Category Archives: faith

Time Mutated to the Max!

Time Mutated to the Max

            I work at an elementary school, part time, in a special education classroom.  I am a para educator and I thoroughly enjoy my job.  It is delightful and exhausting. My shift is in the afternoon so I am there until the end of the school day.  (this is a re-post, brought to mind by a current conversation, thanks Pastor Chris.)

I had completed my day and had just got to my car.  Sitting in the driver’s seat and stretching my legs, taking a deep sigh and just getting buckled in.  I was hurrying because if you don’t get out of the parking lot by 3:20 you’ll be stuck in the congestion for 10 or more minutes.  Nothing like what you find on Highway 405 at 5 pm, but stuck none the less.  I was struck right between the eyes with the realization that so many others here were doing the very same thing.  Shoving to get in and then get out.  Jostling their vehicles in just the right position to pick up the child and get out.  Get on to the next task.  Funny we are so polite to others until our parking spot or time has been absorbed.

I began to think about the process of multi-tasking and getting every possible ounce of productivity out of each and every moment that we breathe.  I mean really sometimes that is how some of us live.  We are a success if we can describe in detail the very best and most productive use of each minute in any family, job, even vacation or relaxation moment of time.

I think the fact that I had just read a job announcement from a company with a complete and ridiculous cold calling expectation might have had some impact on what was bringing this thought around.  The advertisement on craigslist for the job had how long it took to dial a number, how often you would get a voice mail and the time it took to leave a message and then if you got a real person the average call would last 4 minutes and their goal for you was to make 800 calls a day.  Now mathematically speaking it works out, but having done this as a job I can tell you 120 calls a day is really good.

So back to my point and thought:  God created time way back in Genesis.  As soon as He created day and then night a calendar began.  Not before that – but just at that very moment.  God created time for man, as a way to keep things in order and help prevent chaos.  Seems we, man, have taken time and tried to micro-manage any of the freedom out of it we can.  We are trying to be the god of time, instead of allowing God to be our time-clock.  No longer can we stop and help someone, what if we are late?  We have lost the value of craftsmanship and creativity to machinery that churns out 30K identical items per hour to be sold and reordered the same for the next shopper.

I think we have surpassed the line of productivity and entered into the twilight zone of a mutation of time.  When will it end?

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Waking Up Deaf!

My husband woke up the other morning thinking he had gone deaf.

Well let me back up a few days.

Rod and I went shopping for some items at the store.  Nothing really out of the ordinary shampoo, toothpaste, dental floss, you know the daily consumables.  As we were pursuing the store we passed an en cap with some impulse items for sale.  One of the pegs contained ear plugs in a new formed blister pack and ever so appealing package.  He bought some.  Here is my self admission.  I snore.  Doesn’t usually bother me, but alas it does bother him.  So he kindly showed them to me and announced that he thought these might help him get a better night’s sleep.  True love, don’t ya’ just love it.  We came home from the store and put the items away.  And the ear plugs sat.

About a week and a half went by and he decided to try them out one evening.  He comes to bed late, always has.  I am the early one, he is the late one.  Puts in the ear plugs and has a wonderful and quiet night’s sleep.  He woke up the next morning having forgotten about them and thought surely he was deaf.

Now if you know Rod and his imagination this is a funny scene.  He thinks to himself, “What I survived prostate cancer and now I am deaf!  What next!?”

Then he realized that the ear plugs were still in.

Silly him!

I don’t really have a spiritual connection to share here like I usually would just words of encouragement in what may seem like the mundane themes of life.  We sleep, eat, work, play, busy ourselves and start another day.  Remember to listen for and look for the things of God even in the mundane.  Don’t live without purpose or you could wake up deaf.

Consider not being able to hear music or song or laughter or family and friends talking ever again.  Thank God that these are part of how he created us.

