Monday, December 23, 2013

Relationship vs Religion

     If it helps you to understand by thinking me religious, go ahead, but I don't see myself as very religious.
     If I were so religious, a service of church would never be missed, I'd read from the Bible everyday out loud, I'd pray everyday - long, elaborate prayers that every believer knows.  There is a lot of self-discipline that goes along with practicing religion.
     But what is between me and my God isn't a religion, it's a relationship.  I suppose there are certain aspects of religion in every relationship - a kiss hello and goodbye, an intoned "I love you", a smile after an absence, listening when the other is speaking - but it is still a relationship above all.  With my God it is relationship I am practicing more than religion.

     The clarity of this thought came to me one morning, but as I started to write it down, the words started breaking up and floating away like mist.  Sort of lost track of the thought, I guess.  Since this became an incomplete thought (and an incomplete post), I'll instead leave you with a link to a devotion that touches this topic (it doesn't speak on this topic, only mentions it).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Quotes from recently read books

The following are quotes from books I've recently read.  All but the first seem to state a sentiment similar to Sam Gamgee's in Tolkien's Return of the King when he sat in Mordor, the darkest place in Middle Earth, looked up at the sky and for just a moment saw that the stars were still there hidden behind the clouds and smog as they always would be.

She was wearing a cheery sun-yellow cardigan over over a brown dress and clutching an umbrella with both hands in an attitude of polite anxiety.  Sometimes, thought the actress inside Laurel ("ears, eyes, and heart, all at once"), you could tell everything there was to know about a person by a single gesture.  The woman with the umbrella was nervous, dependable and grateful.

from The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

[Remarkable...] that the whole world can be involved in this madness we call war, and all the while the flowers and the bees and the seasons keep on doing what they must, wise but never weary in their wait for humanity to come to its senses and remember the beauty of life? [...] it's wonderous, don't you think, that a person can swing from despair to gleeful hunger, and that even during the dark days there is happiness to be found in the smallest things?

-- Vivien, The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

And the stars: the sky gets crowded at night, and it is a bit like watching a clock seeing the constellations slide across the sky.  It's comforting to know that they'll show up, however crook things get.  That used to help in France [participating in WWI].  It put things into perspective -- the stars had been around since before there were people.  They just kept shining no matter what was going on.

-- Tom, The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

He traced the constellations as they slid their way across the roof of the world from dusk till dawn.  The precision of it, the quiet orderliness of the stars, gave him a sense of freedom.  There was nothing he was going through that the stars had not seen before, somewhere, some time on this earth.  Given enough time, their memory would close over his life like healing a wound.  All would be forgotten, all suffering erased.

from The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

From "Tell the Wolves I'm Home"

What follows are a few of my favourite quotes from Carol Rifka Brunt's Tell the Wolves I'm Home, a story narrated by fourteen-year-old June.

Probably the longest day of my life.  I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight.  Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.

I mean, why did sex have to be so important?  Why couldn't people live together, spend their whole lives together, just because they liked each other's company?  Just because they liked each other more than anyone else in the whole world?
     If you found a person like that you wouldn't have to have sex.  You could just hold them, couldn't you?  You could sit close to them, nestle in to them so you could hear the machine of them churning away.  You could press your ear against that person's back, listening to the rythm of them, knowing that you were both made of the exact same stuff.  You could do things like that.

I knew the way lost hopes could be dangerous, how they could turn a person into someone they thought they'd never be.

