life

Gardener. Priest. Stranger. Friend.

The hub had a garage sale the other day.

A table full of fishing tackle.

Lots and lots of tackle.

A table of woodworking tools.

From when he had a shop.

Two tables were covered in framed Red Wings posters and photos.

Some of them autographed.

From when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups.

A woman – a stranger – walked up the driveway, breezed right past the garage’s offerings and headed for the arbor that leads to the backyard.

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I intercepted just before she entered.

“I want to see your beautiful flowers,” she said.

“There’s not much to see,” I said, puzzled.

She brushed her hand over a plant in one of my trugs.

“What’s this?”

“Cilantro.”

She took a whiff.

She wanted to see my garden.

“It’s pretty wild this year, I haven’t been out here much.”

I pointed to where the garlic and raspberries grow.

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“See those Lamb’s Ears? I didn’t plant them and yet there they are.  Just appeared out of nowhere a couple of years ago and now they’re spreading everywhere.  This is the first time they’ve flowered.”

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“I’ve got lots of large, overgrowing yellow flowers that my mother gave me,” she said.

She described her house a few streets away – with two big white swans in the front yard.

Invited me to come by and dig some up if I want.

Before she moves.

“I bought a small house with a big patch in the middle of the backyard.  It’s all overgrown – used to be a vegetable garden.  I don’t know what to do with it.”

“Turn it back into a vegetable garden!,” I suggested.

Enthusiastically.

“It’s a lot of work,” she sighed.

“Do you have any brawn?,” I asked.

“Brawn?”

I pointed to my husband. “Yeah, you know, someone who can till the soil for you?”

“No,” she said, “I just divorced a sense of direction.”

There are ant hills in all the cracks in her patio at the new house.  Biting her ankles.  A gardening blog suggested pouring boiling water over them.

So she did.

“This is my confession,” she said.

She looked me in the eye and implored, “I’m giving you my confession.”

I gave absolution.

“Killing them with chemicals probably wouldn’t have been any easier on them.  At least the water isn’t toxic to you.”

“Or my neighbors,” she quickly added.

There it was. Absolution. She had already come up with her own.

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“Is that basil?” – she pointed to two healthy plants in the near trug.

“Yes, we’re having pizza tonight. Margarita pizza.”

“What time should I come over?,” she laughed.

I pointed out my black krim tomatoes.  “They make the best pasta sauce – such a great depth of flavor.”

She admired my trugs some more.

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“My husband built them for me,” I said.

“He builds and you make your own pasta sauce. A match made in heaven,” she chirped.

“Turn that patch back into a vegetable garden,” I insisted.

“It’s a lot of work,” she sighed.

“Make friends with some brawn. Do you cook?”

“Yes,” she looked puzzled.

“Make friends with some brawn – maybe a few – and then make a deal.  They prepare your soil and you cook them great meals from the bounty.”

The sun rose on her face.

She high-fived me.

“I have to go pack.”

She said as she breezed back down my driveway.

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And I felt strangely sad.

 

 

 

 

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life

Tell the Truth (and be of noble character).

The hub and I watched Concussion last night.

 

And all I can say is this country needs more meddlers like Dr. Bennet Omalu.

And more whistleblowers like Dr. Julian Bailes.

And the church needs more Bereans like me.

Because everything these days is political.

And political correctness reigns supreme.

Even, at times, in the pulpit.

Call it the gift of discernment, but a whopping red flag went up recently as I was listening to a sermon.

The pastor slightly edited God’s promise to Abram from “I will make you a great nation” to “I will make you into many nations.”

From singular to plural, from great to many.

The Holy Spirit dropped a flag on the play.

Wait, we can’t quote God accurately anymore because Donald Trump uses the phrase “Make America great”?

Because it is politically incorrect to be a great nation?

Like every good Berean, I picked up that flag and double checked the Scriptures.

The Hebrew word translated “great” is gadowl (gä·dōle’). (Strong’s H1419)

The KJV translates Strong’s H1419 in the following manner: great (397x), high (22x), greater (19x), loud (9x), greatest (9x), elder (8x), great man (8x), mighty (7x), eldest (6x), miscellaneous (44x).

And defines it as:

  • large (in magnitude and extent)

  • in number

  • in intensity

  • loud (in sound)

  • older (in age)

  • in importance

    1. important things
    2. great, distinguished (of men)
    3. God Himself (of God)
  • great things
  • haughty things

  • greatness

It is from the root word gadal (gä·dal’). (Strong’s H1431)

The KJV translates Strong’s H1431 in the following manner: magnify (32x), great (26x), grow (14x), nourish up (7x), grow up (6x), greater (5x), miscellaneous (25x).

  1. to grow, become great or important, promote, make powerful, praise, magnify, do great things

    1. (Qal)

      1. to grow up
      2. to become great
      3. to be magnified
    2. (Piel)

      1. to cause to grow
      2. to make great, powerful

      3. to magnify

    3. (Pual) to be brought up

    4. (Hiphil)

      1. to make great

      2. to magnify

      3. to do great things

    5. (Hithpael) to magnify oneself

Neither the Hebrew word, nor the root word from which it is derived has “many” among its uses or definitions.

Nourish, increase in number and importance, cause to flourish and do great things, yes.

Yes, He did.

Make into many nations?

No. He didn’t say that.

I checked an online Septuagint, which opened a whole new can of worms – a can which did not include Abram being made into many nations.

The words those 70 chose in their translation were more along the lines of putting Abram in the midst of a great people.

The Septuagint isn’t afraid of saying “great.”

