Why we're here...

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

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.

undefined

Thursday, October 22, 2020

What No-One Wants To Talk About

 It's something no-one really want to talk about.

Losing faith.

It's been a hellish week of pain and puke and growing tumours and...can it get worse? (Short answer: yes, it can.)

If it were punishment, I could accept that...but it seemed more like indifference.

So my faith flagged.

Not faith that there is a God, mind you...the sheer complexity of life, and the huge odd against it developing randomly (something like 4 to the 300th power against a 300-ribosome chain of DNA building itself from 4 basic amino acids, to start...which translate to 4 times ten to the 180th power...which is a 4 followed by 180 zeros...as a comparison, if the Earth is really 4 billion years old, that's 2 times ten to the fifteenth power seconds...a lot smaller).

Yes, I know about Bartel and Sostak's 1993 experiment that 'showed' that catalytic RNA molecules could speed up the process significantly, but they 'selected in' the catalytic RNA (they compared it to dog-breeding for desired coat qualities) and provided a friendly and stable environment for the reactive process. In other words, they added a form of intelligent design to the equation.

So, yeah, I believe in a Creator.

But is the Creator beneficent? Does He care about me, or am I merely an expenaable pawn on a comic chessboard?

I can't get there through reading Scripture, or through Praise and Worship, or through listening at the feet of learned men.

But I can get there through context.

And the context off Christianity consists of three days at a long-ago Passover.

"Father, why have you abandoned Me?"

Jesus could ask the quetion we seem to be afraid to approach. He asked it for us, at the beginning of His journey.

The three-day road from the Cross to the empty tomb.

God didn't come to live among us as a man so that we'd have easy, pain-free lives, and have all our worldly dreams come true. God isn't Santa Claus.

He came to defeat the grave for us. And that, for me, is enough.

He died in blood and mire, the blood and mire in which our lives are based.

And then He rose, that we might rise.

(OK, a slight correction to the 'listening at the feet of learned men' bit above...I never had doubt about the veracity of the Resurrection, but don't have the energy now to explain why, so may I direct you to Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ?)


Are You really out there, God?

Do you really care?

Is my thinking deeply flawed;

am I talking to the air?

Is there something left for me

as bitter days wind down,

or is my testimony

the miming of a clown?

I search on King James’ pages,

in words of preaching men,

in tomes by august sages,

and it is only then

that I see when doubt and mistrust loom,

Christ’s context is the empty tomb.


Music from John Denver, with Looking For Space. (Click here if the video doen't appear.)



I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

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

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, October 15, 2020

The Love You Give

The question does come from those who see me...given the fell laundry list of a failing body, what makes life worth living?

Don't you want to give it up, and just go home?

I mean, look at it...you can barely eat, barely breathe, and sleep comes in 15-minute swathes of nightmares from which you often wake up screaming from the pain that hits your subconscious.

There's that cough, granite hard and violent and bloody.

If you look down, you can see the bulging tumours on the chest wall and abdomen, as well as the one in your navel. (But the tumours in the neck make looking down painful, so I don't do it much...so there!)

Every dunny call is another reminer that yup, the pancreas is giving up the ghost.

You're surrounded by projects you won't finish, and the view from the porch is of hills you won't climb.

And so on.

Sometimes I ask the question of myself.

And the answer comes immediately, that I have a lot to live for, starting with a wife I adore, and a passel of dogs (and one cat) that I cherish.

They keep me in shape for the fight.

I do my best to support Barb by finding useful Scripture that addresses work and life, and also cool music to do the same. This keeps the soul man, so to speak, fit and alert.

The dogs keep my body strong, simply through the need to walk them several times a day (the yard's fenced, but to most that isn't an obstacle, and chasing them down the mesa is beyond me now). They have to be fed, and watered, and groomed. I would guess that's 7-8 hours a day on my feet.

And sometimes, I need to put my fatigue and pain and need for rest aside, because someone has a tummy-ache and needs to go out and...oops!

"Sorry, Dad. I tried to hold it."

You see, my woes are not the priority here.

Love is, and love is what makes it all worthwhile.

The love I get, yes, but far more...the love I give.

It's not 'enough'.

It's everything I ever needed.


