Friday, February 29, 2008

A Walk Through the Orchard

Al and Joe took were neighbors and were in the habit of walking each day after work along the road next to the orchard. They each had their own path but sometimes their paths crossed. They would speak politely but walk on. It just so happened that one day they met along the road and fell into step. From that day on it seemed they were always walking together and so it became a routine they both enjoyed. Aside from their daily walk, they seldom saw each other.

Early one Saturday morning they got to discussing how lovely the orchard looked with it’s ruby red apples among the green leaves. Joe stepped into the field to the nearest tree and looked up. “What a wonderful apple. It is the prettiest red I have ever seen. I bet it is so sweet and juicy.”

Al moved to get a look. “Well, I don’t know. It looks all right but you can never tell. I think the apples that come though my plant are the best looking in the world.”

“You work in an apple plant?” Joe looked quizzically at Al. “I didn’t know that.”

“Well, it’s a fruit and juice plant but I am an apple inspector. It is my job to inspect every apple that comes through the plant to insure that only the best apples are allowed into our packages or juice.”

“Apple inspector? Wow. You mean that if it doesn’t pass your inspection, it won’t be in the juice?”

Al pulled his shoulders back, hitched his belt and sniffed. “Yep. That’s the way it works. It is my job to make sure the bad apples are identified. Bad apples are dumped.”

“So, what do you look for?”

For a minute Al pondered. “Well, we look for bruising, cuts, scars, color, and bugs.”

“Hmmm. Well, all these apples look fine to me.”

Al shook his head. “You can’t tell just by glancing at the tree. No, you gotta examine it real close to find any flaws. I mean, you can’t find scars and bruising just by looking at the tree from here, now can you?”

Joe hesitated and looked the tree over. “Well, no, but why would bruising, scars and cuts be on he fruit that is still on the tree? I mean, I would think that would only happen in storms or if the fruit gets knocked off someway and lands on the ground. But even then, it might still be good to eat. If you don’t mess with the fruit it won’t get bruised up. Fruit on the tree just needs to be picked and eaten.”

“Only perfect apples get in my juice.”

“Well, why would color matter? I mean a good apple can be any color.”

“Color could indicate ripeness. We want apples that are just the right stage of ripeness. I mean the juice could be bitter if the apple is not ripe enough and the taste might be a little off if an apple is too ripe. No, I have to be real careful about color, too.”

Joe studied the tree. “I still say these apples look great. I didn’t eat this morning and I am kind of hungry. My mouth is watering just looking at them.” Joe reached up to the apple nearest him. “Just look how plump it is and how shiny.”

Al shook his head, “I’m telling you, Joe, unless they are inspected by a trained eye you shouldn’t mess with them. There might be something wrong with this tree.”

Joe hesitated but pulled the apple off and sniffed it. “It smells good, too.” He bit into it eagerly. He closed his eyes, “Mmmmmmm, Al, that is the best apple I ever ate. I am so hungry. Try one, I’m sure you’ll like it.”

“Not me. If I want apples I get ‘em at the supermarket . . . after they have been inspected. Besides, I don’t really care for them much. I see so much bad fruit it kinda turns you off them after awhile.”

Al and Joe resumed their walk. Joe munched on his apple in silence for a long time. Finally, he said, “Al, you ever think about another line of work?”

“No. Why?”

“Well, why do we need fruit inspectors?”

“So, unsuspecting folks don’t get sick from eating bad fruit?”

“Don’t you think a person could inspect their own fruit and determine if it is bad or not?”

Al didn’t respond directly but said, “Well, the owner might not be honest enough to admit he had bad fruit. Fruit inspectors are necessary to keep folks honest. We insure the safety of the innocent. Anyway, I’ve been doing this for 20 years. What else would I do?”

Joe munched his apple for a moment then a light seemed to go off in his face. He looked at Al and said, “Maybe you could GROW apples.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance . . . .” Galatians 5:22-23.

We have all read or heard that verse dozens of times but one Sunday morning as the Bible class teacher read, something went off in my mind that I can only describe as a small nuclear explosion. I was awestruck as a new understanding broke over me. As I hurried to write down the thoughts before they slipped away, I remembered something else. Several weeks earlier, on the preceding page of my notebook, I had made a few notes regarding another scripture.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matt. 7:20.

Weeks before those scribblings had led nowhere but that Sunday morning the pieces of the puzzle fell together perfectly and the picture that emerged was breathtaking. On Sunday night, while getting ready for bed, came the story A Walk Through the Orchard.

