And He answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Scribblings # 230

Sunday Scribblings # 230 Faith

Do you have faith in the future, faith in your friends or family, faith in your car starting, the floor being there in the morning, or in a religion or religious figure?  Is there someone in your life named Faith?  Do you have faith in humanity or goodness or animals or superheroes or simply that the sun will rise tomorrow morning?  Is faith something we all need in some way or another?  What do you think about faith?

I know what my faith is and what it is in. My faith is trust, but it's more than trust. It's a certainty, beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is a Bible verse in the old King James Version which says:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1

My faith is in Jesus.

I do not have faith in institutions, such as denominations. Nor do I place my faith and trust in leaders, such as pastors. They are men, nothing more. Some are corrupt and perverse; we hear it all the time. Some are wonderful people who devote their lives to what they believe in. But I cannot put my trust in such a person because I know that they will fail me. Seen it too many times.

I have put my faith in my family. I love my family but it would be foolish--no, insane--to put all my hopes and dreams into them. They will fail my hopes and dreams because they have their own journey and their own dreams. It would not be fair to them to do that.

I have chosen to put my faith in something and Someone far beyond my limited capabilities.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Music is Music except on Sunday Morning

Every Sunday morning churches all over the world get together and sing praise and worship music. All different languages, different styles, different instruments, different songs, different dynamics of sounds and harmonies. Beautiful.

Except in America or so it would seem.

African Americans like different types of music than white people. Their harmonies are different too. White people like their worship more sedate or more like a rock band. African Americans love gospel and syncopation. I swear, the white church just discovered syncopation. It's awkward for us.

Sunday mornings are called the most divisive day of the week. I say it's because of the preferential style of music. I wonder if one day we will all relax and just do music. Some Spanish, some gospel, some rock and roll and some lovely hymns with all that beautiful poetry and theology.

Personally, I would love to sing a pretty African chorus in the native language. Of course, I would want to know what I'm singing--I'm not completely nuts. But I think that singing an African chorus or a Chinese chorus would help me to feel a little connected with my church around the world. I know they are there and I wish I knew them and could pray for them.

It seems like music could connect us together in the here and now. Maybe one day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Scribblings # 229

Sunday Scribblings # 229
Please click here to see more creative entries

I thought we might go somewhere a bit more dangerous this week. What do you make of that?

4 Times

If all journeys start with one step,

And I know that journeys are always fraught

With danger and dangerous characters,

I refuse to let it bother me

that I have hit the snooze button

4 times.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Magpie Tales Mag 28

Virginia Min

"Go on upstairs, take a bath and change your clothes. Dinner's almost ready and it's Lum and Abner night. Honestly, Virginia Min, I think you have more dirt on you than skin. Come on." Mother walked up our carpeted stairs and marched me into the bathroom.

Dusk in August in St. Louis in 1933. It was hot. It was sticky. I welcomed a cool bath, even if it meant soap.

"I thought you said you were playing at Ray and Walt's house. I saw their older sister and she said you left after lunch." Mother helped me unbutton my gingham dress, blue and green with thin red stripe and a white Peter-Pan collar. I liked that dress. It hid the dirt.

"I saw Gladys Pinkley and played with her this afternoon." I was in my little slip and getting nervous now. I turned and faced my mom. I didn't know what to say to her. I didn't know how she would react.

"Gladys Pinkley? You never played with her before, Min. I didn't think you even liked her, the way you spoke of her." Mother sat on the commode and stared at me suspiciously. I shuffled my feet. "Aren't you going to take your socks off?"

"I will." My heart beat so that I felt it shake the room. "Gladys ain't so bad--"


"Isn't so bad. We had fun." I bent down and slowly untied my shoes. Mother turned on the faucet to the tub. Sweat from dread poured down my cheek.

"Well," Mother said as stood. I swear she looked twenty feet taller in that little bathroom. "It's about time you found some girls to play with. You can't be a tomboy forever. You're growing up."

I looked up at her, my heart on my mouth. She would never approve. I wondered if I was going to hell for keeping this from her. I wondered if Gladys' older sister found out what we used. I wondered if Gladys was getting a thrashing as I stood in my slip in the bathroom.

"Well? What are you waiting for?" She looked as if she grew another two or three feet.

"Um." I didn't know what to do so I cross my arms in front of me. Mother's jaw dropped open and she coughed. It looked to me like she was laughing but I was too scared to be sure.

"Ok, Min. Wash your hair and you make sure you scrub." She handed me a wash rag and closed the door. I locked it behind her. Then I listened to her walk down the stairs. It was only then that I took off my shoes, my socks and my underthings.

I stepped into the tub and put the washrag under the running water with the soap, hoping to get more bubbles. I scrubbed and scrubbed that rag with soap and I got a decent lather that day.

