Tag Archives: God

Reblog: Wearing the Millstone

Once again Mike Ridenour at New Hope For Dry Bones addresses one of my personal frailties, and hits it out of the park.

http://wp.me/p8sgJt-DO

Roo’s feature image courtesy ABSFreePic.com

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Gun Control vs. Self Control

Again, IMHBIO Mitch Teemley addresses the matter best:

Mitch Teemley

Las-Vegas-security-issues-after-shooting

Every time there is a mass shooting in the U.S. the gun-control debate is revived. “Guns kill!” one side chants. “Guns don’t kill, people kill!” the others side retorts. And while it’s true that no gun ever killed anyone without a human pulling the trigger, it’s also true that no human ever killed anyone by pointing their finger and shouting, “Bang!”

The truth is: both statements are correct. Guns kill. And so do people. Therefore, any real solution must address both issues.

Guns kill. Modern weapons aimed at large crowds, as demonstrated in Las Vegas, kill and maim with hideous efficiency. Yes, the U. S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. But the Founders clearly did not mean this to go unchecked: from the beginning, convicted criminals forfeited the right; and it’s long been the consensus that violently unstable people forfeit the right, as well. America’s half-baked registration process…

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Response

I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I now marvel over how quickly I’d reacted.

In the moments leading up to reaching my coffee pot I went from motivated to a mess. And I admit, I wanted a villain, someone to blame for my upset, let alone the difficulties that were certain to snowball.

Yes, friends, although I kept my bright red espresso grind coffee container out on the counter for two days – for the sole purpose of reminding me I must grind more coffee – that morning the stark reality that I’d entirely run out of coffee blindsided me.

It got worse. Not only was the strongest caffeine source in my kitchen some aged (however delightful) white tea, Deadline had advanced from the shadows of the cottage and towered over me, sword drawn over it’s obnoxious head. Annnd we had a villain …

Duh – duh – dunh.

This was quickly developing into one of those emotion/hormone-packed, full-on-drama mornings. I had already suspected that in hindsight I would wish to somehow erase it all from the eternal hard drive as if it never happened. A wise woman would have paused the whole day there. Not this one. Not that day.

Still, two mornings back I’d added coffee to my Needs Now List. Between breaks and staring blankly into space, for the subsequent forty-eight hours I planned my run to town. I try to economize wherever possible and make the most of the trip. This usually works very well. Until it doesn’t. Until that morning.

So, there I was, bravely forging onward sans caffeine, thinking I had a good handle on everything in my ken. Strangely predictably, it became the worst morning ever, something unexpected had happened. Forget happened – I felt like someone hit me across the abdomen with a five-foot long 2 by 4.

The car was gone.

Duh – duh!!  {Roo jumps behind the wall as if sensing a predator nearby, but seeing and hearing none, she then lets out a loud, agonizing shriek, “Why God? Why, without coffee?! scaring away any other life forms from the area…}  Okay, I sighed deeply but imagined screaming loudly.

Assumption:  Since Brother sometimes changes our arrangements, routines and moves things without telling me or giving me a heads up first. He took the car for the day without telling me.

The Lie: Brother doesn’t actually give a care about me.

Reality: The evening before Brother had used his vehicle (ahem, that he keeps mostly for my use), parked it in the back of the lot, and then forgot to press “send” after composing a text to me. Therefore, I didn’t receive his text advising me the night before.

Reality Check: Even though Brother’s mordant veneer momentarily confuses me and annoys me often (like most siblings I know), he also surprises me with thoughtfulness and sensitivity on occasion.

Granted, me without morning caffeine is scary, but it is not the end of life as we know it. Not hardly. However, for those few minutes that morning, before the exchange of texts set me back on track, I had wasted a morning’s worth of energy being extremely upset. A black hole sucked a huge chunk of my life away from us – over nothing.

Later, with a triple-shot/double vanilla latte in hand, I took a time-out with God. Deadline would just have to chill. After some needed time by the riverside I was actually glad for that wake up call.

Roo 1995 Columbia River

There God showed me that with my roots now beginning to unwind I have a better grasp of life than ever before. And yet, once a year  week  occasionally I jump to conclusions, assume the worst, and quickly follow with the big-ol’ lie at the core of it all that God really can’t care for me.

Silly ol’ Roo.

My eyes watered from what felt like a stinging punch in the face. Seriously, I checked for blood. Finding none, He then went on past my faults, deep into my needs. He showed me I have indeed come a long way in every facet of my life. Even so, I lived so long in darkness, ignorant of His love for me, we must also allow for time to adjust to light. Whatever my degree of healing, I was severely damaged back then and I am still quite human now.

He went on:

He noted how I now recoil far less frequently than ever before, that I now voice my upset feelings too – mostly appropriately. Then He assured me that some day soon fear, sorrow or anger will not overtake me with the mere thought of darkness. Then I’ll have learned to respond rather than react.

