Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DEW FOR DUST

            "Well, 'is' it official?" Thru dew of steam on bathroom mirror, Austin suburbanite Brooke Nineve searched reflection. With thumb and forefinger she parted wrinkles in left corner of eye, dared "Watch the crow's-feet run." She let go; wrinkles recoiled like a snake bent on striking youth itself. "Yep, my smile lines are now officially crow's-feet." An involuntary, "Hymmmph," escaped her lips, sort a trailed off in a downward spiral.

            Meanwhile back at the ranch, Kelby Tahl slapped warm water on whiskers and lathered up. As he opened medicine cabinet, his reflection slid to and off mirror edge. He retrieved the safety razor within, closed the mirror, began morning ritual. Third stroke in stopped short; razor in hand lowered. "Well, how bout that," Kelby sputtered thru foam on lips, spattered lather on mirror. He turned head a tad, wrought a too wide open right eye right up to mirror; pondered, "Just when 'did' that crow step foot in my corner of eye land?" Kelby smiled, the crow's-foot grew deeper. "Such is wisdom, paid for in the currency of youth." His eyes relaxed, yet smiled the wider.

            Brooke and Kelby had dated for a while, well longer than a while, more than a few years while. But one of the things they had never done together was a picnic, and Kelby never before had shared a certain hiding place on his hill country ranch. So this special morning was separate spent, a cookin' country picnic fare, signature entrees to later share. Secret entrees for neither told other what they did prepare, so kept surprise up in the air.

            A few hours later Brooke made the seventeen mile trip thru winding hills and lowland dales, till pulling up near ranch house front door step, where Kelby was a loading up his utility vehicle name of A-Lamb-A-Tote, as proclaimed on rear tail gate.

            "Never have I ever seen a man's four wheel drive toy covered in such an idyllic scene." Brooke drew breath, added, "Those deer by the stream under the cypress look like I could pet them." She asked, "Who painted it for you?"

            "Well," Kelby blushed just a little, confessed, "one day my left hand kind a asked right hand what's up?"

            "What kind of man are you, Kelby Tahl?" Brooke gave him a peck on cheek.

            His blush grew deeper, and he kept in his heart the thought, "Wait till she sees what's on the driver's side..."

            And so it was that no sooner than gear and an old guitar were stowed aboard the ol' A-Lamb-A-Tote, the trip to promised picnic land began. And so be it along the way, a pungent odor, escaping one particular picnic basket bay, tingled olfactory nerve stimulation, induced drooling mechanism, of one Brooke Nineve. "I have never smelled anything quite like the 'whatever' you have cooked up in that basket." She hugged Kelby's arm tight. "Maybe we could sample just a bite along the way?"

            Kelby smiled, "Am I the most blessed old cowhand in Texas or what? Got my pretty gal on my arm, and riding thru God's country to picnic heaven."

            "Kelby Tahl," Brooke cut loose a healthy, "Hymph," nipped his arm with pearly teeth, and with accusing eye rendered protest, "I have not forgotten your lips are a master of the old deflected by the reflected game." She squirmed a bit in seat, but did not let go his arm, did a little reflecting of her own. "But I did like that you said I'm pretty... and your gal." Her smile grew, but as it did the mirror of earlier morning gave the corner of her left eye a crow's-foot pinch, deflated that smile to near sniffle. "It was sweet of you to say, but the mirror tells me otherwise."

            The eyes of Kelby just smiled. He kept on a drivin', breathed, "You have no idea how beautiful you are, do you? You, dearest Brooke, who scents the breeze of my dreams with the flower of strawberry blonde hair, with freckles of marigold on nose that match the ones on the nape of your sweet neck, and those pink rose lips... But even if you had not these any at all, you'd still be beautiful to me."

            Brooke hugged his arm all the snugger, "And just why is that, Mr. Kelby? Tell me more." So returned pink rose smile.

            "Because the mirror of the face is temporary; but the mirror of the soul is forever. Because in due time the dew is as the dew of herbs, that wakes the dust... Whether old or whether dead in the dust, the dew from heaven wakes all to eternity, both the just and the unjust, to one place or the other. Because at the crossroad of every life stands the cross. Because the cross is the crossroad of life. And you, little Brooke, have babbled many a dew time... the living water of Jesus."

            "Wow, ask a guy a question! You got all kinds a cowboy of the cosmos there for a minute." Brooke giggled, but confessed, "But I do love Jesus." She smiled.

