Monday, September 07, 2009

How Sarah Made a Big Mess

It's not as if she lost faith in the promise.
She had forgotten it belonged to her.
She knew that Abraham would father a nation.
She never doubted that.
But she was impatient,
And walking to the market she would see them,
with their bundles of wiggly flesh
And wonder, why should the wait be so,
Long . . .
And why she should be so old.
And when her time was passed,
She began to believe that the promise
was not hers, but Abraham's alone.
So she thought,
"No. I'll not wait my whole life to see this thing,
this promise come to be and then die before it's so!
It's not as if Abraham is perfect.
'Tell them you're my sister.'
Fine mess that got us into.
This time maybe we should go with MY idea.
And if . . .if it's not to be me . . .
(Oh, is God just waiting till I'm dead?
Surely Abraham is, by now.)
If it's to be someone else anyway,
Why shouldn't I choose?
Get to see it!
At least the beginning
and hear the tiny cries,
count tiny toes,
and stare into tiny eyes.
After all, it is so easy.
Hagar is right here . . . "
But, when the plan was complete,
The constant reminder was too much to bear.
"Father a nation, will you!"
And she never imagined the tiny cries
would carry to her soul
"Too old! Useless! Not yours!"
And while the pain of the exclusion
sunk into her bones
and filled her with hatred
where she thought love would be
she was still the mother of a promise,
a start-up nation,
and the beginning of the biggest plan ever devised.
The promise was still hers, as it had always been.
She could have loved Ishmael,
welcomed Hagar with open arms,
but HER promise still remained unfilled.
And she finally remembered it was hers.
Coming back in humility from self-doubt.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday. . . It's My Birthday Too!

Today is my 33rd birthday. In honor of this momentous occasion, I was curious to find out who I share a birthday with.

Engelbert Humperdinck was born on this day in 1854. That's the composer of the opera, Hansel and Gretel, not Arnold George Dorsey, the singer, who just goes by that name. Although, if I were choosing a name for myself that would be a fun one. (Although, I like William F. Buckley better.) It's fun to say.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875. Of course, Mr. Burroughs gave us Tarzan, for which we are eternally grateful. What would the world be like without all the bad acting that Tarzan has spawned over the years, not to mention the loin-cloths?

Richard Farnsworth was born on this day in 1920. Mr. Farnsworth was in quite a lot of westerns uncredited from the late 1930's until the late 70's . He was in The Outlaw Josey Wales which came out the same year I was born. He won an Academy Award in 1999 for the movie, The Straight Story. He also was in Anne of Green Gables.

Boxcar Willie & Conway Twitty also share my birthday so you know I can't help but love old country music.

Lily Tomlin was born on this day in 1939. In my research on this, I found out she is a lesbian. I didn't know that before, but then I have never paid much attention to Lily. But I did enjoy her performance in All of Me and I liked her in The Ant Bully.

Dr. Phil McGraw was born on this day in 1950.

Billy Blanks (the fitness guru) was born on September 1, 1955. He doesn't seem that old. Now that I know this, I will have to try Tae-Bo. Stay on my good side. I'll soon be able to kick your booty.

Gloria Estefan was born on this day in 1957. She doesn't seem like she should be that old either. Remember when she broke her back and wasn't able to "do that Conga" for awhile? I've always enjoyed hearing her sing. Her ballads are especially good.

Finally, Marcos Ambrose and I are exactly the same age. For those who don't follow NASCAR, Marcos drives the #47 Little Debbie/Clorox/Kingsford Toyota in the Sprint Cup series. He's pretty new to the series, but he has a lot of potential.

Just a few notable names, in case it being MY birthday wasn't enough for you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Am . . .

Some would say "lucky"
but I know the word is "blessed."
As unsure of my direction as Abram
as doubtful of provision, and
as worldly as Lot.
I know that I could very well laugh at a miracle (like Sarah),
be struck dumb for doubting the obvious (Zacharias).
I can be as sly as Jacob
and as angry as Esau (even when it's mostly my fault).
As proud as Joseph
and as guilty as Moses (and every bit as forgiven!)
I know that I complain like Job (not really patient)
and run like Jonah (I'm not brave at all)
I fly off the handle like Peter.
I am as devious and untrue as Judas (but not despairing)
and as complacent as Pilot.
But I am as amazed as Mary.
And sometimes as doubtful as Thomas.
But I know that I am as loved as John.
As loved as you--
And as loved as the world
"that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever. . . "
could know I Am.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Divine Appointments

I subscribe to an e-mail devotional that is written by one of my heroes, Max Lucado. Last Friday the devotion was titled, "My Message Is About Him" and it detailed the fact that so often we let our need for affirmation and desire for applause become our focus. In reality, the work we do is God's work and we are blessed that He allows us to take part in what He is accomplishing. It's not about us, it's about Him. So running with that thought, here is some scripture (and commentary) I thought I would share.

Matthew 9:37-38 tells us, "then saith he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plentious but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.

