September 30, 2007
Psalm 30~ Joy Comes In The Morning
Majestic Clouds over the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City Beach FL
Joy Comes in the Morning
A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Yesterday marked the 19th anniversary of my conversion as a Christian, and today was the beginning of my Catechumenate period and was celebrated at St. Bernards Church this morning. Praise be to God for His never failing us as we make the journey of faith.
Labels: Faith, RCIA, scripture
September 29, 2007
Shining Surf Panama City Beach FL
Post written 9-28-2007
This has been one of the most incredible weeks since our move from Hawaii. A lot of stuff has been worked on by Woody and me in our relationship and in life in general and some big decisions have been made. There have also been some major life changing events in the offing, but first the news...
First of all my foot is a lot better. The doctor is cautious about my returning to work but is encouraging me to put some weight on it and try to walk as I can in the boot. No encouragement needed, but last saturday I overdid and it really hurt. This whole week I have been trying to not over do but stay as active as I can within reason. I need little encouragement for that. The doctor thinks it will be two more weeks before work is an option.
Woody has not felt like it was the right thing to be leaving me alone for long periods of time. First, I will do too much in the house, and second, I could get stuck and need help, like I did today... I couldnt get enough lift with the boot on to stand up straight. The pain is getting less and less with every passing day which is good.
Woody, in a rather unexpected moment a few weeks back declared to me that he was very sorry that he had bought the Crossfire and had caused all of the grief that has gone with it. For me, that car has come to symbolize so many of the inadiquacies of our relationship... and I know that the huge payments are swallowing up chunks of his retirement...while the sorry thing is depreciating at a rate faster than he is getting the note paid off so we are more and more "upside down" in the thing. I found myself cursing the thing when I would see it...Like the woman with VD after her husbands affair, the pain of the transgression loomed large on my mind. I could never quite get away from it and be at peace about it
To add insult to injury, the Avalon that Woody bought as a sort of running around vehicle is a clunker after all and is in the shop repeatedly. We are pouring money down a rat hole with that.
So we came to the decision that Woody would try to sell both cars. We didnt think he would get a dealeship to buy him out of the contract for the Crossfire, but his former employers at Honda of Fayetteville did and as we were taking I sugested that we throw the Avalon into the deal just to get rid of it. Since he bought it from them not that long ago, he got his purchase price out of it against another car. They took the Crossfire in trade for the pay off, so we are clear there. I agreed to sign for the car loan...after years of struggle my credit is 4 star and we got a decent intrest rate and terms...so tonight sitting in our drive is a 2008 Honda Accord. I drove it home and felt a touch of the thrill that I used to have when driving the LHS that I left in Hawaii. I am green with envy that Woody gets this new car. The second one in three months. I try not to be too jelous and remember that this will likely be the last new car he gets to buy...The money is pretty much gone and I cant see him taking a job that will get it all back into the bank again... The neighbors commented that we have a gold fleet now.. as bith the van and the Accord are that shiny gold color...
But now we are out of the Crossfire and out of the constant struggle with the Avalon...and the two of us are in one Accord...(we like that little pun a lot)
We are taking the car on a journey, that may take our little family in a new direction. We shall see how things go, but for now we are reconciled, which is the way things should be, and all is well, at least in our driveway for now.
Labels: Breaking News, Woody
September 23, 2007
Matthew 7:7-14~Enter By The Narrow Gate
The Narrow Gate....the one lane little Golden Gate near Beaver ARMatthew 7:7-14Effective Prayer
"Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You parents...if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.The Golden Rule
"Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.The Narrow Gate
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
September 22, 2007
Standing on the Inside
Healthy and on two feet, Your writer standing in front of the Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley, near Charleston South Carolina may 2007
My mother, once she was bound to a wheelchair was fond of telling this story....
A small energetic boy was unable to sit through church without standing up and making a comotion, Finally the exasperated mother sat the boy down firmly and whispered in his ear that if he didnt behave he would be marched out in front of everyone and given a reason to be unable to sit down for a bit...The boy sat down with arms folded and a frown on his face. The mother leaned over and asked "whats the matter now?" the boy answered " I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am standing up on the inside...."