There is one basic question that we all ask when faced with the realization of eternity. “What must I do to be saved?” Most of us believe that we know the answer. But then, I took a walk through the Orchard.

In the Garden of Eden, Eve walked thorough the orchard and passed beautiful, sweet-smelling, fruit-filled trees. The fragrance of the ripe fruit permeated the air around her. But Eve didn’t’ stop and savor those fruits. Instead, she journeyed to the center of the Garden and looked on the one tree she had been forbidden. As she gazed at that fruit, a craving pulled at her soul and consumed her. Her mind registered the visual image of a tantalizing fruit. The image she saw answered three questions that her craving had provoked. She saw that the fruit was good for nourishment, it looked good, and it would make her a better person.

But Eve was not hungry. She had no reason to be. Nourishment was never truly a factor in her craving. There were thousands of trees in the garden from which to choose. She could have walked up to any other tree and picked the fruit of her choice. Any other fruit in the garden would have fulfilled her every need and she could have eaten as much as she wanted. In fact, all the other fruit in the garden would provide nourishment, it would look good, and it would make her a better person. She lied to herself. But, instead of walking away, she looked at the forbidden fruit, the bad fruit. She picked it, she ate it, and she died. We have all been inspecting fruit ever since and, like Eve, it is not because we are hungry.

In Mark 11:12 and Matt 21:17 is the story of a fig tree that Jesus approached in search of figs. When he saw the leaves but no figs he cursed the tree and the next day it was withered and dead. Interestingly, Mark is careful to note that it was not time for figs yet. So, Jesus cursed a tree that didn’t have fruit when He needed it. Jesus was hungry. Jesus was searching for good fruit. He needed something to eat right then, but the tree was bare. Because the tree did not provide for the need, he cursed it. And the tree died.

In A Walk Through the Orchard, Al and Joe marched along different paths for a time but eventually they fell into step. All along their way were trees filled with fruit. Al knew all about fruit. But Joe was hungry. Joe began to search for nourishment. And it is to the heavily laden trees along his path that he turned. He searched and satisfied his hunger with good fruit. But Al, who knew so much about fruit and had fruit all around him every day, had none to share and had no desire for good fruit. In fact, Al was afraid to eat any of the fruit that hung within his reach because he had not inspected it. Al viewed his lot in life as a protector of the innocent. It was his job to root out the rotten fruit. He lied to himself. In reality, he wasn’t protecting anyone.

There are Christians who feel a need, who believe it is their job, to inspect the fruit of others. In reality, they are searching for that which is missing in their own lives. They have no fruit to fulfill the needs of those seeking nourishment nor are they seeking nourishment for themselves. They don’t desire fruit anymore. All their time is spent on inspecting, searching for the bad fruit, not producing. They are barren and only by pulling the fruit off others, do they feel useful.

The problem is, when you start handling fruit, you damage it. You leave bruises, scars, and wounds from all the rough handling. Sometimes, the fruit will be so ready to eat that it can be easily knocked off the tree or bruised. Fruit that is knocked on the ground may never be eaten because it is so badly damaged from the fall. As a result, someone will go hungry because the fruit that was there to nourish has been destroyed.

Christians are NOT called to be fruit inspectors. Jesus never suggested that. At the time Jesus stated Matt 7:20, the disciples were not born again; they were not yet Christians. Jesus was talking to sinners and warning them of false prophets. He was telling sinners that if they were hungry there would be signs telling them where to get nourishment. Later, when he cursed the fig tree, he gave a profound example on the fate of those who fail to feed the hungry. The hungry are supposed to be the fruit inspectors. As Christians, we are expected to have the fruit available to feed the hungry. If we don’t, we will die.

I grew up hearing about winning souls but I never heard advice on exactly how one is to do that in a world where no one wants to listen. And suddenly, in one awe-inspiring moment and with brilliant clarity, I knew. It is the fruit that feeds the hungry. Fruit saves a dying world from starvation. Fruit sustains the weak. Fruit provides nutrients for growth. Fruit answers a craving for sweetness in a bitter world. We can preach a thousands sermons, recite the entire Bible on a street corner, but if there is no fruit hanging out there in the branches, the hungry will look elsewhere to be fed. And so, as I sat through that Sunday morning service, I had an overwhelming desire for fruit. I wanted it so badly I could taste it.

