway the pendulum was pushed to the back of the tables. Voices fell silent. A silence weighing the change of balance in the world as they knew it. A revival of of a dream that started in a Garden.

Document signed. Copies to be made and posted. John Hancock broke the silence by reminding them all the price on their heads had doubled.

Samuel Adams reminded them about the foundation upon which they cast their vote: “We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and …from the rising to the setting sun, may His Kingdom come!”

Restored sounds an awful lot like revival.

Journeys tend begin with an idea, a thought, a nudge. It all depends on whether we follow the nudge or ignore it. I’m thankful that our Founding Fathers didn’t ignore the nudges despite of what their logic told them would happen. Since I don’t think I am anywhere close to being as brave as our Founding Fathers were, I’m thankful that I had no idea of how God would answer my prayers for “Revival” because my logic never saw all these answers to prayer. But now that I’m here – emerging out of the density of my own logic – I am continuing to pray in the name of Yeshua Christus for revival – for our country – for our world – for ourselves.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”~Jn 14:11-14 [google images]

JULY 4, 2017

“Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…”

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…”

Strong, powerful words. Words debated – crafted into sentences – layered into a one page document. A document that changed the world. A document that spoke to what was and what was to come. A document that speaks. If – – – we remember to listen.

I tend to think of my big choc labs as my protectors – and, in truth, I think they would be if push came to shove in a tough situation. However, when the 4th of July boomers started in our quirky little neighborhood a couple of nights back, they practically flew into my lap that was not nearly big enough – believe it or not – for the both of them.

After several calming words and hugs, they shook themselves a little and sat down. Ears back – eyes trained on the windows – but they remembered the words. The tone of the words. And – it allowed me a chance to sneak a peek out the windows.

While the boomers are always a nice treat, they aren’t my favorite part of the 4th of July. Even the family gatherings, picnics and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with canons doesn’t make the cut. My favorite part of the 4th of July is thinking about the Words that started it all.The WORD that inspired those men and women in 1776. The WORD that vibrates under our feet. The WORD that is the rocky foundation supporting our steps.

50 years back, America was struggling in a different way. I was a high school sophomore. My parents were worried. People debated. The world was starting to slide into the divide again. A couple years later when I was in college and riots closed campuses, the world was divided a little more. A popular music group put these words to music, and I hung them in my basement room.

Words that brought a bridge of peace over troubled waters.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

Today, Littlest found an article that revealed some background about the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence. I had always wondered about the name printed at the bottom of the printed document (not the hand-written copies), but had never really searched it out. (Shame on me not being a thorough teacher) It was owned and operated by a woman. Mary Katherine Goodard. She lived powerful words. She wrote powerful words.

Words are the foundation of today”s celebration. Words crafted into sentences. Words layered into a document. Words that still can change the world. Words laid upon the foundation of the WORD in which they put their trust.

The WORD remains the foundation of this country – of this world – of all creation. We just have to remember: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

THE HEDGE

In 1966, The Singing Nun won the Oscar for Best Musical. Greer Garson, Chad Everett, Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban – and one of my favorite movies. Tonight seemed to be a good night to watch an old movie. A movie filled with music, stars I loved to watch as a child, and tied to many memories in my treasure chest.

“Dominique, nique, nique, over the land he plods
And sings a little song
Never asking for reward
He just talks about the Lord
He just talks about the Lord”

The album played over and over on the little gray stereo that sat on our porch until eventually the scratches outnumbered the the playable rings of melodies. Loosely based on the true story of a nun from Belgium who achieved the number one Billboard ranking for her song “Dominique” in 1963, the movie hints at the serpent that waits in every hedge. Waits for an opening into his world.

“…and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”~Ecc 10:8

In real life, the Sister who became famous in 1963 broke the hedge and the serpent bit. Pulled between the two yards, the “Singing Nun” became more and more discontented. In the movie, the Sister reached her hand out to break the hedge, but turned away at the last minute to return to what had led her to build her tent in the first yard.

