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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Light and Shadow

In being a Christian I have noticed that from time to time your light can get under someone’s skin, or cause them in some way to be offended.  Nearly everytime it is caused by a misinterpretation or poor communication.

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This happened to me recently.  It made me think about light and how that a great percentage of the time light casts shadows.  A shadow cannot be cast without light.  Shadows seem to be an unfortunate side effect of light…  Jesus even said that offences must come.  Yet, as I tend to not accept negative perspectives without a fight, I tried to think of the feasibility of “shadow prevention.”

I came up with only two ways not to cast a shadow (or in essence cause offence…  Jesus also said, “but woe to him by whom the offence comes”):

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#1. Be directly under the light source.
Technically, in the instance, a shadow is still cast; yet it is cast directly under the object so it cannot be seen.  This is also an awfully difficult thing to do in nature.
If shadow casting is unavoidable…  Then let me bring myself directly under the Light Source – in 100% submission to God – as to cast the shadow under my feet, where it cannot be seen.

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#2. Be the light source.
This is the real way to live, albeit a difficult task to which I can say I have been called, but cannot say I have attained.
“Ye are the light of the world…” (Jesus, again)
The light itself doesn’t cast the shadow.  The lamp shade will.  The object the light touches will.  But, the light cannot.  A shadow is darkness.  Light drives darkness away. 

I believe it was Francis Assisi that said:

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”

So, as Newworldson sings on my radio:

When we struggle and it all goes wrong
Only you can make it right
So I say
Oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
whoa, whoa

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Musings

 

Q1 Update: To Do in 2012

The year 2012 is nearly a quarter of the way through.
If you had a penny for each day of the year you would only have $2.79 left…
That isn’t much, we better make it count.

1.  Drop the PMI on the mortgage.                                                Goal #1 – Check. 

2.  Sell the boat…  SOLD!!!!                                                          Goal #2 – Check.
I already miss it…

BUY ME!!!!

Sold

3.  Remodel the master bathroom for the wife…                        Goal #3 – In Progress.
Counter top, vanity, stool, shower base, vent, and fixtures are bought.  I’m ready to start Friday evening!

4.  See Italy.                                                                               Goal #4 – In Progress.
Our flight leaves in 158 days, 11 hours, and 58 minutes… But who’s counting?

To see this in person!

5.  Put ONE of my million dollar ideas into action.                    Goal #5 – Well…
I’ve been working on one of my not-so-million-dollar ideas…  It’s something I’ve thought about for years and am finally putting into action.  But it’s got nothing to do with any kind of income.

6.  Learn to be moved with compassion…                               Goal #6 – In Progress.
You can read a little about this by clicking here.  I believe you will find it an interesting read at the least.
This is not really a goal that was set to say: “Ah ha!  On March 27, 2012 Giddy learned to be moved with compassion.”  It’s more of an attitude, spirit, and all around way of life —-  I’ll probably not really know my level of success until I stand before the judgment seat.

I do know I witnessed a OKC Police Officer move with compassion today (no, I did not get pulled over).
Most people looking on would have thought the man was a heartless and cruel jerk – I saw some folks that witnessed him in action cringe…  But really – he was trying to show a strung out drug addict she could live a better life.  Compassion isn’t always warm and fuzzy, kiss-y hug-y.

7.  Read the Bible through in chronological order.                 Goal #7 – In Progress.
Day 85 – 23.6% of the way through.  I’ve got to say I really enjoy using a couple of apps to complete this daily.
Nothing beats the old “hard copies” I have (My trusty faded and torn KJV, my hard covered KJV Study Bible, and my newer black-back Message) – BUT used in conjunction with the You Version’s app on my phone that lists the chapters to read daily (I’ve got a handy Widget on my HTC Merge) as well as tracks my progress and alarms me each day to read if I have not.  The other app I am falling in love with is Bible.Is – I’ve come to enjoy listening to the chapters as I read along – the dramatizations are pretty engaging… even through genealogies and lists of inheritances.


