Thursday, July 31, 2008
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Lileks goes to a sedation dentist and gives us a glimpse from the other side of the vail.
I still say it's better than white-knuckling the arms of the chair . . .
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup,
And surely I'll be mine;
And we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, etc.
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, etc.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd.
Sin' auld lang syne.
Wikipedia entry here
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine upon us,
- Psalm 67:1
Point of Interest:
2 Samuel 11 recounts the well-known story of King David and Bathsheba. Chapter 12 tells of God's judgement against David for his sin.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Just felt an earthquake.
My office is on the first floor of a ten story building and the wall behind me is all glass.
For a brief moment I thought about heading out the doors but it was over before I could make up my mind . . .
BREAKING NEWS: USGS reports 5.6 quake in Los Angeles. No immediate reports of damage
Well said . . . .
From Hugh Hewitt.com:
You can tell when it's a relatively slow news day. A moderate earthquake strikes a remote area of Southern California, and the news channels are going wall to wall as if Katrina struck again. What's maddening in their quest to find damage anywhere is that out of one side of their mouth, they're pleading repeatedly with people to stay off their cell phone unless it's an emergency to keep the cell system from jamming up. But the media's exaggerated over-coverage of the story is causing people all over the country to jam the cell system with calls to relatives and friends in the "Hot Zone" to make sure they're all right.
Here is what you need to know. Yes, we all felt it. As the amusement park commercials go, it was a nice 30 second ride - Six Flags - More Flags, More Fun. Yes, we are all fine, thanks for asking. No, nothing broke, unless you happen to live right above where it struck in Chino Hills. For those dairy farmers that inhabit much of Chino Hills, plates might make a fine Christmas gift. Yes, the cows are fine, too. No, we're not moving because we're suddenly terrified by earthquakes. No, it wasn't global warming's fault. No, Barack Obama won't be able to suddenly convince me this was the moment when all our buildings became retrofitted against earthquake damage. No, John McCain should probably not announce Tim Pawlenty as his Veep today. No, Hugh didn't feel it at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.
And most importantly, no, we're not going to do three hours of earthquake talk on the program tonight. Carol Platt Liebau will fill in for Hugh and bring you all the other news that Quakestorm 2008: Chino Hills prevented you from hearing today.
I am class of 88 as well and my 20th is coming up this September - falling just after Annabelle's birth on August 18th, followed by two weeks of house guests culminating in the Labor Day baby shower and all.
I imagine the wife and I are going to be spending September recovering. . . maybe I will go to my 25th . . .
O my Luve 's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
Monday, July 28, 2008
You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than their house.
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.
As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?
Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.
A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?
'Look at it.' He said. 'Read what it says.' She read the words ' United States of America '
'No, not that; read further.'
'One cent?' 'No, keep reading.'
'In God we Trust?' 'Yes!' 'And?'
'And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!
When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change.
I read the words, 'In God We Trust,' and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.
It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient..
Thought for the Day:
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow,
sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day,
comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
- Psalm 36:5-6
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Once you spoke in a vision,
to your faithful people you said:
"I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
I have exalted a young man from among the people.
I have found David my servant;
with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him;
surely my arm will strengthen him.
No enemy will subject him to tribute;
no wicked man will oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him
and strike down his adversaries.
My faithful love will be with him,
and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea,
his right hand over the rivers.
He will call out to me, 'You are my Father,
my God, the Rock my Savior.'
I will also appoint him my firstborn,
the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
I will maintain my love to him forever,
and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line forever,
his throne as long as the heavens endure.
- Psalm 89:19-29
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
1 Chronicles 16:23-25a
Point of Interest:
In the account of the crucifixion, Jesus cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Many have erroneously pointed to this as splintering of Jesus' faith in his hour of greatest need.
Far from a cry of doubt, it was a proclamation of victory through suffering. In fact, he was quoting from Psalm 22 - which was written approximately 1000 years before Christ. No other Psalm is quoted more often in the New Testament than Psalm 22.
Here is the entire text of the Psalm (I have bolded the parts I found particularly interesting):
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
"He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him."
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother's breast.
From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions tearing their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.
But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver my life from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.
You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
they who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn—
for he has done it.
Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not through the eye
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light
To those poor souls who dwell in night,
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plough
To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.
