Sunday, March 30, 2014

Say It Ain't So...

Thanks to Social networking, even I can Tweet with the best of them, because when it comes to politics – I have an opinion. Religion – I have an opinion. Education, taxes, causes, issues – count me in. I have an opinion, and I hold fast to the belief that YOU are entitled to it.

Just like everyone else.
In the 21st century, how easy and convenient it is to share our opinions far and wide. Shout them out in all caps through email, twitter about one thing and another, and then for good measure, Facebook it. Plus I can send my views around Google circles; Link them in, play Foursquare— all to ensure that no matter what I am thinking, everyone else has Reddit. I hope you’re with me, or at the very least reading me.

Why? To get the word out, of course, because heaven knows, somebody out there needs to hear your – and by your, I mean MY – opinion. Whether my viewpoint is stumbled upon, or merely tumbles onto someone’s screen, gets pinned on it, re-tweeted, or better yet, comes to life on You Tube – it matters not. What matters is I am heard, and known, and understood. I want my stance on social issues, my politics, religious views, values, and philosophies known.
Yours? Not so much. Please don’t debate with me. Facebook isn’t the place and Twitter doesn’t offer enough space. Take up your cause your own way, on your own page, or get Upworthy to back you. Just please keep your viewpoints off my pages, because I’m trying to promote peace, love, and unity. I’m trying to spread faith and hope, dispel darkness, disperse joy. My way.

If your thoughts differ from mine, I probably won’t take your call. And, a coffee date is out of the question. I’m not seeking to console anybody, understand other points of view, overlook or pardon your narrow-minded ways. I prefer to hold tight my good and righteous convictions and blab them across cyber space. Fingers flying, the hazy blue computer screen flickering, press send, hit return and whoosh. I’ve reached into my friends’ worlds. I gave them something to think about, something good and true and of value to me. So naturally, it will be of value to you and to them.
What is that I hear off in the distance? Somewhere out there cymbals are clanging and a gong is sounding. Hmm, it kind of sounds like… me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Little Levity

To relieve the heaviness I'm feeling over this week's news, and World Vision's drama, (I have a post in the works) I thought I'd share a picture of the sand hill crane baby. My sister is in Florida and the little family came visiting Dad's backyard. The first day there was more than one baby. They were a family of four, then just a family of three. In her words, we're pretty sure what that means.

Yep, but let's not think about that.

You'll need a keen eye to find baby crane...

Babies and little kids can lift the spirits. This did the trick for me.
You know what else can make me happy?
Tickled my funny bone. Take a few minutes and see if it makes you smile. This one is about learning math, but there are lots to choose from: fast food, cowboys, salesman, cooking were some of my favorites. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Field of Geese

One delightful bonus of having neighboring farmers cultivate our fields -- wildlife sightings! Leftover beans, corn, grasses provide tempting, tasty nourishment for most every critter inhabiting our woods, flying over, or paddling by on the creek. In spite of cold temperatures we've had enough warm days to melt the snow and bring a bit of grass to life. This harbinger of spring greeted me yesterday: a field of big, beautiful, noisy birds...honk, honk.

I've seen swans flying over head and heard their soft calls. And a not-so-soft call of sand hill cranes got my attention in time to see a pair zooming past. Friends have spotted bald eagles, but I haven't been that lucky yet. Deer browse at dusk, squirrels scamper continually -- always on a mission those bushy-tailed characters.
Fun news from Florida -- I heard that my dad's sand hill cranes have babies. I hope someone will post a picture of the half-pints before they grow full size! Here are the adults from my last visit to Florida.
 Magnificent creatures they are. I Can't wait to see the little guys.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mid-Week Good Short Reads

There isn't ever enough time to read all the things I want to read. I feel like it's catch as can catch, and sadly I think I miss a lot of important write-ups. I don't like to read or share negative articles or posts...but I make every effort to share what interests me and sometimes what I feel strongly about. I'm especially careful because I don't intend to offend, nor do I care for debate in public written forums. That said, here are a few articles and blogs that touched me:

Let’s make the most of this beautiful day

Sometimes people are good
And they do just what they should.
But the very same people who are good sometimes
Are the very same people who are bad sometimes.
It’s funny, but it’s true.
It’s the same, isn’t it for me…
Isn’t it the same for you?
Two Freds, two very different outlooks on life and people.

New 'religious' group just as deadly as the ones that preceded it

Friday, March 14, 2014


I'm not sure how this Post Title got published yesterday, all blank and everything. But I hope it did its job. I must admit, I was surprised to see it... I certainly didn't intend to publish a blank post, and now I shall remedy that while I'm thinking of it, and thinking of Carly Simon's Anticipation...