I have to admit, I loved the Debbie Reynolds’ version better than the real life story. The Singing Nun never had another song reach the pinnacle of “Dominique” and eventually, she drifted from the minds of all the people who lived in those two yards. The venom of the serpent blinded and deafened her to the peace of the covenant that was still there surrounding her. She just forgot the ancient prophet and the words of a resurrected rabbi that still cried to her to bend down and wash her eyes in the pool to find His peace.

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”~Is 54:10

Life is like that. We build those hedges around what we love – – hoping to keep the serpent out of our yards and far away from our tent. Yet sometimes, we forget and break that hedge by our own choice. It is then we need to pull up the mustard plant, harvest the seed into our hand, close our eyes and walk back through the hedge to the pool by our first tent.

God has promised He is always there. Yeshua Christus repeated the promise – “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” – the humble – the broken – the poisoned – the outcasts from their own yard – the ones who tore down the tent and broke the hedge but somehow – by faith – remember the faint rambling of an ancient promise – “…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matt 5:4

The songs from the movie are still singing in my head. My eyes are heavy while the growing kitten is already out for the night (still mad that I gave her a bath today to kill some fleas). Our Chocolaty dogs are complaining because I haven’t taken them back to the coolness of the bedroom (but they are happy to be clean once again – for a little while), and I open my memory chest. A memory chest that holds the mustard seed necklace my parents gave me when I was a child. It is time to yawn, stretch and spend some time with He who always fulfills His promises.   [Google images]

“Grant us now, oh Dominique
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly life and truth on earth.”~
SOEUR SOURIRE, NOEL REGNEY (Jeanne Paule Deckers)

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

What can I say – it’s a High School Musical type of night.

Some nights are just designed to kick back, forget the aches and pains, the troubles of the world, and just sing – (come on – I know you know the tune) –

“We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true.”

Were you clapping your hands? Moving to the music? Couldn’t you just see – somewhere – in a magical moment out of time – the world rolls out the marching band – joins the curtain call – harmonizes chordal nuances until the the body just can’t sit still – fingers tapping, toes dancing – souls reaching hand to hand – making “all of our dreams come true.”

Can’t help but smile, can you?

And yet – – – some of you are sighing.

The world’s people could choose to dance instead. We could choose to find the hidden talents in each other. We could choose to not bully others to think the way we do. We could choose to throw away the team playbook or the dramatic clipboard. We could choose to reach out our hand to those standing beside us.

We could choose to sing in harmony and create our own movie musical – – a World Musical – – a Garden Musical.

“For we also from the first were without intelligence and without conviction. We were deceived and Servants to changing lusts and were employed in wickedness and in envy. We were despicable and hating one another.” ~Tiitus 3:3

It is easy to get caught up in the sniping these days – the undermining – the possessing of things – the bullying in relationships – the anger boiling in our bellies. Much harder to to be still and listen. Listen to the words. Listen to the pain. Listen to the dissonance. Listen to the soft voice inside of each of us that is still singing… “We’re all in this together…”

“But when the sweetness and the loving kindness of God, Our Lifegiver, was revealed, Not by works of righteousness that we had done, but by his own love [when] he gave us life, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of The Spirit of Holiness, Whom he poured upon us richly by Yeshua The Messiah,Our Lifegiver, That we would be made right by his grace and we would be heirs by the hope in eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Tonight, kitten is burrowed deep in the corner of the chair beside me – purring and occasionally stretching her claws to knead my leg. Dogs are snoring and Hubby has already retired into the coolness of our bedroom. Since i’m yawning, I know I’m not far behind all the other creatures of our quirky home. But tonight, after prayers have been said and I crash on the bed, I think I will go back to that magical moment out of time once again. When I will close my eyes, listen to the harmonies and remember…

“When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it – – –
We’re all in this together…”~Nevil/Gerrad

FETTERS

This time of year always makes me smile – A LOT.