A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there said to David, "You will not get in here." Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.
David had said, "Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief." Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command.
David then took up residence in the fortress, and so it was called the City of David. He built up the city around it, from the supporting terraces to the surrounding wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city. And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him.
- 1 Chronicles 11:4-9
Point of Interest:
It is easy to forget that Jerusalem was a Jebusite city before the Israelites conquered it. At the time of David's conquest, the "city" covered the same area as about 17 football fields (if my math is correct).
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the labourer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands,
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mocked in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Kristin Rachelle now has some samples posted on her blog as well (you may have to scroll down).
Seriously, if you have the occasion, you ought to use these ladies - If you don't have an occasion, you should try to come up with one!
Thank you to all those who have been praying and offering to shop my resume around!
I had three interviews last week followed by three offers (all Title and/or Escrow companies). Yesterday (while setting up my new office) I received a request for an interview from a fourth escrow company but had to decline as I had already sent out the mass e-mail to all my clients.
As I mentioned before, Escrow is something I seem to be wired for and good at - but it is not something I would consider a "gift".
So since this big old job-hunt ball is rolling I think I am going to continue to chase down every possible lead outside the title and escrow industry and see what comes of it. Maybe nothing. But you never know.
Aside from my dream job of being a stay-at-home dad, caring for the house and writing blockbuster best sellers (heh), I think the new gig is a good one.
It is a newer company filled with some of the most experienced people in the industry. It feels good to be surrounded on all sides by strong, competent people who are fired up to build a new business.
With the changes in the market being what they are, my base salary was cut in half but the commission structure is better. Providing I continue to bring in the amount of business I have been doing, I should actually come out ahead - so that is good.
And insurance benefits kicked in yesterday so we are covered! I haven't had the opportunity to comb through the nitty gritty of the coverage yet - if my old insurance has better coverage, we may just bite the bullet and pay to continue it for the time being.
So that's that (I reckon) - a new job with a new company full of great people - the opportunity to possibly make a couple extra bucks - and insurance coverage to boot.
Thanks again to all those who so fervently prayed for me during this time - it matters. I am so glad I don't have to introduce myself to Annabelle as her unemployed dad. ;-)
And by the way - if you hear of anyone that wants to pay me to stay home, raise the kid and write - let me know!
The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea—
the LORD on high is mighty.
- Psalm 93: 3-4
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands,
Throughout all these human lands;
Tools were made and born were hands,
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;
This is caught by females bright
And returned to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes Revenge! in realms of death.
The beggar's rags fluttering in air
Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier armed with sword and gun
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I was skeptical that the wife would go for it as she has been a little self-conscious (understandably) and the two of us seem to been in a constant state of overwhelm-ness lately; so I was surprised when the wife said, "Yes". My friend got in touch with the photographer who immediately said she would do the shoot for free.
We met Ashley Macnamara and Kristin Rachelle at the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach just before sunset yesterday evening. All I can say is, "wow". Okay, I can actually say more than that.
These two ladies were so fun and so encouraging and so positive that the whole experience was a blast from beginning to end. They had ideas for shots and locations that we would have never in a million years thought of. We had so much fun that at one point the wife and I turned to each other and it felt like the first real date-night we had in a long time. It felt so great to just celebrate this stage in our pregnancy and the miracle it entails.
The gals shot photo after photo until we ran out of light and they ran out of memory in their digital cameras. We can't wait to see the results!
I highly recommend that you visit both their sites and take a look around:
Here is Ashley's Home Page and I just had to point to this shoot of a gal with her dawg.
Here is Kristin's Home Page with a sample of some of her work.
If you are in need of a professional photographer, I would highly recommend that you give both of these gals a call. They clearly love their work so much that it makes you love working with them.
Seriously. Good. People.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
- Psalm 73:25-26
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the honey-bee
Is the artist's jealousy.
The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sup guys,. . .
I just had an experience that will probably take me quite a while to digest, but now that it’s over and I’ve had the chance to chew on it a bit, my thoughts have wandered to you three. For some reason, I thought you might appreciate this:
I saw a guy stand up today.
[My wife and daughter] were dancing in the garage when I started to mow, so I fully expected to see them dancing when I came around to the front, but they weren’t. They were just standing there along with my neighbor Marge and her husband Ben.
