Saturday, December 24, 2011

Virgil and Isaiah's Idea

A dead language was dying all over in my post-college brain, so I guiltily blew the dust off a few cells and dived in to save it. Virgil wrote his poetry in Latin, so I read it thus. Suddenly, a passage cried out off the page to me from 40 B.C.

“…The Golden Age is here

Once more Kind Saturn reigns, and from high heaven descends

The first born child of promise…

The age of iron in his time shall cease

And golden generations fill the world.

For thee, Fair Child, the lavish Earth shall spread

Thy earliest playthings, trailing ivy wreaths,

And wild acanthus smiling in the sun…

The goats shall come uncalled weighed down with milk.

Nor lion’s roar affright the laboring kine.

The treacherous snake and deadly herb shall die

The field shall thrive unharrowed, vines unpruned.

And stalwart ploughmen set their oxen free.

Wool shall not need the dyers skillful art…

But lambs be clothed in scarlet as they feed!

Come then, dear child of gods, Jove’s mighty heir

Begin thy high career; the hour is sounding

See, in the dawning of a new creation

The heart of all things living throbs with joy!”

Ideas do not have the boundaries of time. Where did Virgil’s thoughts come from? How could anyone know that? But his words sound like those of an ancient, revered poet named Isaiah 700 hundreds years prior to the Roman.

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,

And a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD…

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;

And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together:

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,

And the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…”

Similar writing styles? Maybe. Similar topic? Surely. Same idea? Definitely.

How fascinating to realize that far away in Rome a young man, probably untouched by Jewish culture and traditions, a basic heathen to the people’s of Palestine, would have a keen awareness of the impending arrival of the Messiah. What a wonderful thought. He knew. God impressed upon him, too, though he was not “one of the prophets.” Sure, he used pagan references like “King Saturn reigns” but that’s a poetic phrase to describe the “good old days,” similar to the Jewish people’s reminisces about their great Abraham.  And this “Jove’s mighty heir” would be His Son, any way you spin it.

It’s Christmas and we ought to know why. God did send his Son as a human to walk among mankind and it just so happens to be the day to rejoice in that! Among many others, a deeply religious man and a Roman poet alike, saw it coming, spinning down through time.

I don’t know about you, but for me, this overwhelms me. It has always been God’s plan to come to earth for the salvation of all mankind. He’s whispered to the hearts of many poets across time and planet and now, He’s here.

Burning fire down to embers,

Leaning on an elbow, then hand,

Quiet starry night brings rest to the members

Of the herdsmen together in band.

Light flashes through the sky!

Leaping, falling to the knees then feet,

Elbow and hand now shield the eye.

To the herdsmen a voice did speak.

“Fear not, for behold I bring you information,

Tidings of great joy to all people, this chord:

For unto you is born this day, in this nation

a Savior which is Christ the Lord!”

Such breathtaking music tore the sky!

Rushing, running, feet then feet

Excitement gleamed in every eye

The herdsmen the otherworld words did repeat.

But it is here and it is now!

The Savior came for you and me.

We don’t know all the “why,” the “how”

But He came here, to let the blind see.

Can’t you see it, my friend?

You are the blind. Now can you see?

He wants to bring an end

To the confusion of death and misery.

No more Predator slays prey.

Heaven’s doors are op’ed for you.

No more is slaving the way.

Naught but love and joy grew.

“Where is this place?” you say.

Your heart wonders and wanders

“I want to know the way!”

Jesus speaks to the Ponders:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life

No man comes to the Father but by me”

He severs the bands of a heart of strife

I know, because I am now free.

This “peace on earth”

This “goodwill towards men”

You now just see a dearth

Just open your eyes, then.

It’s here and now, inside hearts

No “treacherous snake or deadly herb”

You can have all the best and perfect parts

Because God sent his Son to earth.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Diversion

A few random things to share with you while I think.


I want to say "Merry Christmas" to you!

Strange, dancing little dogs

Don't you want to see what's upstairs?

This song is mine.

I like vintage plates.

My tag

I'm right here

This intrigues me

The Presurfer

This what I'm wearing today

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Be Good, 'Cause You're in on This

The Plan never changes, you know. We’re always a part of the same huge, complex, ordered chaos. God’s omniscience is eternal. Think about it…

·         Before God created Lucifer, He already knew what destruction and hatred Satan's rebellion would bring to this world.

·         Before time was even created, God knew He planned to allow part of Himself to suffer horribly and die for love of you.

·         Before God created the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and warned Adam against it, He knew that He would be disobeyed, that the people He created would despise His gracious love and mercy extended, and shun His very presence.

