PICTURES TELL THE STORY

There are many who say that Climate Change is not an issue. Others seem to think the environment is expendable…it doesn’t matter what we destroy as long as we have fuel for our cars. Whether one believes it or not, mankind is wreaking havoc with the soil and with the air. We are destroying our home and the home of future generations.

Just take a look at the pictures on this site. http://zumfeed.com/life/1168-27-images-that-prove-that-we-are-in-danger-7-left-my-mouth-open.html

And after you look, tell me…IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?

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FACING THE SQUIRRELS

Life has gotten rather squirrelly lately. Squirrelly? Is that really a word? I hear it used but am not sure whether it has two “Ls” or not…hopefully you understand.

Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I really don’t want to give squirrels a bad rap. I like them. I feed them peanuts. I enjoy their antics. I had one that visited my doorstep when we lived up north. Whenever he saw me, he flattened himself on the deck, so I named him “Pancake.” (He didn’t answer to the name, but that was his name just the same.) The squirrels also kept stealing all of the food from the bird feeders, so I finally gave up and fed the squirrels instead. They did seem to enjoy that. Of course, one day I also came home to a decapitated squirrel in my front yard; that was left for the hubby to take care of so we won’t discuss that anymore.

Squirrels are just a little bit crazy, though. You know how they dart out in front of you as you drive down the street? They stop, sit up on their haunches, look right at you, and seem to say, “Go ahead…HIT ME! I DARE YOU!” And if you are like me, you slam on your brakes, and then check to make sure you didn’t just have a heart attack. It’s scary. Killing animals isn’t my thing. The thing about squirrels is that you never know what they will do…run across the road; run half way, look at you, and run back the way they came; do the “Hit me!” routine; or speed completely across to the other side.

Well, my life has been like that lately. I have no idea what to expect, no idea what’s coming, and certainly no idea how to handle it when it comes. Thankfully, I am at peace with that. Even if it is crazy, I still wake up each morning with a new chance at a new day. Because the eye issues haven’t fully gone away, I’m avoiding the gym (don’t judge! It seems like every time I go, I wind up getting sick), so I’ve begun spending time each morning stretching (yoga type stretches) and using some of my Leslie Sansone “Walk at Home” DVDs. I’m spending time in prayer (if you don’t pray, try it!). I’m getting my calm on so when a squirrel jumps out at me like the one in Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation,” I’m prepared. I may not know exactly how to handle it, but that will come.

I imagine life is squirrelly for most of us. How do you handle your squirrels?

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In Memoriam

September 11, 2001

Do you remember?

Our world changed that day.

Terrorism had a new face

And a new method.

Life had a new normal…

Increased airport security,

Wariness of anyone

Who looked Middle Eastern

(Muslim),

Polarization of our country

(If you are not for my ideas,

You are against ME).

FEAR

MULTIPLIED.

War,

Military,

Heroes,

Death.

Questions.

WHY?

I do not know

What drove men

to this.

I do know

that

I FORGIVE!

I WILL NOT WALK IN FEAR!

I WILL REMEMBER!

And

I WILL STILL LOVE!

In Memory 

of those who lost their lives 

at the World Trade Center,

at The Pentagon,

and in a field in Pennsylvania.

WE ARE ALL BROKEN PEOPLE

We had a guest speaker at our worship service this past Sunday. He said a couple of things that resonated with me. As a result, I want to share those and then my thoughts on them…but not in one post. This will take at least two, possibly 3 posts, so hang in there.

For today: “We are all broken people, just broken in different places.”

Isn’t that the truth? The problem is we enjoy pointing out what another’s broken place is without looking at our own broken spots. Our brokenness is painful. It’s hard to deal with. Pointing things out for someone else comes easily…we don’t have to do the work.

Brokenness first appeared in the Garden of Eden. GOD made a perfect world, designed to work in a perfect way. His creation was complicated by His desire to have people who responded to Him rather than humans who acted like robots. The poor choice of those first humans led to a break in the perfect design; our poor choices continue to skew the design into even more imperfection.

Despite the imperfections, GOD sought and still seeks to set everything right, to restore us and this world to its rightful place. He began that work with the one person who remained “unbroken” … Jesus. Everything Jesus said and did was about restoring the relationship between GOD and Man, between Creator and Creation. The process is ongoing.

The thing most of us forget is that it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s not just about GOD setting things right; He desires also that we would want Him to set it right and to cooperate in His efforts. Example: We cannot expect GOD to wave a magic wand and immediately we have a world living in harmony; we have to be involved in the process. We have to come face-to-face with our own brokenness and become reconciled to GOD individually so that we can help bring our circle of influence into harmony. It’s a partnership.