Ben was standing in my garage.
He’s a bit of a staple in our neighborhood; you would see him out on his pseudo-constitutionals now and then. Most folks know who he and Marge are and help them out whenever they can. You see, Ben was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) in 1995. By 2005 he couldn’t move a muscle. He’s been confined to a wheel chair for over a decade and his doctors told him nearly a decade ago that his death was imminent.
And yet, when I walked around the side of my house, there was Ben, standing there in all of God’s glory.
It was simultaneously the most under and overwhelming thing I have ever experienced. Here was the most ordinary thing that could ever happen and it was a straight-up miracle. I have never stood face-to-face with a miracle before and, probably like most Christians, doubted those that I heard others profess to have witnessed or experienced.
He has a feeding tube, but he hasn’t used it in over six months.
The last time I talked to Ben I could only understand about half of what he said. His speech is still slow, but I had no trouble understanding anything he was saying.
His knees hurt a bit when he stands but that’s because his muscles have atrophied so that they don’t have the strength (yet!) to keep him up for too long.
He’s pretty sure that his mind is “re-writing its pathways.” He’s a Vietnam vet who is over sixty years old and his mind is being renewed – literally. . .
Ben loves the Lord and regularly attends my dad’s church. I don’t know why, seemingly, God acts in one instance and not in another, but for all that you have gone through in the last eight months, God is clearly up to something on your behalf. You have been in our prayers (hearing Grace ask to and pray for Annabelle has been such a blessing), and I can only hope that knowing that God is still moving in the lives of his children will help provide you a little solace.
The wild deer wandering here and there
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has moved
Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Here is how Amazon describes it:
Do you recall your glory days at summer camp as some of the best months of your life? Was your camp experience
When you think about camp, what are your best memories?
*singing "If I Had a Hammer" around the campfire
*winning color war two years in a row
*getting to third base with your camp crush
Open Camp Camp and head back to the one place on earth where appropriated Native American terminology, competitive sports, social hierarchy, and libido-soaked nights lived in wholesome harmony. Here is your trip down memory lane, a trip so beautifully illustrated and fully remembered that you can almost smell the pine of the cabins when you open the pages.
Camp Camp is a love letter to camp, a chance to relive every Champion sweatshirt-wearing, accidental-bed-wetting, sky-hook-wedgie-receiving, tie-dye-making golden moment via hundreds of photographs and stories straight from the source, including tall tales from AJ Jacobs, Rachel Sklar, Paul Feig, David Wain, Jamie Denbo, and Rodney Rothman.
Do you miss...
If so, then Camp Camp is your one-way ticket back to this magical world in which Fantasy Island met Lord of the Flies.
Summer camp has shaped so much of who I am and the life-time friendships I have that I am certainly adding this one to my wish list!
Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
- Psalm 19:12-14
Point of Interest:
It is believed that the book of Chronicles was written in the latter half of the 5th century BC - 450 years after the reign of king David occured.
Chronicles was written after the nation of Israel had returned from a period of captivity in exile. As the nation stuggled to find meaning for their place in the world and in relation to God, the author of Chronicles (believed by some to be Ezra) recounted some of Israel's history to help them find their bearings.
Much of the content of Chronicles comes from the books of 1st & 2nd Samuel and 1st and 2nd Kings and so is considered a supplement to these four older works.
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipped and armed for fight
Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The concept is basically the same as the 40 days prior to Easter called "Lent". Take something that is a part of your life and give it up for forty days. Usually people give up dietary things such as sugar, alcohol, caffeine or meat although people also give up activities as well.
Since Easter usually falls right about the time that the wheels are coming off people's New-Year's Resolution wagons, Lent is often used as an opportunity to renew resolutions, give up bad habits etc.
The idea of Lent generally and a time of prayer and fasting in particular is that whenever you feel the temptation to do the thing you have given up, you use that temptation to call yourself to prayer. You are substituting one habit for another.
I have never really observed Lent although I have observed shorter periods of prayer and fasting (count them on one hand). I suppose it is because in my spiritual obtuseness I never felt like I had anything I wanted to pray that hard over.
Well, it's got me thinking. Yesterday was something of a milestone - exactly one month to Annabelle's birthday. Goodness knows I have things I my life I probably should give up - if not for a month, maybe for good.
