mental radio

...is when the tunes playing inside my head,

turn out to be the LORD trying to tell me something...

Sunday, October 31, 2004
 
time change

I like the return to normal time! The kids are getting up without me having to screech for them. I'm up and awake, instead of groggy...

Every year, it seems like the springtime change of losing an hour messes with me worse and worse. Today we gained that hour back again - and I can feel it. Feels wonderful!

It's awful to feel out of sync - and nice to get back into sync.

I wonder - couldn't we do without daylight savings time now? Do we really need it anymore?

Friday, October 29, 2004
 
lively stones

I was thinking one day about the stones in a building, and about intercessory prayer. Gonna try here to set out my thoughts in some kind of order.

I was thinking of these two passages:
1 Corinthians 3:9b-11 KJV 9b ... ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
and,
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Both Paul and Peter use the imagery of people being the blocks or bricks or stones that the walls of a building are built out of. Each person, each stone, being put into its own proper place.

In every church, there are a few people (or I hope there are!) who are totally sold out for GOD, looking to please HIM more than anything else. Totally in love with the Savior. Usually those people are the intercessors - because they love GOD so much, and want the closeness they have with GOD to spread to the others in their church. They pray because their hearts flow with it - talking with GOD, not just talking at GOD.

The marks of an intercessor, I believe, are these: a heart that loves GOD, a heart that loves others, and a heart that is humble and contrite . Not all puffed up - 'Look at me! I'm an INTERCESSOR!' - but seeing themselves as not someone great, not looking to draw attention to Self. Just very simple, very lowly - and content to be so.

The intercessors, as I see it, are the stones that are placed in the bottommost part of the wall. They then bear the weight of the stones, the people, placed above them. They are in the lowest place on the wall; they get set into place first, and then the rest is built up after them.

The lowest place - the best place in the building to be.

Why? Why is the lowest part of the wall the best place to be built?

Because the only thing lower than the bottom - is the foundation. And that foundation is Jesus. To be an intercessor, you get to be right next to Jesus! There in the lowly place, the place where HIS heart is.

And the weight you are bearing above you, of all those built on top of you?

Well, that weight that you're bearing - really, you aren't. It's Jesus the foundation underneath you who is bearing up all that weight above you, and bearing you up as well.

Humble yourself - come where HE is - be the lowest. It's the best place to be.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
 
tandem bicycle

A tandem bicycle is a pretty neat thing - a bicycle built for two.

After my husband died, I had to learn to be the prayer warrior for our family. Or relearn that kind of prayer, really. Before we married, I had learned to fight in the spirit against the enemy. But then...

I don't know why, but for some reason, after I got married, I began to take the attitude that prayer-as-warfare was no longer my job - that it was my husband's job to pray like that for me and the kids.

So - I backed off. Stopped praying with him in particular. Left it all in his hands.

And then he died. And there I was, in a huge fix, getting the crash refresher course in prayer-battling!

And then one day, I saw inside my head a tandem bicycle. And how that fit with what had happened in my life. My husband and I - our marriage - had been us riding on a bicycle built for two. He had been on the front seat, both pedalling and steering - while I had been on the back seat. Not steering of course, for I knew that steering was my husband's job and I was mostly content to leave it to him. But gradually, gradually - I was not pedalling either. Just going along for the ride. Not helping him like I should have been doing. Not multiplying his efforts the way I should have.

There is a verse in the Bible that says that one can put a thousand to flight, and two can put to flight ten thousand. Doing the math there, it's clear that two together can face 5 times as many of the enemy as one alone. And that was what I was there for - to be the multiplier of my husband's prayers.

But I didn't. I slacked off on the job. And then when my husband died, there I was, stuck with a very large bicycle that I had forgotten how to make go.

sigh

Well... at least now I know better.

Monday, October 25, 2004
 
Storyblogging Carnival 4

Storyblogging Carnival 4 is up at Doc Rampage.