Just before Memorial Day, the fetters would fall away as I ran down the steps – grade card in hand.
Freedom.
Dog and cat days.
Bicycle and adventure days.
Endless days of reading book after book from a library that seemed endless.
Play days with friends in the neighborhood and cousins across town.
Hot days before air conditioning and whirling fans.
Singing days with my heart sister.
Wading days at Riverside Park.
Hammock days – covered and screened-in Marine treasure – waiting for the storm or the softness of evening.
Days and days of “No more teacher’s dirty looks”

Who knew I would be a teacher with a dirty look as autobiography deadlines were missed?

The idea of living my adult life connected to the school calendar definitely appealed to my inner child. Even now, as I watch the Grands in MI graduate from high school and finish the final essays in this part of their lives or the tiny NC Grands count down these last days in Montessori, I still feel that smile bubbling up inside me as well. It helps off set some of the bittersweet things that I know come with the beginning of June.

“Surely, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”~IS 12:2

My last HMS class of 8th graders have posed for their final pictures at the high school. The last set of autobiographies have been stored on a shelf once again, and my connecting tethers to education are loosening even more. I have a feeling I will miss those tethers.

A few months back, I ran across a prayer. It was a simple prayer. A powerful prayer that caught my pen and found its way to the back of one of my note cards. Yesterday, as I was hanging some of those cards in my prayer closet, it caught my attention and the Spirit nudged hard..

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”~Robert Pierce,

Jewish sages teach that according to scripture there are two kinds of people that don’t mind being out-done by those they have been blessed to nourish – – – parents and teachers. When a parent watches their child stand successfully on their own or even build a life beyond the parent – the parent rejoices. In the same manner, a teacher who loves their student – smiles beyond measure when that student takes that knowledge and wisdom to soars beyond the classroom – – even when they soar even higher than the teacher.

My mom was like that. She rejoiced when I signed my first teaching contract. It was the first time, I remember being humbled by all her sacrifices. She cried over the phone as I told her how much I would be making because it was more money than she ever made in her life. I remember being dumbfounded – getting off the pay phone in the rooming house I managed,- and sniffling my tears into my Boo-dog’s fur. Don’t get me wrong, my heart was not really humbled yet – but in that moment – I understood the brokeness of God’s heart the first time. It is what I remembered as I prayed this prayer today.

June still makes me smile – just not in the same way. 2017 brings a mingling of those bittersweet memories and covering them in gold. Yesterday – a graduating class and graduating Grands. Autobiographies re-stored on a shelf. Tomorrow – a mother who danced into heaven 12 years as I held her close and whispered a song. The day after tomorrow – a 66th birthday to celebrate for this elder.

Different fetters falling away.
Tethers loosening.
Smiles to share.
Gotta love the freedom of the first week of June – no matter what year.

 

UNCLE MIKE

Bittersweet days are feathers. Feathers of thought. They drift and float on lazy currents of emotions and leave our “life boat” rocking too and fro – – – torn between tears and smiles. A love – hate relationship between two opposing factions that take us “Somewhere” different.

“There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere.”

The sweetness started the day. Swirling dreams that left me laughing so hard, I woke up shaking. (Of course, that could have been the result of two dogs who were tickling my nose with their tongues). Chores and devotions accomplished easily except that the Hubby used part of the meal I was delivering to a neighbor for our breakfast. But that aside – the sweet currents of morning were large blessings that kept my mind and hands occupied.

“There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!”

The bitter currents were still there. Still swirling silently around the sweetness of my day until – eventually, I let the boat drift on into those salty waters and remember the things I had been avoiding. Remembering the small town where I grew up . Remembering my family and extended family. Remembering – – – my Uncle Mike.

When Our Father calls someone home, I think He blesses us with bubbling memories that break the surface of our mental waters, coaxing us forward into the deeper waters of life with their gentle effervescence. Opening my eyes wide as I can, I look at the bubbles, smile through my tears and re-watch those bubbles glide across my mind.

