Monday, May 22, 2017

Glimpses

Every now and then new things pop up in the most familiar places. Yesterday I met two new things. I'm sure I passed many more but didn't notice them, but here are the two I met:

One of my favorite chapters is Isaiah 40. That was one of the readings yesterday and I followed along in my French Bible because I am so familiar with it. Only -- when I got to verse 27 I was in for a big surprise. Up until that point, all the /you/s had been plural, "vous". All of a sudden verse 27 switches to the familiar, singular "tu". I was so surprised I nearly raised my hand to say, "What what? Why? What is going on here?" I'm still puzzling about it. Are there English translations other than King James that preserve singular and plural second person? And what do you think the switch means?

Then. While my head is still going on those tracks, we hit these verses in Romans 12 ~  
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
  
Well, again, a familiar memory verse chunk for me that I think I *ahem* know all about. When suddenly it (and by "it" I suspect I mean the Holy Spirit) strikes me with the thought that maybe, just maybe, the part in verse 21 is not what I have always thought, a recipe to defeat evil OUT THERE (as in vanquishing a foe) but maybe, just maybe, about overcoming the evil that continues to dwell in me. Well. Duh. Because that really is the evil that I am responsible to work on overcoming, isn't it? 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Work X Three

One of my memory passages is I Thessalonians 1. Right off the bat in verses 2 and 3, I hope the things Paul has to say of the Thessalonian believers may be true of me as well:     
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,  remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

But the part that stands out to me is the repetition of faith, hope, and love from I Corinthians 13 and how Paul puts some meat on them, moving them beyond sappy words on a greeting card and into roll-up-your-sleeves and get to work: 

the work of faith

the labor of love

the steadfastness of hope

and then, of course, how we do it... in Our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be faithful today. 

bonus... a favorite necklace I bought when I was about 15 and still enjoy wearing. I have always liked fidgeting with it and when I read these verses I pretty much feel the charms.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Take. Have. Be.

Last night Miss Dog Lover and I watched the 2015 Cinderella. If you've seen it you probably remember the oft-repeated theme quote: Have courage and be kind. We had a stormy night and the wind rumbled the phrase through my head as I slept or tossed. 

I keep thinking about the words have and be. It is along the lines of:
 “To be is to do”—Socrates.
“To do is to be”—Jean-Paul Sartre.
“Do be do be do”—Frank Sinatra.
 but 

why do we say have one and be the other? Seems it must be that the being flows from what we have. And maybe the have is a matter of reaching up and plucking what we've been given in Christ so that we can live in a manner pleasing to Him. 

I also think of the little word take. One of my favorite books, Tasha Tudor's Take Joy, derives its title from Fra Giovanni's Christmas prayer: 

I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present moment. Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy. Take Joy!
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
It is the Lord of life Who tells us to take heart:  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33. We become more like Him when we take the things that have been given. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

No Right-of-Way

Mr Music and I are working through the Driver's Manual. I am not a great driver so this has been a good study for me. One concept has really surprised me with its applicability in many parts of life. 

When driving I always hear about who "has the right-of-way" in certain situations. But, there is no such thing, according to the manual, 

The law does not give anyone the right-of-way at intersections; it only says who must yield. Even when one driver is legally required to yield right-of-way, if he or she fails to do so, other drivers are still required to stop or yield as necessary to avoid a crash. 

Might apply in other areas of life, eh? No one has right-of-way. No one.

Ephesians 5:21 ~ Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.



Saturday, December 31, 2016

ShaLOm in 2017

Well, here it is the end of 2016 and I am posting my (planned... ya never know how that will go, ask Robbie Burns' mousie) one-word focus for 2017.

I am going with shalom. I like the way Cornelius Plantinga Jr presents that word in  Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin. At one point he writes:  

In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight--a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
I want to focus on things becoming the way they are supposed to be, with wholeness and healing and all the deliciously dripping sweet fruits of the Spirit. 

And because I do not ever really get the whole one-word thing, I am mentally writing the word this way: shaLOm. I am using the L to remind me to Listen, a skill where I am very weak, and the O is not really the letter /O/ but a kind of sphere to remind me to Mind My Own Sphere of Dominion (and not everyone else's).

What about you? Have you got a one-word focus for the new year?  

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

To Whom Shall We Go?

Last night Devastatingly Handsome took us to see Doctor Strange. It was a film that promised to suit everyone in the family, from those of us who enjoy superheroes to those who are content to see Benedict Cumberbatch. Not saying which category I may fall into. :)

This film has a crazy mix of world religions and mysticism, and there was a lot I wanted to argue with. But I was struck throughout the movie about how much of the script was either so close to Scripture or reminiscent of it and could have been reworded with direct quotes from memory work:

* The theme about Strange's arrogance and it not being all about him... we could substitute chunks of Proverbs and get there. 

* Something about his bold, insistent "I've come to bargain" reminds me of our need for a mediator.

* The Ancient One's final talk about death "Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered and your time is short" sounds straight out of Psalm 90 ~ "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

I was struck most strongly by two scenes fairly early in the show, the first, I can't find the exact words but Pangborn warned Strange that there would be a cost and that it was not money. This sounded very like the admonition in Luke 14:28 to consider the cost. Just a few minutes later, when The Ancient One threw Strange out of Kamar-Taj, he sat on the stoop, knocking and begging for entrance. I was thinking of Christ's warnings about being excluded from the kingdom of heaven until Strange begged, "Please don't shut me out! I don't have anywhere else to go.." It sounded to me like he was confessing along with Peter in John 6:68 "Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Troll in a Shoe Store, Sort Of

Distance never really seems to keep me from catching up with Miss Language and people she's met.  

This morning I woke from a long talk with a man in his shoe store. (FWIW, the man looked a lot like Donald Trump but I don't think that is really here or there, just speaks to my unconscious mind.) He talked a lot and I don't remember everything he said, but he was quite impressed by Miss Language, who had stopped in to do some shopping. 

It seemed to me to be a fairly normal shoe store but he told me quite definitely that it was 500 yards long which made it 5 square miles and thus very likely the biggest shoe store in the galaxy, probably even bigger than Amazon. I don't know but I did wonder.

Anyhow, back to Miss L. As I say, she had impressed him, though I don't remember everything he had to say.  He did let me know that she is coming out with three new books (I hadn't heard!): one on linguistics, no surprise there; one on French poetry, more than a bit surprising to me; and one a fiction title, again, not too surprising. Can't wait to read them all! It seems he has already read them and thought they were fantastic.

He also commented on her hair and on some of her admirers among other things. 

Then I woke up from this pleasant chat about my sweet daughter and found this in my messages, her newest 'do.

No wonder he was impressed. 

~ ~ ~

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. ~ Philemon 1:7