Quite a collection of offerings this time. My favorites are easily Donald S. Crankshaw's Flight and Tim Worstall's Victims of Slavery v Lloyd's of London.

Go have a look!


 
in love

Did I mention that I am in love?

A week after my husband died, as I was going through the little address book he had always kept in his wallet, making sure I had invited all of his friends to the upcoming memorial service, I ran across the name of one of his friends. A bachelor, about my own age. And as I looked at his name on the page, this little thought about him hit my brain then - about how he was my own age, and was a bachelor.

That thought got stuck there.

And it grew.

And the next thing I knew, I was in the fight of my life, fighting tooth and nail not to fall in love with him.

Why was I fighting not to fall in love? Well, for one thing, the man hadn't shown a bit of interest in me. But the main reason was that I didn't want to be in love with any man without knowing for sure that this was the man the LORD Jesus had in mind for me. I didn't think this one was.

Well, I was pretty sure he wasn't.

Well, I knew the LORD hadn't given me the go-ahead. So even if this was the right guy, it was the wrong time.

And so I fought it. Fought hard.

Lost the fight.

It was a totally miserable time of my life. Wanting to guard my heart, failing at it. Enjoying the bubbly feelings of being in love, but knowing all the while I shouldn't be having them. Wanting out, but having this little thought inside me that maybe, just possibly, the man would show an interest in me after all...

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

And then on a certain day, as I was praying and crying out to the LORD about the huge mess I had let myself get into, I heard the LORD say to me quite plainly, 'Then fall in love with ME.'

'Oh yes please!' I responded. And I did - I fell in love with the LORD. Totally, absolutely, head-over-heels, madly, passionately...

Does that sound weird? Maybe it is weird. Maybe.

Do I care if it's weird?

Not particularly.

Because you see, I soon began to recognize what had happened within me, this falling in love with the Savior. I thought at first that this inside me was like when I had first fallen in love with my late husband - those giddy days of our courtship.

But then I realized that it went back further than that. Back to the time when I was in my teens, and I first got saved. When I first opened my heart to the Savior and HE came in.

It was the First Love! And I had somehow let that slip. Slowly, imperceptively, I had let my love for the Savior dull and die down. Now it was back, in breathless sweet fervancy.

~~~

And so, as I said, I am in love - in love with the One who ransomed me with HIS own life's blood.

As for the man, my late husband's old friend - one night when I had come to the absolute end of my own strength in the matter and cried out to Jesus, throwing myself utterly on HIS strength - HE broke it. HE delivered me, set me free. It was wonderful!!!

~~~

(Ummm... one more thing. There... is a certain man in my life now. A dear and wonderful man - a Christian - a man that I believe so much alike with that it is all but unbelievable.

And this time, it was the LORD who pointed him out to me. Who said to me, 'He is the one; you may go ahead and fall in love with him.'

So - I did.)

Saturday, October 23, 2004
 
the cabbage story

One day back in the summer of 2002, I was getting ready to fix supper for my kids. Earlier in the day I had boiled a head of cabbage, and I now had this huge bowl in the bottom of the fridge full of the leftovers of the cabbage along with the water I had boiled it in.

I decided to go over to the counter and get something else done first, intending to then bring the bowl of cabbage out of the fridge to heat it up.

Apparently my 2-year-old daughter had figured out what my plans were, because without asking me, without me seeing her, she decided she was going to 'help' me. So she went over to the fridge to bring out the cabbage. The very very big and heavy bowl of cabbage...

The first I knew of what she was doing, was the sound. A liquidy sound, like something was pouring across the floor.

Because something was pouring across the floor. It was the sound of cabbage water, spreading across a kitchen floor.

And there stood my little daughter, this huge plastic bowl dangling from her one tiny fist, an incredulous look on her face, as everything in the bowl landed splat in the floor.

And then the strangest thing happened - I started laughing.

Yes, laughing. Not screeching, not hollering, not pitching a hissy fit - all the things I would ordinarily have done. No, I started laughing.

