Monday, June 30, 2008

My Peeps

The Sunflower Team - My "PEEPS"
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In the aftermath of the weekend's retreat, I relish the remembrance of those who shared such lovely days, especially the ladies in my break-out group.


Back (l-to-r): Sherry Day, Jenna Clark, Peggy Yandell,
Kathleen Flanagan, Lisa Herman, Christy Lingenfelter.
Front (l-to-r): Marge Knepple, Tracey Schwarz, Anna Herman





Peggy - my co-speaker and roomie!











Sharing my heart!

How You Live



It's never too late to begin again!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What We Leave Behind


Palm Valley Church - The Aroma of Life



A group of 102 ladies gathered over a three day period to celebrate their lives in Christ - lives that are forever changed because He lives.
.

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It's not a question of
"how do I get through?" ...
but a question of
"what do I leave behind?"
May it be a sweet, priceless fragrance.
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But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2 Cor 2:14

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Discordant Notes

This is a much heavier post than my usual (it qualifies for the soapbox). It's a piece I wrote in early 2002, just a few short months following that dreadful day - September 11, 2001. It was born of my disgust with the spin the media - and even some Christian spokespeople from varied denominational views - were beginning to put on all things political and spiritual, a spin that swirls far more liberal today than it did even then. Thus I'm resurrecting my 2002 th0ughts.

DISCORDANT NOTES

A symphony of lies, deceptions played out in discordant notes that mesmerize; notes that scale counterfeit arias. Instruments are finely tuned to the minor key by masters who delight in crafting chaotic chords;
masters who take pride in their distortions.

Every chorus is garnished with a different tempo in keeping with the applause of those unfamiliar or at odds with celestial harmonies. These rise up in dance, bowing their very souls to the harsh confusion of sound. It is the irregular beat, the multiplicity of sounds that beguile.

The rhapsody of revelation is carried on the beat of an exact tempo. Sure, pure, divine notes blend into a chorus which then chisels a rightly divided rhythm. One note is separate and distinct from another; one instrument also. Together they transform their solitary graces into a collect cadence of power. Expectancy mounts with each demonstration of purity. It is a reverential crescendo.

The untrained ear does not hear the discordant from the divine; it is not listening. But the listening ear does hear; it is trained and is thus forever rewarded with songs of truth and joy.


“The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain.”
Zechariah 10:2

Blossom Time


Tomorrow I'll be joining a group of women from church for a three day retreat (at a Scottsdale resort, no less). It's an annual event for us, and this year at least 100 ladies will be pondering what it means to "bloom" in the Lord.

Blossom time here in the Arizona desert is a rather amazing occurrence. The cactus, seemingly oblivious to the lack of rain - if not the sun's unbearable tortures - enter into rebellion when nature is at its most inhospitable. As if to say, "Never mind, beauty will prevail", they declare an age old truth that is comfort to us all. No matter life's circumstances, we can and do bloom in the most inconvenient seasons.
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I'll be chronicling the blooming process in the days ahead. But right now I'm thinking I need to pack some sunscreen.
.
To my fellow seedlings ... may your blooms be abundant and delightfully pungent! Remember - it all begins with the soil.
.
I was sure by now God
You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
.
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
(or this desert heat)
.
(Lyrics: Casting Crowns, "Praise You in This Storm")

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tailoring the Investigation

While reading a newspaper article, I ran across this comment about an investigation surrounding a mysterious death, and how it was finally solved once the investigation altered course. Of the initial investigation's failure it was said: "They tailored their investigating to fit their theory." It struck a familiar chord.

Long before the CSI-type programs we had Perry Mason, Hercule Poirot, the Pinkerton Agency, Agatha Christi and Sherlock Holmes as sources for all things detective. From their varying perspectives our imaginations have been piqued, our appetite whetted for truth. A good detective story - a "who dunnit?" - is never without a rapt audience.

Crimes are solved and mysteries unraveled when stealthy detectives sort tirelessly and diligently through mounds of evidence - or clues - that lead them ever closer to the truth. If they've navigated along a faulty course, they take no further steps until they return to their initial place of unbias, reviewing again the evidence.


