Saturday, April 01, 2017

More Than Enough



This is a perfectly timed find. Especially the first half.

I have to amend the end to "He is enough" though. I am nothing apart from Him. Because He is my MoreThanEnough, it's all good. It is all very good.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Heart For God. Read your title again, author lady...

HEART FOR GOD
Study of 1 Samuel by Myrna Alexander

I missed the first week when I was with Mom at her house, but I made it to the second lesson last Thursday. So far, I think I may have succeeded in offending one or more ladies with my burst of opinion.

Split into our small groups to lay out our "discoveries", I said that I thought the fifth suggestion for leaders [page 13] was really dumb, because it says, “only those who have finished the week’s assignment may share in the discussion”. A lady I truly love then tapped me on the shoulder and said, “But that’s what we do here. If people participate who haven’t done the study, that wouldn’t be fair.”

I was dumbfounded. Fair? Are you kidding me? What are we, in second grade? When the time comes that I step in for the lady who now facilitates, I cannot punish an adult by telling her she can’t participate, because she didn’t answer the questions others did. For one thing, she may already be acquainted with the direction in which the topic is headed and have something pithy to contribute. Secondly, I have received from Him SO MANY times through people who may not have “finished the week’s assignment”, but sure as nails, know His heart a whole lot more intimately than I do, and THAT is priceless.

So I will be voted off the island of “fair”. I will take a comment any day from someone who’s spent time at His feet over someone who answered a few questions posed by an author who shows me her ignorance of Jesus’ Fatherheart-centered intentions by excluding anyone from a discussion. I can't imagine Him disqualifying someone from participation because she couldn't or didn't have the lesson done. I don't get the impression the disciples spent much time on homework they could have been doing. They simply spent time being with Him.

Shouldn't the bottom line of ANY Bible study be to delve more deeply into His heart? The author defies the very title of her book with this exclusive suggestion. Help me--I need compassion.

How sad are we, Your Church, when we care more about our rules than about what truly pleases You… Lord, help us.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The B-Man



It's hard to believe this tiny dreamboat has become such a central thought, focus, and heartthrob not just to the two of us, but to the whole Mulligan clan. He is the first grandson, great-grandson, nephew, and great-nephew on our side of the family, so he is the premiere cuddle/fun/interest factor to all of us.

For Kev and me, we no longer go to Rymy's house. We go to Bridger's house. When they're going to come up for a visit, the Bridgers are coming. He is only nine months old and can't even walk or talk yet, but already he has changed our world and our words!


His bents are already prophesied, at least in my mind, based on those of his parents and the things we have discerned thus far. He will have a quick wit, a penchant for the arts and the finer classes of food and material goods, own a gift for sizing people up (he is a natural observer), and ultimately and most importantly, he will love Jesus. May he excel at that far beyond all that we could ask or imagine.


My Kevin has always treated me with greater respect and consideration than anyone else. He declared that to be a goal before we got married. He said people do the opposite all the time, and not only do they have it backwards, but it's something he simply wants to do. And he does it like a boss. Well, that said, this little guy has a huge chunk o'land like that in this guy's heart. He will drive across town (no small feat), use up one of his extremely valuable days off, and magically turn into a little boy himself just to spend time with this incredibly wonderful baby boy. And I sure don't mind that I always get to come too!


Lord, You have blessed us with three, then five, fabulously fine children. Now You have gifted us with entry into the grandparents club. At each stage of life You gift us with new and wondrous experiences, all of them infused with the fragrance of Your unique brand of fun, love, marvel, creativity, imagination, and sparkle. This is a really, REALLY great kingdom, and we are loving every single minute of it. Bring it on, Lord, and keep showing us greater and deeper ways that You love!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Forgiveness

This knocks it out of the park.




Friday, April 15, 2016

Bumper Sticker


Occasionally, bumper sticker philosophy makes its way into my thoughts. I thought of a line while I was on a little hike today to spread old squash and croutons for the deer and turkeys:  “Jesus had a job.”

There was no welfare system in His day. The Old Testament made provision for grown children to take care of their parents and for the community to care for widows and orphans. That doesn't happen so much anymore, at least not in our country where nuclear families and individualism are the pride and the norm.

I don't wax political here. It was just a thought...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Superfluous Debris

The poor oceans… They are so full of planes, rockets, bombs, missiles, alien spacecrafts, and otherwise exploding or extraneous debris, plunged into her for decades in order to save mankind. Well, at least since the dawn of movies and television. Like sunken ships weren't enough to clutter her sea bottoms.


I’ve also never understood how, in any movie, someone could justify the believability of annihilating millions of dollars worth of property and possibly—or probably—killing scores of people in an attempt to secure or face one bad guy. In “Man of Steel”, Superman races 100 mph with Zod in tow, and when he finally comes to a stop, he yells, “You think… you can threaten… my mother?!!” In his path are pillars he tore through, stores left in smithereens, cars exploding in freak gasoline fires, and although they don’t show broken or dead bodies, somebody got hurt, people.  All so he could scream at the alien antagonist.

Well, his name is Superman, not Perfectman. I guess.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

A Civil Offense

Okay, this one's gonna be short 'n sweet. Both my parents owned handicap placards, even though only my mom used hers.

I love that handicapped parking is provided for people who need it. However, SO many drivers park as if their handicap is something other than or in addition to a physical one... Would they not get docked if they were taking a driver's exam?!  If someone was having a baby or bleeding out, and this was an emergency room, no problem!  I can't think of a single excuse for lazy, sloppy, or this kind of otherwise haphazard parking at grocery stores, vitamin shops, hardware stores, Papa Murphy's, or the library.