“Somewhere.
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

Remembering the uncle who made me laugh every time he walked in the house. Shouting, “Hey, Brynie” as he caught me in his arms and spun me around and round and round. Remembering the uncle who took me for car rides just for fun or took me to the lake where he bought me orange sodas and Correll’s potato chips. Remembering the uncle who took my cousin and I on our first grown-up date.

Yupper –  he was THAT uncle. He decided to take a couple of his little girl cousins on a date. He and his girlfriend (who eventually became my aunt) managed to talk my mom (his big sister by almost 20 years) and one of his other sisters into letting him abscond with their daughters – a 10 and 11 year old – in tow – on – a- date. We sang songs all the way to the theatre in Ashland (at least I think it was Ashland). And when the movie started, Bunny Lee and I were mesmerized. West Side Story changed our lives – which is a whole ‘nother story.

“There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow,
Some day,
Somewhere! “~Bernstein/Sondheim

So tonight – since I couldn’t be in OH with my family – I went to the movies. I sang with Anita. I fell in love with Tony (all over again). And – as I knew I would – I cried with Maria as her world fell apart. Later tonight – I will pull my prayer shawl over my head just as Maria covered hers at the end of the movie. It is not easy to adjust to the fact that my cousins and I are now the elders of our extended family, but I am full of thankfulness for Uncle Mike and all my aunts and uncles who filled my life with His golden bubbles. Bubbles that will buffer my “life boat” from the ugly currents and light the way towards smooth waters.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~ Jn 14:2

Blessings!Be! Michael McCaskey, Kerry Wood, Kelly Patton, Shayne McCaskey, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

ASCENSION DAY

I got to mow the grass today.

I know. That doesn’t sound like much of an adventure, but it was. As the little Grands would say – “Seriously, Grandma, it was”. I’ve been waiting and watching, watching and waiting to mow this grass. Green. Lush. New. Barefoot ready grass.

Somewhere around Easter, Hubby smoothed the ground around his second retaining wall. NC red clay is really not conducive for growing much – even when it has been recently ground and aerated. When happy, hubby-grinder-man does his thing on leftover tree stumps, red clay doesn’t stand a chance. Add some rich, dark topsoil – – tiny seeds – – a cover of hay – – a friendly neighbor’s prodding to add some good fertilizer – – water – – another covering of prayer – – and wallah – – grass that begs for bare feet.

Seeds broken. Fruit emerging. New life.

When I finally sat down to rest and looked at the small patch of green and a 3/4 deck covered in stain, I remembered. Today is the 40th day since Easter. Today is Ascension Day.

For weeks, the risen Christ walked 40 more days upon this earth. Where He was and what He did during these 40 days has always intrigued me. I like to think He visited His mother – a lot visited- since I figured her pain was almost as great as His as she watched Him suffer such a death. Or maybe – He spent time talking with all those who rose from their graves on the day the veil was split in the temple. (Matt 27:52-53) Or maybe – He traveled the world to bring the Good News to all gentiles who lived far outside of Israel.

We do know that St. John wrote, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” Jn 20:30 We do know that He visited with his closest friends and family 10-12 times (depending on how you count some of them) . We do know that when He ascended to the Father on the 40th day, He went to prepare a place for us.

A New Jerusalem.

A New Home.

In ancient Jewish wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom and the bride would meet and be joined together – married. Then the bride and her groom would return to their respective homes. The bride would use this time to prepare herself for being with the love of her life. She would gather the things needed to bring joy to herself and her husband in their new family. While the groom would also use this time to prepare himself for being with the love of his life. A time to build a home and filled with the things needed to welcome his love into her new family with him.

Ascension Day is so much more than just our Risen LORD returning to His father. It is the day when the bridegroom returned home to prepare a place. It was the signal for the bride to begin her preparations. It was the day when the grass began to grow barefoot green all around the world. Almost like a new garden emerging.