·         Consider the fact that God mapped your heritage as carefully as He plans everything. For a miniature example look at the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. It can be traced even to the beginning of humanity, soul by soul…You don’t have to read it…But just look at the lineage of One born 2000 years ago. (I had to use my scrolly thingy fourteen times to pass through it...)

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:

And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.                      

 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:

And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:

And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:

And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:

And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:

And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.

And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:

And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:

And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.

And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:

And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:

And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:

And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:

And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:

And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:

And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:

And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.

And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;

And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

·         When Jesus first looked at Judas and called him a friend, He knew Judas would betray Him to His death.

·         When humans tried to stone Him, scoffed at Him, and eventually killed Him, Jesus was simultaneously aware that He was God and wielded the associated power.

·         When you accept God’s gift of salvation all of Heaven rejoices, yet He knows you will sin tomorrow and crucify Him again.

·         God is the ultimate judge of right and wrong and holds the highest standard of all, yet He sacrifices and tolerates longer than possible to imagine, because He knows what happens in the last chapter.

Scientists tell us that the world changes systematically by the flap of a butterfly’s wing on the other side of the planet. Would not it follow that you make a difference in world by merely existing? He planned you into the plan—alongside billions of others. Contemplate this for a second. God knows ahead of time when every person is going to deviate from their individual “best” with their free will and He plans their alternate will that they’ve chosen into the ultimate plan and makes it for the best of all eternity, while cataloguing every entity’s word, action, and attitude for inspection day, while treasuring all your tears in a bottle and knowing all the hairs on your head and every star in the sky, while caring for the sparrows, directing the wind, shifting tectonic activity, watching the ants in Puerto Rico, defending the helpless, revealing Himself to isolated peoples, sending snow to little children, seeing the bottom of the ocean, forming new resplendent human life from the merging of cells, guiding people individually, coaching the planets of an unfathomable outer space he breathed to existence, hearing  and answering prayers simultaneously in every language, listening to people mock Him, saving lives just in time, confounding science, giving love in exchange for rude stupidity, and everything else all at once.

This infinite knowledge is now. Just think, He knows when you’ve been bad or good before you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Personal Silence

A long silence on a blog about thoughts?  Maybe that’s good. Before the pause, something happened that made me think even harder.

We scooted our chairs together and leaned over the perfect steaming cups of creamy goodness on the top of the barrel table. I settled in eagerly. We’d been trying to get together for weeks because I emailed her after I had an odd dream that she was following me, trying to give me a confidential message, important to our mission…as government agents or something.(I can’t give you all the details because that would blow our cover—and its already weird enough at that.)  In real life, she smiled and told me she did indeed have something important to tell me. So, I was now doubly curious.

Her pages of notes came out onto the table, books opened. I curiously noted that a few pages were quotes. Soon it became apparent they were excerpts of things I had written, covering the pages, line after line. She was prepared. I took notes, too. I tried not to cry, blush, and laugh at quotes from myself spoken point-blank back at me. Her caring heart broke me up into the little pieces of nothing that I actually am.

(Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:3-8)

As she spoke to me, I realized agreement with the principles she expressed. Surely, I am indeed prideful, and can draw attention to myself unduly. I do present myself in typeface with more sarcasm and bite than in person, and that might lead someone to believe I was a loud, sarcastic, one-lining, public person, as if that were a good and profitable example. (She knows me: I’m not all those things, unless it’s necessary.) And we agreed, I often don’t finish a story for the sake of concision, possibly leaving one with another poor example in how I actually walked through story-lined circumstances circumspectly, soberly, precisely. She was thorough: there was much more I needed to hear.

But ultimately, I want what is honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous…and I want to think on those things. And I desperately want others to think on those things. I wish to extend my sincere regret and apology to those who I have caused to think on something other than that just-mentioned list of excellent thoughts.

A true friend like mine will have the kindness to tell me my flaws after she has prayed over them, cried over them, and waited for my readiness. And a genuine, fellow Christ-follower will have the ability to listen, absorb, contemplate, pray, and then change. So I have been quiet, contemplating the modifications that are good to be made, preserving my personality separate from some abstract individuality—and thinking.

What kind of friend are you? Do you fear the loss of a friend, more than seeking their best? Do you give even when it hurts both of you? Are you willing to be real and honest even when it means a printed list of your faults is the center of discussion? Do you value what is good…more than your Self?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Before And After

I leaned over my Starbucks and looked at the photo. I glanced back up into her trusting brown eyes, a little startled. “She was so gorgeous before and then she...oh my! What do you think? Isn’t she just crazy?” she asked me. “Before and after”: we all are intrigued by those photos, and this time I was, too.

