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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, October 26, 2023

Independence Day

Life's a grave dug in the rain
without strength for a last goodbye.
Life's a gyre of blood and pain
and the unanswered question, Why?
Life is hard and life is cruel,
with talons that won't let you go,
but Momma didn't raise no fool
and deep within my heart I know
that life here is not everything,
that there's something lies ahead,
and so I will believe my King
Who sauntered back from being dead,
Who, gleeful, rolled the stone away,
and gave us Independence Day.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is STRIVE. I'll strive to do my best.

Strive ye not for glory,
for glory doth attend the grave.
Strive not to tell your story,
for the passing years won't save
your sins and graces from the dust
of a forgotten history.
Strive only now to place your trust
in the God that came to be
born Infant unto woman,
made Man of humble mien
in which Divine met human,
and in that meeting set the scene
by which at His own pain and cost,
restored to you is what you lost.

Three minutes forty-five seconds.

And what song is better here than Martina McBride's Independence Day

Sylvia celebrates her Independence Day, the day we found her, with ice cream. And for her, that day is every day.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Lazarus Dilemma


We all know the Lazarus story... Jesus shows up four days after Lazarus' death, a day after the soul leaves the body, has the stone rolled away from the tomb entrance ('Oh, this isn't gonna be fun,' says Martha), shouts 'Lazarus, come forth!', and out hops Lazarus, still wrapped in his burial cloth.

We see it from outside the tomb.

But what was it like for Lazarus, to hear that joyous ringing voice and the stone grinding open to admit the bright sunlight?

Was he afraid that if he moved, got up, it would all have been some kind of cruel joke, and the darkness would close in again, made all the worse by hope seemingly offered, then dashed?

Did it seem too good to be true?

He had to make the choice to step out in faith (and blindly, since his head was wrapped).

Is Jesus calling you from your tomb? Is He standing there, calling you from sin and fear and despair? Is He calling you to another road, another world, one you can scarce believe exists?

Don't let 'too good to be true' hold you back.

Come forth!

She met Him on the road ahead,
and said, 'The news ain't great;
our brother Laz is buried, dead,
and why were You so late?
Three days past, his soul is gone
(and what, Lord, were you thinking?).
He is lost to us this dawn,
fed to worms and stinking.'
And Jesus wept, not for His mate,
but for Martha's sorrow,
for He knew that Laz's fate
was to be around tomorrow,
and so the drear and hungry earth
would lose its prey at 'Laz, come forth!'

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is CLARIFY.

Some might find me rather odd,
and might say I'm a nutter,
but I think you will be awed
by praise of clarified butter.
What would movie date night be
without popcorn so garnished?
And sports on your big-screen TV
will remain untarnished
with the clear and golden blessing
slathered to corn on the cob,
and I must right now be confessing
that I would gladly rob
the Pope (a Catholic I've become)
from his hot and buttered rum.

Three minutes and a bit. That's disconcerting.

Music from Soundgarden, with Live To Rise

Sylvia thinks it helped that Jesus was holding an ice cream cone.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Changes, And A Request

 First, the request... I will take over the hosting of the Tell His Story blog linkup in November. Jeanne Takenaka has done a stellar job for many years, and these are some awfully big shoes to try to fill.

I've never used Inlinkz in my blog, and so am testing what I understand about its functioning below, with a trial linkup. Could you use it (the button follows Sylvia's pictures) and link a favourite post of yours? I'd be deeply grateful.

This isn't something I expected to be doing; it requires a different approach, both in subject and style. I'll do my best.

And no, I WON'T be leaving Five Minute Friday.

Changes come and changes go,
and I must learn new ways to fly
as I shout Look Out Below!,
falling, falling through the sky.
But this is by Lord God ordained
(that, at least, is current rumour),
and it's His way to see me trained
to preserve my sense of humour,
but how now can I meet this test
of an erstwhile leadership?
Perhaps it should just do my best
and let God's words just through me rip
and trust that He will guide my pen
to the very last Amen.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ANTICIPATE.

Anticipation, ain't it great
to see what things become?
And even as it makes you wait,
you still are having fun
looking ahead with eager eyes,
and wondering what shape it takes.
Will it come in some disguise,
and how high will be the stakes
in asking ever more from you,
more than you thought you could give?
Could it be, could this be true
that this is how we're meant to live
through our fleeting earthly story,
anticipating Heaven's glory?

Three minutes.

Will Heaven ask much from us? Will we be challenged?

I think, yes. What's your take?

Music from The Calling, with Our Lives

Sylvia thinks I'll do just fine.

You are invited to the 

 To  Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, October 5, 2023

In The Garden With Jesus


Cocoa likes to be carried. But as you can see in his expression, he doesn't like being photographed. Don't offer him a finger when you take his picture. It'll change how you play the piano.

And so...

Are you afraid?

Do you feel you're a lesser sort of Christian because your faith doesn't conquer your fear?

Welcome to Jesus' world.

He didn't agonize in the Garden of Gethsemane because He was mildly nonplussed at the really bad weekend coming up.

He didn't ask His mates to stay awake with Him because He thought they got too much sleep anyway.

He didn't sweat blood (and this phenomenon is real) because He found the upcoming interviews with Pilate and Herod a bore.

He was flat-out terrified, and that's why He was born into mortal form, that He could share our fears...and not have a snap-of-the-fingers answer that You Just Gotta Believe.

His flesh, uniquely part of Him, shrank from pain and death.

He was God become flesh, and as the fabric quailed, so did the heart.

So put aside the guilt and shame over you fears.

You're not alone.

It's okay to be afraid
in a lonely misery;
those cards were given, to be played
by Jesus in Gethsemane.
Now, perfect faith casteth out fear,
the TV preachers say it's true,
but what they do not make clear
is that it don't apply to you,
'cause you are mortal, and not God,
and will be 'till the day you die...
but what of Jesus, was He flawed
with that bleak despairing cry?
No, He lived it so we'd understand
that He was bridge from God to man.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ATTEMPT. Let's give it a try.

I can attempt it all I want,
saying I ain't scared,
but it is a useless vaunt
that in vain I've aired,
for the truth does not lie there,
and in boldface, I have lied,
'cause when reailty does tear
the veil, you'll see I'm terrified
of the fell things yet to be,
of the miles I've yet to travel,
of the dreadful things to see
as cancer makes my days unravel,
but I need not wail, or weep, or groan,
for on this road, I'm not alone.

Four minutes. Adequate attempt.

Music from Jesus Christ Superstar, with Yvonne Elliman singing Everything's All Right

Sylvia's only fear is that McDonald's will stop serving ice cream.