Friday, November 26, 2021

Soviet Corn

 


My husband's Grandmother had a corn Christmas ornament like this for many years. We don't know where she got it. In 2014 when she passed, it became ours. Sometime later it crumbled into dust when a heavier ornament fell on it. Of course, we set out to replace it. Thank God for the Internet! We found one and a bit of history along with it. This ornament came from Estonia and was from the era of the Soviet Union. They typically hung on trees for New Year's, as Christmas wasn't a popular holiday...was greatly discouraged...under Communism. The corn and similar ornaments celebrated a plentiful harvest. Our new corn ornament arrived wrapped in newspaper with Cyrillic writing. Our oldest son translated it, a typical sale paper advertising produce. We kept it, of course, to wrap the ornament in each year. The cob is too fragile for the tree. We place it on the mantel instead. I am wondering what the story is behind this frail little thing. 


Who owned it originally? What was their story? 


What is yours?


Saturday, November 20, 2021


 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Somehow Hard to Accept

 

He brought me out into a spacious place; 

he rescued me because he delighted in me. 

2 Samuel 22:20



Sunday, November 14, 2021

Confession

 

If you could erase parts of the past, would you?


A cruelty spoken to a friend. I'm sorry.

A terrifying thing. 

A thought. Too many thoughts. Most are a waste of time.

Fear. It is the mindkiller, you know. 

Not doing something great. Coulda.

Doing something great. I am not sure I was supposed to do it.

Dread of things that didn't happen.


I would, all of it.


I wonder how it would change me.





Saturday, November 13, 2021

I Know a Man

 


I know a man who looks for hidden you and sets you free. 

I know a man who says to the blind like me, "This way." 


But why? Who are you? Why did you come here? 


He whispers the word Messiah. But what does that really mean? He says he will have to tell me later because I can't see fully yet. He says come walk with me a while in the sunlight. I go. You know why? It's just better in the light. But even 31 years on, I don't think I understand yet. Redemption.  I am redeemed and I don't know why.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Go Tell That Long Tongued Liar

 

His life ended with forgiveness. To everyone who turned him in he gave a nod and a whisper. 


"I don't blame you," he said. 




She stared at him like they'd just met. For too long she'd believed him. 


"We have to kill them before they kill us," and he ordered in the tanks. 


She had no idea what she was doing. Killing, they were actually talking about killing


"When did I lose you?" He wanted to know. 


She had to think about it. One day he was the man in white, the next he was suspect. Then he was guilty. 


"It didn't make sense," was all she could say. "They were weaker than us, but we chased after them like they were stronger."



Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand

Workin' in the dark against your fellow man

But as sure as God made black and white

What's done in the dark will be brought to the light


You can run on for a long time

Run on for a long time

Run on for a long time

Sooner or later God'll cut you down

Sooner or later God'll cut you down


Go tell that long tongued liar

Go and tell that midnight rider

Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter

Tell 'em that God's gonna cut you down



That morning he didn't expect to be pleading for his life by noon. He stirred his coffee, disregarded was she'd said, and made his plans. He didn't plan to be on that stage, but when every camera and light was on him something brought him down. He confessed. 


The words wouldn't stop. He was on his knees with his head down, face to face with what he had done. Conviction is a gift. It's not like the guilt he had managed to ignore. Guilt won't change you. Conviction lifts you up and puts you where you were supposed to be. 


They called for his head then. Of course they did. No one calls for their own head. No one blames themselves. 


The hope of forgiveness was all he had, so he gave it to his friends and he gave to his enemies. What happened to him after that? If you have ever been forgiven you know.




If you've served, God bless you. If you are serving, God keep you.


Monday, November 8, 2021

What Matters

 

She worked harder. A voice assured her it would make her strong. She didn't want to be strong. She wanted that giant rock out of her way and then she wanted to go home and be loved. That's what mattered to her, being needed and wanted. She was broken by the screaming world around her. All their lies stood in the path of the boulder she was pushing up a hill. Evil sings a song. The lyrics say you should waste your time doing whatever doesn't matter.


Ahead of her on the bridge, a man crouched over the rail, about to jump. He was seconds from it, his pain reaching up to pluck him from safety. God heard her screaming. Take him off the bridge. Take him home. Let him see You. Why? I need some light. I need hope, too. The man stepped from the ledge and headed home, shocked that he wasn't invisible. Someone saw me on the bridge. Have you ever been seen like that?


There is Someone who made all life and you along with it. Can you hear Him? A still, quiet whisper. This is what matters.





Friday, November 5, 2021

Rest

 


Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, 

for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 

and you will find rest for your souls. 

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  


Matthew 11:28-30


Thursday, October 28, 2021

What do you know?

