Cyclothymic Cister

Before the Internet, I used to lie in bed at night composing thoughts as if I were talking to a wise entity. (An actual face never came to mind). I would re-word and re-phrase the thoughts till they were crystal clear. Now I can blog. And hopefully, there are a lot of wise people with real faces out there who might just comment back.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Hard Feeze

Just as the crabapples, redbuds and dogwoods were budding and blooming, just as new plant life was pushing up through the ground, just as daffodils were at their prime and azaleas were about to open their buds, we had a late freeze that killed them all. The landscape looks dead at a time when it should be brimming with lush beauty.

Nature is a mirrow of my own spirit. Just as hope springs forth in my heart and I put on tender new growth, a “freeze” kills it. Hope lies dormant for a while, not trusting the climate. Then, shyly and cautiously, it peeks up through the darkness and begins anew. When the spirit is ready to open into full bloom, the cruel coldness of reality destroys it once again. This bi-polar world teases the emotions, keeping them in constant confusion.

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Sgs 2: 10-13

Some day . . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm a "Shoe In" for Most Absent Minded

This past Sunday I attended church for the first time in awhile. As I walked from the parking lot to the church I noticed that the rubber sole was missing from the heel of one of my shoes. That seemed peculiar to me as I recalled those shoes had never HAD rubber soles, so why did one have a rubber sole now? When I took my seat, I looked down and much to my embarrassment, I noticed that I had on a shoe from two different pairs of shoes.
The sermon that morning had a two-fold message. Both "shoes fit."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We Prefer Purrs

PEARL
Our new dog, Sparkle, had to go back to her original owner. She just never did learn to leave the cats alone. Other than that she was a great dog.

(Before I have people offering me training advise on how to get a dog to stop chasing cats, we tried it all, with the help of experts in dog training. Besides, we didn’t want the dog and the cats to just co-exist—we wanted them together in the house, living in peace).

Cats are our first love. Currently we have five, but have had as many as eight cats at one time. Three of our five felines stay in the house most of the time and sleep in our room at night. Pearl, the oldest female pats me on the face in the morning if I oversleep. That gesture has saved me from being late for work on occasion.

With the dog here the cats rarely came in the house and when they did, they had to hide under the bed. We missed our cats. They missed us. So Sparkle the dog went back. It was the right thing to do.

Immediately the cats came back in. I don’t know how they knew that quickly that the dog was gone, but they took up where they left off—curling up on the couch with us, and sleeping in our room. In fact what happened that first night made giving up the dog worth it all. Here is why:

Pearl hardly has a voice. When she meows it is a tiny squeak. When she purrs, you can barely hear it and can usually only detect a purr by feeling her body vibrate. That first night Pearl came to bed and got as close to me as she could. She started purring. The purr was so loud that we couldn’t believe it was our Pearl. Granted, the sound was more of a gurgle that a traditional purr, but there was no mistaken that she was happy and grateful. She had to put such power behind that purr to make that much sound come out of her near-mute vocal cords that we were very touched. Don’t tell me that cats don’t love their people

Pearls may not Sparkle, but they are precious.

Peaceful, Purring Cats—That’s what we Prefer.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Great Stone

My friend, Nolin Mom, posted that she struggled with her Christian faith. I think we all do. It is sometimes hard to square the resurrection with logic. But here is a thought that might help.

(For the sake of clarity and brevity I will not list all the references).

Many places the bible talks about stumbling. (The stone of stumbling and the rock of offense is how Jesus is described in one passage, Isa 8:14). Stumbling meant being offended, not merely getting one’s feelings hurt like we say today, but losing one’s faith. The word “Offend” comes from and old English word that means to cause someone to stumble by placing a stone or other stumbling block in his path. The bible gives grave warning to those who offend one of his little ones (John called us little children). Jesus said that their angels do always behold the face of His Father which is in heaven (Matt 18:10). This hints at angelic protection. (More on that later).

There are about four basis ways a person can stumble to the point of losing their faith. Through our intellect, our fear of suffering, greed and emotional attachments. All these human traits make us vulnerable to becoming offended. Someone may offer a plausible argument that appeals to our intellect that contradicts our faith. We may lose a child to death or have a loved one suffer great physical pain so that we start doubting God. We may have a desire for riches that overcomes our desire for God. Satan is always on the prowl devising ways to trip us up. So, what can keep us safe from these offenses?

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalms 119:165.

Loving God’s law is equivalent loving all that Jesus stands for. If we love what Jesus represents, then we are promised that nothing will offend us. How? We have help.

He will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Psa 91:11.
(A stumbling stone).

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hrb 1:14.

We have been told since childhood that we have guardian angels to protect us from physical harm. But aren’t spiritual accidents much more serious? The angels bear us up and “lift us over the stumbling stone” perhaps by us losing a good job, or having to leave a relationship, etc, all in order to steer us clear of offenses on our pathway to heaven.

Now why was Jesus described as the stone of stumbling and the rock of offense? One way to look at it is this: The Messiah was to never die. To those brought up under the Law of Moses, Jesus was an offense because he claimed to be Messiah yet hung helpless on a cross and died. (An intellectual offense). Even the few disciples who followed Jesus while he was walking on earth, were disheartened and down cast. All their hopes of a new kingdom were dashed because the man they put their trust in was now dead.
Not understanding Jesus’ words about dying and being raised again, the disciples went to the tomb, fully expecting to see the body there. They wondered, however, who would roll away the great stone that sealed the mouth of the tomb.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it (Mat.28.2).

What else can we make of the incident, except that an angel was instrumental in preventing the disciples from tripping over the fact of Jesus' death?

Jesus did not need the stone rolled away for himself. After all, he could walk through walls after the resurrection. The stone was rolled away for the benefit of the disciples, so that they could see that the actual body was resurrected. The moving of the stone gave the disciples a faith that they would die for.

So what about our own weak faith? The angels will continue rolling away stones to prevent us from stumbling over our own intellect.

(I want to give due credit to my father, the late Leo Jordan for having taught this to me and to beg pardon for shortening such a rich study into few words).