Monday, November 27, 2017

Follow Your Dreams. Or Maybe Not.

This morning I woke from switching the channel in my brain to catch bits of three different dreams.

In the first one, I was working on recreating a Very Famous work of art for in my home but struggling with the details on where to put it. Apparently one of the most famous sculptures of all time is a 100 foot long strip of white fabric about 2 1/4 inches wide. It has been cut on the bias and starched to crispness with a crease right down the center. Then it is laid on the floor, stretched almost straight out but with only slight graceful curving this way and that, undulations like the wave of the sea, truly a thing of beauty. 

As I say, I was making one but only shorter (as nowhere in my home would allow for the full 100 feet). I was none too sure it would be visually effective in its shortness, in fact, it looked more like trash that needed to be picked up and tossed...

so I switched to the next channel.  Here I was in a room with a window with six large panes, light streaming in at a the wintertime late afternoon angle, but very bright. Beside me on the floor (the floor again?) was a plastic reindeer, kind of a chunky one, maybe more like a moose, but his antlers were reindeer antlers and richly covered with gold glitter. Anyhow, the light was making a wonderful silhouette of the reindeer and the crossbars of the window pane, which I wanted to photograph. But I could not figure out how to photograph just the silhouetted shadow on the floor and not the admittedly tacky reindeer itself. So again, I switched the channel... 

on this channel I found myself with a pocket full of four or five plastic one inch balls, well, really large beads as they were strung together on elastic cording. They had the swishy stripes around them that are on some eos lip balm balls. I realized it was a "disassembled Chinese pet" and decided it was time to get up and start my real life.  
 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Reminders in the Crafts Aisle

I noticed the Frank Turner song playing at Wal*Mart today. I liked this part of the lyrics: 
 
then I remember you,
And the way you shine like truth in all you do.
And if you remembered me,
You could save me from the way I tend to be.

It strikes me that we should be like that to people around us, shining like truth in all we do while we communicate to the world that God remembers us and saves us from what we are.

and then toward the end came the words:

And then I catch myself
Catching your scent on someone else
In a crowded space
And it takes me somewhere I cannot quite place.
 
"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,  to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ." II Corinthians 2:15-17
 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

End of Summer Musings

This morning I picked what I suspect are the last of the blackberries *sigh*. There are only seven and they are not the best looking, but still.

I also pulled every last thistle I could find. I like pulling weeds at the end of summer. Their roots are barely holding on and the plant is ready to die. I wonder if, at the end of our lives, we are like that with out sin, just barely holding on to it and ready to have it removed from our lives. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita

Well, it's book report time on Rumer Godden's _The Battle of the Villa Fiorita_, which I finished reading last night.

This is a fictional work about a woman (Fanny) who had an affair and was divorced by her husband. She went to live with the new man (Rob) in Italy and two of her children showed up to fetch her back where, in their opinion, she belonged.

So right from the set up you see that this is a book about sin, and that there is probably not going to be any way to have a happy ending. (No spoilers needed for that!) And, true to life, there wasn't. Everyone involved continued to receive ugly consequences and wounds from the sin that had occurred.

Unfortunately the author did not include any significant redemptive value to the story other than showing how the characters, especially the children, grew through their experiences. I found it a story well-told, but not a happy one, and am glad that these characters are not my real life friends, as my heart would hurt for all of them. This is in contrast to the same author's _In This House of Brede_, where I felt glad to know the characters as friends.

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.