= – = – =

It had been awhile since we’d had otherworldly food:

We were fallow, and spiritually broke.

So the devil sent a guy—with good things to say:

An attractive, amiable bloke!

= – = – =

We forgot Jesus’ warning about yeast in the bread,

How it permeates, incites, and ferments,

And these “good things to say” caused a real stirring up!

(But what this guy said was not what he meant.)

= – = – =

All this started to brew, till we were all quite puffed up:

…It rose… and it rose… and it rose.

A self-focused teacher managed to worm in his lies;

This is how indoctrination grows.

= – = – =

So where did this leave us, when we finally saw

That the yeast had risen to a froth?

Overgrown and reeking, arrogant, and bloated,

Misled by a “man of the cloth.”

= – = – =

So the next time we’re hungry for spiritual truth,

We’ll remember what Jesus said:

Guard who we listen to (we learned the hard way):

Like yeast, false doctrine spreads!

= – = – =









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The Hope Factor

I just heard a couple of devotionals: the first, about our tendency to want paradise on earth (not possible); the second was on our response to this (non-paradise) earth: cursing, or mourning. I see a common theme, which I will dub The Hope Factor.

Having just read an excellent book called “Counterfeit Gods” (by Timothy Keller), I’ve been talking about hidden idols, such as love, comfort, control (and all the stuff that goes with them). So my friend shared these two devotionals: quite apropos. The topic on the table, then, is gifts for later—but we want them NOW.  We’re melancholy when we should be joyful, discontented when we should be thankful. We could be enjoying abundant life, but instead we choose to curse our way to Paradise?

Something’s wrong with this picture.

Think about your current problem. Now take a moment and think about what it’s doing to your head. …. See what I mean? Even the wise among us struggle with the fallen world, frustrating work, and fallible people.  It’s when we let it overwhelm us that we have lost our focus.

What we really crave is love, and only God can deliver it the way we need it. We’re “looking for [Him] in all the wrong places.”

Keller mentions three unstable responses to our disappointments:

—- Blame people or things =  Continued idolatry

—- Blame yourself  =  Self-loathing

—- Blame the world  =  Cynicism and emptiness

What’s needed is reorienting our focus toward God, realizing we were made for another world. Wanting everything to be hunky-dory on this willy-nilly planet is just plain foolish; it’ll disappoint us every time. But finding God’s perspective is a good thing.  It’s keeping earthly things where they belong. It’s sweeping the idols away and filling that space with something excellent. It’s looking forward to a wonderful paradise. THAT, my friends, is The Hope Factor.









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59 and Holding

Next week I begin my 60th year. (What the heck??? !)  I decided to look it up and—to my relief—according to Wikipedia, I’ve still got plenty of time in middle-age. (Whew.)

Being a “suddenly-emptied” nester, I find myself often in the company of a demographic that’s, well, older. In writing this, I sought a gentler word; “mature” popped up. Hmmm. Sadly, that’s not always the case. No matter our locale, no matter our age, it seems we always wind up at a table with the wise, wincing at the wearisome; the reliable, reasoning with the ridiculous; the funny, frustrated by the infuriating.

It’s temping, at those times, to sit in judgment. We assess ourselves as the wise, reasonable, funny guest—speculating which goofball invited that wearisome, ridiculous, infuriating chatterbox. Then THUMP! It hits us: we ALL have our days where we can be any (or all) of the above. Seriously, how dare we categorize? Which of us can honestly say that we have “arrived”?

It’s at these junctures that God does His best work. Life moves forward when we take time to let our trajectory redirect. Sometimes that entails taking the risky jump off our high-horse.  By the same token, it’s extremely sad when people leave that table, go home, and wake up the next morning—not moving forward: fallow periods, wandering on wearisome; remaining ridiculous; finally infuriating.

Take it from somebody 59 and holding: Age. Doesn’t. Matter.  We’ve seen 8-year-olds with enough wherewithal to change the world, and 80‑year‑olds that could use a good tar-and-feathering. While there’s a lot we can’t control, one thing we DO get to choose every day: our own conduct, development, and growth.