Before and After

My response to her? “We all are crazy.” And then I went on…At least everyone one of us who looks at what God created in nature and says, “Hey…that’s needs switched up. That mountain is too craggy and that flower is just too pink!” We are not all Megan Fox, but that is a wonderful thing. Together we may look at her and ask “Why? Why is she ‘so perfect’ and then why did she feel like she needed to change her appearance?” But I ask, “Why are you so perfect and want to change your appearance, little pink flower?”


I am told by my young informant that Ms. Fox is trying to look like someone else, another famous celebrity. This I don’t know for a fact, but what I do know, is that it sure seems like it and it is so sad. If people like a specific person, they will go to that specific person, not their copy. It is a privilege to be your original, just as you are: zany, hilarious, awkward, quiet, and always growing up. Large, small, wide, narrow, muscley, plump, or teeny-tiny is perfect, as you live a life of health for you.

Girls especially like to look into the mirror, out of curiosity. Honestly, some days the reaction is, “Oh my! I’m so beautiful the world must see me today!” and then a few days later its “Oh my! I’m so hideous I want to hide forever under my covers!”  Why? This happens because you don’t know what you’re looking at.

You think it is your face. Really, it’s the outside of a created thing that is. Yes, one might say “it is just the way things are and that’s that” and while that’s true and a relief, there’s more. When you only gaze upon yourself, figuratively or literally, you can’t see anything else. You lose perspective of when, where, who, and what. You forget who you really are, your blessings, —and your purpose.

Is it your purpose to be looked at by people like an exhibit? That rather sounds disgusting and every human’s value it above that! But do you accidentally live like that? Is your value based upon comparison? It happens easily mentally, too. But, it is not true. God determines that. And He sent His Son to die for each individual.

I will say what you’ve heard before. “Beauty comes from within.” I turned down the street, glancing into my rearview mirror with a deprecating look. My sister piped up in the back seat, “Man, you are just so ugly when you frown at me like that.” She did instantly put my computer down and stop browsing, but she was right, in a way. Frowns are ugly. Mean is ugly. Brats are ugly. Selfishness, lack of caring, no character, anger, and jealousy are all ugly. But, you don’t have to be. What we think, say, and choose to feel shows in our appearance.

Don’t tell me anything remotely like, “Easy for you to say.” or I will post photos of myself between the ages of 12-15 and the world will not be at happy place.  No, actually, I am joking. But I did go through a gajillion times 85 negative thoughts about my appearance as a teen and I had those desperate moments, too. Give yourself time as you grow in good character and kindness. You might be surprised eventually, if you ever even feel like looking in the mirror, after you find yourself captivated by the goodness of God and His other designs around you.

Your “before and after” is easily made perfect for you. You are not too pink and no mountain is too craggy. No cloud is too puffy and you are just you, like all creations. Become your best you from the inside out, because that is how it works.

This is one of my favorite movies to show how photographed women get airbrushed. We wouldn’t think that she became pretty if we didn’t know what fake pretty looks like.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

When You Can't

Every heartbeat throbbed through Cameron’s chest, through his vest, and out of his uniform. Why was he doing this again? He didn’t even have to ask. As he crawled across the ground and the most dangerous moments of the last of his living time, he knew it was his only choice: save his comrades. He knew that if his sacrificial bullet made its way and silenced the executioner, he will have done the only thing that mattered. It drove him to make an impossible task, possible.

Harry turned over in bed. There was no reason to get up. Ever.

“What motivates me?” the question turned around and around inside my mind, bouncing off of possible answers. Then, I looked back upon times where I couldn’t stop working and giving, my heart pouring out to people. Suddenly, I remembered times where I turned over in bed and said “there’s nothing in this world for me” like Harry. I will affirm that I am not disordered nor double-minded, just motivated or unmotivated.

Is it something you can keep forever? Where can you pull more drive from when you’re running out? What is “it,” this “motivation,” even? What can make you choose to do what’s right? What makes you stop what you know you should?

Motivation equals love. Whatever you love will propel you. When you don’t love anything, you will run out of drive. Love is a choice, not a fluffy, pink thing. Sure, there are fluffy and pink moments possibly, but love is our decision to make the world better for someone else. Who is your someone? (If there’s no one there for you, you’re probably reading this in bed. [Not that beds are not good, sometimes.]) I’m not talking about a “someone special” as in telling you “Acquire a boyfrend or girlfriend, already.” For you, it might be God, your family, or your work, even. You probably already have a Someone, you just maybe aren’t being driven by love for "it"…because its lacking by your subconscious choice.

