Friday, April 24, 2015

NAUGHTY FIGS

                "No wonder I couldn't find it," Adam Figg feigned aha moment, plucked favorite coffee mug from cupboard. "Since when did we start putting things up where they are supposed to be?" He teased.

                "If snide boy wants breakfast, he should not criticize the cook." Eva Figg arched left eyebrow in direction of pestering husband.

                Pestering husband smiled, slinked up behind Eva as she flipped eggs in mid scramble.   Round her rounding tummy went gentle hand, with other he caressed her long brunette hair to side, exposing freckled nape of neck, and he kissed, and he whispered, "How do you smell so good in the morning?" So began the usual Figg family dance, that had led to a whole lot a little Figgs.

                The full lips of Eva Figg slightly parted, sighed familiar sigh...

                "Daddy," little Ruthie tugged his pant leg, "Daddy leave mommy alone, so she can cook me breakfast.  I'm hungry!" Came the all too usual Figg family dance interruption...

                ...Not long after, Daddy at breakfast table had just, "Amened," the morning prayer, and serving platters were passed around...

                Did little Ruthie ask, "Daddy can you please jelly my biscuit?"

                Daddy looked down the table.  Eva had not the jar of fig preserves.  Neither did Matt, Mark, Luke, nor John, nor did Moses, nor Elijah, nor Isaiah, nor Jeremiah at end of ta... "Jeremiah, what is that hiding behind your glass of milk?"

                Jeremiah answered with oops wide eyed look, then matter-of-facted, "Well, it used to be a jar of fig preserves." He held empty jar up for Dad's inspection. He smiled, offered, "But for Little Sis, I'll sure fetch another jar from the pantry."

                In moments, lathering fig preserves on Ruthie's biscuit, Daddy Adam stirred reflection, "In the Bible, what were the contents of the two baskets, that the LORD set before the prophet Jeremiah at the temple?"

                And Jeremiah, the youngest of the brothers stands again, thrusts forth index finger and recites as if it were written on the wall, "Jeremiah 24:2 KJ, 'One basket had very good figs, even like figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.'"

                Dad asks, "What does that mean?"

                The children grew quiet.

                Eva cued, "Could it be that the naughty figs represent folks who hide from the washing and refining of our Creator?"

                "They reject and avoid fulfilling God's purpose for them," Moses shook head.

                "They fall to the ground and rot." Elijah sighed.

                "But the good figs," little Ruthie took delicious bite of fig preserve laden biscuit, "the good figs," she chewed, swallowed, took gulp of cool milk, "the good figs are gathered, washed, cooked in Mommy's pot, get lots a sugar on 'em, and are sealed in jars, so I can eat 'em now!"

                Good figs... have God purpose." Luke smiled.

                God refines us to be good figs... because he loves us," John added joy.

                "But no matter how good figs are," Eva enlightened, "they are never washed clean enough nor refined pure enough for God in heaven, until washed and purified by his son, Jesus.  For by believing in Jesus or rejecting Jesus, figs are either... preserved forever... or wither away..."

                "And who are the Jesus washed and refined good figs?" Daddy Adam asked.

                "Children of God!" All the little Figgs sang out.

                "Believing is... be-living..." Little Ruthie squealed.

                 John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9


Post Script: If any naughty figs have fallen to the ground in your back yard, please direct them to the B-I-B-L-E and nearest Christian Church.  (For a fuller explanation of the washing and refining process, please read "The Fullers Soap," in this blog's March 2013 menu.)                  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

HEAR THE OLIVE SCREAM

                "Never fails," Kaffee mused, "always got to be at least one escapee in the bunch." Helplessly she watched errant olive roll across gray marbled counter top to edge, titter a tad, then plunge screaming toward red tile floor below. "AAAaaaahh!" Kaffee mocked, for no way could she save it from perilous plummet without spilling and scattering the tablespoon full of other olives in hand.

                "Just one of making dolmas little mishaps," Kaffee matter of facted as she dumped spoonful of olives into bowl next to knife and cutting board, the ill-fate of non escapee olives.  The Mediterranean skin tone of her arm and hand nearly matched that of the doomed olive, that she reached down to recapture; but orange claw and paw beat her to it, slapped tan green olive across red tile floor.

                "Duff, you silly cat, bring that olive back to me this instant!" Kaffee laughed.  As the olive rolled, Duff chased then swatted, belly scooted and slid, til round corner of kitchen island.