I found myself ashamed. I realized that far too often I spend time inspecting the other trees in the orchard for bad fruit and not worrying about whether or not I am producing good fruit. How many have come by needy, looking for nourishment and gone away hungry because they found nothing. God help me! I want fruit, so much fruit that the boughs break under the weight of it, so much that the fragrance fills the air around me. And I want to be hungry! I want to see a starving world fed with the fruit that satisfies all hunger. Winning the lost is not done with pretty speeches but rather by feeding starving souls. I don’t want to be a fruit inspector. I want to be a producer of fruit. God give me fruit so that anyone who takes a walk through the orchard can be fed!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Morning

I am going to CHURCH! Yea! I have not been in two weeks and I need to go.

I'm telling you, I don't know how any person can say they are a Christian and not go to church! People who don't eat waste away and die. The food is on the table and the table is the church. If you don't go to the table, you aren't eating. My guess is you aren't praying much.

"But I don't like the people there." "My church is nature." "I don't think you have to go to church to live for God."

The Word of God says to not forsake the assmebling of yourelves together. That means you are not to neglect going where other Christians are assembled to worhsip. Church is not about YOU. It is about a mass worship of your creator. It is not to give YOU glory but to join in a mass of people giving God glory. You don't have to bother with one person there. You aren't there to make friends. You aren't there to be special. You aren't there to do anything but give God worship. If you can't do that in a public place, with a group of other believers, I'm sorry. I don't believe you will make it to heaven because the Bible says there is a number that no man can number who will be in one place crying Holy, Holy, Holy to God. Since you don't think joining other worshipers is necessary, I doubt God will hold you too it but where are you going once you leave this world? Heaven is filled with worshipers.

Hell is filled with people who worshiped another god. A lot of them didn't think worship of the eternal God was necessary either. Their church was the world, nature, the bars, the job, the games, etc. Now they get to spend eternity listenting to the sound of a numberless mass shouting praises to the God they either didn't believe in or that they didn't think needed worship. And the cry in that place will be deafening and yet unheard in by those worshiping God. The sound or praises will drown out any crys of torment.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Interest

I've put up another module called History Pages. This one is strictly for historical papers I've written. I hold a B.A. in history and I did a lot of research in college. From that I wrote numerous papers that I really liked writing. I am putting these up to share but they are open to contacts only. Hope everyone understands why.

The weekend is upon us and I for one and thrilled. What a messy week. I've been battling a headache since last Wednesday. It has one several times. Right now, it is better and I am taking advantage of it by posting. Not sure how long I will have this respite.

There is ice everywhere except the streets. They are pretty much clear now. My yard crunches when I walk in it and my driveway (gravel) is a sheet of ice that at any moment, may cost me a bone or two.

I shall try and write a bit more this weekend but I am really wanting to use the time when I don't have a headache to write Mist. Take care, stay warm, and enjoy your weekend.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Writer's Life for Me?

I finished posting another book to a private blog. I put up my NaNoWriMo novel "Shakedown". This was my first year reaching the 50,000 words goal and my second year to participate in the event. Ah am sew proud of mahself! And I am so looking forward to November 2008! I hope some of you will take the challenge and join me. Chris, ya with me?

I like putting my psuedo-novels in blog form. I've discovered it makes it so easy to work with to have it there. Particularly when I have a willing victim... um... volunteer in Alice.

Actually, I haven't asked Alice to proof Shakedown. She is working on reviewing Mist for inconsistencies and incongruities. Well, she's been reading along from the beginning so I think she will have no problem. I am working on finishing it so I can then sit back and work out the kinks she finds. She did volunteer to do that. Well, truthfully, she told me she was already doing it and she'd let me know when she was done.

After I finished posting Shakedown, I realized that this is also a pretty good story. I was a bit shocked. It was another bugger to write. I hated it while I wrote it. Probably because I was forcing myself to do it and like a recalcitrant child, I was determined to dislike what was good for me. While posting, I found myself reading it and since it has been three months, some of my bias has receeded. Shakedown has potential.

Now, for those who have been keeping count, I now have four potential unfinished novels on my hands, all over 50,000 words. Tell me why I do not have a finished novel? Alice keeps asking me that. Nancy asked me that. {sigh}

I don't know. Could it be all the stress that keeps me off track? Adult children pulling me in a dozen different direction? A job I truly don't like most of the time but which pays me very well and therefore, since I like to eat, I can't quit? Problems with pain that I can't fix?

