Writings from the Past

I am moving things I have written on other blogs to this blog. A bit of tidying.

June 16, 2009:

As I sit in my cozy home their are high winds ripping down trees and the lightning that pops outside of the windows fizzle in a sizzling sound and then a boom of noise that is shaking the house. Inside we are sitting with the news on so we can track the tornado warnings that are surrounding the area. It is dark, lik it should be a few hours from now, and I am sitting thinking of what a great day it is!

Noah has decided to give his life to Christ today. I have been making arrangements for his baptism tonight at 7:00. He will be getting baptized in the pond of a neighbor and we will be having a reception afterwards. I am hoping this storm blows over quickly so I can run to town and get the things I need to pick up.

It is an amazing thing the feelings I am feeling as my son is making this decision. I am humbled that Jesus has offered His life for my son. I am full of praise for God who is willing to have a relationship with Noah. I am full of wonder at my beautiful son and his beautiful heart, who is searching for it's place in this universe. I am full of tears in the goodness of knowing my son will be wearing the robe of the Creator.

Praises be to God for such a day, praises be to God for giving us hope and light in the midst of the storms. Praises be to God for the joy of Noah and my love for him.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
My life has gotten in the way of my blogging lately. I have notes and scribbles written in the journals I have lying around the house about all manner of things I find worthy of sitting a writing about--things like the kids leaving for camp for the first time, a special day and some change with my favorite six year old little girl, and some hither and yon thoughts I have had lately, but those will have to wait for another day, when my head is not foggy from lack of sleep.

However today I received the news that a dear friend Mike Oswald died this past weekend after having a heart attack. I remember very clearly the first time I ever lay eyes on Mike Oswald. He had a full head of curly salt and pepper hair and he had a very distinctive swagger as he walked. He and his wife Vicki began to worship with our church group in Tustin, California while I was in high school. Mike became an acquaintance to my dad and Vicki a friend to my mom. It was in their interactions I began to know Mike and Vicki. I found Mike fascinating, a VERY intelligent man, a great story teller (his stories were always punctuated with a nervous tick of some sort) and a person who was genuinely interested in the going ons of my often silly life. Vicki had the best laugh I ever heard and her story telling is great with a vivid arsenal of expressions and hand motions. I loved sitting at their house hearing their stories and having a willing audience to the stories I had to tell.

I would house/dog sit for their dogs and would gladly give them their cheese nip treats for good behavior. I was often an invited guest to dinners with them and loved sitting at their feet learning of travel, theater, and books. After their New Year's trip to New York City and a viewing of Miss Saigon, Mike burned me a tape of the soundtrack. I played that tape over and over learning the story of Kim and John and falling in love with the music. It still is my favorite musical and the movie haunts me.

Mike believed in me. He would tell me how much he thought I would accomplish. I think he was amused by my confidence especially in relation to my naivete. He would write me notes and he would hand me riddles on Sunday mornings. He talked with me and made me feel special. He knew that there were times I felt I could not please anyone and in those moments he would always find ways to build me up and show me he had a huge amount of faith in me.

Mike collected books--signed first editions--and he shared several books with me. When I graduated from high school he gave me a book by Thomas Payne. He wrote me a very great note that started out "To one fiery revolutionary to another." I kept that note in the book and it stays there still.

Mike would send letters and cards while I was in college. He was one of the only men I have ever known who signed his and Vicki's names to Christmas cards he picked out, addressed, wrote notes in.

About 12 years ago his heart gave him a scare. He was a high strung man living a high stress life and it was catching up with his health. That year he traded his NYC New Year's trip for a Hawaii trip and he adopted the Hang Loose philosophy of life, wearing Hawaiian shirts from then on.

It means the world to me how he insisted on taking Nathan and I out to dinner each time we would make it to California to visit. I loved how he really wanted to get to know Nathan and would spend hours around the dinner table asking him questions about his thoughts on God, life, being married to me, and etc.

It will always be a blessing to me to have had Mike Oswald in my life. Every young person needs a Mike in their life to tell them that the world is their oyster. He challenged me and made me feel special. I look forward to hearing his stories on the other side of the Jordan.

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Grin and Bear it.

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."

I have been thinking about this verse a lot over the past several days. It carries with it a lot of responsibility. It carries with it a charge of being Christlike and open to other people, both as the person who has burdens which will be shared as well as the person who is sharing in the burden.

I have struggled for the past 10 years to understand exactly what "church" is supposed to be. I don't think it is a place you go, something you do per se, but instead is who you are as you are connected to other disciples everyday, each day. It is the intimate intermingling of individuals making up cells so connected that when grouped together with the Blood of Christ, all you see is the Body of Christ. This requires great relationship. It means sharing yourself with others, as well as being able to share in the lives of others. It is bigger than the local congregation--it is a universal connection to all believers all over the world in all times. Talking about a huge family!