            "Well, speaking of brooks, we are here and I'm about as hungry as you are." Kelby brought A-Lamb-A-Tote to a halt atop the rock over looking the brook. He fished, "Feel like getting your toes wet?"

            "You are such a kidder." Brooke giggled like a tickled little girl.

            "Well, there comes a time," Kelby put on his best sage, gray templed, cosmic look, repeated, "comes a time when all must pass over to the other side of the river, or brook as it be." He tried to stall the smile tugging at corner of lips.

            "So we really are crossing the water?" Brooke sighed, yet with hazel eyes of trust looked up into sage face.

            Boots off, jeans rolled up, guitar strapped to back, baskets dangling from left arm and hand, and Brooke hanging on to right arm, Kelby took first step into cool water. Brooke stepped in, giggled, "It tickles, feels so good after wearing those hot old boots." The clear ankle deep water rushed over smooth stone, and in between, "School girl toes!" She squeaked.

            "School girl toes?" Kelby smiled. He loved to hear Brooke's little squeak.

            "Yeah, in Austin after grade school during the summer, me and my best friend Bernie used to wade in the stream behind our house, let the minnows and baby bass nibble our toes. Ohh, what is that?" She squeaked again.

            "That little fellow inspecting your toes is your native rainbow trout. He is as colorful as he is right on cue, isn't he? One of God's little planned coincidences, no doubt. Thank you Lord above." And Kelby knew this to be a day of sweet reckoning.

            "Sunrise blue and pink with speckles, beautiful." Brooke admired the little swimmer.

            "Just don't get too distracted," Kelby gently warned. "The arch we are on top of is only about seven feet wide."

            "Arch?" Brooke puzzled.

            "Yep, we are crossing right in the middle of a limestone arch. Ankle deep here, but on both sides six feet deep. The water passes over and under it. So do not slip." The seriousness of his face betrayed the gentleness of his voice.

            If I go, we both go, Kelby Tahl." Brooke held tight to right arm.

            "Just a few more steps to the shade of that cypress." Kelby stood in water edge, made sure Brooke's first step on stream bank secure, then stepped up himself.

            Shortly the blanket was spread, the baskets and guitar laid out. two in love sat down, and the hunger astirred Brooke reached for Kelby's basket, reeking mystery aroma. His and hers hands met on basket handle.

            "Uh-aah, you open your basket first," Kelby teased.

            "No way," Brooke crinkled up freckles of nose and forehead. "That smell has been driving me crazy. I am so hungry, I almost gnawed off your arm on the way up here." She pulled basket to her and wrapped arms round it.

            "Give it up." Kelby tugged basket and the attached Brooke to him, planted full kiss on pink lips.

            Brooke's grasp loosened. Kelby gently picked up basket, sat it out of her reach. He gathered Brooke to his side, under arm. Her lips blushed, longed for more..." Open your basket first," He coaxed.

            Brooke fluttered lashes, narrowed hazel eyes, and through askew blushed lips muttered, "Deflected by the reflected 'again'! Kelby Tahl, you are a bad, bad almost ex-boyfriend." She tried sneak attack around his waist to snag that basket handle. Kelby scooted it just out of reach, to which Brooke registered a Richter Scale seismic, "Hymmmph!"

            "Your basket first," Like a flea in the fur, Kelby pestered away.

            "One of these days, Mr. Tahl." She scooted away, folded arms for a sec, then reached out and retrieved her picnic basket, sat it between them, fumed, "Since it means more to you than me, here." With the palm of her hand she tried to hide the smile cracking faux pas miffed mug. Her giggle revealed...

            "I love your natural born sweet marigold nature." Kelby kissed her temple, nuzzled nose in strawberry blonde hair.

            "Sweet distraction... again." Brooke leaned a tad closer.

            Kelby opened basket lid, "Let's see, fruit, nut and veggie salad," he took breath, "tossed in sweet raspberry vinaigrette, creamed peas, and your famous sour cream mashed tatters. Girl friend, done good!" Kelby bumped shoulder into hers.

            "Open your cotton pickin' basket!" Brooke fumed, like heat escaping lava.

            "Eh, what basket would that be?" Kelby treaded on volcanic ground.

            "The stinking picnic basket right behind you, stinky man." Brooke pouted.