8.  Make sure AFT Sunday School hits that top branch…       Goal #8 – In Progress.
Much of what is said about #6 above is true for #8.  There are no hard and fast rules to determine how high is high.  There isn’t any quantifier on the planet that can really say where I’m at with this.
BUT, as the old man on the park bench observed, “I’ve never seen that squirrel get to the top branch…  But I’ve never seen him fall either.”

Super Squirrel – Why Not?

So, out of 8 goals I have 2 completed and the other 6 actively in progress…  23.6% of the way through 2012, and 25% of the way through my list –

So far, so good.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in My Life

 

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Through The Looking Glass: Deuteronomy

Today, as I peer through the Looking Glass, I turn the final page of a book that is near to my heart…
Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy has long been one of my “favorite” books of the Bible.
I know, some may feel this is nearly heretical – to have a “favorite”…
Of course, I love them all very deeply, and sincerely.  After all, it is Deuteronomy 8:3 that states we are not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  Yet, a few of the books particularly stand out and speak to me over and over again.  Job, Deuteronomy, Luke, Ecclesiastes, and Philippians to name a few.

Deuteronomy appeals to me for several reasons – and, yes, one of them is that is simply a FUN word to say…
Go ahead and say it out loud.  Surely you smiled at the sound?  Doo – Ter – On – O – Me!
I know, I am incredibly spiritual…  Deep theological meanderings.

Seriously, I enjoy it because it is easy to follow.
Moses speaking, time and again, to the very human people of Israel.  Teaching them the ways of their God – over and over again.  Moses does not speak in riddles.  He plainly lays out God’s truths.  No where is the truth of the Godhead clearer, and stated as succinctly as it is in the sixth chapter (although throughout Old and New Testament the oneness is plain).
Here is what is known as the Shema in Hebrew:

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד׃ וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶךָ׃ וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיֹּום עַל־לְבָבֶךָ׃ וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ׃ וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאֹות עַל־יָדֶךָ וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ׃ וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל־מְזוּזֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ׃

Here it is in English:

Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.

I remember about six years ago, at an annual event my wife and I like to attend, we met an elderly Jewish man who was dying of cancer.  He was a central figure of the event because of his story of survival – he had endured Hitler’s concentration camps, and here he was decades later, riddled with cancer.  As we approached, he shook our hands and my wife asked if he would mind if we prayed with him.  He smiled, looked us both in the eyes, held up the index finger of his right hand, pointed it above his head and said:  “God is One.”
To which we enthusiastically agreed and commenced to say a prayer with him.

(I know, enthusiastically emphasizing the Oneness of the Godhead is even more heretical nowadays than having favorite books… Sorry, this clown doesn’t buy into the threeness concept of the trinity)

At last year’s event, he stood and spoke to everyone – healthier than ever!
Unity, Oneness and Prayer works!

BUT – the central theme of the book, and what I heard over and over again as I read it during these past weeks is really summed up in one word: LOVE.

Plainly God is first.  Love Him passionately, fervently, and with your entire being.  There are many, many “laws” in Deuteronomy that taught the people of Israel how to love their God.  Eat this, don’t eat that.  Wear this, don’t wear that.  Worship Me this way, don’t worship Me like that.  Destroy the idols temple, build Mine this way.  Place a high value on purity, and a high price tag on impurity.  All things designed to establish His preeminence and differentiate between the true God and the surrounding idols.

Secondly chapter after chapter is dedicated to what boils down to three words: Love thy neighbor (to quote Jesus).  Treat your family this way, don’t treat them that way.  Treat your countrymen this way, don’t treat them that way.  Treat the foreigner this way, don’t treat them that way.  Every “law” given concerning inter-human relationships boiled down to loving people – be it blood relative, fellow citizen, or resident alien, and treating them the way you want to be treated.