I am standing up on the inside too. This is near the end of my second week of near confinement due to my broken foot. I have not spent as much time off of it as I should, my life is too busy and active to allow that. But the moderate pain and swelling does not allow for much walking even in the walking boot. I feel nearly claustrophobic much of the time and this has resulted in stress and tension that I really didnt expect. Being surrounded by my messy house but unable to do much cleaning, to see unfinished projects that have been laying around since we moved in, I am regaining the weight I lost...and there is Annabelle, who has fully given herself to Woody, and is both afraid and unconcerned about me now that I cant walk her, and play with her... I broke down and had a screaming fit yesterday. I feel like I have lost, am lost and have nothing left...Even my dog doesnt want a thing to do with me.
I no longer get calls from work about things at night and while this speaks well of my training of my teammates, it is a bit disheartening and I feel like they no longer need me...I have another two to four months of this to deal with. The soonest
I will be allowed to go back to work is 10-10... Because I have been gone so long and the account is going away I have no idea what my future is at thisplace. I wouldnt mind getting let go but I dont want to end up in the talent pool doing something I hate ( and on day shift yet)for the sake of keeping me on there till yet another job comes up. And yet... I do understand that I am fortunate that I have a position that earns the money that I earn... The health insurance that I have that has helped me and the fully paid disability I am getting. But I hate that I have been on four accounts in less than two years and have moved desks 12 times in that time. 11 of those prior to May of this year... I dont want to go back to that.
After I had my fit two days ago...it was a particularly violent one and so loud that my neighbor wanted to call 911. I cried my guts up and felt much better afterward...Its the stress of standing up on the inside of trying to keep things positive and not dealing with the possibilities of permanent damage to my foot, loss of my job, Woody, jobless again, Annabelle, and the kitties who also want little to do with me, fearing my cane and my boot. The heat and the messiness...The separation and the gnawing loneliness, yes some of which is self inflicted. (I had yet another friend who is "hurt" by my conversion to the Catholic Church, blast me, not wanting to really understand or listen to my reasons for making this huge decision...I knew it was going to cost me, I am not done paying...)It doesnt get easier with not being able to take a walk...my favorite medicine for the blues that so easily beset me..
I dont want this to be a whine fest. That is why I havent written this week and thought that tonight as I watch EWTN and listened to Father Francis talk about St. Matthew the tax collector, the outcast and disposed...called then chosen, writer of the gospel and martyr... I know that good will come and I really have tried to look for it so I can stand...
Woody and I began a ruthless clean out of the garage today.I can do this sitting down with my foot propped up. He brings me the boxes and I go through them. Our goal is to touch everything that is boxed. Identify not only what the item is but why we are keeping it. We have a wonderful outlet for selling our castoffs, at a consignment shop in Gravette a town 20 miles from here. Nearly everything we have taken there has sold, including furniture, lightly used...well everything... We even hit a estate sale on our street that was easy to walk over to and I bought a few things for resale in our booth. The move to separate bedrooms cost us nearly 4000.00 in new beds, bedding and furniture. We are using the money we earn from this to pay on that bill and I am glad for that. It is my only bill and I hope to have it paid off by years end... We have sold a large number of my books, particularly the books I was given and bought early in my Christian life that will help others, and if I sell them for a dollar each and they are read, that is so much better than them sitting on my shelf or worse in a box in my garage.
I found a few unexpected things, things we had not touched in Hawaii in out big clean out. We think we touched 85 percent of the cartons then. This time we will have everything emptied and recartoned or in the house or and this is most likely out the door to the booth in Gravette. I found in a envelope of papers that belonged to my father and inside an original copy of his birth certificate. After my recent passport debacle, its nice to have this,without a lot of digging. I also found a photo album of pictures of my father first wife, a blond bombshell, that was a Marilyn Monroe wannabe bit part actress, who left my dad and their marriage for a Hollywood big shot. I havent decided what to do with all of this stuff, much of which may not have any meaning anymore with my brother and his son not caring too much about about me or our Dad and David's grandad...I have little desire for it.