Psalms 139:13-14 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Bruises as a Visual Reminder

I got out of the shower today and was getting dressed. I notice on my right forearm a quarter sized bruise and wondered where did that come from? I do not remember smacking my arm against anything recently or anything hitting me with that kind of force, what it takes to leave a bruise. I touched it with my pointer finger and did not feel any pain. Hmm deep enough to leave a mark but no pain when pressure is applied that’s odd. Our past life experiences are sometimes like that. We have some hurts that left a scar but by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ they don’t hurt anymore. We may see or remember these bruises from time to time. Often we refer to them as our testimony. Maybe it was abandonment, divorce, abuse, neglect, addictions or whatever the case may be. Somehow by our act of laying these down before the cross the pain has been removed. We have walked through the healing process and moved on and see that there is life after such a tragedy. For others when they see the visual reminder the pain is immediately there! The agony of the hurt inflicted while going through the divorce or abuse lingers and they have not let God heal them. They are so used to wearing the pain and have become a victim of the action that they seem to not know any other way to respond. I hear it from time to time as I minister to people. The victim tone. My husband and I were facilitating a time of worship and Bible study recently for a group of men recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. One man came up to us afterwards and asked for prayer, but in his asking did more wining than confessing. He was being wrongly accused and set up. Now it is true that this happens, but it was his tone in the describing of the events that caused concern. Do you know what I am talking about? Think about it for a moment. Is it not true that sometimes we so love the attention and concern that we get when we wear our bruise or badge as a horrible accusation or infirmity that only we have ever had to bear! The ole woe is me story and no one else has ever been through this like I have! I am not assessing judgment here just pointing out the difference of allowing God’s healing verses continuing to wear the bruise. The choice is up to you. What are you going to do?

Monday Discipline

Well it is Monday, the day I try and blog something of great value and wisdom.  Not so sure I will pull that off today.

I read a post this morning that really summed it up for me to quote author Sandra Byrd, “Writing for several hours to meet a word count. More email. Coffee.”  Sometimes that is all that we can do, write to hit the word count and enjoy the fact that we have a good cup of coffee available to sip on.  As I thought about this more it dawned on me how this quote from salesmanship also applies, “Fake it, till you make it” Maybe a better thought would be to follow what the Word of God says.  Discipline.  Really it boils down to sometimes “just doing it” so that the habit is developed and becomes part of who we are.  In Christiandom that means more of Christ and less of me each day by being disciplined.  In writing that means reaching the word count and being diligent in our efforts to become a writer.

So today out of discipline and developing a habit I post this short blog.

May God bless you!

The Glory Spot

The Glory Spot

My husband likes to go to the “Glory Spot” and he had that opportunity yesterday.  You may wonder what the “Glory Spot” is.  For him it is located not too far from where we live here in Puyallup.  He hops in the Blazer with his Bible and heads out to Wildwood Park off of 23rd and parks in one of two stalls that get good reception for his favorite Christian radio station 88.8 (he actually picks it up more clearly at 89.1) and takes some time to listen to what God has to say.  Often times he will go for a walk and do even more pondering about God and his word.  Yesterday was a great time for him because his natural gift of gab and evangelizing also took place.  He was listening to the group Selah during one of the radio programs and had the volume turned up a bit.  A gentleman got out of his vehicle and scowled at Rod indicating that the volume was too loud, so Rod politely turned it down.  The gentleman continued to scowl and Rod turned it down some more.  And then the man got back in his vehicle and drove off.  Funny how easily people our offended.  So Rod thought he would be left alone and get some devotional time to himself.  Then another vehicle pulled up this time with a couple in it and they got out.  The woman had a curious look on her face as though she was trying to focus and it became clear to Rod that she was interested in the song she could hear floating through the air so Rod turned the volume up a bit and she smiled.

The lady said who is that?” and he mentioned that it was the group called “Selah” and she said, “Oh I have heard of them I like them.”

They continued in conversation a bit and her husband did not seem too interested what they were talking about but was trying to be courteous at least.  Rod began talking about how he likes to come here to his “Glory Spot” and spend some time in devotion and reading the Bible.  The lady began to ask him questions about what do you mean by glory spot and how do you talk to God?  Rod has a natural gift of evangelizing and so he just started sharing about his routine and life and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the lady continued to ask him questions and the husband again just stood there quietly yet a bit uninterested.  As the dialogue continued the usual question came up, do you go to church and where?