An hour of writing 11.29.13

Heads or Tails
     “Heads we get married, tails we break up.”  The goofy grin slid back on his face, and he raised in eyebrows.
     “Oh not again, Matt.  Honestly.  We’re not even ‘together,’ so how can we break up, you goofball?”  Annabelle Smith finally managed to stuff her arms into the cream-colored pea coat.  She grabbed the strap of her purse and stomped past Matt Jones, her friend of two years.  He’d been the one to get her her job – her fabulous job – her dream job of writing for the show.
     Well, he didn’t get her the job.  The Heads (as Matt and Annabelle called the producers) wouldn’t have even considered her had she not some small ounce of talent or gumption; Matt simply brought their attention to her work via her blog.  Annabelle often mused, Who knew that that one small (embarrassing) piece of fan fiction would land me here?  But here she was writing for one of her favourite shows on television alongside Matt Jones.
     “You’re just teasing me again, aren’t you?”
     “Oh, Matt, when have I ever teased you about this before?  Do you really think you and I would last as a married couple?  We work well as a writing pair, but our values are so different; we’d be divorced before we were even married.”
     “Annie-bellie-wellie, I love it when you call us a ‘couple.’”  Matt threw his arm around her shoulder and squeezed Annabelle to his side.
     “First, you goof, I called us a ‘writing pair’ – not the same.”
     “Ah, but we are a pair, my Annie-bellie-wellie.”
     “A pair of cuckoo birds.  Don’t interrupt.  Second:  for the love of cheesecake, don’t say my name like that.”
     “Like what?  Oh.  Would you rather me sing it?  My dear Annie-bellie-wellie!” Matt warbled.
     Annabelle punched him in the arm laughing.  “Shut up.”
     Matt’s own laughter died down.  He clasped his hands behind his back as the writing pair walked down the corridor.  His eyebrows gathered together – a sign, Annabelle knew, her friend was muddling over an idea.  “Seriously though – Annabelle – you don’t think I’m a great catch?”
     “Of course I think you’re a great catch, Matt.  You’re a marvelous man, Matt Jones.”  Matt smiled slightly.  “But you and I married?  We’d kill each other.”
     “Oh, I wouldn’t say, ‘We’d kill each other.’  Maybe sleep in different rooms and never speak to one another again, but, honestly, I could never take an ax to you.”  He grinned the Matt Jones grin.
     In spite of herself, Annabelle giggled.  “Us never speaking to one another again amounts to the same thing as hacking at each other with axes, and you know it.
     No.  You really are a great catch, Matt.  Truly.  Just for someone else is all.  Maybe you can find a girl who worships cheesecake like you.”
     “Ah, I do love cheesecake.”
     “You are what you eat.”
     “Easy, Smith,” Matt said as he held open the door to the parking garage.
     Annabelle stepped over the threshold and stopped.  She vaguely heard the heavy door shut.
     “What is it?’ Matt said.  She then felt him pause beside her.  “Ummm.”
     “This isn’t the parking garage.”
     “A very astute observation.  No it is not.”
     “Where the hell are we?”  Annabelle turned.  The door they had come through was still there.
     “Suppose we’ve somehow managed to find ourselves on the set of a TV show?”
     “Right.  So, they’ve moved Parking A and built a set here?”
     “Precisely.”  Matt turned and yanked on the door.  “Okay.  Don’t panic.  The door is stuck.  And by stuck I mean disappearing before our eyes!”  The door literally was vanishing into thin air before the pair’s eyes.  “Um, Annabelle?”
     “Yes, Matt?”
     He took her hand as she looked in astonishment at the space where the door to Parking A once was.  “I think we’re in trouble.”
     “Oh cheesecake.”
     “Don’t take the name of cheesecake in vain.”
     “Sorry,” she choked.  Annabelle turned the other way to face what was supposed to be Parking A but was now a forest of evergreens.  “So.  Shall we carry on?”  She looked up at Matt.
     “What?  You mean go through the forest of possible no return?”  Annabelle nodded.  Matt put on his too big smile – the one that meant, We’re going to fail miserably, but at least we’ll have fun doing it.  He said, “I think that’s a brilliant plan.  Let’s do it.”  He offered Annabelle his arm, and together they crept forward.
     Annabelle said, “Do you hear anything?”
     “Not really.”
     “We’re in a forest,” Annabelle continued quietly.  “Shouldn’t there be birds chirping or animals chattering?  I can’t even hear our feet shuffle along the forest floor.”
     Matt paused and looked at Annabelle, his eyebrows gathered.
     “You won’t hear anything.”
     “D’ah,” Annabelle and Matt both exclaimed as they jumped.  Annabelle clung comically to Matt’s arm.  To their right stood a girl – maybe – with close-cropped hair wearing strappy green scraps of clothing and looking about twelve-years-old.
     Matt sputtered, “Who are you?  Where did you come from?  Where are we?  What do you mean we ‘won’t hear anything?’”  The girl stood looking at the pair.
     Still clinging to Matt’s arm, Annabelle said, “Maybe you should try one question.”
     “Okay.  What do you mean we ‘won’t hear anything’?  We heard you.  I think.”  Matt looked to Annabelle who nodded.  “We hear each other.”  Matt gestured between himself and Annabelle.
     “Of course we can hear each other,” the girl said.  “But you won’t hear the forest.  The forest has been silenced.”
     “Silenced?” said Annabelle.  “What does that mean?”
     “Follow me,” the girl said and turned.
     Annabelle looked at Matt who shrugged.  The pair treaded carefully behind the girl.
     They travelled on following a path that must have been visible to the girl; all Annabelle saw was miles of evergreens.
     Matt leaned over.  “Where are we?”
     “How should I know?” Annabelle said.  “And I don’t think we need bother whispering.  I’m sure she can hear us.”
     “You’re in the Duplicitous Forest,” said the girl.  “The forest has been silenced by the king.”
     “The king?” spoke Annabelle.  “So we’re in the Duplicitous Forest in the kingdom of --?”
     “King Havashar.  He lives over that way.”  The girl pointed to the right as she kept walking.  Annabelle looked but still saw nothing but trees.  “King Havashar’s wife was stolen and killed.  Until her murder is avenged, the king ordered the forest silenced.”
     “I’m sorry,” said Annabelle, “I don’t understand.  Why silence the forest?”  Never mind how you silence a forest, Annabelle added in her head.
     The girl stopped short and turned to the pair staring Annabelle squarely in the face causing her to gasp.  “When someone dies you show respect for their life with silence.  But this was murder, and the king was greatly grieved.  His wife was born and raised in the Duplicitous Forest, so until her murder is avenged, the Duplicitous Forest will be silenced.”  The girl resumed her walk along the invisible path.
     Annabelle looked up at Matt.  He put a hand over hers and the pair continued following their mysterious guide.  After a moment, Annabelle nudged Matt and nodded to the girl encouraging him to ask a question.  She didn’t care to be reprimanded by a twelve-year-old pixie again.
     “Uh right.  So why are we here?  My friend and I?”
     “You are the Messengers,” said the girl.
     “The messengers?” said Matt.  “What does that mean?”
 *** My hour of writing is well up.  Until next time ***

