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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 450 - Gotta Laugh And Have High Hopes {FMF}

Gotta Laugh and have High Hopes

I've been thinking about songs that made me laugh in the 60s and 70s.  Roger Miller's songs (You Can't Go Rollerskating in a Buffalo Herd, I'm a Nut,  Do Wacka Do, Dang Me,  Robin Hood and Little John, and more),  John Denver's song (Thank God I'm a Country Boy), Statler Brothers (Hello Mary Lou, Do We Remember These) just to  name a few.

Some would say those days were more innocent times.   I beg to differ.   Quite the contrary.  People knew the need for laughter, valued wholesome humor. Most either had a family member that had served in WWI, WWII,  Korea, or Vietnam. Loss, fear of loss, PTSD (otherwise better known then as shell-shocked) weren't innocent realities. Yet,  the wisdom of the people was clear.  Life must have joy, laughter, childlike recognition of the unexpected. So funny historical, animated films like Disney's Robin Hood and Little John were popular.

Holy Thursday is a week away.  I ponder of a Jesus that lived a full life,  full of family life, with close exclusive friends, full of normal daily activity both challenging & productive either as a carpenter or as a Rabbi, with exposure to children & their joy, of everyday people moving thru life some happy & others miserable.   Why is this important, some may ask?

God created us in His image.   Giving us traits reflective of His Own. Who can be around children and frown for very long? Be too serious for very long?  Remember Jesus wanted the children brought to Him.   I bet time with the children was a joyous stress relief for Jesus.  We all know children love to entertain a person they like and gain the approval through laughter and happiness.

It was recorded that Jesus wept and He got angry.   Scripture really doesn't recorded that He laughed, why?  I think it's because Jesus rarely expressed negative emotion.  Jesus' negative reactions were more exclamation points of a normal human experience.  Jesus' personality (charisma), which had to include smiling and laughter, was one reason why people were drawn to Him.

I long for the day to hear Jesus laugh, see Him smile.  What a cool moment that will be.

Music from Frank Sinatra, with High Hopes.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 449 - I Finally Learned What's Important

Andrew here, for the first time in quite a while.

Please forgive my absence; things have changed for me, for the worse, and writing is much more difficult. I spend a lot of the time kneeling on the floor, having the dry heaves and worse, and my diet, such as I can eat, is now dead-simple white rice with a little salt and pepper and butter.

But I learned something. I finally learned, not too late, the most important thing in life.


No, just kidding. That's #2.

When your body lets you down and you can barely do anything, much less pursue the dreams and hopes that animated your old life, there's still something left.

You can do the very best with what you've got. If you can just wash a few dishes, make them shine. If you can barely manage to take the dog for a walk, do it with intention; be there on the walk, for the dog and yourself.

If you can only watch a DVD (that's me now, most of the time), then really watch it. Don't drift and dream.

What you do doesn't matter at all. It's how you do it that's vital.

If Christianity is true, if Jesus really did take our sins through His Agony, then we're left facing an awesome reality.

We're important.

Intrinsically, yes, but also for how we live our lives, because that's the arbiter of our identity.

Not what we do. God can do anything better than us. But He can't place intention and care in our hearts. That's our choice.

So, please, live every moment. Even if your life is a predictable routine (the Five Minute Friday prompt), it's still worth living, because...

No matter how trivial it may seem, each moment's a gift from God.

And the way you receive it, and cherish it, that's your gift to God.

Music is from John Fogerty, with the buoyant and delightful Centerfield.

Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me.

I'm not sure when or if I'll be back. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in. I'm really not doing well at all.

Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback in a few days!

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 448 - Destination Known Or Unknown {FMF}

Destination known or unknown

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is not about knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. - Gilda Radner

Most of my generation knows the battle Gilda Rainer forged through and her body surrendered to at death (see below).   Gene Wilder's battle with Gilda's suffering was his own as well.   Neither knew the complete journey story, nor did Gene know how long he would live beyond Gilda. He loved her only to his last days.

Good Friday is swiftly approaching.   I have contemplated most my life, how much did Jesus knew,  comprehended about the suffering he would shoulder on humanity's behalf.   If He had to gain full knowledge and understanding of the human experience,  was the actual physical, mental,  and emotional process a surprise?  For knowledge is only one aspect of existence, experience is a completely different experience.

We live each day as is develops, everyone of us. We have hopes for an end result, but technically the result is unknown.

