“I AM” limitless!

The more I hear and learn about dark matter and dark energy, that “space” is not empty but full of this energy and matter we cannot explain, that string theory posits a very real argument for multiple universes, the more I see God writ throughout the Cosmos, the world, and all of creation, unlimited by our human imaginations and sexism. “I AM” exists more than our wildest imaginations can fathom in science, in space, in town, in country, in sea, in all creation, carbon based or otherwise.

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WORDDeut. 8:1…

WORD

Deut. 8:1-3

1 This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. 3 He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.…

The Word of G-d, Jesus Christ, the Bread of the World

Snow and Cold Days

agoodlife.jpg

The winter temperatures and wind chills, not seen in “20 years” are upon us. The dogs and I are bundled up in the house with access to the yard for those who don’t get out; the escapees are let out carefully except for Sophie Tucker, who is crazy enough to hunt rabbits till she is frostbite and hypothermic. She will only go on leash with me twice a day (she is VERY house-trained and becomes distressed when she’s unable to relieve herself outside).

In this part of MO, people are not accustomed to cold or snow. Ice they deal with, but real winter weather is a different ballgame. Most drivers don’t know how to execute proper left hand turns in good weather, much less this nasty, very bad weather changing outside my window by the hour.

My garages are full (and I used to keep two vehicles in them) so every so many hours, I go out, start my car, move it back and forth in the drive to be ready to go to work tonight at 11:00 PM. I’ll leave about 10:00 PM to be safe and give myself time. 

Snowballing

OneWord2013_EngageI’m close to retirement and very in debt.  Thankfully, I have an Edward Jones advisor alarmed at what I’m paying each month and my total debt.  He immediately set out to adjust my financial status. By the grace of God, had I not needed several large withdrawals from my Roth IRA, I would be doing very, very well – even so, it is doing very, very well. We hope to keep it that way.

We took out enough funds to pay off my car. That monthly payment will now go toward paying off, in 8 months or less, a credit card. Said credit card is a Chase card with Blueprint. Blueprint helps you pay off your cards and/or use them more judiciously than I have in the past. Not only did we, Conrad and I, set up a payoff plan; I also set it up under Blueprint. I’ll receive monthly reminders of my progress from them, too.

What this reminds me is ACTION. When confronted with a concern or worry, I tend to stew over it way too long. Instead, I need to take action and engage, whether it is paying off debt, studying for a certification, or getting regular exercise. Setting up a PLAN is immensely helpful no matter for what the plan addresses.

I’ve known for a long time about the concept of snowballing: paying off one debt, in this case my car, then adding that payment to another to pay off a second debt quicker. It had been a long time since I sat down and did it.

I’m excited about this New Year. Not only do I have a job which pays well, is flexible and yet full-time, I see progress for my financial future.

Next up – prayer, study, and exercise!

Over 2,000 year…

Over 2,000 years ago, our Lord left his heavenly throne to join us at the table of our humanity. He became our friend and kept us company. He was God in our midst.

~ Nancy Jo Sullivan blogs at NancyJoSullivan.com

Taking time out from the hustle and bustle of Advent…to enjoy the purpose of this season, and one another.

Reading the Gospel – Themselves

Image representing YouVersion as depicted in C...
Image by None via CrunchBase
John 2:1-5
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3  And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Today’s Scripture from John spoke to me at several levels; doesn’t Jesus always do that?
  1. Preparation: one needs to put in the work to be ready when “the time comes.” Jesus tells his mother his time has not yet come; his preparation is not complete (for his earthly ministry). In today’s world, I read and hear of the “magic” 10,000 hours of practice, learning, study needed to achieve “overnight” success. Mary steps up Jesus’s “game.” 
  2. Willingness: though he says, in effect, I’m not ready, he obeys his mother, exhibiting love and filial piety for her in his first miracle, and demonstrating, to me who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, the archetypical Jewish mother – she expected much of her son. 
  3. Consequences: how about those servants? They knew about the water now wine. Are these servants the first believers besides John the Baptist, Jesus’s family, and the disciples? How much do they understand? I wonder if they are able to follow him through the next few years.