Nothing really gets solved without that key ingredient: truth. Biases and erroneous information can foil truth, but it certainly can't negate it. Even Sherlock would agree: It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence ... it biases the judgment." (This is where I interject how annoyed am I that so many in our media and centers of supposed higher learning would have us believe theory as if it were fact).

It would seem, then, that arriving at the truth can be no cavalier thing. Depending on the subject matter or the stakes, seeking truth can - literally - be a life and dead pursuit. It seems logical that it would not be prudent to follow a trail of biases, for the end of such a trail could well be a dead end.


“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes”, says Arthur Conan Doyle - another great detective sort.
.
Long before today's fascination with all things forensics we have been summoned to a most amazing truth-quest: seek truth and you will find it.
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It would appear that truth is within our grasp if we'll but reach. We are lead to believe the finding of it is intricately linked to solid evidence and sound reasoning - a deliberate seeking of it free of predispositions. Smart. To begin such an endeavor with a haphazard bias will most certainly lead you to one of those dead ends - someplace that resembles truth but couldn't be further from it. Not so smart.
.
Best we tailor our investigations without our little theories. They may be a helpful clue but, after all ... theory is not truth.

John has a new way of looking at life
He's tired of his job of his kids and his wife
Says the secret to his success
Was leaving and finding himself
Now he's someone to someone else
You say we've risen to a new age of truth
You're calling it a spiritual Godly pursuit
But I say, I say ...
.
What if we've fallen to the bottom of the well
Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
Thinking we're heaven bound
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
When we should have been thinking of each other
What if we reach up and touch the ground
To find we're living life upside down ?
.
We've got a program for saving the Earth
While unborn children are denied their right to birth
One baby blessed, another cursed
Well have we made this world better or worse
Now that the life of a tree comes first
You say we've risen to a new age of light
You're telling me what used to be wrong is now right
But I say, I say ...
.
What if we've fallen to the bottom of the well
Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
Thinking we're heaven bound
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
When we should have been thinking of each other
What if we reach up and touch the ground
To find we're living life upside down ?
.
(Lyrics: Living Life Upside Down by Russ Lee/Truth)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Begin With the End in Mind

It's not a new concept, this business of intentional living. In days of yore we've heard it called Management by Objectives (MBOs), Strategic Planning, Best Practices, Purpose Driven, and a plethora of other "how-to"s. Visit the Amazon website alone and you will quickly find just about anything and everything you've ever wanted to know (including some things you didn't want to know) about how to live, work, parent, etc.

As said, it's not new.

So it's always a little surprising to me how many people go through life with their default mechanism set to: make it up as you go. There's little that's intentional about it; just an auto-pilot existence that's marked by this reaction or that to whatever interruption comes along, dotted by a plan here-and-there. It might actually work, and even work well for some. I confess, I've done plenty of that sort of living myself - be it in my personal life or my professional life.

But the concept of beginning with the end in mind is tried and true; a steadfast principle that even today helps me govern my advancing years. If I want to get from here to there (wherever here or there is) then it certainly behooves me to envision there before I ever leave here. To head out there without a plan is - quite frankly - little more than a Vegas roll of the dice.

The scriptures speak of intentional living throughout. In one place we are actually told we'll be wise if we count our days, realizing how brief are they (Psalm 90:12). In that case, the end to begin with is the gaining of wisdom. It's linked to our understanding of the brevity of life on earth, and wisdom that arise from maximizing that fact intentionally.

I think, too, of the people that comment on how organized am I. I'd like to take a bow, but the truth is: it's a trick! My motives are quite selfish. I'm organized not because I'm an organized person, or because I was born that way, but because it's attached to some end I've deemed vitally important. In this case it's that the more disciplined I am, the more freedom I have (the end I have in mind). When I'm organized I don't lose things; I don't forget things. Moreover, it affords me more-and-more freedom to do all the other things I relish - like spend time with family and friends, or reading, or helping someone else, unencumbered by all that stuff that's gone AWOL on my "to do" list.

I can't help but think of the many people that have advanced upon death's portal only to be spared, and their tales of how that experience changed them. They found their priorities re-ordered; their zest for life more palpable; their joy overflowing. They've visited the end literally, and for them each new day is a beginning highly valued and intentional. They would never dream of default living.