I am not sure what I want to do with all of the family items... We went back to the house where we bought all of the stuff yesterday, and I spoke to the lady that was selling out again, she continued to admonish me to figure out what was important to me personally. You cant think of other family members, or "posterity" Chances are if I toss something I can replace it.
I did go back for a reason, a porcelain doll, a collectors item, that is the doll of my girlhood dreams, She was 150.00 when she was at the Lady's shop, by the time the end of sale discounts were taken I paid under 20 dollars for her. She has a chair and is weighted for sitting.So she sits in my room for now... I will enjoy her for a bit and then pass her along to the booth.
Yes I added to my stuff, I shall have to gather more out of my house to make up for this... but I loved her...And that was what the lady said, only keep what you truly love and toss the rest. Then you will have room to enjoy what you keep.
That is true not only for things but also for feelings. I have found in this week of being still that there is a lot of trash in my heart that I need to toss out. May God help me to do that as well. So that when the time comes, I can stand and walk unhindered but physically and inwardly by the things that beset me and fill my life unnecessarily
Labels: Annabelle, Faith, Family History, Woody, working
September 16, 2007
1 Corinthians 15:35-58~ We Shall Be Transformed
And we shall be changed...from a caterpillar to this graceful butterfly... The Branson Butterfly Farm, Branson MO1 Corinthians 15:35-58
The Resurrection Body
But someone may ask, "How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?" What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn't grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a dry little seed of wheat or whatever it is you are planting. Then God gives it a new body-just the kind he wants it to have. A different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed. And just as there are different kinds of seeds and plants, so also there are different kinds of flesh-whether of humans, animals, birds, or fish.
There are bodies in the heavens, and there are bodies on earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the beauty of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness.
It is the same way for the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so also there are spiritual bodies.
The Scriptures tell us, "The first man, Adam, became a living person." But the last Adam-that is, Christ-is a life-giving Spirit. What came first was the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Every human being has an earthly body just like Adam's, but our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ's. Just as we are now like Adam, the man of the earth, so we will someday be like Christ, the man from heaven.
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever.
But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.
When this happens-when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die-then at last the Scriptures will come true:
"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.Today's post is dedicated to the memory of my Mother, who went on to her eternal reward, one year ago today. May God grant her soul eternal rest and repose.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
September 13, 2007
Watching The World Go By
View of the Beaver Arm of Table Rock Lake Beaver AR
I spend a lot of time watching the world go by. I have been faithful about keeping my foot up and elevated, and not walking on it but its difficult. I am a much more active person than I seem, given that I weigh 270 lbs. When I had my vitals taken at the ER on Sunday, the nurse was a little taken aback that my blood pressure was 140/70 and pulse was 68 per minute. I guess she was like so many others one to equate being overweight with being unfit. That has never been the case for me, as I have been an avid walker all of my life...
My othopedic surgeon was a touch more aware, when he said that he thought that I wasnt a good candidate for most types of treatment for this injury. Not that I wouldnt heal well but that I am too active a person to chain down with surgery and a cast. So I have been fitted with a "walking boot
" a steel and plastic frame with a think padded foot bed that takes all of the pressure off of my foot, but holds it firmly in place and allows me to walk somewhat normally. I am much better able to get around but the thing weighs a ton so wearing it all of the time is out of the question. So I take it off at night and can shower and do all of the things one couldnt do with a cast on
The doctor has also given me an additional three weeks off from work, a surprise but one that I am very grateful for. It is still very hard to walk even with the additional support. So I need to give it a rest and there was no way to do that and keep going on into work.
I called in to let them know that situation and everything was ok . But I called in on my shift to check on the night lady they hired to help me and got some very shocking news. Our account is pulling out, and will be gone by the end of the year. This will likely mean my return to day shift not a good situation for me, as well as probably having to take a regular desk running freight, a resposibility level I no longer care to manage. There will be at least 25 people with no job, which will be terribly difficult for the company to absorb. I see layoffs comming and this is not good.
My thought is to explore the jewelry repair schools and possibly another part time job and be prepaired to leave thisplace. We are in a good situation financially and I will seek to improve on that.