 

You worship what you do not know; 

we worship what we know, 

for salvation is from the Jews. 


John 4:22







Saturday, October 23, 2021

You and Me

 


...a great multitude that no one could number, 

from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages... 


Revelation 7:9



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What Does Saved Mean?

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, 

that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, 

but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17





Monday, October 18, 2021

La la

 

Just putting songs here to celebrate freedom. Hope you all are well.





Friday, October 15, 2021

The Light of Men

 

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 


John 1:4-5




Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Rahab Wins


The darkness is not undefeatable. Did you know that? 


His gentle voice, smaller than mine, His whisper. 


I can grab this by the throat and send it away. Did you know that?


Rahab is hiding in the cave with her bundle of cohorts. Villains, all. But the Redeemer digs from the outside to get to them. 


"Guys," she says, "this Way. Over here. I see a light." 


Come with me to joy. Come with me. 


Rahab wins.







Saturday, October 9, 2021

Pray, here, now.

Do you ever feel a tug in your heart that says pray here, now, silently, look. Then you look and you see someone whose heart is outside their body, their gaze dead and alone, their shoulders slumped. Or maybe, their eyes are bright and full of life, their picture on the cover of a magazine, but still, pray. Here. Now.


I prayed for a young woman. Her eyes were bold and fearless. She was telling a story of how Christians hurt her. My people, me, all of us. Oh, my God. Now she doesn't need You and we are monsters. Pray. Here. Now. So I did and then later I saw her again. Her eyes had softened. Maybe healed is the right word. She was talking about them again, my people who had hurt her, and it seemed like she had seen a sliver of love and that made the past better. It made me feel better anyway. 


I saw a rock star yesterday having the time of his life on stage. He's grandpa-aged now, but can still kick his leg high in the air while spinning a mike stand. Oh, my God. And that is different than how I used to say it. I am different. The Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace.


When I was thirteen I was somewhere touristy, a place with trains, I think. There was a disheveled man there, maybe 80, maybe 70. He could have been younger or older. I was thirteen so almost everyone was older. As I stared out the window of the train I heard in my heart, pray. So I did that for years. Even when I needed prayer myself. Even when I was in darkness and couldn't see, I remembered that. I prayed for that man and I never knew who he was. That's like now, here. I don't know you, but I am praying for you.



They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD, and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 65:23-24



Thursday, October 7, 2021

More Isaiah

 

I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; 

I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. 

I said, “Here I am, here I am,”  

to a nation that was not called by my name.


Isaiah 65:1



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Who is This?

 

For you are our Father,

though Abraham does not know us,

and Israel does not acknowledge us;

you, O LORD, are our Father,

our Redeemer from of old is your name.


Isaiah 63:16



Who is this that Abraham doesn't know 

and Israel doesn't acknowledge?




Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Isaiah 63:1

 

Who is this who comes from Edom,

in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,

he who is splendid in his apparel,

marching in the greatness of his strength?


“It is I, speaking in righteousness,

mighty to save.”



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Psalm 121

 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

    where does my help come from?


My help comes from the Lord,

    the Maker of heaven and earth.


He will not let your foot slip—

    he who watches over you will not slumber;


indeed, he who watches over Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.


The Lord watches over you—

    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;


the sun will not harm you by day,

    nor the moon by night.


The Lord will keep you from all harm—

    he will watch over your life;


the Lord will watch over your coming and going

    both now and forevermore.



Monday, September 27, 2021

What I Want

 


What I want for my sons

Good wives

Good lives

Sons and daughters, my grandchildren

The sons of thunder


Before our world eats up everything good


For you

I wish good things too

A good wife, good life

Sons and daughters


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Mark 4:39-40

 



And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” 

And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 

He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 



Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Sinners

And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:15-17

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Yom Kippur


If you are observing Yom Kippur,

may you have an easy fast.

This year is the first for me.


Heroes


AP photo
                                                                AP photo



You think I'm not coming to save you. Deep inside, even after all I have shown you, all we have been through, you think these are your heroes and they have failed you. Well, one of them at least. You think I will let you go. You suspect all is lost and tomorrow is trouble. You are afraid I will let the smallest among you fall through the holes in my hands. You think that roar is not me. You think it's the enemy and all his plans will work. You think you will starve to death. You think I will let you. Don't you remember me? Don't you remember that time? Or the other time? You want to forget them. You want to forget all the times, but if I let you forget them, you will also forget me and won't know me at all when I come. You think I am not coming, don't you? You think that I will be cruel.



Friday, September 10, 2021

The Destruction of Monuments


Lee and Stuart are two of my old neighbors from college. They used to just stand there. Now one, or maybe both, have been covered in paint and pulled down.