Maybe it's time for a summer version of Lent . . .
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
- Psalm 130:1-6
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Friday, July 18, 2008
I read the blog entry today on Spina Bifida. . . I remembered something someone told me during my pregnancies that I found very comforting. . . I was fretting about being sick and knowing that I hadn’t taken as good of care of my body as I should during pregnancy and she very matter-of-factly said, “Women in Africa have healthy babies.” There are so many women who live in impovrished, starving, drought ridden areas of the world who have full term pregnancies and “healthy” babies. The majority of woman around the world who have babies without any defects are not getting their basic nutritional needs met….let alone getting a double dose of folic acid.
There is no logical explanation as to why millions of women in malnourished countries have healthy babies, while Annabelle has so many problems and complications. We all desperately want to believe that comfort can be found in believing that we have some control over these situations. Unfortunately our false self-assurances of thinking we should be able to do something to get to the desired outcome can also lead to unnecessary guilt. The reality is that we just don’t have control over most of the things of this world, even though we desperately want to believe that we do. When we look to our ability to “create” or bring about a certain outcome in these big issues, we most often will fall short and be left filling disappointed and even hopeless. Our hope and confidence is in The Creator, not in our ability to control circumstances or make things happen. You didn’t cause Annabelle’s condition, just as God didn’t cause Annabelle’s condition. It just happened. We live in a broken world, but thankfully we have the strength of Christ to work miracles on our behalf and fill us with the strength, hope, and purpose that we could never have on our own. And we find comfort in the hope of knowing that someday God will restore this world to his original perfect design and we will live in it together with perfectly restored bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits. We also find comfort in the knowledge that even though bad things happen in this world, he will never leave us or forsake us. Praise God!! He will sustain you and your family.
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
- Psalm 18:1-19
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
Since I always run with the dawg, I always run trails. Since I am always running trails, I am always running up and down hills.
It occurred to me this morning that running downhill is probably a bad idea. Your legs and joints are already under enough stress as it is - I can't imagine that adding to the stress by running downhill is helpful.
So I think my new rule is run up / walk down. Maybe that will help me stay off the injured list . . .
I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Understandably, I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject although I am not a doctor. Predictably, the answer to the causes and cures varies subtly depending upon where you are getting your information from (a number of good sources are in the right-hand margin under "Annabelle's links").
Spina Bifida occurs in approximately one out of every 1000 newborns in the United States which makes it one of the most common of the permanently disabling birth defects. More children have spina bifida than those who have muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis combined.
At conception, your baby is just a cluster of cells which duplicate and grow until they are a flat, round cluster of cells, sort of like a tortilla. Around the 3rd or 4th week of pregnancy, that tortilla begins to curl in on itself like a rolled taco (to continue the Mexican food analogy). The baby's head will develop at one end, the legs at the other and so on with the rolled taco becoming the spinal column.
In the case of a baby with spina bifida, for some reason the tortilla does not get completely rolled together. There may be gaps or entire areas that fail to close.
Part of what makes Spina Bifida difficult to avoid is the fact that many women are not even aware they are pregnant by the 3rd or 4th week of pregnancy - and by that time the defect has already occurred.
Presently, there is no known cause for spina bifida although there are theories.
It is unclear whether SB has a genetic component making one woman more susceptible than another.
It is believed that certain medications present in the body during the first weeks of pregnancy may contribute to SB. The medications most cited are anticonvulsants and diabetes medications.
Additional possible causes often cited are: Obesity, being too hot during the first few weeks of pregnancy (such as a hot tub, fever, electric blanket), and binge drinking during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
So aside from wrapping yourself in ventilated bubble wrap what can a normal woman do to decrease her chances of have a baby with SB?
What You Can Do:
1) Take at least .4mg of folic acid a day - even if you are not planning on getting pregnant.
It is estimated that the chance of spina bifida occurring can be reduced by up to 70% if women take folic acid supplements. It is for this reason that in 1998 the FDA began requiring that all enriched grain products in the US be fortified with folic acid.
The standard recommended supplement is .4mg (my wife's pre-natal vitamins contained .8mg - twice the recommended dosage). That being said, women who have had a child with spina bifida in the past are encouraged to take up to 5mg a day - more than twelve times the normal dosage.
