Monday, February 28, 2011

Guest Post

Following is a poem my daughter wrote for a history assignment combining Revelation 13:1 and the Viking's attack on monasteries in the Middle Ages.  When the monks saw the great ships with enormous dragon heads on their bows appearing out of the fog to approach the shore, they thought that the Scriptures were being fulfilled...

Standing on a sandy shore
The monk would pray but eat no more
Across the sea as John had said
Came a beast desiring dread

The dragon stood upon the sand
The monk cried out but all in vain
He was killed by the creatures hand
Which spread its terror like falling rain
On everyone it set its brand

On its head were blasphemous names
It never could have stood in war
But hid until its great downpour
laid bare all of its shames

At last the beast was gone
Like mist upon the morning air
As evening turned to dawn
The dragon crawled into his lair
 “And the dragon stood on the sand of the sea shore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea,
having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems,
and on his heads were blasphemous names.”
~ Revelation 13:1

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Only Trust

Reminiscing days of long ago;
difficult times of
intense sorrow.

Wordless prayers
crying silently to Jesus
pleading with Him to hold this child in His arms,
this child that barely began to grow inside of me
before his number of days were complete.
Or was it her?

At the time,
I was not able to understand,
not able to reason,
…only trust.

Today I sit with my precious daughter
as we visit a college campus,
considering her future together
with laughter, joy and eager anticipation.

She wants to pursue studies in medicine,
to prepare her heart with God’s Word,
to glean from missionaries and Biblical scholars.
She wants to be a medical missionary,
bringing the hope of wellness
to bodies and souls
in foreign lands.

She was conceived only three months
after the loss of the child I never met.
“But if we hope for what we do not see,
with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we should,
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

“And He who searches the hearts
knows what the mind of the Spirit is,
because He intercedes for the saints
according to the will of God.

“And we know that God causes all things
to work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.” 
~Romans 8:25-28

Grant Request

The opportunity was presented to me
to do something I’ve never done before;
write a grant request.

I swallowed the lump in my throat,
accepted the commission
and took the paperwork home
to begin my research.

It seemed so big and important
and I felt so small and insignificant in comparison.

Who is the keeper of this enormous source of funds?
There is no face, no emotion,
no soul-revealing eyes,
no way to perceive what is expected.

I simply must prepare my appeal
by emulating other sample grant requests,
scan it into cyberspace
and wait to see if this colossal,
mysterious, unfamiliar entity,
this Wizard of Oz,
would wave its magic wand
and *poof*
… a check in the mail.

And so I did.
And so I wait.

But what if it didn’t see fit
to deem us worthy of its money?
What if some other grant writer
has designed a more appealing presentation?

Doesn’t it know that we sincerely
desire this money for the betterment of the community?
Doesn’t it know that when its resources meet our resourcefulness,
the effectiveness of our ability to serve would be multiplied?

Well, I suppose that since it has so much money to distribute,
it must know the best way to determine who is most deserving.
In any case, all I can do is try to make us look good,
ask really nicely
and hope it all works out.

“It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place,
after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him,
‘Lord, teach us to pray…”
~Luke 11:1

“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.

‘Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.’”
~Matthew 6:9-13

As I swallow the lump in my throat,
accept the commission
and take His Word to heart,
it feels as if I am just beginning my research.

He is so big and important
and I so small and insignificant in comparison.

Who is the Keeper of this enormous source of hope?
Can I see His Face, His Hand at work?
How do I know what is expected?

“Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain,
The Lord who makes the storm clouds;
and He will give them showers of rain,
vegetation in the field to each man.” 
~Zechariah 10:1

“Come, let us return to the Lord… let us know,
let us press on to know the Lord. 
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
and He will come to us like the rain,
like the spring rain watering the earth.” 
~Hosea 6:1-3

God designed prayer
as a means of two-way communication;
for me to converse with Him
and He with me,
for me to hear Him,
to be quiet before Him,
…to know Him.

His desire is for a close relationship with me
and I with Him.
He has given us His Word,
His Holy Spirit,
His Son;
through these, all cause for doubt or uncertainty
is overwhelmed with
His assurance of salvation,
of love, of life, of truth,
of hope.

His ways are higher than mine,
His thoughts wiser than mine;
Who Is He?
…and who am I that He is mindful of me?

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 
For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who became His counselor? 
Or who has first given to Him
that it might be paid back to Him again? 
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. 
To Him be the glory forever.  Amen.” 
~Romans 11:33-36

“Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:6

Monday, February 21, 2011

Submission vs. Inferiority

Following are a few treasures I gleaned from a sermon…

I am saved through grace,
I am blessed through obedience.

