Monday, February 25, 2008

LOL - The "Superbs"

No one told me how daring one gets at the age of 60. But here, along with buddies Jillayne & Nancy as back up singers, yours truly entertained the troops (so-to-speak). The occasion was last nights volunteer appreciation event for the nearly 500 people that support all the ministry and related work conducted at my church.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw9GngzQZF0

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A New Decade

I don't know the hour, but I do know that a 42 year old Helen Grinnell-Wells and 46 year old Jim Wells welcomed their fourth child, and a fourth girl on this day 60 years ago. Over the course of many years they poured into the life of that child, but were taken from her at a young age. She was but 16 when her father passed; and 26 when her mother joined him.

To this day their love is a legacy that strengthens still: their love for each other, their love for their family - and their special love for this child of their older age.

I am that child.

The best ever present I could ask for today has come from them. Even after these many 60 years, their foundation of faith and their generosity of affection is a gift that simply dazzles me.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Contensions

While engaged in a lively discussion just the other day, it occurred to me there's a fuzzy line between the process of contending and that of being contentious. With the former there's a sense of the positive; that when you contend for something it's a striving towards the worthwhile and good, or a civil debate. With the latter comes a whole different sense. It's as if there's been a mean-spirited, perverse and argumentative bent crop up where once was passionate dialogue. One might inspire clarity and unity. The other might inspire the opposite - disunity and ill will.

It is no wonder the Good Book has so much to say about wisdom. It takes more than a boatload of it to know when you're on solid ground and when you're not. It takes more than a bushel of it to know know when you're contending or when you're being contentious.

This is need to remember.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Magic of Love

Love is like magic
And it always will be.
For love still remains
Life's sweet mystery!!
Love works in ways
That are wondrous and strange
And there's nothing in life
That love cannot change!!
Love can transform
The most commonplace
Into beauty and splendor
And sweetness and grace.
Love is unselfish,
Understanding and kind,
For it sees with its heart
And not with its mind!!
Love is the answer
That everyone seeks...
Love is the language,
That every heart speaks.
Love can't be bought,
It is priceless and free,
Love, like pure magic,
Is life's sweet mystery!!
- Helen Steiner Rice -

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ignobility

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.... Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are His ... In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Tim 2:15, 19-21)

Wow ... to think God uses everything in one way or the other - that even ignoble characteristics serve His purposes - is a jaw dropper. I'm watching all the Presidential campaign stuff (what else do you call it?), wondering if our next President will be noble or ignoble. Either way, I'm comforted with the knowledge that there's a grand scheme that is often undiscernable.

Please don't confuse the word ignoble with ignorant or ignoramous (a sarcastic term of endearment I vaguely recall my sister Carol calling me from time-to-time). It's much more cunning in content as Merriam tells us:

1 : of low birth or common origin: plebian, 2: characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness

Synonym = "mean" :1: lacking distinction or eminence : humble, 2: lacking in mental discrimination, dull, 3 a: of poor shabby inferior quality or status b: worthy of little regard, contemptible, 4: lacking dignity or honor, base/vile, 5 a: petty selfishness or malice, troublesome, bothersome

I'm sure hoping and praying for a noble outcome to the Presidential posturing, all the while I'm thinking maybe we're going to get some ignoble stuff.

No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected. For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water. The scoundrel's methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands. (Is 32:5-8)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jeez Dang Crud Sheesh

Growing up in the Wells (my maiden name) household, there were just some things you didn't utter. "Shut up" was absolutely forbidden because it was considered highly disrespectful, but so too were other slang words like "jeez" and "dang", "crud" and "sheesh". Where I come from they were one-and-the-same with disrespectufl or offensive terms. If you weren't using the Lord's name respectfully, or if you were caught hurling the others - or words even worse than these - as might a longshoreman, then you better have a taste for Ivory soap. Yuk!

Well, I just looked up on www.merriam-webster.com a commonly used slang from today's vernacular: freaking - or it's contractions, freakin' or fricken. It's heard in a variety of contexts and upon no few lips. I've often wondered what, exactly, it means. I'm sorry I looked!

I'll leave it up to you to consult Merriam and discover the definition yourself. But at my house it is now among the soap-words.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Picket Fences

There was a day when the white picket fence surrounding my childhood home appeared massive; too high to scale. It represented a lot of things for me, and none more than the security planned and executed by mother. I can hear her still as she released me to play: "You stay in your own yard". I'm sure she added the own part lest I make a case for staying in someone else's yard in order to live according to the Law of Mother. She was one smart lady, my mom.

I don't recall ever challenging that order. There was plenty of room to play; two large apple trees to climb; lots of grass for rolling upon or playing dolls; flowers for plucking; dirt for digging; and best of all ... mother's clothes line when filled with fresh laundry. What a haven for the imagination that often became. I could write an entire blog on that small patch of ground and the childhood world it represented .... perhaps another day.

But it was the white picket fence that delighted me in so many ways. I wasn't aware of how many, or how significant until much later in life when I began to ponder associated analogies.
Perhaps the most significant memory of that fence derives from the age of seven or so, and spans a period of at least five or more years. It is rooted in the delights of walking the picket fence. There, high above the ground, balanced just so ... cautiously placing one foot ahead of the other in order to proceed along the very narrow ledge that was, in actually, the upper wood plank (2x4) that gave the fence stability. That walking ledge was on the fence's inside, just inside the safe zone of my own yard .

It was a long way around the yard on that fence, but oh the joy of traversing it, start-to-finish with nary a slip or fall. It never occurred to me that I could fall (aren't all seven year olds invincible?), or that I might even impale myself on one of those pickets were I to do so.

With the benefit of hindsight, I see how like that precarious picket peddling is the navigating of life. I've got boundaries within which to live; boundaries that allow me lots of room to roam as well as incredible freedom within them. Even more so they offer me protection. They are boundaries as sturdy and recognizable as that picket fence of my childhood. And, as I did in childhood, sometimes even today I perch myself upon the boundary's narrow ledge and tip-toe around the safe zone. I don't mean it to be an act of rebellion, or even a deliberate undertaking ... I just shimmy up the boundary marker, find my footing, and become a circus performing Walenda as I step ever-so-carefully along the thin edge.

Mother's voice is still that gentle reminder to stay in my own yard. Today I'm working at staying well back from the pickets.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

McHuckahillaromobam

What can I say? How do you sort one from the other? If you know, I'll gladly listen to prevailing wisdom. Better still, I'll listen to wisdom of any sort - prevailing or not.

God bless America!