The Biggest Pumpkin

I had a memory return to me the other day. Well, actually, my son had reminded me. It was his first day of school. We talked about how different the times are now, as opposed to when I was in school. “I used to walk,” I said, “from Kindergarten!” “Yes, he said, as he rolled his eyes, as if he was so tired of hearing the story. “You carried that big pumpkin home and you were crying!” I’m the one that had to be reminded, because I laughed at the memory.

“Oh that’s right! I was so greedy! I had to have the biggest one! And I was probably the smallest kid in the class, as I was only 4 years old. I was young for my class.Geesh, can you even imagine, walking home from school at 4 years old? The thought of it makes me freak right now! I crossed at least one street that I know of. I know, it probably was three blocks away, but 49 years ago, it seems like 20 blocks away! It’s all relative. And besides, I’m telling my kids the story, so you know we all, exaggerate. It must be done, to scare the crap out of them, or it’s just not an effective tool for discipline. We don’t have a lot left anymore. Lord knows we can’t lift a hand, thanks to all the liberals. Back in the day, I remember my mom slapping me in front of my friends, and I would be so embarrassed, I wouldn’t dare open my mouth. Now she’d be arrested. She broke a hairbrush on me a couple of times. She’d probably be on death row by now and I’d be visiting her somewhere in northern Wisconsin. Although, if you listened to her tales living under my roof, she probably would have fared better.

Anyway, I digress. I had thought about that story, as I had seen my son coming home from school the other day. He was wearing an oversized hat, which I thought looked a little goofy myself. He started bragging to me that he now had 8 pairs of shoes. “What?!” I was furious. I left to go to work and now he has all of these shoes. He told me they were used and handed down to him by a relative.  As if that made it better. My whole point to him, and his father, was that I did not want him to be over-indulgent. Couldn’t these shoes be given to a child who didn’t have any? A few pairs could have been more than enough.

This pumpkin taught me a lesson when I was young. More is not better. I was a little tiny girl and went to that pumpkin patch with no common sense. I saw all those pumpkin and was filled with pumpkin lust. I had to have that giant pumpkin. That’s right. The Lord tells us that, “Rebellion is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod will drive it far from them.” Well, the rod, was not in that pumpkin patch, so I grabbed that pumpkin, hoisted it up, and all of us boarded the bus, back to our school.

When it was time to walk home, I never gave a care tohow many blocks I would  have to shlep that heavy orb home. My arms began to ache. I felt them burning and the tears welling up in my eyes.  Cars whizzed past me, and I didn’t care how beautiful this pumpkin may have looked nor what face I may carve into it.I just wanted to smash it into the ground. It became an object of contempt to me. Yes, I looked at this thing, which had previously seemed so utterly beautiful and now I wavered, between love and destruction. I felt a monster inside of me.

 I would stop and rest and cry some more. Those blocks seemed like miles to me that day. Oh, how I longed for one of those tiny little gourds. I would have gladly traded if only one of my classmates would have passed me on the street. Nope, I had to carry my own weight.

I learned a valuable lesson at 4 years old. But I’ve learned it over and over again. I watched adults do the same thing. They feed their greed and they cannot satisfy it. They have to have the biggest pumpkin. They have to have, their name in lights, recognition. There is always a cost involved.

I see the spirit of this world trying to influence my children to buy into this belief and I keep trying to fight against this, with the hopes that they will learn the lesson that I have learned. Less, is better. Give, and it shall be given to you. The blessing is always in the giving. And you can never satisfy this desire for greed, it will always master you.

Your arms will ache from try to carry that huge pumpkin. Lay it down.

The Little Pumpkin

Some People Can Always Get What They Want

As Mick Jagger sings, And They Also “get what they need.

I just flew with a guy who was on my crew van and he was furiously trying to get ahold of some restaurant as we got to a hotel. He swore it was the best Italian place in Denver. Well he and I had bantered back and forth on the van for quite a while and by the time we arrived the hotel staff thought we had known each other for a long time.

He had been so gregarious that he asked the girl working the front desk if he could use her car to go pick up the food at the place in lieu of him placing an order for her as well. To this she agreed. I couldn’t believe it myself but she did! The guy was joking around with us as well and he wanted me to go along. He said I would simply love this place and he wanted my company. I realized that I really wasn’t that hungry, but for some reason I really liked this guy as witty as he was, so I said I would go along for the ride.

I told him,  I would be ready in about 10 minutes and he waited downstairs.

Sure enough, there he was, keys in hand and although she asked,”are you sure you’re a safe driver?” He answered, “Of course I am! “Well, what else was he going to say at this point? He wanted his food after all.