An hour of writing 11.24.13

(Author's note: I've decided to take an hour each week and dedicate it to writing -- poorly.  All the articles and books and classes say to give yourself permission to write poorly -- no judgment, no edits.  So that's what I'm endeavoring to do.  I will try to post the hour-long efforts that aren't too horrible.  Happy giggling.)

     I sit upon the stool leaning my back against the wall with my feet propped on the supporting bar of the stool’s legs.  The players spar – thrust and defend.  Other observers stand in clusters cheering and jeering the players and acting buffoons some of them.
     ‘Do you mind if I sit here?’ a deep, north English accent purrs.  I look up into his blue eyes and inwardly shiver.
     ‘Not at all,’ I reply with what’s hopefully a gracious smile.  He grins and relaxes his 6’3 frame onto the stool next to mine.  We sit in companionable silence taking in the frivolity.
     ‘I admire what you had to say about the Hunger Games –.‘  Oh, he’s talking to me; my inner-self giggles.  ‘It’s not easy to hold to an opinion that goes against the grain.  But you haven’t read any of the books?’
     I gently smile at his compliment and say, ‘No, I’m leery of getting too caught up in a series.  It’s all because of the T.V. show Lost – the ending.  I felt so betrayed.  All we got for answer was “one question will lead to another…” – such a slap in the face.  Also keeping up with a series is hard work – all the characters and place names to keep track of.  Of course, The Hunger Games is only a trilogy, but I’m glad I didn’t read it first.’
     ‘You don’t like to read a book before you see the movie?’
     ‘Oh no.  I very much prefer to read the book first in most cases, but if I’m not sure about a story – especially one that spans across more than one book – it’s nice to spend two or three hours watching a movie as opposed to investing months with three large books.’
     ‘So you don’t like to read series stories or sagas either?’
     I snort.  ‘I make that comment about being leery of stories that last three or more books, but in reality right now I’m in the middle of….three of them?  It was four, but I finished one.’
     ‘Which was that?’
     ‘The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley.  They’re kids’ books, so I could easily finish one in a day given the time.  There are nine books in that series.  I enjoyed it.’
     ‘I’ve heard of those.  My niece is into them.  Big fan.’ I bow my head sheepishly.  I have the same tastes as a nine-year-old. ‘But if they’re that good, maybe I should give them a try.  My niece really likes – is it the younger sister?’
     ‘Ah yes.  That sounds familiar.  But her favourite is Mirror, she says.’
     ‘Mmm.  How far is your niece into the books?  Do you know?’
     ‘Uh, the fifth book, I think?  She mentioned something about time travel.’
     ‘Yeah, that sounds about right.’  I bite my tongue to avoid spoiling the story’s big reveal.
     He chuckles.  ‘She says if they make the series into a movie, “which they should of course,”’ he says with mock seriousness –
     ‘Oh, of course.  Every great book series deserves a movie,’ I play along.
     ‘Right?  Yes.  She says if they make Sisters Grimm into a movie, I should play Prince Charming.  I don’t know about me as Prince Charming.’
     I snicker.  ‘Actually, when I read the books, you were playing Charming in my head.’
     He laughs.  ‘Oh really?  Charming, huh?’
     ‘Yeah.  He’s an arrogant sot, but he’s all right deep down.’  Pause for dramatic effect.  ‘Or is he?’
     ‘Yes, ooo….’  I laugh, and he flashes that warm, gorgeous smile.  Oh yes, more please!
     'So, if they ever make them into a movie, which they should of course –‘
     ‘Of course.’
     ‘I should send in an audition tape straight away.’
     ‘Most definitely.’  We laugh.
     ‘What other series are you reading?’
     ‘Well, there are two I pick up every now and then.  Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind --.’
     ‘Ah, excellent.  Which book are you on?’
     ‘Not very far I’m afraid.  Just finished the fifth book.’
     ‘Okay.  What else?’
     ‘Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.’
     ‘Is that one they’ve made into a T.V. series?’
     ‘Yes,’ I say disappointedly.
     ‘Not going to watch then?’
     ‘Eh.  I may watch an episode just to see.  Out of curiosity.  But I don’t think there’s any hope to a T.V. show or movie matching the world in my head.’
     ‘Yeah.  What’s the name of the bloke in it?’
     ‘The actor in the show?  Or the character?’
     ‘The character.’
     ‘Jamie “I will never be satisfied by another man” Fraser.’  This elicits a hearty laugh.  Score.
     ‘That’s quite a moniker.’
     I smile sheepishly.  ‘Um, and right now I’m making my way through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.’
     ‘Oh, I haven’t heard of that one.  What’s it about?’
      ‘Well, it’s a bit like Sword of Truth, actually.  Similar character types and of course the epic hero’s journey.  Only Wheel of Time follows more than one hero, so it’s more the heroes' journeys.’
     ‘Really?  And it’s called Wheel of Time?’
     ‘Yeah.  The first book is called Eye of the World.’
     ‘I’ll have to check that out.  I liked the Sword of Truth series.’
     ‘Wheel of Time isn’t quite as dark as Sword of Truth.  It’s like a PG-13 ensemble version of Sword of Truth.’
     He laughs again.  ‘Okay.’