God says so. While I continue to trip up, and can’t feel it yet, I can believe it.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

I can believe it for me as well as for my siblings, other brothers and sisters on their healing journeys.

Today you and I are the only ones to know how short-sighted and down-right silly I was earlier. Shhh…

“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” Rom 5:2 (NLT)

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Learning From Life – Repost

Beginning my fourth year with What Next; Behind Roo’s Ruse I’m amazed at all the changes since I began and what I’ve learned. From September 15, 2015:

Learning From Life – Extended Course

In the process of life the truly meaningful lessons stick with us and the seemingly unimportant ones redefine themselves along the way. The most significant ones seem to keep reaffirming themselves. Ten things pretty well sum things up for this Boomer:

1.  If people ever stop surprising me I will probably be dead.  1. a. I am a people.

2.  I alone am responsible for my choices. I may be influenced, but God help me, I choose.

3.  People want to categorize people.   3.a. Ignore the categories – no one gets out alive.

4.  People like people they can talk with about anything and are also comfortable sharing silence. 4.a. There’s nothing like ‘a good friend and a glass of wine.’

5.  Listen with body, spirit and soul; words are optional.

6.  When we are young we learn best from our elders. When we are old we learn best from our youngsters.

7.  Feel disconnected?  Stop and plug in.

8.  A single quote from a good movie tells an entire story.

9.  To think better, float face up on the water and breathe in the freshest air anywhere.

10.  Not much is better than waking up to the smell of coffee and bacon cooking on a campfire.

 

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” Proverbs 19:20 (NLT)

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Joyride

I doubt anyone would be surprised to hear I’m easily sidetracked – quickly taken off course from my intended goal. There’s just so much to see, learn and do in one lifetime. Can anyone relate? Anybody?

Despite my initial intention, concerns this morning took me to the Scripture verse that always assures me that all is well or soon will be,

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jer 29:11

 

That verse hit the mark so squarely for me I wanted more. I backed up to the previous verse, and out of curiosity (Yeah, and wanting to avoiding another task), I looked up the Biblical timeline too.

“… This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.'” Jeremiah 29:10

 

This led me to reflect upon my past ten years, moving our household all over the country – eight times. Before each move, I prayed, recruited prayer partners, I checked and rechecked because honestly, moving – yet again – seemed crazy. Even now, in hindsight I sometimes wonder, “Really God?” But what brought me back around to my initial thought today, blew away the haze and made everything seem crystal clear to me. That was only ten years, not seventy!

In my experience every time I think I have a special insight into what God is doing in my life or around me, in hindsight what He actually was doing was bigger than I could have imagined, and some of the stories are still not over. Things that concern me now seem like nothing compared to what I faced back then.

However unclear circumstances may sometimes seem, I’m absolutely certain God is in control and that He’s guiding and growing each of us.

What felt like an hours-long exploration today, brought me back on point in minutes. Those unexpected turns made today’s reminder even more meaningful.

I may trip up over something silly again in minutes, tomorrow or days from now. In fact, its a safe bet I will. However, I now have another degree of that Blessed Assurance that not only will the silliness be short-lived, but God will see me through it. What’s more, He’ll allow me to keep the silly stuff just between us.

 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph 3:20, 21 (NIV)

 

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Lighter Dawn

On Friday I felt better than I have in weeks. The morning before texts began arriving announcing that rain had begun falling near the Eagle Creek Fire.  There was hope the weeks of smoke would soon end.

Smoke cover across the Columbia Saturday, Sept 9.

 

Smoke cover across the Tri-Cities Wednesday, Sept 5

 

Maybe it was because Kendra and Twelve-Year-Old had stayed the night before. It could also be that for a rare moment Brother Cole shared coffee, tea and the smokey sunrise with us on the patio. And it could be that for a rarer moment we were relaxed, tranquil, rather than hurried or annoyed by who-knows-what. For those few minutes together we all felt light and happy.

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalm 55:22 (NLT)

Aside from the weeks of ongoing smoke from the wildfires, the atmosphere was similar to the first weeks after I arrived here last October – before the changes.

Taking in the peaceful morning glow, our words were few but meaningful.

We agree, we don’t know where this story is going. We’re certain it will be amazing, so we’re glad for these peaceful, quiet moments.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NLT)

 

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Feeling Fly

The end of summer is drawing near. I feel the smallest bits of change every day. Though it’s still hot late into the evenings, mornings stay cool a little longer, dawn breaks scant minutes later each day and the sun sets a little earlier.

With the gradual changes also come some acceptance. Events and projects I planned or hoped for most likely won’t happen this summer or this year. Next year. Fine. But for the first time in decades, I am actually feeling disappointment – emphasis on feeling.

