Friday, November 23, 2007

So Far

As I peer into what seems to be the cavern of 2008, I am mindful of the extraordinarily rich year that 2007 has been. This may be a bit premature - after-all, New Year's resolutions aren't due for another few weeks. But it's not resolutions I'm wanting to establish; it's reflections I hope to sort. I'm not ready to look too far ahead, yet a glance at what is passing is amazing.
In the beauty of a crystal sea ...
comes images that with ease I see.
Images of glory's heights;
images of fearful sights.
Blended as a painted hue;
these are things that I hold true.
God's own grace and gentle hand;
goodness in this lovely land.
I glance behind, I look askance -
nothing here is left to chance.
Purpose and much poetry,
is what the Lord has granted me.
And so this year, it passes by -
even as I search the sky -
For His return and summon call;
that which I hold best of of all
.
To gather my reflections I've been glancing backwards to my journal, my DayTimer, old email, my checkbook, and even to my memory. I take a peak at the momentous news events of the year, even to some that aren't so momtous but that carry a powerful portent to me.

I guess what I'm saying is that my reflections cover a wide range of ponderings, and an equally wide range of subjects. Not terribly profound, I'll admit - but the collection is part of who I am, what I know, and how I'll move forward in the year(s) to come. They are what I know to be true. In fact, were I to give them a title it might read something like: "Life is Amazing", or "Can it Get Any Better?". The over-riding theme would be one of gratitude. I've arrived at today - safe in the trustworthy arms of a Savior that has promised me safe (though perilous) passage.

Perhaps the crowning glory here is that I've lasted 59 years. I'll enter my 60s come February. Today I can say with abandon that the best is yet to come, and that no reflection can equal or surpass that in which I boast most proudly and assuredly: the cross of Christ and its amazing power in my life!
Thank you, Lord, for 2007!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Living Thankfully

Across America folks are preparing for a day of feasting and fun. Just four days from now the smells of roasting turkey and pumpkin pie seasonings will likely silence all talk of global warming. Afterall, just think how much heat we could eliminate if we simply refrained from turning on our ovens. But no one on earth would suggest such a thing with stuffed turkey at stake! Now that's something for which to be thankful!

OK, so much for my sassy stuff. Today I'm turning to something more somber. It has to do with the context of Thanksgiving in general, and what a disturbing twist it is that God-loving people must celebrate in a clandestine way if they are to applaud the goodness of God. While men are arguing about whether to call a "Christmas" tree by some other, less offensive name (remember, a rose is still a rose by any other name) they are also re-writing history lest - God forbid - some child would be deceived into thinking that our country was founded on faith and prayer.

To grab a personal reality check about the early settlers, I visited a number of historical websites recently. There I discovered anew the Mayflower Pact, the historical account of the early harvest festivals, and the statements of faith and prayer offered by our forefathers. I was charmed, proud and thankful that they had the audacity to give glory to God and to actually thank Him for their blessings. Yet today we have an illustrious group of revisionists that would have us believe no such thing occurred; no such words were spoken. It was merely a coincidence that America was discovered at all. If thanksgiving was and is appropriate, it's because of man's ingenuity and goodness - in their eyes.

Following my virtual history lesson I looked upon the text in Esther. There in Chapter three I saw Haman, the next of kin to today's revisionists. He is alive and well, leaving a legacy about how to silence anyone that insisted on living a godly life and professing faith in the One, true God: Kill 'em! Not only that, kill all their kind as well. We read: Esther 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai's people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai's people ..."

As I compile my list of "Things for Which I'm Thankful", at the very top will come this:
1. Life - the kind found only in the Son, and that Son being none other than Jesus Christ.

The next on my list will be this:
2. The words of those early settlers that establish so well God's place in their hearts and on our American soil: Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty. (Edward Winslow's account, which he wrote in a letter dated December 12, 1621)

Happy Thanksgiving. God be praised!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fair Dinkum

While sitting in the doctor's office the other day I was browsing through a ten-year-old magazine and ran across a term I hadn't heard in a long time: Fair Dinkum. It's slang from the Australian language which means the real deal, true. Or, as I further discovered on the internet:
Fair Dinkum was a response of the early Chinese goldminers to the question:
"Are you finding a fair amount of gold?" because "din-gum" means "good gold".
So over time the expression has become a positive response to a good news
story.

I stared at the term for a long time. Though slang, it connotes a poignancy that I find difficult to attribute to much of anything. I mean, if at the lowest common denominator we are to consider "good gold" the aboslute embodiment of the real deal, then something tells me we're in big trouble. Worse, what if we're calling something good gold when it's actually fool's gold.

Pondering the term further, I decided it's a fitting tribute to truth - truth that's genuine, real, rock solid - Truth with a name: "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life'." (John 14:6). He (Jesus) was either a raving maniac, or He was and is Truth personified, which would then mean His every word is also truth.

I've heard people speak the truth. I've heard people claim to know the truth. But I've never heard of or known anyone who actually claims to Be Truth. That's a Fair Dinkum title if ever there was one. You can be sure there are no legitimate contenders. The unfair ones would be Unfair Dinkum.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yesteryear

Some words show up on the scene with a flash only to find their way to the archives for lack of use - some with a slow demise, and others with a swift boot. The word "yesteryear" is one such though I can't say whether it's use was short-lived or not. I just know it's not a common word today. I also know that when I heard it recently my senses perked as though beckoned by a scented breeze. Good things came to mind, and immediately I was a small child riveted by the Lone Ranger, or then a bit order smitten by Captain James T. Kirk.

Now that I'm a Sassy Granny there are lots of yesteryears to ponder. I like that thought. It gives history a new poignancy and memories an emotional scrapbook.

Yesteryear. How long ago would that cover? I'm thinking "In the beginning ... " sounds right even though my own personal yesteryears don't quite reach back that far. My heart does though.

I'm going to resurrect that word and use it often.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ounces & Pounds

Practical wisdom is just so ... well, practical. It's true that the simplest of concepts often make the most sense. They can even pack the biggest wallop. Yet it seems that most of us head straight for the complex. We may not label it complex, and we may not even realize what we've gotten ourselves into until that day we go looking for some culprit (God forbid we look at our own choices).

My comments probably seems like huge, global, uninformed assessments. Maybe so. But the evidence reveals how very averse are we to wisdom, not to mention moral living. Here's the deal ... I've lived long enough (remember the other side of sassy is "granny") to witness a good many people that would prefer to be free of boundaries and advice in order to live or behave according to what feels right or good at the moment. Oh the heartache of that shallow thinking. Somewhere down stream, when these same folks have been assaulted by the depths of pain and discouragement you can often find them sitting on the sidelines of life scratching their heads, and asking themselves: How the heck did I get here?

It occurs to me that some sage soul has given us a prescription worth swallowing: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wow, that's profound! But who wants to live with the ounce when it might mean self-sacrifice, moral choices, saying "no", or require some other discipline that seems much too confining at the time? Even though you promise them that the ounce is literally more valuable than the pound you may be on the receiving end of blank stares, guffaws, and patronizing platitudes.

I may be sassy but I'm not stupid. Give me the ounce now and keep the pound.