A Quote to Start Things Off
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Saturday, January 7, 2023
Friday, January 6, 2023
Thursday, January 5, 2023
Reflections on the Teche. Margaret is part of the Poetry Friday community. Her theme this month is One Little Word.
Given the theme I immediately went into full Martin Luther mode and started belting out the third verse of A Mighty Fortress is Our God. For future reference 10:45 on a weeknight is not the best time for belting out reformation hymns. At least that's what my wife tells me. Click here to have it belted out for you by the good folks at Hymnary.
1 A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
2 Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God's own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.
3 And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God has willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
4 That Word above all earthly powers
no thanks to them abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours
through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!
Psalter Hymnal, (Gray), 1987
There is an excellent article from Desiringgod.org entitled 'What "One Little Word" will fell Satan?' In it, the author speculates what Luther may have meant by what word is being referred to at the end of verse 3. He states that Luther wrote that the word he meant was "liar." Or at least the German word for liar.
I can tell you that this makes perfect sense to me.
Many times in the course of my life I have told myself and believed lies. The past few months have been a particularly difficult season in what has been a very difficult series of years for me and my family.
These past months as I alluded to in my Last Poetry Friday submission have been some of my most challenging in my work life. They have also been extremely taxing in almost every aspect of my life.
In September my family left a church we had been at for 10 years that never really felt like our home. We have spent the fall and early winter looking for a new church which has brought both comforts and challenges to us.
In September on my wife's birthday, I went to visit my Dad in the hospital and was told that day that his leg needed to be amputated. His foot was amputated on that very day. On my birthday a few weeks later my Mom and I had a phone appointment with a neuropsychologist who diagnosed her of having some type of dementia, perhaps Alzheimer's. We cancelled birthdays for a while after that.
Somewhere in that time a part of me snapped. I didn't notice it at first, but my wife did. I still did all the things you do to get from one day to the other. I'd been in full on crisis mode before but this was different. I tell you that even right now I can hardly function at work or anywhere.
But I think I am beginning to figure it out. I've been believing lies. I've been believing that I am powerless in the train wreck season I've been going through and in reality I've tied myself to the track with those lies. I have two daughters who both have mental health issues. My wife and I continually tell them to stop believing lies and tell themselves the truth, As Tom Hanks's character Jimmy Dugan (sp?) said in A League of Their Own. "That's good advice!
John 8:31 through 8:36 says (in the NIV),
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘ You will become free’?” 34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; . the son does remain forever. 36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
The truth is that God has been with me every step of this journey. Today I received what I perceived to be a body blow but when I told that perception to my wife, she told me the truth and I decided to believe that truth, then act upon that truth, and pray that truth. This evening what can usually be a very stress filled event was pleasant. When I got home instead of being in a zombie like stupor I was ready for the next thing. I know I'm still many miles away from a new normal but I'm closer than I even imagined I could be on New Years Eve.
For more SJT click HERE
Sunday, January 1, 2023
In the last 3 days of 2022 3 cultural icons, game changers in their respected fields of sports, newscasting, and theology had their lives come to an earthly end. To put it simply there was really no one like either Pele, Barbara Walters or Pope Benedict XVI. Each of their lives were characterized by a passion for their calling that transitioned into being a revered elder statesperson as their journeys continued.
Pele 1940 - 2022
I'm not really trying to tie in the recent deaths of international icons with a book I'm preparing to read. When my Grandfather died in late 1997 I had just proposed to Amy. At the wake, I felt like discussing my engagement would be taking away from the celebration of my Grandpa's life. I remember my Dad encouraging me to talk about it. He said that people needed to be reminded that life goes on even in the midst of death. In the same way, I think making plans for the future and reading up on my future home are good ways for life to go on.
I hope all of you are enjoying a woinderful beginning to your new year.