Check with your doctor if a higher dosage may be appropriate for you.
For folic acid to be effective in reducing the occurrence of SB, a woman should be taking supplements at least three months before conception. For this reason, the Spina Bifida Association of America encourages all women of child bearing age, regardless of sexual activity to take Folic Acid supplements.
2) If you are on any medications, find out now from your doctor if any of them may pose a threat to a pregnancy (even if you are not planning on becoming pregnant). By the time you realize you are pregnant - it may be too late.
3) Avoid extreme heat when possible. If you are lightheaded in the jacuzzi, shower, tub etc., you have over done it.
4) Of course, binge drinking is never a good idea - and now you have one more reason to add to the list.
5) Pay attention to your body - if you think you might be pregnant, start acting as if you are until proven otherwise. Those first three to four weeks are intensely critical to your baby's development.
Of course you can do all these things and still have a child with SB (even folic acid supplements are only estimated to be 70% effective). But that's life, isn't it? We don't all walk around with helmets on all day for fear of bumping our heads because the chances are unlikely. Just the same, your chances of having a child with SB are only 1 in 1000 and there is reason to believe those chances can be reduced further if you follow the basic precautions.
All children are miracles of God's creation and just like the rest of his miracles, we take for granted that our children will be born perfectly healthy and whole.
It's probably not a bad idea for us to partner with God by doing what we can on our end to make sure that is the case.
O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
- Psalm 141:1-2
VITAL spark of heav'nly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?
The words of the song are an adaptation of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore entitled "Stream of Life":
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
- Psalm 27:13-14
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Skeptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
Man, but for that, no action could attend,
And, but for this, were active to no end:
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void,
Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed:
Ask where's the north? at York, 'tis on the Tweed;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he;
Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The hard inhabitant contends is right.
Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part. There all the honour lies.
Fortune in men has some small diff'rence made
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade,
The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
'What differ more,' you cry, 'than crown and cowl?'
I'll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk
Or, cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk,
Worth makes the man. And want of it the fellow!
The rest is all but leather or prunella.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
- 1 Corinthians 1:25
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
- 1 Corinthians 2:3
This dress and bonnet were originally worn by my wife. It was knitted for her by a lady in the church when she was born.
But Samuel replied:
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has rejected you as king."
- 1 Samuel 15:22-23
When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD."
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
- 1 Samuel 16:6-7
But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
- Psalm 59:16-17
Points of Interest:
1 Samuel, Chapter 17 tells the well-known story of David and Goliath
Chapters 18-20 tell of the remarkable friendship between Jonathan, the son of Saul,(the current king) and David, the one who will ultimately rule instead of Jonathan. Their relationship is held up as one of the closest friendships in all of the Bible - two of the more memorable passages being; 1 Samuel 20:12-17 and 20:41-42
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield shade,
In winter, fire.
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day.
Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixed; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
Monday, July 14, 2008
After losing my job last week I felt like I was walking into a deeper and deeper fog - all the stresses of the past few months just dawgpiling on until I couldn't think clearly.
I decided I just needed to get out of town for the day so I loaded up the dawg and we headed for the hills. I had a stack of books, the Ipod, treats for the dawg and no real plan. I drove to the top of Mount Laguna and checked out a campsite there.
Realizing I was just a short distance from Julian, I headed through the hills and parked at the far end of town. The dawg and I just walked the place from one end to the other - this being the off season, it was almost like walking through a ghost town.
We found a decent place to eat, had a great meal and headed down the mountain just before sunset.
With the windows open and the Ipod cranking out song after song, a tune by the Indigo Girls came on that says in part;
Dust in our eyes our own boots kicked up
Heartsick we nursed along the way we picked up
You may not see it when it's sticking to your skin
But we're better off for all that we let in
Lost friends and loved ones much too young
So much promises and work left undone
When all that guards us is a single center line
And the brutal crossing over when it's time
I don't know where it all begins
And I don't know where it all will end
We're better off for all that we let in
Better off for all that we let in. . .
I remembered an evening from high school over 20 years ago. I had a classmate whose mother was going through a difficult time and she remarked to me that she had gone numb - no happiness - no sadness, just numb. In an effort to protect herself from pain, she had unwittingly lost her ability to feel the flip side of the coin - happiness.
