Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The snowy farm with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need
I Thessalonians 4:11,12 (NASB)
It takes more to plow a field than merely turning it over in your mind

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Intuitive nonsense

While leafing through a magazine this week I found a reason given for the back problems of a lot of women. The article was written by a person in the health field introduced as an, "intuitive." Before going any further let me assure you I would never make light of intuition. After all, I am loaded with the stuff myself. I generally make an effort not to step in front of oncoming cars; never pet growling dogs, and refuse to ride horses under the age of twenty. "Something" always tells me these activities are likely to cause me some sort of trouble. No, I try not to judge; believing there is always something to learn.

If my understanding of the magazine article information is correct, here's the way it goes. (And I promise you it was presented in all seriousness." We ladies with aching backs have a feminine, "thread" that wasn't allowed to grow. What this thread is, and where it comes from the author never deigns to tell us. However, there is more.. We are further informed that the stunted growth of said thread has somehow brought about a fear of not being able to support ourselves. This was such a jump in common sense I checked to make sure it wasn't something I had written years ago myself.

For positive certain, this idea would take far more than a thread to hold it together. A rope the size of the Mississippi River wouldn't fare any better. But, let's play along for awhile. Why does the writer say that mythical thread didn't mature in some of us women? It's because someone failed. But, it wasn't any of us with the heating pad or the ice-pack pressed against out spine. With the modern day mind set, there has to be somebody ELSE to blame. And the proponent of the theory has a culprit waiting in the wings. It's another one to lay at the feet of good old Mom. (Or, as they would have it, bad old Mom.) She has barely been able to see over that pile for years anyway. What did she do to our psyche this time? Simple, the article continues, she was too busy trying to find a fully ripe of her own to give us the attention we craved. And, after that, Mom gets to toss another rock on on Grandma's pile...and so on.

You may well ask if men are burdened with the male counterpart of this mysterious string. There is no mention of it in the report. We are left to assume, (don't you love assuming?) that all men, being human like us, possess a male string of their own. We must then further assume one of two thingss. Unless you are a real Gung Ho assumer, and then perhaps you could go right on assuming into infnity. But, let's be serious. (Ahem) Either it has now grown adequately, accomplished its purpose and whisked itself off into oblivion, or, it hasn't made its presence known as yet, and therefore the guys are even more messed up than we are. It stands to reason then, that the latter would mean they REALLY have a lot of backaches. Come to think about it....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Having a Chat With Your Cat(a little fictionary fun)

From all sides we get the message that a lot of us are carrying too much weight...and I don't mean bar-bells. Although Americans make up less than 5 per cent of the world's population the balance of fat is definitely on our side of the ocean. I ought to know. Over the last few years I have put on my share of extra pounds. There is now the equivelent of two of me in the same skin I started out with. I can almost feel my small section of personal Terra Firma sinking daily.

Fortunes have been made by selling books convincing us we can get rid of that chubbiness, (and thereby, all good things that go along with breathing.) Still, many of us have not been successful at keeping it off, and it seems we have passed on this weakness to our pets.

The latest subject in one national magazine is, Having a chat with your Cat about his fat. Dr. Seuss knew this would be a problem long ago, but, nobody would listen and now we have felines living in our homes that weigh in at 46 pounds. My five-year-old grandaughter doesn't weigh that much. Admittedly, the aformentioned kitty holds the worlds record for the fattest cat in the world, but, it is not uncommon for our whiskered friends to tip the scale anywhere between 12-25 pounds! This is proof of a gross misuse of tuna fish.

My point is this, if we can't manage to shave off a pound or two, (or, ninety) of our own, what makes anybody think we will have the determination to force our pudgy cat to be fit? Because it's much less painful to slim down the kitty, that's why. Simply cut the pet's portion in half and do away with between-meal snacks. If somebody had done that for me, with the necessary restraints so I couldn't reach the kitchen, all the mirrors would now be back in my home.

However, nothing is ever that simple. The advocates of the feline fitness plan also ask that we act as our cat's persoanl trainer. We are to run around the room, dragging a feather on a string so they can chase it and get their exercise; several times a day. Who do you know that would do that for you?

Another exercise suggestion is placing a bird-feeder right outside of a window so your cat can go bananas, throwing himself repeatedly at the glass trying to capture a tender morsel.