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasin' after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'

Makin' me late...
I've been meaning to post for what? Two weeks. In my queue there are no less than 4 attempts. But alas, I lead a very busy life. And if you believe that, and I'll tell you another. My life is just like yours. There are household chores, and activities, and meetings, and family and friends to spend time with, and oh yes, we are in the midst of a remodeling project...

which will start coming together anytime now, I'm sure of it. The hearth needs rebuilt, a couple of doors and windows to be replaced, and then we can have the new floor installed. But first we'll take up these chestnut planks and repurpose them. It's a great old floor except for the gaps and dips and out of level spots.

For the season of Lent I've determined (not promised, but determined) to live life intentionally. You know, like with more focus and less procrastination. The Lenten season is only a time of practicing, the goal is for this to be a life change. I know, I know, it's getting late in the game -- how long will a life long commitment be at this point anyway? (Smile with me, please, 'cause if we don't, we might cry.)

Keeping me waiting...
I'm not the sort that lets go a project like what we've got going. Instead I let go writing. But in my quest to live intentionally, in praying about what that means for me, I've realized that when something left undone nags at me, that's what I should be doing first. Check it off the list and move on. And surprise...I can enjoy all sorts of serious accomplishments and serendipitous pleasures by intentionally doing what is before me. Feeling good about week one and a half of my Lenten commitment. Anticipating more success with week 2, 3, and 4. By then I'll have it. Right? By then I'll have it right!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Transfiguration Sunday

I loved the way our pastor told the transfiguration story to kids in his children's message yesterday. You know, the part where Peter got all excited about how great it was on the mountain top with Jesus -- and Elijah, and Moses -- surrounded by brilliant dazzling light. True to form, Peter began shooting off his mouth (my words, not pastor's). Peter had a plan -- let's build monument-type houses for you three holy people and then we could all just stay up here on the mountain top... forever.

But in the middle of Peter's reckless goings on about his fantastic idea, God interrupts -- as if he were saying to Peter -- Shut. Up. (Pastor did not use those words when talking to the children, but he did use them in the grown up message -- I guess he figured we oldsters could handle a bit of how it really probably was.) When God interrupted Peter, His voice boomed from a bright cloud:
"This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"
I think his message to Peter, and those of us like Peter is...Stop with your own plans already. Stop thinking of yourself. It's not about you, it's about Jesus. Focus on my beloved Son, Jesus. And for heaven's sake, stop talking, because when you're talking you can't listen. 
God got the attention of the disciples; they were scared witless. Peter and the others were overcome and fell to the ground, but Jesus told them not to be afraid. Then the gist of what He said was get up, and let's all get down off this mountain. And he told them not to be telling anyone what happened (the appearance of Elijah and Moses, and the voice of God) until after the resurrection.
So, they had to come down from their mountain top experience and get back to the real world. Just like we do when we've had mountain top experiences. You've got to come back down to earth and not only face the world, but embrace it, serve it, care for it and for people in it. At least that was my take away.
Pastor followed his message with a challenge for us to think and pray about what we could change in our lives to make us healthier physically, mentally, or spiritually. Lent is traditionally the time for giving up, and sometimes our giving up is rather frivolous. In case you don't know, there are good reasons to give something up for lent and there are not so good reasons. Here's a short read to help you sort that out: The Right and Wrong Reasons for Giving Something Up for Lent. But why not consider a deeper view, taking something on. Something that will change us for the better and make us stronger. You might find some good help here: Pastor Phil's blog: 20 Things to Give Up for Lent. Both of these links are from the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in New Jersey.
In our church we were each given a card to write down what we want/need to deal up, or taking on, or both. And if we get it written down and turned in Pastor Brian will pray for us throughout the Lenten season.

Give it up, Take it on!

I have prayed about it and I think ______________ is hurting me and/or my
relationships. I commit to
Give it up!
I have prayed about it and I think God wants me to _______________________,
so I can be more healthy, mentally, physically, or spiritually. I commit to
Take it ON!
Name  (Optional) _______________________________
Of course we don't have to sign our cards, but the only way to get prayed for by name is to sign the card. I'll sign mine and turn it in, but I'm thinking I'll just leave it blank here on my blog. Truth is, I don't know how to fit all the things I think I ought to give up or take on in those little bitty blanks. I'll have to seek God for the answer to that.
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday...
 A last chance to have a blast
before beginning your fast.
I think I'll use tomorrow as a practice day for my "give it up, take it on" challenge instead.