So my question to you do you go to church and where?  If not, why not?  No time like the present to begin a good habit more than that to reestablish a relationship with Jesus Christ and become familiar again with the family of God.

How does the chorus from the Gaither song go: “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!  Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, for I’m part of the family, the family of God.”

The Black Houses

The Black Houses

We went to visit a church pastored by some friends of ours in Olympia, WA.  Their church is surrounded by several all black houses.  The houses are painted all black, doors, window sills, roofs, etc.  Finish is matte or glossy.  Eerie feelings as you drive by.

We had been told that the story is that a Satanist owns the homes and wants to have them placed in such a format as to create a pentagram (the symbol for Satan worship).  If this is true then that explains the sense of oppression and fear you can feel as you near them.  One of the homes we saw was painted the black matte finish and then had blood red paint accenting and just as ominous a feel to it.  I don’t go looking for a demon under ever rock, but wow what a sense of evil we experienced, makes my stomach queasy.

Rod and I felt the need to just stop and pray in front of one of them to pray against the demonic forces working against God’s people within this body of believer’s and the rest of the Kingdom.  So we did.  I have never wanted to run so fast as I did while he prayed for God to bind the forces of evil and to release God’s blessing and hope over the area.  You may find me crazy but sincerely I was afraid.  I could not look about me for fear of seeing a demon.  I could not concentrate for fear of being caught by one.  My mistake was not stopping to pray for protection before I/we engaged in spiritual battle on the borderline between heaven and hell.

Now whether or not these houses really are owned by Satanists (or a slumlord as some of the blog posted info states) really isn’t the issue.  What is more important is the understanding of what happens when you take a stand for Christ.  When Rod and I pulled up to the curb next to the “Black House” we were in essence pulling our spirits up next to Satan’s domain and saying hey buddy we are sitting outside of your home and praying for your defeat in Jesus name hope you don’t mind and even if you do, we are praying anyway.

Rod felt a demon pressing against the window on his side of the vehicle.  I could not look.  I am a visual learner and know better than to place my eyes in a direction that will present a vision I don’t want impressed in my brain.  I just wanted out.  I was so proud of my husband for praying so boldly and not so happy with myself for lacking that same boldness.  I drove the vehicle and parked it there, but he confessed the words and God provided the protection.

It was an experience we will continue to pray over.  One we would like to follow up on.  To pray more boldly and effectively for salvation for those oppressed and misguided and for the times we are in.  For such a time as this….we are praying….

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14 NIV

“How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up?”  Deut 32:30 NIV

Generational Hope

Sometime ago I had been quite perplexed with why it was so necessary to have all these names and places in the Old Testament about this King and Kingdom and that.  What was the purpose in even being able to pronounce the names and wonder where they were located as many of the places have been renamed and captured and re-established even yet again!  These thoughts came about after a conversation I had with a really sharp Christian woman I know that had been attending Regent’s College out of Canada working towards the completion of her Masters in Christian Education degree.   She was able to talk about these Kingdoms and names so easily and give details and information as though it were written in English originally.  I began to compare my lack of theology and understanding to her great ability to get it.  Well first of all I have no business comparing myself to someone else, but here I was, feeling less because my brain doesn’t work quite like that.  Ugh!  I am more practical and hands on, more visual and demonstrative.  So I left her place feeling less, not because she was trying to do that to me, but because I was comparing me with her.  Anyway…I love what God does in reaffirming our spirits and reminding us that we all matter to him and have a place to serve in His Kingdom.  And he even answered my why about history question with a very simple and practical poem:

“Great grandma got it,

Grandma concurred,

Momma forgot it,

and Baby never heard.”

Without knowing about history how do we know the direction to go?

In Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) we read “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV) Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

So to those of you who wonder like I did, that is why.

Time Mutated to the Max

Time Mutated to the Max

I work at an elementary school, part time, in a special education classroom.  I am a para educator and I thoroughly enjoy my job.  It is delightful and exhausting. My shift is in the afternoon so I am there until the end of the school day.

