Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cartoon Time

I love cartoons really I do, especially the cartoons that I grew up with;the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E Coyote, and the Road Runner. Don't get me wrong I love some of the new cartoons now and the ones that my kids grew up with too; but there's nothing like a good Bugs Bunny cartoon. So why cartoons? Well there was a radio talk show discussing the Supreme Courts decision on video game restrictions for minors, I know nothing to do with cartoons. Well nothing except that the Respondent used violent cartoons as an agrument and suddenly the talk show was on to Daffy Duck constantly getting shot by Elmer Fudd and the Coyote always being killed by his own recklessness and my mind was off and running! Come on you have to admit that when the Coyote's plan would literally blow up in his face and he would hold up his whatever sign, that was funny. And it never failed that just when Elmer Fudd had Bugs cornered Daffy would step in to help poor Elmer out....and always, Daffy received the short straw but Bugs' cunning play on words and Daffy would end up getting the business end of Elmer's shotgun.... Classic!
But why cartoons? Or more to the point why these cartoons? When I listened to the radio show and their argument on violence I agreed but then somewhere in the back of my mind, somewhere other than in the conversation at hand, I heard something else. I grew up, as I'm sure you did, with cartoons that made light of death; and in reality as a grown up I've noticed that almost all cartoons make light of death or risky actions that cartoon characters take is pronounced in funny antics. I don't know how I knew that cartoons were just cartoons, or that when someone actually died they actually died, I'm guessing it was at a very young age because I've always seemed to understand death as real. Death was an end an absolute finish to life, something that would stop your progress. You have to also understand that I didn't believe in God and sometime prior to that in my 20s and 30s I believed in reincarnation - probably fueled by the cartoons (heehee). So death was an absolute end, the ultimate end. What's also amazing is that without even knowing it, at some subconscience level, those same cartoons hold a key, a key that even you probably don't see. I know its one that I didn't see, one that I would have never connected, one that doesn't even seem logical - not really. ....
Yep, I'm stuck, really I am - I have no idea how to make this connection but when I do you'll see the key that I'm talking about, I just have to get there...from here....
Maybe I should just give you the key....I Cor 15:54 "....death has been swallowed up in victory." I Cor 15:55 "Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?" I Cor 15:26 "the last enemy to be destroyed is death.." I Cor 15:21 "for since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man." I guess the key I'm trying to show you is that in those old famous cartoon characters a man brought the Coyote and Daffy to life through his drawing of resurrecting those famous characters. Not only did the same man cause the cartoon's death, he also brought them back to life. No we don't have someone drawing our deaths through comic relief and yes death does have a sting in our now lives, sometimes a very strong and defining sting, and at times death does appear to have victory. But just like the cartoon characters that I love from my childhood (and even now), I have a hope for victory over death. I have a hope that death will be the last enemy destroyed. I don't get to see it right now or even in a few seconds from now but I hope that a Man will bring resurrection of the dead. And I hope that in that resurrection death will be totally removed.
In looking over this writing, I don't believe I've made a good connection between my favorite cartoons and the victory over death, I don't see it although I'm usually harder on myself. There is a connection for me, I'm not sure if that connection is found easily for you in the cartoon analogy or not, but its there. And somewhere in the future, maybe forever away or just seconds away, there will be victory over death...that is where my hope has to stay, even with death's current sting.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Waiting....Once Again....Waiting

Have you ever waited for something? And I mean waited and waited and waited and waited. And somewhere in all the waiting you find that you give up or just fall into and unknown rhythm of "ok whatever". If you are anything like me, waiting is one of your least favorite things to do. Waiting is one of those things that I just can't seem to get away from no matter how hard I try.