Submission and leadership have
nothing to do with inferiority or superiority;
submission is an honorable role,
as is leadership.

If submission equaled inferiority,
then Jesus would be considered
inferior to God the Father.
It simply is not so.

"For it is God who is at work in you, 
both to will and to work for His good pleasure."  
~Philippians 2:13

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 60's

Computer?  What's a computer?  There were none in the 1960's, but nearly all of the words now associated with computers were very commonly used back then...

Laptop:  Where grandchildren sat to hear a story.

Windows:  An accurate weather report.

Mac:  A big shiny truck.

Web:  What was woven when first we practiced to deceive.

Facebook:  A large album of family photos held in place by little black corner tabs.

Links:  Sausages or pieces of a chain.

Chat:  What you had while sitting at a table sipping coffee.

Blog:  An exclamation of Batman’s fists as he battled the Joker (along with “Zap!”  “Pow!”  and “Wham!”)

Hack:  What we’ll do to the old red rooster when she’ll be comin’ ‘round the mountain.

Cookies:  What Grandma gave us before dinner.


Profile:  What was required for all prisoners.

Dashboard:  Where you stored your receipts in the truck.

Settings:  Groups of items; each group containing a plate, knife, fork, spoon, napkin and glass.

Tabs:  What you kept at the hardware store and the five and dime (sometimes you could clear them by fixing a busted pipe, a broken lawn mower, or bringing a regular supply of eggs from your chickens).

Insert:  An advertisement tucked inside the Sunday paper next to the comics.

Bullets:  What were in your gun in deer season.

Borders:  Dividing the United States from Canada and Mexico.

Spell Check:  Mom.

Merge:  Turning your truck off the dirt road and onto the blacktop after the cows moved out of the way.

Fields:  Where the crops grew.

File:  An emery board.

Draft:  1A

Zoom:  The sound an airplane or a Mustang Fastback made as it went by.

Macro:  Usually followed by “ni” and mixed with cheese.

Micro:  Prefix for scope, phone, or -nesia.

Post:  What the paper boy threw into the yard on Satuday Evening.

Network:  ABC, NBC or CBS.

Podcast:  Fishing for whales.

Sync:  Where you washed the dishes, bathed the baby, and cleaned fish.

Twitter:  What the little birdies sang (also cheep, chirrup, or peep). 

Tweet:  What you got when you did somefing vewy good.

Templates:  What you used when drawing house plans or doing geometry.

Domains:   Houses.

Feeds:  Various grains stored in the barn or silo.

Layouts:  Blueprints for a building, plot plans for landscaping, or placement instructions for dress patterns on fabric.

Reader:  A children’s educational book by McGuffey.

Mail:  A letter or bill which was sealed inside an envelope with 4 cents postage and delivered to your mailbox.

Mailbox:  A rounded metel box with a hinged opening on one end and a red “flag” on the side, usually mounted on a short post at the entrance of your driveway.

Friends:  People who spent time together.

Status:   What highly educated or wealthy people flaunted.

Video:  The fancy new replacement for reel to reel.

Password:  What you had to say to get into the secret tree house.

Sign In:  What you had to do at the DMV.

Spam:  Processed ham in a little can; best with white rice and seaweed.

Discard:  An old, unwanted library book.

Desktop:  Where you handwrote letters and bills of sale, and where you kept your dial phone, wooden pencils and manual typewriter.

Word:  Letters assembled into a small group, then various grouped letters put together using proper grammar, to communicate a thought.

Works:  When they're missing, faith is dead.

Charger:  A bull.

Online:  Where, if the ball bounced, you didn't get a point and it was the other kid's turn, but you always tried to argue that it wasn't.

Mouse:  What you chased out of the kitchen with a whisk broom.

Thumbdrive:  Hitchhiking.

Keyboard:  The wooden pegs on the wall by the back door where you hung your truck keys.

Mousepad:  When mice made a nest where hippies lived.

Contacts:  Devices used for electrical connection.

Apple:  What you gave to the teacher to get her on your good side.

Vista:  A view of the mountains on a clear day.

Gateway:  The Golden Gate Bridge.

Dell:  What the farmer was in.

Edit:  When you scraped your typing error off with a razor blade then moved the carbon paper over a little bit before you retyped the correction, hoping you had the letters exactly lined up when you rolled the paper back into place.