Tim Hansel, in a book entitled "You Gotta Keep Dancin'" had a theory that your cup of joy can only be as deep as your cup of pain. I am not sure I totally agree with that but it does seem to make sense that when we shut down our emotions in an effort to avoid pain, we lose the good stuff as well.
I think it makes perfect sense to try to avoid pain and to work to alleviate suffering - but not at all costs. The bright and vibrant colors in a masterpiece painting may be the part we most focus on but it is the darkness and the shadows that provide the contrast that makes the colors come alive.
Some pain must be embraced - not nurtured, not celebrated - but accepted. You can try to go around it - reverse course and ignore it - cut off areas of your life to escape it - but those paths may cost you something dear - your compassion, your empathy, your ability to fully love.
No, with some pain, it is best to walk right on through and keep going to the other side. You can't get to Easter if you avoid Good Friday. Maybe that is it. Maybe life is not just one big birth followed by one big death and an ultimate resurrection.
Maybe life is a series of deaths - deaths of your heart, your mind, your spirit - followed by a series of resurrections. An increasingly resurrected life awaits those with the courage to walk through the valley of death time and time again. Maybe we have the option of living an increasingly ressurrected life now and then ease on into the resurrected afterlife.
For those who avoid life's pain at all costs - the resurrection does not come until the very end - and nothing but a series of deaths await along the way. Good luck avoiding them.
No, we may be better off for all that we let in.
The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time
Producing subjects worthy fame;
In happy climes, where from the genial sun
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art by nature seems outdone,
And fancied beauties by the true:
In happy climes, the feat of innocence,
Where nature guides, and virtue rules;
Where men shall not impose for truth and sense
The pedantry of courts and schools.
There shall be sung another golden age,
The rise of empire and arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;
Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
By future poets shall be sung.
Westward the course of empire takes its way:
The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day:
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
I actually worked in a little running today - one minute runs followed by 9 min walks - shattering that 17 minute mile mark! Pathetic, I know. But hey, you have to RE-start somewhere! I believe I am now in month 32 of my original 2006 six-month marathon training program.
I would have completed a handful of races by now if I could have just stayed off the injured list.
So slow and steady - that's the name of the game.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave [c] and raises up.
The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
"For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's;
upon them he has set the world.
- 1 Samuel 2:6-8
Point of Interest:
Chapters 4-6 chronicle more about the actions of the Ark of the Covenant than any other place in the Bible to my knowledge.
Maxwellton braes are bonnie,
Where early fa's the dew,
And 'twas there that Annie Laurie
Gave me her promise true.
Gave me her promise true,
Which ne'er forgot will be,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie,
I lay me doon and dee.
Her brow is like the snowdrift,
Her throat is like a swan,
Her face it is the fairest
That e'er the sun shone on.
That e'er the sun shone on,
And dark blue is her ee,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I lay me doon and dee.
Like dew on th' gowan lying,
Is the fa' o' her fairy feet,
And like winds in summer sighing
Her voice is low and sweet.
Her voice is low and sweet,
And she's a' the world to me,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie,
I lay me doon and dee.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The doctors want the C-section on a Monday so that there will be consistancy of care that first week.
37 days to go!
Please keep praying.
Marley and Me by John Grogan
This is one of those books I kept stumbling upon at the book store so I finally picked it up. Great stuff and a perfect summer read - especially if you are a dawg lover.
Grogan writes about more than his 13 years with "the world's worst dog", he also writes about the trouble he and his wife had having children, life in Boca Raton Florida and their move to the Pennsylvania Countryside.
Teaser from the next to last chapter:
Was it possible for a dog - any dog, but especially a nutty, wildly uncontrollable one like ours - to point humans to the things that really mattered in life? I believed it was. Loyalty. Courage. Devotion. Simplicity. Joy. And the things that did not matter, too. A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.
A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:—
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distractión,—
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher,—
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly,—
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat,—
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility,—
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
- Ruth 1:16-17
Point of Interest:
Ruth was not an Israelite - she was a Moabite, and yet she is one of two women for whom a book of the Bible was named (the other is Esther).
