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Being Exactly Where You Need To Be

IMG_1796My Sunday School class visits the nursing home across the street from us every first Sunday of the month. I was greeting new people and this one particular woman was sitting in her chair watching me closely. I wrapped up my short little spiel with the woman in the wheelchair next to her and then I shifted my attention. She had on a Cowboys sweatshirt, her hair was a wild silver and still standing defiantly, and though she looked frail there was a fight in her eyes.

I asked her those really difficult questions like:
– How was your week?
– Are you excited at how windy it is outside?
and my favorite,
– How are you doing?

I asked her about the Cowboys which I know nothing of, only that they’re a football team in Texas. I like them.
I asked her if that was her favorite team. Yes.
I asked her if she was from Texas. Her eyes lit up. I am, with a big grin on her face.
I asked her what brought her to Virginia. Her eyes got sad. She looked like she was searching for her answer through all the memories she had ever been a part of.
You know, sometimes you don’t know how you get there, but here you are. And that’s okay.
I told her I was glad she was here, and she said, Nice to meet you.

And it got me thinking. Of all the places I have laid to rest, each place at the moment was its very best. I’m not always content, but I should be.

Psalm 100:3
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

I am part of his pasture. If I am not stubborn he leads me. He is my shepherd and I shouldn’t be wanting of anything else. I already have everything.

If

If I wrote, what would I write about?

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Things I Miss About Hawai’i

It has been almost a year and a half since I was in Hawai’i; it’s the longest I have been away.

Shark's Cove

Shark’s Cove

I miss swimming the afternoons in the ocean with my dad, chasing his fins.
Running from the aquatic life; even strokes like I am flying.
Breathe in gasping for sustenance, exhale bubbles of success.

I miss plate lunches, good Japanese food, and all the fusion food.
I miss year-round BBQs without shooing away insects and animals I’m unfamiliar with.
Rice in every plate, mochi in drinks, nostalgia in every bite.

I miss the trade winds.
I miss the constant, gentle reminder of being part of something bigger than myself.

I miss the hemmajang speech collecting words from every language.
But one heart.

I miss the flowers, the colors, and all the crazy prints.
The way the sun shines, the tempo of life.

I miss my friends.
I miss my family.

I might miss Hawai’i more than I thought I would.

 

Preschool Quips Refreshing Spirits

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and, though this is not going to be a hefty post, I’m going to ease my way back in.  Here are some of the silly things that kids say:

From my beloved Puppylove: “You need to go potty.”  Why?  “Because you keep shaking your leg.”
– “I WON THE RACE!”  You did?  Congratulations.  What’s the prize?  “You.”
– “YAY-HAW!”  “THAT’S A FASHION DISASTER!”
– “I won’t [leave your side] because I love you.”
– “Flabby, flabby,” she says as she pats my chest.
– “but…I thought you loved me!”

I’ve had many precious moments with Thumbsucker, like waffle-handing in the hallways, cuddles and snuggles, and whatnot, but he doesn’t say very many funny things that deserve a line in a blogpost.  He’s something I’d write mini stories on.

From PrincessM: “I know why he likes boys.  BECAUSE HE IS A BOY.”
From Underilly: Where are your underpants?  “Behind the toilet.”  Why?  “To keep it cool.”
From BabyEinstein: “Hey, I need you.”
- “Can you kiss me?  On my nose?  On my cheek?  No?  Why not?  Can you just kiss me?”

From X-Less:  “I am a worm, I am a worm, I am straighty-straight.”
– “Guess what?!  WE’RE HAVING TWO BABY BOYS!”  (every morning)

And last, but definitely not least, from CBug: CBug, go potty.  “I don’t neeeeed to go potty.”  Why not?  “I just pooped”  When?  “I just pooped in my pants.”

