Saturday, June 23, 2007

It Falls Into Place

Every once in a while it just feels like everything falls into place.

Last Saturday I was able to be productive in getting a door re-hung at Nesa's house, and installing a doorknob, and hanging a ceiling fan, and plunging her bathtub drain sufficiently for it to start slowly draining. (I've been dreading crawling under the house to solve this drainage problem.)

Then about Tuesday I was able to help put some new mower blades on Dad's tractor; it went quick and easy. What's up with that?

Friday Nesa bought some drain-clearing chemicals and poured them down her tub drain. We had tried this before, but without success. But this time, thank Jesus (no vanity intended), it worked. So unless the chemicals burned a hole in the pipes and the water is just pouring out onto the ground, that job is fixed (at least for now) Yea!!

I've been without a lawn mower this season and have been at the mercy of the neighborhood kids to mow the lawn. They've been unreliable, and with the uncommonly wet season we've had, the weeds have climbed up into the three-to-six foot range. Yikes!

I have a couple of mowers, but neither works. But last night I found a mower mechanic down the street who charges a mere $10 plus parts to repair them. W00t! So soon I'll have a mower. In the meanwhile, one of the neighborhood kids finally got around to mowing my lawn. Yea!!

And I finally got the part I needed to repair my ceiling fan in my bedroom; it's been hard doing without a fan with the summer heat. So I got that repaired, and the fan is now working. Yea!!

My truck which has been overheating severely when I drive just part way across town, suddenly stopped overheating, like a blockage cleared up or something. I know it's probably not a permanent cure, but for a 17-year old truck that's ready to be retired, it should give me a little more use without putting a lot of money into it. Yea!!

My unexplained discomfort in my gut, for which the doctors couldn't find a cause, seems to have suddenly cleared up. Yea!!

A fraudulent charge on my credit card (which I haven't used in 2 years, as I've learned to never use credit cards again and am just paying them off) was finally resolved this week. Yea!!

In about one week, I'm paying off one of my two remaining credit cards (and will be able to start applying those payments to the last remaining card). Yea!!

My checking account looks like it's going to end up in more black than usual this month. Yea!!

There's nothing major in all of this; it's just that it seems that many things are falling into place. Praise God that we sometimes get some good happenings in this fallen world!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Two Lessons Learned Today


"[A]n extra dollar earned, because of federal, state, and Social Security taxes, is typically $0.55 to $0.65 more in your pocket. A dollar reduction in spending, however is $1 towards solving your budget problem." --

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Muse is Mute

I tried to write a song last night about my co-worker Chris going fishing. Gettin' up before first light, scramblin' an egg and washin' it down with Dr. Pepper, collectin' his gear and tossin' it in the back of his old Ford truck, etc etc etc.

But the song just wouldn't come.

I've had the notion -- but don't know how seriously I believe it -- that my unrequited love came upon my heart at the same time I got a guitar for the explicit purpose that I'd turn to my guitar as comfort, and it's there and then that my song-writing ability "flourished" (anyone who has heard me sing my songs would understand why I put "flourished" in quotes).

Now that I no longer need the comfort of song-writing, that ability seems to have left me. A fair trade-off I reckon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Tail-End of Romans 7

The tail-end of Romans 7, from The Message:
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Personal Note

I loved, and still do love, Andrea. But she's out of my life, and I've moved on.

I loved, and still do love, Christina. But she's out of my life, and I've moved on.

I loved, and still do love, Christa. But she's mostly out of my life, and I've mostly moved on. I realized this morning that I've mostly moved on. (Of course, I've thought that several times over the past few years, but this time I think it's really true. (Of course, I've thought it was really true before, but this time I think it's really, really true.)) I've known for some time it would eventually happen.

And things are copacetic.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Folded Napkin

I don't know who originally wrote this.

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Is that important? You'd better believe it! Is that significant? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table.

For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done". But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the servant knew that the folded napkin meant, "I'm not finished yet."

The folded napkin meant, "I'm coming back!" He is Coming Back!