Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just checking...

Hmmm....lots of hits here and no comments. How do I know if I'm theologically on track????

Although I go to a Baptist church I feel the need to do a slightly Catholic thing and make "Confession". A man fell asleep behind me in the back row this morning and I giggled when I heard him snoring.
I know I should have been paying more attention to what was going on at the front but I allowed myself to be distracted and am forced to admit that I was jealous that he was asleep and I wasn't. I also ate two Tic Tacs and read through my text messages. "Forgive me Father for I have sinned..."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'll show you mine if you show me yours

This week I opened a magazine and spotted an interesting competition. Take a picture of a scar, explain how you got it and be in for a thousand bucks if your story is the most interesting. Sounds like fun. I considered it briefly before deciding that none of my scars are in any fit position for public photography. But it got me thinking…by and large people are always keen to talk about medical mishaps, dental issues and scars. Personally, I don’t especially gain any pleasure from hearing all the ins and outs on the removal of ingrown toenails or root canals but I must admit that I do find disfigurement a little more intriguing. I’m not big on carbuncles oozing pus or anything too messy but when my mum’s friend had a leg operation, I found the titanic staples running up her limb horrifically breathtaking.

My friend Smiley (I’m really going to have to think of a better name for her but she really does have the most terrific smile) had one of those pacemaker thingees fitted not so long ago which was good news on two counts. Firstly because she is now keeping much better health and isn’t scaring us with her dizzy spells any more, and secondly because she has the coolest scar on her chest. Naturally she’d happily flash it around for anyone who would look and considering she has amazing cleavage, plenty of people have been willing to have a squiz at it. Not to mention that being partially bionic is really cool.

Scars are undeniably worth taking a look at and I would say that a competition in their honour is long overdue. I’m looking forward to seeing some real doozies and reading some grisly details about how they came about. I don’t think it would be fair for Jesus to enter the competition though because He would win hands down and it’s only right that He gives someone else a shot at that thousand bucks. Those scars on His hands, His feet, His head and His side have a story behind them that will outdo any kind of misadventure or surgery that I can think of. It even beats the time I tried to express my cat’s bladder after she’d had an accident. There was a lot of blood that day – mine.

It seems to me that Jesus is holding His hands out for anyone who wants to take a look. He held them out when His disciple Thomas doubted that He was back in the land of the living. He’s been inviting us to come in for a closer look and to listen to His story ever since. And He's very interested in taking a look at the scars we might be carrying, including the ones on our hearts. Any nasty infections, any hurts, He's willing to take them from us and add them to His own.  All He's asking from us is that we come, look at His hands and listen to His story.  How can I resist!

Incidentally, there’s nothing wrong with my cat’s bladder now. As I sit here with my daughter’s dinky e-book I can smell something very funky nearby. There is definitely a puddle on the carpet in the proximity of where I’m sitting but I’m not sure where…

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear God...

Please let our lap top get fixed soon so that I can lie in bed and write my next inspirational blog on something a little more comfortable than my daughter's piddly e-book (for which I am eternally grateful). I know that it would be a character-building test of faith to sit at the kids' computer in the cold room downstairs but I'm pretty certain that the alternative arrangement of "prostrating" myself before you, albeit in a comfortable bed, is so much more spiritually satisfying for all concerned. This also ensures fewer typing errors (You remember what happened when I was e-mailing my former mother-in-law about her son's night shifts when the "f" got accidentally ommitted from "shift").

Please and thank you very much

PS while you're at it, could my 6 year old please stop trying to sing Justin Bieber songs in Pidgeon-Maori? I didn't even know that language existed and I'm really over "Baby"

Thank you again

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two plus two equals....FIVE???

I was delighted when I heard that my former mother-in-law had been hospitalized with septicaemia! Don’t get me wrong, I adore my F-M-I-L (does being “former” make her my mother-out-law?) and we get along famously. The thing is, that when one of my young’uns initially received the news over the phone, she had misheard and thought that Grandma had Leukaemia. Of course I blame technology - crackly Telecom phone lines and all that. Believing that my favourite M-I-L had just been handed down a death sentence, I contacted the church Prayer Chain co-ordinator right away - who just happens to be my own mum. Then I sent a few urgent e-mails to others on the chain with the prayer request. Within moments a dozen prayer stalwarts were wearing out their carpets with their knees.

Once my Beloved had given me a few soothing hugs, he came up with an impressive plan: Let’s call F-I-L and find out more from the horse’s mouth. That’s when the prognosis was downgraded from terminal to pretty-bad-but-will-get-better. M-I-L was indeed sick, but she was doing well under the circumstances and on the road to recovery.  So it was with relief, and possibly a little awkwardness, that I sent word that things weren’t quite as dire as they had originally seemed.

You’d think I would have learned to check details before sounding alarm bells but I did it again tonight.  A highly reputable acquaintance of mine had received a shocking prayer request about a toddler who’d been injured with a nail gun.  I said it before and I’ll say it again: I blame technology. It was a darn internet hoax! Naturally I didn’t find that bit out until all the troops were worried sick and on full prayer duty.  Swallowing embarrassment, I headed my next e-mail: “That was a quick answer” and with a side serving of humble pie, took back what I’d originally asked for. There was no kid with a nail embedded in his heart.  Come to think of it, I really should have twigged earlier. How would a 22 month old get hold of a nail gun in the first place? Yeesh, colour me green behind the ears.