My middle son was there is the kitchen with us, watching, his eyes bugging out at the sight of such a huge mess. I told him to go bring a towel to mop up the mess with. As he turned to go get it, I called after him to get the biggest towel he could find.

And what did he bring me back? A wash cloth. A wash cloth!

And what came out of my mouth? Screeching, hollering, hissy-fit-pitching?

No. Just more laughing. And then I sent him back for an actual towel, and then I went and got one myself, and the two of us cleaned up the mess.

(Btw - I gathered up all the cabbage from off the floor, washed it off, heated it up, and then I served it anyway. Shh! Don't tell!)

~~~

I would like to say that that was the end of my temper - that I have never pitched a hissy fit since. I would like to say that, yeah. It wouldn't be true. I pitched a fit at the kids just this past week, trying to get them to get ready and out the door for school. I still need a lot of work on my temper. A lot.

So pray for me, please.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
 
'on the fritz'

Back before I got married, I used to like to listen to Christian rocker Steve Taylor. On Tuesday, his song 'On the Fritz' kept running through my mind. Yep, the ol' mental radio had tuned in an oldie-but-goodie. In particular, these lines:
So the crowds grew, and their praise did too
and a mailing list sent you money
so they love Jerry Lewis in France
does that make him funny?
and
now victims of your double life are naming names
I didn't really think about it though at the time. Just some old tune I used to listen to, right? But then on Wednesday, I began receiving email forwards about some Christian bigname (I actually know very little about him) who has apparently fallen into sin.

I don't see any point in mentioning the man's name here. From what I read, those in authority over him tried to hold him accountable, and he refused. I did some web searching to find his response to the accusations, and didn't find anything, so at this point I only have the one side of the story.

My take: I see this as another case of the enemy - the adversary, the accuser of the brethren - doing his usual thing of stealing, killing, and destroying. Of trying to take down a ministry and smear the name of Jesus Christ, all in the same blow.

Certainly the world will use this as an occasion to blaspheme, to speak evil of the LORD and of HIS people, to paint all Christians as hypocrites. To mock, to belittle, etc, etc.

The question to me is: how will we who are Christians respond? Will we too mock and speak evil? Will we do the accepted 'Christian' sin of gossiping about the man? Or the even better, more Christianized version: gossiping about him under the guise of asking prayer for him?

Galatians 6:1&2 says:
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Other versions translate the word meekness as gentleness. To keep a gentle, loving attitude while seeking the man's restoration. Being careful that we are not tempted to sin in doing so.

Tempted to sin? Tempted to what sin? The same sin that he is accused of? Perhaps. But also - guarding against puffing ourselves up at seeing another fall - guarding against wielding a malicious, backbiting tongue against the man - guarding against slicing up both the man and those around him with our sharpened, deadly words.

The goal is his repentance and restoration. His purification and transformation. For this evil that the enemy has planned against him could very well turn out for a mighty and miraculous healing instead, for this man and for many.

But we need to check our own hearts, bridle our tongues, and pray with mercy. (And where appropriate, beg the LORD for forgiveness - for us!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
 
names

I love names. Good thing I had seven kids, huh? Gave me a huge opportunity to indulge my love of names.

I started collecting books on names when I was a teen. Now, most name books are of the 'name your baby' variety, so when I bought and brought home that first one at age 16 - well, you should have seen my mom's face! Wondering was there some news I hadn't told them...

Nope - not pregnant - just fascinated with names - where they came from - what they meant.

Writing gives me the opportunity to indulge my love of names as well. I've been working on a novel for some time now - lotsa characters, lotsa names to bestow. Lotsa fun for me!

How long have I been working on the novel? Well, when I started, I had it that the main character was 10 years old, because that was the age of my oldest child.

My oldest is now 15 - and the main character is now 12. Hmmm...

And the novel is 1/3 finished.

So...somebody's gotta get busy writing, eh?

 
i don't do a lot of linking out...

...but I thought I would mention this post/discussion. Been following the proceedings there.

 
long time, no post

