When you are reading here whether you found me intentionally or accidently, please take time to leave a comment and let me know where you are and what you are thinking. I love feed back. Vondi

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

is it really 'godly'?

I heard a new one the other day. Someone said that they had a ‘godly jealousy’ over their spouse. (The spouse was connecting only to another family member, not the opposite sex) Now Paul said he had a godly jealousy over the Church because he had a desire to see them serving the Lord in righteousness and not be tempted away by false doctrines. But I read of no place where a man or a woman can have a ‘godly’ jealousy over their spouse’s relationship with his or her birth family. That ‘jealousy’ is old-fashioned selfishness and resentment because the spouse is paying loving attention to those they grew up with. THAT kind of jealousy is NOT condoned by God.
Now that it comes to mind, I’ve seen over and over where church people take plain old carnal feelings and stick the word godly in front of it and suddenly, as though that word ‘godly’ is an abracadabra, it becomes okay. Godly anger, godly jealousy, godly hatred, godly wrath, godly lust, godly vengeance, godly miserliness --they all are dressing up plain old anger, jealousy, hatred, lust vengeance, etc. in a fancy suit to make it pass by spiritual review.
We are fooling ourselves. Simply putting the word godly before an emotion in no way makes it acceptable before God. Yet we see it happening all the time. A man gets mad because his wife spends some time with the other women of the congregation and he calls it a ‘godly jealousy’ or ‘godly anger.’ A woman is resentful because her husband controls her extravagant spending and she calls her attitude ‘godly concern’ for her family’s well being.  A man feels compelled to retaliate toward someone for a perceived betrayal or hurt, but since God says we are not to return evil for evil, he calls his course of action ‘godly vengeance.’ And it goes on and on.
Let’s be careful not to try and disguise carnality with a ‘godly’ camouflage.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pain and Thanksgiving

Here I am. I’m sitting with my little dog snuggled beside me-all cozy. I have the turkey parts cooking in the crock pot so we will have rich broth for the dressing. The bread is drying in the oven. In a couple or four hours I can go in and chop my celery, carrots, onion and bread to make the dressing. Then it will be done for tomorrow.
Rachael will soon come down and put together the cranberry salad. She will have to work today until MIDNIGHT. Then she has to get up tomorrow and work until five. How crazy is that!
And so Michael and I are going to be cooking turkey tomorrow. That should be a real trip. I’ll provide the brains and know how. He’ll provide the knees. It is so aggravating to know how to do so many things and not have the knees to take the multitude of little steps to get it done. I never realized how much stepping around was required to do something as simple as fixing a turkey!
I used to go through all the chopping and stirring and fixing without a thought. I would start from scratch and not sit down until the turkey was in the oven and everything was finished. Then I would clean up afterwards and, other than a little whine about being tired, I hardly even paused.
Now. Now I plan every step around the kitchen before I stand up. We are blessed with a very small kitchen. Rachael can practically stand in the center of it and cook a meal.  Well, not quite, but almost. Because I can’t swivel on my knees and take the necessary tiny quick steps I have to carefully plot the stages of every operation: Start here with the veggies from the fridge, scoot the plastic bowl full of those down the counter, across the stove, down the counter across the sink, pick up my favorite knife from the drawer, move all of that on to the bar where I can then go along and then around to the other side where I can sit down and do all the dicing, slicing and combining. Oh Wait! I forgot the cutting board. Now I have to get up and walk all the way around the corner and the fridge to the cupboard where we keep the cutting board. And oh yes, a couple paper towels might come in handy.. and a wet dish cloth to wipe up any smears or crumbs—especially onion juice. Now, back around to sit down and actually do the work.
Does that sound ridiculous? Yeah, it is. A normal cook would stand at the counter; pick up her instruments when she needed them, chop and slice, take the many tiny steps back and forth and around until her dish was assembled and in the oven. I never used to think about it. But now I simply cannot stand or walk that long. Some have thought, maybe still think, that my reluctance to stand and walk is due to laziness; they have never known the pain I walk with on every step. Those same people have attributed my weight to my laziness when actually the reverse is true. The weight gain came with the enforced sedentary life style after I was no longer able to walk and move freely. Oh well. What goes around comes around.

