Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Information Was Not Recognized

As I type this, I am listening to music on the Help line – it is scratchy, hip-hop, unsophisticated and angry: not a good choice as a person waits for technical assistance on a device that has become a communications crutch. I may be waiting for thirty minutes, the tech said. It’s only been three minutes and I can see why music can be used a torture weapon.

The ID and password I selected for my new cell phone do not work after downloading a system update this morning.  I even may not have registered it properly, linking to my computer – so now, I must talk to “security.”

The tech made the connection, asked that I hang up and wait for “security” to call back with in 30 seconds.   Trusting tenuously, I hung up – and they did call back, and overcame my problems by patiently probing my memory for answers to security questions.

I thought back to this morning’s sermon about the God we worship – the pastor had raised the subject of passwords: their centrality – and our propensity to forget them. He said we too often come to church unprepared to think about worship, forgetting that church attendance is not worship, and realizing too late, “good intentions” is not a safe password into God’s presence.

Yes, I know better – but this morning I arrived at church distracted – thinking about my phone problems, parking, and the fact I had nothing to serve from lunch. My mind was not prepared to meet God – nor was my heart.

·      What if I had had an Isaiah moment, and saw the Lord in church – and all the creatures that attend Him --  in worship? (Isaiah 6)
·      What if I saw Who John saw on Patmos in the sanctuary? (Revelation 1:12-17)

An update temporarily disabled my phone; for whatever reason, what I thought was the correct password, did not work, no matter how many times I tried it. And I got upset because I couldn’t work my way through the problem without asking for help – not the first time computers etc have stymied me. But I followed the tech support’s instructions – I trusted what I was told to do. I paid attention closely -- more than I can say about how I studied Scripture and prayed this week!

Familiarity with the Gospel hasn’t bred contempt – but it has generated some carelessness.  Could this have been a little life lesson showing me my heart and mouth are often in two different places?

Would that I was as frantic to retrieve the password God freely offers, J-E-S-U-S, as I am the one to my communication gadgets.   

Would that I could help others with their God-access password as proficiently and graciously as the phone techs helped me. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Fog looked like steam rising from the Susquehanna River, and obscured the hills across from us on our last day.  The grayness dissipated in the sun’s heat – and we had another sunny, cool day. 

Watching the changing beauty of this river – I know that rivers, if gorged with rain, and wind-driven, are deadly – not delightful. A picture on the wall of our vacation home is a grainy enlarged image of women wading almost chest high in the waters of the Susquehanna during the 1933 hurricane. In 1972, when Agnes inundated this area, the river reached the deck of our current abode. That storm was a dozy for Pennsylvania! 

As our family holiday wound down, each moment was bittersweet. The simple pleasures of fishing, swimming and feasting, however, contrasted against the news of hurricane Isaac’s hammering the Gulf coast.  And learning of more trials for dear friends and family reminded me that if I have my health I have everything – a proverb oft quoted by my parents and grandparents.  It drove me nuts to hear it then – but now, well, getting up and going is no small mercy – and blessing.

In the week after our Pennsylvania adventure, Doug and I emptied the storage locker – that small patch of Maryland that held “stuff” – sorting, packing, and shipping a couple dozen of boxes. Having recently watched Hording: Buried Alive, I gave myself a few stern words too about why I had to keep this book or that.

And then we headed west and south, listening to The Greater Journey by David McCullough -- On September 11, we marked that grievous anniversary – watching and remembering, and prayed for the families of all who suffered and served, and for our nation and our leaders; we awakened yesterday to the news from Libya and Egypt. On the last leg of our return, driving through Tennessee and Arkansas, and then Texas, we listened to The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, absorbing news of Benghazi.   

Little things really so make a big difference – whether enjoying the views as the sun burns of a river’s mist. Or, hearing a grandchild confides their desire to become an artist; or, gazing on the glorious landscapes of our country; or listening to words of good writers – all parts of a gift of peace that passes understanding in times of trouble and heartache.  God help me to live in it!

. . . do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)