I didn't realize I hadn't blogged in so many days. I had a new chapter for 'the child' to post at my fiction blog, and forgot to put it up till today.

Twould be nice if I had a good excuse for not posting, but I don't. I have been writing some posts, but then I stuck em away to ripen, so to speak...

...and to see if after ripening, they might just rot instead.

Still waiting on em...

Saturday, October 16, 2004
 
gift

A couple of years ago, I got a bonk on my head that gave me a headache for the rest of the day. Not one of the best days of my life - before it was over, my oldest child had run away. (She came back the next day.)

I grumbled at the LORD about the bonk on my head, complaining that HE had let it happen. And then I heard HIM say to me, that it was a gift.

A gift?????

Over time, I began to understand. The cramps in my feet when I was trying to pray. The kids yelling and bickering. All the little (and big) annoyances of my life. These are in fact gifts, if I look at them from a different perspective. Inconveniences, to stretch me - to show me that in HIS strength, I can endure more than I thought I could.

Praying in the midst of the storm, so to speak.

The LORD is the giver of good gifts - every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. (James 1:17)

I just have to remember to see things HIS way, and not my own way.

Friday, October 15, 2004
 
some thoughts on the movie 'lord of the rings: two towers'

I was going through some old notes (hastily scribbled in a darkened theater) from when I first got to see this movie.

From first viewing, Jan 2003:

When you ride out into the teeth of danger, expect deliverance! for you shall get it [Ps 121]

When the enemy blows a hole in the wall of defense, he doesn't do it for no reason. Plug up the hole! Rally there to defend your people.

Sam was unswervingly loyal and trusting of Frodo no matter what - even when Frodo, under the malevolent influence of the ring, turned on him. So should we be towards one another as Christians - even knowing as we do that as humans we will still fail one another, sometimes deliberately, sometimes not. Yet we should trust one another. Implicitly. But we cannot do that without first trusting the LORD unswervingly and implicitly. After all, is it not HE, the LORD, who is putting us together into one body - placing each one as HE will? Does not HE the LORD know each one of us thoroughly, what we are and will be, what we do now and will do? HE knows that we will fail one another, and when, and in what manner. and yet it seems the me that HE uses even our failures one towards the other for our good, for our training. Romans 8:28. Whatever our failures, HE graciously and lovingly turns them to HIS good. But we need to, as Peter, repent and return - and not, as Judas, despair and die.

The conversation between Aragorn and Arwen. I don't remember exactly what she said, but it had something to do with the path he was on being his destiny. I think of Ps 23 - HE leads me in the paths of righteousness for HIS name's sake. We as Christians do have a destiny - each of us a certain work, at least one, that the LORD has before us for us to do. We may not see it - or we may see it but see no way to get there to do it - but again! unswerving trust in the LORD! HE knows the work, and He knows the way. Only following HIM will get us there, following hard after HIM. HE will surely lead us aright, in HIS own timing and way.

How could Gandalf, so small, stand up against the balrog - a demon, and so large! - unless he knew (and knew with assurance) the power backing him up! And even as he was falling, falling to what must certainly be his death - even then, he was staying on mission, telling the others to run, to escape. And then chasing the demon, continuing to fight, never flagging till the demon died. So must we be, ever on mission for our dear master King Jesus, knowing with certainty and assurance the Power that backs us up.

And these, from my 2nd viewing of the same movie, mar 03:

The sensitive one is in the greater danger. (Frodo, hiding from the ringwraiths)

Sometimes a betrayal of trust happens to save a life. (Frodo luring Gollum out to be captured rather than killed)

When all hope fails - speak courage, not despair. (Helm's Deep)

How did it get to this? a little sleep, a little slumber... (Someone asked that question; I've forgotten who.)

There is always hope - for without it, all courage dies. (Helm's Deep)

It just takes one arrow to start the war. (Helm's Deep)

Into the breach! That's where the battle is - meet it! (When the enemy blew a whole in the outer wall defenses)

If you're part of this world - you have part in this war.

Turn the enemy's devices on his head! (Aragorn using an enemy ladder for his own purpose)

In the throes of the ring-spell, Frodo could not hear even Sam. (In Osgiliath)

The light of GOD shall blind the enemy. (Gandalf at the break of dawn)