Meantime, Michael and I will  have a good time getting Thanksgiving dinner ready for Rachael tomorrow.

BTW,  Bilbo is now in Lake Town.  After the barrels floated down the channel from the elves' hall, they were collected and roped together in a raft and poled from the mouth of the channel down the river to Lake Town. I haven't had time to take him much forther...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In the 'Hall of the Elven King"

It’s cold looking and dismal in Westerville this morning. The clouds look like their sitting about six inches above the tree tops and to make it worse there seem to be several people in the neighborhood who have fires in their woodburners or fireplaces. It is cozy though.
Rachael has gone off to work at six thirty this morning and Michael isn’t up yet. Of cours it IS Saturday after all. He has a big chore list for today so I imagine he’ll be down pretty soon. He has to go get Rachael’s vicodin. (She has had a really sore knee ever since she promoted a major storeroom at work by shaming one of the other co managers into helping her get started. I think she must have twisted it) He wants to finish putting up the stained molding around the living room. He got part of it up last evening and it looks really nice.
This morning I left Bilbo and the dwarves floating in their barrels through the gates of the Elven King’s palace. By now they are floating down the river toward Lake Town.

You see, they had been captured by the elves when they got lost in the forest and ran into elves picnicking in the dark forest. They were all imprisoned in the king’s dungeons but Bilbo who was wearing his magic ring which made him invisible. He got them out out of the dungeon and packed them in the king’s empty barrels which were being sent back down the river to be refilled with supplies!

This is an illustration by Alad Lee.
"Out they went under the overhanging branches of the trees on either bank. Bilbo wondered what the dwarves were feeling and whether a lot of water was getting into their tubs. Some of those that bobbed along by him in the gloom seemed pretty low in the water, and he guessed that these had dwarves inside."

do you love the world?

I don’t have anything especially profound to say today. Just felt like writing. I  picked up part of this song the other day. I haven’t heard it for a long time, but it still has a fantastic message. Too many times we find that folks want to be Christians, but they just don’t love the Lord as much as they do the things of the world.

Do you love the world, in its pomp and show? 
In its course of sin will you onward go?
Is the pride of life more than heav’n above?
Will you lose your soul for the sins you love?

Do you love the world? Will you selfish be,
When the Lord provides everything for thee?
Can you still refuse? Will you come and bow?
Give your heart and life to His service now?

Do you love the world, its applause and fame?
Soon ’twill end in sorrow, remorse, and shame;
Jesus bids you come and redeem your soul
From its awful doom, ere the judgments roll.

Do you love the world? Is it dear to thee?
Can it help thy soul in eternity?
Will you choose its way more than godly fear,
Sealing thus your doom, when the Lord is near?

Do you love the world more than Christ who died?
How the blood flowed free from His pierced side!
When it cost His life to prepare that place,
Will you die in sin, and refuse His grace?

Scary thought, isn't it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday morning

At the entrance to Mirkwood
I left Bilbo this morning just starting out through the Old Forest, Mirkwood, on his journey east with the company of dwarves to the mountain of the dragon. The dwarves had been forced to free the ponies given them by Beorn and now have to carry on with all of their supplies on their own backs.  Gandalf had just left them to go on alone because he had 'pressing business away south.' 

Entering Mirkwood *
I read The Hobbit every morning after I’ve finished packing lunches and am waiting for the lazybones to come down stairs.

It is a cold and gray day here in Westerville today. The weatherman is promising a lot of rain by this afternoon. I suppose I should go and let the dogs out one more time before R & M get home because after it rains I can’t bring them in. They will be all wet and getting them dried them off good is more than I can do when they are really sloppy. Winter is coming.
I don’t think anyone will be taking a sleigh “over the river and through the woods” this year though. At least I will be surprised if there is that much snow.