            Kelby knew just how far to stretch Brooke's tolerance, before she stretched his neck, sat her basket away, replaced it with his.

            For a few seconds Brooke refused to budge folded arms, but her freckled nose began to twitch with waft of thick aroma. "Ohhh," she opened basket, opened tin foil, "buttermilk biscuits? Yummy, but that's not what I smell." She popped open foil covering ceramic dish, the smell rose up, tickled her nose, forced her to dive forefinger into, "Gravy?" She tasted, she grabbed a biscuit and dipped, she bit and she ate. She dipped biscuit again. "It's got a reddish tint?" She took nother scrumptious bite.

            "Red-eye gravy, an old southern recipe," Kelby volunteered.

            "Red-eye gravy, oh my," Brooke dipped biscuit, chewed anew. "Rich, smoky, salty and meaty delicious, but what kind of meat?" With mouth full, twixt chewing, she asked.

            "Critters," Kelby smiled.

            Red-eye gravy stop sign halted munching. "What kind of critters?" Brooke's munching cautiously resumed.

            "Well ya just sort a start with some wild boar smoked ham, fry it up in pan, take it out and add left over thick coffee to the drippins' and scrappins', and whisk in butter and bouillion cube." Kelby divulged recipe.

            "So the meat is ham?" Brooke took nother bite.

            "Naw, I ate that for breakfast, while I fried up the rabbit and squirrel."

            "So I am eating rodents," Brooke did not stop eating.

            "And duck and others of avian persuasion," Kelby nodded matter of factly.

           "Other persuasion?" Brooke was too food enraptured to care.

            "Yep, it's all fried, then thrown into the red-eye gravy, and the longer it simmers the tenderer it gets," Kelby basked in his culinary skills, then realized, "Hey, are you going to eat it all?"

            "It's," Brooke hugged basket to her, dipped second biscuit into red-eye gravy, "it's your own fault." She took healthy bite, with mouth full mumbled, "Starve a girl half to death in the middle of nowhere, trick her at every turn, like there is really rabbit and squirrel in this gravy; then ya stuff her with the gravy, make life interesting, and..." She dipped biscuit, brought it almost to her lips, but then redirected it dripping gravy to Kelby's mouth, "And you share your recipe of life with me." Love and tasty red-eye gravy had soothed away the crow's-feet from her blue-green eyes.

            And they supped... And Kelby burped, "Not bad manners, just good gravy." He laughed.

            "Yeah, like that joke never gets old." Brooke poked elbow in his ribs, let out a little burpette of her own, giggled.

            "You know what this means, don't you?" Kelby looked down into sweet blue-green eyes.

            "Fraid so," Brooke reached back, retrieved old guitar, plunked it down in her lap, strummed a bit til in tune with the dancing water of the brook, then in the voice of an angel began to sing:

                                       Drink of living water
                                       Fresh from the Lord above
                                       Blessed by the breath of the Dove      
                                       And filled with His love

                                       Drink of living water
                                       Panteth like the deer
                                       For streamlets cool and clear
                                       The dancing waters hear

            Brooke slowed the guitar pickin', let its song drift along with the water of the brook. And so did the deer appear, by the water so very near. And Brooke remembered the painting of the deer by the water, under the cypress decorating the passenger side of ol' A-Lamb-A-Tote. So her gaze ambled there to the other side of the stream, where upon the rock she now saw the other side of four wheel drive. The painting was the same except by the stream, under the cypress, on a picnic blanket sat a young woman playing a guitar in harmony with the living water of the brook. And beside her... kneeling on one knee was a man... And she began to cry...

            And the crow's-feet in the corners of Kelby's eye land grew deep... as he relaxed, yet smiled the wider... on bended knee...


The dew of herbs: Deuteronomy 32:2-4  KJ

The dew of herbs and the dust: Genesis 2:7 KJ and "Isaiah 26:19 KJ" (All of Isaiah chapter 26)

The just and unjust: Matthew 5:45

The Rock and His water: Deuteronomy 32:4 KJ; Numbers 20:8 KJ with 1st Corinthians 10:4 KJ and John 4:13-14 KJ

The deer by the brook: Psalm 42:1-2 KJ

Brooke Nineve... the brook and the lady of the lake

Marigold... flower of herb named in honor of Mary Mother of Jesus

Kelby Tahl... the place by the fountain spring and the dew

Sage... a medicinal herb mint... food flavoring... sound wisdom

Red-eye gravy: southern recipe embracing the gift of life...

