Tag Archives: Glory and the Lightening

Attitude of Gratitude #1-7

Thanksgiving is all about the giving of thanks.  As we approach the holy days of Advent, November seems to be the perfect time for An Attitude of Gratitude.

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Gratitude #1: Just remember – everyone doubts themselves at one time or another. In 1509 while working on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo wrote: “My work does not seem to go ahead in a way to merit anything. This is due to the difficulty of the work and also because it is not my profession. In consequence, I lose my time fruitlessly.” Just smile, keep looking up and doing what you love. God reaches out constantly – you just have to reach back. I am thankful. Let the holiday season begin.

Gratitude #2: “Remember the Sabbath…” I LOVE Sundays. I love being Rabbi Bradley Shavit ARtson pic“commanded”(#4) to relax and observe this sacred day. I love a church that reminds me I’m not alone in a storm because Jesus walks out to be with me, so “DON’T BE AFRAID!” (Matt 14:22-27). I love when the Grands call me three times because I’m taking too long coming over to see their tent or read the dinosaur counting book we made last spring or play “This is the way the farmer rides – hobble-de-hoy” or leave so they can play WII with mommy and daddy before bedtime. Sundays are “holy observances” in Jewish tradition. Sundays are the blessing that start my week. Sundays remind me to be so thankful to have Sundays.

Gratitude #3: The sweet things in life. Left over, frozen,Halloween candy in the form of miniature Reese’s cups. A husband planning a surprise mini-trip to the beach. Puppies, who are not so minature, curled up on the couch with me when I need a mini-nap. Grands that scream and jump up and down when they see me sweet-things (2)walking up to their school or curl into me as we read stories. Laughter of a kid who understands a new concept. A Savior who embodies “Amazing Grace”. Sweet!

Gratitude #4: Thankful for the the Republic of the United States of America. So thankful that our fore-fathers knew the difference between a republic and democracy (even though we seem to have forgotten it). Thankful for all the responsibilities of researching, gaining knowledge, seeking spiritual guidance, and making the effort to vote. Thankful for those who have made sacrifices so that I can express my opinion in the voting booth. Thankful to VOTE.freedom to vote

“The genius of a nation strikes but once in its history. It is its glory and its immortality in the annals of men. It is aristocratic, discriminating, radiant and selective, and abjures all that is mediocre, plebeian and mundane. It is regnant. It is spiritual. It is the flame emanating from the core of the Universe, which is the generation of life. It is the lightning which sets fire to the small spirits of men, and raises them above the field and the plow, the house and the hayfield, in a sudden revelation of grandeur. It is, above all, masculine, for the aristocracy of the soul is purely masculine and never feminine, which is concerned only with petty matters and insistent trivialities. It transcends the humbleness of daily living and stands even the least important of men upon Olympus for a brief hour. It is never democratic, for democracy is a destructive thing, conspired in the inferior minds of envious men.
“If that nation which would survive in glory would cultivate only the masculine principle its name in history will be written in gold and blaze through the centuries.” ~Zeno of Elea, The Glory that was Greece as quoted by Taylor Caldwell in her foreward of Glory and the Lightening

Gratitude #5: Ocean. The immense power and beauty of the ocean never fails to download (1)amaze me. It is little wonder that Rabbi Yeshua used the seas and storms in so many of His parables. The storms’ wildness that calls to our own natures. The harmonies that sings 24 hours of the day. The habitat that it provides to a world downloadbeyond my knowledge. His essence is still singing through each wave, melding His love a little deeper into my soul…I am, indeed, thankful.

Gratitude #6: Music in my head. For about a week, I have been waking up with songs in my head. They sing me awake and stay in my mind for the first few hours of my day. Sometimes they are the hymns that have swirled around my head since before I knew what they were. Sometimes, they are simple phrases from Praise songs that I sing on Sunday or listen to in my car. And some of the best are the ones sung to me in my dreams with words I don’t know, but harmonies that echo in my heart and head all day. Blessings abound when we are thankful. This one was the way I woke up today.