Notice that the harvest is ready. We are not told who prepared the field, planted it, or watered it, but that is okay. We know who has prepared this harvest for us. We are invited to labor in the harvest. The fruit is already ripe and ready. We do not need to do any further preparation, we merely need to trust "the Lord of the harvest" that He will send us where we should go.

Also, notice that He says "the laborers are few" To me, this means that there are many who are truly seeking the fields prepared for them. I think sometimes we plan to work in this great harvest, but end up in the wrong field. We need to be prayerfully open to our work assignments and willing to go where we are sent, not necessarily where it is convenient to go.

Consider Jonah for a minute. He was willing to deliver God's message, until it took him to Ninevah. What's your Ninevah? You can bet, if you have a Ninevah, God's going to send you there.

Now turning to Acts.

Acts 8:26-29--And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south, unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and behold a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias, the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

First of all, Philip is receptive and responsive to the Spirit's urging. I think we fall short of this often because we put things off. We'll do it later. The scripture above doesn't say that Philip waited. God had set up this appointed place and time for the Ethiopian to be waiting. I believe He even led the Ethiopian to that particular scripture. So when the Spirit urged him, he went.

Acts 9:8-16--And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him Arise and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus; for behold he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings and the children of Israel; for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Again, we see Ananias walking into a situation fully prepared by God. Saul has been placed in this position and humbled sufficiently to bring him the knowledge of the truth. All Ananias was required to do in this situation was to show up. God had already told Saul who to look for. Ananias simply had to obey.

Acts 10: 30-33--And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

This is probably my favorite passage of them all, because knowing the history here, we find God working on both sides of the conversation this time. Not only does he prepare Cornelius for the message Peter is bringing, he prepares Peter to bring it.

We must remember that our responsibility is to remain open to the Holy Spirit's guidance in our lives and follow His lead.

Finally, all the glory goes to God. Like I said in the beginning, it's about Him.

I Corinthians 3:6--I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Satan Is Buying a Snow-Suit Today.

I never, never, never-ever, never, never, never, never, never, never-ever thought that I would be saying this but, I agree with Bill Maher on something. Don't get me wrong. Bill Maher tops my list of people I cannot stand. But for once in his miserable, smug, wrong-headed little life he's picked up on something.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

(I don't agree with all of this, mind you. For example, I think it is ridiculous for anyone as self-important as this jerk to call President Bush "smug.")

Bill Maher criticizes Obama

Bill has pegged one of my biggest problems with this president from the first time I ever heard his name. Obama is a candidate and a politician--he is not a LEADER. In his entire career he has done nothing but campaign. He is still campaigning and as long as the MSM is asking him his opinion on anything and everything that happens in the world, he will continue to be on TV everytime you turn it on.

"President Obama, reports are coming in that Kim Jong-il has forgotten to brush his teeth this morning. What is your opinion of proper oral care for evil dictators?"

"Well, I believe that universal tooth care is essential for everyone. So, I have, with congress' help, borrowed another go-zillion dollars from China to purchase the ADA and will begin immediately to pull everyone's teeth and replace them with highly efficient, self-cleaning, solar-powered dentures. We cannot impose our oral hygeine on other countries. But we can lead the way."

Obama can give a speech. He can make an appearance on the Tonight Show. He can make the presidency look glamorous and hip. But what he cannot do is think of any solutions to our problems than getting us further and further into a debt we cannot repay and a government so big that our freedom disappears.

People like him because he is the rock star of the political world. He's living large and as long as we see him eating hamburgers and playing with his dog, there's the illusion that he's not completely screwing everything up.

Every move he makes is calculated to either win the office or keep the office. He's not really even all that concerned with getting anything done at all. He just wants you to like him and keep voting. For that matter, let him eat cheeseburgers, and play frisbee on theWhite House lawn all he wants. In my opinion if he wants to stay on vacation for his entire term, at least he wouldn't be ruining America.

And, as idiotic as it is, Bill Maher will vote for Obama again in 3 1/2 years whether he's actually accomplished anything or not and in spite of the giant mess he's already made. In 4 1/2 years, (if Obama is elected again), Bill again will be complaining about him. (Proverbs 27:20)

And Joe Biden was right (again, not sure I ever thought I would say this). There is coming a day when Obama will have to prove what he is made of. That situation has not come as quickly as dear Joe-Bob predicted, but it will come. And you can believe when that day comes, no one will like the outcome.

(By the way, Joe Biden is Obama's life insurance policy. Nobody's ever going to try to assasinate him as long as Biden is next in line. The Secret Service might as well take a vacation.)

Perhaps though, people will learn from all this that it is important who our leaders are, that not everyone can be trusted and that popularity is not nearly as important as substance.

We need to begin praying now that a good leader will emerge.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Forethought defines forethought as: noun
1. thoughtful provision beforehand; provident care; prudence.
2. a thinking of something beforehand; previous consideration; anticipation.