Jesus... Son of God... our savior... the dew and the rain from heaven... the living water

Ezekiel 34:26 KJ... His season;  Numbers 20:8 KJ... His water

John 3:16 KJ


      
         

           

             

         

             

                     
               

                             

                                   

Friday, January 1, 2016

THIN HIDES AND CAMOUFLAGED LIES

                "Good morning ma'am, thank you for shopping Edenland Grocery.  Did you find all you needed today?" Cashier Beth Ann smiled.

                "What kind of stupid question is that!" Peggy Pagon slung arrow of error, pierced Beth Ann heart.

                Standing behind Peggy in checkout line, Merci sighed; saw the hurt of arrow in Beth Ann eyes; wondered if the effort to be Peggy's friend was worth it and why had she gone shopping with such a dragon mouth.  Merci bit her tongue till in the scorching summer concrete parking lot, till seated on the hot leather seat of Peggy's SUV.  Before Peggy could turn the key to air conditioned heaven... "Ya know, Peggy," Merci took breath, "that chip on your shoulder ain't wood."

                "What?" Not quite at blast off mode, Peggy contemplated pushing the launch button. "Just exactly, what are you saying, Merci?"

                "It stinks..." Merci braved.

                "So..." Peggy's shoe tapped not lightly on floorboard. "So you are saying I have what on my shoulder?" Peggy seethed thru sow pursed lips.

                Merci folded arms, answered with a little mock floorboard toe tapping of her own. "I'm saying you have a thin hide, Peg." Merci did not flinch.

                Peg's eyes flared, mouth breathed fire, "Get out.  Get your butt out of this vehicle right now!  I hate you!"

                "Camouflaged lies," Merci looked Peg straight in the eyes.

                "What?" Peg blinked.

                "Thin hides and camouflaged lies," Merci shook head, softly continued, "do not hide what ails Peggy Pagon.  Like smoke to the eyes, so is the veil of self told lies."

                "Here we go again," Peg puffed that smoke, "burn me at the stake for non-conformity."

                "Just the opposite," Merci down cheek shed tear of living water, "to keep you from burning."

                Peg huffed an almost let it go, "You really believe that, don't you, Merci?" Peg teetered twixt bluster or muster. "I get the thin hide thing.  I admit that I am a grouch.  I just don't feel good and I take it out on innocent folks.  I admit it, regret it, makes me even grouchier; but what do you mean by camouflaged lies?"

                "Exhibit A: You just said you hate me, your best friend since seventh grade at Moody Jr. High.  So, do you?" Merci sighed.

                "Do I what?" Peg evaded.

                Do you hate me?" Merci trembled.

                Peg saw the tears well anew in the eyes of Merci. "Don't you cry, Merci Grace." Too late she repeated, "Don't you cry no more."

                "Jesus," Merci breathed, "Jesus hopes to be your friend too.  He loves you even more than I do.  Can you even imagine the tears He shed for you?" Tears danced down the cheeks of Merci.

                Transfixed, Peggy fell into the eyes of Merci.  She reached out, touched that living water on Merci's cheek.  And for a moment, a moment of eternity, Peg saw His eyes. "What is happening to me?" It was as if the tear she touched had entered her, now filled her eyes, cascaded, danced down her face as well... and Peg prayed, "Please, dear Jesus, never let this end."

                And it came to pass, Peg held the hand of Merci Grace as they walked across hot concrete parking lot, back into the cool air conditioning of Edenland Grocery and straight as a righted arrow to the checkout line of one Beth Ann...

                ...Beth Ann, who before Peg could apologize, opened her arms, said, "I see an answered prayer."

                Merci Grace sorta summed it up, "Everybody is going to checkout sometime... The paradise of cool air conditioning and warm hugs is a real good option..."

Note: This author kept wanting to change the name of Peggy Pagon.  Every effort to do so met the no of a still small voice.  And so it stayed, but I wondered why, as the parable progressed, I felt compelled to shorten the name to Peg.  Peg... as in the hands of Jesus.  For we have all pierced the hands of Jesus... yet He holds out his hands to us... and when we take His hand... we remain in His hand forever...                

Romans 3:23 KJ, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God... 6:23 And the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

John 10:28 KJ, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Also found in Isaiah 49:16.

The hands of Jesus are mercy and grace... so should we all be also...
                       

