ISAIAH 61:1-4

ISAIAH 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to
Preach the good news to the poor. .
Bind up the brokenhearted,
Proclaim freedom for the captives,
Proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them
The oil of gladness for mourning
And a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


     My last uncle died, my Dad's last male sibling.   Grandma had seven boys and six girls.  Two of the girls are living still.  But Elton was the last living boy from this sibship of thirteen.  I'm depressed.  Yet I acknowledge that the loss is greater for the sisters, and Uncle Elton's spouse, of course.   Not to mention their four daughters and various grandchildren.  My prayers go out to them.

     Some days I really miss living near family.  I mean, hubby and I have a lovely life -- immediate family, including kids and grands, and a bevy of friends.  The kind of friends who are there when you need them and might well be family measured by the strength of connection.

     Still, in moments like these I find myself longing for the cousins, those companions of childhood who just were. . .not quite siblings, but more than friends, connected by blood and mutual history.

     Perhaps my current funk is also brought on by that spectre of middle age -- the sense of one's own mortality that descends with the passing of relatives and friends so close to one's own age -- or even younger.  This reality is compounded by the fact that I no longer get "carded" when asking for the senior discount.   I could further depress myself by making a list of cousins my age and younger who have gone on.  But I won't -- or maybe I will, but I won't include it here.

    So what's the upside?  Or, why on earth am I writing/posting this?

    For one thing, just writing makes me feel better.  The grief no longer sits in my gut eating on my tranquility.  Rather it resides on a page outside of myself, a testimony to grief. 

    For another, some reading this will relate and realize they are not alone.  The blue funk hits the best of us.  Even Jesus wept. . . though for more profound reasons.

    Nonetheless, scripture describes Jesus as "a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief."  And His words provide comfort:
Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

John 14:27   I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give is not fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:18  No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm--
I will come to you.

     And with those words, I shall shake off this ennui and get packed for the journey "down home." 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Food for thought

I I met a man on the elevator at school.  He carried the plans for his tombstone.  Yes.  His project for sculpture class was to create a monument to commemorate his life.   I wondered what it looked like, but had no opportunity to look at his plans in our short elevator ride.  And I wondered.  What would I create for myself?

I have a two-page spread in our vacation scrapbook of a Mayan Cemetery at Xcaret.  These are no ordinary American style tombstones.  They are artistic monuments, elaborately planned and executed.  Some look like houses, or an entire village.  Many are churches, some colorful, some more somber.  Many have a cross of one kind or another.    A very intricate jeweled cross for a headstone caught my eye because in the middle of the grave was a lone liquor bottle set in cement.

I wondered. . . A recovered alcoholic who had given his heart to God?  An optimistic family who couldn't resist adding the bottle.  Was the bottle someone's angry gesture?   Or a testament to God's saving grace?

On another plot a huge rustic cross was held up by a large tractor tire...cemented in.  A mechanic?  Or killed by a tractor or truck.  Or was the tire just a handy stand for the cross?  And a very elaborately painted colorful plot bespoke the artist.

So. . .what would I want as a symbol of my life?  Or what would my family choose?  What of my life will my loved ones celebrate?

And you?   How would you symbolize your greatest accomplishments?  

Food for thought.

And....better's not too late....I'm thinking about it.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


PJ and J

  J and J                                 J and PJ
How many bags for 3 ladies??  A cart full apparently!!

It's a weekend retreat for a few ladies.   Having a great time. . .   and finding refreshing for our souls.    

Last night Julia referred to three erroneous ways in which we view God:
  1. Angry God
  2. Genie in a Bottle God
  3. The Distant -- Clock Maker God
God is NOT watching us from heaven, ready to pounce whenever we hesitate, ready to be angry when we are confused or waiting to punish us whenever we make a mistake.     Nor is God of the "Genie in a Bottle" variety.   That God whom we call upon in dire emergencies.   The one that we ask for help when things look impossible or disaster is pending.    The God that we know is there, but only think to call on if we're drowning and have used all other options.   Neither is he the distant I-put-everything-in-motion now-I'm-leaving-you-to-deal-with-it kind of God.
No.  None of the above.   He is the God who is there.   The one that Paul writes about:
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.  -- The Message, Eph 3:17-18

He is the Jesus of extravagant love; the Father who wants us to live full lives; the Holy Spirit who dwells within.

The psalmist put it well in Psalm 23:6 -- The Message
Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

Yes.  God is looking for you.   His love is chasing you . . . 

Come rest in the House of God!!