Woody quit at the AutoPark today. He hadnt sold anything and wasnt happy. He's going to try to find something else that may pay little but be more stable over the long run. I am going to start to apply for night work at different places and try to stay on my night hours that seem to do so well for me. I shall have several months to figure this out, but they will fly by if I sit around and just wait for things to happen.
Annabelle went for her first grooming this week and was made to look so pretty. She now looks very differnt from the first photos you have seen . Sort of like a tiny spaniel with a turned up nose. At four lbs she is so small that I can really hurt her if I step on her so as I am so clumsy, I must be very careful as I try to get her out for that important walk several times a day.
Lest I forget, our kitties turned 6 years old the day of 9-11. As they are very patriotic they dont mind that I didnt write a birthday tribute this years...just keep the Fancy Feast comming!
Our internet connection is not working right so I am "borrowing" from our neighbor Don we wont get it fixed until monday. Photos are not uploading well so I wont be able to get you a photo of out little lady in her new do for a day or two...
Thank You for all of your prayers and words of support. It means a lot. More later on...
Labels: Annabelle, Breaking News, Cats, Scenic Arkansas, Woody, working
September 11, 2007
Like The Dead Unremebered~A Tribute to the Fallen of 9-11-2001
I put my life in Your hands.
I put my life in Your hands.
In You, Oh Lord, I take refuge
Let me never be put to shame.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit
You will redeem me
I put my life in Your hands.
For all my foes reproach me
Neighbors laugh and friends stand off
I am forgotten
like Dead unremembered
I am like waste cast out
I put my life in your hands.
But my trust is in You
I say You are my God
Into Your hands
I place my future
From the clutch of foes
You rescue me
I put my life in Your hands
Let Your face
shine on your servant
O save me in Your Love
and come,take courage
all of you
who trust The Lord
I put my life in Your hands
I put my life in Your hands...
Again it comes, for the sixth time now — 2,191 days after that awful morning — falling for the first time on a Tuesday, the same day of the week.
Again there will be the public tributes, the tightly scripted memorial events, the reflex news coverage, the souvenir peddlers.
Is all of it necessary, at the same decibel level — still?
Each year, murmuring about Sept. 11 fatigue arises, a weariness of reliving a day that everyone wishes had never happened. It began before the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. By now, though, many people feel that the collective commemorations, publicly staged, are excessive and vacant, even annoying.
“I may sound callous, but doesn’t grieving have a shelf life?” said Charlene Correia, 57, a nursing supervisor from Acushnet, Mass. “We’re very sorry and mournful that people died, but there are living people. Let’s wind it down.”
Some people prefer to see things condensed to perhaps a moment of silence that morning and an end to the rituals like the long recitation of the names of the dead at ground zero.
NR Kleinfield, columnist
New York Times
Click here to read the entire Commentary
Hard to believe, isn't it... Where were you that horrible day? Can you remember what you were doing? Did you get a call from a friend saying "For Heaven's sake turn on the TV!" Or like myself who sat in my car listening to the news and thought, "they must be playing excerpts of the new "Left Behind
" book, how careless of them to not say that this is a dramatization, we will have another "War of the Worlds" hysteria...then hearing some official say that all of the flights had been canceled and then another official, a friend from church, who was at that time the second in command at the Sheriffs Dept come on and talk about "No other known attacks..." I realized that this was not a radio play... I ran into the house and got Woody out of bed yelling "that we had been attacked like Pearl Harbor..." Which of course, we had been.
"Does grieving have a shelf life?" Perhaps it does. The Welsh and I think the Irish say "For every grief the ointment of time..." I know that many of my life's griefs have eased with the passing of time, even the death of my Mother less than a year ago has become less painful as time has gone on...
However one has to ask oneself, has the grief eased for...
The children who lost parents
The husbands who lost wives and the wives that lost husbands
How about the parents of this woman? She was identified recently, and was the only daughter of a couple...How would you feel if you knew that your daughter leaped to her death 80 stories, how long would it take for your grief to "ease"
How about Anger? Anger every time you see the gaping wound of a hole in the ground that is Ground Zero? Every time you are subjected to useless and humiliating searches at air terminals. Every time you see on TV yet another attempt by an islamofacist to hurt more Americans, more human beings! Anger is akin to grief... does it have a shelf life?