Thursday, December 3, 2015

CHIFFON LIME AND LEMON LIGHT

                High pitched horse whinny trailed off into truffle rooting pig snorts, pierced ears of cafe partisans, reined in all conversation, all sound, save for dropping ton of spoon in minestrone soup two tables over.

                "Melody, that is the most horrible giggle ever to shred an ear," Ana cut loose muffled giggle of her own, added, "and contagious." Giggle reflex unchained, finger tips to lips, Ana giggled again.

                Giggles spread across table tops from more than a few other patron lips; their ears tuned in to word given next.

                "Strange how that weird laugh verges on nuisance, yet infectiously draws folks to love you, Melody." Ana spoke from her heart.

                "Life is a melody," Melody smiled, "a breath of light, a taste of spirit, an aroma of love." Her amber eyes closed to join the flow.

                "What makes you this way, anyway?" Ana voiced what most eavesdropping cafe host nodded that they too wanted to know.

                "Well..." Melody twirled auburn curl twixt freckled fingers.

                "What? You don't want to share? Not the Melody I know." Ana propped elbows on table, intertwined fingers, laid chin in back of finger nest. "Lay it on me giggle lady." She pried.

                More than a few with sideways nods and others with eyes above wine glass rim wiggled an ear to hear.

                "Well... well, one early night lying abed, as prayers for loved ones drifted tween wake and sleep," Melody breathed, "the Lord past by..."

                The lady two tables over patted chest to keep wine from going down windpipe. Cafe wide, glasses found table top. Heads turned from sideways glances to head on straightway stares.

                "What!" Ana squeaked; worried silently, "Has my best friend lost it?"

                "Head on my pillow," soft lips of Melody parted, parted and began to flow, "head on my pillow, aroma and taste turned my face to the embrace of the Light...
                                                     Chiffon lime and lemon Light
                                                     flowing fluffy lovely Light
                                                     filling prayers softly in the night
                                                     not only with heavenly sight
                                                     even tasting waffing scent delight
                                                     precious Lord visits holy night
                                                     in His gentle breeze of Light
                                                     divine lime and lemon Light

                                                     Chiffon lime and lemon Light
                                                     dancing spirity lively Light
                                                     flowing thru silk curtains of night
                                                     proclaiming softly precious plight
                                                     our loved ones to God's delight
                                                     once lost sinners thru grace's might
                                                     welcoming Jesus as their Light
                                                     divine lime and lemon Light

                In the cafe many tasted the aroma of Light... yet some did not... and Melody prayed for them all...

               
                The song part of this story describes an actual night of visitation in the life of this author. Lays bare answer to prayer that loved ones would ask Jesus to be the light of their hearts and be baptized. It is also a beacon to all, that smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch, spirit and infinitely more are the ways our Creator communicates with us 'the way'... Jesus... the Light of the world...

The Light:
Genesis 1:1-3; 2nd Corinthians 4:6; Isaiah 60:1-5; John 1:1-14; John 8:12; and Revelation 21:22-24

The Taste: Psalm 34:8; Exodus 16:31; Proverbs 24:13-14; Song of Solomon 5:1; Psalm 119:103

The Scent: Ephesians 5:1-2

The Melody: Isaiah 51:3 with Ephesians 5:19-20 and Psalm 100

                                     

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SOUFFLE SOIREE

                "Does no one," Chef Noir swung open kitchen door, "love anymore?" Dread paled the faces of kitchen staff, at Noir's too usual pending wrath. "Is this tomb epitaph of Cafe Noir?" Flame branded scar twitched aside face of Noir, as his tongue more flames bore, "For that thief across the the Street Seashore, in her masquerade of light, in her Cafe De Light, has stolen, stolen my signature entree, my chocolate souffle soiree." Quote Chef Noir, "Bar the door."

                So dressed in opposite of white, in mass exodus flight, Noir and staff crossed the Street Seashore to beset Chef Suzette in blessed Cafe De Light.

                "And why have you, Chef Noir, barged in my cafe door?" Chef Suzette whipped hands to hips for good measure, as her petite yet plump Cornish hen frame flounced allure. "Do you not see our clientele at eve of night, dining in radiant Cafe De Light?  Not see the hour bee busy be?  For here the bee has come to sup superior honey."

                "Chef Noir has come to end your season of no rhyme nor reason; for you, you little thief, hath purloined my signature entree, my chocolate souffle soiree.  I am here to bar the door."