Maybe I could go along with all of this if I was burdened with a tubby calico, but one pet owners ordeal left me without much understanding. She claimed her cat hadn't received enough TLC, (tender loving care) for the day, which was another aspect of the fitness program, along with rubbing acupuncture points and massaging the tummy. (No comment.) Anyway, this particular day happened to be Thanksgiving, and by way of, "pay back" Tabby ate all of the stuffing from the turkey before it was brought to the table. The owner took the episode to mean she should get to lovin' that cat.

Funny, I would have felt a completely different need.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

There is no Place Like Home, Part 4

As hopeless as the contest seems, there is no search involved that we know of. The salmon find their particular, "door" easily, and sail into the estuary they left some years before. In a reverse process they pause long enough to condition themselves to the freshwater and then, as if on some vital time table, thunder onward for the moment of spawning.

In between the estuary and the spawning place a salmon might be confronted with many life threatening barriers. The wrenching, repeated leaps up a dam's, "steps" leaves many torn and battered at the bottom. their particular stream may not even be where it was when they left. It may have been diverted by, or for, a commercial undertaking. (Although this isn't apt to happen much as many individuals and agencies have taken a stand in protecting the fate of the salmon.) Worse yet, the waterway may not be there at all...only a bog of mud where over-logging has been done.

Happily, there are always those fish who win the prize, those who reach the pinnacle of a salmon's life. There time has been spent in adding assets, swirling in deadly beauty and guided by a Creator-driven purpose.

A worn-out mother salmon prepares a gravel nest--called a "redd"--and one or more large males join her and ferilize each group of eggs she deposits. When spawning is finished the gentle water laps a sandbar; the sunset blazes one last time, and the adult Oncorhyncus close their eyes.

In 60 days the eggs will hatch and the story repeats.

There really IS no place like home.

Note* This was written with no claim to a scientific background, however the facts are correct as far as I know them, and the salmon are amazing.
What a Creator we have.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Be anxious for nothing

"I will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for Thou Lord only makest me to dwell in safety"
Psalm 4:8

No Place Like Home--3rd part

At some point each surviving salmon in a group receives an urgent, mystical messge. It is a clamorous call to come home so irresistible no choice is possible. The fish stop, turn, and begin the all-absorbing race. No one but God knows why.

Everything about the salmon and their journey has a little star-dust sprinkled here and there, a lovely reality in a much-to-often meaningless environment. It isn't difficult to imagine them sailing along beside a golden cord that pulls them homeward. Then again, in human terms the story can seem cruel and brutal as the as the great salmon push everything within them toward the one goal. the female is full of eggs. The male is intent on fertilization. They are willing to die to fulfill the all-powerful, rushing instinct.

Odd changes have taken place in the fish. They have stopped feeding and the males have grown hooked noses and large canine teeth. Their scales have lost their shine and the colors are brighter while the females are a darker hue. Everything is part of the battle plan now, and although they consciously know of no war, one of the most heart-wrenching conflicts will find them soon enough.

This is where the tale would become unbelievable if it hadn't been scientifically verified numerous times.

The salmon have been on mighty oceanic freeways; they have followed salty, global highways, and investigated the sandy-bottomed roads of Davy Jones Locker. Yet, no feat can be more daunting than finding that one small spot on the coastlines of the earth; that one special opening which led them oceanward in the beginning. Every instinct is focused toward finding the waterway leading to that still smaller welcoming stream mouth that leads to their original home, and freedom to rest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There is no place Like Home, continued

In late spring all up and down the northern Pacific coast, most breeds of salmon begin to move out from their individual estuaries and head into the open sea. Coho, Chinook, Pink, Chum and Sockeye species all make the voyage with slight variations. It seems the last place they should go, with natural enemies on every side, yet an instinctive confidence takes the small fish, called, "juveniles" further and further from their birthplace.

Once the salmon are well into the Pacific depths they set their directions north and follow the coastline up past British Columbia and Alaska...then into the North Pacific...even as far as Japan. Thousands of miles from home they feed, travel and grow for three to five years. The most important thing they are gaining is strength for the truly unbelievable undertaking still ahead. And even strength won't be enough for most of them.