In addition, Ruth is the great grandmother of the greatest king Israel ever had - King David from whom Mary, the mother of Jesus, was descended. Over and over again, we see throughout the Bible that God uses the underdogs, the weak and the outsiders to further his kingdom.
Friday, July 11, 2008
I have a bachelor's degree in Theology. I spent about a decade in para-church and churched ministry as a youth pastor / associate pastor and guest speaker before "burning out". Having always been told I would be good at sales, I became a Real Estate agent in downtown Seattle for 4 years - earning awards for the revenue I generated. Upon moving back to Southern California, I was hired by a title company in their escrow department and have been in escrow ever since.
But is that what I want to do? Is that what I should do? Do I even have a choice?
There is a fair amount of talk in church circles about "finding your gifts" and by "gifts" people usually mean that special set of talents and abilities that God has given you to not only succeed in life but to be truly fulfilled and in the process further the cause of good in our society.
I used to believe that all abilities were gifts.
I have one of those organizational minds that naturally sees how to bring order out of disorder and streamline cumbersome processes (if you have ever seen the movie Stranger than Fiction, their depiction of Will Farrell's thought processes makes me feel like I am looking at myself on the screen). This is one of the reasons escrow seems to be a natural choice - tons of confusing paperwork? Millions of dollars cris-crossing to different parties? Everyone completely beside themselves with stress? No problem.
For some time I naturally assumed that my administrative abilities were a gift that I needed to use.
About 10 years ago, as the administrative realities of church ministry began to weigh on me and I found myself pushing paper more often than ministering to people, I lamented my feelings to a fellow pastor. Why wasn't I sensing that fulfillment that I had expected from ministry?
My friend then explained to me that just because you have a natural aptitude for something does not mean it is a gift - it could just be an ability. He went on to explain that an ability is something you are good at - a skill, a disposition, a natural inclination towards certain types of work based on your personality and thought processes. Only it doesn't fulfill you. It doesn't energize you. You may well have an exceptional ability but it is not necessarily a gift. In fact, you may have an ability that you are better at performing than your actual gifts.
A gift is all those things that an ability is only the more you do it, the more you want to keep doing it. Far from depleting you, the work energizes you and inspires you. The lines between life and work become blurred in a healthy way to the point it becomes hard to discern where one ends and the other begins.
What are my abilities? Sales, organization, ability to service people in a high-stress environment.
But what are the things that truly energize me? What are my gifts? As far as I can tell, the things that give me the most joy are reading, writing, guest speaking, ministering to others in a temporary setting such as a retreat, camp or convention.
Most people make a living with their abilities and a life with their gifts. And that's okay. As far as I can tell, those whose gifts intersect with a job that pays the bills and puts food on the table are in a decided minority. I think most of us use our abilities to provide for our families and if we are lucky, to provide opportunities to use our gifts in the off hours.
It may not be how we want it to be and it may not be how things "should be" but I think most of us in that vast majority will agree that is how things are most of the time. No point in complaining. You might as well shout to the wind that "Life is not fair!". Well, we all know that - but that doesn't mean that life can't still be beautiful.
If memory serves, Jesus disciples were made up of professional fishermen, a tax collector and others - even Paul made tents for a living.
I have no idea if escrow is where I am going to end up but it would be a logical assumption (marketplace dynamics aside). That being said, I am trying my best to keep all options open and my heart attentive to God's leading.
Who knows, this just might be an opportunity to land a job that uses not just my abilities but my gifts as well.
A good number of readers have e-mailed requesting my resume for themselves and friends and friends of friends and my plan is to send a copy to anyone that would like to see it. If you are interested, just let me know.
Of course, when it comes to brass tacks, I would shovel manure in a snowstorm if it's what I had to do to provide for the family.
That would be an ability - not a gift - by the way . . .
Since I am coming to that holy room,
Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy music; as I come
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before.
Whilst my physicians by their love are grown
Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie
Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown
That this is my south-west discovery,
Per fretum febris, by these straits to die,
I joy, that in these straits I see my west;
For, though their currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me? As west and east
In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,
So death doth touch the resurrection.
Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are
The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?
Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar,
All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them,
Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem.
We think that Paradise and Calvary,
Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place;
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace.
So, in his purple wrapp'd, receive me, Lord;
By these his thorns, give me his other crown;
And as to others' souls I preach'd thy word,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:
"Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down."