Saturday, February 21, 2015

Jesus' Works in Psalm 115

Those idols in Psalm 115?  They have eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear, mouths that do not speak, noses that do not smell, hands that do not handle, and feet that do not walk.  "Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them." 

I find it fascinating that the Gospels mention Jesus' healing-miracles for every single one of those body-parts.*  He healed cripples and made them to walk.  He gave hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind.  He loosed tongues.  He got into trouble with the Pharisees for fixing the fellow's withered hand that Sabbath day in the synagogue. 

It's almost as if the Man of Faith, who never had an idol in all His life, can even undo the idolatry that is part of our sinful nature.

* Footnote -- Except for noses.  That's
 not explicitly mentioned in the Gospels.
But Jesus did heal lepers, and it's likely
 that such healing fixed rotted noses

Friday, February 20, 2015

Avoiding the Caffeine and Sugar

Doctor told me that I could cut down on a repeat-infection by staying away from coffee, tea, and sugar.  Boo.  Hiss.

I know some of y'all like your coffee black, the way grown-ups drink it.  But I sure do like mine with sugar.  I'm wussy.  Oh, and the tea: Mississippi sweet-tea is too much like Kool-aid for my tastes.  But I sho'nuf do like me some sugar in my tea.  BUT my mommy told me once-upon-a-time that three weeks straight with NO SUGAR in your coffee will teach you to like it black.  She and Dad toughed it out.  And they never wanted to go back to sweetened coffee.  (Or so they said.  Maybe they fibbed?)

Well, I made it for more than three weeks with no sweetener in my beverages.  Not even stevia or honey.  So I can do it.  I don't want to do it.  I want sugar.  Still.  Months later. 

What I discovered, however, is that hot water works for me on par with unsweetened tea and coffee.  Plus, if I want to ratchet-up the flavor of plain old hot water, a little lemon juice or cranberry juice or orange or lime is wunderbar.  Better than unsweetened tea or coffee.

still not as good as tea and coffee with sugar.

Where Was Jesus Baptized?

The Israelites entered the Promised Land when they crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 3).  This is not only a historical, geographical fact, it's also a picture/foreshadowing of Christians crossing into heaven after a pilgrimage through the wilderness of life. 

Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.  I always thought that was because [duh] the Jordan River just happened to be the one that was available for John the Baptist.  A simple fact of geography and nothing more.

But it IS more.  We are joined to Him in His death and resurrection (Romans 6).  In His baptism, He takes our sin upon Himself and gives us His righteousness.  This is our entry into the promised land.  Baptism is when the Father says also to us, "This one is My beloved son."

Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.
A simple fact of geography.
And a big, sweet, beautiful theological truth
of what has been
and of what is yet to come.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hooray for Antibiotics!

Avoiding doctors and hospitals is high on my priority list.  If I can cure something with sleep and herbs and garlic instead of with a bottle-of-something-from-Walgreens, I'm gonna try. 

That said, doctors and modern medicine can do aMAZing things!! If it weren't for her surgeons, Maggie wouldn't be alive. If it weren't for my surgeons last spring, I wouldn't be walking, talking, driving, and going to work any more. And just this past week, a granddaughter ended up in the hospital. From a splinter. A lousy little splinter that appeared to been removed easily and cleaned up just fine at the time. A century ago, kiddo may have died from that splinter and ensuing infection and how it was trying to spread. But in 2015, it's [cough] "no big deal." A bit o' minor surgery to clean the wound. Antibiotics pumped straight into her blood. Just one night as an in-patient. And thus Jesus cures her!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

This morning after chapel, last year's palms (from Palm Sunday) were burned to ashes (for the imposition of ashes later today).  There is a rite that goes with this; it's not in the hymnal so I can't find the exact words.  But there's something in there about how ashes show the frailty of our bodies.  "All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness like the flowers of the field.  The grass withers; the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it.  The people are grass.  The grass withers...." (Isaiah 40)

Boy, that hits you different after you spent last Eastertide in ICU.  Frail bodies, indeed!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Talking Math

I recently bumped into the oh-so-cool blog "Talking Math with Your Children."

~ Fun stories that let you watch children learn when you don't have little ones to provide such amusement in your own home.

~ Ideas to encourage math-thinking in kids.

~ The importance of using numbers casually in everyday conversation, and how this habit will affect children's math-thinking.

I could waste a lot of time perusing this blog just for funsies!

For now, two quick comments:
First, the author put together an awesome book of shapes where you're supposed to figure out how "one of these things is not like the others; one of these things is not quite the same."  It will work for 3-yr-olds or 50-yr-olds. 

Second, a quote from the blogger:
Many things that you hope to remember, you can remember by encountering them frequently. Tabitha has never sat down with flash cards to memorize her single-digit addition facts. Yet she is in second grade and is starting to feel confident with them.
This is where I get skittish about "classical ed" for math [accepted by some as "Just memorize the factoids already and don't expect the kids to understand what's going on].  Granted, I realize that some kids do fine with "just memorize it and practice enough that you can rattle off the drill, and then later you'll learn to understand."  But some kids don't handle that well!  How this Tabitha learned is the same way most of my children learned their math facts: if you figure it out repeatedly, soon you've accomplished two things.  One: you've learned it, that is, memorized it.  Two: you understand the concept already ... even to the point that, if you should "forget it" some day, you'll easily be able to figure it out quickly.

Now, go play some math!