With all respect to Mr Kleinfield, who was only reporting a national discussion, I wonder about the tone and the timing of this piece. With the elections looming and the discussions regarding the war in Iraq this month, I have wondered if the more liberal "Hate America" crowd just want to see 9-11 get lost in a shuffle. New York City officials were scaling back the services and moving them away from the site of this national calamity at the behest of people that would like to see this go away. The islamists are having a huge parade on September 9th, near Ground Zero, and no one is talking about them toning down or moving their celebration as tasteless as it is. Because after all, "the living have to go on..."
Quite right. The living do have to go on. But like so many things, human emotions are not on a timetable, they dont have a "shelf life". In failing to recognize this our society has fallen into a state of "Grief Lite". People are just expected to "Get over" any of life's traumas as instantly as a character on TV. No allowance is made for how we are all so different and have different needs. The shock, the horror and certainly the manner of the deaths of the 2996 people on that Tuesday morning, I am sure has made the grief that much deeper.
My father,on his deathbed asked my mother "if she would forget him..." It was his firm belief, and mine as well, that love remembered never dies. I too feel that if you are remembered, you never completely die in this world...
Has it been long enough? Taps is sounded daily for those 53,000 men (and one woman) that died at Gettysburg. The ships bell is sounded over the Arizona, in Pearl Harbor to honor the nearly three thousand that died that December morn, 66 years ago, and to honor the dead that are interred daily into the belly of that broken battle ship. For if you are a Pearl Harbor survivor you ashes may be placed alongside your comrades at arms that died or now rest there...
Has it been long enough? Hour after hour, a lone soldier marches 21 steps forward, stops and counts to twenty one, then turns 45 degrees, stops, counts to 21, turns 45 degrees, stops counts to 21, then marches forward 21 steps, stops...in precise motions rain or shine day and night without ceasing before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Has it been long enough? A flame burns at the grave site of the fallen John F Kennedy. His brother rests across the way, no flame, but there are always flowers laid there on the little hill. The People still gather at the grave of Martin Luther King Jr... hasnt it been long enough? Should that flame be allowed to go out, and the memories be allowed to fade?....
When we stop looking at the photos of the falling towers, when we stop reciting the names of the dead, when we cease to grieve at the site of the calamity, when we give up hope of righting the wrongs...we have lost an essential part of ourselves and who we are as Americans, who share the communal experience of 9-11...
Let us look hard at the hole in the ground that is what is left of the World Trade Center. Let us grieve for our honored dead. Let us stand strong against the Evil that perpetrated this outrage against our nation, and let us never forget the events of 9-11-2001, not now, not ever...
September 10, 2007
No Good Deed Shall Go Unpunished
The Peaceful Farm, near Bella Vista Ar
The title of this post was suggested by an emergency room physician as he was taping up my left foot... and helping me to learn how to use crutches. I have broken my foot at the 5th metatarsal
... just at the place where that little bone sticks out on the outside of the foot. Im in a hard boot under orders to stay off it, if I want it to mend. I dont do crutches very well, but I was able to get up the stairs and into the house. (I yelled like a banshee on each step, it hurt like the devil and it helped to let go and let the pain out)
How did this happen? By trying to do a good deed. Woody and I were just talking about the huge number of "roadkill" animals and how many accidents occur trying to avoid creatures great and small as they lumber, scamper,or stroll out onto the road.
Or creep along as slow as our turtles do as the creep out onto the warm pavements to bask in the sun. We have had chilly rain now for days and the turtles along with every other creature was excited by the prospect of the sunshine that we had today. Woody and I saw several along the side of the highway, and I commented that a motorcyclist had told me that turtles are super dagerous to hit, that they are like hitting a rock and he would pull over and try to get them off of the street. I have seen them trapped on center dividers, in medians, they move so slowly that they cant escape. If they are heading onto the street, and its safe for me I pull off grab the turtle and place it in a safe spot. I have done this many times.