*** Thus ended my allotted hour to write.  Until next time. ***

Friday, October 18, 2013

When it "rains" in San Diego

This is San Diego drivers when it rains:  "What is this evil magic that dost fall from the sky?  It has wetted the ground below -- D'AH!  Where am I?  What kind of machination have I found myself in?  Why, it is a cart pulled by an invisible horse!"

And this is my response:  "It is RAIN people!"

Geez louise, they drive like there is three inches of snow covering the ground.  This isn't snow.  It's not ice.  It's not even a bleeding thunderstorm!  And in SD (during the day) give it ten minutes and you'll hardly be able to tell it was actually pouring for all of (and this next bit is not hyperbole) two itty bitty minutes.

One day I left the office to make a deposit at the bank -- took ten extra minutes to get there.  Left the bank to head home -- took me twenty extra minutes to get to the freeway.  Honestly.  It is just rain!  The one bright side to that whole driving fiasco, I did see my big, bold, beautiful rainbow with its left foot stretching to the ground.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Endeavor, Fugue (S1E2)

There is a beautiful scene from this episode of Endeavor.  I wish I'd written it.  And I wish I could find the clip because the line is so masterfully delivered by "DI Thursday."

DC Endeavour Morse: How do you do it? Leave it at the front door?
DI Fred Thursday: 'Cause I have to. Case like this will tear a heart right out of a man. Find something worth defending.
DC Endeavour Morse: I thought I had! Found something.
DI Fred Thursday: Music? I suppose music is as good as anything. Go home. Put your best record on. Loud as it'll play. And with every note, you remember: that's something that the darkness couldn't take from you. 
(copied from

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Faith. Trust. How?

For once I'm not questioning "Why" but "How." That's new. For me. It's always been "Why?" Why, why why? But now it's How?

How? That was our question at Thursday night Bible meeting. How does God fill us? How do we know without a shadow of a doubt that God finds us the most beautiful, the most special thing in the world. How do we find our confidence and self-worth through him? How?

I'm an introvert and natural internal processor. It's natural for me to work through things internally, so allow me a moment to process (or think) "out loud" here. Maybe we're focused too much on the How. The How (that word is starting to look funnier and funnier the more I read it) isn't the point. The point is faith - believing that "It" is and eventually we will not only know it with our minds but with our hearts as well. Eventually, with a little faith, we won't need to feel God's love and acceptance and adoring eye to know that it's there.

There is a song by J.J. Heller (thank you, God, for J.J. Heller!) called "When You Come Back for Me." The lyrics are:

I don't know how to follow you without losing my way
Jesus, come and take me by the hand
And I don't know how to trust that you will do the things you say
Spirit, teach me how to understand
That your love can heal the wreckage of my soul
The beauty of your light shining in me
I don't know when you'll take me home to paradise with you
The day when I will finally be free
Oh the day when you come back for me.

