Archives November 2021

The Lifeguard On Duty

green lifeguard tower on beach

What book are you reading? This question reminds me that we all must fill our reservoirs or we run out of what keeps us writing.

I don’t get to them as I would like to—but I have several groups that I enjoy following, even if it’s a rare occasion that I actually get them read. Today I read the short message sent from Seth Godin. He’s almost always short, as in a line or two short.

Not quite as short as a Hiku but close to it. The message went like this, some days you may not be the best prepared in the world, but if someone is drowning and you’re the lifeguard on duty you’re the one that goes in.

At Thanksgiving dinner, this year I was retelling a story told to me about an old preacher friend. It seems Mr. Nolan was in the hospital for some reason or other, and as was Mr. Nolan’s habit he was practicing a sermon he had prepared.

One of the nurses complimented him on his lesson, but wondered why he was preaching to someone when no one was there listening.

The old preacher’s response was, ‘Oh, well no one listens to me anyway.’

But one thing that could be said is that he never gave up. This reminds me of my morning Bible reading in Ezekiel:

“Ezekiel 37:

1) The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 

2) And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 

3) And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 

4) Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 

5) Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:”

We live in a beautiful world full of good…it can also be said we live in a dark world full of evil. Both are flowing around us. We here in the middle of nowhere read or hear on the news the reports of those who are shot and live in fear in the inner city but…

We live in a world where at times even the living of this world are also the dry bones—they aren’t listening. Like the lifeguard on duty and Mr. Nolan, we go in anyway.

“2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

Like the old gospel preacher used to say, ‘That means we preach it (the Word of God) when they like it and when they don’t.’

Questions, Always Questions

father and child having fun

A few years ago, at a legislative coffee, a question was asked of the legislators ‘What is the greatest threat schools face today?’

In scrolling through some posts the other day there was a picture of a small boy being tossed into the air as it were by his father. We’ve seen this game of tossing the child up and catching them. It’s great fun, although mom’s often protest with the words, ‘not so high.’

The problem in the picture I saw was that as the child is flying upward someone was erasing the father out of the picture from underneath. In effect, it’s as if the child in the picture is in freefall with no one to catch him when he comes down.

A few years ago, at a legislative coffee, a question was asked of the legislators ‘What is the greatest threat schools face today?’

The simple answer given by the older legislator was, ‘The absence of fathers in the home.’ The startled response by the person who asked the question was, Well, I didn’t see that one coming…

Is it only in this ‘civilized’ country of today that fathers have been erased from families as unnecessary? This has been the case until at some recent point the experts realized that homes without fathers are messed up.

Far too long our country has attempted to remove the male figure from our society and label masculinity as toxic. Our government has been replacing men/fathers with its self—Paying women to remain single and have children ‘out of wedlock.’

it was a win/win situation for the government daddy. Women have children, and then turn the children over to the state to indoctrinate them while the women must work at a job to make ends meet and we all pay higher taxes in order to provide free child care and more education.

Men were only necessary for impregnating women then they could disappear. This worked as well as the elephant project that removed the older elephants from the family and left the younger elephants to grow up without adults.

When the bull elephants came to their teenage years they began terrorizing the communities. At that time it was discovered that the young elephants needed the older males to teach them how to behave.

Now the experts are admitting that fathers are a very important piece in the family for both sons’ and daughters’ physical and mental development. Studies show that people who first get an education, get a good job, then marry before beginning a family are much more likely to succeed.

When Young Fuzzy was taking piano lessons his last teacher used a twist on the saying ‘practice makes perfect.’ Because if you practice something wrong and continually practice it wrong, no matter how much you practice it—it will always come out wrong. The phrase should be perfect practice makes perfect.

Of course, no human being is perfect, not men or women. Only God is perfect. We see many families struggling today for different reasons. The main reason is how far most people have rejected God. If we don’t honor God we won’t honor one another.

God is the author of humans and families. The farther we get from God and his plan on living and life the more problems we have and the more difficulty we will have to put our lives in order. The more distant we drift from God our lives become more disorderly and chaotic.