Well, I was on my way to the church to a meeting and there was a large turtle right in the middle of the road. I pulled off the the side of the road and turned off the van. I got out and went to the little beast. He took one look at me and turned and ran in the direction that I wasnted him to...So I am a turtle hearder. Encouraged I followed him to the side of the road. Well, then he turned and tried to run back from whence he came. I grabbed him and walked to the drainage ditch area near the van. The soil here is saturated from the heavy rain that we have had. The little varmint streached his neck and tried to bite me. I looked down and began to scold him. I took my eyes off of my path and didnt realze that I was stepping into the grassy area. My left foot sank about a foot and twisted. The ungrateful turtle went flying over my head and I hope had a safe landing in the bushes. I sat down hard and heard the bones in my foot crunching. My first thought was...Well now I've done it,Ive broken my ankle. I cried out for help but no one was around.
I managed to get up and hobble back to the van I was only a block from home, and was able to get there quickly. Woody came out and we were to the hospital before it had been an hour. I didnt have a long wait and was prepared with insurance, and FSC card for payment.
I am grateful that it is this type of injury, and not a ligamental tearing, or a joint break. I dont regret trying to rescue the turtle, I hope that perhaps I prevented an accident. Maybe this is the answer to the continuous prayer that I have made to learn paitence. Now I must depend on Woody for everything, and he must, perhaps, learn a bit of empathy for me. I have a bit of time that I wasnt counting on, to study and work, and to be still...Doctors orders
Labels: Breaking News, Current Events, Faith, Woody
September 09, 2007
Psalm 31~ In Your Hands Rests My Future
The Christ Of The Ozarks, on the grounds of the Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs ArkansasInto Your Hand I Commit My SpiritTo the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief;
my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
and my bones waste away.
Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors,
and an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies
and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to the grave.
Let the lying lips be mute,
which speak insolently against the righteous
in pride and contempt.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!
Dedicated to the Victims of the Massacre on 9-11-2001 and their Loved Ones, may God grant them Eternal Rest and give His peace to the families this day
Labels: 9-11-2001, Scenic Arkansas, scripture
September 04, 2007
Let's Have A Picnic, Tanyard Creek Park Bella Vista Arkansas
Its officially the end of summer, here in the Ozarks. Kids have been back to school now for several weeks and there is the occasional cooler day. The leaves have started to turn and the rain comes a touch more frequently...I am glad to see it. It has not been an easy summer for me, filled with change and some uncertainty as Woody and I try to mend a few fences...
For him, he feels like we have come a long way. We "share" the bills and he feels, the responsibilities. That has been true in many respects and others...well, the house is a shambles ( a friend from California originally called her home a "wreck in the clearing stages" for those of you familiar with the terms used regarding the freeways in CAli-speak you know what that means...describes our home to a Tee)Not much help there.With the advent of Annabelle, I have less time to devote to anything else as she does require more attention that I thought that she would.Woody has been great about assisting with her care, but to me falls the bulk of it, and at times it is a touch overwelming
For me life is more difficult. The Mid Life Crisis vehicle sits in the drivewy day in and out (Woody drives the 10 year old beat up Avalon more than the snazzy Crossfire. The perversity of males is beyond me)and is a reminder of the huge lie he told me and the whole money thing in general.That purchase, which he hid from me for a month, is as bad as cheating with another woman as far as I am concerned...The separate lives... The separate bedrooms, the monthly bill for the new beds and the cartons that continue to sit un sorted and piled in my room are a testiment to me of the compleate and utter failure of our relationship. To wounds that will not heal and that I will be alone... in truth... forever. A great man once said that "True lonliness is a permanant condition, one is born alone and dies alone..." He was speaking of inner lonliness...for me the outer is just as painful and devestating. I dont know how to fix it. I just know that I have to continue to keep moving forward on my journey, regardless of what he does
In this summer of change there have been good things, the two retreats with John Michale Talbot were enlightening and opened my mind to new thinking both faith wise and daily living wise. I have started to really take a hard look at how I live. Do I put God first in all that I think say or do? Do I make the best use of my resources? Do I live for the Kingdom or just for myself? This has caused me to think twice about doing some things that might have been fun and given me pleasure, but in the long run were they worth the price both financially and otherwise.