"Min, hurry up. I have to go," said my little brother Kenny.

"I just got in here," I growled. He was ruining my special time.

"Come on."


I could hear him whine all the way down the stairs.

I sat back in that wonderful clawfoot tub. Today was the day that everything changed. With a deep, contented sigh, I let my feet float up and admired my painted red toenails.

Six Word Saturday 082110

I'm a stay at home mom with three school aged kids, who start school shortly. I dedicate this blog to their summer vacation.

Eight more days of sleeping in.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Theme Thursday 081910

brush your teeth, brush your hair
hide in the under brush
brush up against someone...

just be sure you brush it up for theme thursday!


He opened his eyes to the little kitchen across from his bed. It took him a few moments to sit up and feel the pains in his feet, his legs, his back and his hands which gripped the wooden frame under his mattress. He took a deep breath and with a sigh, stood. The new stove turned out to be a blessing; he merely turned the nob and he heat came on for his hot water.

After he relieved himself, he shuffled over to the little hook where he kept his clothes. He winced as he lifted the clothes off the hook. He sat down to put on his pants and stood to zipper them, with mechanical grace. He happened to notice the faded wedding picture on the wall by the door. He walked over to touch it and his gnarled hand straightened the frame on the crumbling plaster. The old man pulled his shirt over his head and for an instant, he was young.

He remembered, he felt, he transformed into the artist of the people. He proudly put on his hat, picked up his brushes and ran out the door with a shout of good-bye to his young wife. The streets were alive and vibrant. The cause bubbled through his veins and his heart. He, the oldest, the artist, would be painting for the people. How his father would have to eat his words--he would be an artist but he would be serving his great country. Productive and creative. The possibilities of the future were as open as the skies above the millet fields in Zhongyuan.

The old man buttoned the shirt and turned off the water, which boiled in the little metal kettle. He let his mind wander to his father's fields, to the quiet, honest roads and families and to endless stars in the night sky. A car's horn outside his apartment window brought him back to his dingy room in the city. He had just enough time to sit down for a cup of tea and a little rice.

He picked up his brushes and examined the bristles. He kept them as clean as an old man could and handled them jealously. No one would take these precious tools. They had served him well all those years and they had written countless hanzi to encourage the worker, the farmer, the child to do better, to be better, for the good of all.

One last sip of tea. One last mouthful of rice. Dishes in the plastic dish tub in the cement sink. Keys in pocket. Brushes safe in their case. Close the door.

His street received no sun at that time of morning. In spite of the blue sky, all seemed gray and dull. He nodded to the street vendor. He nodded to the man selling the morning paper. He avoided the young men who rushed passed him with electronic phones pressed to their ears. The energy of the city had long since lost its charm and appeal. The artists were newer, younger, with new ways of painting on machines he didn't understand or desired to understand.

The old man clutched his brush case and stood a little straighter. He still considered himself an artist, a productive artist, though he now painted posters for the local butcher.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Scribblings # 228

Please click here to see more
The prompt this week is: view. What's the view from your window? What's your view on life? On the current world situation? What's the best view you have ever seen? Had? What's your dream view? Have you expressed your views?

A Fork In The Road by *intao on deviantART

A Room with a View

Most times I sit and type my blogs in my front room. It is a gateway to several places in the house. My bedroom, bathroom, dining room and up the stairs. From here I can listen to my children complain about homework. Or watch them post things on Facebook, since our computer is centrally located in our frontroom, thank you very much. I can watch my hard working husband crash on the couch. I can get the front door. It's a very good view of what is going on in our little home.

I am in my last semester at the local college and will need to make a decision about what to do beyond my associate's degree. I don't even know that it matters. I'm doing this so that I will have some type of paper to show that I have education to do a job--that doesn't exist anymore. I will be taking classes that will go towards the old Liberal Arts degree but they've titled it different. If I don't do this, then I will have several years of extra classes to take and I'm not sure I want to do that.

I'm older now. I am approaching 50 in a couple of years or so. The dreams I had when I was young stayed there and new ones took their place. But dreams don't pay bills or feed a family.

My view is one of transition and stability. It seems that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am a stay at home mother who is available for her children. I am guiding my children to become more independent and self reliant so that when the time comes, they will fly. Some people embrace this but I chafe at the very thing I like. Stability.

The other view is one of transition. I am getting older and it cannot be escaped. The options that were open to me in my 20s and 3os are no longer feasible. I am a dreamer from way back and I suppose I always will be. Responsibilites and age are clouding my view.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pumping Your Muse 072710

From Pumping Your Muse

Situations come into life unplanned and how we deal with them is a story. I sat at a garage sale today and a stray dog wandered into our midst. His golden coat was dingy and dirty. He'd been around for three days. Someone probably dumped him hoping he'd find a home.