                "But the season of Noir has not reason, nor shall it rhyme anymore.  For your signature souffle soiree, although more tasty than any soup de jour, is but a common entree of many a cafe door."

                "But the taste is one of kind.  Do you deny this theft of secret ingredient?"

                "I have not stolen secret yet, But I tell Noir, I will." Suzette stepped forward obstinate.

                "Lies of a hypocrite thief," Noir let roar, "even shame shuns you in grief!"

                "To prove this claim of lie, only one solution does apply.  You must divulge this secret, this all powerful ingredient." With finger to nose of Noir, Suzette demanded all the more, "And you must do it quick.  Noir shall not bar the door."

                "Never!" Shook the lean frame of Noir, "Never be my answer evermore."

                "But you must!" In waves Suzette lashed against shore, "Tell us all, for you make accusations rash, you pick on Cafe De Light to bash.  So tell me, tell me this secret locked inside the chest of Noir."

                "But," Noir stepped back from waves threatening to wash away dune of parapet, "but yes, you have not stolen from my souffle soiree the sugar, nor the bitter sweet chocolate."

                "And!" Suzette tapped toe of shoe upon waves of light tile floor.

                "Nor the whipped egg whites stolen, nor the beaten egg yolks taken," Dew of stress stained the brow of Noir.

                "And!" Suzette did pry against Noir door.

                "Nor the sweet whipped creme." Noir choked in this nightmare of no daydream.

                "And, what is this secret, this last cloaked ingredient?" Suzette pried wisely more.

                "I can not." Chef Noir looked down to become at one with floor.

                "But NO!" Suzette stamped foot at the toe of Noir. "You say now.  You say this ingredient so secret.  Say it now." With arms stiff at sides, clenched fists she did not hide. "What is it!" Waves passionate tossed her into his arms shore.  Her life of breath pressed into chest of Noir.

                The lip of Noir trembling spake, "My Souffle soiree..." but pride the bar applied.

                In feeble waves feme fists beat against heart door, opened to soft hands upon the chest of Noir, slid up around his neck, her lips demanding peck, "Confess, mon ami, confess this ingredient so secret to me." The reflection of Suzette's blue eyes shed tears in the dark eyes of Noir, "Have mercy upon thyself. Confess this sacred secret of souffle soiree... this party of life evermore..."

                "It is love..." No more could Noir bar the door...

Why suffer in the scars of darkness... Cross into the light... It is Jesus... John 8:12

What is love...  1st John chapter 4 and John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Of The Wedding Banquette, many are the beautiful scriptures of the Holy Bible. These are but a few: Song 2:1-4; John 2:1-11; Isaiah 61:10; Matthew 22:1-14 and Revelation 19:7-9

And... Song of Solomon    



             

Friday, September 25, 2015

AN ARK OF OUR OWN

Mass evacuation, a true story: Hurricane Rita, September, 2005:
         
            Fleeing down Hwy 71, nearing the I-10 underpass at Columbus, Sharon and I saw them.  How many were they?  As far as we could see both ways the traffic was bumper to bumper.  As we passed under I-10, the realization hit us, those poor folks were going nowhere in that 150 mile traffic jam from Houston to San Antonio.  And pressed on by the mass of humanity behind us on 71, we prayed.

            2005, as the heart breaking aftermath of hurricane Katrina continued for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the Gulf of Mexico churned once again.  A massive 180 mile per hour Hurricane Rita barreled straight at our little ranch near the Texas Gulf Coast.  I was going to stay to take care of the cattle, but wife Sharon demanded otherwise.

            So the wife and I evacuated along with border collie Candy and white rabbit, Bunny FuFu.  It was off to see Aunt Lou and Uncle Don, two hearts of gold, in Austin, Texas.  Our refuge there will always be fondly remembered.

            Now Aunt Lou and Uncle Don were amazed by our dog and rabbit sleeping and eating together in their fenced in back yard.  And I say this not casually, does it kind of remind you of how the animals in Noah's Ark must have got along, maybe even remind of a Bible verse in Isaiah of the wolf and the lamb laying together.