* I forgot to say that these illustrations are by Ted Nasmith, another Tolkien illustrator.  To do a superior job, the artist has to love the stories.  And Mr. Nasmith must!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Hobbit revisited

Gandalf coming to visit Bilbo at the start of his adventures.

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots of lots of pegs for hats and coats -- the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill -- The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it -- and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, diningrooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the lefthand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river. JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit

And that is the way the story of the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, begins.
I just left Bilbo sleeping on a ledge in the eagle’s eyrie after being rescued from the evil Wargs and goblins. This must be close to the dozenth time I’ve read through the Hobbit in the last, oh my goodness!, forty-five years. Tolkien’s famtasy story of the little man who fights a dragon and comes home with ponies laden with treasure never ceases to fascinate me. For several years, after I read the book at about twelve years old I had no idea that the Trilogy of the Rings even existed! Imagine my excitement when I discovered them as a high school student!
When Notah and Kerra brought me Peter Jackson’s movie version of The Lord of the Rings I did enjoy it, bur it came no where near matching the scope and richness of the panorama in my mind’s eye of Middle Earth and the characters inhabiting it.  If anyone who happens to read here has not read the books, go get them. They are vastly superior to the movie.
Of course, I’ve never yet seen a movie that came anywhere near matching the book that preceded it.
I found an artist who does fantastic representations of Middle Earth and Bilbo’s adventures in particular. He is faithful to the descriptions Tolkien gives of hobbits. I disliked Jackson’s depiction of them. He would have been much more effective to use little people, as they prefer to be called today. When I was a child we called them “midgets” meaning no disrespect but only referring to their size. That size would much more closely fit the description of Bilbo and the others Discrepancies in other features—the furry feet, the ears, any necessary body padding etc, could have been dealt with as was done to the full sized young men who portrayed Frodo, Samwise and the others in Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien said of hobbits in a review: I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of 'fairy' rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ear: only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair: short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf).
The description, with only a bit of theatrical adjustment, would much better fit a little person. But perhaps with our weird social values today, people of that diminutive size declined the roles feeling some stigma was attached to the invitation.
At any rate, check out David T Wenzel’s drawings. ((http://www.davidwenzel.com/hobbit.html ) I’ve left them ‘hot-linked’ in this post so you can go and see them all. Next to the drawings in the original Hobbit texts of Tolkien, these drawings come closest to reflecting the descriptions given in the story.

The picture at the top is Wenzel’s. This one depicts one of my favorite parts of the story. Bilbo’s quiet cozy little hole-home is invaded by a horde of dwarves and a full sized wizard. He struggles to be the good host, but hardly has room to move. Finally he succumbs, completely overwhelmed, and simply sits watching what he perceives as chaos around him. His poor sense of order is even more disrupted when the dwarves begin helping clean up! Here’s the dwarves’ song as the clean.  I love it!

Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That's what Bilbo hates -

Smash the bottles and burn the corks!
Cut the cloth and tread on the fat!
Pour the milk on the pantry floor!
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat!
Splash the wine on every door!
Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl;
Pound them up with a thumping pole;
And when you've finished, if any are whole,
Send them down the hall to roll!

That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!
So, carefully! carefully! with the plates!

(I can almost see Rachael's reaction to this knd of cleaning!  LOL She's almost OCD with her house!)
Don’t just watch the movies! Go read the books. They are so much better!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Home alone

I just spent several days at home alone with our dogs and cats.  Sigh..... I've decided I can no longer manage a herd of dogs!  the cats weren't bad at all.  I simply made sure their boxes were scooped and their food dishes were full and they sat with me on my chair or purred by the heater.  Even Peanut outside, came running as soon as the light came on.  By the time the door was opened he was there waiting for his food, being polite and meowing to tell me how glad he was that I was coming with something good for his tummy!