The grandkids begged to keep it, and with each potential shopper the dog's ears perked up as if to ask, "Are you my new family." Each individual reacted differently.

For your prompt today, write three short paragraphs telling the story of three different people and how they reacted this this two-year-old yellow lab.

Include the sense of smell or hearing in each paragraph.

Her hip bothered her that morning. Aches and pains were part of the daily routine, but it was inconvenient that morning. She looked forward to browsing through small, cast off items at the garage sales. A cup here. A plate there. The carafe of a long gone coffee maker. As she walked up the driveway, she paused to take in the heavy, scent of homeowner's climbing roses. She turned and her leg was blocked by something warm and soft. The dog looked up at her; his tail thumped in anticipation. She smiled and caressed his broad head with a stiff hand. He was so like Charlie. She missed a dog's companionship. Something else to put aside to remembrance.


The mother was huffing and puffing and she just gotten out of the car. She told her four year old son to hold her two year old sister's hand; she carried her newborn in the carrier along with the diaper bag. The walk up the drive way seemed an eternity of watching, lifting, carrying and worrying that someone would fall. No one did. The yellow lab stretched out across her path. One more thing to worry about. She told her son to step aside of the dog as a bead of sweat poured down her cheek. All that effort and the mother saw no clothes, no toys or anything that she could use. She stopped to take a breath and heard her baby make a familiar noise. She closed her eyes and turned around. She summoned her children and took the long walk back to the car. She knew what awaited her. The smell followed her.


He got up early and rode his bike in the quiet morning sun. He loved that time of morning when the day was filled with possibilities. The day before he found a rogue cicada and the day before that a yellow caterpillar. There were lots of cars by his neighbor's house and found the garage sale. After saying hello, he looked around the tables. It looked like the same kind of stuff his mom had at home. The garage smelled the same at theirs too, musty and old. The yellow lab approached him and he took a step back. When he saw the wagging tail, he held out his hand, which was promptly licked. The boy smiled and stroked the dog's head. He went through his pockets and found a green Skittle, which he popped in his mouth. He smiled at the dog, said good-bye to his neighbor and ran home to get some money.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Scribblings # 226

#226 - I'd like to thank...
This week you are going to write your acceptance speech. Whether it is your Oscar's speech, the dedication page from your book, or some other award, make sure it is for the award that is the most important one you can think of. In that moment of accepting your prize, who are you going to thank and why? What would you like to say to the people in your life who have helped you get this far? Who do you need to acknowledge?

A Thank You Speech

Dear Jesus, my loving Heavenly Father, and sweet Holy Spirit;

I have thought many times of how to thank You for awarding me not one, not two but three children.

I remember how hard it was to try to have children and wait. I remember the agony of each month, hoping and crying when that hope was dashed. I remember my co-worker asking me every Monday morning if I was pregnant and how humiliated it made me. I remember the doctor visits, the poking and prodding in places reserved for intimacy and privacy.

And I remember seeing the little heart beat. It was nothing but a blip; he was only 2 weeks from conception but his little heart was strong.

Two more times I was able to carry a child to full term. Through all the sleepless nights, the exhaustion, the nursing, the crying and changing and wiping and demands, You brought me through it all. It was so difficult but You, God, You helped me.

But today, that's not why I am here to thank You.

You see, Lord, I thought that I had faith. And I did. I thought that I was a faithful daughter and servant. I did many things, like sing at shelters and at Spred Group. Like visit the elderly once a week. Like become a chaplain to hand out coloring sheets. I did a lot of things and You helped me grow.

But nothing prepared me for the award You were to give me.

I don't have a lovely statue or a trophy as my award. No, You have given me so much more.

Through my son's diagnosis of asperger's, you have given me compassion, patience and tolerance. You have helped me be comfortable with people and families with special needs. That was a precious gift that I didn't know I needed.

Through my children being rejected, I learned to be an encourager. There were some days I needed it so badly that I thought my heart would crack my chest open. But it was through that pain that I became even better aware of another's pain.

Through my children's music, I was able to hear with my heart and set aside imperfections.

Through my youngest's physical struggles, I am learning endurance. And strength. And courage. And perseverance. And I am learning these things not from within but from my youngest son as he faces these difficulties.

Through my marriage, I have learned that I am capable of love beyond the surface of the skin. You have taught me the humor, the sorrow and the gracious acceptance through another human and Christian. I thought that the fires of love would die and grow cold. You taught me that the embers of love can burn for a lifetime.

Therefore, most gracious Lord Jesus, my loving Heavenly Father and Holy Spirit, I thank you for my many awards that You have sought to bestow upon me.

I thought that they were trials and sorrows. They were but they were lined with gold.

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