I can honestly say that when I posted Mist and several of the girls were reading it, and demanding (very loudly) more, it was much easier to write. Although some days my pain levels just overwhelmed me and so did all the other stuff. But I had to keep going or they would have hurt me! Sadly, I lost Nancy, one of my cheerleaders but I still have Alice and she's terrific. Keeps poking me with these sharp sticks. So, I am plugging away.

There are times this story stinks. If you read far enough back in the blogs, you will find I hated this story when it began several years ago. Really. It began as freewriting, just writing what popped into my head. Then, I became intrigued as to what that darn mist was and how it worked. Then I really hated it because I saw NO point in the story. But slowly, thanks to all those pokes, I've begun to see beyond the Mist a bit and it makes a sort of sense. I don't know that I will ever like this story. But I think I'll write it.

So, with that said, I am exceedingly tired. The cold is almost gone but it has left me absolutely drained. I've been tired for hours now but I wrote a bit on mist, posted the last of Shakedown, and wrote this post as well.

Ah, a writer's work is never done. Thank goodness!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

I am up late. . . or early depending on how you view these things. I have lain on the sofa for about two days with the most hideous upper respiratory bug. At least long enough to watch the Kingdom Hospital series on DVD. Yep. I've been so sick with this cold. Only tonight did I begin to feel human again.

I've coughed for three days and my head hurt with every cough. I didn't sleep well for two nights and so today, I slept half the day. I am going to bed soon and I am hoping for a better night tonight and a much better day tomorrow. I go back to work on Tuesday and I really hate that my whole 4 day weekend was ruined but I am also grateful that I didn't have to work Friday with this mess. I have a tone of stuff to get done before Friday!

I've visited some blogs and done some writing but ultimately, I was so sick that sitting here was misery and I finally gave it up and made me a bed on the sofa. I either slept or watched television.

I've got a lovely note from Alice on inconsistencies in Mist. She is starting from the beginning with a fine toothed comb and will be sending me a list of items that pose problems in continuity. I've been wanting to do this but when you are writing it you try very hard not to go back until you get it all down. This will help me when I start editing. I'm getting nervous, yall. But I feel very comforted knowing Alice is doing this. Now, i can focus on the "rest of the story" while she is getting me preped for rewrite. Joy, joy!

O.k. time to stop. I believe it is late/early enough to warrent a trip to bed. I hope my long afternoon sleep has not caused a problem. I do not want to sleep tomorrow! I'd like to do some things. Finishing my taxes would be good. And organizing some things too. The weather has been monsterous and if it is not to bad going out would be rather nice. We'll see.

Hope you all have a good holiday if you are off for President's Day. I love America. We have so many celebrations!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another Day, Another Chapter

I posted another piece of Hidden in the Mist for those of you still reading. Actually, I'm trying to fill in some areas so things may seem to move a bit slow for a time. But I think I like this little bit tonight. However, as Alice pointed out, I have some threads hanging that I have to weave back in and it will take some time. Her pointing them out was a huge help!

I've been sick for three days now and still feel terrible. I want to go to church tomorrow but I don't know if I can sit through it as bad as I feel. My throat is sore. I still have a headache made worse with every cough. And the cough, well, it just keeps going and going. I'm going to bed now and hope for a restful night.

I really am tired.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Darkness

I am very interested in science. I actually like reading articles relating to astronomy and the creation of the universe. Yes, I am a Christian who believes in science! God is a lot smarter than we give him credit. He actually understands the theory of relativity far better than Einstein did when HE told it to Einstein! And since time was created as a plaything for man and means absolutely nothing to God, he isn’t all tied up in controversy about how long it took to create the universe. I like that about him. We can talk.

Today, I ran across this article on my MSN home page New Cosmic Theory Unites Dark Forces . It drew me in and I am glad it did. “A new theory says that dark matter and dark energy could arise from a single dark fluid that permeates the whole universe.” © 2007 Space.com. All rights reserved. More from Space.com.

I ended up reading several articles on the topic. It is fascinating reading if you understand basic astronomy and a general idea of the dark matter theories. If you don’t, by the time you read them you probably will have a fair grasp of the subject. It gave me quite a lot of food for thought that, since I am a Southern woman whose culture says food should be shared, I thought I’d share.

