"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Calm, Cool & Adjusted

      This will be short and not especially sweet. Here are links for Calm, Cool & Adjusted, by Kristin Billerbeck.
      Since I haven't read it, I can't comment on the book itself, but so far I've been impressed by the books selected by the CFBA for review. Try it, you'll like it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"All You Need Is ... Love"

      The passage below came from today's meditation in The Power of Purpose. Then, of course, I found it necessary to add my own thoughts.
... God wants us to love everyone, but he is particularly concerned that we learn to love others in his family. Why does God insist that we give special love and attention to other believers? Here's why – God wants his family to be known for its love more than anything else. Jesus said our love for each other – not our doctrinal belief – is our greatest witness to the world. He said, "Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13:35 LB)
      This makes perfect sense, and it could be no other way. God is love. And if we are to represent Him faithfully, His love must characterize our lives--not just our behavior at selected moments, but our lives. Since we'll never perfectly fulfill that ideal, our first prayer should always be, "Father, make me a conduit for Your perfect love. Send someone for You to love through me today."
      Loving those who are impossible to love is not optional. Jesus commanded it ...
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy" (Lev. 19:18) but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you, so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. Because He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust. For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you only greet your brothers, what exceptional thing do you do? Do not the tax-collectors do so? Therefore, you be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.(Matthew 5:43-48 LITV)
      When we don't feel like loving others, shouldn't we realize how hard it was for His Father to love us? When we don't feel like loving others, we must remind ourselves that He didn't feel like turning Jesus over to evil, sadistic men, to suffer unspeakable humiliation, torture and death in our place ... but He did it anyway, out of love for us. In the midst of His agony, Jesus asked His Father to forgive them, and us, even after we cursed and brutalized Him in the worst way.
      Until we decide to shed our self-righteous pride and love even our enemies as Jesus commanded--and modeled--any Christlikeness we show will be just that: a show! It will appeal to Him as the filthy rags of Isaiah 64:6. By acting Christlike without loving as He did, our blasphemy will offend God even worse than that of the Jews and Romans who railed at the dying Jesus on Skull Mountain.
      Until we decide to accept His love as an obligation to love others, we will have no right to claim His love, or His blood, for ourselves. The Beatles almost had it right: All ya need is His love.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Cubicle Next Door

      Nancy and I are still reading Siri Mitchell's newest novel, The Cubicle Next Door, so don't you dare spoil the end for us! Once again I have to thank Nancy for the motivation to read Chick Lit. Being legally blind, she needs me to read the stuff aloud to her that I want her to read. Otherwise, she'd be listening to Danielle Steele audio books(yuck).
      Siri Mitchell is profound, funny--actually, hilarious--easy to read and hard to put down(her books, not her personally). In The Cubicle Next Door, she tells about Jackie, a civilian systems analyst with the U. S. Air Force Academy's history department. She's bright, articulate, funny, cute in a Janeane Garofalo sort of way, and a complete, total, committed computer geek. The author hasn't revealed the fact, but I'll bet Jackie wears a pocket protector bearing pens, pencils and a compact PDT.
      When Joe upsets Jackie's one-small-room kingdom by moving in with his office partitions, desk, chair and computer, she begins venting her anger and frustration on her blog, The Cubicle Next Door--you'll never guess where the book's title came from.
      Joe-the-fighter-pilot is tall, dark, handsome, smart, funny, and completely clueless of inter-cubicle etiquette. And Joe decides Jackie will be his friend.
      Jackie doesn't want a guy-friend; she's too busy and happy with her life as it is. Besides, throughout her life she's been smarter than all the guys, and they resented it, hurting her through merciless ridicule. So guys are fine in their place ... anyplace but in her life. Trouble is, Joe will not get the message, and neither will her heart.
      What more can I say than, "If you love to laugh with, and cry with, compelling characters, buy this book!"
      If you want to know more about the author, go to http://www.sirimitchell.com/.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm Sick & Tired ...

... of being sick and tired. After staying home from work for nearly a week, I'm still sick and tired. Went to a place called "Urgent Care" yesterday, where I spoke with a P.A. for about fifteen minutes, only to discover I probably have a viral infection and need to control my coughing, push fluids(both down my throat and into the sewage system via the toilet every ten minutes), get plenty of rest(well, duh) and call in a couple of days if it doesn't improve. What I actually paid for was the medical excuse/return to work that I need to keep my job.
     Let's see, I had a spiritual application for this grousing session, but my brain is on strike. One thing I know, however--even with half my brain tied behind my back(apologies to Rush Limbaugh)--is one day I will get to shed this rotting shell that the Bible calls a temporary tent, and take up residence in a body that will seem like a mansion compared to it.
     I praise God for giving me the hope that will never die, but will one day become a reality. Only He is perfectly faithful.