                "From cutting board to cat attack, that poor olive just can't win," Kaffee smirked.  Then as oft the habit, she tilted and turned her head, flicked long dark hair from bosom to back.  She returned attention to food prep plan. "Let's see, in the mixing bowl already added we have: sauteed ground lamb with herbs, boiled rice, dill, mint, pepper, sea salt, lemon, olive oil, and soon to be smidgeon or two of diced ripe olives."

                Kaffee sliced, she diced, she added olives, she stirred, sat down bowl to left of cutting board... "Let the dolma stuffin' begin." She smiled, set plate of palm sized grape leaves to the right of cutting board, selected top grape leaf, tested texture. "Parboiled to perfection, pliable but not too soft, just right to plop the mix onto and roll without tearing." And on the cutting board she laid leaf out, dolloped on the mixing bowl mix and rolled then tucked in the ends, rolled and tucked, rolled and tucked until... there a tight little package of gastronomical delight lay, the dolma. "One down, and only about a hundred or so to go." Kaffee sighed.

                And that night with dolma platter in hand, Kaffee did go to a mixer of the human kind, sponsored by lifelong protector and older sister, Alyx.  Alyx, who coaxed little sis, "Kaffee, stop hugging the snack table and find a manly arm to hug."

                "Oh, I've got plenty of time for that," Kaffee mildly protested. "The night is young," she added wisp of wist.

                "But..." under arm Alyx gathered Kaffee to side, "but some folks are entering that stale bread stage, just before turning moldy."

                "I am only thirty-two." Up and side-ways Kaffee's eyes mirrored into sister's.

                "Exactly!" Alyx nodded, then added, "Just sayin', you're not quite swimming up the rapids to spawn for the very last time, but those rocks and boulders are taking a toll..."

                "Get away from me!" Kaffee growled, "I am not a dying fish."

                "OK," Alyx pulled arm away. "Sorry, I ruffled your scales."

                "Ruffled my scales?" Kaffee burst out laughter in spite of hurt feelings.

                "That's the spirit, old girl.  Now swim out and find a fellow scaley man to share it with." Alyx fled before getting punched in the arm, a well remembered to avoid childhood Kaffee coping mechanism.

                Kaffee took deep breath, unclenched fist, let go ire mixed giggles, "That's my sis." She shrugged, lamented thought, "Not like I don't pray every night for a God fearing man to take my hand."

                Twas then that Kaffee activated yet another all too familiar coping mechanism... reached for food... clutched a pimento stuffed olive twixt index finger and thumb. "How long," Kaffee sighed, raised olive to eye level inches from nose, contemplated, "how long before my olive skin begins to sag, can no longer pushin-z-out zee baby?" She squished the olive just enough to make pimento baby pooch out before the whole olive squirted out of fingers onto table top and... "Roll baby roll," Kaffee accepted olive fate.  She watched it roll to table edge, titter a tad, then plunge screaming toward floor below, "AAAaaaahh!" Kaffee mocked.  Yet was it reflex or hope that her hand shot out to save olive from perilous babyless plight...

                ...No olive did Kaffee catch... but the hand of a man who rescued olive in the palm of his hand...  A gentle God fearing man, who said, "Night after night have I prayed to find you..."

                                                     Psalms 128:1-4
   
  

                     

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SUNSHINE AFTER RAIN

                "I just can't take it any more!  Where did all the flowers go?"  Exasperated by her own flower garden ineptitude, Jena Scarsbury cried out across backyard fence to her neighborette.

                At the end of water hose, Rosie Mai Chi grinned, sprayed prize tulips with streamlettes cool and clear.  "That too bad, Jena," Rosie kidded, "maybe you have better luck with cactus." She giggled.

                "It's not fair!" Jena fired back, "You guru worshipin' Chinese come over here and foreign idol up America, fill our roads with pint sized cars and fill our minds with inferiority.  And what do you get for it?  You get rewarded for it, that's what!  I can't take it anymore!"

                "Jena, Jena, you not know gurus from India, pint sized cars Korean and Japanese the smart ones?"  Smiling, Rosie shook head, turned spray on thirsty bed of posies.

                "See that is exactly what I mean: you people are inscrutable," Jena groaned.

                "You crazy mix-up American, nice try to get my goat, you know husband and I are Christian missionaries to here.  You guys need Jesus.  And you wonder where did flowers go!  You silly." Rosie smiled.