We drove about 20 minutes to this place which happened to be an, Italian/Mexican, place, which is a little strange, if you ask me. That’s just plain confusing. I mean they’re on two separate parts of the planet for one thing and they speak two completely different languages. It’s like a pizza and a Tostada. Ok, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

On the way there, he was driving like a maniac. Good thing the girl did not see him. At one point he said, “Hey, something smells, weird. It smells like pot! Do you smell that?? “Oh, that’s great,” I said. I can just see that. We get arrested, cause this girl has pot in her glove compartment!” At this point I look at her glove compartment and notice it has a lock on it. “Hey!” He says, “I still don’t even know your name!” “Oh, I don’t know yours either!” We both start cracking up at this point. “Oh my gosh!” I said, I can see this now. The police pull us over and arrest us. We are thrown in jail and they contact the company. How did we come into possession of this car? The girl denies having knowledge of our having this vehicle because she has pot in her glove compartment, she claims it’s been stolen! We are laughing hysterically at this point. So we are now booked on felony charges for this stupid spaghetti.

At any rate, we go into a grocery store to get some soda before going to the Italian/Mexican restaurant and he comments on the unhealthy salad bar. He then turns around to see some cotton candy and is jumping up and down like a five-year old at a carnival! I had to point out his hypocrisy, which he did not want to hear, and of course, he picked the purple bag, which in my mind would have been the most artificial, but probably the bag was healthier than any of it.

We finally picked up the food. Got gas for the girl’s car. Actually paid cash and had to figure out how to do it. It had been 20 years since either one of us had to use cash. He drove like a bat out of hell on the way back and I closed my eyes half the way back.

The girl was relieved when we walked in, you could tell. As he handed her the food and he told her he filled her tank.I was impressed at how he had managed to manipulate all of us so well. I realized he literally go all of us to do his bidding. Because as I found later, the spaghetti really wasn’t that good.

The next morning, as we left the hotel, I got up extra early. I wanted to wash and blow dry my hair. As fate would have it, my blow dryer was not working. This….BLOWS!!!!! sorry Soooo I hung my head over my air vent. No kidding. That’s what I tried to do. It still was wet.

I was laughing when I saw my friend and we were cracking up on the van. Two hours early for what? A wet head and looking like crap? And he was all stressed out because the van still left late and he was in the same situation I was in when I had my last trip. He was watching all the cars and vans passing us on the freeway and he was sweating .

He said, “I should get on that bus that’s passing us. I can walk faster than this van!Now my friend was so upset, that when we were dropped off, he ran off, never to be seen again. We were so close, almost cell mates, and now, I may never see him again. Such is the life of a flight attendant.

A Day In My Life

I’ll recount the last two days,since my return to work and you’ll see that my life is as insane as ever, yet for some reason, I’m feeling less anxiety than I had two years ago. Hmmm, it can only be the grace of God.

Yesterday, I caught a flight home at 7:30 am and arrived at 10am.I had my daughter pick me up, since my car is a mess.
I was writing on a napkin while I was on the flight, to make sure I could remember everything I needed to do when I arrived home.

My mother is staying with me so the first thing I listed, was her blood tests the next morining.She’s been fighting me on this issue, but I had convinced her that this necessary,since she complains all the time,as if I can diagnose her.

It was my son and my brother’s second day of school, when I came home, so I knew I would be inundated with paperwork to fill out. I was glad to hear that my brother was able to get up on his own. My son is also getting more independent.

I had to call the mechanic about fixing my car and order the parts. I had to take my mother out to get some clothes and new shoes. She didn’t bring very much when she came and declined my offer of clothes.I think she wanted to go shopping.

I had to clean, do laundry and cook. I had to go shopping. I had to call about some of my brother’s benefits and speak to his companion about his next social events.
I had to go to the bank to get money for him,so that he could pay his bus transportation.

I had to sign my son up for his baseball. He was upset because he was placed in the last elective class which he had chosen,so I placed two calls to his guidance counselor.Still waiting to hear from her.

I make enough foood to give my family choices when I’m gone. One of the things I do enjoy is cooking. It is relaxing to me and my mother is always amazed. Probably because we grew up on tv dinners and twinkies.Although,if you listen to her, she makes it souns like we had gourmet meals every night. I wonder who she was cooking for.

I have to find out what happened to her security deposit, but my bet is on my sister. I cleaned and put down some borax by the door, as I’ve heard it is a sure way to kill ants. I realized I need to go to Home Depot to get screens and that little tool to put them in. Now I’m practically out of time,as I need to go back early, since I don'[t like the idea of competing with a million other commuters.

So, I have been home two days and never stopped running. Now I’m hoping to just get on my flight tomorrow and rest!

Strange Sightings in the Sky


Ok, today I had a fun crew to fly with. It also helps when you have strange encounters and we can all compare stories. First off, we had Jackson Browne on the flight.