I had completed my day and had just got to my car.  Sitting in the driver’s seat and stretching my legs, taking a deep sigh and just getting buckled in.  I was hurrying because if you don’t get out of the parking lot by 3:20 you’ll be stuck in the congestion for 10 or more minutes.  Nothing like what you find on Highway 405 at 5 pm, but stuck none the less.  I was struck right between the eyes with the realization that so many others here were doing the very same thing.  Shoving to get in and then get out.  Jostling their vehicles in just the right position to pick up the child and get out.  Get on to the next task.  Funny we are so polite to others until our parking spot or time has been absorbed.

I began to think about the process of multi-tasking and getting every possible ounce of productivity out of each and every moment that we breathe.  I mean really sometimes that is how some of us live.  We are a success if we can describe in detail the very best and most productive use of each minute in any family, job, even vacation or relaxation moment of time.

I think the fact that I had just read a job announcement from a company with a complete and ridiculous cold calling expectation might have had some impact on what was bringing this thought around.  The advertisement on craigslist for the job had how long it took to dial a number, how often you would get a voice mail and the time it took to leave a message and then if you got a real person the average call would last 4 minutes and their goal for you was to make 800 calls a day.  Now mathematically speaking it works out, but having done this as a job I can tell you 120 calls a day is really good.

So back to my point and thought:  God created time way back in Genesis.  As soon as He created day and then night a calendar began.  Not before that – but just at that very moment.  God created time for man, as a way to keep things in order and help prevent chaos.  Seems we, man, have taken time and tried to micro-manage any of the freedom out of it we can.  We are trying to be the god of time, instead of allowing God to be our time-clock.  No longer can we stop and help someone, what if we are late?  We have lost the value of craftsmanship and creativity to machinery that churns out 30 identical items per hour to be sold and reordered the same for the next shopper.

I think we have surpassed the line of productivity and entered into the twilight zone of a mutation of time.  When will it end?

 

Date written 5/11/10

Laughter and the Joy of It

I teach Kindergarten, what a trip that is!  I asked the students to come to circle time for some instruction and things got a little goofy.  One of them, we will call him “Morgan” began strutting and pacing with his hands in his pockets walking on his tip toes and making a geeky looking face.  He went back and forth several times.  Not sure what brought this on and would certainly have loved to have been privy to what he was thinking.  You could see the little wheels in his brain turning and feel the power of attention he was gaining.  He began to giggle and then the other students caught this giggle and I could not help but to giggle along with them.  It was infectious and lead to full belly laughter and joy just oozing out.  So I let it go for just a moment.

Sometimes as a teacher you have to remember to let fun in.  I wondered what might happen if my Admin walked in and thought the class was out of control.  But it wasn’t I had allowed for it.  I made a choice to let it be expressed and not to squelch it.

After the moment passed I brought the focus back and then turned it into an RTM (Reachable Teachable Moment) and connected it to a song about “our joy being full” that we had sang earlier.

At the end of the day I would have to say this was the best moment.

What are your best moments?  Does laughter and joy enter your day?  The bible tells us, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22 (NASB)

Have you laughed lately?

2 Corithians 10:5

Not a very catchy title I agree, but its what I came home singing after Sunday evening church at Passion Worship Center.  I love to visit other churches, especially those of friends of mine.  Pastor Chris had the congregation read verse by verse the 10th chapter of 2 Corinthians and then discussed how that applied then and now.  I love a good read of the Word and the challenge of application.  He reminded us that Paul was a man of really no physical appeal or that of any great entertainment value, but that he was an apostle called by Christ and the one selected for the job.  People in Corinth were complaining about how unimpressive Paul was in person verses in print because he spoke so boldly in his letters.  Paul tried to tell then that it wasn’t about him anyway, it is about Christ and His message.  Churches today can get caught up in the culture, don’t.  “Just say No!” as Nancy Reagan would have said.  We were asked at the end of the sermon/discussion How do you deal with those un-Godly thoughts that enter your head and what do you do with them?  How do you get rid of them?  I think that is where the 2 Cor 10:5 came in as my heart started singing “Making war in the Heavenlies, casting down every high thing, that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ!”  Our minds really are a battlefield, a place of spiritual warfare.  So what are you going to do with those thoughts next time they creep in?