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What’s your sign?

Not talking about the zodiac.

Preach talked about the mess in the church body.  What’s your sign? What’s your mess? Messy people, messy issues.  The phrase “nobody’s perfect” is like a rock being turned over to look at the reason why we have messes, why nobody’s perfect and exactly how imperfect the messes are.

If we  could see a yellow caution sign floating over your head, what would be written on it? Is it bold type? script? tiny font or huge? neon? flashing? rotating? What if your most dominant negative personality trait(s) that drives your relationships was advertised on a caution sign so the world would know what to expect from you and how to relate to you?

Life is messy.  People are messy.  It’s a potential mess to deal with people’s messes let alone my own.  How convenient it would be to have a sign to read before I stick my foot in something disgusting.

As Preach preached,  I was madly drawing little caution triangles and filling them in on the back of one of my several medical bills that mysteriously found their way into my Bible filing system.  Here’s a few of the characteristics I thought it would be useful to know about someone before I even open my mouth with a how-do-you-do.  Let me remind you, we’re concentrating on the messy characteristics that cause trouble.

Know-It-All, Oh-So-Important, Shields Up, Smug, Childish, Blank, Clingy, Apathetic, Dry Humor, No Humor, Odd, Weird, Witty, Dull, Sharp Tongue, Flippant, Confused, Needy, Clueless, Arrogant, Unfeeling, Contrary, Cryptic, Perpetually Crabby, Nag, Rebel, Touchy, Perfect, Proud, Doubter, Lemming, Weepy, Shallow, Sponge, Sieve, Argumentative, Cold, Loud, Victim, Professionally Depressed, Martyr, and my most recent favorite — Happy-Dappy- Clappy, aka Pollyanna.

When you know your sign, or more to the point, when everybody knows everybody else’s caution sign, the Body can figure out how to deal, knowing when to walk on eggs with that one, bring along source references for him, stand back 10 ft from them, have non-stop hugs ready (actually, I like that), bring tissues, wear your helmet, and the beat goes on and on and on and on.

This is not good.  This is not right and it is definitely not productive when you consider these two things —

1. Jesus prayed we’d all be one

2. The fields are white with harvest

We’re living in the last days, time is running out, and we’re trying to figure out how to deal with each others’ personality glitches.  I keep coming back to something I heard Joyce Meyer say with one hand on hip and the other hand pointing toward the camera, “We need to get over our sweet little selves!  There’s work to do!”

Milk…meat…milk…meat….hm….let me think.

The Body is the hospital in which we are to be healed from the  dysfunction that grips us, through the Holy Spirit of Jehovah God.  Once you reach the point where you understand what your problem is – no, not issue, I said problem! We’ve got serious problems!  Issues get to cuddle under the blankets in the crib, problems demand resolution.  We are not commissioned to help everybody feel comfortable and all feely-fuzzy.  When you analyze your caution sign, and you figure out how your problem became a problem, you are at that point to recognize the need and source of correction and that would be God.  Then you have reached the point at which you no longer have an excuse, no longer have an excuse, no longer have an excuse, to continue in the non-productive, self centered flaws that have so far resulted in your negative behavior up to that point of revelation….  In other words, grow up and trash the banky and the binky… you go to the hospital for prayer, teaching in the word, fellowship in love…

So that we will be united in faith and purpose, to grow up and out of our mess so that we can reach out as a team, arm in arm, with one mind, turning our flaws outward into talents, and fulfilling God’s plan for salvation for all we touch.

The church body cannot continue to coddle and cradle each other for fear of offending each other, afraid that somebody will have feelings hurt and expect to be productive.  I hurt easily.  But, more and more, I hear “suck it up.”  Well! How do you like that? I walk on eggs too, but I hear “suck it up, Buttercup.”  It’s just not fair. But it is Life.

It makes me think, am I reaping the consequences of my poor decisions from the past or is somebody else sowing seeds from which they’ll reap in their own lives later?

Time is short.  Our 401k accounts will be dried up.  It will be against the law for Christians to pray in public, and has already started in our schools where our children are being trained. Our healing will default to faith in Jesus.  Period.  No doctor options because some form of socialized medical care will be passed this year and no matter what is cut or adjusted, it will deteriorate rapidly against us.  Not convinced that we need to get over some stuff that’s weakening us? For cryin’ in the proverbial beer, the New World Order is crouching in the bushes.  We won’t be hiding out in our church buildings forever.

The flaps are down, people! We need to learn to forgive quickly without discussion, love without conditions, learn with openness, and receive correction from each other and Holy Spirit like steel on steel polishing off the warts we don’t need.

