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I've published a book of short fiction on Amazon's Kindle store.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Please PRAY for BJ!!!

Not doing much writing today. Focussing on prayer for BJ, age 16. Here's a little bio and a web address.

BJ spent 5 weeks on a mission trip in Peru this summer, spreading the love of Jesus. A few weeks after returning home he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which quickly turned much more serious and became the lesser concern as an infection throughout his body was discovered. He is in the hospital on full support while his body tries to heal from this unknown infectious disease.

http://prayforbj.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 26, 2005

Running the race

Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(NIV - Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society)

Two fourth-graders running through the chapel--one wearing a heavy backpack, the other with a fishnet wrapped around his ankles. Eighteen other fourth-graders, wearing costumes from various time periods, screaming and shouting at the tops of their lungs. Encouraging their buddies on.

"Untangle the net!"
"Drop the pack!"
"Run! Run!"

The runners keep going until they reach "Jesus", waiting for them on the platform.

Do you think the K-5th grade "got it"? Do we get it?

If I read Hebrews 11 and 12 correctly, the concept is mind-boggling!

Moses is wanting us to stop thinking that we're not eloquent enough to speak for Christ.
Daniel is cheering for us to keep praying, in spite of distraction, delay, or danger.
Abraham is encouraging us to follow God, even when He leads us into the wilderness.
Peter wants us to stand up for our Savior, even when it's scary or embarrassing.
The apostle Paul and other Christian martyrs through the ages are reminding us that any suffering will be more than outweighed by the glories of heaven.

And to top it off, Jesus is interceding on our behalf EVERY second of EVERY moment of EVERY day!

In the light of all this, how can we ever say, "I can't handle this, I just don't know if it's worth it "?!

Will you join me? Let's lace up our shoes and get our focus on the finish line.

On your marks...get set...GO!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Disclaimer"

I would like to officially distance myself from Pat Robertson's comments on "The 700 Club", August 22, 2005.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200508220006

WHAT was the man thinking??!! How does this fit with God's longsuffering? How does this fit with Robertson's well known pro-life stance?

The most charitable explanation I can come up with is the thought that, at 70-something, maybe he's slipping a cog now and then?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Apologies to Emily

I'm in a mood today, so without further ado....

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise -- you know!

How dreary -- to be -- Somebody!
How public -- like a Frog --
To tell one's name -- the livelong day --
To an admiring "BLOG"!

(with apologies to Emily Dickinson)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

"He knows my name...."

From the time I began to grasp the concept of spelling, my name has been an issue (to a greater or lesser degree). Even though it's spelled "M-a-r-c-i-a", it's pronounced "Marsha". So for 40 years, more or less, I've spent a varying amount of time correcting people's perception of my name. Those who could pronounce it didn't know how to spell it and those who knew how to spell it couldn't seem to pronounce it. ("Marseeyah?" "Marcie?" "Maria?")

Growing up, my name issues (along with my reserved nature) made me feel distinctly "forgettable". I was always pleasantly surprised and mildly shocked when someone remembered me from one occasion to the next. I thought it was just me who felt that way.

Years later, I worked in a coffee shop where we wrote the customer's name on their order and called it out when the order was ready. Working there, I discovered I had a knack for remembering names. I also discovered that most people felt that same pleasant shock when I remembered their name as soon as they walked in the door. God has given all of us a desire to be known and recognized.


A few years ago, I discovered a simple little song--"He Knows My Name", by Tommy Walker. The chorus says:
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call.
(© 1996 Doulos Publishing)

God speaks in His Word on more than one occasion of knowing someone by name.

The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus as the Good Shepherd "calls his own sheep by name".

The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 2:19, "The Lord knows those who are his."

Still, today, people struggle with my name. In fact, it happened again just a few days ago. But someone else's ability to grasp my name isn't an issue anymore. I can smile or even joke when it happens. HE knows my name! That's good to know in a culture that tends toward "namelessness"!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hmmmm....

Teenagers come to us looking for something to die for... and we give them pizza. - Kenda Dean

Thursday, August 11, 2005

who will tend the garden?

Writing "gardensong" got me thinking...about gardening...literally and figuratively. Mom and Grandma and Great-grandma all love/loved gardening. At least, I got that impression from watching them. That leads me to a whole new set of ponderings.

Do they/did they really enjoy it, or was it just done as a duty or necessity?
"If I don't garden, I'm a bad wife and mother."
"If I don't garden, we won't have enough to eat."

If they didn't enjoy it, did they grow to do so by gardening? Maybe it's like the theory that if you try a new food enough times, you'll learn to enjoy, or at least tolerate it? Is there a grace that comes with accepting genially that which cannot be avoided?

Is "enjoyment" a legitimate justification to do or not do? I imagine their generations would say "no". They are the generations who tamed the wilderness, who survived the Great Depression. For them, "enjoyment" had little to do with the deciding. Enjoyment had more to do with the accomplishment. My heritage has much to do with the fact that so often, they did not think of their own enjoyment first.

Grandma and Mom inherited the garden. It went like this: Della started the garden when the land was cleared. Ida married Della's son and took over the garden when Della couldn't do it anymore. Ruth married Ida's son and took over when Ida couldn't anymore. Ruth has no sons--only daughters (that would be me).

If I want the "garden experience" to be there for my kids and grandkids, maybe I need to become actively involved in the gardening process?

But I'm from the "if it feels good, do it" generation. I don't like to garden. Too many bugs (ew!), too hot, too boring, too much dirt under my nails. How do I make myself do it/enjoy it?

Who will tend the garden?

I don't enjoy getting a tetanus booster shot. I don't particularly enjoy going to the dentist. But in those instances, I would see "lack of enjoyment" as a childish criteria for making the decision. Maybe it's time for this baby boomer to grow up and "just do it"?

Who will tend the garden?

What are the allegorical meanings to the garden? What other "gardens" do I want to leave as a legacy for my children and their children? Faith in God. Industriousness. Life-long learning. Meditation. Purpose. Empathy. Family. Creativity. Prayer. What do I need to do to create that heritage in their lives?

Who will tend the garden?

"The way is long...let us begin."
© 8/11/05

Monday, August 08, 2005

gardensong

I stand in the garden, nibbling one of the freshly picked snow peas. Watching the last of the evening sun as it slants over the roof of the house and gilds the walnut tree in the back yard. A petunia-scented breeze ruffles my hair. What a relief after the day's heat. I curl my toes in the sandy soil, dry and crisp on the surface but still damp from the morning’s rain underneath. A quarter mile away, the neighbor’s dog is barking. The wind sighs through the pines. Behind me, I hear the faint rustle of my mother picking the beans. In my memory, I see the beloved forms of Grandma and Great-grandma, as they were then, stooping over the same garden’s rows. I consider the very real possibility that someday my grandchildren will stand where I do now, drinking in another August evening. A rush of thankfulness and contentment squeezes at my throat.

(Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad! Thanks for "choosing" such a wonderful heritage for me!)

© 8/8/2005