Right in front of his seat was a couple. They looked older and I only state this because of what we witnessed. As I stood in the First Class galley,I said to the purser, “Could you please explain what that woman and man are doing right now?” She peeked around the corner, and she started laughing hysterically. The woman appeared to be asleep, with her tongue in the guys mouth! It was most bizarre. We worried then, that perhaps she was dead.

As the other crewmembers came up, one at a time, to look, we realized that Jackson Browne, probably thought we were all looking at him. Then we started to recount the sordid stories from his past. Yes, he was with Daryl Hannah, remember? Right before she was with John Jr. Remember the horrible pictures of her, after he allegedly beat her up?” One girl said, “I simply refuse to believe that.” She was the most ardent Jackson Browne fan.

Well, then we all slipped into comparing our experiences with celebrities, which was even funnier. As I said, “Yea, I never really liked George Clooney.” One girl said, “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard those words come from a woman’s mouth.” Hmm, well, something about him just irritates me. I think he seems arrogant.” lol It’s funny how we critique each person. Then we started discussing couple mismatches. “Hey what about Renee Zellweger and that guy, Kenny Chesney.” One crewmember said, “Oh I don’t like her at all. I don’t even like her name. Zellwegger. What kind of a name is that? I said, I just think it’s strange what she does with her lips all the time.” “Yea,” this woman added, and they always look chapped!’ That’s when we really started cracking up.

Oh, my gosh, if only these people knew. When you cross the path of the flight attendants, it’s serious. We all share the experience and the ‘like factor,’ is dependent upon the way you treat us.

When I went to the back later on, I received a call from up front. “Hey, are you the one who is a big fan of Jackson Browne?” No, I told them, it’s Chris.” “Oh, well tell her he is up from his seat if she wants to come and meet him.” She said to me, “I’m so nervous, what will I say?” “Are you kidding? At his age, he’s happy to have people recognize him. Tell him you are a huge fan.”

I came up later to find that he was so nice, he took a picture with all of them in the galley. No doubt, he will be getting some good reviews. Now the couple in front of him were just becoming bolder in their lip-locking contest.

Later on a woman, who was not pleased with the price of a sandwich, sidelined, Chris. “Listen, do you have any bullion on the flight?” “You mean, like the broth? “Yes, we had it on cruise ships, and I think it would go over real well. Maybe you should suggest it, I bet you’d get a big raise.” “Oh yea,” Chris said, I bet I would!”

Ok, now we are laughing so hard. I said, “Hey, I think you should suggest that. I doesn’t take up any room at all.” Yea, she said, and it could be the same flavors, chicken or beef.”At this point she stopped and said, “No, you know if I made that suggestion, they would probably make us have that for our crew meals!” “Well, I  said, I think it would be much easier to take the ketchup packets and mix it with hot water. Just think of how cheap that would be.”

Now, the purser came to the back and we were talking about Jackson Browne again. “Well, Chris said, I don’t care about any negative things in his past, I love Jackson.” “You mean, Clyde. That’s his first name.” “What?” Yes, the purser says, it is his real first name.” I look at her and notice a look of disappointment. “Hmmm, I see, you don’t care about any of his past, but that name Clyde, is a deal-breaker.” At this she agreed. “Yea, I can see why he uses the name Jackson.” “Oh, definitely,” I said. Who would have ever signed him with that name? I mean, “Take It Easy, by Clyde Browne, just doesn’t work.”

At the tail end of the flight, we had a man complaining that his headphones didn’t work even though he had been using his own. He wanted the purser to “compensate him.” She said she didn’t understand, since he had offered his headphones to the man next to him, and he had been using his own. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, I should still be compensated.”

This reminded me of another story, which I shared. I had a trip once, where the Foo Fighters were in First Class. I was joking around with David Grohl, that he looked like a guy in my high school class excepted he was about 20 years older than he was. Then the drummer had come to the galley to chat,  He was telling me they were going to be performing later, and if I wanted, I could come. I couldn’t because I wasnt staying, but I told him, “Hey, I bet we have had some stranger things take place on this flight, than at some of your concerts.” (Now I actually did go to a Foo Fighter’s Concert a couple of years later,but that’s for another post.)

I told him that as we were boarding, a couple approached me and told me that two gentlemen would be coming behind them, and they happened to know that they were drinking heavily on the flight coming in with them. They were really drunk. Well, a few minutes later, sure enough. Here were two guys, and one of them sure seemed drunk. As the agent and the purser were discussing whether, they should be able to travel, one man spoke. “Listen, I am his AA sponsor. He isn’t drunk. He has Parkinson’s Disease. I can vouch for him.”