A lady once told me that we can find truth anywhere. You just have to look for it. I learned this to be true. If you don’t search, you won’t find. Searching requires that you question everything and everyone. Science is all about questions but Christians are discouraged from asking questions. To us, questions signify doubt. To question God would be doubt and doubt is sin. I know, we're nuts a lot of the time. I lost my fear of asking God questions when he started answering them.

Sadly, there is such enmity between scientist and Christians that I doubt it will ever be resolved but both camps are right about some things. You notice I didn’t say between science and Christianity? It’s people who have the problem. The biggest problem is they both want to be right about everything. That’s impossible.

So, I read, I study, I ponder things not many women my age and background study. I allow myself to question and let those questions percolate. Then I ask God, “What about this? Is this possible?” He usually grins and says, “Anything is possible.”

I’ve spent the last couple of hours reading these articles and formulating questions and tossing out a few of my own. The conclusion I arrived at is surprising. . . to me, anyway. I’ve provided several excerpts from three articles that will reveal my discovery. The links will take you to the articles themselves.

The above article describes dark matter and dark energy: “Dark matter, as originally hypothesized, is extra hidden mass that astrophysicists calculate is necessary for holding together fast-turning galaxies. . . . seems to be everywhere, acting as a scaffolding for galaxy clusters and the whole structure of the universe.”

In other words, everything that exists is suspended from this structure.

“On the other hand, dark energy is needed to explain the more recently-discovered acceleration of the universe's expansion. . . . It supposedly exists all throughout space, delivering a pressure that counteracts gravity.”

Gravity, remember, pushes against things. As I understand this, dark energy acts as a restraint on the effect of gravity. It sounded like cement to me. And what do you know, in the next article I found my confirmation.

“Dark matter acts as gravitational glue, holding millions or billions of stars together in galactic globs or disks. Without it, "our own galaxy should have fallen apart by now," said Frederic Bournaud, an astrophysicist with the French Atomic Energy Commission. "So dark matter — this unseen force — is somewhere keeping it glued together.” © 2007 Space.com. All rights reserved. More from Space.com.

So how do they know this stuff exist? Who says it is even real? Can you see it? Can you feel it?

Well, in Dark Matter Mapped in 3-D Detail the scientist says: “Decades' worth of observations have found that all the matter we can see in surrounding galaxies doesn't account for the gravitational effects of those galaxies. In fact, there appears to be six times more dark matter out there than the ordinary matter we can see. . . . there is no picture of it and there's no known way to detect it directly.”

“Even though the matter itself couldn't be seen, astronomers detected its effect by analyzing the gravitational effect of that matter on light rays from more distant light sources.” © 2008 MSNBC Interactive


This had become positively religious! There is something out there, holding it all together that no one can see. I’ll insert a long pregnant pause here while you digest the ramifications of this. It also means that while they can’t see it, they know it exist because they can see the effects of it on other visible things, like light.

Wow, a substance they can’t see but they believe MUST be there . . . something that holds the universe together.

Do you see it, too?

The final statement in this last article is brilliant and so powerful I am amazed. "Frankly speaking, these are just fancy words we use to name something we do not understand," he said. “If a simpler model (with a single word) can explain all the data, then cosmologists will gladly accept it,” Boehmer said.

A single word?

Uh. . . God?

And Boehmer was wrong. They never accept it.

Awesome

Someone shared this with me and I loved it. So, I am sharing it with you. Worhship is beautiful!



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Wonders

It would seem that my scratchy throat has turned in to a full blown cold with all the accoutrements... stuffy nose, post nasal drip, scratchy throat, tiredness, irritability, and general malaise. My spouse, on the other hand, is running a low grade temp and has an upset stomach. No vomiting yet, thanks be!

I have taken Friday off and that will give me a four day weekend but I certainly don't want to spend it kneeling at the throne. My throne room is quite small and not conducive to relaxation. So, for those of you who pray, please say several for us.

I am frustrated because I've been so tired that I have not felt like doing taxes, reading, or writing. I have only come on to read some blogs and write these boring posts! Come on, they're boring! Say it!

In the last few days I've perused several interesting blogs around the net. Wordpress has some interesting ones. Eleanor's Trousers is one. She writes well and witty. My friend Skeeter has one at Wordpress as well but she seems to have one everywhere and they are each very good. I found a few others I want to keep an eye on, too.

I'm finding that I want to do something different. Not sure what, just a feeling that I ought to find something that encourages me to post content with some consistency. That doesn't mean "regularly" it means with substance. Something with substance. I've been off my feed lately, I think.

