Looking Through the Peephole

I torture myself—do you? 
Every Easter season, I read deep things. The more profound the better. 
Thank you, Oswald, Clive, Ravi and Aiden Wilson for providing 
the study tools to help me along the way. 
Now it's almost Good Friday, and I sit with my Bible and some profound book ... 
and squint. 

I ask the Holy Spirit to multiply my understanding and 
plow wisdom deep into the soil of my heart. 
I add forehead kneading to the squinting and throw in some deep breathing. 
Sometimes I just get it over with and kneel.

I long to run into the throne room of His magnificence and openly gawk 
at the mysteries of grace displayed there.
But so often, it seems like I'm standing on a chair, which is balanced on a desk, 
straining to get one eye to the peephole of the firmly closed door. 

I invite you to join me and chase the deep things of God this weekend as the Church, 
worldwide, mourns and celebrates the death and resurrection of our Savior. 
Because sometimes—
He lifts us to the peephole and we see something world-rocking.
Something life-changing. 

 He did it for Moses


Effective in Prayer

I'm praying for a dear friend today.

It can be daunting, do you find that? Not that my friend is a burden—never that—but I want my prayers to be as effective as possible in a situation that seems desperate. That's when I turn to praying scriptures. 

My favorite is Psalm 23. Yes, the one commonly used at funerals is really for the living. Not only is it simple to use this chapter as a prayer template, but I believe it's powerful as well. If you're not used to praying the scriptures, here's an example, using Psalm 23.

Lord, you're Lori's* shepherd, she shall not be in want. 
Make her lie down in green pastures.
Lead her beside still waters.
Restore her soul.
Lead Lori in paths of righteousness for Your own name's sake. 

She's walking through the valley of the shadow of death, 
but let her fear no evil, for You are with her. 
May Your rod and Your staff comfort her.

You've prepared a table for Lori in the presence of her enemies. 
Anoint her head with oil, Father, and let her cup run over!
Surely goodness and mercy will follow her all the days of her life, 
and Lori will dwell Your house forever.

More scriptures to pray for others, or for yourself, here, here, and hereAnd check out this excellent article about praying the scriptures. 

It's magnolia time in Kentucky. 
And this best nest is ready for its occupants to return.

*not her name


It's Happening Again

Spring plants stretch from damp dirt and toss their heads in the breeze.

 Weak rays of sunshine penetrate nearly-transparent peony leaves. *

Red-winged blackbirds are first to announce—SPRING IS HERE! 

Side Note -
My neighbor, an elderly spinster lady, passed away last year. In the late fall, her brother invited me to take her peonies plants.
"She set such store by those, but we don't care about 'em." 
I just nodded, but, oh, I felt the horror my neighbor would have experienced at the lowly description of her prized "pie-knees". So, shovel and containers in hand, my Wonderful Husband and I began a search-and-rescue mission. It's not easy to find dried-up peony branches under a carpet of fall leaves and pine needles. We brought three clumps back to our yard, and I broke those into even more parts. I thought it might be too late to set these in the ground and have any chance of seeing them in the spring, but in her honor, I tagged each clump of tubers with her name.
And they're coming up! I know she'd be pleased.


Ladder to Nowhere

As I drive along, I notice unusual things in yards. 
The men in my life do not appreciate thisthey say I'm swerving, but of course, I'm not
If you happen to be gawking along with me, you know there's lots to see.

For example, not far from here, an entire (plastic) holy family huddles on the front porch of a small white cottage. I'm sure someone intended to put them back in the shed until next year, but they just haven't gotten around to it

In another yard, there's a life-size bear figure, standing tall and menacing. The owners may think it's hidden behind that pampas grass, but people with excellent observation skills will notice these things. They also have a fake white pony, frozen mid-trot, not far from the bear—is there a story in the mind of the yard decorator?

Perhaps my favorite oddity is in the yard of a pink Cape Cod home, set high on a hill. A yeti statue strides through the side yard, perhaps on its way to the next meeting of the RUFO Society

And what about this ladder? 
It's propped against a tree with no apparent purpose at all.
I may have an overactive imagination, as some say, but doesn't this spark your
sense of wonder? A room full of first graders would be bursting with ideas about 
the mystery of this ladder to nowhere.

Here's mine—a Story Snapshot called (what else?) 
"The Ladder to Nowhere"

     Benji walked around the ladder to better see it from all sides. His fingers, sticky with the evidence of three s'mores, brushed rounded wooden edges and skimmed embedded, crusty nails. It was almost too dark to really inspect the mysterious ladder now that the sun was going down. He thought about calling J.D., but then everyone would follow, and he might get in trouble for wandering too far from camp. "Don't leave the circle of firelight," the scout leaders kept repeating. But they were only moms anyway, not real scoutmasters like he used to have in Indiana. 
     Bracing his hands on the side rails, he put his weight the bottom rung with one sneaker. Was it strong enough to hold his weight? He climbed six more rungs without taking a breath—still safe! From this perch, Benji peered up, up, up through the gloom, but the tree's neighbors huddled too close, blocking any final fingers of sunlight. If he was going to get to the top, he'd have to be fast ...