Paul said it well: “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. …  let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”

There’s much to learn through interaction with the wise, wearisome, reliable, ridiculous, funny, and infuriating. John Lennon also said it well (albeit possibly not meaning this context): “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

So how about let’s hit those lovely tables today, and make the most of it!

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I Don’t Ask Enough

= – =

I don’t ask enough:

Of the One

Who can give me much!

= – =

So I flounder alone,


In self-pity and such:

= – =

Wasted time—

In dire need—

Of The Master’s Touch.

= – =

But amazingly,

In spite of myself,

Still, Lord, You give me much!

= – =

I want to feel better,

Do better, love better,

But sometimes it’s just too much.


I need Your help—

‘Can’t do it alone—

So, Lord! Today, I ask You Much!

= – =


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The UNITED states

Thank you, public servants,
Donald and Barack:
So far, we still have freedoms—
To defend, worship, and talk.

And though I don’t agree
With everything you do,
I’m thankful for a government—
And to vote for you… or you.

They say the Country’s divided;
But let me say one thing:
We are still one nation!
(And I still serve one King!)

So… as you serve us daily,
I just ask you to recall
Countries collapsing in chaos:
Please! Don’t let us fall!

And, finally, while I’m at it,
To Americans who shout and curse:
How ’bout you cut some slack?
We could do a whole lot worse!

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“10% Happier”

After he suffered a panic attack on national television, journalist Dan Harris made a change. No, I haven’t read his book on meditation, 10% Happier, but it resonated with me after viewing a documentary on minimalism.

“Ten percent happier”: I like that. For me, lately, that’s a margin out of the danger zone.

After a string of situational changes in recent years, I’m quite behind the eight ball in properly filling the voids: “But My people did not listen to My voice…“So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.”

It took a severe blow, recently, to wake me up! Writing right now, I can hear Jon Voight playing Patrick Gates in “National Treasure”, warning of what can happen if we don’t change the status quo!

So, thus far in 2017 I’m in a new mode: a pro active approach. This means provisions for my weakness, planning, enrolling, engaging, studying, and—most importantly—shaking up the stinkin’ thinkin’ that plays on an endless loop.

I told somebody recently I’m coming out of a “dark period.” I do believe this is true. [Praise God for that. Amen, may it be so!] But for continued forward movement, I’m going to have a real fight on my hands against resuming auto-pilot mode. Thankfully, I’ve never shied away from organization and a little hard work. With the help of God, and “with a little help from my friends,” I’m going to keep shaking things up!

Happy New Year!


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Christ, “C”, and Clyde

Everybody leaves.


But in my life remain 3 Constants, my 3 C’s: Christ, “C” (hubby), & Clyde. The Lord will never leave me, and (so far) “C” hasn’t. As for Clyde the camel, he’s a cute-but-cracked sculpture I hold onto because, well, we’ve had him this long…

Everybody leaves. I guess this is why I gravitate to schmaltzy romance movies: the relationship labyrinth leads to an arduous struggle, which—in the final 8 minutes—ends in happily-ever-after.

In real life, however, the labyrinth seems to land me upside-down. It started with my father; then my step-father; eventually my mother, boyfriends, neighbors, siblings, church friends, and finally the kids: the hurt just keeps coming. And, dang it if I don’t shed crocodile tears every… single… time.

However, regarding all this loss, my God provides perspective. Yeah, yeah, you guessed it: Job. But let’s cut to the chase and jump to the last chapter:

—–  “Then Job answered the Lord and said,

—–  “I know that You can do all things,
—–  And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
—–  ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
—–  Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
—–  Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
—–  ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
—–  I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
—–  “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
—–  But now my eye sees You;
—–  Therefore I retract,

—–  And I repent in dust and ashes.”

So, there we land. Life Happens. What’re ya gonna do about it—not much. Crocodile tears are OK for a short season, but after that it really boils down to idolatry. But with my 3 C’s, my 3 Constants–Christ, “C”, and Clyde, my friends who stick closer than a brother, I’ll find a way to guard my heart, and be like Job, and “retract.”

How about I tie up this post with another good quote: “Life is like a CAMERA… FOCUS on what’s important, CAPTURE the good times, DEVELOP from the negatives, And if things don’t work out, TAKE ANOTHER SHOT.”


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