The purser said to me and the agent, “I feel bad, if this is really true.” I reminded her that there were two people who had witnessed their drinking and warned us in advance. She told the man, claiming to be the sponsor, “Ok, we will let you board, but no drinks.” They agreed and headed to the back.

Next, a man who was blind came onboard. He did not want any assistance. He had a cane and was pretty adept at getting to his seat. Therefore, we didn’t get in his way.

Well, it seems that once the drinks were being served, the AA sponsor ordered one. When the flight attendant told him, “Sir we have been informed that we cannot serve you.” He replied, “Listen, this drink is not for my partner. It’s for me.” She flatly refused and we were incredulous, as to what kind of sponsor this could be.

Later, the video screens went out in a small section of the plane and a complimentary drink was offered to those who could not see the video. As the flight attendants were trying to offer drinks to those who had no working video, the blind man called them over. “Hey I can’t see my video either. I should get a free drink!”

When I was telling this guy the story, he said, “This just happened?” “Yes, I said, it just happened.” “Oh, my gosh! You’re right, you have way stranger stuff happening on your flights, than we do at our concerts!”

So, whenever I experience all this wacky, weird behavior, I try to pretend I’m at a crazy concert. Somehow, it all seems to make sense.

The Obama-Nation of Desolation

The horror of Ground Zero

Well, things are certainly heating up in New York and around this country. The mosque being built near Ground Zero.

President Obama,remaining silent for weeks, claiming it was “a local issue.” Then he finally addresses this very serious issue, and concedes to the Muslim Americans. The following day, he flip-flopped, and stated that “he didn’t say, what he had said.”

Oh, how many times has he done this? He’s ignored some things which seem to be part of the national crises, yet now when he steps up to the plate that same foot goes into his mouth.

Take a stand on the issues, and don’t back down. Show your true colors. The campaign of “Change,” seems to have been referring to his mind. He changes  it from one day to the next.

Now, I’m of the belief that this is not appropriate to build this mosque in the same location of such tragedy.It incites anger and pain, especially for those who have lost friends and family and those who have to be reminded of this every day.

This is like a ‘finger in the eye,’ of, not only the residents of New York, but anyone that has a belief that this is a divisive act.

“After the sixty-two ‘seven’s, the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler will come, will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood; War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ He will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end, that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 9:25-27

Well, what a desolation we had experienced with 9/11. Never before on American soil had we lived through such horror. There is an agenda in the Islamic, ‘core beliefs. It matters not, how nice a person is,but what drives a person, is their belief system.

The bigger question would be, “Who is funding this? And what is the real agenda?” If it was just a matter of needing a place of worship, it would be fair to say, these people, if their desire is peace, would be to concede. It should be a normal response to all the anger and hurt, which many have expressed. That is, if the real point is, just desiring a place of worship. However, it’s much deeper than this. These are the sons of Ishmael, and it is a spiritual battle. I have said this many times, and only those of understanding will see this. It is not a political issue, nor is it a moral issue. It is spiritual and it is the the battle which the Lord said, would endure until the end. It is a battle born of the ancient covenant between Isaac( Israel) and God.

Now Pelosi wants to “investigate those who are opposed to this mosque being built.” What???Hey, what happened to the rights of American citizens, who happened to be just a little bit concerned about our own freedoms? Isn’t this statement just trampling all over our freedom to question the motives of the Imam and his statements? And what about his affiliations?  I’ve got a better idea, Ms Pelosi. How about using taxpayers money and investigate this, and while you’re at it, perhaps find out where the source of the funds, for this project is coming from?

  Sadly, I see this kind of  bullying in many people who hold positions of authority.  I see this throughout our government. Those who are involved in blatant corruption, feel a sense of entitlement. Those who would try to take a righteous stand, are opposed, by the media and others in authority.  It is sad, yet expected. The Lord told us plainly that in the last days, people would “glory in their shame,” and “the truth would be exchanged for a lie.” I don’t have to see this in the news. I’m reading God’s Word. This is where I will find guidance and strength.

As the blind leaders, speak their nonsense, I will know what is happening and take a firm stand on His truth. Not some talking heads, who have designed their own path, which we know leads one direction. “There is a way that seems right to a man, and it leads to destruction.

Now I hear, the press bashing Prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, in his attempts to bring Blagojevich, to justice. The argument is, “all of the homicides in Chicago, and they are wasting this money going after Blagojevich. So, let me get this straight, the leaders, should not be held accountable? And no connection is made, to the ‘trickle down effect?” Man is greatly influenced by those in leadership. If the men who are in positions of authority have no integrity, what would you expect from the mainstream? And if these so called leaders, are not held accountable, it sends a message to everyone, that they are above the law. Thereby increasing the lack of trust in any government agencies. So government, becomes powerless.