I attempted to start writing every day this year, something I presumed would be easy and something I was hoping would shorten the waiting that I am going through; neither has happened. The waiting seems to be getting longer and my writing well that has gone to the wayside more than once. What am I awaiting? Well in one word, hope. Hope to give me inspiration, hope to give me peace, hope to give .... well anything. If you've never been in this waiting line, its not much different than waiting for a roller coaster ride at an amusement park in the middle of Summer. The line stretches for more than a mile and somewhere way up front is where the line gets on the ride. But while in line the ride actually begins, the waiting to 'get there' starts with excitement, anticipation, or anxiety, and as the line slowly progresses, the screams from the now riders builds inside the mind and the waiting gets tougher. After a long 1-2 hours, there's a crest in the line and low and behold there's the ride, the thing heard for the past hours is now in sight and the heart races while you watch the ride pull away and begin its ascend and descent, twist and twirls, with yells and screams falling on ears below, and sweat begins to stream off your face. The anxiety has come to life, right there standing in line for the one thing you most wanted as you reach the platform. Waiting on inspiration is the same as this line, I've waited for something inspiring to happen to give me a reason to hope. The anxiety has been of unmeasurable force and yet I wait. Waiting on inspiration is something that no one should be subjected to, just like waiting for 3 hours to get on a roller coaster. It is also, by far, one of the most difficult, crushing, and mindboggling things that one can wait to occur. It has stumped profession writers, artists, dancers, performers around the world and throughout history and still they wait.

Its funny how inspiration comes when it does, for me, I have been waiting for an answer; an answer to my unbelief. This morning in reading for whatever reason (something I am not doing much of and fighting my mind to do) I read on waiting for hope. It was this particular reading, as usual, on target with my heart. How waiting on hope is the most difficult of waiting that one will go through, how waiting on hope is the worst waiting. The author apparently knows this place because she talks of waiting for hope in the darkest times with no glimmer of prospect. Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness." Its amazing sometimes how things just work out. Today is June 26th and when I opened my devotional book, I turned to what I thought said June 26 but when I picked it up to quote the scripture and look up Galatians, the page says July 26. I turned to June 26, mostly because I was curious, and the reading is on unbelief. The author starts with Rom 3:3 "For what is some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?".."I think I can trace every scrap of sorrow in my life to simple unbelief."

Its funny how things work out, happen, occur; its funny how God can orchestrate something without me even knowing or realizing it happened. I'm still waiting, even now that I know its unbelief that is causing the wait, still waiting for a devine intervention of inspiration to cut through the unbelief and get me out of the wait. Do you think it will happen? Maybe it will. Maybe it already has

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How Do I Get Back?

I started writing this yesterday and then realized that I was forcing words out of my mind and through my fingers to this page; something that I don't have to do, the words generally, for whatever reason, just come to me. So last night, I stopped writing and this morning deleted everything that I had typed. Well everything except this picture. The picture and title have very little to do with each other except that in this picture I am asking you to trust that this is the way back for the two horses and riders whom you can't see. The way back which is a little more difficult than it appears and one that you can not see because of that little bend in the road. Do you trust me?

Yesterday morning in an unsuccessful attempt to get my lazy butt up and go to church, I opened up the live feed and decided to watch online. It did not go well. My poor little laptop was not cooperating and each time I tried to load the live feed, it would crash. Each time, my mind would start with excuses to get up and start doing the listed work I had for the day and each time a struggle to sit and try again would ensue. Finally, I was able to get a live feed and came in when Heath, the youth pastor, was talking about the Body of Christ, what we trusted in, and how to get to the place where we were suppose to be according to Christ. That's all I got before my buffering and loading took a break, so while I waited (impatiently), I began to write down some of my thoughts. "What am I trusting in?" and "How do I get back?" I was still waiting for the feed to come back and my mind started with the long list of things I had to do today and I started to give up on the live feed and go to work when it came back. This time Ryan Peterson, a newer pastor for our church was beginning to speak, and he asked a question "Have you ever met God in an unexpected place?" and he went on. It didn't take long for Ryan to get to the point of his message, simply the gospel, and he gave a description of the gospel in comparison to the restoration of a home. Restoration as defined (and I am trusting Ryan's words) is to bring anything back to its original design by its original owner. I have never thought of the word restoration in the manner that Ryan begin to relate. And how he used the restoring of a old home back to its original design by the original architect and how that process began "ugly", "tore down", and basically in shambles before the final restoration was presented. And no one but the original designer, the architect, was the only one who could see the end result as beautiful through all the ugliness and destruction. My question had in less than 10 minutes been answered.

