Category Archives: grace

Supper Lord’s Backwards

Things were different with communion last week! Normally they pass around a tray with little cups full of grape juice followed by a plate with crunchy, unleavened bread.

To save time, someone had a great idea…..wait for it….how about two clear little pew cups? Put juice in the top cup and the little unleavened, wannabe a big Saltine cracker when I grow up, in the bottom cup. Brilliant! Cuts the distribution time in half!

Houston, we have a problem. Mainly, I wasn’t paying attention.

It came time to partake, (partake is a much more spiritual word than drink or eat, yes?) so I chugged (not a spiritual word) the juice in the top cup.  Janet looked at me, started laughing and said in a semi loud whisper, “You did it backwards”.

Confused, I looked at my little communion cup and there were still a couple of drops of juice. I figured she meant I left some, so I took another swig, even stuck my tongue up in it to get the last taste of grape paradise out of the cup.   Continue reading Supper Lord’s Backwards

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They Said

No doubt her hands were shaking when she wrote her suicide note.  Her heart was in a million pieces, pieces that apparently no one noticed, or maybe, cared to notice.

She tried to write her last words, words that would explain, words that will tell all and clarify her actions. She wanted to describe her feelings, and try to explain why she did what she was about to do.

Her heart spilled out of the pen onto the paper as she wrote her last words.  She tied a rope to a ceiling beam in her apartment, stood in a chair, tied the other end around her neck and kicked the chair aside.

They Said story

The police found her several days later when a neighbor became concerned.  Her suicide note explained nothing, yet said it all.  Her note contained two words…….“They said”.

Tragically, this true story happened in California and no one ever discovered who, how or what they said.  One thing, however, was certain, they said it.

The tongue, and the pen, can wield amazing power to make people laugh or be encouraged. Words can cause one to believe and hope, yet words can bring devastation, heartache and despair.

Words can be of instruction, construction or destruction.

There’s the power of life and death in words.  They can heal, or they can kill.

Look for opportunities to shut up. Converse wisely.  Talk gently. Speak life.

Too bad that’s not what “they said”.

They Said story

Carl, The Species Confused Cat!

Carl knows better. I don’t know how he knows, but he knows.  Carl and I have a working relationship, but most of the work’s on my part.  Even how Carl got here was an arm-twisting escapade (read here.)  He does nothing, absolutely nothing!!

Really, the worthless feline folly should be dragging up mice, gophers or little dead snakes.  He doesn’t.  Half the time the flea bag is asleep flat on his back by the garage door. The other half he sits under a shade tree near the barbed wire fence watching the neighbor’s horses.

It’s a one-sided relationship! He can be totally out of sight, but if he hears his stainless steel feed bowl slide on the floor or the crinkle of the cat food bag, he comes running like he’s Lion King and I’m two days late.

I could live with it if every once in a while if he would do something for us, his “people”, as Carl likes to think, that would justify his meager existence.  As it is, I’m going to have to renegotiate a month to month deal, maybe charge him cat rent, something.

Trouble is, Carl doesn’t know his place!  In his messed up wheel of fortune mind, he’s Cat Sajack and I’m Vanna White! Continue reading Carl, The Species Confused Cat!

Beach Fix

A cold, internal stone wall held him prisoner, but somehow, he was held captive at the same time he was set free.

Like everyone who grew up there, he loved the beach, so when it was darkest inside, that’s where he drove outside.

It’s an isolated stretch of beach where few venture, especially at night. No one was around for miles. Inside he felt in 360 degree direction, yet outside, the full moon was shining nature’s night bulb so bright you could see your shadow.

He sat on the bumper in the warm, humid, salty air. The sea, rich in smell and wet sand gave off its familiar odor. Roaring waves crashed upon breaking waves which eventually slid gently in a thin glass sheet to where land starts and ocean stops. Continue reading Beach Fix

No More Angel Tears

When the heart’s tap root hits pain, angels cry. Do you feel it?  Do you feel them, something, somewhere, swirling, moving, circling the soul as the root draws up pain watering the heart making it swarthy and bruised?