There was a time when my life was mostly about getting by, getting through. It was often a mixed bag of serendipity, mindless meanderings, meaningful pursuits, frenzied fussing, blissful blithering, anxious reactions, and lethargic domestic drudgery. I was not always sure which was which.

Today it's not about that at all. While beginning with the end in mind entails some daily, personal inventory - it is also about what I'm leaving behind in my wake (no pun intended). It begs the question: where are you going? That's easy to answer in the macro sense, but in the micro sense it requires a more purposeful approach. The default switch must be turned off, even as the manual switch is flipped on.

There are many endings to consider as one gets themselves positioned up front of them: today's doings, relationships, health, finances, death, to name a few. And sometimes the endings require we say "no" to some really good things along the way in order to achieve the end we really want and are working towards. How often do the good things of life get in the way of the awesome things we could have experienced had we not lost sight of them? Good things are such devious little diversions from great things!

There's something to be said for default living, but a whole lot more to be said for beginning each day with the end in mind. What we leave behind is far more significant than that which we take with us.

A Man Named Oswald

If you've never encountered Oswald Chambers in your own life journey, I can't say enough good things about him or his mission. Though he's considered one of Christianity's greatest teachers, he is a man that could easily be mistaken for the local bus driver. His lack of hubris is incredible given the amazing productivity of his life - a life all too brief given his premature death at the age of 43 from a ruptured appendix.

Thanks to Oswald's wife, Gertrude (whom he affectionately called "Biddy"), a collection of his teachings have been saved. Some are published in the penetrating devotional known as "My Utmost for His Highest". It's a read that will both strengthen and challenge.

Check it out for yourself. You may find yourself visiting it often.

http://www.rbc.org/utmost/index.php

When I consider the heroes of modern day I must say I find them to be sorely lacking - pale - by comparison to men like Oswald Chambers, or John Adams, or C.S. Lewis and other noblemen. So many of our newer prodigies claim good looks or pedigree or success or their latest "hot" muse as their fame-gain, and character is rarely mentioned unless it's the media pointing out what's lacking in them (but only after they've crowned them with glory before getting sick of their antics, or discovering the chinks in their armor). I would be hard pressed to quote them.

God bless the man whose life is lived on the high ground. Oswald is but one - and such a human one at that!

The noble man makes noble plans,
and by noble deeds he stands.
Isaiah 32:8

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Black & White Childhood

It's just not possible to visit my childhood without including some black & white memories. These were the heroes of my day ...

We can start with Cisco & Diablo
(but where's Poncho?)


How about Luci & Desi,
Fred & Ethel?
.

Then onto the singing dude, Gene Autry.

.

What would the world be
today absent Annette and
the Mickey Mousers?
.
.........................or Rin Tin Tin?
.

or Roy & Dale?
.
.
.
.
Long before Gilligan showed up
on that island,
he was hanging
out with Dobie Gillis as the
hippiest, grooviest Maynard G. Krebbs!

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Sundown could not possibly crown Sundays without
that crafty canine Lassie and her pet Timmy.
.
Oh boy, it's still Howdy Doody Time!
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If there's one crowning glory to the 195os, it just has to
be this one:
.
"Why, that's the Lone Ranger!"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Standing Firm or Standing Still?

Some years ago I ran across a scripture that hit with all the force of a category five hurricane (lots of them do that to me). But this one is from the Book of Isaiah - 7:9 - and it reads like this:

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If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.

The story behind this particular passage is such a good one - a real cliff hanging adventure of the Indiana Jones sort. It's about threats made to and the impending assault upon Jerusalem. King Rezin bears down on King Ahaz, and God dispatches the prophet Isaiah to both warn and encourage Ahaz. He tells him: 'Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart because of____.

In this case there's a specific reason for not losing heart (a determined enemy plans to destroy Ahaz and God's people), but you can fill in the blanks with just about anything from your own life. The bottom line is that both King Ahaz and we are being told what standing firm looks like. It goes like this:
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Manage unbelief
Remain calm
Reject fear
Maintain a buoyed heart
Place complete confidence in God
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By now you know I have a little soapbox that I drag out from time-to-time. This is not meant to be one of those occasions. Rather, I mean to share with you something that's convicted me not just once, but numerous times in my life. You might say it's a confession, but it's more than that.