When I'm lost in the How, and I don't know what to pray, what to say to my Father, I pray this song. The lyrics are so honest and dead-on target. It's a wonderful place to start.

Moving on there's an old (or older) hymn that says, "Let's forget about ourselves and magnify his name and worship him." Perhaps we should forget about how we don't get it (the disciples didn't get it either, more on that in a moment), forget how we don't understand and instead say, "Father, I'm just going to praise you. I don't get it, but I'm going to praise you anyway." Perhaps we should be focusing on Who God is instead of How he is.

As I just mentioned, the disciples/apostles - Jesus' closest circle - didn't tend to get it either. In Matthew 14:13-20, Jesus is out in a remote area preaching. He has compassion on the crowds and wants to feed them. He asks the disciples what's available, and they respond five loaves of bread and two fish, but that certainly isn't enough to feed a crowd of 5,000. Then Jesus performs a miracle - he breaks the bread and gives thanks, and as the disciples pass the food around to the crowd, the tiny meal expands to fill up all 5,000 and create enough leftovers for a small army. Now let's go to one chapter later in Matthew 15:29-37. Again Jesus is speaking to a crowd (of 4,000 this time) in a remote area and wants to feed them; the disciples respond: "Where can we get enough bread in such a remote place to feed such a crowd" (v33 NIV)? Amazing to me that the Bible doesn't then say "Jesus rolled his eyes" or "Jesus let out a great sigh." The Bible says Jesus performed the same miracle. The wording of the two passages is even similar. So, the disciples didn't get it, and they were right there with Jesus! The point wasn't how Jesus performed a miracle - twice - but that he did perform it; the point isn't how is Jesus so divine but that he is divine.

God (Father, Son - Jesus, Holy Spirit) is Divine. First we must learn who God is by reading his Word (the Bible), asking him to reveal himself to us and discussing with other followers who God is. Then we must try to emulate (be like) him. The How won't matter then. We may never know the How. Something else important to remember: we will fail. How absolutely terrifying.

But not to worry, we'll still belong to God as his treasure. In Matthew 16:13-20, Peter names Jesus for who he is - the Christ or the Messiah, the living Son of God - and Jesus tells Peter that he will be the rock (Peter means "rock") on which Christ Jesus will build his church and the gates of Hades/Hell will not overcome it. Heck yeah, I'll take that job. Awesome. But keep going in chapter 16. Jesus explains to his disciples that very soon he will suffer and die, and Peter (the rock on which Jesus will build his church) rebukes the Living Son of God saying this will never happen to him. How does Jesus respond in verse 23? He says to Peter (the rock on which Jesus will build his church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it): "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." Ummm....

Another line from J.J. Heller: "Faith means holding onto You / Grace means You're holding me too" ("Painted Red"). Thinking out loud, I'm thinking the How isn't as important as Who. Once we start focusing on the Who and begin to participate in his nature knowing God is I AM, eventually our hearts will know this truth as well. And then we'll fail again and again, but that's why there's grace.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In Magnolia Park...

In Magnolia Park there lived Nina and Rita, Mavis and Debbie Wakefield; next to them were the Sappingtons and across the way the Pratts.


