Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today Was A Day of Worship

I sat in the camper, alone and afoot.
The Holy Spirit beckoned, "Come and worship."
"But where shall I go?"
"To a place I have prepared."The place of worship, carpeted lush and green--and paved around.
A canopy of brilliant blue and nebulous white.
The chandelier shown like the noonday sun.
And there for me, a pew of stone.
Surrounded by fellow worshipers.
...the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying,
"Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him,
"Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."
And He answered and said,
I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"
Luke 19:37-40

For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12

To my left sat "The Amen Crowd."
(Notice the halo.)
But I fear some were only there for the pot-luck dinner on the ground.
The praise and worship team lead my heart and voice in worship--
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me;
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
Psalm 27:6-7

There stood a pulpit.
The deliverer of God's Word,
the Holy Spirit,
didn't show up well in the photo,
but He was there.
Before the service ended, it got a little charismatic and the creative types all started dancing-- like dandelions in the wind.

I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast lifted me up....


Friday, April 17, 2009

I Don't Like To Rant And Rave, But Give Me A Break!

I'm sorry, but this whole "Go Green" thing has finally pushed me over the edge! I'm all for being good stewards of this earth which the good Lord created. There's no room for abuse when you're taking care of something that doesn't belong to you. Though God did put man here and told him to take charge over the place.

But a good thing can be overdone, and, like that big red dot on those insurance ads, we're there!

I was wasting time reading the Yahoo headlines and came across a story about picking our green battles. It talked about the paper vs. plastic (bag) dilemma and how it really doesn't matter that much. (I've been saying that for years.)

And it mentioned the choice between cloth and disposable diapers. Apparently either choice is equally bad for the environment, so short of disallowing bodily excretion from your baby, there's not much you can do to save the planet from poop. (That was my opinion twenty-five years ago before big bucks were spent on government studies that concluded "it" happens and we can't do anything about it.)

Next the article mentioned the choice of drinking your coffee from a throw-away cup or a ceramic mug. I'm glad that the official call on that one is that it is no big deal either way, because honestly, I've never given it much thought. And I don't care to.

All these little arguments aren't worth our time and effort according to the article's author. But there are things, says this promoter of green living, that we should do to make more of a difference.

(Grab a cat by the tail, rub its fur the wrong way all the way to its head, and you'll get an idea what this bit of stupidity did to me!)

"Eat less meat."

It seems..."Raising livestock is one of the most significant contributors to a long list of environmental problems from climate change to deforestation to water pollution."

OH PA-LEEZE! (I'm slapin' my forehead.) God created the earth, He created the cow, a cow is biodegradable, her poop is organic matter, (unless she eats a plastic Wal-Mart bag, a disposable diaper, or a styrofoam cup) yet bovine is one of the biggest threats to our planet? (Are you picturing the furred up cat here?)

I come from a family of cattle raisers. Rifle totin', hat wearin', horse ridin', steer ropin', slow talkin' full of common sense, Texas cattle raisers. Yeah, my fur is standin' on end!

But what really popped my cork was the stupidity, the idiotic idea, (sorry) the method in which the climate conscientious human should go about cutting down on his or her meat intake. "Start by trimming down your portion size to about three ounces (the size of a deck of playing cards)."

Now what kind of a difference is that going to make? If I eat a three-ounce steak, or an eight-ounce steak, or a four-pound roast, I still slaughter a one-thousand pound animal to get it. It's not like I go out in the pasture and whittle three ounces off a cow at a time until she's gone. How much sense does it make to go to a steakhouse, order up their 6 oz. sirloin, eat half for the sake of going green, then throw the rest away? I guess if I gave the other half of the steak to the guy in the booth behind me and he didn't order a steak at all...but still the one whole cow was needed to produce that "deck-size" piece of meat.

Honesty, I wish some people would stop and think before they open their mouths or put their pen to the paper.

As for the cow being responsible for deforestation--I don't buy it. As I see it, trees need carbon dioxide and some good fertilizer to grow strong and healthy. A cow provides both. The cowman and the tree hugger may not be able to live peaceably among one another, but I think the cows and the trees do a pretty good job of it. I've never yet seen a cow chop down a tree. And unless you're in the habit of drinking out of an earth tank where A cow has crawled in to cool down, I'd not worry too much about her polluting your water. She's got better things to do, like munching grass, chewing cud, and giving milk. Which, by the way, is safe for human consumption.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I think I'll go fire up the grill and leave a big ol' footprint on the planet!


Friday, April 10, 2009

What Makes a Hero?

Some days I find it hard to come up with something to write that I think you might want to read. I've had a lot of those days lately. That is why I'm so thankful for an anonymous reader who left a comment about heroes.

My reader commented:
I was watching "AN OFFICER and A GENTLEMAN" I want to know what makes a hero. Is it the person who achieves their goals when they really should not have...Or is a hero who quietly take care of all things small and mundane. Or is a hero someone who handles huge tragedies
. Just my wondering thoughts. What is a true hero. Maybe you can help.

I have to tell you that I may be at a bit of a disadvantage on this one because I've never seen the movie. So I can't tell you anything based on the film. But thank goodness all this person asked for is my opinion, and you know I'm quite capable of giving you that!

First, I run to my PDA and look up the word--hero.
A person noted or admired for nobility, courage, outstanding achievements, etc.