After I hit “send” a thought came to me. Why be embarrassed? It might have been a mistake but when it seemed that something dreadful had happened, the first notion in my head was to tell God all about it, and I wanted my friends to talk to Him about it too. I’m not embarrassed about that at all.  In fact, I don’t think it’s ever a mistake to have a natter with my Majestic Bestie no matter what it’s about, so that’s what I’ll keep doing.

Meanwhile, M is competing in the inter-school Mathex competition tomorrow. Would it be wrong to ask God if our humble low-decile school could please grind the posh decile-ten school competitors into the dirt?  I might just have a chat to Him about that but just to be on the safe side, I don’t think I’ll feed it to the Prayer Chain this time.

Friday, August 6, 2010

If the shirt fits...

A friend returned from Australia recently and mentioned that he was tempted to bring home a gift for me (he didn’t  because he’s a tightwad, a truth which was verified when he recounted the electrifying museum tour he gate-crashed without paying).  He’d spotted a tee shirt at the markets  and for some reason it reminded him of me - but he wasn’t sure how I’d take it:


Perhaps it’s because I resemble the picture? I am a bit skinny and I do have a long thin nose, I go red in the sun, I had my head shaved once and I can look pretty evil when I’m mad. Hang on, I don’t remember giving my permission for them to use my image on that shirt! On the other hand, he knows that I’m “religious” - *shudder* his word, not mine - so maybe he just saw the word “God” and thought of me. Most likely he simply assumes that I have a whacking good sense of humour and would be able to see the irony in the statement the shirt makes.

IMHO (that’s net-natter for “in my humble opinion” because I’m so up to date with the tech scene) God’s never too busy to spend time with His kids. Unfortunately some folks have tried to put Him in a box with human limitations and think that He’s just not up to the task of keeping track of everything that’s going on. Pffft! Piddlestacks! He IS God for God’s sake!

Sadly, lots of people do end up checking out what ol’ Hairy Legs has on offer instead. We live in an age of instant gratification and a hedonistic lifestyle is just irresistible for some of us. I reckon that Hairy's the fiend who came up with the tee shirt slogan in the first place. I don’t know about you but I don’t trust a thing that swindler has to say. God's busy? Don't believe it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

If you find yourself standing in doody, clean it up.

A couple of years ago we found ourselves unexpectedly babysitting someone’s dog. She was a golden lab of advanced years (the dog, not the owner - although she was once mistaken for a senior citizen at Happy Days which can almost count as being old). Initially, when Beloved brought her home, I hoped that she may be able teach my little yapper a thing or two about doggie decorum. But by the next morning the novelty had worn off.  My affection was fading fast when it was apparent that this dog was not housetrained. Admittedly, I should have known better than to wander half-asleep into the living room with bare feet. Even though I don’t drink coffee, that’s what I’d much rather have as a wakeup call than to find myself standing in a pile of poop.  What impressed me most was the sheer magnitude of it. Just how big is a Labrador’s butt anyway? It looked like Burma the elephant had been caught short in front of my 29” Panasonic.

Other than that, she was a very nice dog - until later that afternoon. That’s when she had got into some dodgy rubbish bags and decided to refurnish our downstairs carpet with her vomit. Again with the quantity! I know these details are difficult to stomach but I suffered in looking after this dog and I don’t like to suffer alone so you’ll just have to tolerate it. I had to use TWO dishpans and a pile of newspaper to pick the stuff up because it was sloshy and squidgy and very very gross.  The situation was worsened because this vile creature kept trying to push in and EAT HER OWN SICK!  Even so, there was still something engaging about this beast and every time she came up for a tummy rub I’d give it to her.

Of course, no human being in their right mind would do anything so gross, right?  Oh right, there’s that proverb in the Bible that says “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Hmmm...I guess that’s something along the lines of going back to the stupid stuff we do that we know we shouldn’t do, the kind of stuff that hurts ourselves or people around us.  And because none of us is perfect on this side of Heaven, we ALL do it!  Eeeyew! How DOES God put up with us when we do that? When I saw that dog trying to scoff its own puke I grimaced like a Cockney in a gurning competition. I darn near heaved up my own lunch. Thank goodness God doesn’t treat us with the same kind of disdain. He sees the endearing qualities in us and just keeps on loving us and teaching us how we can do better next time.

Come January, I’m making a New Year’s Resolution (again!): I won't return to my own vomit of carrot-chunkiness. No, I will NOT! Really...I’ll try very hard not to.  Okay, I possibly will lick my own chunder once in a while, but I’ll really REALLY try to stay away from it...really! Well, maybe if I do stuff up and fall off the wagon, I’ll go right up to that throne of Grace and ask God to forgive me.  He will, and I think He might even give me a scratch behind my ears because He just loves me anyway. Hey, be patient. I’m still in training and God hasn’t finished with me yet.