Better Than A GPS

I had a doctor appointment at St. Anthony’s Hospital. I’d never been there before, but I figured how hard can it be to find it since I have GPS?

I called the doctor’s office for directions, and also plotted in the name of the hospital in my car’s GPS.

I left in plenty of time just in case. Right at the start, the GPS tried to get me to go a strange route. So I ignored its directions at first. But after a while, the directions I’d gotten from the doctor’s office didn’t lead me to the hospital. So I decided to trust the GPS even though it seemed to lead me away from Lakewood.

I nervously watched my clock as I drove farther and farther away from Lakewood. I’m new to the Denver area, but even I knew that I was going east and north, and this couldn’t possibly be the right direction.

“In half a mile, turn right,” the GPS voice instructed.

IMG_0202In another quarter of a mile: “You have arrived at your destination.”

WHAT? I’d arrived at a small medical center called ST. Anthony’s.

“NO!” I yelled at my car. “You dumb GPS. This is not where I’m supposed to go!” I reached into my purse for my cell phone so I could call the doctor’s office.

No cell phone.”NOoooooooo!” I’d forgotten to put it back in my purse after re-charging it.

I had just over half an hour to correct my mistake and get to my appointment.

I entered “destination” in my GPS again. That’s when I discovered just how many St. Anthony’s there are in the Denver metro area.

Anyway, I re-plotted my destination and arrived in the nick of time at St. Anthony’s Hospital.

Modern technical machines are great to have. But they can only be as helpful as the human operating them. My GPS can’t reason that I’m new to Denver and I don’t know that there are about five St. Anthony’s within about ten miles.

A human, giving directions, would offer such helpful instructions, such as, “And watch for the tall, blue building on the left. You’ll turn a block after you pass it. And be sure to get in the right hand lane right away. if you come to Highway 6, you’ve gone too far.”

Fortunately, the instructions we read in the Bible for everyday living are tailored specifically for our human frailties, and our human understanding. The Lord who inspired our scriptures knows that we are not machines, and that our intellect only goes so far.

When He says:

“He who holds his tongue is wise.”

“The Lord abhors dishonest scales.”

“Do not murder.”

“Do not commit adultery.”

These are clear, unambiguous instructions. They will not lead me astray.

Praise God, He’s much clearer than a GPS!

 

 

Never Too Late

I once talked to a man who said sadly that he wished he could be a pastor. He always felt a call, but he’d ignored it. Now, it was simply too late. “What?” I said. “You’re only 32 years old. You’re practically still a kid.”

He looked at me like I was just being nice. In his mind, 32 was ancient and beyond the age where he could possibly go back to school.

In my career as a music teacher, I’ve talked to many parents who wish they’d taken piano lessons when they were young. Now, they say, it’s too late.

“What?” I always say. “It’s never too late, unless you’re dead.”

I wonder why so many people limit themselves just because they’re no longer young. Maybe it has to do with our youth-centered culture. After all, when we watch TV, we see mostly young, attractive people. and most of our pop musical artists are young, too.

It’s just silly. After gaining so much life experience, we then conclude that we’re not as useful or as capable as a young person because we have some lines on our faces, or our joints feel stiff.

What about age-accumulated wisdom? Why do we not value that?

2005 Sequoia Park Camping 045In biblical times, age was something to be revered. A mature person was someone to listen to. People listen to my husband, Bruce because he’s accumulated a lot of wisdom over the years:

Consider these famous authors:

Victor Hugo wrote  Les Miserables when he was sixty. I find it hard to believe he would have done a better job writing this masterpiece if he were, say, thirty, or even forty.

Poet T. S. Eliot was sixty when he won the 1948 Nobel Prize in literature.

At sixty-one, Clarence Day wrote Life With Father. Do you think he could have written this if he hadn’t had forty years to gain perspective on his growing-up days?

At sixty-two, J. R. R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings. This masterpiece required years of study in medieval history and linguistics.

If God has put a dream in your heart, don’t let age stop you.

It’s never too late.

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” (Job 12:12 NIV Bible)

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Day

A couple of years ago, my husband and I drove up to 2011 August Vacation from Bruce's IPHONE 014Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

I had three things on my bucket list:

  1. See a grizzly
  2. Canoe Lake Louise
  3. Have a meal inside Chateau Lake Louise

The day that we arrived, a huge rainstorm passed over us. The rain’s driving force was so powerful that it completely cleaned our vehicle. The sky turned crystal blue.

On our way to Lake Louise I saw many cars pulled over and people standing with their cameras. “Pull over, pull over!” I said to my husband. I jumped out and leveled my camera just in time to catch the hindquarters of a grizzly disappearing into the vegetation. Check that off my list. Yay!

We found a parking spot after much driving around and around the parking area. Hiking down to Lake Louise, we saw the canoe rental and I squealed with eagerness. Bruce and I are old hands with canoes. (We had a great canoe—a Grumman, seventeen footer, a veteran of explorer of Boundary waters, and multiple Colorado lakes— until my husband gave it away. GAVE IT AWAY! But that’s another story.)