The definition seems pretty simple and straightforward, but my mind starts to unfold it like an origami swan.

Do I admire anyone because of their nobility?
I'm sorry, but last names, family crests, and blue blood doesn't impress me. I've lived long enough and seen enough to know that heroes and scoundrels can come from the same household.

So I lean toward the courageous, outstanding achievers.
Courageous... Is that the foot soldier who's courage leads him to fight the enemy? The fireman who courageously enters a burning home to save a life? The police officer willing to risk his life to catch the bad guy? Yes, all these people are heroes. And could a hero also be the young unwed expectant mother who is courageous enough to choose to give her baby life rather than aborting it? What about the child who takes on killer cancer with a smile? And the woman who cares for her invalid husband every minute of every day, what about her? Do you think it takes courage to care for aging parents and honor their wishes not to be put in a rest home? Every day, somewhere in this country, a man walks away from his wife and responsibilities. A woman is left to raise and provide for children alone. She's got to have guts to get out of bed the next day. In this country everyday there are also men making the choice to face their fears or suffer unpleasant circumstances to care and provide for their families. Sometimes "keeping on keeping on" takes courage.

One day while my husband and I were engaged in Los Angeles traffic, (Rick behind the wheel and I in the passenger seat) I looked at him and told him, "You are my hero." (They call it the City of Angels maybe because you need more than one guarding you if you are going to live through a drive on the freeway!) I know I don't have the courage it takes to do what my husband does to provide for our family. So, he is a hero in my book. He's MY hero.

The saints of old listed in the book of Hebrews, we refer to as "heroes of the faith." Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Rahab are just some that, by faith, followed and obeyed God, exemplifying courage and making outstanding achievements in their lifetime. They didn't toot their own horn and they didn't have medals pinned to their chests. But the Bible says that they gained approval from God because of their faith. So maybe an unshakable faith in God is what makes a hero. At least a hero in the Christian faith.

I'm still unfolding.

Joni Eareckson Tada is a hero. Joni, and others like her, have faced overwhelming circumstances with courage, unshakable faith, and have made outstanding achievements. Thousands of heroes just like her do not enjoy the same notoriety, but they are no less a hero. At least that's my opinion.

Like beauty, existing in the eye of the beholder, maybe heroics is a matter of opinion. When someone does something that seems to me to require much courage, and their outstanding accomplishments change me or my life for the better, I classify them as a hero.

So, after pondering the question, "What makes a hero?" I've decided it must be someone of great faith and courage who makes accomplishments that I perceive to be outstanding or life changing.

To someone else, you may be a hero! We all have the potential, do we not?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just Photos

You write the captions. What comes to your mind when you look at these pictures?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Old Kentucky Home & Bourbon Sipping

Okay, I've been busy and my Internet connection has been sporadic to nonexistent, so the blog has suffered. I'm sorry. To complicate my efforts even more, today blogger seems to be temperamental and it is trying to make a hyperlink of every word I type. If you click on any of it, I have no idea where it will take you. So, don't blame me if you wind up on the other side of the world wide web.

I'm finally getting around to posting the last of our little sightseeing trip photos. The day after Fort Knox and Squire Boone's Cavern we visited the home where Stephen Foster penned the famous song My Old Kentucky Home.

Notice the thirteen windows. The ceilings are thirteen feet high, each section of the stairs inside have thirteen steps...and the list of 13s goes on. No bad luck believers designed this home. The focus on the number thirteen was to honor the first thirteen original colonies.Just to give you an idea of the size of the home, you can see Rick and his parents standing at the door, waiting for our tour. If you come to Kentucky, you should add this to your places to see.

We also visited the Jim Beam Distillery and home. You know Kentucky is famous for its fine bourbon whiskeys. I didn't take any pictures there. I was so overwhelmed by the sour-sweet smell in the air, it was all I could do to walk a straight line much less hold a camera steady enough to take a picture!

Inside the old Jim Beam home was a nice knowledgeable lady offering tiny little tastes of a couple of Jim Beam's fine varieties. Thankfully one of the bottles contained what the lady said was the one she would suggest for people who were new to bourbon. It was "very smooth" she said.

Okay, I tried that that one. A small cube of ice, about two teaspoons of the drink, swirl it around in the glass to allow the water from the ice to open the molecules of the bourbon...(I followed her instructions well) then sip. Apparently the sipping part is important. Jim Beam is a "fine sipping bourbon." No gulping allowed. (How do you gulp two teaspoons?)

After we downed that, my mother-in-law and I were feeling brave so we tried a taste of the other bottle too. I'm not a drinking woman. I think most of you know that. So what did I think of the famous Kentucky drink? It will never replace a good Oregon Chi Latte or a Frappuccino! Sorry. And when we went into the gift shop and saw the price of the "beginner's bottle" I KNEW I'd stick with my chi when I want a sip of something special!

We bought a box of bourbon chocolates as a souvenir, and I remain a tea-total-er. Just in case you were wondering.

Our two days of seeing a tiny bit of Kentucky ended and my dear husband has been back to working harder than ever. He is getting tired...You all can pray for him if you don't mind.

Tomorrow I hope to post a few photos, just some fun photos that might bring a smile to your face-if the Internet decides to work!