~~~

By the way, in Silmarillion, Tolkien apparently has it that Gandalf and the other wizards were a class of lower ranking angels.

~~~

My two gripes about the trilogy:

No Tom Bombadil, and

Left out my favorite line, about someone having to give things up and lose them, that others might have them. That line sums up the entire trilogy - I really wanted to hear Frodo say it.


 
the choice

About a month ago, when I first started blogging, my intention was for my very first posting to be on the topic of 'happiness is a choice.' Well...

It was while I was writing it up, that things in my life swirled out of control into madness - or perhaps maddeningness - which led to my rant-at-GOD-under-the-stars (as chronicled in 'compassion'). And things went from there. The continued snotty/foul-mouth/hatefulness-towards-each-other of my children. Misunderstandings among my friends. Long term waiting (still) for something I want very badly.

And I realize - I am being tested. Do I really believe that happiness is a choice? that I can buck the circumstances around me, and choose to be happy anyway? how bad can things get, and I still be happy?

And after all that has gone on (and still goes on and on and on...) - yes, I still believe it. I still believe that no matter how ugh-ish life gets around me, I have the choice of how I react to it. And that I still can choose to be happy no matter what.

Now whether I actually do choose happiness no matter what - well, that is another question! Do I fail to do what I believe in? Yes. Sometimes I do. Maybe often I do. But I still believe it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
 
can you top this...

I have taken to carrying a small notebook about with me, into which I write out thoughts to become blog entries. And then sometimes, I write in my notebook, and forget to ever type up what I have written and post it...

Case in point: written on 5 oct 04 - forgotten about till now.

can you top this...

That was the name of an old tv show (from before my time). I got to see a game like that being played in real life once. It wasn't pretty.

It happened shortly after I got engaged to the man I would marry and shortly before we actually married. I wound up stuck in a room for at least an hour with two women I had never met before. The two of them were sisters-in-law, married to a pair of brothers. And these women were the ones playing the game.

And in their game of 'Can You Top This?' the category was 'I Married the Stupider Brother.'

Seriously. I am not kidding. Oh, they didn't call it 'Can You Top This' of course. But that is what they were doing. Almost their entire conversation was tales of their husbands' idiocies, punctuated with gales of laughter. 'My husband is so dumb, he did _________.' 'Oh, that's nothing - my husband is so dumb, he did ________!'

And it went on like that. And on. And on. And I longed for escape...

And I also kept wondering - what if their husbands were to show up suddenly and hear the two of them talking about them like that? How would their husbands feel? Wouldn't they feel betrayed?

It was sobering. I looked forward to my own upcoming marriage - and took instruction. I made a promise to myself right then, that I would not pull such a stunt on my soon-to-be husband. Not to belittle him, or put him down. Or especially not to make him the punch line of stupid jokes.

Respect. Isn't that what a husband wants?

I hope I always showed that to my beloved late husband. I think I did.

~~~

Of course, the thing about it was, having cut myself off from complaining about him to anyone else, I was left with only being able to complain about him to GOD.

Well, that works - GOD is the only one who can really do something about it!

There were many times that I would get furious with my husband, and storm out of the house and slam the door and go stomp around in the yard, pacing back and forth, complaining sotto voce about that man to the LORD. 'LORD, YOU talk to him! Tell him what he's doing wrong!'

And the LORD would gently - and I think, bemusedly - hear me out and calm me down, and then tell me, 'Now - about your part in this, little one, where you are wrong...'