In practical terms forethought means:

  1. Do not be surprised that people will dig into your past when you answer a controversial question with a controversial answer at a beauty pageant.
  2. Don't be shocked when the private school you attend suspends you for going to another school's prom, when the rules of your school were clearly explained to you from the beginning.
  3. Prepare yourself for the reality that a man with 8 children and an insane wife could be tempted to be unfaithful (no matter how cute the kids are or how famous the family is.) I hate that show by the way.
Ever since I was little, I've been a planner. I like to know what's coming next. I like to be prepared, so I'm not sure what's gone awry when people seem surprised that their actions have consequences. There is an order to things. All living things respond to stimuli and the response can be calculated by simply watching the subject of the stimuli a little while.

That is not to say that I'm never surprised. There are some situations that leave you scratching your head from time to time. But if it walks like a duck and it quacks, you can proably lead it to water and watch it swim.

Okay. Rant's over now. I feel better.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Inventors Wanted

I have a few ideas for inventions and I need someone to help me develop some prototypes. Let me know if you can help me or know someone who can.

1. Lip Balm that comes when you call it. It seems inevitable that everytime I sit down to enjoy a little television after the girls have gone to bed, my lips will start to burn and feel dry. I don't want to get up to find my lip balm and I don't want my lips to hurt. So I feel there should be a real market for lip balm that will come to you when you need it. Surely, in this day of ever emerging technology, we can develop some kind of lip balm that senses when your lips are dry. After all, they have vacuum cleaners that work unattended now.

Of course, if you can figure out a way to make lip balm come to you, you probably could use that technology for virtually anything. People would never have to get up for anything ever again. We'd all be horribly fat, but extremely comfortable.

2. An Internet Site that will recognize portions of songs when they are hummed.
I love You Tube because I can pull up any song if I can remember the title or name of the artist. But sometimes, I can't remember either of that. All I can remember is the basic tune. So, I need something that will respond to me humming.

**Extra bonus points if you can identify this song is--Hm! Hmm-hm. Hm-mm-mm. Hmm-hm. Hmm-hm. Hm! Hmm-hm. Hm-mm-mm. Hmm-hm. Hmm-hm.

3. Bad breath alarm. This would some sort of device that would signal to anyone within a 20 foot range that the wearer has bad breath. It could say something like, "Do not approach without mints, gum or a gas-mask!" Since people with chronic bad-breath don't seem to ever realize it, maybe it could shock them a little until they brush their teeth, or apply some other breath-freshening tool.

4. Wrist Tissue Dispenser. For the child who constantly has a runny nose and feels compelled by some unseen evil force to drag their sleeve across their nose a million times a day. Dispenses a fresh tissue after each wipe.

5. Fanny-Pack Trash Can. Accessory to the wrist tissue dispenser. Also would cure "Here Mommy" syndrome. ("Here Mommy" Syndrome: A childhood affliction that causes children to hand you any variety of nastiness they can find. This tends to flare up at important formal social events and while you are driving. One of my children actually picked a dried booger and handed it to me while suffering from this. The worst part is that I didn't immediately identify what it was she had given me. That's been a couple of years ago and I'm still a little grossed out.)

6. Incriminating Gum. This gum would not only be flavorful, but would adhere to the face of anyone who attempted to dispose of it improperly alien-style. Will not stick to shoes, sidewalks, or the underside of desks, but almost impossible to remove from the face.

7. Bed-side Water Bottle. Just like the one in your guinea pig's cage, but for your five-year-old.

8. Washer-Dryer Combo. My dad and I have actually talked about developing a prototype for this one. I want a washing machine that will move the clothes immediately to the dryer unit when they are done washing. Why should I have to transfer them over? This also needs a sensor that will identify items of clothing that cannot be dried in the dryer and hang those up for you. It would also be great if it would sort light and dark colors, pick appropriate water temperatures, fold and put away or hang up the clothes when the dryer is done. Thanks.

9. Foot in Mouth Alarm. An alarm only you can hear that tells you when you are about to say something you will regret for the next 15 years. Also controls inappropriate laughter.

10. Auto-Blogger. Writes blog-posts for you based on your own uniquely weird ideas. For people who want to maintain a blog, and have great thoughts but somehow fail to actually write them.

11. Detachable Arm. Perfect for mothers, a fully functional arm that will carry things, open doors, find keys, and also be removable so you can find some way to get comfortable. Extendable, to reach children in the backseat. Available in addition to current pair of arms, or have current arms modified.

12. Impatient Idiot Puncher. I have wanted one of these on our doorbell at work for as long as we have had it. We have one person (she works here, in fact), that cannot wait for someone to open the door. She rings the doorbell repeatedly and does not wait a reasonable amount of time for someone to answer. I want a fist to punch her in the nose when she doesn't wait at least 30 seconds before ringing again.

If you know that any of these things already exist, please let me know where I can get them. I'm sure you probably have more ideas. Feel free to share. Together we can make a better world.