I don’t know about most people. I know some people that grew up with abuse and violence learn how to cope with disappointment early. For me disappointment always seemed to be a lesser pain – one with fewer immediate repercussions. A slight from somebody here, plans are waylaid there, loved ones go away or move on – this is life. I learned to shove disappointment so easily, that I rarely noticed it as an adult.

For many years God and I have worked toward healing all that broke as I grew up. The biggest, most difficult part of the process is learning to feel in the moment. As I learn and heal the numbers of people I meet that share similar trouble – feeling their emotions shocks me.

I can report that now, after much prayer, work, studying, soul-searching; now that I am beginning to recognize my feelings earlier into the experience process, now what used to be easy is becoming remarkably hard. And now that I’m beginning to grasp the concept of feeling, I mostly recognize disappointment. And often when that happens, I also recall God’s words to Mackenzie from The Shack*

“Most birds were created to fly. Being grounded for them is a limitation within their ability to fly, not the other way around. You, on the other hand, were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around. Living unloved is like clipping a bird’s wings and removing its ability to fly. Not something I want for you…  And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.*”

I also noticed how disappointment often becomes hope more quickly than any other feeling.  I not only believe I can live with this feeling, I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I really can fly!

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

*(c) The Shack by William Paul Young, Chapter 6, A Piece of π, p. 97

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Oh Love

More than anything else, I love loving. People, animals, the weather, the earth, and the varieties in all the above. But mostly I love love. I’m an equal opportunity lover. Love taking over my being is incomparable to anything else that ever happened to me. And it did’t happen to me because of anything I did.

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding…*”

At the worst times of my life – and there have been many – love saved me from torment that would have utterly destroyed me. In the better times love showed me how to forgive, often daily, even those that violated my family and me over the years. In the best times love showed me a broader view of the big picture.

“…For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.*”

Among God’s mysteries, my life is a minuscule example of the power of love in the universe. Love is why God came in human form, took up the cross and died for such a crazy, broken species as humanity. I’m convinced that’s why love will continue through eternity. I thank God I get to help grow this love daily.

“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.*”

Amen

* Philippians 1:9 – 11 (NLT)

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Variety

Since we’re already feeling change in the air I’m reposting from What Next, Sept 2016 and reflecting upon how far we’ve come. I highly recommend it!

 

Someone recently posed the question, “Do you have a favorite season?”


I wonder what makes any one season favored above the others. I enjoy them all!

Variety enhances life, especially seasonally. I thrive in climates with four distinctive, equal seasons. Early signs of the approaching season exhilarate me, but I don’t really have a favorite. I love bundling up to take in the silence of snowfall in winter, the invigorating color displays and refreshing air in spring and autumn and warm, balmy summers delight me. But I especially like change when the current weather becomes tedious.

Following are photos from our recent visit around Glenwood Springs, Basalt and Carbondale, before autumn falls 😉

“For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Christ our God, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.*”

*Folliot S. Pierpoint, in Lyra Eucharistica, by Orby Shipley, second edition, 1864

Four Seasons Tree images courtesy Pixabay

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Fruity

Almost as soon as I rose, I was a mess. My bandage was stuck to my pillow case, not my forehead and my neck hurt from sleeping on my other side. I almost always begin my day by saying aloud, “Hey, thanks, God!” But instead I was all, “waa, waa, waa…”

Clearly I needed caffeine – and prayer.

Priming the pump, I thanked God for every little thing I could see. Soon that became a stream of praise. My physical pains dissipated into oblivion, and before long God and I shared a good laugh. Yeah, at my expense. Yet again.

Today’s confession: As I brewed a pot and got my prayer journal, my feelings made me miserable. The pain, the dread, the fear, would it ever end??? I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was as if a cloud of dissatisfaction blocked any light into my soul. I didn’t recognize the scary, haggard old woman watching me from the hat rack mirror by the door. And I didn’t care if she saw me.

So, what’s funny is I’d been writing about the fruit in our lives. And suddenly that morning I could see where a few of my apples had fallen and become wormy.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22, 23 (NLT)

I often wonder if the average person goes on this insane roller-coaster ride – or as frequently. Those of you that do can commiserate with me for a moment and then feel free to snicker or laugh out-right. It’s as if we don’t know from experience what we’re like when we’re tired, wrung dry, trying to live wholly holy without sufficient Holy Spirit time.

I can see it in the mirror when I need some one-on-one time with God. Those worry lines, the furrowed brow, shoulders sloping and neck bent… Not flattering, impressive or the image of a victor!

Laugh lines are so much better. So God and I laugh at me – a lot more than I like to admit. But as I learn to laugh at myself more, take myself less seriously, I also learn to forgive myself for not being perfect. Despite a rough beginning, thanks to God I’m quite content to be good today.

“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:43-45 (NLT)

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