Lent 10: Love is OXOX

23 02 2013

I know it’s supposed to mean “Hugs and Kisses”, this statement on the Valentine Kajsa brought home for us last week. But it’s rather cute to also think of love as two oxen. Never thought of it that way before. Oxes are supposedly strong animals, right? So, I suppose one could say, that love IS like an ox. Or two. Love IS that strong–or can be. Lent 10: Love is Ox.I don’t always feel that, or act that, and certainly yesterday, (Friday, Day 10), I was neither feeling nor acting that strong love. I was impatient, quickly frustrated, and taking it out on my daughter who was probably equally impatient and frustrated. Sigh. Some days are like that.

But hopefully my love for others will continue to take steps forward, as far as the level of strength. And, by strength, I guess I really mean how strong I actually am, on the days when I feel weak. In love –especially as it reflects my patience level. Because on those “I’m feeling super weak and frustrated” days, I need to rely more on the ONE who makes me strong in spite of myself. The ONE whose love is the strongest. Stronger, even than hugs and kisses and stronger, even, than two OXen.

Love is, among other things, OXOX.





Lent 9: Refuge

22 02 2013

Late, again. Oh well.

Last night Jim, Kajsa and I went to Margarita’s Restaurant, to eat dinner… we went to help support “Relay for Life”, and, specifically, “Cheryl’s Angels”. 5% of last night’s proceeds went towards this team. As we were sitting in the booth waiting for our food, I looked over at Kajsa’s satchel (that’s what she calls it), and her newest stuffed animal–a Beanie Baby named “Hopper” was in it. I snapped this photo, because it immediately made me think about how Kajsa carefully takes care of Hopper. Mostly. Of course, she’s five-and-a-half, so isn’t the world’s most attentive parent, even to a Beanie Baby. But for the most part, she holds it carefully, pets it gently, wraps it up in blankets, sets it down carefully to take a nap. When she goes outside, she likes to shield it a little from the wind and cold. She even wants to strap her stuffed animals in seat belts on car trips.

Obviously, God cares and loves us more than we care for Beanie Babies. And even each other. I hope, at least. Psalm 91 talks about God’s protection, about God being our refuge… of course, Psalm 91 also states some confusing things–things like, “If you say ‘the Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent…” (Psalm 91:9-10). Confusing because, clearly, harm does come, disaster happens all the time. Image

I remain confused and often frustrated by Scriptures such as this, which say that God will protect and rescue people who call on him. But at this point, at least today, I am willing to remain confused and frustrated. This doesn’t always happen–that I’m willing to remain confused. Normally I want the answers, I want to know why, I want to cry out to God. And I’m sure those feelings and thoughts and actions will return to me –maybe even in an hour. But for now, I’m trying to yield to God my need to understand it all. And I’m trying to rest in the reality that God is still God… that God still loves…. and that God is still my refuge.





Lent 8: ?

20 02 2013

?This is sort of cheating. I really want to take a photo every day during Lent, related to the texts, themes, reflections of our Lenten season. But today was just one of those days. So here’s a photo I took on our way back from Midwinter a couple weeks ago. It’s today’s reflection–or lack thereof–of the Luke 4:1-13 text… and, more specifically, the third temptation. At least, that’s what I was hoping to photograph today. But then this photo came to mind.

Feel free to comment your own caption. lol..





Lent 7: glitz and glamour

20 02 2013

Once again, I tried to post last night, and it just didn’t work. Only this time it was my brain not working, not the website. So here’s yesterday’s photo: “glitz and glamour”. I took it during the day, as I was thinking about the devil’s second temptation to Jesus: worship me, and you can have all these kingdoms of the world…  the devil didn’t actually say, at least not according to the translations I’ve read, “glitz and glamour”. My words. But in the TNIV, he said,  ” authority and splendor”. The devil led Jesus to a high place, showed him all the kingdoms… and then offered them all to Jesus in exchange for Jesus worshiping him, the devil. Lent 7: glitz and glamour

Authority and splendor, glitz and glamour…. whatever we call it, it’s settling for earthly power and praise, in exchange for worshiping someone or something instead of God.

So, the question is, what things/people/situations draw us away from worshiping God, and worshiping something or someone else? I don’t mean on Sunday mornings, or in our regular Christian worship services… though if that’s an issue, one could certainly reflect on that. I mean the daily living stuff–how do our lives reflect our God-worship? And do they need to be a little less earthly glitz and glamour, and a little more God-power?

 

 





Lent 6: one way haiku

18 02 2013

Tempted by Satan
Jesus to scripture did turn.
Must be my way too.

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Lent 5: current temptation

17 02 2013

This week’s road sign is “One Way”. The scripture is Luke 4:1-13–Jesus tempted in the wilderness. Not much coming out of this brain tonight…not at this point, at least. But here’s my photo for the day: one of the things that is most tempting these days. Television. More specifically, “Castle”.

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Lent 4: Razzleberry Pie

16 02 2013

Marie Callender. Ugh. Jim bought this pie months ago and stuck it in the freezer. Safely tucked away so that we could see it each time we opened the freezer… but the hour it takes to bake and the couple more hours it takes to cool to its best temperature… that’s just enough time that when you open the freezer door and temptation stares back… you can forget about it. It takes too long.

Lent 4: Razzleberry PieThe other day I was out doing errands, and when I walked in the house, it smelled incredible! Yep… Jim baked the Razzleberry Pie! Yum. It’s crazy good, if you like flaky crust, berries, and pie. I did not give up sweets for Lent. So it’s not as though Razzleberry Pie should be that bad for me. However I am supposed to be on an “Anti-Inflammatory” Diet. My doctor wants me to cut out as many processed foods as possible, increase lean proteins, high-omega 3 fats, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, etc. And almonds. Lots of almonds.

I’m an adult. I make my own food choices 99% of the time. Including this week, when I ate some pie. I cannot blame Marie Callender, and I cannot blame Jim for baking the pie. Am I allowed to treat myself at times? Sure. My doctor even says so. But a small piece (and a big piece) of the pie might contribute to increased fibromyalgia pain in the coming days… which could make me grumpy…. I’d be less patient with others…. I might end up not being as focused as I need to be…I’d then feel guilty about not doing as well as I should… then feel even more grumpy….  you get the picture.

Can all this actually happen because of a piece or two of pie, you ask? I think so. At least for me. I had my doubts back in April 2012, when I first began seeing this doctor. But experience has taught me otherwise. It also might be fine. But the point is, I made a choice this week. That choice is not the biggest deal in my life. By a long shot. But it is a small choice that could have further affects.

So it is with sin, and yielding – or not yielding – our lives to God. I wish it were as easy as pie. Even Marie Callender. It’s not always that easy. Sigh. Such is life. And, thanks to the grace of God, we carry on… one choice after another, continuing to learn as we go along.