Friday, June 24, 2022

Jingle Daisy

We had to get a new cat last October. Our old one decided to move out of our house. He was actually our daughter’s cat, so she took him with her when she got her own apartment.


We went to the local animal shelter and looked at every cat in the room. My husband Murray showed me a few; got them out of their cages for me to hold. When we came to the last cat in the room he said, “Let’s take that one.”


A year and a half old, she was pretty scrawny; she’d been abandoned. They’d named her Spooky, because it was Halloween, but Murray had planned ahead of time we’d call her Daisy.


Daisy hid a lot the first few days, except at night. The very first night, she jumped on our bed. She sleeps with us almost every night. During the winter, she crawled under the covers and snuggled up against me.


We found some extra loud bells for cat collars, so I can hear where they are better with my hearing loss. And this cat is very energetic. Running and jumping and jingling all over the house.


When I go upstairs, she runs after me, racing past me on the stairs. Unless she comes behind me and grabs at my feet.


Daisy loves to help me when I knit and crochet, stretching the yarn a few feet out of the bag.


There are many places in the house she loves. She jumps on the table when we’re eating. She perches on the seat of my exercise bike. Of course, she loves to look out the window, at whatever is going on in the rest of the world. She jumps up on the sink in the bathroom.


Once in a while, she’ll crawl on my lap and curl up when I sit in my recliner in the living room. Often, she’ll climb to the back of the chair and lie behind my head, sometimes reaching to pull my hair with her claws. She loves my chair. She uses it as a scratching post.


Daisy likes to help me with my work on my computer. Sometimes when the computer is on my lap, she spends sometime on the keyboard, helping with whatever document I’m working on. She has something to say. She might add a bunch of Gs, a few Hs and Ps, a bunch of brackets, and at least twenty blank lines.


Daisy is not very talkative, but once when she was shut up inside the bedroom with me, she ran back and forth across the room. “Meow? Meow?” I answered her. “Meow?”


In a flash, she jumped on the bed, ran up my body to my chest, turned, and ran away again.


What a lot of fun!


And, not complaining about Eli, our daughter’s cat, but Daisy purrs a lot louder.


What a gift God has given us. Daisy makes me smile all day long. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

When I Think of the Cross

While going through old documents for possible memoir goodies, I found this poem, written around 2002.


When I Think of the Cross


Of You on the cross,

And what You suffered there,

Beyond the physical pain,

To the pain and shame and eternal aloneness of Your soul,

That You suffered for me,

I am crushed.

And brought low.

And tempted to stay low

From the sorrow of it.


But Your voice gently reminds me to look up!

To where You’re seated now,

In the glory You deserve.

You won the victory.

And if I come up

Out of the ugliness of my soul,

You win the victory again. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

A Continuing Grace

Are you like me, a sinner saved by Jesus, who often still sins?


That is the biggest struggle in my life, believing that God can still forgive me when I sin again after I’ve experienced his grace; being able to accept his forgiveness for the sin I commit after I’ve learned of his love for me.


A wise counselor once explained to me that the devil works harder on me than he does on people who are at the bar every night. If God wouldn’t still forgive us, why would the devil still bother with us Christians?


At times in my life when I’ve doubted the existence of God, I’ve never had trouble believing in the devil. Although I can’t blame him for my sin, I can surely recognize all the ways he tempts and harasses me.


And he would not need to bother with me if I were not still eligible for god’s grace.


1 Peter 5:8-9: 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.


Does this mean I need to focus my thinking on the devil all the time?


Another wise teacher once said that experts on counterfeit money do not spend most of their time looking at counterfeit bills. Instead they focus their attention on being more and more familiar with what real money looks like. Then they will recognize when a bill is not correct.


Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


God saved us when we did not love him. But now that we have joined our lives to Jesus, he works even harder for us.


Romans 5:9-10: Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!


Does that mean we just continue a life of sin and not worry about it? I don’t believe anyone who truly longs for a life with Christ really believes that. Our deepest heart is to obey God.


Romans 6:1-2: What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?


As a longtime student of the bible, I know the Scriptures which answer these fears I have. Yet I worry that my heart has become too hard, that God’s hope can no longer break through my crust of fear.


Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,

piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow,

and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


And yet God’s hope still finds me. His word is living, and he brings to my mind anew the promises that his grace is still for me.


The apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, struggled with the wretchedness of sin he still dealt with. I recommend reading the whole of Romans chapter 7, but I want to share a few of the verses of Romans 7:14-25 which God reminded me of recently.


Romans 7: 14-16: We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

19: For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

21-25: So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 

Friday, June 3, 2022

Psalm 7, Trusting the Justice of God

David was a man of strong emotions. In other Psalms he agonizes over his sin and begs God for forgiveness.


In this case, David was confident of his righteousness and calls on God to display his anger and justly deal with the wicked and David’s enemies. David trusted God to protect him from those who pursued him.


Psalm 7: A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

Lord my God, I take refuge in you;

    save and deliver me from all who pursue me,

or they will tear me apart like a lion

    and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Lord my God, if I have done this

    and there is guilt on my hands—

if I have repaid my ally with evil

    or without cause have robbed my foe—

then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;

    let him trample my life to the ground

    and make me sleep in the dust.

Arise, Lord, in your anger;

    rise up against the rage of my enemies.

    Awake, my God; decree justice.

Let the assembled peoples gather around you,

    while you sit enthroned over them on high.

    Let the Lord judge the peoples.

Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,

    according to my integrity, O Most High.

Bring to an end the violence of the wicked

    and make the righteous secure—

you, the righteous God

    who probes minds and hearts.

My shield[d] is God Most High,

    who saves the upright in heart.

God is a righteous judge,

    a God who displays his wrath every day.

If he does not relent,

    he will sharpen his sword;

    he will bend and string his bow.

He has prepared his deadly weapons;

    he makes ready his flaming arrows.


Whoever is pregnant with evil

    conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.

Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out

    falls into the pit they have made.

The trouble they cause recoils on them;

    their violence comes down on their own heads.

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;

    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.


David had many trials and sorrows, yet he trusted in God’s justice and praised him for his righteousness


Lord, help me to trust you to punish those who cause horror in our world