Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

The Christmas Afterglow

Christmas feels like that time of year when so much of my work blooms. Even though the leaves on our Boston Ivy are falling and the Avocado is very confused about what season we're in, the children are stretching their minds and using their little voices in new ways. They fill my hands with colorful leaves on our walk and say, "Here Mommy-Bird, some pretty leaves to decorate." They squeal with excitement about the chance to stomp in the fuzzy-looking winter rye or the ankle-deep clover, and they race up and down the slopes of our neighbors' front yard. 

Everything is a treasure to them: the limes that fell off a neighbors' tree, the junk-mail in the mailbox, a handful of change in their stockings. I was inspired by Laura Ingles Wilder's Little House on the Prairie.

"And in the very toe of each stocking was a shining bright, new penny! They had never even thought of such a thing as having a penny. Think of having a whole penny for your very own. Think of ha…

Sermon on the Mount

Jesus has just called some of his disciples to follow him. So they did and he says to them, “How blessed are those who are here in this kingdom. They are different than the world. They are like light in a dark place. They not only do what is right, they feel what is right too. They do the right things for the right reasons. They aren’t afraid. They don't try to play at being God, and they are always asking God for wisdom. They are perfect.”
Well at that moment, I’m sure the disciples looked at one another and wondered, “Who’s perfect? I’m not perfect. Neither are you. Maybe we’re in the wrong place.” Or maybe some of them started to think, “Gosh, I’m pretty far away from that perfection. I better start getting my act together so I’m good enough to stay here.” Still others might’ve said, “That’s impossible! No one can live like that. We’re human after all. Not only do we do wrong things, we have wrong thoughts and motives.” And I think that Jesus could’ve taken any of these wonderin…

The Days of Christmas: Day 12

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Twelve spinners spinning,
Eleven fighters fighting, Ten fingers opening, Nine spherules dangling, Eight panes a glowing, Seven persons wondering Six bells a ringing, Five pink rose buds, Four boxy flakes, Three hidden cones, Two bobbing heads, And the marmalade boiling down for thee.

The Days of Christmas: Day 11

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eleven fighters fighting, Ten fingers opening, Nine spherules dangling, Eight panes a glowing, Seven persons wondering Six bells a ringing, Five pink rose buds, Four boxy flakes, Three hidden cones, Two bobbing heads, And the marmalade boiling down for thee.

The Days of Christmas: Day 10

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Ten fingers opening, Nine spherules dangling, Eight panes a glowing, Seven persons wondering Six bells a ringing, Five pink rose buds, Four boxy flakes, Three hidden cones, Two bobbing heads, And the marmalade boiling down for thee.

The Days of Christmas: Day 9

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Nine spherules dangling
Eight panes a glowing
Seven persons wondering,
Six bells a ringing,
Five pink rose buds,
Four boxy flakes,
Three hidden cones.
Two bobbing heads,
And marmalade boiling down for thee.



The Days of Christmas: Day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eight panes a glowing
Seven persons wondering
Six bells a ringing
Five pink rose buds,
Four boxy flakes,
Three hidden cones
Two bobbing heads,
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.



The Days of Christmas: Day 7

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Seven persons wondering, Six bells a ringing, Five pink rose buds, Four boxy flakes, Three hidden cones, Two bobbing heads,
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.



The Days of Christmas: Day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Six bells a ringing, Five pink rose buds, Four boxy flakes, Three hidden cones, Two bobbing heads,
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.

The Days of Christmas: Day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five pink rose buds,
Four boxy flakes,
Three hidden cones,
Two bobbing heads,
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.


The Days of Christmas: Day 4

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Four boxy flakes,
Three hidden cones,
Two bobbing heads,
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.

The Days of Christmas: Day 3

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three hidden cones,
Two bobbing heads,
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.







The Days of Christmas: Day 2

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two bobbing heads 
And the marmalade boiling down for thee.

The Days of Christmas: Day 1

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, The marmalade boiling down for thee.



A Psalm of Thanksgiving

That an escaped rabbit could bring such delight to children and mommy alike.  Praise Him! That children delight in mimicking my baking, stretching, and parenting.  "Mommy, if you get tired while we're walking, you can hold my hand."  Praise Him! That broken branches of seeds and pods found in the streets  can be the embellishments of my home.  Praise Him! That the hills rise up out of the city,  and that trees fall dead on their dusty slopes.  Praise Him! That when I sit down to eat, I never have to apologize for the meager portions at any meal. Praise Him! That barefoot boys raise ruckus.  Praise Him! That houses foster gatherings of home-baked pies and home-baked people. Praise Him! That tenderness need not be taught among the tenderhearted.  Praise Him! That when I lay down to sleep every night,  I have no terror of destruction or enemies or oppressive spirits or haunting memories.  That the walls of my home and the walls of my heart  are guarded by a great and powerful God  who orchestra…

The Rabbit

Everything I know about rabbits I learned from Richard Adams' Watership Down. 

Namely:
1. Rabbits can be ferocious fighters.
2. Hutch rabbits are idiots.
3. Rabbits do not like to pass droppings in their burrows.
4. Rabbits can swim.
5. Rabbits don't walk single-file or make very long sprints.
6. Rabbits can only count up to four.
7. Female rabbits are the ones that usually dig burrows.
8. Rabbits can be so scared that they freeze or drop dead.
9. If conditions are too bad, female rabbits can absorb their unborn young into their bodies.

