Friday, June 03, 2011

Carpal Tunnel

Arnica is supposed to be very good for healing bruises. While looking for suggestions on dealing with carpal-tunnel pain, I ran across a recommendation for arnica ointment. Carpal tunnel isn't a bruise, but I can see why something that's good for bruises might be effective. I bought some Arniflora Arnica Gel from my friend's store.

This is wonderful stuff! I gave my partially used tube to my Daughter-of-the-Aching-Wrist, keeping a smidge in a container so that I'm not arnica-less until I can buy another tube. I'm becoming so accustomed to lack-of-pain recently that it's a rude awakening when I forget to smear on a bit of the ointment.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


My friend Angie recently mentioned a hair accessory which I have quickly fallen in love with. The Flexi-8 comes in seven sizes, small enough to hold a tiny amount of hair (for pulling a small amount of hair back from your face), all the way up to a large enough clip to hold long, thick hair in a twisted French knot.

The clips are beautiful, long-lasting, and very easy to use.
I was also pleased with the company's service.

I'm done with short hair. I may look better with short hair, but it's too much trouble to keep getting the haircuts and doing the daily styling thing. Putting my hair up in a scrunchy looks too sporty for work. Putting my hair up in a bun takes too much finagling with bobby pins. Putting my hair up in a French braid is okay, but it takes a little longer than I want to spend [hey, I want to spend all of 23 seconds doing my hair each morning!] and a French braid is a pain to undo when you stupidly perch your glasses on the top of your head again, and the nose-pads get tangled in your locks again, and you can't get your glasses off the top of your head and back onto your face. (Bald guys don't realize how easy they have it when they approach Bifocals-Age!)

The Flexi-8 solves all these problems for me. I should be selling these things, I love 'em so much.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Housewife's Place

I recently noticed a "Morning Litany" found in Dr Korby's files. Here's one of the sections:

On all going out to work;
On all whose labor brings them into danger;
On all who will meet temptation;
On all who can find no employment;
On all children at home or at school;
On all who keep house;
And on all Christian homes:

My first thought was "Yes, this is a good prayer. Send Thy blessing, O Lord. Amen."

My second thought was to notice that the housewife's work was included right in there with the employees, the unemployed, the students, and those doing dangerous work. I'm trying to remember how often we see such petitions today. In the Great Litany, we do pray for mothers of young children. But when do we pray for housewives? Do we pray for them in the keeping of their homes, even if they do not yet have children or if their children are grown? Yes, what they do is important too (even if unrecognized in a consumeristic society), and we ought to pray for them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Their Eyes Were Restrained

I didn't recognize my son. My own son. It's shameful.

Paul had asked off for what he thought was Easter weekend. Classes were canceled. He didn't have to work at school, seeing as how Bethany shut down for those most holy days so that students and employees could worship. But he accidentally asked off from his restaurant job on the wrong days. Okay, so he wouldn't come home for Easter. Okay. Sad, but that's the way it goes.

Good Friday, after church, I was taking a quick look at Facebook and email while wolfing down some calories before bed. And in walks this guy. This guy I didn't recognize, and yet did, but didn't. My first thought was that it was my son-in-law Matt. But that wasn't right. And where was Rachel anyway? And the voice wasn't right. So my brain is rapidly rifling through possibilities. My second thought was my son Philip. But he had told us he was spending Thursday night and Saturday night with us -- not Friday night. And then it finally clicked. It's PAUL. No, it's not -- Paul isn't coming home. Yes, it is Paul! Nooooo....

Okay, this all transpired in the space of about 2.4 seconds. But the blankness in my eyes when I looked at my own son and didn't recognize him, right here, standing in my own kitchen ... that stabs my heart.

And yet, it shows how very strongly what we believe affects what we see. We think our eyes are objective: "I'll believe it when I see it." But it's not so cut-&-dried. I believed that Paul was in Mankato for the weekend. My eyes showed me he was standing before me. What I believed overruled what I objectively saw. (He explained soon enough that he found a substitute to take his shifts at the restaurant and scooted away as quick as he could.)

The Emmaus disciples' eyes were restrained on Easter afternoon. It wasn't "magic" that Jesus did to prevent them from recognizing. It wasn't some shape-shifting thing connected to His having a glorified, resurrected body. His disciples didn't recognize Him because they believed He was dead, in a tomb, rotting as corpses are wont to do.

Unbelief is a powerful blindness,
overwhelming even objective evidence.
And it's embarrassing that I understand that.

Andrew's Job

When Andrew gave notice to his boss that he'd be quitting in a few weeks because of beginning his college classes, the response was, "Nooooooo. You can't quit! We won't let you."

I think that means he's a valuable employee.
That's mighty nice to hear!

(Gary and I wish he didn't have to quit. We really like it when Andrew is forced to bring home a pizza that somebody ordered but failed to pick up.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Psalm 7

If there is iniquity in my hands,
if I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
or have plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
and lay my honor in the dust.

Does it seem odd to you that we sometimes pray words like these in the psalms as if we are entirely innocent, and we're being picked-on unjustly (which might possibly be true in the civil realm), and it's time for God to straighten things out? Unlike us, however, Jesus really could say that He was innocent and didn't deserve the enemies to be picking on Him.

And yet ...

He made Him who knew no sin to BE sin for us.
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.

So these words from Psalm 7 really were Jesus' words. "If I have done evil" (for our evil deeds were imputed to Him so that He might bear the guilt of them) "then let the enemy destroy Me."

He was willing.
He was willing to be overtaken, trampled, and dishonored.
He was willing,
so that God would judge us according to Jesus' righteousness.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Have you ever had need of a mansion? Have you ever gone shopping for a mansion?

John 14 is translated in a variety of ways. NKJV records Jesus' saying, "In My Father's house are many mansions." NASB says there are many dwelling places. ESV (which is in our funeral rite) says "many rooms." For the last few years, my pastor has been making sure to point out that "many mansions" is not about opulence and luxury. He says the word is better translated as "rooms" or "dwelling places." He says that the word "mansion" conjures up images of a humongous place where we rattle around, lonely.

I guess, when you think of the McMansions built in the 1990's and the first decade of this century, yup, there is a lot of emptiness in our idea of mansions. So many people have big houses and big yards, but are never there, living in those huge houses. And these big houses are often home to just a few people, with each kid having his own 18x25' bedroom.

But when I think of mansion-shopping, I think of hunting up a 16-bedroom house for a family reunion. That's the point of a mansion! You want to find a place big enough to cram everybody in. That way you can eat together, visit, play cards, play Apples-to-Apples, find somebody to go swimming with, and just generally revel in the company of your beloved family.

I guess that's exactly what Pastor's trying to get across when he brings up the topic of "mansions." It's about being in community, being made in the image of God, giving and receiving love. And conversation. And meals.