View:  See Vista and Windows.

App:  What you said to the dentist to make him upset while he worked on your teeth.

Safari:  A trip to hunt big game in Africa.

Thunderbird:  What you drove if you were hip, far out and out of sight… until your daddy took it away.  Are you still with me?  Groovy!

Crash:  What you did to a party or when you fell asleep on someone’s couch.

Search:  What you did for bobby pins, your Etcha Sketch or your favorite LP.

Printer:  A thick pencil in the hands of a small child.

Scan:  What you did to the horizon.

Cut:  What you did with scissors to paper.

Copy:  What other kids did to you that made you mad.

Paste:  An adhesive applied with a brush which was attached to the lid of the paste jar. (who is Elmer?)

Wallpaper:  What you used to decorate the walls in your house.

Amazon:  A river in South America.

E-Bay:  The word “bay” in pig latin (sort of).

Yahoo:  What you shouted at a country music concert, a sporting event or when you found a dollar bill on the ground.

Google:  A really big number with which only astronauts and math teachers were familiar.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Give a kid a lollipop,
give a clerk a smile,
give a guy a handshake,
go the extra mile.

Help carry the groceries,
wash somebody’s trucks,
run somebody’s errands,
go and feed the ducks.

Quit your pity party,
stop your grumbling angst.
Love was made for giving
So give love and then give thanks.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snail Mail

Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned,
but I like to send mail,
...real mail,
the kind that is hand written
in my own handwriting
with my favorite black pen
on stationery or cards which sport designs
that share in the expression
of the message, the occasion,
or the personality of the recipient.

In recent years, this mode of correspondence
has been christened “Snail Mail”,
likely because it moves from sender to receiver
much more slowly than any other form of communication
our rapid information exchanging world has to offer.

Consider the Snail…

Remember when you were a kid
and you happened to notice as you walked along the sidewalk
a little snail inching its way across to the green grass on the other side.

Did you stop to watch it,
to examine how its body contracted and relaxed in a pattern
similar to the way the muscles of your own throat moved when you swallowed?

Were you amazed at the amount of slime that one snail could produce
making its own little skating rink in order to protect its tender body
from the rough, scorching concrete?

Did you wonder how the shape of its shell
had such a beautifully intricate spiral pattern?

Did you feel sad when you put salt on the little guy
because your friend told you it would be fun… but it wasn’t?

Do you remember when you found an empty snail shell in the dirt,
and you picked it up and put it in your pocket.
Do you remember when, later on, you reached into your pocket 
to show off your treasure to your friend,
only to find shattered remnants?

Did you and your friend put two snails on a line for a race? 
Do you remember cheering your snail on to a victorious win,
then placing him into the grass as his reward?

Do you remember picking your snail up by the shell and holding him upside down
to watch his body recoil into the little house on his back? 
Did you sit down cross-legged on the grass and hold him for a really long time,
being ever so still,
waiting, for what seemed an eternity, for him to peek out?

Did you ever put a snail on your forearm?
Did you laugh as you watched him try to navigate the hairs that blocked his path?

God’s creation is worth the wait.
Steal some time to leisurely explore,
to examine,
to enjoy…
then write to tell someone all about it in a letter
………a real one.

“Be still and know that I am God… 
I will be exalted in the earth.”  
~Psalm 46:10

Here’s a fun link for all potential snail enthusiasts…

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


\fire up/

…like a wedge
inserted into knowledge and understanding
compelling a decision,
an action,
a directional movement.

Change cramps lifestyle;
causes discomfort,
at times is awkward or difficult,
even painful.

When thinking becomes cyclical,
when analysis begins to atrophy,
when decisiveness develops bed sores,
…when God’s Holy Spirit whispers, “Come”,
the first step is the hardest.

As my children study physical science,
their vocabulary list includes….

Acceleration:  The time rate of change of an object’s velocity.

Acceleration is a vector quantity,
meaning it contains directional information.

If an object’s velocity changes,
whether it speeds up (accelerates in the same direction),
slows down (accelerates in the opposite direction),
or changes direction which affects its velocity,
acceleration has occurred.

If I could choose one word
to portray the Gospel’s impact,
it would be acceleration.

Even within in God’s commands
to enter into His rest,
to be still,
to wait,
there are vector quantities
of spiritual growth,
of gaining understanding,
of acquiring a new song.

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.”
~Jeremiah 10:23

“Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off. 
Listen, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.”
~Proverbs 23:18,19