        She is a Huon.  The first Huon actually; as a Huon she is time and space and matter.  Each Huon created something and though their energy, which can be used to heal or destroy, may be drained, the only way a Huon can die is to sacrifice itself so another may live.  She can see all timelines except her own.
        She created the "weeping angels."  When she heard what happened to Amy and Rory, she created the leaf that led to Clara Oswin Oswald -- someone for the Doctor to find again (and again) because no one, not even the Doctor, needs ever be alone.
        Except her.  She is the last Huon.  Huons name things -- they know the names of every living being, but they also know the sacredness of a name and do not use this power lightly.  During her time with the 12th Doctor they come across a being whom she can't name.  She calls him a shadow; he (the being) just appears in the TARDIS and says, "The last thing I remember is the beach.  There was a bright light and then I was here."  Her and this shadow fall in love before he disappears.
         It is the 12th Doctor who discovers that she created the leaf that led to Clara.  Eventually the Doctor allows Clara to die; the huon is heartbroken over letting her "child" go. (She is also the woman in the woman in the shop who gave Clara the 11th Doctor's number as the customer service # for the WiFi.) The 13th Doctor gets into trouble, but has run out of regeneration energy, so she convinces him to use her because, unlike a human (e.g. Donna Noble), she can handle the Doctor's knowledge.
        They (in her body) land in the parallel universe (she's Time and Space and Matter, so therefore can) where Rose Tyler and Doctor clone are.  The huon discovers her parallel universe self is the young daughter of Rose and DC.  The huon's name, Mai, is short for Flowdabmai -- "I am Bad Wolf" backwards; she created herself.  Young parallel Flowdabmai, who goes by Flo, creates an angel too, but 1) Mai can't name it, and 2) instead of sending people into the past, it sends people into parallel realities. 
        Mai tries to sacrifice herself to save the Doctor (after having to rescue him from a parallel reality where Flo's angel sent him - long story), but he turns the tables on her.  She disperses what's left of the Doctor's soul giving the final piece to the TARDIS and naming him before sending the TARDIS off.  Mai is left on the beach with Rose and DC when they hear the TARDIS return.  Mai hears the two hearts.  The TARDIS has recreated the Doctor.  Mai turns and stops.  "It's you," she says.  "Of course, 'I was on a beach.  There was a bright light and then I was here.'"  This Doctor was the shadow she had fallen in love with -- and he's ginger!
        Mai and the Doctor adventure through all of time and space....The End.
Mai appears on the TARDIS.  "I'm Flowdabmai.  Just call me Mai."
"Falling in love, being in love, is different than loving someone." - Mai
Mai gets trapped on a pocket universe - courtesy of the Doctor - where life is "ordinary".  She finds herself married to one Doctor (John Smith), she's pregnant (with Clara), she's sister to Rose and 10th Doctor, etc, and Shadow is reading Puck's soliquy on the radio ("If we shadows have offended...").  All the Doctors have beards and all have some version of the name John - Ian, Sean, etc., the 9th Doctor is not there.  Mai begins to forget who she is, but before she is completely lost, there is a knock at the door.  She opens the door and there stands the 9th Doctor, sans beard, saying he received a message from Mai.  Mai remembers who she is, goes with the 9th Doctor, and erases the rescue and the meeting from his memory.
I'd love to see an episode where the Doctor discovers it's teddy bears saving the children (maybe from the angels - teddy bears don't blink)
Somehow the Doctor needs to fly the TARDIS to certain points (from point to point) to get out of trouble but needs a homing device to act as something akin to a lighthouse to jump from point to point.  Doctor (to Mai): "Where are you going?"  Mai: "Oh, out."  Doctor: "Out?  Now?"  Mai: "I'll be your beacon."
Jack Harkness (to Mai): "There's something so...familiar about you.  Like - looking in a mirror."  Later when Mai meets young Flo, she remembers Jack's words.  Mai: "'There's something so familiar about you. Like looking in a mirror.' Doctor, spell my name."  He rambles on about whatever from the mirror Mai put him in because she was tired of having him in her head.  "Spell it!"  Mai writes it (flowdabmai) on the mirror so it reflects the other way (iambadwolf).
Mai: Who in the universe would name their child "I am Bad Wolf" backwords?; Rose: Well, why'd you name yourself that?; M: I didn't name myself.; R: Then who did?; M: Something More (smiles).
By the way, I nominate this guy as the next Doctor:

 Sans beard.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I'd fallen asleep last night.  Then I was gently awakened - it must have been my TV automatically turning off itself.  The room was black.  And I had this very strong feeling, so strong, that if I went back to sleep, I wouldn't wake up in the morning.  I tried reading my book to get out of my head, but the feeling was too strong, so I grabbed Rumples and held him close and went back to sleep.  When I woke up this morning, I thanked God for another day.  The strange feeling of....I don't know, doom?....hasn't exactly left; its stench still lingers.  Maybe it's too much ER.

On another note, I've been having a hard time lately with a few things.  Namely: I'm not getting married, I miss my dog, and I want to move back to VA.  I read the following verse in today's Proverbs31 devotional: "The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me." Psalm 138:8 (NLT).  There were a few words in particular I noticed by putting emphasis on different phrases, like so:  The LORD -- will work out -- his -- plans for my life -- for -- your faithful love -- O LORD, endures forever.  I'll leave you to your own pondering on that one.