*smile*

HE's good at that, you know.

Monday, October 11, 2004
 
storyblogging carnival III

My story 'walk with me' was included in storyblogging carnival III. You can surf over there and have a look at the other stories, if you'd like to.

Saturday, October 09, 2004
 
the problem with blogging...

...is that once you start, you begin to feel the pressure to blog some more, to add something to the postings you have already produced - to give your steady readership (if any!) something more to read...

And so I blog this - a bit of filler, till I think of something real to say...


Friday, October 08, 2004
 
the traitor

Paul really describes it in Romans 7:

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (v 19)

What a struggle it is, struggling to do the things that are right, and to not do the things that are wrong!

I was having some pretty deep struggles lately. Under attack by the thoughts of my own head.

Does that sound strange? Has it ever occurred to you that not every thought that zips into your brain is your own? Well, these thoughts that were showing up in my head were not my own. They seemed sweet, all sugar-coated and all - but they were tempting me, sweet-talking me, to sin.

What sin it was does not matter. It is enough to say that I - the inner me, my heart, my mind - I hate this sin.

But my body loves it. And that is the problem.

For while with my mind I was battling the temptation, resisting it, shutting the doors against it - my body (the traitor!) was over at the side flinging open a window to let the sin sneak in.

So that I found myself with two enemies to battle: the temptation to sin was one, and my own traitorous body was the other.

And while I was trying to resist the foreign thoughts coming against me, here was my traitorous body, agreeing with the enemy, saying, 'aw, come on - it'll be fun!'

and, 'you know you wanna,'

and, 'look - let's just do this, and repent afterwards - we can do that.'

Till it wore me down...

And I did the sin...

And felt so crummy and stupid afterwards!

And, yes, had to repent.

Had to come up with a new battle plan, also. I can't fight two enemies at once!

Ah, but that was the problem: I wasn't really fighting my body. So next time...

Next time, I'm gonna be ruthless with my body. Body is not gonna side with the enemy and talk me into stuff. Body is gonna submit!

To the LORD Jesus.

Like James 4 says.

And once body is in line, then I can resist the enemy with all my being.

And he will have to flee.

Thursday, October 07, 2004
 
tough love

Been thinking a lot about tough love lately. And it seems to me that the place for tough love is for the unrepentant, the one who is stubbornly going on in their course - the one who hates correction.

But I have most often been seeing it leveled against the hurting, the anguished, the victim, the prisoner - the one who longs to live right, to be free, but who feels completely enmeshed in the spider's web of sin, and about to be finished off by the spider.

And instead of receiving comfort, empathy, or encouragement - they are slapped upside the head and told to stop the pity party - straighten up! stop wallowing there! if you really wanted to be free, you'd be free already.

It is GOD's kindness, Paul tells us in Romans, that draws us to repentance - not HIS harshness. And Galatians 6:1 tells us to restore the sinning brothers with a spirit of gentleness.

Gentleness.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004
 
antonio

We saw Antonio yesterday afternoon. An old friend of my late husband.

Funny how we ran into him. Once again, I was pushing it on refilling the tank. Prices dropped that day, and I was gonna put a little gas in - just right after this next errand. Well...

I went to get on the highway, going uphill to merge - and the engine started to lose power. We reached the top of the hill without it dying, and it got back to normal.

Hmmm...gas sloshing, I thought. Getting way too close to empty.

Instead of merging, I stayed in the on-lane, which became the off-lane, and headed for the nearest gas station. Reached it ok - car didn't die on me. It was a gas station I don't remember ever stopping at before.

Sent my daughter inside with the money to pay for our purchase. I was standing by the car, waiting for the pump to reset so I could put the gas in when I saw him.

The bicycle with the bags of aluminum cans hanging off the front and rear. The scruffy white beard, and well-weathered face. The baseball cap.

He was washing out a thermos at the faucet at the corner of the gas station. He finished that, turned our way.