            Prompted by disaster coverage on TV, Uncle Don and I soon got into a discussion of the Bible and in particular Noah's Ark.  Uncle Don took the position that the Ark was not real, but a story meant to teach us moral lessons. I explained that in September of 1960 Life Magazine published Turkish military photos of a tremendous boat shaped object in the mountains of Ararat; and that in August of 1977 archaeologist Ron Wyatt was invited by the Turkish government to examine the ship. Ron found the Ark dimensions exactly matched that ordered by God in the Bible, discovered the Ark's massive stone anchors and mapped out the ships deck supports and keel.  In 1986 the Turks built a visitors center at the location.  But Uncle Don remained unconvinced, felt it was a 'flim-flam' and laughed it off.

            Later that day Uncle Don and Aunt Lou treated the wife and I to a trip to the amazing Cabelas Hunting and Sports Center. Now the first thing you see as you walk into this three story mega mecca is a two and a half story indoor waterfall and mountain populated by scores of animals from all over the world.  Do you see the theme here: animals from all over the world, on a mountain... Noah's Ark?  Do you sense something is about to happen?  We should have. God is a master of 'intricate coincidental detail'.

            Now Cabelas is so huge, a family can easily spend all day there well entertained, but after several hours Uncle Don wanted to treat us to a south Austin restaurant.  We gave thanks, we ate, we joked and at meals end we rose to leave the table.  In rising from his seat, obviously still thinking about our earlier conversation about Noah's Ark, Uncle Don chuckled under his breath, "I still can't believe you think that story is real."

            Uncle Don stood, pushed his chair to table and turned to see standing directly behind him the cutest little less than five feet tall Mexican Grandpa, Grandma and daughter... and in the daughters arms swaddled in a baby blanket... in Uncle Don's own words, "That is the most precious little baby I have ever seen!"

            Folks, that precious little mother with the glow of an angel, held up that precious little baby before Uncle Don's face and proudly beamed as only a new mother can, "HIS NAME IS NOAH."

            Uncle Don's eyes popped round as saucers, his mouth gaped wide open, and Aunt Lou chimed in right on cue, "Well Don, do you think God is trying to tell you something?"


            Well dear people, do you think God may be trying to tell us something?  In his Holy Bible, our Creator has given us the exactly how it was, how it is, and how it will be.

            ...In the hurricane of Life...

            ...Jesus is our only ark to refuge... to salvation...

            In John 14:6, His Son Jesus speaks, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father, but by me."  Please listen to Jesus in Matthew 24:37 KJ, "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

           "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJ

            Romans 3:23-26;  6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10; Acts 2:38

            Noah, the ark, the great flood... Genesis chapters 6 thru 9        

         

           
                     

         

Thursday, September 17, 2015

WHEN ITCHY GETS SCRATCHY

            "Molasses is my name, slow sweet lovin' is my game," she purred.

            "Spring time in hell... is no picnic," startled to the point of not knowing why nor what she said, Janet stepped back, retreat cut short by food laden picnic table.

            Molasses oozed close, in Janet's ear blew smoke, "My friends call me Moe."

            "Just because you married Uncle Ted and come to our family reunion, does not make you my friend," Janet near breathless breathed, gulped air, added, "nor family."

            "You are just uptight.  I can fix that," Moe cooed.

            Janet slipped sideways from between Moe and picnic table.  She retreated to side of approaching husband. "Robert, that woman..."

            "Is hotter than a hornets nest and twice as deadly," Robert finished Janet's sentence to spare her embarrassment. "I was coming to the rescue."

            "What is wrong with her?" Janet fought for composer.  Now in the arms of her husband, her face faded from red.

            "A diet totally void of moral fiber induces constipation of the brain." Robert glared in Moe direction.

            Nervous giggle escaped Janet. "Husband of mine," she snarfeled, "you may have just coined an adage." She giggled again.

            "Why is every family reunion a re-crisis?" Robert shook head.

            "Oh no, there she goes again!" Janet gasped.

            Cousin Bennie was just passing by.  Moe met him chest to breast, pressed into him, backed him up, pinned him against vine covered oak tree trunk.  She kissed him full on the lips.  Bennie kissed her back, spun her round.  In backless blouse her flesh found bed in the cool foliage.

             "There are children.  This needs to stop." Janet growled, added, "Robert get Uncle Ted over here right now.  You tell him to control that, that thing he calls a wife."

            "Oh, be a sport." Robert grinned. "They are just having fun."

            "What!" Janet freaked.  With both hands she reached up, pulled Robert's face to hers, looked him square in the eyes, questioned, "Is my Christian husband in there?"