Sometimes - even amidst times of incredible gratefulness - life has served up some duanting episodes for me. This is especially true when the road seemed particularly tough, or the traveling companions played rough. It is then that I have been most tempted to sit down along the way as a weary, teary child might. I have even been known to set my jaw in rebellion as I attempt to salve my wounds, or to run off to some cave (figuratively) as did the prophet Elijah.
.
I am reminded again (and again), there's a cost associated with following Jesus. I can wonder all I want at His leading through such semingly dangerous or painful places; but leading in this way He does!

These are the times when I'm tempted to embrace inertia while calling it something less offensive, like waiting upon the Lord (a subject well worth considering all by itself). In my lethargy I have been known to stand still, not firm. Truth be told, it's probably more of a temper tantrum disguised as something much more noble.

So, when I first stumbled upon the referenced verse I went scrambling to see what more I could learn. Much to my delight and relief, I found that I am not the only one given to hiding out, and I'm not the only one given a hand up when needed either. Just a few of my findings:
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Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. Exodus 4:13
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You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you ... 2 Chronicles 20:17
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... the righteous stand firm forever. Proverbs 10:25
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Resist him (the evil one), standing firm in the faith ... 1 Peter 5:9
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I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 1 Peter 5:12
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All men will hate you because of me (Jesus), but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13
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I don't mean to employ a salvation by works mentality, as if doing something - anything - is required in the standing firm process. Nor is this an indictment. But I wonder if you, like me, sometimes stand still, not firm? It's a good question, and even in the asking there's the condition for making the distinction.
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Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:21
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From first to last, the way is mine to discover but His to achieve. My standing firm simply cannot be standing still so long as I follow His steps. What's more, I cannot lose heart so long as He's at the heart of the standing. It's a cost worth counting, and a price worth rendering.
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In his book entitled "Where Jesus Walked", R. Wayne Stacy has this to say: If we're going to face the forces (of evil) - and face them we must - then perhaps we'd be wise and discerning to look around and make sure that whether we're standing for or standing against, we're standing with Jesus.
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It's a reminder worth remembering. Firm that is aligned with Jesus is not easily rattled or shaken.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Monsoons Coming

There's a buzz in Arizona this time of year connected to the coming of the monsoon season. Most often it's a season of high temperatures, fierce wind, rolling thunder and lightning - both flash and streak lightning.

Residents of the valley get a bit antsy as the season bears down upon us. There's an anticipation associated with the rains that is largely one of excitement. We do love our rains and their refreshing aftermath!

Some storms arrive with seeming determination as if to rattle the slumbering from rest, or the complacent to alertness. Like a freight train it announces its power first. Its rolling, boiling rumbles a crescendo that mounts just ahead of the first blasts of light.

This is hubby's favorite time of year. He has been known to sit on our patio - heaven's theater - for hours on end just watching the percolating night sky and its torrents. It doesn't really matter if it's 9PM or 2AM; he's one avid fan of nature's display.

I like the storms too. Most Arizonans agree they are a welcome respite from the deathly still air that blows off the desert floor.

Here is a season of oppressive heat followed by a season of incredible refreshing. Thus it is to me nature's reminder that a promise awaits, not yet fulfilled. Today's monsoon is commonplace, though hardly common. Tomorrow's storm may well be the culmination of that long overdue promise. A captivating streak of lightning like no other.
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The monsoon becomes the "sonsoon" ...


For as lightning that comes from the east
is visible even in the west, so will be the
coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:27

Friday, June 13, 2008

Daddy


JAMES "Jim" WELLS
1902 - 1964

Your years came and went
much too soon. Your time here
seemed robbed from us far too
abruptly.
.
Mother cried for days ... no, months -
or even years at your leaving until she
left us to join you.
.
Sometimes I cry still.
.
Yet you ever loved your Jesus, so we
take comfort & even delight in knowing
where you are - and in such good care
and company.
.
Thank you for living a noble life, and for
leaving us an honorable, rich heritage
of love & faith. Yours is a lovely path to
follow, and follow it we do.
.
We miss you this Father's Day
and always, Daddy -

We'll ALL see you soon.