The Jewish man I mentioned earlier.  Enduring the concentration camps.  He made it to the freedom of America, and he raised his children here during the 1950’s and 1960’s…  In the heat of the Civil Rights movement – with hate rampant on both sides of the “white” and “colored” sides.  Yet he raised his kids to love.  I have no idea if he raised them in a synagogue or a church, but I do know one of his sons.

I have heard his son tell the story more than once how that when he was eight years old he saw the numbers tattooed on his father’s wrists and asked what it was.  His father didn’t explain to him what the numbers stood for or the horrors he endured at the hands of men full of hate.

Instead he took him to a park in their Oklahoma town on a hot summer day.  The father told the son to drink from the fountain that was there marked “Whites only”, and then from the one marked “Colored Only.”  And to describe the difference on the taste if he could.  There was no difference.

Then the father took the son to the train station and showed him the fan cooled, spacious waiting room for “Whites Only,” and then the stuffy, cramped waiting room labeled “Colored Only.”  The father didn’t explain Hitler, and all that went with that, instead he pointed out the hatred the Americans that freed him were showing each other and said: “That is what caused my scars.”


(You can read the elder man’s full story in the book titled: Until We Meet Again)

It is the lesson of Deuteronomy – LOVE.  God first, and mankind second.

I have a long, long way to go.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Book Reviews, Looking Glass

 

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March Madness

Wow!

March Madness is a fitting term for this month…
I have been much too busy to blog at all.

I’ve had several things I have wanted to write, but time has slipped through my hands –

If you never slow down, you never grow old – – – right?

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in My Life

 

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Updated: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

The Giddy family’s first supper of March – brought to you by my friends at China House.

Here is another installment of –

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles!

March 1, 2012:  Crispy Golden Cookie – Contains Wisdom Carved on Pale Paper.
Don’t expect to find one right way to make yourself more creative.
(Nurse Sonshine’s…  Who said she’s looking to be more creative?)
Never quit!
(Priddy Giddy’s – she doesn’t!)
Financial hardship in your life is coming to an end!
(Iddy Biddy Giddy was glad his 10 year old self has this assurance at such an young age!)
Be magnanimous, be trustful, be hopeful and be patient.
(Yes sir…  but magnanimous is too big of a word for a clown – just give it to me in English.)
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Cwick Cookie Fo’ Mo’ FZZ…
 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Fortune Cookies

 

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Through The Looking Glass: March 2012

Readings by day for March.  For past readings click here.

March 1, 2012: Numbers 16 & 17                 March 2, 2012: Numbers 18 – 20

March 3, 2012: Numbers 21 & 22                 March 4, 2012: Numbers 23 – 25

March 5, 2012: Numbers 26 & 27                 March 6, 2012: Numbers 28 – 30

March 7, 2012: Numbers 31 & 32                 March 8, 2012: Numbers 33 & 34

March 9, 2012: Numbers 35 & 36                 March 10, 2012: Deuteronomy 1 & 2

March 11, 2012: Deuteronomy 3 & 4            March 12, 2012: Deuteronomy 5 – 7

March 13, 2012: Deuteronomy 8 – 10            March 14, 2012: Deuteronomy 11 – 13

March 15, 2012: Deuteronomy 14 – 16          March 16, 2012: Deuteronomy 17 – 20

March 17, 2012: Deuteronomy 21 – 23          March 18, 2012: Deuteronomy 24 – 27

March 19, 2012: Deuteronomy 28 & 29         March 20, 2012: Deuteronomy 30 & 31

March 21, 2012: Deuteronomy 32 – 34, Psalm 91
                      March 22, 2012: Joshua 1 – 4

March 23, 2012: Joshua 5 – 8               March 24, 2012: Joshua 9 – 11

March 25, 2012: Joshua 12 – 15              March 26, 2012: Joshua 16 – 18

March 27, 2012: Joshua 19 – 21               March 28, 2012: Joshua 22 – 24

March 29, 2012: Joshua 1 & 2              March 30, 2012: Joshua 3 – 5

March 31, 2012: Joshua 6 & 7

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Looking Glass

 

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