Aside from natural hazards such as larger predator fish, their food source has to be constant and adequate. The zooplankton and bait fish they feed on require a narrow range of ocean temperatures and salinity to survive. If the surface temperature of the water should rise even a few degrees the zooplankton supply would drop off and this would have serious consequences for the salmon

Although there are constant trials and snares, some fish make it to their full maturity, and are pulled closer and closer to a confrontation with the miraculous.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There is no Place Like Home, Continued

No doubt you know the story of the Pacific waters salmon and their fight to return to their home to lay the eggs of the next generation. Having been born and brought up in the Northwest, I knew the tale, but no one taught me the wonderment of the reality. It was more like a geography lesson, or, reading and memorizing the dates and times in a history book. Then, one of my daughters decided to go back to college a few years ago. Her degree is in environmental science, with a minor in marine biology. I began to hear a great deal about the salmon, and became vitally interested in Oncorhynchus, the formal name for Pacific Coast salmon.

Hearing this particular, "fish story," is an experience. I have never tired of it or lost the joy it gives me. Most of all, it filled me with a permanent sense of wonder that never lessens no matter how many times I think of the wonder of, "how?" Because nothing about the process seems logical.

Pick a day in November, and an iridescent, leaf-shadowed stream twisting and splashing through an icy Northwest forest. There are plenty to choose from. Next look for a quiet pool with a goodly supply of gravel. Look very closely. Maybe we should pretend you have a magnifying glass. See those hundreds of just-hatched salmon eggs? They are on thir own; the parents long dead, and yet, they have taken the first step toward maturity, and are now tiny larvae called alevin. Even from the beginning they must struggle, and their odds are not good. Only about 20 out of a hundred will live to the next stage.

Once the alevin have emerged from their gravel birth they must find habitat that will provide food and a modicum of protecftion. Too many times, because humans hae stripped away vegetation of diverted a stream or dredging has been done, the salmon's rearing habitat is destroyed and he will die before ever maturing.

The larvae that make it through this part of the process emerge as miniscule fish approximately one and a half inches long. Most birds and larger fish are intent on a salmon lunch and the tiny "fry" must pass through a barrage of lethal attempts. Over the months, the little fellows have grown a whopping four inches. Somehow a few have made it through and are now heading down stream to a sort of decompression chamber, or, estuary. An estuary is between a body of salt water and a fresh water lake, stream, or river. The meeting and mixing of the two waters form an estuary. The salmon could not fulfill their destiny without this calm, food-filled haven. It is here that they will spend days, or, weeks feeding and adjusting their body chemistry to the salt water environment.

Next step...bon voyage,

Monday, July 13, 2009

Love is Painful Sometimes

Because of the illness of one of my children I won't be able to give as much attention to my blog as I should in order to make it interesting to others. I realize that this is an unusual way to handle a blog but it is either that or go off the site completely until sometime in the future.

There won't be any pictures unless I can figure out a way to move them onto the blog. Maybe later.

However, I would like to write you a grand story of God's creativity and how He takes each aspect of His glory so seriously that the details are just as awesome as the main subject.

Hopefully, I can do a small amount each day or two.

The title is, "There is no Place Like Home"

Part 1

Over the last fifty years technology has moved so quickly and brought us such surprising advancements science would be hard put to show us anything truly amazing. In fact, we have become fairly blase' where scientific announcements are concerned.

A sheep has been cloned, "Ho Hum."

There was a short span of years when the world reeled with the invention of the telephone, telegraph and the radio. Space travel, television and the computer followed quickly. To most of us, these scientific progressions were amazing and astonishing. But, give humans anything for long enough, and before much time has passed nothing is quite as exciting.

The years have slipped by--sometimes through dark valleys--and with each passing day it takes more and more to surprise us about anything, and yet....

There is a mystery of mysteries that has been with us from the beginning; a journey with the unremitting forces arrayed full force against the traveler. The true story is unique, in that, the trip is always taken against countless
perils, and the odds of reaching the destination are astronomical.

More later.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We choose how we shall live; courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonerably, with purpose or in drift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do, or refuse to do. WE DECIDE, WE CHOOSE and as we decide, and as we choose, so our lives are formed.
Source Unknown

This small quote struck a chord in me. It doesn't leave much room for excuses does it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who, me? (It's all in fun.)

Just about every television channel now has its own, "judge" show. It seems a number of us like to see somebody else in trouble. Actually, that has been apparent since time began.

"He did it." "She did it." They did it." It wasn't me."

Of course, these are civil suits, so nobody is going to get the chair. Or, a stool either, for that matter; the litigants
must stand for the whole procedure.

One of those wearing a black robe is a completely bald fellow with a closed mouth grin and heavy wrinkles across his forehead. Although he is a grinner, his smile is reminisent of the, "cat that ate the canary" just before he pounced on said bird.

