Maybe it’s the season,
Lent, but recent things on our to-do list seem like apt images for a few heart
and soul issues – when life hurts because of stuff I can’t control.
Yesterday we got two things fixed:
persistent, reappearing crack in our bathtub
A Reoccurring Crack
damage my spiffy Civic sustained when a driver misjudged the size of the
parking space her SUV required.
Repaired -- at an OH so Reasonable price!
(Truth be told, wedidn’t – instead, capable and affordable folks we were fortunate to find
helped us. )
The initial repair bids for both the tub and the car were so
steep, and the amount of time necessary to right the problems so long, we toyed
with the idea of just ignoring the problems – they were, after all, minor –
maybe, we could just live with their nuisance.However, a crack in a fiberglass bathtub meant
the tub was out of commission. (We do have a separate shower.)Those thin scrapes across the right
back fender looked tacky and could invite rust to breed. Ignoring them would be the
equivalent of walking around with a torn hem, or coffee stains on a white
So, Doug kept pursuing leads, and he found
service providers whose talents dovetailed into the solutions to our problems
without breaking the bank, and inconveniencing us for weeks.What a relief!
And then I thought about the willingness with which I can
ignore stress fractures in relationships – caused by old injuries or new
offenses. How can I say I believe
Christ walked out of the grave, but act like He has no power to heal the harm I
did, or the pain I suffered?
Counting the cost, and remembering Who really paid – pays –
all the bills I rack up is the first
step in healing stress fractures, recurring or brand new. That's one way to observe Lent.
The second is being willing to look for ways to restore and
repair – beginning with me. (Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 51)Other times, it is simply letting go of minor grievances,
real and imagined, believing that God is keeping count of all my tears.(Psalm 56:8)
We found affordable help, and fixed two nagging problems, so
that we have the use of what we need and enjoy. How much more important are the
relationships that God established?
oNever give up on someone you can't go a day
without thinking about. ~Author Unknown (See Matthew 5:23-24 and Matthew
*Trying to comment on today's world is difficult -- from WORLD MAGAZINE this cartoon sums up so well what I think Published shortly after World War II, A Book of Days for Christians has
been a reliable companion since I discovered it while estate sailing in late
2007. Richardson Wright’s book of mediations seems fresh – and applicable even
though he quotes from Christians, most of whom are strangers to me. (My fault –
the year the little devotional was published, the Korean conflict heated up –
i.e., the backdrop of M.A.S.H. It was a time much like our own: we’d come out of two world wars, survived financial troubles; we now faced
powerful adversaries. Television was giving itself awards – the Emmys. News of
sports, entertainment, the Middle East, nuclear weapons and the arms race had
precedence – religion, not so much.We didn't know all that Stalin was doing in the fifties.
In 2015, we’ve
just been through the Super Bowl, the Grammys and a tribute to Saturday Night Live.Russia and the Middle East are still in our
news – so is a different kind of arms race. A group of people is systematically
and gruesomely murdering other people – and we are holding back from stopping
The reading for February 14 hit my heart. Describing a
bauble that delighted his friends, Mr. Wright correctly described a familiar
image – I have a fun necklace with one: three cute monkeys, one with hands
firmly over his eyes, the next his ears, and the third his mouth that they may
see no evil, hear no evil, nor, speak no evil.(pages 55-56) He goes on:
. . Of the these three only the last makes sense. The other two are pretty poor
ideals to follow.
to see or hear evil around us is sheer cowardice. We can’t say it doesn’t
exist, we can’t just explain it away. We must face it boldly, whether it crops
up at home, or in the office, factory, market place, government. The swift
wrath with which our Lord chasedthe moneychangers out of the Temple followed on His seeing and hearing
their corruption. Nor for a moment did He hesitate to accuse them of making His
Temple a den of thieves.
The right emotion about sin can only be roused and sustained by the
right emotion about God. ~ Kenneth E. Kirk
What is going on . . . it’s like seeing Hitler rise to power
again, albeit in different garb – and hearing Neville Chamberlain declare, “Peace
in our Time!”
Evil seems to
Sometimes it may be so astonishing we can’t believe or understand what
we are seeing; sometimes, like a frog in a kettle, we are inured to its danger.There is still time to speak – and to
pray that those who have been given the authority to govern will be men and
women who understand the times.(1 Chronicles 12:32)
Meanwhile, reading though Leviticus is hardly reassuring me.
“But, I didn’t know” is no excuse.
We spent a lovely afternoon at the Dallas Arboretum,
meandering about the gardens, most not wholly recovered from January’s chills
and no where near ready for Spring.But being able to walk about in warm sunshine and see some color, well
it was time well spent. And my money was well spent too when we stopped by the
I bought several seed packets!
·Two packs of Perennial Blooms for the full sun,
promising blooms from spring to frost.
·Two packs of Southern Hills and plains, promising
blooms from spring to fall. (Can there be a frost before fall?)
·One packet of Hummingbird Haven, again to be
planted in full sun – and months of goodies for the little birdies. And
·Two packets for Made in the Shade – obviously
suited for the corners of our garden that are tucked under foliage and trees.
What’s more, the recommended planting is two weeks before
the last frost, which can come in late March.
The weather for several days has been superb-- the darker the news, the brighter
and warmer it has been.
·How fair is a garden amid the trials and
passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli
Today was as a long cool drink -- I am thankful to have lived through it, enjoying the gifts
of so many people whose generosity and hard work made our outing a seamless
pleasure. And who knew a few
lavish little seed packets could stir up such happy anticipation?
A few sentences in the President’s address to the National
Prayer Breakfast 2015 have made for commentary that has created more heat than
light. The entire event is worth watching, especially if you are a person of
faith in God through Jesus Christ. There were several highs, and few lows. (
Clips from Cspan) Among the most touching was Dr.
Brantley's Prayer – it’s one that covers so many of my heart’s ache for
this wonderful country and all our leaders – left, right and “moderate.”
Mr. Obama did state the obvious: people of faith, including Christians, have done terrible
things to each other in the name of our faith. But he said other things – such
as being and remaining humble,
remaining vigilant so that the freedom to worship in America is not lost, and
to put on love, treating others as we would wish to be treated. But
his were not the only remarks!
What happened, early in January, that we just discovered has
rocked me to my core – as did the shooting of the injure French policeman
begging for his life. (Exercising
Our Freedom, We Better Count the Cost) A Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh,
was filmed being burnt alive while locked in a cage.The whole world now knows what happened to one man,
burned to death by his captors. One more heinous act – among so many –
destroying a man who was someone’s beloved child, friend, spouse or father.
I believe his destruction is a watershed – and America seems
tired and broke. Therefore, watching a replay of the Prayer Breakfast was
simply a refreshing cup of cold water, reminding me that God has loving
servants in places I cannot imagine.
Are they perfect in their doctrine and practice?
Good grief NO! – Who would like to assert their own is? The National Prayer Breakfast, this year
more than others, was simply an event wherein lepers showed the rest of us
where the food and treasures are.Would that all the news and social media critics, now so freely
dissecting a few sentences, taken out of context, had reported more –
especially the prayers prayed in the name of the Lord Jesus – and the testimony
of HIS powerful grace.
Brantly's Prayer -- Brantly adapted his words today from “The Lord’s Prayer
in Time of War” by Wendy Lyons