Monday, May 30, 2011

Closing Thoughts on John

John, at the end of his gospel, reveals his identity. As "the disciple that Jesus loved," he was put in the position to see many public and private workings of Jesus. John knows what he says is true because he was there. Others know it is true because he had a good reputation and was held in high regard--otherwise, he wouldn't have been granted entrance at the court when Jesus was arrested. He was surely selective in what he told us because he states at the end that the world couldn't contain the books written of Jesus' life. He did so much, even to the point of death--to bring us salvation.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Turning Pages

Journal for Christa—
I’m starting to entertain the idea of buying a Kindle. I kind of like the idea of storing more than one book at a time on it, and I wonder if I could read it faster. But, I don’t know. There’s just something sacred about the feel of a book. I think I’d miss lifting my hand and turning the page. And, it would totally ruin my page turning analogy—
For when one turns the page in a book or a chapter of life, there are certain expectations. Turning the page creates anticipation and excitement for the unknown—because the best authors swing us around and surprise us when we least expect it.
There’s refreshing in turning the page. I don’t want to get stuck on a page—even in a good book. I want to take my familiar into new worlds and “suck out all the marrow of life” as Thoreau once said. Even in the anxiety of a scary tale, there are jewels of knowledge to glean.
I noticed this morning that the author of Ecclesiastics says, “The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.” I think that could be a good thing.
Truly life is short, and often I think I’m stuck in a maelstrom grasping for a new page. And, today I turned it. Being the last day of school, I’ve entered the chapter of summer—a chapter of adult children, grandchildren, and Great Britain. So, whether it’s Fancy Nancy or Narnia, I’ve decided I want a book where the kids and I can reach up and turn the page.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Voice

Journal for Christa—

When I was old, I found my voice—
I found it slowly and methodically
Over many years,
Years of living with one man
And reading many books.

By enduring hardships and standing firm,
Through raising four children
With much frustration and great laughter.
I found it in the hearts of my students
And the compassion of a pastor.
It was in the velvet petal of the rose
And the prick of its thorn—,
In a baby’s laugh and his breath on my cheek,
In a God who is as constant as the heaven’s guiding lights.

I had found my voice—
But, when I spoke, no one listened,
So, I decided to write a book,
But nobody reads—

What am I to do with my voice?
I started a blog.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Journal for Christa—
Saturday, summer blew in—quite literally. It was the typical Colorado “spring”: Friday it was winter, Saturday it was summer—which made getting up and going to school on Monday rather difficult. It wasn’t just summer that happened Saturday. Junior-senior banquet also happened. It was the perfect summer night with a crisp, cool breeze instead of an obstacle course of snowdrifts through the parking lot. It was a nice banquet in every way.
We hadn’t stayed for the dance the last couple of years. (There isn’t much ballroom on their play list.) So Saturday, when something came up to which we could do a rusty triple step swing, we ventured out to the edge of the dance floor. (I get a certain thrill out of revealing that we actually do have a real life beyond grading their papers.) 
Driving home, I couldn’t help thinking of Ken and Linda who first taught us to dance—and their current ever-present struggle dealing with Ken’s unexpected and debilitating health condition. I could see them dancing in my memory, and I was glad they learned to dance when they did and glad we took the opportunity for them to teach us.
Opportunities come and opportunities fade. Sometimes, we can’t take them when they come: the timing isn’t right or something else is going on. But often, we let them simply slip through our fingers. I wonder why.
All those plans and desires—why do we let them drift there? A question was put to the “godly girls” last week that asked, “What is something you really want to learn?” I said, “I want to learn French, not just sort of but where I could actually speak it.” Kayla wants to learn to “really cook.” It was fun to hear what they want to learn. (Not one mentioned literature, by the way.)
Opportunities—Don’t let them pass you by. Grab them when they come. What do you really want to learn? I do know one thing: You can’t dance as long as you sit and tap your feet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thoughts on John 19:13-27

Pilate caves in to the Jewish leaders. He does, though, post the message "king of the Jews" on the cross to spite them. Jesus' mother and her sister were there. I wonder what they thought. I wonder if they remembered back when Mary was pregnant and a virgin.

Jesus, more God than man here (it seems to me), focuses on Mary and who would provide for her. Even in the act of bringing salvation to mankind, God sees the everyday needs of an individual, and it is significant to Him, and He acts on it. There is nothing that escapes Him. And even today in the midst of great world affairs, His eye is also bent on me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Miss Prism

Journal for Christa—
In Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, there’s a somewhat minor character named Miss Prism. Miss Prism often finds herself distracted. When we first meet her, she’s distracted by her attraction to the local clergyman, giving her student convenient opportunity to orchestrate her own distractions.
Apparently, Miss Prism cannot attribute her scatteredness to an aging mind, as in her youth, it’s discovered, she’d placed her three novel manuscript in a— 
(Well, it really wouldn’t be fair to tell that, now would it?)
But, it suffices to say that I feel like I’ve had many Miss Prism days this school year. I’ve often caught myself staring at a stack of books and notes, wondering which I should pick up next. So, in three weeks—short weeks, really—school will end and my brain can be as distracted in whatever whim it chooses.
Usually by this time, we have a plethora of plans and projects in the works. Other than a trip to Texas to see grandchild #9 after he arrives, there are no set plans. Jay isn’t busy mapping out diagrams and developing a “to do” list on a calendar. (I still have a summer project list sitting on my desk from two summers ago—so why would I bother?)
In some ways it’s been such a busy, distracted year that it’s hard to imagine a paperless life in three weeks. Jay always says, “The school year winds up; it doesn’t wind down.”
Now, things turned out all right for Miss Prism in the end—distractions and all. These days, I’m kind of hoping for the same.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thoughts on John 18:25-27

Just as Jesus had stated, Peter denies Him before the rooster crows. The last man to question him was a relative of the guy whom Peter had cut off his ear in the gardehn. Strange--how in one circumstance we are bold and in another (so quickly) timid, to the degree of hiding our identity with Jesus. Unlike Peter, apparently John is able to maintain his stance. For one thing people there knew him as a follower of Jesus. And it seems that his focus is directed to Jesus, not HImself. No wonder he's referenced as "the disciple Jesus loved."