I'm off to bed now. I shall tell myself to think on it in my dreams. That always works for me.

May you all have sweet ones.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What a Tuesday!

Snow and ice and cold. The mess is inches deep and another freeze coming tonight! I don't have to be at work until 10 tomorrow because of the ice but how dumb not to close up today. The temps got up to around 35 I think today but that was just enough to soften up the "snice". tonight it is supposed to drop down into the teens I believe. My Google Desktop says it is already 24 degrees! That will make a nice slab of ice for tomorrow morning.

I had a completely unproductive day. I was tired all day and the computers weren't working right. They performed maintenance on the server Monday and we were down half a day. Today they couldn't figure out why our systems were so slow. We are off site from the main server and wireless with outside antenna on the roof of the building. I asked them if ice could be coating the antenna on the roof and causing us to drop the signal. They didn't say but they said they were coming by to take a look at my computer. When I met with them they said, "We think it is ice on the antenna." Gee, ya think! But being right today didn't do a thing for me. My computer took 10 minutes to open a Word document!

At the home front, I am on my way to hit the shower. I made chili for supper and it was delicious with sharp chedder cheese and Ritz crackers with a side of 7Up! Now, I just want to get something warm and comfy on and read a good book or maybe write one.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Snowy, Snowy Night

We have snow on the ground and sleet has been falling since before 5 p.m. I suspect tomorrow will be an interesting day all over town. It is cold! My Google Desktop says it is 21 decrees. That is cold, folks. I am loving this big screen. I can have several things open and see them all!

I posted Chapter 21 of Mist for the ones reading it. I don't know how many are left. I think Alice is the only one but that's all right. I've been a bit sluggish lately about it and got off track. I've had a few insights this week and I want to start heading in that direction. I know who Reece is (having read back over an early chapter! I know what he wants. I know far more than I did a week ago and tonight's chapter is headed there. Come on, you knew Reece was important!

I will be glad to finish Mist. I started with several readers, of whom Nancy was one of the most vocal. Alice was probably the second most vocal! Today, I was looking at my Y360 mailbox and clearing out old messages. I ran across Nancy's notes of encouragement and praise each time she read up on Mist. Alice, I couldn't delete them. I just couldn't. I suddenly missed her and I wanted to keep them. So, they are still there, in my 360 mail box. I think I will try and print them out.

I was longing for a camera today to take photos of the snowy sea surrounding my house. It is beautiful but treacherous. I really don't want to get out in it tomorrow but unless they close the office, I don't see how I can do otherwise.

Well, I am off to do a bit of writing. Snuggle up and stay warm.

Ignorance Is Bliss?

He lived in palaces, had the best food to eat, a loving family, his choice of any woman in the kingdom, and a job waiting for him when he grew up. Surely Solomon needed nothing to make life better for him. And yet, he wanted to be more than just a king. Solomon wanted to be the wisest king who ever lived. So began a journey that would take him down many paths, some joyful and good, some sad and wrong.

One result of Solomon’s search for wisdom is the Book of Proverbs. If you read it, you may find yourself surprised at the kinds of things he addressed. He frowned on a good many things your mama told you were bad for you. He advised on everything from gossip to immoral women. In the book of Proverbs you can probably find a maxim for any situation that arises in your life . . . if you look.

How did Solomon get to know all this stuff? Did he just sit down and pen all these proverbs off the top of his head? Did his mama advise him, too?

Solomon knew what was required to succeed in life. He knew positive actions bring positive results, and that associating with the wrong people will get you in trouble. He knew that there is a point beyond which it is unwise to go. Solomon had wisdom.

Wisdom is “an understanding of what is true, right, or lasting.” It is not “just knowing”. You may know something but not understand it. Wisdom is common sense to the extreme, and it is gained from either experience or observation. Solomon experienced or observed the things he spoke about in Proverbs and he understood the truth of those things. Sadly, some of the things he experienced were not nice.

Proverbs is filled with positive instruction. You will find advice on how to live a happy, healthy, prosperous, and productive life. It portrays a father instructing his son with all he knows about life. This is a loving teacher, not the “Preacher” of Ecclesiastes. Proverbs contains none of the bitterness and the “all is vanity” of Ecclesiastes.