The world is looking for solutions to problems, not a bunch of judgmental, whiney hypocrites unable to function any better than they do.

Hey, Preach! How do you preach to all that personality diversity?

Loudly, fearlessly, tirelessly.

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36 Hours before Heart Cath

It’s all so surreal.  I’ve been having come and go symptoms all week, but feel fine now.  Nerves? All in my head? Monday I have chest pains, today my neck is killing me.

It’s nearly impossible not to assign a wild hair conclusion  to twinges that could be nothing more than strain.  Nerves.

I’m not the only one.

Honey and I had The Conversation tonight.  Worst case — Honey has to disburse my stuff.  Do I want heroic measures? Who gets the 200 year old family Bible? Where are the passwords? What happens if or if something else?

These are necessary conversations and they need to be had when there’s nothing wrong or nothing even suspected.  They’re conversations that need to be had just in case somebody doesn’t come back from work tomorrow. They’re conversations we’ve not had up to this point.

There is no will past when the kids were both under 8.  We talked about Mom’s books, the china pieces, my wedding ring set, the genealogy records, Grandma’s wool baby socks from 1870-something in the shadow box.

This looks like I’m scared and maudlin.  No. This illustrates our combined inability to confront issues and our chronic procrastination habit.  Nothing like a 36 hour deadline.  What if….

Possibilities —

1. Tell Jesus to leave a key under the mat.

2. Notify HR of a bypass recovery.

Probability —  I wake up Monday morning feeling clear headed, energetic, and my thigh just sore enough to call in — basking in morning sunshine.

Next stop — eternity

He whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire forever.

Why would a merciful and loving God create hell?

Let’s say instead….

Why would anyone reject a loving and merciful God who sacrificed so much to make a way to Heaven?  To know about Him is not knowing Him.  You have to introduce yourself.

When you choose to reject salvation, you choose to be sent to hell.

Simple.

The Light of the world came to us at Hanukkah, the festival of lights, near our celebration of Christmas.  As it was in 2008, in 19 more years Hanukkah will coincide with Christmas again.  When I say “came to us” I mean He was conceived during the festival of lights.  The light came to earth like the rest of us, hidden in the womb for 9 months.  He was born the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall.

Using the Christmas celebration as an illustration, picture the most wonderful gift you’ve ever seen or hope to see beautifully wrapped up, under the tree, with your name on it.  Now imagine you leave it sitting there.  You take down the tree and the house decorations, you put them up again next year and that gorgeous gift is still sitting there unwrapped.  You’ve ignored it, stepped over it, around it, pushed it into a corner, dutifully dusted it, thrown coats on it in winter, even used it as a coffee table.  You’ve convinced yourself that because it’s in your house, it’s serving a purpose.

You know what’s in it.  Several people have told you.  You know it doesn’t require anything more than grabbing it, literally receiving it to make it work in your life.  Deep down you know it has no function until you claim it, even when your name is printed clearly on the tag.  It’s of no use and cannot change, heal, or help you until you pick it up and open it.  Your name is not in the Book yet until you claim the gift.

There’s a hell.  We are all eternal no matter what you may have heard or thought was reasonable from someone you trusted or who you thought made sense.  It’s clearly written in scripture, in the red ink.  Our existence doesn’t just end in nothingness without Jesus and go on with Jesus.

There’s a hell.  there’s a heaven.  There’s a future with Jesus.  We will live forever.  What’s your forwarding address?  There are two to choose from.

Your face is going to grow like that

  • Get your arm inside the car before it falls off.
  • Stop popping your knuckles or they’ll get as big as your knees.
  • If you fall off that thing and break your neck, don’t expect any supper tonight.
  • You eat that and it’ll grow inside you.
  • You’ll shoot your eye out.

There’s nothing quite like a mother’s love, is there?

All of the above works on kids once or twice and only when they’re little.  They won’t have bad dreams over it.  Not too many, anyway.  You have to think fast to get a kid to mind when a simply “No” ceases to function for a child who’s reasoning is flawed with inexperience.  Shock stops The Why Game when there’s no time to spare, when injury is imminent and they’re out of arm’s reach.  Besides, it’s fun in a sick and twisted sort of way.

As time continues to march across your face and waistline, your imagination has to give way to reason—

  • Smoking will increase your risk of cancer and suck the calcium out of your bones.
  • Drinking can ruin your life.
  • Don’t speed.
  • Get 8 hours sleep every night, even on weekends.
  • Pay cash.

Teen’s response:  Yeah, right.  Don’t you trust me?

When in doubt, which should be a lot, just say no.  Don’t waffle on this answer.  There hasn’t been enough time and experience to create a trust track record.  Say no and stand by it.  So you hurt their little feelings.  It’s better than identifying them in a morgue.