Emptiness swirls around and nothing is going anywhere. Then you put your hands up at the edge of the pool, and raise yourself up. As you scramble out, you’re dripping wet and dragging, but you’re no longer in it, because of that moment when you climbed out. You dry off and by nature of being out, you are moving again: forward.

There’s a lot of talk about “know where you’re going and what you want” and that might be good. But I might add “know what you love and where it is taking you—or keeping you.” That’s what I’m thinking about.

Don't be hiding in sorrow
Or clinging to the past
With your beauty so precious
And the season so fast
No matter how cold the horizon appear
Or how far the first night
When I held you near
You gotta rise from these ashes
Like a bird of flame
Step out of the shadow
We've gotta go where we can shine

For all that we struggle
For all we pretend
It don't come down to nothing
Except love in the end
And ours is a road
That is strewn with goodbyes
But as it unfolds
As it all unwinds
Remember your soul is the one thing
You just can't compromise

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Love Story

Hey, maybe this story line is getting old for you. But it happened again, which I don’t mind…

Four months ago I was shopping with a friend and saw “a pair of shoes.” Well, more like, “the perfect pair of shoes.” I tried them on. I fell in love. I put them back. Somehow, I convinced myself I didn’t need them. And since the price tag said $25, I decided to be frugal and miserable.

With each passing week, I have worn outfit after outfit that was thoroughly, wretchedly incomplete without those shoes. I have been solemnly filled with regret and remorse for passing them up. No joke. And I’m not a teenager anymore. True story.

On a recent Saturday, I swung by that store, committed to righting my terrible mistake in buying THE SHOES, if I could possibly find them. I searched high and low over a couple floors in a store that sets shoes out randomly and apparently, inconspicuously. I had four sales associates on a search for shoes that I described from memory. They ransacked the back, wrung out the computer system, and commiserated religiously with me. Finally, I was resigned. They were no longer available. The last pair was apparently in Portland, OR, in a size 11. Thanking my new friends, I rode down an escalator to wait in the checkout line—without my precious shoes.

Bins of clutches, zipper pouches, bracelets, cosmetics, and girl stuff where all around me as I waited. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I sighted something spiked, brown, and buckled nestled underneath a heap of fabric near my feet. I reached down and pulled out the very shoes I had wanted, in my size. So, I held them close to my heart and strode up to checkout. They rang up at $8.50. I’m pretty sure Somebody loves me and looks out for even the little stuff. Isn’t He wonderful?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reformatting Snaky Whispers

The time has come for that snaky whisper that turns into a throbbing pulse in your brain to stop. Like a symptom of insanity, it pulses repeatedly and you can’t block it. Its voice you may have heard.

·         You’re wasting your life away. I mean, look, you aren’t doing things like everyone else.

·         You’re just too stupid to figure things out.

·         You can’t take any more hits or you’ll fail once and for all.

·         You’re  not actually valuable to anyone.

·         You’re rather unattractive. There’s no hope for your future in the love department.

·         If you aren’t perfect you can’t be loved.

·         A ‘B’ average in college? Are you kidding me? What a dope.

I suppose you wouldn’t start to believe any of it, if it wasn’t partially true. But truth can be twisted, construed into something nonsensical that only reality and God can sort through. Maybe I should just rephrase some of those pulsating thoughts, so you can see how they really go. Once their reformatted, they stop. The insanity fades.

·         You’re not wasting your life away if you’re making a difference right where you are. If you are doing what you know God wants you to do, one step at a time, its not wasteful. Doing life like “everyone else” doesn’t seem to be working for everyone, anyway.

·         You are stupid…on your own or with bad friends or influences. Put your heart into things, get help from others, surround yourself with quality people, make wise choices where you can and it will pay off. You’ll be surprised how smart you are.

·         God only allows into your life what He knows you can handle through relying on Him. If you’re not relying on Him for real, you will fail once and for all.

·         You are valuable to the real Someone, who died for you. If you take that for granted, it’s a sad day. When that’s Who your true love is, what does it matter if no one else values you?

·         You are rather unattractive, so maybe put some effort into changing it because that will make your personality even better. Besides, you know as well as I that ugly people get into relationships every single day. It is WHO you are, not what you are. Keep in mind that people don’t get into relationships with plastic dolls, and the ones who do, you don’t like anyway.

·         If you are perfect it is hard to love you. People can’t see who you are. Do your best and leave perfection to the One who is sanctifying you daily.

·         If getting a "B" bothers you, you'll be fine.

Practice some reformatting today and don’t get tricked into insanity.