I’ve started reading the Gospels to better understand the God and Savior who reached down, no, stepped down into the miasma of humanity to claim my life. Online, I’m using the Daily Office as my basic hours site but to delve into the Gospels themselves, I’m using YouVersion. It has varied Bible reading plans in a variety of translations, one of which is the Gospels in a month. I’m not interested “in a month,” though it will help keep me on track.

Help me better learn about my Lord. I’m a skeptical person at heart; it is hard for me to effectively believe, trust, and follow, but I want to know Him as Lord.

Struggle

I am a lazy person. Getting up for church should be a joyous occasion, yet I struggle. I always have a good time once I’m there, but it’s the effort. I’m not saying it’s “the Devil” or anything like that. I just wonder why. After all these years, after all this faith, why do I struggle going to corporate worship in my later years?

That’s all. It bothers me.

 

Two Yellow Dogs

Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915
Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

One fluffy, tufts of fur ripe for brushing or plucking,

Fur not long but dense,

thick, a cozy coat craving cooler weather.

She quivers in her sleep,

gently puffing her cheeks, flipping her paws,

traversing a landscape unknown,

perhaps dreaming of a puppyhood long, long ago.

The other with short fur sleeps full-out flat,

sporadically stretching her limbs straight.

This dog’s fur glistens in the light,

a brilliant gold startling in its reminder of her Weimaraner heritage

gently blended with other breeds,

a sweet yellow gold gleaming girl

in her twilight years, whose days ebb and flow with energy and ennui.

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

~ Roberta Beach

Other Worlds, Other Peoples

Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura.
Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In her most recent program, “On Exoplanets and Love,” of On Being, Krista Tippett makes, to me, a startling observation – that, should we find life on other planets, the find would negate our view and reverence for God.

I may need to edit my assertion, but I heard something similar and was astounded.

I grew up a Sci Fi fan (not SyFy!) and a devotee of the original Star Trek series, of which there was a program that, indeed, on an M class planet, evidence of Son worship was noted, but not the Sun, as clarified by Lt. Uhura, but the Son of God. Of course, God would offer salvation to any and all who are in need, or, perhaps, we are the only sinners. How can finding or even the possibility of sentient life on other planets or galaxies threaten our belief in God?

I plan to listen to this program again tonight. Sometimes, I offend people by insisting God is asexual/without gender. A good friend asserted to me “God is a man.” He is also a woman depicted by the creation of Eve and the evidence of the feminine Wisdom in the wisdom literature and the Holy Spirit.

God tells us “my thoughts are not your thoughts nor my ways your ways.” We have NO CLUE of the true majesty of God. I believe – and certainly others, who may look and be very different from us, surely also believe. Jesus had “other sheep.” To me, they were those on other planets. God bringing salvation not only to our world but to the whole of Creation fills me with awe and humility.

Holy Dying – Engaged

Jeremy Taylor is depicted in this portrait at ...
Jeremy Taylor is depicted in this portrait at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past Saturday, I attended a workshop on dying, holy dying, with several other members of my church. Both lay, clergy, and nursing/medical professionals were there. The title comes from Jeremy Taylor‘s two books on Holy Living and Holy Dying. His premise was and cont. in these classic works that to die well, we must live well.

Carpe diem to the max.

My tug this day, though I deal with many dying patients and their families in my work, was another workshop on dog rescue in TN. If I had to leave my home at 0600, then I could get to TN just as fast as St. Louis (or, as the Mapquest voice says, “Saint Louie“).

But I didn’t – I drove my car with two friends. My friends are gracious women – they accepted my eccentricities with good humor – “Don’t touch my side mirrors; they are set up for no blind spots.” “This is how you set up the cruise control.” And my practice of getting up to speed in the on-ramp before entering a freeway – Driving 101.

The workshop was joyful and informative, diverse in topic:

  • Advanced directives (decide NOW how you want treatments you do NOT want and in what circumstances when you truly are dying).
  • ORGAN DONATION!
  • Disposition of your body – to science, to the grave, to cremation.
  • Hospice care
  • Volunteering for the dying – GREAT point: not everyone can handle bedside care but one person called and offered her accounting expertise to help get all papers in order; another shoveled snow, etc.
  • Avoiding probate – prepare and let your family know.

Please consider your end of life here on Earth. Be prepared not only in your paperwork and wishes, but by fully living every day.