As I was talking with a colleague today, we both agreed. The world is getting more corrupt, by the minute. It is not going to ‘get better.’ The Lord has spoken. “Desolations have been decreed.” If corruption is in the heart of man, by way of sin, it has only one end. This is why Christ came for us.

He told us that “the dark would become darker, as the light becomes brighter,” until the day of His return. I am not shaken at this. Because, “although I am in this world, I am not of this world.”

Just take a stand for Him, and you will always be on the right side. Remember the Lord tells us, “that He directs the path of a righteous man.

Worship Me

Perhaps you’ve watched the worship videos and wondered, “What kind of crazy stuff is this? Or perhaps you’ve thought, ‘gee, my church isn’t like this.”

Well, this is the same conversation that the woman of Samaria had with our Lord,regarding worship. She pointed out the line that divided and it was most certainly a religious code.

This response and portion of scripture is very important, since the Lord draws a stark contrast to what the Jews and Samaritans were comfortable doing as a religious exercise and what was to unfold in the future. He tells her that “there would come a time, when all people would worship Him, “in spirit and in truth.”

I grew up in a church with a distinct ritual, which was followed each Sunday. We knew which hymns to sing, since they were posted. We each had a hymnal and a bible, (if anyone cared to open it) in the pew.

Yes, it got old. As children, it was boring. I imagine it was pretty boring as an adult as well, however, it was something that most adults believed they were obligated to do, if one was to enter into salvation.

This is exactly what our Lord does not want. He spoke of religious rituals which are not birthed by His Spirit, and therefore meaningless and dead works.

How can any of this feed ones spirit? How do we enter into the ultimate communion with the Lord, unless it is birthed by Him? He has nothing to do with the things of man.

Now, after finding the true meaning of relationship, versus religion, my spirit longed for more. Something much deeper. As I studied His words and had desire to know Him, rather than a religion, I started to understand.

I still remember the first time I heard true praise and worship. It lifted my spirit to heights I had never known. We would dance in the spirit and sing whatever words, the Holy Spirit brought forth. This is the true meaning of “worshipping the Lord, in spirit and in truth.”

When I listened to the studies, I found something truly miraculous about Praise and Worship. Whenever the armies of the Lord went out to battle, the Praise and Worship teams went before them. In the front line of the battle. That’s right. They led the armies, with all of their instruments. They knew, “that the battle belonged to the Lord,” and this was how it was won. It still is and He wants us to use this powerful weapon.

If you look at the Battle of Jericho, the walls came down, by the blowing of the trumpets and the obedience to God’s word.

When you look at King David and the way he danced around the Ark of the Covenant, you will see that he danced with all of his might. His wife looked out the window and mocked him because he acted drunk. But he was the one whom the Lord referred to as, “the man after God’s own heart.” This is why he was so blessed in his life.

Even when he sinned, he knew it was not against any man. “Against God, and God only, have I sinned.” He was full of remorse and he knew the pain he had caused because his heart was united with the Lord’s.

Now, we have entered into this time in church history. Many people are starting to understand this powerful dynamic. When you have a major battle, praise and worship, is what will tear down spiritual strongholds.

Believe me, there is one who does not want you to do this. Lucifer was “the minister of music,” in heaven. Remember, he wanted the praise which was meant for the Lord. So it would make sense that he tries to mock the praise which belongs to our Lord. Conversely, he perverts the music which man uses as a substitute. He influences all types of music. I used to think that Christians were being a little radical in their assessment of music and his influence until watching some incredible videos by Eric Holmberg. He is the founder of Reel to Real Ministries. And if you want an up close and personal dissection of our music and it’s influence, he is the man. His ministry of Apologetics is incredible and sure made a believer out of me. I watched two videos, Hells Bells 1 and 2, back in the late 80’s and was astounded. You will come away with a true understanding of the dynamic power behind our music and why the enemy of your soul will do everything to keep you from accessing this conduit to our Lord.

He has told us to “offer up the sacrifice of praise.” Why is this considered a sacrifice? Because, it is when we least feel like doing it, that it becomes imperative. This is when we need to do it. And in this, our sacrifice is acceptable to the Lord. The feelings are secondary and He will affect that change, as we worship.

We know that “He inhabits the praises of His people.” So, if you don’t feel His presence and you have trouble understanding or believing, my suggestion is; just do it. You will draw closer to Him than you have ever been and His Spirit will speak to you.

This  video is an example of true praise and worship. The most beautiful experience is to be communing with the Body of Christ and entering into His presence. As He tells us the greatest power is in our Unity.