I waved.

He came over. It was Antonio all right. And he remembered us. He kept pointing at my oldest, saying her name over and over, saying, 'one year' and 'muy chiquita.' Meaning he remembered her from when she was a year old, and very tiny.

I remember it as well. It was the first time I met Antonio. My husband had met him somehow, and invited him to come into our house. He offered Antonio something to eat, and Antonio wanted beans. I looked in the pantry, somewhat flustered, not at all sure what to serve him. I opened a can of great northern beans to heat up, but then Antonio brought out a can of his own, of the spicy ranch-style beans that are so popular down here. I heated up the beans; Antonio rambled on and on, talking with my husband (who could speak Spanish, unlike me) - playing with the baby, who spoke neither English nor Spanish, and got along with Antonio quite well.

It occurred to me only today, that there's probably a very good reason why Antonio remembers that visit so fondly. Very likely, my husband was one of the few people around here who ever invited Antonio to come into their house.

You pass by Antonio along the road, and you will see an old man on a bicycle, picking up the cans from people's cast-off sodas. He collects them, then takes them over to the recycling center and turns them into money. Not a whole lot of money, but it's some - and he worked for it.

He isn't homeless - my husband once picked him up and gave him a ride home. He basically lives in a shack he made with his own two hands - and my husband wasn't entirely sure that the owner of that property knew Antonio was living on it. But it was a home, and it was his - his own efforts made it for him.

Most people, passing him by as they drive in their cars, probably don't pay him much attention - many don't even see him. There were times, I think, when I didn't much want to see him, knowing that if I waved and acknowledged he was there, I would then have to endure the man's rambling shattered English.

I greeted him warmly yesterday. He came over and pointed to my daughter a lot, saying her name, saying her name. He asked how many ninos - I said siete. (He never remembers.) I wondered would he ask about my husband - he always called him 'Rencho,' a nickname no one else used.

He didn't ask about Rencho. Apparently he did remember that now. The day that I saw him six months after the fact and struggled with my shattered Spanish to let him know his friend had died.

His friend. My husband was his friend. Others drove by without seeing him, but my husband saw him, and he cared. And because he did, now I cherish the old man too. He is a connection to the old days, when my husband was still alive, and saw the value in taking a few or even a lot of minutes, to bother to talk to a harmless old eccentric along the highway of life.


 
driving on fumes

With the gas prices so high lately, I keep putting off refilling the tank till I have to, in the hopes of finding a better price - somewhere!

So it's not surprising that one day not so long ago, I cut it a little too fine...

I had taken the kids to the library and we were now heading for the store. I was planning to buy a little gas once we got to the store. I knew we were really low. Getting close to driving on fumes, I thought.

That was an understatement!

We were coming through town when I realized that the car was beginning to run funny. Of course, we had just passed the last gas station for the mext mile! I pulled over into the right-hand lane, in case the car died entirely, in case I might ned to get off quickly into the shoulder. We kept going...

And then the car did die, and I did have to get off into the shoulder. I could see the next gas station, about a quarter-mile ahead.

We were in the shoulder lane, but I hadn't hit the brakes yet. We were still rolling...

And it was slightly uphill...

Rolling, rolling, rolling. Praying - "LORD, just a little further!" Rolling...

Coming up on the corner - gas station on the far right, just beyond the red light.

Red light! Oh yes, it was red.

Rolling, rolling, rolling. Slowing. Praying. Coming up on the intersection...

Green!

Rolling on - right through the intersection, into the parking lot, right up to the pump.

Yay!

Thank YOU, Jesus!

Monday, October 04, 2004
 
apologies

Sorry I haven't blogged anything in the past few days. I finally got my computer back - FIXED! - yay! - thank YOU, LORD Jesus! - and was swapping into it the stuff I had been working on in the other computer.

Also, twas the weekend, and my kids think the Internet is theirs allllllll weekend...

Hope to get something new up tonight.



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