I was never a fan of Confederate history. To me it seemed creepy, even in the peaceful 90's, to have these guys line the most beautiful avenue in town. How I felt watching their destruction, however, is something I find difficult to put into words. 


I am not worried about Lee, take him out if you will, I am worried about us. Why? I wasn't interested in American Civil War history. I was more interested in the history of the Russian Revolution. Something bad is happening here. We are losing eachother.





Behind the Stuart monument you can see the red doors of a Lutheran church. I remember standing there one quiet, do-nothing day and my heart was suddenly filled with deep joy. Someone long ago had built that church and hung those doors in honor of the God of my heart. Someone loved Him like I do. That moment is as impressed in my memory as the bright, bold red color you see here. That's the answer to our current problems, the God of our hearts. He's still there. Call on His name. If you don't understand how that will make a difference, try it and see.


Yuri Bezmenov said all this decades ago, but no one was paying attention. Faith is what will save us. 




Yuri Bezmenov on How to Prevent Ideological Subversion


"...that takes one step, one very important thing to do. You don't have to expel all the KGB agents from Washington DC. The most difficult and at the same time the simplest answer to the subversion is to start it here and even before, by bringing back the society to religion, something that you cannot touch and eat and put on yourself. But something that rules society and makes it move and preserve it. A Soviet scientist, Shafarevich, who has nothing to do with religion, he is a computer scientist, did a very intensive research the on the history of Socialist countries. He calls Socialist or Communist any country with the centralized economy and the pyramidal style of power structure and he discovered, actually he didn't discover, he just brought to attention of his readers.


That civilizations like Mohenjo-daro in the River Indus area, like Egypt, like Maya, Incas, like Babylonian culture, collapsed and disappeared from the surface of Earth the moment they lost religion. As simple as that. They disintegrated. Nobody remembers about them anymore. Well, just a few. 


So, the ideas are moving society and keeping mankind as society of human beings, intelligent, moral agents of God. The facts, the truth, the exact knowledge may not. All the sophisticated technology and computers will not prevent society from disintegrating and eventually dying out. Have you ever met a person who would sacrifice his life, freedom for the truth like that? (writes 2x2=4 on board) This is truth. I never met the person who said, "This is truth and I am ready to... shoot me!" to defend the truth. Right?


But millions sacrifice their life, freedom, comfort, everything for things like God, like Jesus Christ. It's an honor!


Some martyrs in the Soviet concentration camp died and they died in peace unlike those who shouted, "Long live Stalin!" knowing perfectly well that he may not live long. 


Something which is not material moves society and helps it to survive, and the other way around, the moment we turn into 2 by 2 is 4 and make it the guiding principle of our life, our existence, we die. Even though this is true (points to 2x2=4) and this we cannot prove (points to God and J.C.) We can only feel and have faith in it.


So the answer to ideological subversion, strangely enough, is very simple. You don't have to shoot people. You don't have to aim missiles and Pershings and cruise missiles at Andropov's headquarters. You simply have to have faith and prevent subversion. In other words, not to be a victim of subversion.


Don't try to be a person who in Judo is trying to smash your enemy and being caught by your hand. Don't strike like that. Strike with power of your spirit and moral superiority. If you don't have that power, it's high time to develop it, and that's the only answer."



Thursday, September 9, 2021

They're Lying to You, Violet.

 


What do you mean, Mom? 

You're in love with him, so what's the problem?


They say I should date more to find the one.


Vi, get married. Raise a family, with him.


Maybe I'm supposed to roam the Earth.


You're not a dinosaur. What do you mean 'roam the Earth'? 


I'm not supposed to marry the first one. I need to experience life. 


Can't you experience life with him?


Don't point, Mom. He's watching. 


I don't care. I want him to marry you. 


But, Mom, what if he tries to tell me what to do? 


What's he going to tell you to do, Vi?


I don't know. Maybe to quit my job or stay home or something.


Ok. So? What if you tell him what to do? 


I will! 


So this only works one way? 


Of course not. But they say I'm supposed to live a little. Date more. 


They're lying to you, Vi. Don't date more. Don't do that. Please.


Why not?


It's not supposed to be that way. Just pick one. Forsake all others.


Why?


You're not really supposed to have more than one.


What.


It's not right. You know what I mean. I don't want you to know what I mean. 


I don't know what you mean.


He'll protect you. 


I'll protect myself. 


Vi, it's natural for a man to protect a woman. They want to do that. 


No, they want to control us. We have to tear down the patriarchy!


That's nonsense. 


You're old-fashioned.


Look at our world, honey. Really look. Please trust me.