                Suddenly, as if heaven sent, bright sunlight and rain cascaded down... Jena scrambled to shelter neath covered patio.  She turned to search for her favorite neighborette and sparring partner.   Jena hollered loud above the rain on tin, "Who is crazy now?  I am not the one standing in the rain!"

                And there Rosie stood amid the garden, smiling, watching, rhythmically nodding along with the dance of her kindred roses, flowers and ferns as they bent and leaped... neath the weight of sunlit rain... then Rosie breathed his name... "Jesus..."


                In his last words, the man after God's own heart, King David spoke of the coming of Jesus: 2nd Samuel 23:4 Living Bible, "He shall be as the light of morning, a cloudless sunrise, when the tender grass springs forth upon the earth, as sunshine after rain."

Post script: "The Little Miracle":

                In the story after Rosie declared, "You silly," the writing ended with no foreseen way to connect it with the chosen scripture nor the title, "Sunshine After Rain." So I prayed.  Then the thought struck me that perhaps Rosie's accent was a tad too stereotypical.  So I figured why not give her a third generation Chinese from Copenhagen Danish accent.  Like that would work?  But there I went.  I was stuck anyway; so I Google Danish accent, right!  Well there she is, the stereotypical little Danish girl answering questions on how to say phrases in English with a Danish accent.  And so someone types in and she repeats the question in her natural accent, "What do they call it when the rain falls when the sun is shining?" She giggles, pans camera to window and says, "It actually does right now..." And there is the sunlit rain falling in the beautiful garden just outside her window.  And she says, "It is coming a rainbow..."  John 20:15-16...

             
   

Saturday, January 3, 2015

BABUSHKA LULLABY

                "A wacko a day keeps the shrink in pay," stealth in his mind sung the words to Dr. Adams audible hum.  He raised left eyebrow, flipped to blank second page of new patient history.  Why had the young woman, sitting before him, refused to fill out the form?  "What a way to start a New York Monday," escaped his lips.  He leaned a tad back in seat, flipped back to page one, stared at the one and only blank filled in.  "I see you listed your name as Apple, no middle name, no last name, jussst Apple."

                "Yes!!!" From toes to nose, Apple's whole body vibrated answer.

                "Are you a one name celebrity?" Dr. Adams did not smile.

                "Oh, no sir," Apple shook head. "Just the messenger," she nodded.

                Dr. Adams thought, "I'd like to shoot the messenger for not filling out this form!"  He could not just let it go, internally revenged, "This Apple got worms for brains."  He almost giggled past professional facade, but what he said was, "Messenger, in what way?"

                "Yes..." Apple's entire being danced in tune with the nod of her head, "yes, the messenger of dream, a reoccurring dream."

                "And in this dream?" Dr. Adams led, while mind inside sighed, "Not another dream!"

                "For three months now, in the dream I see myself sleeping, and in this sleep dreaming a dream... of insomnia.  I dream of rest... with no rest.  I dream of sleep... with no sleep.  I dream of you, Dr. Adams.  I dream of you, Dr. Alexsie from the Ukraine."

                As his diagnosis raced to obsessional delusion and probable schizophrenia, Dr. Adams brain screamed, "We should have checked her purse for sharp objects."  But his mouth carefully phrased, "And how do you know who I am and where I am from?"

                "By the dream within a dream of your insomnia, I see you in the Ukraine.  I see you as a child afore bed.  I see your Babushka rub her grandson's feet, sing sweet lullaby till he sleep.  And then I see your sleepless nights of now... how your thoughts have often been... if only I could... rewind the wind..."

                "But how did you know I changed my name, know of my insomnia... my Babushka?  Are you a psychic?" More than a tad of his inside shaking vibrated to the outside of Dr. Adams' skin.

                "No dark side here... only Jesus light... when you pray for answer... answer is God's delight..." Apple stretched arms, smiled sweet. "How many the times... have your times been... sleepless daydreams of often when..." As in the dream her arms drew to breast, cradled unseen child before her.  Her body rocked to old Ukraine Babushka lullaby... as Apple sang: "Dream O dream within the window.  Rock warm to sleep my little child.  Sleep O sleep little sparrow so mild.  Rest and grasp the snow without the window..." From cradled arms Apple raised her eyes to his...

                With tear in eye, the Doctor did reply, "And then, when she laid me down, when she tucked me in, my Babushka kissed my ear and whispered sweet breath so warm: 'All who rest... rest in Jesus...'"  And Dr. Adams relaxed for the first time in a very, very long time.