On Friday, we’ll delve a bit more into what that means…

Until then, spend some time considering your own broken places rather than focusing on anyone else’s brokenness.

Value in a Cracked Pot

The Japanese have an art form called kintsugi in which broken pottery is mended with a laquer which is dusted or mixed with precious metals like gold, silver, or platinum. The history of the piece is cherished, rather than discarded or disguised. There is a lesson for us here.

Tea_bowl_fixed_in_the_Kintsugi_method

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi Method. Image is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi and according to Google Images is Public Domain.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 64: 8 “But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter. Your hands made us all.” (NIV) If He is indeed the potter, then He is also in the business of mending what is broken. Our lives are His pieces of pottery and, because we live in a fallen world, we get broken more often than we can count. What if He mends us with something more precious than gold, silver, or platinum? What if He is actually mending our brokenness with more of Himself?

Every broken shard of our lives is being put back together when we call upon our Creator. Each crack is filled with more of Him so that, in time, we will be more Him than we are ourselves. When we are viewed by others, they will see a history that is rich and profound and behold the glow of something brighter than gold.

It is in our broken pieces that we become even more valuable to the Kingdom. I like that.

What about you?

Here’s another writer’s insight that I think you might like, too…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-meade-dhl/golden-repair-of-the-crac_b_6356216.html

 

GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART

For the beauty of the earth,

For the beauty of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies,

Lord of All,

To Thee we raise,

This our hymn of thankful praise.

(F.S. Pierpoint)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

David  Letterman has his top ten list every night. Today, I offer up my top ten list, too…of things for which I am most grateful.

(In descending order)

10. The smell of roses after the rain.

9. A cup of hot tea in the middle of the afternoon with a piece of quality dark chocolate…a respite from the craziness that life sometimes throws at me.

8. My senses. The ability to taste, touch, hear, smell, and see. Add to that the sixth sense, which man calls intuition, but I call the Holy Spirit.

7. My ability to think and reason…..a brain is a marvelous thing!

6. The universe….from the vegetation and oceans of earth to the brightness of the sun to the twinkling stars millions of miles away…the universe is awesome beyond comprehension.

5. My house…a roof over my head, complete with air conditioning for the hot summers of Houston and heat for a cold day in winter, and all of the other comforts that make a house, well, comfortable.

4. My country and the freedom which I was born into and the many people, living and dead, who have made that possible.

3. Friends…my true friends are not plentiful, but they are priceless.

2. Family…my husband who completes me, my daughter who was, and still is, an incredible gift, my son-in-law who is the son I couldn’t have, and two delightful, intelligent and beautiful granddaughters who make me laugh with pure joy.

1. GOD, Who in HIS grace and love through HIS Son Jesus, the Christ, gave me physical life and life eternal, Who put the pieces together, and continues to have a grand design for my life.

That’s my list; what’s yours?

If someone believes God, trusts His goodness and knows he or she is personally loved by God, they cannot help but be thankful. If you are not thankful, perhaps it is because you have stopped trusting God. Thankfulness is the language of faith.   Francis Frangipane


Who Are You?

I’m reading the book, A Life That Matters: Five Steps to Making a Difference by P.K. Hallinan, a pastor and a children’s book author. Even before he was an author or a “real” writer, he told people “I am a writer.” P.K. now teaches a course to would-be writers and encourages them “to act as if it were already so.”

How many times do we tell ourselves “I’m not a ______?” How many times do we live up to what we’re not? Words are powerful. They have the power to kill a dream or make a dream come true . . . in our own lives, and in the lives of others. I remember, as a child, telling my dad what I wanted to be when I grew up. (I had a profound interest in archaeology.) My dad listed the reasons why I could NOT be an archaeologist. My dream was snuffed out. A teacher told me I’d never make it in science. I didn’t. For years I’ve told myself that I’m not an athlete. I didn’t become one.

My mindset has changed, though. Today at the gym, chugging along on the treadmill, I said over and over “I AM A RUNNER.” I still walk more than I run and my pace doesn’t exceed 4.0 mph, but I AM A RUNNER. I’ve never run a 5k, much less a marathon, but I AM A RUNNER. I may not look like one, but I am! Some day others will see what I believe I am today.

Many people (I once was one of them) look in the mirror and say, “I’m fat” or “I’m unhealthy” or “I’m ugly.” What happens when the dialogue changes to “I’m at my right size” or “I’m healthy” or “I’m beautiful”? We become what we believe we are. We may not look like what we believe we are….but we are; our bodies are playing catch-up with our minds. One day the rest of the world will see that we are what we’ve believed ourselves to be, too.

So . . . Who Are You?