These have not been easy days,

not by a country mile,

but I can tell you, anyway,

that life is still worthwhile.

Tumours make it hard to breathe,

and it really hurts to laugh,

and if, perchance, I have to sneeze,

I feel I’ll break in half.

But there are still my dogs to walk,

and time spent with my wife,

and though I can no longer talk,

I have the best of life,

for in a place where love resides,

that is where Our Lord abides.


Music from Josh Groban, with What I Did For Love (click here if the video doenf't appear).

It took me a long time to realize that this song isn't about romance; it's about life, and I've asked Barb that if there's a memorial service for me, it be played.

And in the interest of transparency, bravado only goes so far, and I wept on re-hearing the song and at last understaning what it's about. I have so much to live for, and I do not want to die.


I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

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

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, October 8, 2020

A World Suddenly Less Bright

 Eddie Van Halen has left us.

The lead guitarist for the eponymous rock group Van Halen, Eddie died of throat cancer on October 6, 2020.

Some of you, reading this, wept. Some recognized the name, and felt sorrow. And some, perhaps, wondered exactly who he was.

Eddie Van Halen was a rocker who live the rockstar life, and he was also a devout Catholic. Married for a quarter-centruy to the actress Valerie Bertinelli, he left a son, Wolfgang, who is a part of the current Van Halen lineup.

And he changed my life.

The band's signature song, Jump, has such a relentlessly cheerful beat and message...the first lines...

I get up and nothin' gets me down
You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around
And I know, baby, just how you feel
You got to roll with the punches and get to what's real

...became both inspiration and challenge. I wanted to live that.

And, to a large degree, I have (which has, no doubt, irritated many who know me!).

I never met Eddie Van Halen, of course, but as his brother Alex said, "I'll see you on the other side." I hope so!

So this brings to mind two things...

  1. He never new the profound impact Jump had on me, as an individual...and how many of us live in ignorance of what our words or deeds may have meant to others?
  2. He lived the dichotomy of drugs and booze and devout Catholicism...so what makes a 'good Christian'? Is there such a thing, or are we Christians, to God, simply 'Christians', steeped in worldly sin but holding to a faith that reaches up from the mud and mire?
I don't have an answer. I try to be 'good', but even with terminal cancer, now, I still fall, daily. More in the in of pride (I don't have the energy for sins that might be more fun), but pride being the worst of the lot maybe makes up fo the lack of fleshly sin.

I'd love to hear your thouyghts, and I hope you'll enjoy the sonnet below, an the video link to Jump. It's such a fun, high-energy video, and I wish I had Eddie's brown hair, and wonderful smile.


There’s a silence on the airwaves,

the dial is not as bright;

all’s OK, for Jesus saves,

but we’ve lost a little light.

There’s a guitar waiting in its case

for hands that come no more;

in this now quiet, sadder place,

the Lord has closed a door,

and let us with a memory

to burnish through the years,

a headstone in a cemetery,

and private mourning tears.

Eddie did so much to please us,

and now it’s time to jam with Jesus.

And here's Van Halen, with my beloved Jump. (Please click here if the video doesn't come up.)


I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

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

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, October 1, 2020

A Need For Growth

I could write about our country's crying need to grow up for Pete's sake!, but I don't think that's gonna happen any time soon, so I won't.

I could write about the need for spiritual growth when facing terminal cancer...or I could write about the growths (hahaha) in my neck, along my ribs, and elsewhere...but I'll spare you.

Or I could talk about the way in which pain-induced insomnia has helped me grow as a writer.

Eureka!

And so I wrote about hair.


Barb will get a trim today,

but I wish she’d wait a bit,

for she's quite well on the way

to look like Cousin Itt,

that character, high-pitched, hirsute

that you saw on the TV,

and found him so endrearing, cute

on Addams Family.

Barb’s hair grows at pace furious,

with a savage kind of grace

so one will soon be curious

just to see her face.

She’s well along the shaggy road;

right now she’s in Chewbacca mode.


For those who may not recall, Cousin Itt was a rather shaggy chap who usually wore a bowler hat, and spoke in high-pitched gibberish, thus (the videos are really short)...


But there was a time when he stepped out from behind the hair...so to speak...


I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

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

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.