Find rest even unto your very soul... with Jesus... Matthew 11:28-30...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CROQUETTE ROULETTE

                How does insomnia happen?  Well, first ya get up to tend to a mild case of salmon croquette roulette, fully intent on crawling back in bed to blissful sleep.  Of course ya are kinda stumblin round n-all, being half asleep, when bladder splatter alert over rides heartburn.

                After pressure overload averted, as usual the mandatory hand washing is interrupted by soap bar squirting out of hand to bathroom floor parts unknown.  And of course while unsuccessfully trying to find tha soap, being bent over n-all, stomach contents shift to throat as burning beacon of original goal, indigestion correction.

                Back in the kitchen, of course when ya reach into overhead cabinet for the near full box of seltzer packets, it falls, it spills, everywhere and then some.  So, after retrieving packets from all over the kitchen floor, cabinet top, microwave top and stove top, and the box is still half empty, ya realize that ain't all the seltzer packets.  So where are they?  Ahh!  In the toaster of course!

                So, now almost fully awake, but not quite, of course ya turn toaster upside down to dump out the packets.  Half an hour later, after cleaning up charred bread crumbs from like everywhere imaginable, ya finally get the seltzer all-a-fizz in mug of water; and after wiping up the of course I spilled the water too... eyes are all a tingly, one wide open, the other shade half drawn, sans sleep... and I still got that heartburn...

                At this point I tried to muster up a I should a stayed in bed pity party, but instead unexpected chuckle escaped lips.  I wondered... why... why am I not aggravated like I most usually would be...

                Then was when I felt the smile of God... Did you not pray for a story to tell...

                Man's medicine or Gods cure... Sometimes indigestion just needs trust and patience to pass... after a little prayer... asked in Jesus name..

                Isaiah 55:9 KJ, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

                Isaiah 55-all & Isaiah 40-all

                 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

CALL ME AMBI

                Though Ambi said little, she knew that some, perhaps all, bear no less than at least one thorn; a thorn in the flesh innate born.  And Ambi knew too why carve out with scalpel, when one wee pair of tweezers will do; or even one better for some, for her, to leave thorn lone, that thorn be like the dropping of other shoe.  Indeed Ambi said little, for the fewer the words, the more thought before.  Ambi said little, for by her thorn in the flesh, by her stammering stutter, her fewer words were made better, even made strength in weakness.  "S-s-sta-sta-stutter ba-ba-ba-better," Ambi often smiled at her often thought.  And thus though a stutterer be, Ambi cast miles of smiles alee.

                So, Ambi's dance of life continued on, not switched off to the goal before her.  There were things to be done.  And when one, or more often yet some, anywhere near Ambi applied the big put down, the noose was loosed by unseen hand, til... well you all shall see the Ambi waves of sea...

                "I can't take it anymore!" Bella bleated.

                "Or give any less," Lesley anted in.

                "Oh, give her a break!" Satirra in mean girl glee chimed in, "We all know Bella is more a give-up, than a go-to kind of gal."

                "See, that is exactly what I mean, people always putting me down.  How is a girl ever going to stand her ground with so much negativity all around." Bella felt the pile heaped on.

                All eyes shifted to the silent one, who of stuttering tongue, Ambi offered none, but upon them eyes of love shone.  Then Ambi looked down, down at her feet; shuffled shoe forward, lifted toe, wiggled it round, tilted it to and tilted it fro, till even the shoe bared its sole.

                All eyes turned to odd event.  Even others on that crowded street corner, who had heard Bella's bleat, stopped their lopping gate of day, to see what else Ambi had to say.

                But not one word from Ambi came into play.  The one shoe she withdrew, pulled it back under her to support the view of other shoe.  And still looking down, Ambi shuffled it forward, lifted toe, wiggled it round, tilted it to and tilted it fro, till other shoe bared its sole.

                And it came to pass, Lesley then Satirra gave Bella a hug.  Even others on street corner gave Bella a friendly wink, a pat on back, or a shoulder tug...

                ...And Ambi looked up from her feet, looked upon all with eyes of love, and blessing at last finally said, "Wa-wa-wa-walk wa-wa-wa-with... not on..."

                "After all," Bella smiled, "whose feet don't stink?"

                 Romans 3:23; 6:23; Psalm 119:105; James 1:22

                 Why did Jesus wash the feet of his disciples?  John 13:14 KJ, "If I then, your Lord and Master have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."