All I’m saying, my fellow Christians, is that we need to know the Scriptures in these politically correct times.

So we can check for additives and PMOs (Politically Modified Obfuscations) before we take any old bread our priests and pastors are offering.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  Acts 17:11

#don’tmeddlewiththeScriptures

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faith

I’m not usually one to beg…

But it’s time to plan another retreat.

This time around I want to have it here, at Turnip Rock:

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And I need your help/advice.

I want those who attend to interact with one of the Bible studies I wrote ahead of time so we can discuss the concepts without me having to take much time to teach.

So, I’m thinking maybe I’ll publish the study on my blog.

And link it to Facebook.

That way bloggers and non-bloggers alike can join the discussion.

Then I’ll invite the best participators to the retreat.

All-expense paid.  (Except the cost of getting there.)

So what do I need to know about linking a Bible study discussion to Facebook, etc.?

Will people participate?

Have you ever done anything like this?  Will you teach me all you know?

I just linked my blog to the Light & life Facebook page I created quite awhile back and then pretty much abandoned.

And I added a “Follow me on Facebook” button to my blog’s menu.

But does anyone even look at my menu? Ever?

I don’t really have any other place for it since I don’t have a sidebar.

Unless it’s possible to put it at the bottom of each post near the comment space. Is it?

Am I even asking the right questions?

Just tell me everything you know.

Pleeeaase.

 

 

#pleaserelieveme

 

 

 

 

 

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life

What to Wear?

I always wear black when I go to the movies.

So I’ll be harder to see.

As soon as I sit down I locate the nearest exit.

And then I devise the safest route for shimmying under the seats toward it.

I always wear pockets when I take my dogs for a walk.

Because I need a place for my phone.

In case I, or one of them, sprains an ankle and I need to call for help.

Or in case one of them looks adorable or the sky is gorgeous or we come upon something interesting or peculiar and I want to take a picture.

But mostly I always bring it in case we come upon someone peculiar.

And I have a plan:

  • Snap a picture of him if it looks like he’s going to attack me.
  • Tell him the picture has been instantaneously sent to icloud.
  • Tell him even if he disposes of my phone, his face is already on my laptop and ipad.
  • Tell him my family and the police WILL see it.

So he better just leave.

Now I have to figure out what to wear to softball practice.

If I should ever go to softball practice.

Because the world has gone dangerously mad.

Congressman Steve Scalise is in critical condition and I blame the hate mongers.

Remember Bill Penzey, president of Penzey Spices?

Remember the wretched e-mail he sent me last November?

Well, I wonder whether the shooting of Republican congressmen during practice for a charity softball game is what he meant by President Trump’s election unleashing “a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades.”

I wonder whether he would admit that his self-righteous rant, along with a host of self-righteous celebrity rants, may have incited Wednesday’s violence.

Really hoping we stop this dangerous game of partisan radicalization.

Before we all need a whole new wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

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life

Wat’d She Say?

I recently suggested that the hub get a hearing aid.

He accused me of mumbling.

“No one else thinks I need a hearing aid,” he said.

“No one else says I mumble,” I countered.

Then I told him a story.

A man, at the doc’s office for a routine checkup, mentioned his concern about his wife’s hearing.

“You can test it yourself,” the doc said.

“When you get home tonight, as soon as you walk through the front door, say ‘Honey, I’m home, what’s for dinner?’ If you get no response move into the next room and try again. If you still don’t get a response keep moving closer until you do.”

So when the man arrived home that evening he came through the front door and said, “Honey, I’m home, what’s for dinner?”

There was no reply.

So he moved into the dining room and said, “Honey, I’m home, what’s for dinner?”

Silence.

He moved into the kitchen, right up behind his wife, who was doing dishes at the sink, and said, “Honey, I’m home, what’s for dinner?”

His wife spun around and said, “For the THIRD TIME, chicken!”

The hub chuckled in a convicted sort of way.

I don’t mumble.

#volume

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Jesus

Delight

 

As I stood in front of the mirror rolling my hair, the early morning sun shining through the window behind me,  I noticed that my blue eyes looked exceptionally blue.  Must be the blue dress I’m wearing.

My mind went to the sixth graders to whom I spoke last week.  They were telling me what they like about their appearance and what they like about their inner qualities.  One of the girls said, “I like how my eyes change color.”

“According to the time of day and what you’re wearing, you mean?,” I asked.

“Yes,” she nodded.

“Your eyes are lovely,” I affirmed.

I affirm each child as they tell me what they like about themselves.

And as I rolled the last section of hair it occurred to me that that is precisely why sixth graders love my talk.

I am God for them.

More precisely I am the part of God who delights in them.

Later in the lesson, as I point out the land mines that are lurking in adolescence, I am God’s voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

And they appreciate knowing what’s what.

Later this morning, the bearers of the cross, the giant gold Bible, and the lanterns processed midway down the aisle and stopped, just as they do every Sunday. The Bible was opened and the deacon read from the gospels. And I love it. I love that the procession into the aisle represents Jesus coming among us.  Jesus telling us His good news – not from afar, but from within our midst.

I jotted in my bulletin, “I want to bring an aspect of God whenever I speak – mercy, compassion, love, grace, guidance, delight.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

To bring God’s delight within a midst?

To leave each person with a sense that God finds him/her delightful?

Mr. Rogers was good at that.

I think I’ll make it my prayer.

For now, I’ll ask you what I always ask them:

What 3 things do you like most about your appearance?

What 3 things do you like most about your character/inner beauty?

 

 

 

 

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