I just watched a special with a man named, Sid Roth. He was speaking about the type of worship he studied in scripture. People would lay on their face  before the Lord. He spoke of his own experience when he did this and how he had won an intense battle after humbling himself in this manner. He speaks of breaking through the natural, to the supernatural.

I have a number of my favorites, such as Kent Henry, Misty Edwards, Catherine Mullins, Marty Goetz, Third Day, Kimberly and Alberto Rivera,etc. Put this music on and wait upon the Lord. Give Him your sacrifice. And when you least feel the desire, the greater His anointing will be!

Dance With Me

It is a moment of joy and intimacy. To dance with the one you love, is it not?

I remember the first time a man asked me to dance, a slow dance. It was at someones wedding. I was timid and afraid. I was only 15.  I wasn’t quite sure. I had seen this man at my high school with my friends older sister, once. He was a bit older than I.

The song, Color My World, was playing. We danced and he was quite taken with me. However, I did not feel the same toward him. I had an attraction, but this seemed a bit close for two people who had not known each other. I was still very innocent and I felt this act should be mutually desired.

How many times have we danced with people who we did not really have the desire to dance with? By the same token, how many have we had desire and it wasn’t mutual?

Well, this is the dance of life and there is one, only one, who stands patiently waiting. He has requested our presence at the Feast. And He stands patiently waiting. He wants us to desire Him, and accept His request for the dance.

I went to another dance once. I was dressed for the occasion. But this time, I was the one rejected.  But yet, I knew after the experience, that the Lord was the one who had led me there. He gave  me as a picture. A picture of His bride. He has asked us to be “a light on a hill.” He desires  others to see the picture of His glory. He is the one who calls out to this dark world. And He chooses word pictures to do it. He sends us into dark places to radiate His glory. We leave an impression. We impart His spirit into others. We are to call men out. We find ourselves in many diverse places and situations. Many times we do not realize until afterward, that it was His plan all along. Yes, we asked to be His servants and He alone will choose the where and when. But you can be quite sure that if I have crossed your path, it is because He is calling you. And it is for His glory. He is requesting your presence at the dance. “He delivers  men from darkness into His marvelous light.”

I make myself available to Him to draw men by the power of His spirit. Now, He is at the right hand of the Father, awaiting the dance with His bride. I know that there is still  much work to be done. But, just as ” Christ endured the cross, because of the joy that was set before Him,” I also know what joy awaits me. At the conclusion, we shall finally have this dance!

As Deep Calls Unto Deep

I was reading this from a passage of scripture in Psalm 45, this morning. As I was troubled about the things in my life and the sadness which was overwhelming me, the Lord spoke to my spirit.

It speaks of my Lord and it states, “daughters of kings are among your honored women;at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir;

Then the word came to me as I continued to read, “Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear;

Forget your people and your father’s house, The king is enthralled with your beauty; honor him, for He is your Lord. The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favor.

All glorious princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold, In embroidered garments she is led to the king, her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you. They are led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king.”

As I read this, I began to remember that my God is a jealous God. “He won’t relent, until He has all of me. No man can take His place and I cannot expect this place to be filled by a mere mortal. He wants me and He pursues me.

I thought about an experience I had when I was newly single and going out with some single girls. One evening my friend and I went to a club. It was a place where you could watch people riding a bull. I thought it was pretty entertaining.

As we left, she decided to go to her car and mine was in the other direction She walked off in her high heels and I was standing in front of the club. All of a sudden a rickshaw rode up right in front of me and three men were in it. One spoke, “My friend has been watching you and he is very attracted to you. Will you ride with us?” I thought this was funny. I had no idea who these guys were, but stranger yet, they were all speaking Hebrew. They told me they were from Israel and visiting the area. This was a tourist attraction, with all of the clubs and restaurant.

I said, “I don’t know any of you.””Please just ride around once so he can talk with you.” “Ok, I agreed. After all, it was a tourist place and I knew the rickshaw driver was with us.

I rode around with them as their friend was telling me he thought I was beautiful and wanted to see me again. I loved listening to all of them speaking to one another in Hebrew, and couldn’t wait to tell my friend about this experience. Yep, this was a new one. I had never been kidnapped in a rickshaw before! My friend had called me when she reached her car and it was only minutes before this happened.

As I finally convinced these guys that I enjoyed the ride,but wasn’t interested in a “second date,” they asked me where my car was parked. They had the driver take me to my car. Of course the man was trying until the last possible moment, to make me change my mind.

The next morning my friend called to see how I was doing. I said, “Well, as a matter of fact, right after you left, I was kidnapped by a bunch of guys in a rickshaw!” “What?!” She couldn’t even begin to understand what I was talking about, and I’m sure she thought I had to be kidding. She laughed hysterically as I recounted the whole experience.