The dogs were a whole different story.   Well, I take that back.  Mica was an angel.  The other three--oh mercy.  LOL  Maxim is just so full of enthusiasm for every thing he makes me so tired.  He isn't bad, not at all but he has a great deal of energy that I can't help him to expend.  The little dogs of course are just as energetic as he is but their bouncing around isn't quite so lamp shaking. 

When I woke up in the morning and went into the bathroom they were AWAKE too.  Maxim and Gable usually started playing.  Now that's okay and my room is pretty well big enough for some play, but whe Sebastian got involved it turned into a free for all.  It did stop when I went out and said ,Stop, but with crutches it took a minute to get there.  By that time, the comforter on my bed was in a know and the dried rosebuds in my pretty bird bath were scattered around.

They are very good at waiting for me to go out of my door.  I followed Cesar Milan's advice and 'own' the door.    And they are good at hustling into the outside door too.  But every morning there is a challenge.  Grandma insists they all sit and wait until I tell them they can go out.  R & M just open the door.  I think I've said before how much I enjoy watching Gabe and Bastian go hustling our across the yard to the back fence.  They live for the possibility that the iron fence at the back may have fallen down over night and they can kill the golden retriever who lives across the way.   They bounce out through the grass barking and looking at one another, daring each other to be the bravest.  And little dogs don't have the sense to know that a golden retriever could kill them with one chomp. 

Dogs have to be let outside several times a day and my knees complain about the standing wait while they are out there.  On the other hand, they are tremendously loving and attentive.  Who else would I have talked with while Rachael and Michael were gone?  And who else would listen so attentively?

They quickly developed a routine.  Out in the early morning, and back in to nap on the bed.  Out at lunch and back in to look out the window and roll around on the floor and then stretch out to snooze a bit more.  Evenings were a little more varied because we had supper and people were coming home from work and school so there were sounds that had to be checked out, but by ten o'clock things had settled down and that meant the dogs could settle too. 

And I was tired from all the excitement.   They are sweethearts, regardless of the aching knees and Wild Rumpuses in the middle of the floor!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chris Ladoux : God Must Be a Cowboy

I’m really tired this morning. I woke up at 430; I felt like maybe I could go back to sleep but after half an hour I finally got up. While I was in the bathroom, Maxim and Gable decided to have a Wild Rumpus. THAT woke me up for sure. By the time I got out to make them stop the comforter was half off the bed and my little birdbath of dried roses had been dumped!
So I decided to go ahead and get up for real. I put the Wild Things out at about 515 and made them stay until I got my breakfast all ready. They tore around and barked (bet the neighbors love me ) until they were tired. When we came back in they were ready to be quiet! Maybe if it warms up a little I will sit on the deck with them and toss Maxim’s ball for him. Gable and Sebastian will chase along with him while he’s getting his ball and that should give everybody some exercise.
Mica of course is always the lady. She and I share a sore knee-achy bones syndrome so both of us move slowly and don’t do much tearing around. Mica is very patient with the Wild Things and only occasionally gives a deep, rumbling, ‘Wruff.’ I, on the other hand, violate every one of Cesar Milan’s maxims by yelling at Maxim and Gable and threatening to shoot them if they don’t shut up! They listen to Mica better than they do me. Which only goes to prove Cesar’s principle that dogs respond to calm assertive energy. I think it’s because they are both afraid that Mica will rip their throats out if they don’t behave--The ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick” Philosophy. And Mica speaks very softly.
But now everyone is quiet and snoozing. 
Rachael and Michael are visiting Ron and Donna for a few days and I am here with the Wild Things and the cats and Mica. The cats don’t really like having the dogs in here with me all day. Andy was in a snit last night and ended up being locked out because he didn’t come in when he was supposed to—not out of doors that is, but only out of my room. 
It got really cold last night. I guess 31degrees is appropriate for November¬ 1. I told Michael to leave the heat off but if it gets too much colder at night I may need to turn it on for the plants and fish. It was 63 in the main part of the house this morning. 
Notah sent me a song yesterday. Makes me homesick