Trying To Level The Playing Field

A while back a friend of mine posted an image on facebook which included texts:
1. When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. – God, Exodus 21:7
2. I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. – God, 1 Timothy 2:12
3. Blessed is the one who grabs your little children and smashes them against a rock. – God, Psalm 137:9
and captioned: “Homosexuality is a sin, it says so in the bible” -someone who should do some more reading. When you pick and choose what you want to believe, you lose the right to judge others. #equality

Dear Friend,
If you are going to pick and choose things to poison the rebuttals of Christians who you think are going to misquote scripture to make their case, make sure you do your digging to not look like a fool.  Put it into context.  That’s a problem we all struggle with.  I realize that you may not know enough of the Scripture to be fully cognizant of the point you’re trying to make, but let’s try and break it down:

1. For this one we have to start at the beginning of the chapter to understand this.  This is a law about slaves (verses 1-6 in the first paragraph, 7-13 in the second).

“Now these are the rules that you shall set before them.  When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.  If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.  If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone.  But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost.  And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.  If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed.  He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her.  If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.  If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.  And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

Back in the day slaves were okay.  Don’t forget that these are the rules for the masters of slaves.  Slaves were not to be treated dishonorably or worked to death.  Slaves had rights.

For a woman to be sold into slavery her family would have been in extreme poverty.  God is providing that the female slaves be redeemed if they were released: 1) that she cannot be sold to foreign nations; 2) that she be designated to one of his sons; or 3) that if he takes for himself another wife she should not lose food, clothing, or right to marry.

2. If we continue on from that verse we see in verses 13-15 the explanation for verse 12: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.  Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

This is a difficult idea to navigate.  The verse suggests that women hold no authority, that they cannot teach, and that they must remain silent.  What it does say is that a woman should have no authority over any man, that they cannot be teaching in public, and that her silence is to not shame man’s authority.  Women were created to be the companions and helpers of their spouse.  Women were last in creation and the first to fall with her redemption found through childbearing; she is responsible, in the privacy of the home, to instruct her children in the Holy scriptures.

3. It does indeed say that in verse 9, but come and take a look at verse 8: “O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us!

This Psalm is a very tricky thing to navigate, and it is part of the imprecatory psalms.  Imprecatory psalms are curses from the mouth of the psalmist on his enemies.  In no way would God want to jeopordize his authority or contradict himself, so God himself does not utter these words to mar the image of man, which he designed after himself.  The psalmist, like everyone else, has an enemy – an enemy who is an enemy of God’s as well, and the psalmist does not want to tarnish the name of the Lord.  The best way to view these lines are to see that the psalmist is passionate in his vindictive cause for God, to see God in all his glory and return praise to him.

 

I have very little right to judge – God, being sovereign, is the only one who is allowed to judge.  He has authority because He created it all and we are to be held accountable for every thought and deed in our life.  Because I am a sinner by nature, it is my nature to judge others with my standards and not God’s.  Only He is impartial, holy, perfect, compassionate, just, merciful, and truthful all in one.  I would rather have someone like that judging me, no matter how scary that is, than some other human.

Now, addressing your claim that we, as Christians, should do more reading: I hear you and I wholeheartedly agree with you.  What little you are exposed to of the Bible you do not like.  I don’t blame you at all!  If that’s all I saw of the Bible, I’d be pretty mad.  Remember that the Bible is made out of approximately 31,100 verses in 66 books from 40 different authors. That’s a lot of information to sift through and retain. I can study the Bible my entire life and not understand everything – I’m not even talking about historical context yet!  When I throw in the historical context I am learning about the customs, traditions, and the historical events that occurred.  I don’t mean to be a jerk, but have you read The Bible cover to cover?  How do you know exactly what is in there if you haven’t cracked it open before?

On the claim that we pick and choose what to believe – don’t we all?  The one major flaw I see with this, something even I am trying to work on, is that I have no say in the matter, only God has the first and final says.  If there was a flaw in the Bible, God would never allowed that to happen.  When you see that the Bible is full of contradictions we often forget that there are verses or historical contexts that bridge the gap, that resolve that contradiction.  What has been written and preserved are by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Your simple act of posting those snippets have really kicked me in the butt and made me investigate more into what I believe and how to try and defend it.  I am not trying to persuade you to believe what I believe, but I want you to be informed by the claims that made.  I know that I have probably left some gaps in the statements I have made, or even contradicted myself, so if you could point out any of those flaws or have any questions, please let me know.

As Always,
Melinda