Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bothering With a Blog




What's a Blog?

Back in the early part of 2007 I worked alongside a tech-savvy website geek named Michael.  Until he mentioned it, I'd never heard of blogging (short for keeping a World-Wide-Web Log).  His passion for it could hardly be contained.  

Initially I found Michael's proclivities for the virtual world a bit on the kookie, weird, bazaar, whacky, somewhat questionable side of the equation.  Afterall, who in their right mind would collect & harbor their thoughts in some sort of virtual world?  Why would they even want to?

By August of that year, Michael convinced me I ought to give it a try.  He offered some suggestions, answered a few of my sarcastic, skeptical, curious questions, and stood in the wings as I reluctantly took my first baby steps in the realm we all now know to be the Blogosphere.  Back then, it might as well have been The Twilight Zone.

I was stealthily clandestine about my initial efforts, suffering from apoplexy over the very thought that someone ~ anyone ~ might actually find my Blog & read it.  Perish the thought!  But it didn't deter me, so in August of that year I went live.

The rest is history.

Today ~ some 6+ years, 884 posts & 27,036 visitors hence ~ I can honestly say all the clamor about blogging was in vain.  I'm glad I turned a deaf ear to the naysayers (It's dangerous. People will stalk you and show up at your house with an ax. Your identity will be stolen. You'll get all sorts of hate-comments.  And the like ... ).  

In those same 6+ years I've encountered two or three visitors whose comments I deleted (with nary a moment's angst or hesitation).  I've encountered hundreds more that have blessed me in ways I never thought possible.  Some say it's been mutual.  Blessings do have a way of flowing in both directions, don't they?  I've made myriad friends, some for life.  My world ~ both the real one & the virtual one ~ would lack luster were it not for Elaine, Sonja, Debbie, Judy, Beth, Mary, Luther, Sharon, Noreen, Rebecca, Renee, and others whose lives have forever been hitched to my wagon.

Don't get me wrong:  there's a lot about blogging that drives me batty, to distraction.  Whenever I feel fueled by expectation I know I need a break, or a return to my moorings.  I've taken LOTS of breaks.

So, what's a Blog?  Well, the answer to that question is as different as we are.  For me, it has been and will forever be a place to chronicle the events & heart ponderings of my life ~ and this for my children & grandchildren.  The fact that I've amassed so many BBFFs (aka = Blogging Best Friends Forever) is a huge, unanticipated by-product & bonus blessing. 

Thank you, Michael.

Thank you, all my visiting friends.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Love of Labyrinths





  • Crossword puzzles  
  • Hide-n-Seek  
  • Checkers  
  • Corn mazes 
  • Word finds 
  • Jigsaw puzzles  
  • Whodunits
  • Balancing my checkbook  

This is the stuff of my imagination; that which I gravitate towards. (OK ... so I lied about the checkbook) 

I love a good mystery; I love a challenge; I love finding solutions; I love outcomes (the good sort, anyway).  Where some minds see a dead end, I see no such thing.

In no small way this seemingly playful stuff rendered me well-suited to the business realm that was home to my imagination for well over 30 years.  I navigated many a labyrinth, though not always well.  Sometimes I'd be stymied & stupored (I know, not a real word) & stopped, but that inborn love of solutions served me often, and well.  It still does.   

I marvel at the intricacies of the human brain and its wiring; and how unique that wiring is to each & every one of us ~ a sort of intellectual labyrinth.  We can be so much alike while being incredibly different simultaneously.  Who but a Master Labyrinth Maker could conceive of such a thing?   

There are so many "Why?"s and "How?"s and "What?"s in my life at present.  Yet I am content to ponder, regroup, remain still and/or move forward with sure-footed resolve.  God is well able to open closed passageways, or inspire my feet to take another course. 

His is not a love of labyrinths, but a Labyrinth of Love!

.".. what if your stereotype of theology really isn’t theology. After all, at its simplest, to do theology is to know more and more about God. That doesn’t sound boring or dangerous at all. Theology is the great social network of knowing God. As God, by his Spirit, applies his words from all over the Bible to our soul, imagination, and worldview, we meet him, not just abstract ideas."  

~ Marshall Segal of John Piper Ministries 

All of life is a labyrinth. 


Now to him who is able to establish you in 
accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim 
about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation 
of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 
but now revealed and made known through 
the prophetic writings by the command 
of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles 
might come to the obedience that comes from faith
  to the only wise God be glory forever through 
Jesus Christ! 
Amen. 
~ Romans 16:25-27


... God gave me to present to you the word 
of God in its fullness — the mystery that has been 
kept hidden for ages and generations, 
but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 
To them God has chosen to make known among 
the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, 
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 
~ Colossians 1:25-27


... without controversy great is 
the mystery of godliness:  
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory. 
~ Timothy 3:16


We do, however, speak a message of wisdom 
among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age 
or of the rulers of this age, who are
coming to nothing. 
No, we declare God’s wisdom, 
a mystery that has been hidden 
and that God destined for our glory 
before time began. 
~ 1 Corinthians 2:6-7

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

U-Turns

First, an update on Molly.

She was discharged from the hospital last Friday.  I doubt I've ever seen anyone so eager to get home, or more joyful once nestled there.  There was a good deal of Happy Dancin' going on, including some of you who will remain nameless ~ like Sonja Goodson.  

But that all changed over the weekend when a fever & chest pain came to call.  Yesterday Molly was re-admitted to the hospital while the doctors figure out what's happening in her body.  Most likely it's a resurgence of pneumonia ~ an illness she battled earlier this year, long before her cancer diagnosis.  The removal of a portion of her diaphragm during her recent surgery has made it difficult to get a deep breath and is, no doubt, contributing in a not-so-positive way. 

We'll know more in the hours to come, so once again I've put out the APB for prayer. 

Second, a bit of wisdom.

It was not long ago that Elaine Olsen paid me a phone visit.  We've chatted a number of times since our first having met each other back in the initial days of our blogging, 2007.  Many of you know her, as well as her own courageous battle with breast cancer just three years ago.  Some of you have gathered peace for your own journey because of her pen.  She's a fabulous wordsmith, speaker, blogger, pastor's wife, homeschool teacher, author & friend.  I can hear any number of you shouting "Amen!" to that.  Elaine's skilled at making lemonade out of lemons. 

Something Elaine shared with me during the referenced phone chat struck deep & tenderly.  She called primarily to offer support & encouragement because of Molly's cancer diagnosis, but a portion of that conversation has lingered long in my heart.  

This is what Elaine told me (paraphrased) ...

"When I was enduring Chemotherapy, my mother was there each and every time.  She was so strong and such a comfort.  It was her finest hour.  Because of that, I feel compelled to tell parents of grown children never to conclude they are no longer needed as parents in their children's lives.  Nothing could be further from the truth."

Her finest hour.  Your finest hour.  My finest hour.

What a ministry.