I had to admit that although I had no interest in these guys, I was impressed with the pursuit. I think everyone is flattered to know someone is interested enough to do something above and beyond the normal flirtation. This was a bit over the top, but I thought it was extremely sweet and quite unconventional.

At any rate, as I was reading these verses, the Lord reminded me that He is always pursuing me and He has the whole universe at His disposal. He impresses me with this fact and shows me that I may not be appreciated by man, but I am engaged to Him. He has “placed me, like a seal upon His heart, like a seal upon His arm.”

Long ago, I realized, I belong to Him. As many times as I’ve tried to stray, He has brought me back. I can hear Him. He calls me. It is from the heavens and His voice is the depth of His spirit unto my own. There is nothing shallow when it comes to the Lord and His wooing  in this divine romance. It is  “Deep calling unto deep.” 

“I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine.”

King’s In the Corner

To be a child

It was about 3 years ago, that I had met Marilyn. The wheelchair would come out of the van and she’d power herself into the bowling alley. Her daughter has Down’s Syndrome, and this woman as frail as she seemed, was truly a powerhouse.

I met her son, John. He was my age, and we described the similarities of our lives. Both of our mothers were the same age, and had raised us without a man.

His pride in his mother’s accomplishment was apparent. We both were amazed at the strength which was demanded of our mothers in the era that frowned upon single women trying to raise children, especially special needs children. The public didn’t have much sympathy for women like this. It was almost as if divorce was a contagious disease.

Now, looking back, I have more understanding of my mother and the reason for her moodiness.

But Marilyn, did not show this side of herself. I had gotten to know her and the two other women at the table. We sat as at a table as we watched the special needs bowler’s. All of these women had a son or daughter participating. I had my brother.

Marilyn, Muriel, and Yvonne, invited me to play cards with them. They taught me how to play, King’s In the Corner. As we commiserated about our current issues on health care, for our loved ones, and the care involved. Our personal lives discussed over suits of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Amazing how sharp these gray-haired women were. I couldn’t keep up with them at times.

I went through all my issues with discussions leading to advice and hugs. Muriel, the outspoken one in the group, had a soft side. She would tell people off, if she got angry. She once told a guy, who happened to be a coach, to “grow up!” She let him know that his, stirring up my son, with his antics, were not appreciated. When the guy looked at me and stated, “His mother hasn’t told me to stop!” Muriel responded, “She doesn’t have to! I’m telling you and I know she doesn’t like it!”  I laughed at how aggressive she was, at her age. She had no fear. Yet, when I was depressed about something, she would come and put a gentle arm around my shoulders and tell me, “Hang in there kid.”

We were playing one night and right in the middle of the game, Marilyn slumped over in her wheelchair. I saw a look of alarm on Muriel’s face. As we tapped Marilyn and called her name, she still did not respond. She had an oxygen tube in her nose. At this point her son, John walked in and tapped her. She seemed to wake up instantly and Muriel looked at me and mouthed the words, “I thought she was dead!” Yes, I sure did as well, and wondered if I might have to employ CPR. Whew! I was just glad that I wasn’t needed and it turned out her oxygen was turned way down, and it was causing her to fall asleep.

She would laugh as we caught her a few times, messing up the game or trying to cheat. We were never sure, if she was conscious of what she was doing, however, she was sharp as could be. Which led me to believe, she was bluffing.

Nice try, Marilyn. After a year or so, we moved to a new location, and added anther player. Matthew’s grandmother. A sweet little lady and quite energetic. Matthew is one of the sweetest boys. His case is particularly sad, since his disabilities were caused when he’d been in a car accident with his parents, as a toddler. I still remember the first time I watched him bowl. I had to turn around because I was crying. He looks as if he’s struggling to get up to his lane and that he’s about to fall right over, as he violently throws the ball forward. As it careens down the lane, he gets strikes more often than not.

I went to the banquet where I danced with Matthew quite a few times and just to see the smile on his face warmed my heart. All of these kids are so special.

Last year I went to Marilyn’s birthday party at her daughter’s house. All of the kids from the bowling night were there, along with their parents. Marilyn’s daughter lovingly served her all night and it was sweet to see the relationship all of Marilyn’s children had with her.I got to know her family very well and was blessed to be a part of this special day.

I had a great picture of Marilyn from the picnic we had been at the year before and I gave this to her on her birthday. At this picnic, I took a couple of hula hoops out of my trunk that had been in there for years. Who knew that  these simple hoops could inspire such childlike joy in so many? As everyone took a turn, I heard Marilyn speaking in her soft voice. “Let me try that, ” she said. “Oh, Marilyn, I sure will!” Being a former hula expert, I knew that even in a chair, this woman could show some skills. She grabbed the hoop and started spinning on her wrist. She was laughing like a little girl and I was laughing just watching the show. It made me remember my own youth, when I could hula from my neck, to my ankles and did the wrist hula, transferring it back and forth between arms.