Some people, some personalities cannot get away from the pain. It’s not that they don’t deal with their own. They do. It’s that some can’t get away from other’s pain.

Sometimes out of the blue it can hit you, in the store, watching TV, hearing a story, understanding what has happened.  The person’s pain, both shown, and even more intense, the hidden pain, grabs hold with a dry ice-cold grip burning the very beats of one’s own heart.

It can’t be explained with words, for words don’t express it. Letters can’t convey it, and the alphabet becomes nothing more than scissors on the tongue.  You can’t get out what has gone in. Continue reading No More Angel Tears

10% Thankful

When Jesus healed ten people, only one returned to Him to say thank you. (Luke 17:11-19)  Jesus even asked where the other nine were. They were all blessed. They were all miraculously healed. They all gained life over a slow excruciating death, yet only one even bothered to come back and say thank you.

That’s horrible! It’s wrong on so many levels!  But then I cringe when I realize I’m not in the 10% of people who are truly grateful.  I don’t always go back and say thank you. I’m ashamed of that.

I once read it’s impossible for an ungrateful person to truly be happy.  Makes sense! A lot of sense! Continue reading 10% Thankful

I Hate You, But Not Really

(This is based on a true story told to me by a Chief Juvenile Probation Officer.)

~~He knelt down on his knees, looked up at Jesus on the cross, and shook his fist. “I hate you”, he said loudly, “I hate you.”  He said it over and over.  Soon he was screaming with every fiber of his being. Louder and louder, with more and more pent-up emotions streaming out of his voice. “I hate you! I HATE you!  I HATE YOU!”~~

The boy had suffered emotional and verbal abuse from his mother since his birth. When his father was around, which wasn’t a lot, it was always the same song, second verse.  He could count on one hand the times a physical beating for some slight or imagined offense hadn’t followed a visit with his father. Continue reading I Hate You, But Not Really

Help This Boy

Sometimes pictures get me.  It sounds silly. Maybe it is.  But sometimes, a picture hits me in my core, cutting, ripping, tearing away at soul and sinew.

Some pictures, some stories haunt me as assuredly as a ghost in a graveyard.  I can’t sleep without it popping into my dreams. I can’t concentrate without it popping into conscious thought.

This picture sticks with me like a chain around the heart:

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Continue reading Help This Boy

Little or Lot Faithful

The lady blurted out to the Walmart Customer Service worker, “I’m the one you called a few minutes ago about the purse!”

I was waiting in line and glanced at her.  The worker asked her to describe the purse.  She did, and was told to wait just a minute while the worker went to the back office.

She was casually dressed in blue jeans, flip flops and a bright, pink Fight Breast Cancer t-shirt.  Her hair was about half an inch long over her entire head.  In fact, I wasn’t sure if she was being treated for cancer, or just wearing her hair short.  She waited with an anxious, lip chewing expression on her face. A minute later, the Walmart worker came out holding a small red change purse.

Continue reading Little or Lot Faithful

Extra Mile Integrity

Several years ago, I stopped by a friend’s used car lot at lunch time. I didn’t need anything, just figured I’d stop in and chit chat for a few minutes.

He told me he almost sold his integrity earlier.  He began:

An older man came in early that morning and wanted my friend, Dan, to buy a truck he owned.  The old gentleman didn’t want a trade in, but to sell it outright.  He had a nice, older truck with low mileage that was clean as a whistle.  He’d bought it brand new and maintained it well over the years.

Dan had never seen the old, country gentleman before and the man seemed, well….sad.

Dan asked how much he wanted for his truck.  The man hesitated, almost wincing in embarrassment, and said he hoped to get $3,000 because he had some expenses he needed to take care of.

That’s when Dan said he was tempted! Continue reading Extra Mile Integrity