YOUR GIRLS
(Barbara, Me, Dolores & Carol)

One Special Dad


I know you’re not my father,
But a father none-the-less;
And as you’ve grown much older,
You're among the very best!
.
Your heart is filled with richness
For the children born to you.
You hold them as a treasure;
And stick to them like glue.

The days they pass too swiftly,
As a fathers work must end.
And as they all move forward,
You’ve been their best of friends.

I’m proud to call you hubby,
I’m proud to share this time.
When children add more children,
And our lives are quite sublime.

Be blessed both now and always -
As your special day unfolds.
And may next year be sweeter
With the times it’s sure to hold.
.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, TERRY

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Israel Beckons


The sights and sounds of Jerusalem have long captivated me. The music of that land is other-worldly, and sometimes I wonder if I'm not just a little Jewish myself. If not, then perhaps my Jewish Savior has instilled in me this love of the Jewish people and the homeland they inhabit, crafted uniquely by the God of Creation.
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Well, this Fall Terry and I are headed to Israel and Egypt accompanied by our oldest son. We'll join a group of 40 from our Church, and already I'm planning just how to pack everything I'll need in one small suitcase. No doubt it will be a grueling trip; the air travel alone is not exactly of the refreshing sort. We'll be afoot for 12 full days, including some time atop a camel, and riding in jeeps as we follow the route taken by the Israelites during their 40 years of desert wandering.
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From Jerusalem to Cairo, this will be a history lesson like no other. All my days of Discovery Channel viewing will come together in one fell swoop as I literally step into the lands of old, the ancient ruins, and the cradle of civilization that bustles (and buzzes) even today.
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As author, Middle Eastern Geo-Political Strategist, and prophecy teacher Joel Rosenberg puts it: This is the Epicenter!
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I'm not so sure about those camels ...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Perseverance

I had to visit Merriam today to get to the bottom of something I'd been pondering ... perseverance, to be exact. Thus I'll begin with Merriam's definition:

to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter-influences, opposition, or discouragement.

Actually this all began with the scriptures, where my pondering is often instigated by something enigmatic or compelling. Perseverance is both.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8

Then, to the church at Ephesus, we hear a cheer from the Lord as he says to them:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. (Revelation 1:2-3)

This particular church, we are told, was able to persevere well in all but their passion for God! That seems so very oxymoronish to me.

It would appear, then, that perseverance is a much-needed and essential ingredient in a life of noble doings. I could have spared myself a lot of meanderings over the course of my life had I given perseverance it's head. It's not impatience or impertinance that stymied or tripped me along life's way (though I'm quite adept at both), but a turning back or going around some obstacle that daunted me; a lack of persistance - a lack of persevering.
.

Today I cherish the process, though I must say the roots embedded in it tempt me still to go around the obstacles. It is no coincidence that the words severe or sever inhabit both the word and the concept, or that pressing (associated with stress) is a dynamic of getting to the other side. I just know you can't get to the really, really good stuff apart from the process - through and beyond the present realities - good, bad and otherwise.


It's the upside of the downside of maturing.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. Philippians 3:12-15

Friday, June 6, 2008

Grandma's Attic

When I titled this post I must confess that it was with an envious heart. You see, I don't have an attic - not one of my own, not one left by my mother or grandmother. I feel somewhat deprived as might a child that had never had a tricycle, or a tree swing.

What fun it would be push open a dust encrusted door, a faux castle mote that leads straightaway to the past - or even to a magical land like C.S. Lewis wrote of in "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe". There I might uncover a warped mirror, a spinning wheel, or perhaps a dress-makers form, or a parasol. The sheltered environs might contain a leather strapped trunk, the sort used for portage on those ships that navigated into New York Harbor in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. It might itself contain enough to compel a seeker to linger long there ... touching the chantilly-laced dress, a child's doll, an embroidered hanky with unfamiliar initials.

And what of the love letters packed tightly with satin ribbon that was once a shade of rose petal pink, now faded in all but the tightest of its creases. Even the faded pictures of faces and places are at once familiar, though without name or context.