That lush, green grass is still growing – – spreading and multiplying around the world. And as I walked around the sprinkler tonight, I felt its joy through my toes and looked up at the sky. Perhaps tonight – – perhaps tomorrow – – perhaps a decade from now. Whatever. The Bridegroom is there – – looking – – and waiting – – just like I have done all my life. And when the Father’s time is accomplished – – when the time of waiting is over – – when the rooms are finished – – it will be a time of such joy never known since the gates were slammed shut in that perfect Garden.

In the meantime, the grass continues to grow. I talked to Littlest and laughed. I cried a little over the oldest Grands getting ready to graduate from high school (how is that possible?). I replayed a video of my younger son walking down a street in Spain. Hugged on my daughter and the little Grands as they spread freckles on our deck and themselves. Sat in my war room for a short moment of prayer. And sighed over the growing laundry pile that will have to wait for a dryer part to arrive (thank you, G-d, for our quirky neighborhood that has a wonderful fix-it man right next door).

This bride is waiting tonight – counting the stars – and enjoying the wait…kinda…I still get rather impatient. Yet when all is said and done, I really do want my lodgings to be face-to-face perfect and full of unspeakable joy. Seriously, Father, seriously.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2  

ERRR….CRAP!

‘s a sad fact of life. Touchstones break. We call them “stones” because they have weight in our life. It is the “touch” part that we sometimes forget. Weighted stones that have touched our lives at some point We can look at them – or touch them – and they release the memories – the smells – the sounds – the music – the faces.

Most of the time a smile may cross our soul as we hold it in our hands. Sometimes a laugh may escape the confines of the binder that held it trapped inside. And sometimes – when we drop them – – – they break.

Errrr…

This morning I walked the dogs as soon as I woke up. We picked some flowers, threw some sticks, and enjoyed the cool of a perfect spring morning. Since I had only picked two small flowers this morning, I pulled out the two small shot glasses that probably were some of my first touchstones ever.

Mom had special glasses for party nights. They were colorful. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. They also had matching shot glasses. I can still see Dad and hear his laugh as he was telling jokes or getting ready to play his guitar and holding one of those glasses. Other times, when I would pick violets for Mom, she would take out the shot glasses, and we would fill them up with the purple and white blessings. She would pull the doilies she had made out of their drawers and place the glasses around the living room. Just thinking about those violets bring back the smell of her hugs, the smell of her perfume and her red-lipstick smile.

Over the years, all the glasses disappeared. And by the time, we moved Mom out of her house, there were only two shot glasses left. Yellow. Green. Today the yellow one dropped into the sink as I was running water to hold a small rose. Errrrr…I don’t deal well with breaking things that have touched my life. But – I reminded myself – they are just things. I rolled my eyes, looked out the kitchen window while having one of those — half prayer — half talk – conversations with myself.

Errr…I looked at the fragments scattered around the sink and said, “Crap!”

A short time later, I broke a tiny winged, patriotic figure that I bought the summer my mother died. I think Mom must have been born to be a politician from birth. She had all the smarts, charisma, and charm needed. She just was a slow starter in the field. However, once elected as village clerk of our small home town, she rose through the state ranks and on to national organization of clerks.

The figurine I broke – out of a set of six – was the one that said held the banner that said, “God Bless America”. So this was a double touchstone. Mom sang “God Bless America” so many times, that I knew all the words by the time I was 5 years old – – – including the introduction. “When the storm clouds gather…”

Errr…I picked the pieces up off the floor and said, “Crap!”

I decided it was more than time for devotions. Needless to say, they shattered my bad mood completely. I read about the “hupogrammos”. An ancient Greek word that basically means example – but more deeply – it is a concrete, hands-on way of teaching someone how to do something. In this case – Christ became the “hupogrammos”. He set his actions, his steps, his manner, his love before all of us that we might easily follow His steps if we just put our feet and heart where He put His.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example (hupogrammos), that you should follow in his steps.”~1 Pt 2:21

As the tears pushed the corners of my eyes, I read this last devotion. “You answered me, when I called You; with Your strength, You strengthened me.”~Ps 138:3

The lesson of the day? Forget the Errrr… and the Crap!
Touchstones of this earth break and easily.  They fall apart. Our Christ Touchstone is just the opposite. He is an eternal cornerstone that hold everything else together when the world seems to be falling apart. He is the “hupogrammos” for our lives.

BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

Ever had one of those days with your nose buried in a book, and you just don’t want to leave it alone…but you just have-ta?????

It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I just love to read. I love learning new things, pondering them backwards and forwards and inside out. It can be a fiction book – like right now – Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons – a Southern writer who blows me away with her in-depth narrative. A type of writer that you don’t want to skip even a sentence, let alone, a paragraph. She constructs a temporal porthole into the depths of the mid-1900’s South that has been dissipating with the influx or Northerners and the times of which we live.

How better to understand the culture of this new place I’ve chosen to plant roots? Re-reading earlier narratives to see an even older culture of the South is pushing at the back of my mind – even though I’ve read many of them before in college and high school, I may just have to re-read them. Hmmph – – -perhaps I knew that someday, I would have a need for a basic understanding to this culture. And if that premise is so – can’t wait to see how my scroll unfurls in the future since I’ve also been endlessly fascinated by books on Native Americans and the Holocaust.

Like usual though I can’t spend my entire day reading. First, I got interrupted by checking on the eldest daughter’s dog – only to discover Redding (aptly named for her beautiful coat) had caught a squirrel and was proudly carrying it around for all to see. Couldn’t quite catch her to get a picture of that moment, but did get one when she laid it at my feet.

Then, off to get the youngest Grandson who bibble-babbled all the way home about many things including a request that I write the makers of Cracker-Jack and tell them that he wants prizes like the ones Grandma used to get when she opened her boxes of Cracker-Jack. Can’t say I blame him. My prizes were definitely much better than the stickers that he gets every time he tears open a bag. Stickers that are usually the same.

I guess I have just added one more assignment on my to-do list tonight. I wonder if Cracker-Jack has a FB page?

By the time we ate lunch, read one of my old Golden Book about a shy, little kitten (which I just gave to him), watched lego cops endlessly and humorously catch lego bad guys, the neighborhood duo was at the door and Grandson was flying out the door. At least he remember to fly back in and hug me goodbye with a “bushel and a peck” phrase in my ear and a holler at his father that he was going to the neighbor’s.

I gathered my things and smiled. That part of my past hasn’t changed in my daughter’s neighborhood. Kids running outside – cutting through the neighbors’ backyards (who don’t seem to mind in the least) – bikes lying at their appointed drop-off places, laughter and screams from the creek (crick, to some of us) or tree house – and games of pretend that internalize their thoughts and perceptions of this crazy world…not to mention…the give and take of everyday interaction with friends.

It is good to be interrupted sometimes.

When I come home, I tackle the reading again. Pulling out old books – reading copied notes – googling new sites. Right now, it is the resurrection of Christ that keeps me seeking. I’m not sure why. Perhaps because I have noticed little things that I never noticed before. I’m sure that somewhere or at some time – a teacher-preacher mentioned these things, but they got lost in the crevices of the overall amazing change that shook the world 2000+ years ago and my innate awe of Our Father.

No matter how many times I’ve read the story – the verses – the words – I continually learn something new. Perhaps, after yesterday’s blog, I should say – that the scroll continues to unroll a few new things to enhance the goodness that I see in my day at this moment. However, I am glad I have books and websites to research. Can’t imagine how much more complicated it would be to have to unroll a scroll to find that tiny piece information that I can’t remember or hadn’t noticed before now.

So – with head spinning with new thoughts – I went out and collected some of God’s beauties. Put them in one of mom’s old vases while absorbing the song of the birds and the panting of tired dogs in the stillness of a late Southern afternoon. The smells and sights after a few days of clouds and rain always seem like a miracle in themselves. That old hymn rose to my thoughts as I arranged the flowers, and I felt blessed all over again.

“For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.”~Pierpoint/Kocher [google images]