Bob Walks Lucky

Almost every morning at 8 AM Bob walks Lucky. As they went around the retention pond recently they came across these lovely deer.

As soon as he got home Bob said, “I have something to show you!” And shared those two photos. Moments later, a neighbor texted me saying, “I was taking a picture of the deer and look who entered the frame.”

We live in a fun neighborhood!

Often while walking Lucky Bob is listening to Morning Prayer or a devotional blog. I think these verses fit these photos perfectly!

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
    my whole being craves you, God.
My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When will I come and see God’s face?

Psalm 42:1-2 CEB

Humility?

The Bible has things to say about humility and the world has many misconceptions of that character trait. Our youngest pastor was speaking about this last week. He was talking about how his young sons try to outdo one another being Dad’s favorite. He was contrasting the kids behavior to the Lord asking us to value others as better than ourselves.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves

Philippians 2:3 NIV

The Lord taught about humility and He modeled humility for us in His life and in His death.

Jesus said, “But if you are as humble as this child, you are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:4 CEV

Jesus also said, “All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

Matthew 23:12 NRSV

He (Jesus) humbled himself

    and became obedient to the point of death—

    even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:8 NRSV

Willie Nelson sings this song written by Mac Davis that shows how the world sees humility. Such a far cry from the Word, but humorous none the less.

How do you view humility? According to the Word or Mac Davis and the world?

Lucky and Noodle

The winter weather broke and we were going to sleep with the windows open. On that warm evening there many dogs out of doors and they had lots to say. Lucky was uneasy with all those canine voices. She looked out the window with her paws on the sill. Had trouble making sense of it. She laid on the floor next to my side of the bed, under one of the open windows. Seriously restless.

Finally she decided the only safe course of action was to scoot 1/2 way under bed.

Later in the night when I got up she was on her sleeping pillow as the other canines had retired to sleep and were no longer causing a racket.

Lucky has not yet met Noodle, but we have a Great-granddog puppy! Baby Corgi! Congratulations Lizzie and Drew!!

I think my favorite name for her is pinky toes!

When she is awake she has loads of energy. When she is asleep she is out cold. There is a little eye make-up on one eye and a faint black stripe down her back. She is quiet vocal and for now has a tiny bark. With her personality they are going to have their hands full!

I can’t wait for her to get all her shots so Lucky can meet her!

Lean Hard into Him

Have you had days when the same old same old seems to crush your spirit? Or days when you want to declare “Some old “S***, different day!” Each of us gets caught in the seemingly mundane go-round that I would not call merry. How to get away from that?

One cry of my heart goes out in this song we learned years ago at the Vineyard. I pray it helps lift you, too.

The eternal God is your refuge,

    and underneath are the everlasting arms.

He will drive out your enemies before you,

    saying, ‘Destroy them!’

Deuteronomy 33:27

Have You Eaten a Meal with a Ghost?

It is said that Jesus appeared to His disciples at least 10 times after His resurrection and before His ascension. There were likely other appearances that are not recorded, for Scripture says,

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

John 20:30 NRSV

After the Risen Lord appeared to the men on the Road to Emmaus, they reported their experience to the disciples in Jerusalem.

That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

LUKE 24:34-43 NRSV

“In their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.” Oh isn’t that just like us? He was not an apparition of some kind, but a living, breathing, resurrected man! The song by Andrew Peterson that I posted Easter Day has been beating in my veins for days. I just have to play it over and over again. Not from unbelief, mind you, but in celebration and rejoicing! He is alive and inhabiting His people. Rejoice in that!

His heart beats
His blood begins to flow
Waking up what was dead a moment ago
And His heart beats, now everything is changed
'Cause the blood that brought us peace with God
Is racing through His veins
And His heart beats
His heart beats

He breathes in
His living lungs expand
The heavy air surrounding death turns to breath again
He breathes out
He is word and flesh once more
The Lamb of God slain for us is a Lion ready to roar
And His heart beats

So crown Him the Lord of Life
Crown Him the Lord of Love
Crown Him the Lord of All

He took one breath
And put death to death
Where is your sting, O grave?
How grave is your defeat
I know, I know His heart beats

He rises, glorified in flesh
Clothed in immortality, the firstborn from the dead
He rises, and His work's already done
So He's resting as He rises to reclaim the Bride He won
And His heart beats

So crown Him the Lord of Life
Crown Him the Lord of Love
Crown Him the Lord of All

The last enemy to be destroyed is death
The last enemy to be destroyed is death
He must reign until no enemy is left
The last enemy to be destroyed, to be destroyed is death

His heart beats, He will never die again
I know that death no longer has dominion over Him
So my heart beats with the rhythm of the saints
As I look for the seeds the King has down
To burst up from their graves

How great, how great is His victory
I know, I know His heart beats
I know, I know His heart beats
His heart beats

Kibroth-hattaavah

What? you might be asking? What in the world does that mean?

Then a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quails from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits deep on the ground. 32 So the people worked all that day and night and all the next day, gathering the quails; the least anyone gathered was ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth.