How do I get back? What am I trusting in? Well in the word above, I was trusting in Ryan's description of restoration, and in the picture above, I am asking you to trust that I know the way back. Just like you with trusting me to know the way back if we were on the trail above, I have to, with a struggle, trust that God was guiding Ryan's words. Something very hard to do for me as of late, and I have no explanation as to why. Ryan described the restoration as a rebuilding of the gospel that I already knew and he started with a foundation. John 17:2,3 "For you granted him authority overal all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Then the foundation gave support for the walls. 2Cor 5:21 "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us..." Gal 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me...." Phil 3:7 "...whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." Col 1:13 "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kningdom of his Son.." My question was answered in a first few minutes that Ryan began to speak and then he took the word restoration and showed me how to get back. Do you see it?
There is not much work actually none on my part to be honest just an allowance of the restoration. The work has already been done and there is a path back that was forged through a message of prophets that the day of restoration was coming, that there was a miracle and Christ was born, and that he lived simply for 30 years being a carpenter, and then started his 3year journey to the cross, that he took on the wrath of God, that he died and rose again and that he said..."blessed are those who do not see me."

The journey back to my original design is not going to be an easy one, that much I believe. I also believe that I am in the ugly stage just before the restoration begins, I have a choice to be restored or not, my part is only in the battle of my mind and trusting that the way back is simple.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I don't know if you can understand or want to understand the place that my heart, mind and soul stand entrenched. I don't know if I can explain, demonstrate, or even begin to lead your mind or imagination in that direction to give you a sampling of this place. It is probably, by far, easier for me to use a different personal experience, one that may be related directly to you, to bring you to this understanding. Many, if not all of us, have in some way been affected by a separated family, most through the act of divorce. I'm sure many of us in one way or another have moved from a childhood home or a long time home where we have made life long friends whereby we swear to stay in touch and close across the distances. And we become, without warning, separated from part of our lives that in its essence was something of paradise (well in one way paradise). We become separated by space, land, miles, and other people, from those parts of our lives and we move on, finding a parent in a new way or finding a new friend whom we wouldn't have met otherwise without the move.

Its easy to associate or place something in the way of being separated, actually very easy, especially when its a family break (usually someone moves out causing the separation) or a move from short-time home putting distance, a physical realm between two people. There is, however, a type of separated that you can not see, one that is not part of a physical picture such as a move. There is a separateness that causes a wandering that leaves much to be desired and one that I hope not many would have to experience. My mind,needless to say, wanders, drifts, and slowly separates itself from the rest of me (odd I know), and I'm sure many of you have experienced that wandering too. I believe that it is a survival tactic for my mind, a way for my mind to maintain itself against my will. My mind has, literally, a mind of its own, the separation that is created by its wandering makes it possible for it to think rationally, process and continue to take care of my body. So what is it separating itself from? My heart. My heart although somedays has the power to get me out of bed and move me in a straight line, is not really here. My heart has been separated from my mind and soul for over a year and it is, without any control, lingering at the place that my mind can not stay. And these to vital parts of me have without delay separated themselves quite effectively from my soul. Although some days I look and sound full of life, a life that my mind can work through and my heart can pound through, there is little soul within it. I believe that if any one really looked they could see the separation of me, the distance between the 3 things that make my life function inside of my frame-where they are separated by time and emotion.