What happened to Solomon between Proverbs and Ecclesiastes? It almost seems that these books were written by two different people and yet, their subject matter is nearly identical. It is the outlook that changed dramatically and the tone of voice.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon is old. He has lost his joy for living and his view of life has become cynical, bleak, harsh and unforgiving. The loving father and teacher are absent. In his place, is an embittered, disillusioned old man focusing on his own past failures. He focused so much on failure that he could no longer see life as a gift. It was all vanity. All a man might seek to accomplish in life was vanity, no matter how good.

Solomon had succeeded in his quest for wisdom, but instead of letting it enrich him, he had allowed it to rob him. A journey began in the fire of youth had ended in the ashes of age. He lost sight of all that was important in his search. Never mind all he had done for Israel and for God. He even saw the search as vanity. Solomon’s wisdom told him that once gained, his riches meant nothing, and once understood, life was a waste and death was preferable. “Therefore I hated life: . .” (Eccl. 2:17)

His wisdom told him that God was the giver of all good things, but it didn’t seem to matter because the gifts themselves were also vanity. He learned to recognize folly in his own search for wisdom and knowledge.

Solomon began his journey to find wisdom and knowledge and to recognize folly. During the journey he became wealthy beyond imagination and wise beyond his years. At the end of the journey he was bitter beyond endurance. Solomon took life by the horns, hopped on its back, and rode it to death.

“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” Eccl. 1:18.

We should not take this to mean we should not desire wisdom or knowledge. We should pray for this gift. In fact, it is wisdom and knowledge that make life and it’s hardships easier to understand and thereby, easier to bear. If you notice, those who have the most difficult time in trials are those who don’t understand the purpose of trails.

At no time should we seek these gifts for their own sake but to give us discernment and better equip us to serve God. When attainment is the goal, the value of the item is diminished. Solomon sought wisdom and God blessed him. But the more blessings he received, the more he wanted. He was never satisfied, never sated. Eventually, Solomon’s wisdom revealed to him that all his life had been spent satisfying his cravings rather that blessing God.

Four Things About Me

I got this in my email about a week ago and have only just found time to do it. I've emailed it to the person who sent it to me and a few others but I thought it would be an interesting thing to post... if you are interested in me.

And who wouldn't?

I hope you ejoy it! You can play or not.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. secretary in a garage (15 yrs old!)

2. sales clerk in a Post Exchange in Germany
3. Office Manager with an Insurance Brokerage office
4. Housing Specialist with HUD Sec. 8 Program
Four places I have lived:
1. Mobile, Alabama
2. Frankfurt, Germany
3. Livorno, Italy
4. Fayetteville, N. C.
Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Penscola, Florida
2. Atlanta, GA
3. Corydon, Indiana
4. Mobile, Alabama
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Banana Pudding (the real stuff)
2. My Chili Rice Dinner
3. Lasagna (Stoffer's)
4. El Charro's Chicken Quesedilla's Fajatas
Places I would rather be right now:
1.
Alabama
2. Germany (to visit)
3. In a quiet place with NO television
4. Tahiti (my dream vacation)
Four friends or relatives I think will respond first: Not sure, some folks hate these things!
1.
2.
3.
4.
Now, here's what you're supposed to do, and please do not spoil the fun. Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers.
Then, send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you.
Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.
Or, highlight and copy content, compose a new e-mail, paste and delete my answers and than type in your answers. Have FUN!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Pie in the Oven

I got this in my email this morning and thought you'd all enjoy it. I did.



A woman was getting a homemade cherry pie ready to put into
the oven when the phone rang. It was the school nurse. Her
son had come down with a high fever, and would she come and
take him home? The mother calculated how long it would take
to drive to school and back, and how long the pie should
bake, and concluded there was enough time. Popping the pie
in the oven, she left for school. When she arrived, her
son's fever was worse and the nurse urged her to take him to
the doctor.

She drove to the clinic as fast as she dared. She was frayed
a bit more as the doctor emerged from the examining room and
handed her a slip of paper. "Get him to bed," he told her,
handing her the prescription, "and start him on this right
away."

By the time she got the boy home and in bed and headed out
again for the shopping mall, she was not only frayed, but
frazzled and frantic as well. And she had forgotten about
the pie in the oven.

At the mall she found a pharmacy, got the prescription
filled, and rushed back to the car, which was locked. There
were her keys, hanging in the ignition switch, locked inside
the car.