I'm thinking I could wile away a great many hours in such a place.

As it is, the treasure trove I've been left could fill little more than a small closet. Contents are mostly pictures, a few notes ... a torn page from a diary, newspaper clippings. Without the attic I'm left to wonder at much of it.

From my mother's (Helen) diary dated January 7, 1929 this:
Here is the very heart of a young, single and apparently yearning lady. She has just met my father, though they are but friends. She asks, "I wonder what I can write in here a year from now?" Attic thoughts, these ... kept safe for the reading another day.
Truth is, I have found as much delight in ruminating the "what ifs" and "I wonders" in my own life - and now hers - for it to be every bit as engaging as a day in Grandma's attic. What peace and tenderness attend such simple pleasures.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Pilgrimage

In recent days I have been sorting through the mountainous collection of artifacts left in my care by the family. These are the pictures and documents associated with my parents - James and Helen Wells. They met in 1929, married in 1930, and lived incredible lives until their deaths; he in 1964, she 12 years later in 1976. I was born to them, the youngest of the family and the fourth of their daughters, in the year 1948.

The sorting thing I've undertaking is just one leg of a journey that began with the writing of my personal memoirs. I'm actually too young to have memoirs, but certainly not too young for remembering. I decided to start early so I could capture every remembrance for the sake of my children and grandchildren - maybe even my great-grandchildren.

The work actually began some years ago with the first penning of a work I entitled "The House of My Pilgrimage", based on Psalm 119:54 which reads: Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. I wasn't happy with that early start, so I've worked on it piecemeal until several weeks ago when, for some inexplicable reason, a flow came rushing. The difference has been the convergence of heart & mind, whereas that early effort was largely of the mind.

Today I seem to be better equipped to write the story. The best part is probably not yet discovered, much less conceived in my thoughts. I can scarcely imagine how the tale will end. But truly the best of its beginning has to be that I was born to the extraordinary couple I call Mom and Dad. How I miss them still!


Helen Evelyn Grinnell-Wells
and
Uvo James Wells ("Jimmy")

Wedding Day
June 4, 1930

(78 Years Ago
Yesterday)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chuckle Break

Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by the children; they are untouched and unedited, even the original spelling (or mis-spelling, as the case may be) has been left alone.

1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS, GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.

2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH'S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS.

3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT. (My personal favorite)

4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.

5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY A JEZEBE LIKE DELILAH.

6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.

7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.

8. THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTERWARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.

10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY.

11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA. THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.

12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.

13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES. (Crack up!)


14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVIDS SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.

15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.

16. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.

17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION.

18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.

19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.

20. IT WAS A MIRICLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONE OFF THE ENTRANCE.

21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.

22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.

23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST.MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN.

24. ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRAIGE.

25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE . THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY.

The final two get my "hilarity" vote!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Headed to Normal

As you've no doubt surmised, I love both the light and the heavy of ponderings. Life is so rich and full of things to see or to do; to consider or to reject; to read of or to write about; to love or to loathe. How does anyone become bored?

I relish great humor, I treasure profound insight, and I even see beauty in the mournful. I enjoy words and their meansing, and I delight in reading something that catches me up in the intent of it. Such things often smack me like a swinging screen door. At times it'll elicit a jolt of laughter, or a scratching of the head, or a nodding of the head in agreement.

Yet at other times those thoughts or scenes elicit something deep, deep within my heart that feels more like the brisk, refreshing air found exclusively in the high mountain regions. The scent and feel of it often lingers long after the discovery passes.

This is one of those.

I began by saying that right now as a group we're (Christians) no better or worse than anyone else when compared to God's standards. But know this. Whether in the Rapture or Resurrection one day soon you will be changed. That which has been completed in eternity will be consummated in time. The corrupt will be made incorruptible; the mortal immortal, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. No longer average, finally normal. Because by His one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
(Hebr. 10:14)
Excerpt: Are You Average or Normal? By Jack Kelley

I consider myself to be pretty average, and even fairly normal. But when I consider that Normal - like some great tourist attraction - is a destination ... well, I just have to say I'm so glad to be headed in that direction.

All these people (Enoch, Noah, Abraham) were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

It's a place called Normal.