I remember about 10 years ago an acquaintance was killed in a car accident. I did not know her well, but we had many common connections--the most important connection being our Savior. She was killed on a Wednesday afternoon, and as we went to midweek that night I could not stop crying. Someone asked me if I knew her well, and I said no. They could not understand why I would be so affected by her death. I thought it funny at the time. A young mother and wife, a sister a daughter, a friend had died. People I loved were hurting. How could I not be in tears? How could I not bear this burden with them? My sisters and brothers were in pain--my tears were not for a personal loss, but for the loss of many, and for the loss I imagine God feels each time one of His children experiences the evils of death. (Let us remember--it was not the original plan for us to die, but instead to live.) I have thought about that day often. How many times have I cried for the hurt and pain of fictional characters on the TV, people I will never meet on the evening news--how much more so will I be rent for the people I know and love.

People are meant to be connected to others. There are to be no other more connected people in the world than Christians. I am afraid there is a sect of Christendom that thinks it is better to drive out and away, than to draw near. Isolationism and secularism pervaids how we think. It effects our ability to share ourselves, to confess to one another, to receive love, to receive friendship--and because of all these inabilities there will be a tendency to fail to receive God through Christ.

How sweet the day when the tears of the burdens of this world will no longer need to be shed. But until then, it is ours to bear each others burdens--even when they are not wished to be shared. For to be like Christ who is the fulfillment of the Law, we must do so. It is not to be dismissed that he bore the burden of so many who have rejected him, yet he bore them anyway. How amazingly strange to have the opportunity to be so like Him in every way. What a great blessing of responsibility to be joint heirs with the Messiah.

May our hearts be open,
May our minds be forgiving,
May we love even when those we must love seem unlovable.
May we be open to allowing our burdens to be shared.
May we live in eternity
Because of God,
Through Christ,
with the comfort of the Spirit,

Monday, April 13, 2009

I just completed our 2008 taxes. I have to double check on a couple of numbers, but I will be ready to press the send button on the efile site soon. I really dislike doing taxes. Every year I put off doing them until the last week and every year I promise myself I will do them the first of February next year... I am not holding my breath for Feb. 2010. While I, like any other normal person, dislike paying taxes, I understand the need. However, lately, as I have been redefining my political beliefs, I am beginning to hate paying them. I hate paying for the wasteful spending, the immoral funding, the padding of pockets and the stupid programs which serve to benefit no one, in any way, ever.

Sometimes I wonder about how little tax money we would need to pay if we just all followed basic Christian principles--you know like don't steal, don't murder, don't commit adultery? Government has become the means to protect possessions, protect life (or at least some of it), and to fill in the gaps of broken families with entitlement spending. What if neighbors really treated each other as they would want to be treated? What if we really gave away one coat when we had two? What if we created families and kept them together? What if we did not spend money we don't have and stop the insanity of enslaving ourselves with debt? Oh --the what if 's are infinite.

I wonder why so many are calling for the government to be more responsible when the population is unwilling. We think we are entitled to everything we want, when we want it. Nathan and I experienced the absolute insanity of the mortgage mess when we purchased our first houses. We were told we could afford mortgages on houses so far out of our price range, we would scarce been able to feed ourselves. We spent half of what the banks told us we could afford. But why would you not believe the banker who is looking at your finances? Why would he put me in over my head?. Because you want him to. Most people in their 20's and 30's want to live the HGTV dream of a picture perfect house in the best neighborhoods. Their parents took years of laddering up real estate properties to get to the point they are in these neighborhoods.

I think it is time to see that the Government and its populace are sort of like the chicken and the egg. Which comes first? A government for the people and by the people is often going to resemble the people. And a people looking for government to lead them will soon follow what the government is doing. Maybe the answer is for each citizen is to be responsible in their homes, communities, and financial institutions, then maybe just maybe the government will begin to look responsible. And it is all together possible if we stop putting irresponsible and immoral men at the head of our ship, we will see the population rise up and be responsible and moral.

03/31/09 9:34AM (from Pleonast)

When a woman found to be immoral was brought before Jesus by the religious elitist of the day they accused, tore down, ridiculed, and sought justice for her misconduct. Jesus drew a line in the sand, asked who was without sin, and then told her to go her way and sin no more.

It was the religious elitist establishment who was rejecting Christ who acted with no compassion, no mercy, no grace. Christ extended those things. If we are wearing HIS name, ought we to act like HIM. Someone who has sinned--EVEN blatantly--who has asked for forgiveness and has gone their way sinning no longer--has received the grace and mercy of Christ. May we all quit asking our fellows to wear the SCARLETT letters of our piety. What letter should you be wearing? Show some compassion--may I be the first to hear this!

Happy Birthday Macy!
at 03/16/09 11:17AM

It seems impossible I am writing yet another birthday tribute to Macy. This day seems to come swifter each year. I find myself watching Macy in this great internal debate she is having of whether she is a little girl or a young lady. Her "I am old enough independence" seems to be in conflict with her "I am still so small" moments making her a girl of layers which is a joy to watch. I am finding I am able to rely on her and her strong sense of responsibility. I find great joy in conversations with her as she slowly reveals in each talk who she is now and who she is working daily to become. To know her in this moment and to love her so completely I know will pale as each days passes. For to love her today is only small in the way I will love her tomorrow.

Happy Birthday my little pigeon. You are all joy for me. May your birthday be merry and may this new year be full of lessons learned, the happenings of many great adventures and for you my sweet girl a wardrobe of purses and shoes!

I love you--all my heart, all my life!