Unfortunately all that nonsense—Or who knows? Maybe it's true.—hasn't helped me understand the nature of owning a rabbit as a pet.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the front yard with the children when Joan, our neighbor across the street, asked if we'd seen the rabbit. A rabbit! Why, that could provide a good ten minutes of entertainment. We hustled up the street to where our other neighbor, Brenda, and her two daughters, Kayla an…

Escaped Surgery Patients!

Wounded by wrongs, real or false, I know
For treatment I must to the doctor go. 
There answers cut open my heart like knives,
And a fount of forgiveness freely I may imbibe.
But oft' when ill feelings’ have found their source—
Her indifference to regard me as I like, of course—,
I recoil at the image in this 'luminating mirror 
And assign this diagnosis to another who’s near.
“Perhaps that’s why she's so hostile to me—
No accolades I sing her, no recognition's free.
And I with her censures cannot agree.
She too must need insight for errors to see.”
“Maybe I can play doctor on her soul with this light,
And charge not a penny for my wise insight.
Just a simple apology and the esteem I deserve
For diagnosis and operation on what I observe.”
Thus I by my scruples decode then her own
Neglecting that heart where insight's been shown:
The heart I call mine that leapt off the table
After doctor’s incision this vision enabled.
“The Lord won't etherize his patients,” devils say,
“Nor ties th…

Halloween for the Christian

Can God redeem anything? The bible shows how Christ took back for himself the symbol of the snake, demon-possessed people, actions meant for evil, meat sacrificed to idols, and the alter the Greek’s made to an unknown god. 
But there are also some things that God commits to destruction because their wickedness is too great: the world at the time of the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the inhabitance of Canaan, the alters to Baal and Asherah, and people who committed certain crimes. 
In the new testament we are told to put to death the deeds of the flesh: lust, greed, malice, envy, hypocrisy, slander, deceit. Sins aren’t worth keeping. The sinner is redeemable up to a certain point, but they will probably have to sacrifice certain activities or pastimes to stay far away from the sins that so easily ensnare them.
So how do we know if something can be used for good or if it should be committed to destruction? Certainly it will be different for every person. One man will refuse to even walk into …

Tales of Central Park

The usual assortment of people were at Central Park today. The hispanic nannies, the lovers making-out beneath the trees, the homeless fellows sleeping next to their chihuahuas, the engaged dad holding a fairy wand while chasing his daughter across the lawn, the mentally handicap man with bright orange hair with his completely functional son, the lanky little girl missing two front teeth and talking to her imaginary pink dog, the threesome of boys and one highly flirtatious girl trying to engage both admirers but always leaving one rather bored and depressed.

Lee and Rose were playing with the big kids on the play structure. A group of three boys around six or seven years old gathered around the base of the play fort. Lee had climbed up inside and was scaling the walls of the fort using the pretend windows as footholds. He popped his head over the top and looked down at the big boys below.

"You're too small to do that," said one of the boys.

"Yeah," joined his …

Dragged Out of the Mud

Dang! I’m not as perfect as I thought I was. Wait! What am I saying? I mean everything is fine. Nothing to see here. Just move along. Yes, if you were in my shoes, you might discover you were a raging monster too.
Dustballs in the corners, toys and un-toys strewn across the house, continuous nagging, defiant rebellion, screaming and crying and the long-past sleepless nights have all burned away a layer of goodness that I was sure I had. That’s what a good trial will do to you: show you what’s beneath. And this “trial” is merely the common experience of motherhood. I have it quite easy, which is probably why I’ve been able to continue believing myself rather good for so long.
I suppose it is the curse of the rich. We can keep our darker selves at bay with tasty food, trendy clothes, luxurious homes, and lengthy insurance policies. And here I thought that low income people could behave themselves if only they tried harder. Yes, if I were in their shoes, I might discover I was a raging mon…

Strange Genesis Stories

Genesis has some peculiar stories. Random stories. Stories that seem to completely interrupt the plot. I'd like to share how two of these stories make much more sense to me after reading John Walton's NIV Application Commentary Genesis. The placement of these stories isn't accidental, and their themes are not disjointed.

Take the rape of Dinah. This story comes towards the end of Jacob's conflict with his brother Esau, which was a result of Jacob stealing Esau's birthright. Jacob has moved back home and after wrestling with God and making peace with Esau, Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by the Shechemites. When Jacob's oldest sons, Simeon and Levi, hear of this, they slaughter the Shechemites. But what's that got to to do with anything? Does it simply show the sorry state of Jacob's family or explain how third-born Judah became a tribe of leaders and kings? Well, yes, but it does much more.

Backtrack a few chapters to when Jacob is first fleeing his…

Library Finds: Great Books for Children

I believe it's time for another listing of Library Finds. Some of my books included some historical fiction relating to the American Revolutionary War. I was doing some research earlier in the year and found a handful to well done children's books.

Again, my rating criteria is based on illustrations, parental appeal, storyline, and whether or not my children requested them again and again.


Colonial Voices, Hear them Speak by Kay Winter. This children's story was not for a 2 or 4 year old. Probably 6 or older. Excellent retelling of the Boston Tea Party from the perspective of a paper boy who's delivering newspapers to different people in town. The delivery boy then hears the opinions of everyone in town. Great illustrations. (Book Rating: 9)

Circus Ship byChrisVan Dusen. Clever rhyming story about a circus ship that sinks off the coast of Maine and all the circus animals come live on the island. Based on some real life events, which is always interesting. Great pictures w…