I don't like this separation and it has taken me this long to figure out how I can still work without literally falling into shambles, how I can make everything function without wandering away. Now that I have figured out this pandora's box problem, I'm worried that I will not be able to reunite these 3 and if I can when with it happen. I worry that this separation between the 3 parts of me have created and caused a 4th separation, a separation from my faith and God. The struggle to bring together the 3 separated parts of me becomes more difficult when I am struggling to know God is with me, although I know, or having difficulty believing He is walking with me, although He is, and I realize that knowing is only 1/8 of the truth and formula to bring me back together. The separateness, I now know, is partly survival, partly life, and somewhere in between those things is faith bridging survival and life together in a way that either of the other 2 parts are able to do alone. I don't like this separation and rebuilding, that's actually what it is a rebuilding of a relationship and foundation -only its inside where you can't see. I don't like knowing and knowing that is not the foundation to rebuild. But I believe (I think) that somewhere in the mangled separated mess that is in shambles inside of me there is Someone who can put it all back together, if I didn't, even though I don't see it everyday, my mind would just wander me away. My heart would just be sad all the time and my soul would have to fight in between to keep me in the physical here. So I believe.
Romans 8:35, 39"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... neither height or depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Philemon 1:18 "perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was so that you might have him back for good..."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fixer Upper

I was raised by a fixer upper; no matter what was wrong or what was happening, no matter what house we lived in whether it was in good condition or crappy condition, there was something to be fixed and my Mother was the fixer upper. So, naturally, I unexpectedly inherited the wonderful trait. I rarely find things that can't be fixed (or changed - same thing) and I can do it or find a way to do it - even if inefficiently. It was without a doubt that I would marry a fixer upper. Lee can fix just about anything and if he can't fix it, he tries to fix it first before finding a repair person. Which as you can imagine, could be a problem, but its not, oddly enough, he doesn't do damage so unrepairable that a repair person costs more than an arm (or leg). He's absolutely amazingly, a rare find. I have to say that having a fixer upper (times 2) in the house can be somewhat overwhelming for our children. If one of us isn't doing something the other one is and they girls are kind of caught in the middle. I wonder if either of them inherited this...disease.

Why the fixer upper? Why this title? Well I have to give credit to my friend, Laura, who emailed me about her wonderful, genius of a husand who fixes their vehicles without even a hitch of a problem. The second reason was due to a title of a distant friends blog "permanent temporary". I know they have nothing to do with each other but bear with me. I haven't warranted a writing in the past couple of days (going days, weeks or months lacking of inspiration). I am, by all means, a person in need of inspiration, sad I know I should be inspired just waking up (okay back to reality). The fixer upper, the one person who could put stuff back together and fix it up right the way it was before the break. You might be surprised as to the word fix, I was! Why? Well because my idea of fix is to repair or mend, God's idea of fix is something completely different. He relates my fix to the actual meaning of 'mending', go figure, He relates fix to looking or seeing, setting or making a point of, not repairing! Great, don't you think? I mean I was looking for something to fix me, the ultimate fixer upper, and I found something completely the opposite. It was at this point, I found mend, and you know what there are only 2 places in the NIV Bible that reference the word 'mend'. Again, not what I was hoping.

So why does this matter? Well it really doesn't, not in reality. It doesn't really matter and looking at what I wrote above it looks like alot of blahblahblah words. But I love my fixer upper husband, and I love that I grew up with a fixer upper, and now, more than ever I need a fixer upper for my soul and heart. 2Cor 4:18 "fix your eyes on not what is seen, but what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal." Heb 12:12 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.." Prov 60:2 "......mend its fractures, for it is quaking." I would rewrite these 3 short cuts from these places and in my version it would read like this: "Fix your eyes on Jesus for He, even tho unseen, is eternal. The world or land that you are walking thru are temporary and He will mend all fractures, even when you are quaking, this world and time are only what is seen right now, He has an unseen time for you." I love fixer uppers, don't you?