James 4:

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 

Where We Go

close up photo of chocolate cake on a gold colored saucer

We were just out there spending money like we had some to spend.

Something I don’t understand is where time goes. I was up not early as I used to get up, but early enough to get my Bible reading done, and the next thing I knew it was time to go get my hair washed.

For a year and a few months since I was so sick, I’ve been having my hair shampooed at the shop in town. I found I was too incapacitated to do it myself and Old Fuzzy, no matter how wonderful is not a hairstylist or hair washer either.

We are not set up at home for washing hair like the shop in town and so that’s the way that went. After getting my ‘scalp massage’ as they term it, Old Fuzzy and I stop and buy ice cream at another shop, and today we ordered pizza for lunch. We were just out there spending money like we had some to spend.

Young Fuzzy and his brother, Good Fuzzy was working at getting some of the harvest harvested and we picked up the pizza for lunch and took it out to them. That was a win-win for all of us, except…

In our area, it’s real difficult to find a better pizza than our local Casey’s pizza and that is what we ordered. When we get Casey’s pizza I eat it like it’s good and after two pieces of pizza, I was so full I had to nap.

My Cousin Coco when we were growing up was a fifty-pound weakling, then eventually a hundred-pound weakling. None of us were huge eaters but when we ate she would always have to unbutton the top button on her jeans until everything settled.

Well, today that was me. Not just the top button but the second button as well. I was that stuffed. A nap was good, but that’s the way that went as well, my afternoon was pretty much gone.

Looking through the lens of time, what does life look like? What does society look like? Narrowing it down, what do we look like? Are we trying to encourage others? Are we working to help our friends, neighbors, and countrymen?

The meme says, ‘Be the reason someone smiles today.’ Or there is another meme that reads, ‘I may not be your closest friend, but when you hear my name, I hope it brings a smile to your face.’

There are helpers and there are anti-helpers. I kind of made that word up, but here in third John, we have contrast as to this. The anti-helper is Diotrephes, an arrogant fellow. The opposite here is Demetrius.

3John 1:

8) We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

9) I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

10) Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

11) Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  12) Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 

Alternative Universe

scenic view of sea against sky during sunset

Each week is different, yet each week is the same. Our plans sometimes come to fruition, and sometimes they don’t.

What did I do this last week? I don’t know. What did I plan to do this last week? I don’t know that either.

I used to make out a list of things to do. This was quite helpful. I would number the things on my list as to what I wanted to do first, second, and so forth. At the end of the day voila! I could look back and see what I’d done.

Those were the days when I had an idea of what I was able to do the next day and I never questioned that ability. That world seems to have disappeared into an alternative universe.

What now exists is a world in which from one day to the next my body doesn’t respond the same. I’ll go to bed thinking that in the morning I’m going to get up and… And I have a litany of things I plan on doing.

But maybe I don’t have a good night of sleep or I would have a good night of sleep IF I didn’t have to get up every hour on the hour for five straight hours. The next morning I’m wiped out for the whole day.

Or maybe I get up and begin working on some of my decided on projects when I time out. That means for all of my good intentions at that point I have no more energy, no more anything left and it’s time for someone else to take over the job I was invested in.

I genuinely don’t know what happened. It sounds trite but I went from a superwoman to what’s left.

This isn’t always easy to come to terms with. I’ve read other people who write about similar problems that come with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. They have similar comments and a common observation is how because they don’t look sick everyone believes they are being dishonest.

People who have been their friends tend to drift away thinking they are being overdramatic. Some specialists insist fibromyalgia doesn’t exist because you can’t measure or touch it to confirm the diagnosis.

And then there is the advice. The advice comes from people who are about half my age and live on the planet I used to live on in the universe that made sense. The universe that said things like plan your work and work your plan.

Some of my readers will understand where I’m at and some won’t. The idea is we need to give people their space. I’m thankful I’ve had my time when I was a superwoman.

At least this time in my life has come about later in life. My heart goes out to those who are young and are going through the winter of their life in their spring or summertime.

Ecclesiastes 1:

3  What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever.

5  The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

6  The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

7  All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8  All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.