Gratitude #7: Children. Children have a way of looking at things that change us on a daily basis. They see the invisible and believe in the magic that lives in between here and there. They dance to music that only they can hear. They laugh when rain falls on their face and hide under the covers when the thunder gets too scary. They are constantly watching and modeling the things they see around them. And – they remind me that I need to be the best I can be in this world, because – one day – they will be the ones that new children are following, and I am relying on in my old age. I’m grateful that I still have children in my life because every day I’m around them—-I learn something new. So thankful for children. “If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end…” Akiane Kramarik

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photos: Google images and Akiane Kramarik

 

Wonder

“Without wonder, learning was dead.”  ~ Taylor Caldwell, pp 34, Glory and the Lightning, 1974

Glory and the LightningClassic literature transcends generations.  It is embedded with truths that not only lived during the author’s time frame, but continue to live in each succeeding age. That is how it got its name. The cool thing about classic books?  They give you a tiny window, constructed in an author’s mind, that allows us to peek into the past.  The words.  The themes.  The struggles.  The technology (or the lack thereof).  The family structure.  The society and mores.  Elements of life that come alive once again through the words of an individual who took the time to open the window for the rest of us, and it allows us to wonder.

My husband, kids, and former students will tell you that I wonder a lot.  They will tell you I drive them nuts with questions that they can’t answer. A lot of times, I just wonder.  Sometimes, I’m driven to try to find an answer.  My favorite thing to do in a new locale is to go to historical museums or older areas of the town – longing to find a new window to peer through.  If I’m brave enough and strong enough, I may even open the window I am gazing through, and let the sweet breeze of knowledge filter through my essence and become part of who I am.  Wonder becomes the first step to wisdom.

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Prov 4:7 (NIV)

In college, I thought I knew a lot about the Bible. In fact, I was pretty sure I had a complete handle on it. I had “read” most of it by then (skipping over those really boring “begetting” parts and tedious laws of the OT…after all, what relevance did they have since Christ brought the New Covenant?), had gone to church, Bible school, Sunday school my entire life, and debated it many times with friends and family in my life.  Not much to wonder about in the Bible (or so I thought) since I already “knew” it.  What else was there? So I decided to  take  “Bible as Classic Literature” at The Ohio State University as one of my electives.  Should be an easy class, right?

Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” Prov 4:8 (NIV)

books of wonder

I didn’t realize how huge the window in the Bible really was until that class.  The professor wasn’t a believer.  He taught it merely from the words he “read”.  He didn’t understand Jewish tradition (I didn’t either at that point). He didn’t like discussion that disagreed with his viewpoint. (This is when I learned that sarcasm used by a teacher is not effective – at all) But the Bible he chose to use for the class was wonderful. The particular one I used for this class (with all its notes and highlighting) is long gone; burned in our house fire in 2009.  But the window I opened during that class carried such a sweet breeze that the book still exists in my mind.  The fine, tiny print in black and red. The sound of the  translucent, fragile paper as I turned pages. The corresponding stories listed side-by-side for easy comparison.  My black ink pen bleeding through to the other side of the page. Even so – the window was thrown wide, and I began wondering in earnest.

“She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” Prov 4:9 (NIV)

Classic literature makes us wonder, contemplate, hypothesize and dig deep into our inner core.  It challenges our long held beliefs with new ideas and concepts.  Whether we adapt those ideas and concepts as “truths” is our choice – our free will.  It encourages…discourages; lifts up…tears down; opens…closes  windows; in other words, it offers new knowledge and the optional advancement of wisdom.

I still love to wonder and can’t wait to wonder even more when I get to the next phase of  my soul’s journey.  God created us in His image (Gen 1), so it has to be part of His character.  It makes me wonder what kind of debates go on in heaven.  Is wonder what led to Luciel (Lucius, the Fallen One) choosing to follow his own truths instead of God’s truths? Is there a point where wonder becomes destructive in heaven as it has done here on earth?  I wonder as I wonder as I wonder.

wonder

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