She began searching the mall for a wire coat hanger -- which
turned out not to be easy. Wooden hangers and plastic
hangers were there in abundance, but shops didn't use wire
hangers anymore. After combing through a dozen stores, she
finally found a wire hanger. Hurrying out of the mall, she
halted. She stared at the wire coat hanger. "I don't know
what to do with this!"

Then she remembered the pie in the oven. All the
frustrations of the past hour collapsed on her and she began
crying. Then she prayed, "Dear Lord, my boy is sick and he
needs this medicine and my pie is in the oven and the keys
are locked in the car. Lord, I don't know what to do with
this coat hanger. Dear Lord, send somebody who does know
what do with it, and I really need that person NOW, Lord.
Amen." She was wiping her eyes when a beat-up older car
pulled up to the curb and stopped in front of her.

A young man, twentyish-looking, in a stained T-shirt and
ragged jeans, got out. He was coming her way. When he drew
near, she stepped in front of him and held out the wire coat
hanger. "Young man," she said, "do you know how to get into
a locked car with one of these?"

He gaped at her for a moment and then plucked the hanger
from her hand. "Where's the car?"

She had never seen anything like it -- it was simply amazing
how easily he got into her car. A quick look at the door and
window, a couple of twists of the coat hanger, and the door
was open. When she saw that, she threw her arms around him.

"Oh," she said, "the Lord sent you! You're such a good boy."

He stepped back and said, "No, ma'am, I'm not a good boy. I
just got out of prison yesterday."

She jumped at him and she hugged him again fiercely. "Bless
the Lord!" she cried. "He sent me a professional!"

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bugs About

The bugs are going around again. The baby was sick Monday and they took her to the ER. Her daddy was sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Her mother was sick Wednesday. I took the baby home with me last night so her mom could rest but could only keep her until midnight. I had to work today. Becca tried to get her mom and dad to keep her over night so she could take care of herself. She was still vomiting and not well. Her parents said they couldn't do it.

Now, these folks don't have a job. They don't either one work. He just got on disability but her mother just doesn't want to work. Becca does a lot for her folks, particularly when they had no income. (At least for the last 4 1/2 years I've know her!) And on paydays, they go get her folks and bring them to their house for the weekend and feed them all weekend. But everytime the girl needs something from them, they just don't have time. It is just inconvenient.

So Sarah went home last night about midnight. I felt bad I couldn't keep her longer because Becca was still sick. Even so, I am really tired today. I just want to sleep for about 4 hours! I am praying NOT to catch this. At the ER they told Becca that over 100 babies had been through with this nasty bug! Adults are getting it, too. Fever, vomiting and diaherrah are the symptoms and last about two days.

I am all set up on the computer except for some software I have to still load that is not crucial at the moment. But I find there is either something wrong with my glasses or one of my eyes. It appears to have been revealed by the larger screen. However, I love the machine! It is soooo fast! Quad core, folks, is awesome. I don't get hung up opening several programs and it zips through everything. AND I was able to get it with XP!

I have not been writing lately. I wanted to drop in today and see how things were going. I have been visiting some blogs, just not posting on mine.The computer took my time last week and now I am in the midst of tax filings. I did Dave & Becca's. I'm working on mine. My sister will probably want help and I have my other son, Mike's to file.

It is colder than a well-diggers ankles today. I even saw a tiny snowflake or two. I can't wait until spring! Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday Delay

I've been away for a few days getting the new computer set up and transfering data from the old to the new. This is a tedious task as I have to load files on a flash drive and copy them to the new computer. I looked for alternatives but without buying something to make it easier, this is the simplest and cheapest.

I have been reading blogs here and there and trying to keep up but it seems as if everyone else has been as busy as I. I won't write long here because I still have several things to do today and I got a late start. I haven't really felt good all day and I have either a mild upper respiratory problem so it is probably that. Had a mild headache all day and I think I may have run a fever later today. So, will those ills aside, I have not finished all the task I wanted to finish.

Hope you are all having a great weekend. I hope I can be back by the first of the week and do some serious writing. I must get back on track with Mist. Several things have happened along the way that derailed my intentions. I really feel that my disorganization is becoming a problem. Must put that on my list of things to check on.

Everyone take care.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Microsoft Hungry

Good Morning America has announced that Microsoft has made a large offer to buy Yahoo.

With all the troubles Yahoo has had lately, I'm not surprised. Gates' little known middle name is Midas so it probably won't hurt the company but it probably will change it dramatically.

Of course, Yahoo hasn't accepted....suicide?

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