            Robert kissed tip of wife's accusation pointing nose, then smiled. "You do know God gave us the Ten Commandments to not only guide us, but protect us?"

            In mini whiplash Janet's neck and head whipped back, then forward.  With blue eyes wide, her lips cried, "What!?"

            "See that oak tree those two are writhing against?" Robert nodded direction.

            Janet turned head, looked. "Yes," she said.

            "See that bed of plush green vines caressing their flesh?" Robert whispered in her ear.

            "Oh! Ohhhhhhhh!" Janet snarfeled out loud.  "You mean, oh husband of mine, do I see the consequences of sin?"

            "I think they call it poison ivy," Robert snuggled nose in wife's soft auburn hair.

            "Spring time in hell is no picnic... when itchy gets scratchy." Janet relaxed in hubby's arms.

             "I'll go fetch the garden hose," Robert sighed, then grinned at the thought of hosing down the amorous two with ice cold water.

             Janet hugged her kind hearted man, sighed too, said, "I'll get the soap from the kitchen."


Consequences to sin... are no coincidences... yet necessary reminders...

God loves the contrite heart... Tell him about it... Apologize... Ask God for forgiveness in His Son's name... Jesus...

Every one of us has something to apologize for... Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-13 of The Holy Bible    

           

Friday, September 4, 2015

IVY ENVY

            Two, two finger Irish coffees, please." At hotel restaurant table, Ivy placed order, added half moan sigh, hung her head to almost cry, behind dark cascade of hair.

            It is 8:15 in the morning." The right hand of old college pal Phebe gently grasped her forearm. She ducked head that her amber eyes look up into the green eyes of Ivy. "One hour from now in that auditorium right thru that window," Phebe pointed across River Avenue, "my favorite motivational speaker is going to encourage thousands of alcoholics to remain sober." Phebe turned to the waitress, "Make that two expresso macchiato, please."

            "I hate motivational speaking." Ivy whined.

            "What?" Phebe blinked. "You do this for a living."

            "You call this living?" Ivy gritted teeth. "You have no idea how I envy you, Phebe.  Unlike you, I have no confidence, no assurance, no peace, no faith.  I live in Wreckville."

            "Where's a motivational speaker, when you need one?" Phebe teased.

            "Stop it!" Ivy unsuccessfully fought the upturned curvature of her lips, smiled.

            Phebe patted her arm, asked, "You are kidding me, right?"

            "Well..." The smile of Ivy whimpered away. She whined, "Envy like Ivy climbs, till over the wall."

            "Jesus, please help us get to the other side of River Avenue," Phebe pleaded out loud.

            It startled Ivy, that little prayer, that sincerity on Phebe's face, but her calmness, her calmness seemed to radiate light, a light almost contagious.  But just a tad later...

            ...There they stood on the corner of River Avenue, huddled together, gripping coat seams tight in mid-December cold wind chill.  Ivy shivered, moaned, "Could it possibly get any worse?"

            Phebe chuckled, twisted, swayed lithe figure neath layers of warmth. "Pre-emptive groaning only stirs the gripe pot... ladles up porridge of pain," she warned thru coat collar gap.

            After a full twelve minutes in waiting, "The lights are stuck green," Ivy groaned. "No way are we crossing that raging rush hour traffic.  Lets go back in and get another cup of coffee." Ivy tugged top of coat tighter together.  She searched the face of her suddenly frozen still companion. "Phebe, what's wrong?" Phebe had stopped breathing.

            The brisk north wind swirled thru Phebe's short brunette hair.  Her eyes closed.  Her head subtly tilted back.  Her lips parted.  She breathed in... more than air.  Her amber eyes opened.  She breathed out, "Thank you." Her hair ceased swirl.

            In fear, Ivy heard it, heard the stone still quiet.  She turned head, saw not one car, not one taxi, no bus, nor van.

            Phebe took Ivy's hand, said, "Someone up there really loves you and wants you to cross on over to the other side of River Avenue." Phebe smiled...

            And as they walked across... Ivy's envy walked not...


            Time grows short... and only one way 'crosses'... to the other side of the river of life... Jesus...

                                                               John 14:6

                                                  Revelation 1:7-8 & 22:1-7

            Of crossing over to 'the other side of the river,' many are the scriptures in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  Grab a thorough Biblical concordance or plug it in to an internet search engine, read and be awed... Fascinating...