Anyway, we buckled our life vests, climbed into our canoe and rowed way out onto the lake. The water was an amazing opaque turquoise. Locals explained that the milkiness was the result of glacial silt, washing down from the glacier above the lake. Check two!

Afterward, we wandered over to the Chateau to have a look see. Very British inside. Expensive stores. A harpist played next to the entrance to a restaurant. We found out that we had just missed tea time. But the restaurant that looks out on Lake Louise was still taking reservations. We signed up, waited a good hour, then were finally seated at a table next to a magnificent window overlooking the lake and the distant glacier. The meal was great but very expensive. The service was amazing and the waitress made us feel as if we were the most important people on earth. Well worth the hundred and fifty dollars for lunch. Check three. Thank You, God!

We don’t always have such perfect days. When they come along, as that day in Banff, we know it’s a gift from God. As if the Lord had said, “Today, I want you to have a day so perfect that you’ll recall it for years to come. And each time you do, you’ll remember that it was a special gift from Me to you. Just because you’re my child and I love you.”

And sure enough, we came home and resumed our usual mixed-blessing days of work, errands, repairs, cooking, cleaning, etc. But each time we remember that 2012 August trip, Bruce and I go “Ahh.”

I’m glad that not every day is so perfect. It’d be easy to get spoiled!

 

Are You Weak?

Yesterday, in Adult Sunday School, we were discussing the reasons God might have for allowing trouble into our lives.

Answers included:

  1. to teach us patience
  2. to teach us to trust
  3. to make us mature in our faith
  4. to give us an opportunity to explain to others the reason for our hope in God
  5. to cause us to depend on God.

In a recent blog I said that our earthly parents raise us to eventually become independent. But our heavenly Father raises us to become increasingly more dependent on him.

  • Throughout biblical history we read about Abraham and Sarah, being well past the age when child-bearing could happen. Yet Isaac was born.
  • Hannah longed for a child to give to her husband, Elkanah. His other wife mocked Hannah because she could not get pregnant. Yet God gave Hannah a son, Samuel.
  • Gideon started with an army of ten thousand, yet God pared it down to a mere three hundred men.
  • Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions, yet God shut their mouths so they could not devour Daniel.
  • The Hebrews escaped the Egyptian Pharaoh, only to be trapped by the immense Red Sea. But God parted those waters and let the Hebrews pass through.
  • God used a young and beautiful Hebrew girl to soften a brutal Babylonian king so that the enemy of the her people would not be successful in annihilating her entire race.

In all of Biblical history, we see the impossible happen. God delights to show His people that what is impossible for men is possible for God when we rely on Him, not our own strength.

My favorite Biblical hero is Joseph. The favored, youngest son of Jacob, he had a dream in which God showed him that one day his eleven older brothers, and his mother and father—what arrogance!—would all bow to him. Sold into slavery by his brothers, he languished as a slave and eventually, a prisoner before he was ready to be used of God in a mighty way. Because he was in the right time at the right place and had learned to see life through God’s perspective, he became the instrument through which the Hebrews were saved from starvation.

These things happen so that men cannot praise their strength and ability. In each case, the glory goes to God alone. Soli Deo Gloria!

And in each of these cases, God works through one of His own to ensure the protection and survival of His chosen nation, Israel. And to ensure that the promised Messiah will arise out of Israel.

Is it possible that these Biblical accounts could be our stories, as well?

In can be when we recognize the hand of God in all our moments, good and bad, and how God causes them to work out for His glory.

Joseph had to come to the realization that his brothers and parents were not going to bow to him to bring him glory, but for the working out of God’s plan of salvation for the Hebrews. And ultimately, our own salvation!

Are we also called for the ultimate purpose of someone else’s salvation? What would that look like in your life?

Has the Lord allowed challenges in your life? Could it be that He wants to bring you to a state of complete dependence on Him?

“Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Cor. 12:10 NIV Bible)

 

 

Pasta, Please!

It’s a cold, cold day.

Snow has exceeded the weatherman’s predictions. I measured the snow on the railing of my back deck. Eight inches.

But, praise God, I don’t have to go anywhere today. I can hole up and spend the whole day writing.

Yay!

I’m making a pasta dish for dinner tonight. It’s my favorite comfort food dish when the weather is blustery.

I don’t have pasta very often. The amount that my dietician thinks is a serving is pitiful.

But this pasta dish is for days like today.

Wanna see the recipe? I call it “Pasta, Please!”

Here it is:

One pound mild Italian sausage

One half chopped onion.

I cup chopped red pepper (or yellow or green)

About 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning.

One tsp garlic powder or two to three chopped cloves of garlic.

Large jar of tomato pasta sauce.

Half a cup of chopped black olives.

Your choice pasta.

All of the ingredients can be adjusted per your taste. Break up the sausage and brown with the onions and red peppers in a pan. Or throw all in the crock pot. Drain off extra fat. When the sausage and vegies are browned, throw all the other ingredients in. Cover and cook on low in crockpot for about four hours, or in a covered pan for about an hour. Stir every so often. Serve over pasta.

(I love to do this in the crockpot because the aroma permeates the house and makes me feel cozy.)

What’s your favorite comfort dish?

 

 

 

Seeking the Creator in nature and the arts

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