Tuesday, May 24, 2011

James Barry

                                    Can you believe this?  
A new grand-son in the posterity - a namesake even!
  Such big shoes to fill - a delighted grandmarmie muses....
But so clearly on his way to doing exactly that.
Thank You - Giver of Good Gifts.
You blow us away with Your extravagance.    

Bird Brain

For days now, I've had a colourful yet-to-be-identified feathered friend 
trying to bust through my dining room window.
Very aggresively - on purpose - repeatedly.  
I did the respectable thing and googled this phenomenon in search of a plausible explanation.
I like the way this guy put it....

Here's one possibility:  the bird is protecting a nearby nest from the
'threat' they see lunging at them in the reflection of the window....
their own.  Hmmm....
As always, it brings to mind the words of a song I know, this one by Rich Mullins:
I'd rather fight You for what I don't really want than take what you give that I need,
and I beat my head against so many walls,
now I'm falling...

One thing is sure, there are legit bird brains out there and then there's those of us 
who just act like we have one. 

A word from the Pyro's

Humiliated and humbled: sadly, not synonyms

by Dan Phillips 

Once there was a man with much to boast of; and boy, did he.
The man was builder/conqueror/despotNebuchadnezzar. A dream, brought home by a genuine prophet, had warned him of the consequences of his arrogance and called him to humble himself before God (Dan. 4:2-27). Nebuchadnezzar shrugged off the prophet's pleas and doubled down (Dan. 4:28-33). The king was instantly humiliated by a word from Heaven, and spent seven periods of time (?; don't ask) living like an animal (Dan. 4:32-33), until he saw himself in true proportion to God (Dan. 4:34-36). Now Nebuchadnezzar wasn't so big, but God was.

In this case, Nebuchadnezzar was both (outwardly) humiliated, and (inwardly) humbled. That is, God undid him, and he received the message. It's actually a pretty happy story. Many believe ol' Nabu-kudurri-usur was saved through the encounter. Possible. Only God knows.

Most of the similar stories I know, first-hand and second-, do not yet have such happy endings.

I know of a number of folks who have been massively and/or repeatedlyhumiliated, but never humbled. I could name politicians past and present, preachers past and present, and people past or present. I could name a name leading the news recently. Some of these folks I've never met; some I knew (or thought I knew) as well as I will ever know anyone who isn't me.

In each case, the natural process of following (sinful) choice A led to (foolish) choice B, which then led to disaster. Anyone with two functional neurons to fire in sequence, observing the situation, could make the connection: A led to B; A is the root-problem. Humble yourself. "Own," then disown A.

But, see, children, here's a crucial axiom of fallen humanity. It should probably be added to the 25 Things I've Learned (which seem more timely than ever)... though that would mess up the title. But here it is:
Everyone caught in a sin will either repent, or double down
There's only one way to be rid of a sin, and that way lies through repentance. Repentance is the way of humility. Repentance loves God, so it hates the sin. Repentance sees God as big, so it sees the sin as despicable. Repentance admits culpability, because it craves forgiveness — and only guilty people can be forgiven. Hence the need for "owning" — for confession — and for "disowning" through repentance.

By contrast, refusal to be rid of the sin inexorably takes one in the other direction. All defenses go up, and all assailants must be repulsed. Rationalization, blame-shifting, evasion, equivocation, lies, excuses... all these and many other baleful tools lie in the arsenal of the unrepentant.

Solomon's words, however, stand as true today as they were when first spoken and written:
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy
(Proverbs 28:13)
...and its companion warning:
One who becomes stiff-necked, after many reprimands
will be shattered instantly— beyond recovery
(Proverbs 29:1 CSB)
The lesson to us is clear: we should humble ourselves, lest we be humiliated. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you," Peter admonishes (1 Pet. 5:6).

Refuse to do so, and we will learn Nebuchadnezzar's lesson: that "those who walk in pride he is able to humble" (Dan. 4:37).

The fall back lesson is no less clear: if it comes to humiliation, take the message to heart. Don't be the last to know. Don't wait until the saddest two words in the English language become your epitaph:

"Too late"

Dan Phillips's signature

Monday, May 23, 2011


Some questions to ponder with me.... (please)
What if God's blessings come through raindrops?
What if healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know He's near?
What if trials of this life are actually mercies in disguise?

Yeah.  What if?  What if our little pea brain minds just don't think big enough?  Past our own little world?

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause, what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?
What if?

God is Good.  Not safe.  No.
But Good, ALL the time.

Yet another great singer/songwriter, wonderfully employed to spread the good stuff around....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Mom's Place

We did it.  We finally went through Mom's place.  
Sorting, discovering, claiming, giving away....
Right now, the experience simply defies words.  
The motherhood of all bitter-sweetness.
This heart is a torrent of feelings, 
some piled high and some carved low.  
But this head! ? ugh! --- 
it just seems to run around in an irreverent sort of way,
playing hide and seek inside that place.  
That space of tumultuous terrain. 
Hence the 'no words' dilemma. 
I'm glad to have this album of pictures to help me remember the way it was.
The song playing through the slideshow is 
Perfect Peace by Laura Story.
It is fitting -- but again, only strangely so.

My niece Julia (or was it Emily?) found her grandmother's old, sun beaten calendar which, 
on the day of her death records a curious but appropriate thought and prayer:
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, 
no mind has conceived what 
God has prepared for those who love him"  
I Corinthians 2:9
O Lord, lead me Home to heaven 
by whatever way I must go.