                      

Saturday, November 22, 2014

JUST ANOTHER AVOCADO SUNRISE

                Forearm against kitchen door jamb, back of wrist to forehead, Kim yawned.  With free hand she cradled swollen tummy, pulled over sized t-shirt up to her little pug nose, breathed deep. Her eyes closed.  His scent wafted warm.  She opened eyes.  "Well there he is the love of my life in the sunrise light."  She smiled, but shook her head.  "Every morning, every morning at the kitchen island," she sighed, "wearing another one of those kooky avocado t-shirts, cut-off jeans and that same frayed straw hat."  She paused, pulled out the front of the t-shirt from her bosom. Giant green avocado stared up at her.  She frowned.  "The man has got to be stopped!" She giggled.

                Oblivious to the plot hatching behind his back, Bob at kitchen island danced to Caribbean beat on the radio, while adding finishing touch to extra-early morning brunch.  "Simple, yet elegant, nothing like fresh avocado, lime, and..."

                ...Soft hands slid around his waist.  Bob looked down.  Something was boring hard under his right armpit.  It felt like a rib being taken.  Between arm and ribs, moppet haired head popped out. The attached nose crinkled, sniffed.  Her lips declared, "Why does lime, avocado, and fresh homemade tortilla chips haf-ta smell so good!"

                "Your craving, or baby's?"  Bob smiled.

                "Ooh, just one!"  Kim reached out, snagged chip.

                "Hey, you are eating my art!"  Bob complained.

                "It is pretty neat how you spiraled serving tray with chips, avocado and lime round poblano chiles."  Kim offered misdirection compliment, seized opportunity to snatch another tortilla chip.

                "You little sneak!"  Bob clamped her in head lock, kissed moppet head.

                Like a spotted owl twisting neck, Kim looked up at him, demanded, "On the lips, old man!"

                Bob bent over to comply.  Kim's warm breath caressed his face.  His lips brushed hers...

                ...Kim snitched hand full of chips, escaped, scampered out kitchen to balcony table.

                "You mischievous little twerp!  You wrecked the spiral!  It was gonna be my masterpiece on chirpagram."  Bob lamented, carried serving tray out to chip munching wife; sat down beside her.

                "Bob, Bob, your whimpering is not silent.  I can hear you."  Kim teased.  She bumped shoulder into his arm, added, "And since you are perturbed at me anyway, I might as well use this time to ask..."  Kim halted speech; knew, that like all typical men, Bob could not let unfinished business lie.

                Bob squeezed lime wedge over avocado slices and tortilla chips, combined the two.  In mid munch he mumbled,  "So, like what, Kim?"

                "Sweetie, you know I love you..."  Kim stopped again; hid half smirk with chip in hand; patted self on back with thought, "Mistress of manipulation, that's me."

                "...But?"  Bob bit.

                "But sweetie, we are about to bring a little Bob or Kimette into this over sized beach hut.  Should we not be a little more responsible?  Say, maybe consider giving up childlike fixation on all things avocado?  I mean, like are we going to dress our kid in avocado garb the rest of his or her life?  Come on!"  She tried to elbow a smile out of him... but Bob grew eerily silent, a tad too silent, tellingly silent, silence that screamed... "Bob!  You didn't!"  Kim whipped frayed straw hat from his head; frisbeed it from balcony into avocado garden below.  "You already bought avocado outfits for the baby, didn't cha, Bob?  How many, how many did you buy?"  Tears began to well in Kim's eyes.

                Bob hugged Kim close, rocked her in his arms, soothed, "Kimmie, let us never forget love is the best fertilizer for little avocados to grow in.  Us papa and momma avocados just gotta wrap 'em up in our branches, hide 'em from them beaky birds and marauding possums, until it's time for avocado pod to peel open and assimilate... Resistance is futile..."

                Kim burst into full blown fake sobbing... careened into belly laughter...

                Bob chuckled, observed, "Doctorette of male psychology meets match."

                "I have got to stop laughing before I pee myself!" Kim stifled chortle.

                The baby kicked...  Kim hugged her round tummy... Bob hugged Kim,,,

                Kim sighed, "Not just another avocado sunrise..."

                And looking east out over avocado garden and over the Caribbean waters beyond, Bob said, "Praise the LORD for three hearts beating as one..."


Genesis 2:22, "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, He made into a woman, and brought her unto the man."