Friday, May 10, 2013

On Anxiety

     Anxiety is driven by fear.  And once we become anxious, we turn into control-freaks.  We try to control the situation or the other person, or if we can't do that, we try to control other people outside the situation.  (I just read a book about this by Karen Ehman called Let.It.Go., and it was spot-on for me.)
     The Bible says 'perfect love drives out fear' (1John 4:18).  So the answer is to love and live in Christ.  We cast our cares upon God.  We choose to trust, not to dictate the lives of those around us.  We remember 'It's not about me,' it's about God and his glory.  Isaiah 43:7 and Romans 11:36 state that we are made for God's glory - ultimately, that is our purpose.  So our fear/anxiety is only a tiny part of the picture; we have to look outside ourselves: 'It's not about me.'
     But sometimes the anxiety is overwhelming, so overwhelming that I can't think straight, my mind becomes cloudy, and all I can get out is 'It's not about me.'  There are times I'm lucky to get that far.  I often cannot get to the 'it's about God's glory' part, so all I can say is 'It's not about me' or 'Blessed be the name of the Lord' or 'Bless the Lord, o my soul' (Philippians 4:6 - 'with thanksgiving').
     The latter of those three phrases are song lyrics.  Music is oftentimes my lifeline (other times it's a Bible verse or a quote that holds Biblical truth).  The song isn't always a Christian song; sometimes it's a song in which I find truth - Biblical truth.  'God gives us hope/But we still fear/What we don't know/The mind is poison.'  That's from a song by The Killers.  Another Killers lyric that often plays in my head is 'There are twisted days that I take comfort/Cause I'm not the only one/No I'm not the only one.' (I'm part of a women's Bible study group; if this lyric weren't true, why would we enjoy each other's company so much each Thursday night?)
     Hebrews 13:3 (NIV): 'Consider him [Jesus] who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.'  The only problem with trying to find comfort in the fact that Jesus too faced much anxiety (I've never been so anxious I was sweating blood), is that Jesus is perfect; I could never be like him.  But I take comfort in the fact that there is Sarah (or Sarai as she was known at the time in Genesis 16) and Gideon (Judges 6 & 7), Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-18) and the disciples (Matthew 8:23-27, 14:13-21, 15:32-37 and 16:5-10) who like me were overwhelmed or fearful or just stupid, yet God was with them, God used them and God loved them just the same.  That is God's grace.
     'Bless the Lord, O my soul.'
     'It's not about me.'
     'Hungry I come to you for I know you satisfy.'
     'I can't control this.'
     'You're big; I'm little; my head only comes to your middle.  With God's help little guys can do big things  too.'  (That's right, I sometimes bring Veggie Tales into battle.)
     'Jesus, save me.' (Matthew 14:25-31)
      I've fought fear and anxiety for half my life.  I find myself having to repeat mantras (for lack of a better term) sometimes just to keep my head above water.  'It's not about me' and 'Shut up, Satan' have been big on the list lately.  And remembering this: 
'For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear, I will help you."' (Isaiah 41:13 NIV).

Friday, April 26, 2013

And then there's grace...

"So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot shaping as seemed best to him." -- Jeremiah 18:3-4

We are none of us good but that is why there is grace.  I hold a cynical view of this world, but there is always grace.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In case someone out there has an answer...

Something that started circling in my head on my walk today.

 “Pilgrims of the Great Divorce” – a line from Caedmons Call’s “High Countries”

I know what it’s like to be a child of divorce.  The uneasiness that accompanies.

I’ve been ruminating the idea of how we live in a dis-eased world and need healing – a salve – salvation.
Perhaps this all means something or I’m supposed to do something with it.

Unfortunately, I’ve no idea yet what that something is.

A Prayer

"Father GOD,
     I am thankful you are good and you are big and you are love.  And I'm so thankful to be able to spend this time with you in your presence.
     I've confessed it before [but] the habit has not left me -- forgive me for not being content.  Forgive me for indulging in fantasies and ideas like they are better than where I'm at.

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." -- Psalm 1:2
"The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the LORD scoffs at them." -- Psalm 2:4

     Help me to think on your words throughout the day.  Help me to practice your presence.  You are victorious.
     I know it's not true, but sometimes it seems my life is so dull and disastrously boring.  Like the adventure has yet to begin.  But the truth is, I'm living the adventure now.
     I'm afraid that I will never love you half as well as I'd like to.  I so often feel like the 12 apostles -- I just don't get it. 
     And I'm so vain.
     May my life be for your glory.  In Jesus' name I pray, amen."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sacrifices and Blessings

   As it is Ash Wednesday (which I only knew because of the Facebook posts I saw), I have been thinking what I would like to sacrifice for Lent -- keeping in mind that it isn't just about giving something up, but replacing it with Something better (the S is capital for a reason).  I don't like giving up something I can easily go back to after the Lent season is over.  That practice seems to miss the point.  If it were just giving up something for 40 days, I'd not drink tea.  (I do love my tea.)  Although, maybe I will give up my oral coping mechanisms and instead of drinking tea or eating chocolate whenever life is wrought with anxiety, I will turn to God's Word instead.
    Anyways, I'm having a hard time concentrating on what to sacrifice for Lent.  Life has been pretty anxiety-ridden for me as of late -- for my family and myself personally.  It seems more like a "count my blessings" time of life than a fasting time of life -- though, I suppose they are one in the same.
     Counting my blessings, I think of my family.  I really do have a great family -- immediate and extended.  We look out for each other and support one another.  I am physically far away from most of my family at the moment, but they are always close to me as they are often on my mind.  I am thankful I can count them as some of my blessings.  (I don't know if I linked the web address to the video correctly.  If not, copy and paste.)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Louie (Part 5 - the last)

“Oh, I see.  Hello there.  You decided this would be a good place to park your old car?  Thought a spider would fit in around here?”  Louie was embarrassed.  He hadn’t meant to impose.  He only wanted to rest a bit.