There is also a guy who frowns and smiles at the same time, which gives the plaintiff and defendant the shivering fits trying to guess where they stand on this man's face. Which is just about what they would like to do at the moment.

Then, there is the dainty-looking female judgeship who slaps the two contenders from here to breakfast with perfect manners.

My personal favorite shall remain nameless just in case I ever end up in front of any of the others, although, I cannot imagine such a thing happening. Public humiliation is not something I seek. There is no need; it comes to me like a Scud missile to its target; a lover to his beloved. No, I would pay back, work off, give back, clean up,
or whatver else was required before voluntarily appearing in front of one of these judges.

I went to court with a friend once, as moral support. The official charge was hitting John P. Citizen, the plaintiff, with a two-by-four while he was remodeling her garage. He happened to be her husband. She denied it, unequivocally. A neighbors video camera had recorded something quite different. It clearly showed my friend, Florence Citizen, swinging a board at the plaintiff's head and him falling to the garage floor. She maintained her innocence with the repeated statement, "I did not hit him with a two-by-four."

You know what; she was found not guilty. Her clever, but slippery to the touch attorney, had uncovered a startling, little known fact. There is no such thing as a two-by-four board! That's right! No such thing! Carpenters, builders and lumbermen have been telling us stories all these years. What we in the United States have innocently been referring to is in truth, only a one and five-eights inch by 3 and 1/2 inch piece of wood. Check it out.

The defendant went free, her husband went to get his bandage changed and the baliff went to get a broom and dustpan to sweep up all the split hairs on the floor where my friends attorney had been standing.

(Don't take this too seriously)

Friday, July 3, 2009


Meet Nana; my mom and grandma to a whole bunch of people, from age 48 to 1 month. She passed on to be with the Lord Jesus almost 2 years ago, leaving a big hole in all of our hearts. We are counting on seeing her again. I don't think she could ride that bike, and she couldn't swim either but Boy or Boy she sure knew how to love all of us. We miss her something terrible. How do people endure this kind of separation without the promises of our Lord?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Old Glory is Still Glorious

That's our flag folks, Old Glory, another name for, "The Red White and Blue."
But of course, we all know that, right? Don't be too sure.
Not too long ago one of the television stations ran a, "Man on the Street special, which I watched.
The fellow with the microphone was asking passersby what we celebrate on the Fourth of July. It seems hardly possible, and yet, approximately one-third of the teenagers questioned DID NOT KNOW! These were not tasmanian immigrants or recently transported Rain-forest people. They were English-speaking people and dressed accordingly. The guys with enough material below their waists to whip up a two-man tent with ruffles; the young women with ensembles that would fit in a ceral bowl with enough room left over for the cereal.
The odd thing about it was their nonchalant attitude. They really didn't seems the least bit curious about it. It was enough for them that it was a day off where everybody went on picnics and later set fire to every explosive in the lower half of North America.
As one interviewee put it as he kicked a couple of pounds of denim out of his way, "It's for fun, man, just for fun...n'stuff.
Another willing participant thought the celebration might have been brought to our shores by Marco Polo(huh???) When he stopped here for a quick minute on his way from the Orient.
It is difficult to believe that any of our kids could get through 12 years of schooling and not know something of our Independence Day and how it came about. But then, there are a few determined ones who managed to cover that same span of years without learning to read. "Go figure" as they say.
Maybe I am a little sensitive in this area. My family seems to have gotten a double dose of patriotism and I think I know where mine started.
My materal grandmother was a political organizer and fund-raiser and was forever getting me involved somehow. The summer I turned five she was in charge of a Fourth-of-July rally at a popular, local lake. There was a newly erected stage and a microphone for the speakers. But, there was a song first; God Bless America, that Grandma had taught me to sing. While I was singing the big flag rippled above us and the crowd had their eyes on that beautiful spectacle...Old Glory. Every face looked serious and thankful. I was hooked on my country's flag.
Tell your children and grandchildren what it means--that glorious old flag that still fly's over a free country. Explain to them that there is no king or queen in the White House, (although we may not be pleased with who IS there.) but a president who has been elected by due process. And, it is all possible because of the convictions, actions and sacrifices of like-minded people determined to live as unfettered citizens.
Have a safe Fourth of July, and at least once during that day, pause and see if you can't catch just a whisper of a far-off military fife and drum corps around the bend in the road.