So live each moment of every day, in faith, with hope,  acting in love, knowing Our Savior and God already see the result.

(For our younger readers...Gilda Radner was a talented actress and comedienne, and one of the original Saturday Night Live cast members. She was married to the great comedic actor Gene Wilder, and died of ovarian cancer in 1989, at the age of 43. She was not shy about her illness, and her legacy is increased awareness of the importance of the early detection of ovarian cancer.)

Music from Amy Grant, with Not Giving Up.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 447 - Barbara's Gratitude {FMF}

This week I'd like to share a profound excerpt teaching from My Dearest Brother in Christ on Gratitude.   Without his wise counsel the last 20 of my life would have been less enlightened. 

“As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to...“sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,”...

I have often wondered how we can be thankful in all things.  What do we have to be grateful for when we feel, for whatever reason, that our world is falling apart?  I have frequently struggled to “[give] thanks always for all things unto God” partly because understanding what it means to be grateful in all circumstances is an ongoing process.
“Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count.”  While it is important to frequently “count [our] many blessings,” the Lord expects us to be just as thankful in our times of trial as in our times of ease.  Most of the scriptural references do not speak of being grateful for things but rather suggest an overall spirit of gratitude.

Quoting an sister of faith:

"....We need to look at gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation.  Instead of being grateful for things, we should focus on being grateful in our circumstances – whatever they may be.

Gratitude isn’t a way to ignore our problems or a quick fix for deep sorrow. Gratitude comes from actively remembering God and His goodness. It’s having eyes to see how He has worked in my life. It doesn’t come in the absence of pain; rather, pain can bring my need for the Savior into focus, and gratitude flows from remembering His grace and mercy to me in my hour of need.

It helps me to think of the phrase “I’m grateful for trials” as only part of the sentence—the full sentence is “I’m grateful for the opportunities for growth that have come through my trials. I’m grateful for the ways I’ve seen God at work in my life because of those circumstances.”

I don’t think that anyone would say, “Yes, I would like to lose ___________ [fill in the blank with job, loved ones, home, health, security, relationships, and anything else that has value in life].” I don’t think the people who lost everything in natural disasters this year were grateful when they saw the hurricane, fire, or earthquake coming toward them."

That's what our trials are meant to be: continual refining influences in our lives that help shape us into the people that God wants us to be.

In speaking of the Lord's covenant people, Isaiah quotes the Lord as saying:
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Zechariah says it thus:
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

As we approach the Easter season this month.   Maybe it is a good time to place a new refined attitude of Gratitude in daily or weekly life.   I know, I need to be more disciplined in doing so. 

Music is courtesy Dierks Bentley, with Hold The Light from the soundtrack of the film Only The Brave.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 446 - It Gets Overwhelming (Barbara) {FMF}


Everyone has days,  weeks,  or months that life becomes more then our human capacity can handle.   I realize the Bible says that God won't give us more than we can handle.   But there are times I honestly thinks He's out of His mind.  Anyone else been there?  Be honest!

I accept but don't understand God's   Sovereignty, His special rules for the balance of life and the universe.   As a long-term caregiver,  I'm at the point of thinking even God's gotta be willing to make an expectation.  What in God's creation are we doing wrong that would keep Him from making this situation better or give the sufferer ultimate relief.

It was overwhelming a very long time ago to watch Andrew slowly lose abilities, joys,  and life satisfaction.  Yes it happened incrementally,  but what is the point now?  The increments are smaller fractions of lose,  but lose feels greater to Andrew.   The frustrations higher,  the emotions unstable.
I realize we haven't even hit the additional worst for a homebound person.   God help me even more then! 

For those who have additional family, freinds, or community service support to elevate the stress, I hope you value the blessings.  As many of you know,  I'm sole caregiver and provider with no feasible possibility of assistance.   So life easily becomes beyond overwhelming, not incapacitating.  Although concern lives in the recesses of my mind that I may not be able to physically handle all the demands someday.   After all, I'm only one human with limitations too.

Once again, I have no real answers to a dilemma.   But I do again ask for each of us to consider how can you better prepare yourself, your lifestyle, etc. so life could be easily adjusted?  Adjust for your needs yes,  but more for the caregiver(s).  Daily life needs a simplicity for those who provide the essentials of your life one day.

Music for today is from Mercy Me, with Even If.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.