I could have taken a whole lot more pictures, but a dozen is quite enough to prove my point. It is an offense to common sense for this privilege to be taken advantage of in such a cavalier manner.  Come ON...
















Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jesus in Disguise



God loved His way around the world and across time,
enjoying shared secrets, simple disguises, and latent surprises.
He is finishing His work in us, through us, as us.

Speaking in Chinese.
Paying in lira.
Running in moccasins.
Swimming in the Amazon.
Eating plantains.
Forgiving trespassers.
Calming.
Dissolving stereotypes.
Healing.
Befriending the smelly.
Telling a joke.
Solving an equation.
Grinding maize.
Making sandwiches.
Riding a donkey.

Laughing.
Collecting seeds.
Touching a shoulder.

Fixing cars.
Catching planes.
Learning to cook.
Changing a tire.

Savoring creation.

Brushing hair. 
Baking bread.
Writing an essay.
Paying taxes.
Crying.


Ladling soup.
Planting rice.
Performing surgery.
Driving a cab.
Providing for a debt.
Believing.
Reminding.
Staying.
Enjoying just being...

"He completes Me."
"She completes Me."

We are complete in Jesus, and as His Holy Spirit headquarters Himself in us, we go out to be about the Father's business, wherever we are, whoever we are. We go and do and say and be as His Spirit leads, and we are Jesus with all kinds of different skin on in this world.  Jesus is present to someone as a 55 year-old half-Asian woman.  A thirteen year-old Kenyan brother.  A Korean businessman in New York.  A Hewa mother in Papua, New Guinea.  Jesus is all over the place!

Sometimes my own world feels pretty small, but as a thread in His design, it is the absolute right world. Every act and word done in and by Him will remain and have some measure of eternal notice and significance.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Normal Extraordinary

I turned down the handle on the hydrant, satisfied enough with the water level for now.
The soft click made me know it was shut off all the way.
I walked partway to the house on grass. What do you call the sound my footfalls make?
Partway on gravel. It was kind of a muffled crunch. Like trying to eat potato chips in the library.
I looked to the last orange cotton ball cloud in the western sky and smiled at the Artist.
I tugged off one glove and stuffed it into my pocket.
I fed the cats, emptying what was left in the five-gallon bucket.
I fed Guido and made a mental note to put dog food on my grocery list.
I turned off the garage light and stepped into the wash room.
I firmly pulled the door shut behind me and peeled off my jacket.
I hung it on the nail that was like all the other nails all down the row, each hidden by a coat.
I laid Guido’s dinner bowl on the towel that covers his part-time bed.
I took in the quiet. Not even the furnace was on.
I was alone.

I was not alone.

All these things are so extremely banal.

They are each extraordinary when examining one single element at a time.
They are my normal vanilla day.
They are five hundred gifts that bundle to make a Present.
Everyday is like a birthday.
Or a rebirthday.


Monday, February 29, 2016

The Period.

There was a memorial service on Saturday, the leading up to which took over the life of a dear friend for a week. It was for her father-in-law, an enigma of a man and one who remains two-dimensional to me for all his unfamiliarity. I'll call him Jack.

His body was completely saturated with MRSA, a recurring condition for him, and finally, obese and fatally ill, he apparently died of heart failure. I was told that his wife is now experiencing what appears to be a celebration as she finds herself free of him and her years-long obligation to caregiving and to all his health issues. I'm left to wonder about his personality. No one wanted his ashes, not his wife or one of his three children. Brother, sister, cousin, friend...? My friend's husband eventually had to pick them up at the insistence of the providing facility. Their eventual resting place is as yet undecided.

A life lived on this earth is one sentence long. I imagine some kind of punctuation at the end of that sentence. Most of us get a period, others an exclamation point. The unborn may get parentheses. Some whose influence affects history for eons may have an ellipsis. I’m not sure what kind of life would end with a question mark, and certainly no one's ends with a comma.

For Jack though, I reckon the punctuation to be an image and a sound. It is the picture of a sad, frowny emoji. Granted, the only commentary I’ve ever received on his life was one-sided from my friend. It was never with bitterness or anger, just a straightforward account of some past occurrence. I cannot recall even one positive statement about him though in the almost-20 years I have known her.

Jack and his wife were part of a church that was constructing its building at one point. Because of his love of food, he ensured it would contain a large kitchen by financing that particular portion of production and furnishing. That's something. I would venture that most of us haven't done that.

I've never heard my friend's husband talk about his relationship with his parents. The few times the subject of them came up, it was a simple declaration of facts, eg., that they were moving to Arizona or moving back here or wanted someone's address. I never got the sense in any way that they were warm-fuzzy relations. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. I was always left with a kind of vacant feeling against the backdrop of the pleasant relationship I enjoyed with my own parents. Like opening a box you think contains a donut, only to see there's nothing in it but the filmy paper used to fish one out of the bakery case. A dab of frosting on it and the after-aroma of a donut, but that's all.

A life focused on self, resulting in the disdain and thorough disregard from those in his life who most woulda coulda shoulda loved and honored him…? If sadness is a sound, then I hear utter silence, the opposite of love being apathy. The absence of laughter at the retelling of favorite stories, quotable lines, the best holidays, fatherly moments, sentimental recollections. No nods of agreement at sharing the list of values, traits, and encounters that mark a man’s character. No missing his countenance or the sound of his voice, no wishing for just five more minutes, no savoring of his last words.

There is no grand sustaining of the last note as the credits fade.  No sniffling, smiles, or wet sleeves, no anticipation of the sequel or lingering hope because of the film's essential message. The final, sad comment on Jack's life is a shrug. When the dim lights come back up, the theatre is simply empty. The soundtrack of a life lived here to the exclusion of what God embodies and embraces can only close with a soft click of the power button.



The End