Louie turned around and began making his way back to the steering wheel.

“Well,” came the deep growl, “I suppose a spider and an old toy car wouldn’t look too out of place here.”  Louie stopped.  “Yeah, you can stay.  Why not?”

Mr. Copperpot sat in the chair.  Louie climbed to his web and nestled in.  Mr. Copperpot sat for a long time staring at the horizon.  Only once did he speak saying: “Wait till the sun rises.  You won’t think this place looks so bad when the sun rises.”  Louie fell asleep.

*               *          *

A door shut softly.  Feet padded on the sidewalk.  A heavy weight sank into the rusting chair.  A deep growl, almost a purr, was heard.  Louie could smell the morning, but knew it was not quite dawn.  He opened his eyes.  The old shed and the overgrown grass had not changed much in the night, even covered in morning dew.  Then something happened.

Louie looked out to the horizon and saw something amazing.  Dawn came.  Louie was astounded.  The only sound was Mr. Copperpot’s slow breathing.

Mr. Copperpot sat and sat staring at the horizon until the sun had stretched her fingers completely.  He then went inside.

Louie had moved from his web to the back of the seat.  As he watched the morning begin, he knew he would be quite happy with his new home.


The end.

Louie (Part 4)

Where would be a lovely spot for my home? Louie wondered.

Louie wasn’t paying attention to the road in front of him, and when he looked forward again, he had to swerve to miss a blue minivan.  The van honked at him.  “Well, I never,” said Louie.  He then came to a screeching halt behind a grey car at a red sign.  The grey car had a light ticking on and off.  After a moment, the grey car turned right toward the busy highway.  The road to the left was empty of other cars, so the spider decided he would turn left.

Now, there’s something I’m forgetting to do thought Louie.  He then remembered the light on the right side of the grey car blinking.  “Tick.  Tick.  Tick.  Tick,” said Louie mimicking the sound of a turn signal.  He then made his left turn down the quiet street.

Louie drove and drove.  He passed but one car along the way.  Some of the houses had people sitting on the porch.  A few watched Louie’s car pass by and scratched their heads confounded[SB1] .  Others paid no attention whatsoever to the red car with yellow hood.  Soon Louie came to the end of the street.  He gradually came to a halt.  Looking up, Louie saw a big, dark house.  It had a porch with stairs leading up to it.  The grass was a little overgrown.  The mailbox at the end of the drive read “Copperpot”.

“Copperpot.  Copperpot,” Louie said to himself.  The name sounded familiar.  The People that lived at his former house spoke of a Mr. Copperpot.  It wasn’t well-known what he did, for the few times he was home, he kept mostly to himself.  “Some say he’s gone to Africa,” the Lady would say.  “No,” the man would say.  “That’s nonsense.  He goes to visit a sick relative.”

Louie cautiously pulled into the driveway of the gloomy house before him.  There was a breeze grabbing the front screen door blowing it open and creaking[SB2]  it shut as if the breeze was bored.  Some mice rooted in a hole along the side of the great house.  Behind the house was a shed well past usefulness.  Beneath an awning sat a chair.  Louie drove the little red car with yellow hood beside the chair and stopped.

It was getting dark, and Louie was tired from his day’s trip.  He began to make his way back to his compartment.  Louie climbed along the dashboard and sluggishly crawled along the door, but hadn’t made it halfway when he heard: [SB3] 

“What’s this?”  A slow, haggard[SB4]  voice spoke into the night.  Louie pulled back in fear.  The old man who stood beside the little red car must be Mr. Copperpot.  From where he was, Louie couldn’t see much of the man other than his belly covered in a white shirt and the top of his brown trousers held up by suspenders.

Mr. Copperpot walked around the little red car with yellow hood.  “How did this get here,” wondered the old man aloud.

Louie could see Mr. Copperpot at the back of the red car.  The old man bent over.  A worn face with a small scar by the left eye showed through the window.  [SB5]   Mr. Copperpot examined Louie’s beautiful web.  Still bent over, he made his way to the side where Louie sat on the door, not daring to move.

 [SB2]Not technically a verb.  What other word could I use here?
 [SB3]Does this break work?
 [SB5]Too long and complicated a sentence for kids?