I don’t like being surprised with unpleasant circumstances when someone could have warned me of the consequences of my, or someone else’s behavior.

  • If the consequence of sticking my hand under or near a rock in the Arizona desert could result in a rattlesnake bite, won’t someone please say so?

Do you put a lock on your door just in case of a possible break-in?  Do you build your house with a roof just in case of rain?  Do you wear a seat belt in case some idiot didn’t listen to reason and is driving drunk?  Do you buy warm clothes for winter?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s reasonable to assume that the man who is anxious to kill you and everybody else, has said so repeatedly, and is coincidentally developing and testing nukes, just might try to do exactly that!  We are leaving ourselves as vulnerable as the posterior of a person with his head in the sand.  We are going about our daily lives as if nothing will happen.  We need to talk about it, research means of defense, have what it takes to batten down all hatches, and stock up for survival without communication or refrigeration in case of the EMP strike.

Do you think we need a border wall?

We need to contact our loved ones and make a plan much like we did when we told our kids that in case of house fire, run to Marilyn’s porch. Do not look back, ’cause if I don’t see you on that porch, all the firemen in town won’t keep me from going back in for you myself.

Jesus told us to occupy until He comes.  Be prepared for the worst and live like it won’t happen.  But don’t act surprised if it does.  Don’t get caught unprepared, worse, unsaved.

Jesus is coming for those who watch for Him.  The signs of His return are all around us.

TURBO FUNDIE

A new noun for intense fundamentalist. I love it! It’s bestowed upon radical Bible thumpers by a popular radio talk show host who otherwise bears conservative traits. He delivers this as sharp stinging criticism to describe rigidly intolerant people Continue reading

Pardon me, your slip is showing

and other verbosity.

I am not aware of being currently acquainted with anyone who wears a slip. I don’t ask. I fear it has gone the way of the unicorn and the pantaloon. I was going to say corset, but I do know someone — never mind. And it’s not me!

The arrival of the new Sears and Roebuck catalog was a banner day. That meant that Mom would be lazily thumbing through it and we got the old one to play Paper Dolls. We would clamor for the models in the lingerie slip section, looking for the ones with feet, always properly clad in black pumps. Then we would search the dress section to build a fine wardrobe. We called the exercise Cut-Outs. I have neither explanation nor judgement on the correctness of the terms. Some say soda, some say pop. To say one’s slip was showing meant that there was something they failed to hide and was a cause for embarrassment. That phrase, too, with the demise of the common use of the garment, has lost it’s origin.

Terminology can be regional and/or associated with the socio-economic level. It’s also directly related to what decade the speaker attended grade school. Others call it grammar school. Is that an age related term or a regional one? Who calls the evening meal dinner and who calls it supper? Why? Which is correct and to whom is either correct?

I listen to a lot of talk radio. Therefore, I hear a lot of people from all over call in with their opinions. Many times I can tell you if they are over 50 or under 25 by the speed of their speech and their terminology. Their grammar, diction, and vocabulary betrays whether they learned to read and speak through phonics or sight reading or if they were interested in reading more than comic books.

All of my statements are general, so don’t get hot and quote “Judge not!” at me. I hear what I hear and sometimes what I hear annoys the beejeepers out of me because these people’s thoughts are intelligent but their manner of expression and its content would cause Henry Higgins to hang himself. Many terms and phrases that annoy me are not the result of poor education or a limited environment — what would that be? somewhere where there is not and never has been a radio, television, or textbook? There are phrases that have been invented or are so overused they are ready for Mom’s ragbag. These permeate society and are used by the speaker to sound professional but shine only in the arena of redundancy.

Some of the phrases I most want to purge forever from the planet include but are not limited to:

EggZakkleee! The first and consistently only response to someone who has just agreed with the speaker.

BaaaySicklee — A word used to introduce literally every summarizing statement of which there may be six until the host interrupts.

Y’know what I mean? Added to the end of every expressed thought in order to evoke feedback, which could soon be, in my case, regurgitation.

And the reason I say that is Precedes each subsequent sentence but the reason itself is never revealed.

Like Inserted like everywhere.

Y’know Reference “like.”

Foe-cusss, ishyoo, team player, feedback, paradigm, are tired and need to be alternated once in a while. All have been used as shrouds of authority to elevate oneself and intimidate those who don’t need to impress.

Those last few are useful, but you have to admit, ready for rotation.

And would someone please, please translate SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER spoken to evoke an Ooo or an Ahh and a knowing nod of the head. That one has to be the ultimate prize winning height of pomposity that I have ever heard!

What are your biggest verbal peeves?