Numbers 11:31-35

The people wandering in the desert were complaining about only having manna to eat. The Lord God had given them a heavenly food, unknown before or since, a food to nourish and sustain them. They complained and he brought them quail to eat. The quail lay all around them about 2 feet deep and the minimum they gathered was “enough to fill the bed of a full sized pickup truck to overflowing, mounded high.” They gathered much more than they could possible eat. Perhaps their plan was to dry them or preserve them with salt? We are not told. No language scholar here, but thankfully the references translate Kibroth-hattaavah for us. It means, the graves of craving. While the meat was still between their teeth, the anger of the Lord was kindled against them. Yikes.

Have you asked the Lord for something other than what you have? Has He given you that very thing? Have you been greedy about it?

Many years ago I was leading a study about these verses. Me, being the Queen of object lessons, decided we needed one for this verse. So we made a tombstone out of “Fimo” type clay that can be baked. Then we took alphabet beads and spelled out the name. Baked it and placed it in a prominent location to help remind us that there are consequences for acting on our cravings. The beads did not hold up well to the baking, but the idea worked.

Grave of Craving

Amused that it is now in my display of tiny things and the carved wooden pliers are pointing to it! (Lord, perhaps pulling out my cravings is like pulling teeth?) And those tiny glass birds could represent the quail, though I did not consciously place them for that. Oh Lord, remove my inordinate cravings with Your holy pliers, I pray.

The grave of cravings. What would you bury in that grave? Or would you be the one in the grave, the one who craved things inordinately and gave in to the greediness of wanting more than needed? I confess, I waver between the two.

 All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]. 

1 Corinthians 10:23 Amplified

I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 

1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV

Yes, Lent is over and the Easter season continues with rejoicing, Alleluia! That does not mean my self discipline ends. If I crave anything more than God my walk is in jeopardy. Here is a video with a little preaching from Keith Green.

Are you putting cravings to death or are you in the grave of craving? If you are stuck remember “a rut is just a grave with ends kicked out.” Ask the Lord to help you worship Him above all else. He is faithful to do just that.

Are You Full Yet?

Did you get a Chocolate rabbit? What part did you eat first?

Years ago when I saw this in a hospital gift shop I purchased it immediately. Fondly remember my mother teaching us about “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Now bunnies demonstrating their limited abilities after someone ate the ears, ate the eyes, ate the mouth. Ha!

Has your Lenten discipline brought you to a new place in your walk with Jesus? Or like so many New Year resolutions have you already forgotten what you were aiming for in what you ‘gave up’ for the 40 days of Lent?

I hope and pray that the Easter Season brings you into a closer and richer fellowship with the One Who died for each of us. He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

Bob Saw This Verse

We were visiting Cincinnati Art Museum lat week where they have been gently reshaping and replanting a hillside. for the new installation called the “Art Walk.”Cincinnati magazine reports, “Along the way, there are lots of spots to sit and take everything in. The Cincinnati Art Museum took great care to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible, and the result is a sprawling staircase that seems to rise out of the earth.” 3665 Cincinnati reports: “Due to the steepness of the hillside (at nine stories), the Cincinnati Art Museum was unable to make Art Climb ADA accessible.”

You can imagine with a hillside nine stories high there is much planting to be done to preserve the soil.

Aerial photo early in the project

We were at the top parking lot outside the Art Museum, still seated in our car, when Bob said I should look up. There was a tree moving across our line of vision. We could not see how it was empowered, but there it went. A young tree, but a tree none the less.

They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” 24 And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

Mark 8:22-26 NRSV

Turns out there was a worker driving a little “bobcat” taking the tree to the location it was to be planted.

From our angle on the hillside it truly looked as if that tree was moving from one place to another unassisted. We both laughed. If I could have spoken to the bobcat driver I would have told him the humorous vision he had created for a moment. You betcha!

Can you see humor today in usual and unusual sights?

Childhood memories

How many playground rhymes do you remember? Some of these popped into my brain this week. If I am ever in a nursing home wing for Alzheimer’s I hope these songs and rhymes help restore me to some form of sanity. (Here Bob might chuckle “Sanity is too much to hope for even today!” Ever the tease. He is oldest of five kids. I’ve learned how to give it back!)

My Dad worked for the N & W railroad. Mom wasn’t the only one who sang in the car! Daddy taught us this one.

I left my wife
Alone in the kitchen
With 28 children
And nothing but gingerbread left
Left, left, right, left

Oh it ain't gonna rain no more no more
Ain't gonna rain no more
How in the heck can I wash my neck
if it ain't gonna rain no more?

I woke up in the morning 
the bread was hard and stale
the coffee tasted like tobacco juice
from the US county jail, OH ( with gusto!)

So what poems or verses are in your memory bank?

A my name is Alice
and my husband's name is Al
we live in Alabama where we grow apples

How far in the alphabet did you get? Do you remember? Was this for jump rope or bouncing a ball against the wall and passing it under your knee when you hit the A words? Ah! memory lane can be fun sometimes.

Musical Rejoicing Over Jesus’ VICTORY

Celebrate His Victory with me and other Christians around the world.

May you enjoy the resurrection power that flows in your veins and use it only to His glory and honor.

May this, our high, holy holiday be just the beginning of new life for you.

Most of all, may you gain understanding of why Jesus made the sacrifice of His life for you. Truly, He died for you.