Am I obedient to God? Do I really understand what I believe today and where am I at in this process of life. To that end I have begun studying privately with a tutor and preparing to enter the Catholic Church. I know that a lot of my friends wont understand and perhaps will have harsh words for me, but I see it as a path that I must take... When asked by a friend "Why be Catholic?" I ask "Why Not?" "If someone offered you "More" of Jesus would you not want that? I do. I see it as a "adding to" not taking away from anything that I am or am involved in. I will not be changing church affiliations nor giving up going to church with Woody to the Methodist church we are attending together. I hope to continue to be involved with developing the new contemporary service they are working on.
I find my "classes" facinating. I have a wonderful tutor who has his PHd, but I have been able to stump him a few times, and he said at our last meeting that this setting was the right one for me as I have had a wonderful formation as a Christian, and know the Bible as well as he did, perhaps better in some areas, but I do not "think" like a Catholic. For example, Protestant theology is based in reason, as it was born out of the Enlightenment period of human history... " To read is to understand." While Catholics are taught based on Augustine's priciple "To believe is to understand" in other words, faith first, then reason. There is a lot more that I could write about, but suffice it to say, I study the materiels for the RCIA (rites of Christian Initation for Adults)then we meet during the day for an hour or so and go at it on such questions as "Why did God create the world?" "What was most important, Jesus message or His death?" "Did Jesus know his whole life that he had to die, or only at the last?" "Did Jesus know everything or did he have to learn everything like we do, and did he learn as he went along teaching and preaching?" These topics are on topic but way ahead of the other 40 or so people taking this class. My tutor said that I would have been bored stiff.
I have been a part of churches that teach the Bible at the Semanary level, but we women were told that even if we were able to learn like the men that really would be the end of it. Here both in the Methodist Church and in the Catholic Church, Women teaching and learning along with the men is entirely acceptable. In fact women can do any non ordained function (they cant be priests or deacons)in the Catholic church but are allowed to teach at all other levels and there are a number of Lay Ministers that are well known nationally. In the Methodist Church 20-25 percent of the ordained clergy are women. I feel like I am now in churches where my talents and knowledge are appreciated. I also feel that once I am done with this nearly year long process, I will be better prepared to teach if I am called upon to do so in the future. And I see that comming.
Then there is Annabelle. My little bundle of fuzz has more engergy than the Energizer Bunny and is a slave driver on our walks together. Her personality is forming... in otherwards she is getting willful and demanding. I have found that scruffing her slows that down and bathing her has an extrodinary effect on her attitude. She is reduced to a guniea pig sized little creature that only wants love. She gets that in full measure. I spend a lot of my morning hours with her and try to have part of that time be lap time where she is brushed and handled and told over and over how pretty she is. She still wants things her way all the way but we are finding a middle path and I see this working out really well.
The kitties are getting used to her and this weekend we were able to let everyone be together, supervised of course. We let the cats set the pace, and try to keep Annabelle from barking chasing and otherwise creating a hostile enviroment for the feline members of the household. I know that eventually there will be an altercation, but hopefully all will be well once the pecking order is established
The evening is cooler and a thunderstorm has rolled through bringing even more releif to this parched and heat weary land. I love every season here and have enjoyed the summer very much, however I have looked forward to the end of the season and the fall colors with great anticipation. The end of the summer is the beginning of Autumn and a new season. I pray for the new things in my life and for the healing of the old, and for a new day after the twilight of the old.
Labels: Bella Vista, Breaking News, Dreams, Faith, John Michael Talbot, Praise and Worship, RCIA, Scenic Arkansas, Woody
September 02, 2007
Isaiah 41:1-20~God Chooses Us
A Watered Garden. Magnolia Plantation On The Ashley, Charleston, South CarolinaIsaiah 41:1-20
Fear Not, For I Am with You
Listen to me in silence,
let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
let us together draw near for judgment.
Who stirred up one from the east
whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
so that he tramples kings underfoot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
like driven stubble with his bow.
He pursues them and passes on safely,
by paths his feet have not trod.
Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, the first,
and with the last; I am he.
The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
the ends of the earth tremble;
they have drawn near and come.
Everyone helps his neighbor
and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
shall be as nothing at all.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”
Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the Lord;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Labels: scripture, Traveling