Next her health care aide grabbed it, and with her big belly, she slid that thing down. Just watching this woman, made us laugh until tears were running down our faces. She didn’t care. She was a child again. As Marilyn’s daughter took a turn and my son and I, and many other’s, I thought, this is what heaven is like.

Later, I looked at my pictures and laughed again, to see how old and young alike, had been transformed into little kids, by the power of a circular piece of plastic.

A few weeks ago, Marilyn’s son John sat with us. Marilyn was in the hospital. He had tears in his eyes as he told me about her struggle. At one point he told me her heart had stopped, but right before this, she looked into space and exclaimed, “It so beautiful!” He said, I wanted to know what she saw, so I asked her. Mom, what is so beautiful?” As the doctor’s brought her back, she looked at him and said, “When am I checking out of here?” He said, “I never got to find out what she saw.” “Well, ” I told him, “You found out just enough. It’s what the Lord wanted you to witness. Death is not an end, but a beginning. I’ll be praying for you and her, I said.

Last night, I came to the bowling alley and as I walked in, I almost knew. There was the flyer on the table. Marilyn had passed away. I walked over to Muriel and Matthews grandmother. My son and I sat down and talked about Marilyn and how much we were going to miss her. Muriel told me that her daughter, Barbie,was not real upset. “Well, that’s the blessing with these kids. They do not experience the deep sorrow, which we experience,” I told her. “I still remember when my brother Chris died, and Kevin pointed at his casket and said, “He still owes me $5.” We all laughed.

My son filled in for Marilyn, and we played our game as we talked. Yvonne had health problems and hadn’t been coming for a few months so our group is getting smaller. But for these past few years, I have been blessed by all the wisdom, which comes with age and experience.

 Tonight we went to the funeral and I decided to get copies of the pictures from the picnic, for John. As I walked in, I looked up and there was a big digital screen with pictures of Marilyn and her life. Much to my surprise, there was that beautiful picture of her, spinning the hula hoop on her arm. As I handed the pictures to John and told him, I brought them for him, he said, “Oh, that was your picture?” “Yes, I love that picture of her.” “Oh,” he said. “You know that’s one of the pictures we picked for tonight.” “Yes,” I said. “I saw that. We missed her at the table last night.” The tears welled up in his eyes once again. “Don’t forget about those words she had spoken. She is truly in a beautiful place now.”

As I looked at her life and listened to the eulogies,I was so touched by the quiet strength this woman had and the beauty of her spirit which she shared with all of us. I thought of my own mother, as I looked at the year she was born. She was born the same year as my mother and had much the same difficulties. A poem was shared by John, which she had written. It was incredible, as it had taken her 15 years to write and the subject was her daughter, Barbie. At the end she stated that if God were to speak, and ask her what she wanted, she would tell him, “A daughter with Down’s Syndrome.”

Well now she is in a place where there is no pain or crying. The King is truly, In Her Corner!

Hula hoops

Slip, Sliding Away!

Ahhh, what a fantastic way to say goodbye! Exit the stage in grand fashion and let everyone wonder, “What just happened?”

Yes, Steven Slater, the one who everybody is talking about.  How many times had I dreamt of blowing a slide and just being liberated from the stress of it all?

The lyrics of this song definitely come to mind ;

“Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man
We’re workin’ our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway, when in fact we’re slip sliding away
     Simon and Garfunkel
He sure spoke for all of us, especially fellow colleagues. When the pressure was so intense in my own life, I just decided to take a break from the flying, or I sure would have had that same temptation. It was there. It was palpable. All it would have taken is some lunatic harassing me one more time. I often thought of the movie, Falling Down, with Michael Douglas. This seemed to be my experience, and apparently, Steve Slater’s. He reached the peak, and went for the gusto, in typical Milwaukee fashion, grabbed the beer on the way out. Smart man. I’m toasting him right now. All of my hometown should use him for the poster boy. In fact they should put his picture on the Miller Stadium! Great advertisement and all the future endorsements for this guy. Sure seems like it was a great career move.
Now, he seemed to be pretty peaceful when he was being arrested. Of course, with some alcohol coursing through his veins, he may have had a little liquid courage, but today, he’s being heralded.
Who could have known, that the masses are all, “Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?” Well, I actually know, since I’ve lived it. But to have an individual take a stand…or a seated slide, well, that’s just what we all needed.
This was the perfect picture of the early out and he sure didn’t stick around to see if he would receive an exit package. He did it his way.
I’ve got one more song that would fit his last act and I sure hope someone uses this song for his story one day.

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