Georgetownrose

from glory to glory…

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Is Age Just a Number?

Recently, one of my WordPress friends asked this question. She had been thinking about it in regard to a relationship, particularly as it would apply in an age-gap of ten, 20 or even 30 years…

There were numerous answers to her post; but it provoked some thought for me as to how to answer this question. I did not wish to be discouraging. My own experience, however, especially in this particular decade of my relationship, has brought challenges with my up-close and personal encounter with reality. The questions that arose in my mind were: “Shall I risk discouraging this precious one? How do I encourage while avoiding saccharin platitudes that will only disappoint?”

I asked God for wisdom and grace to be a voice in this dear one’s wilderness cry.  My comment was more of a blog post than a comment. So I’ve decided to share it on my site…

For all you dear ones out there in “Readerville” who are reviewing all the data on marriage prospects between people in different decades of life, I add my input to your data. I am going to give it to you straight…

Realistically, when two people are in their young to mid-adult years, their capacities to enjoy what they share in common are still good. The age gap is non-existent. My husband and I know. We were there and had a blast. Life was our oyster, as they say… Ed and Pat at Siera2

As the years progress, the gap has widened in the capacities to enjoy what we still share in common. Life happens. Loss and grief are things we share in common. Our humanity and joy and vitality are alive and well inside us, although our bodies are slower and are beset with circumstances beyond our control. What we loved in each other then was mostly on the inside, and we were able to express our love on the outside. What we love in each other now has not changed; but it has grown and it has deepened and become more rich and enduring. Although our expression has changed, it is no less fervent; and we are both praising God for protecting us from a superficial attraction…

December 2014bBe sure that you really love the person inside the body in which he/she is trapped, and that you are not afraid to love him/her in all seasons; because when he/she cannot perform as in former days, he/she will need your faithfulness to him/her…

I am aware that similar challenges can arise in folks more closely matched in age. I’ve not done any “scientific” research on the probabilities and statistics. All I can do is speak as one who knows what a 9-year age difference has made in our lives in some important ways. For us it is rich and wondrous and blessed; I would do it all over again…

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One Man’s Dream, Another Man’s Nightmare…

Medusa WomanAfter a vividly disturbing morning dream, I awoke in a puzzled and troubled state. At first I wrestled with my initial reactions to it. Some people say it’s better to talk about nightmares, to try to understand what might be the stimulating factor in the hope that understanding will help ease any ill effects, and possibly alleviate any future occurrences. But my weaponry was at the ready, and I reached for it…


After a moment or two of prayer, calling on the Lord Jesus, the pervasive imagery faded and my thoughts began to be clear and steady. It occurred to me that many “creative” minds deal in dark and dread-dream-casting. There is a lucrative industry in peddling one’s nightmares, even projecting them on gigantic screens with all the techno magic available to induce over-stimulation of the adrenal responses of countless numbers of morbidly curious horror movie voyeurs… (Why do I need to pay precious pesos for two hours of someone else’s nightmare when I have my own vivid horror “movie” plots in my head? I could be making big bucks…)

I suppose that is one way to make something profitable out of a bad night’s sleep…

Throwing off the covers and swinging my feet over the side of the bed, I picked up my copy of “The Lord of the Rings” complete trilogy in one volume and my reading glasses, slid my mobile into my robe pocket, and shuffled off to the kitchen to heat the morning kettle. As I waited for the whistle, I opened the copy where my bookmark was set, and realized that I was embarking upon another literary nightmare for two dear hobbits trapped in the grisly grip of the Uruk-hai. Did I really need to read this after my own grisly dream…

Re-living Pippin and Merry’s nightmarish predicament and how it all unfolded and resolved, I was rewarded with these words:

As they walked they compared notes, talking lightly in hobbit-fashion of the things that had happened since their capture. No listener would have guessed from their words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril, going without hope towards torment and death; or that even now, as they knew well, they had little chance of ever finding friend or safety again. –The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, “The Uruk-Hai,” p. 458, 50th Anniversary One-Volume Edition, J.R.R. Tolkien, ©2004, Harper Collins, reprinted by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, New York, NY, USA

There I stopped and remembered the nightmarish predicament of two other dear “halflings”–blessed “halflings,” sanctified by the grace of God in the service the Gospel of the Messiah Jesus:

And they brought them [Paul and Silas] to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stock. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. –Acts 16.20-25

Chained to a filthy, stinking, dark dungeon wall, they sang. “No listener would have guessed from their words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril…”006-paul-silas-prison


I will allow you, if the Holy Spirit so wins the battle for your inclinations, to pick up and read the remainder of that true event in our history on this earth. It is recorded in the book of Acts, Chapter 16, in the Bible, New Testament. No fairy tale there; but a living and true dream unfolding in the grisly grip of a nightmare of sin and corruption…

Dare you spend some time in this truth tale? Will you face the true horror? Or is your appetite for horror only inclined to techno tales and the projected images of some man’s nightmares peddled by him and his companions in a greedy grasp for power over your mind while he picks your pocket?

And my fellow travelers in Messiah Jesus, to you, I bid you compare notes with each other at every opportunity, talking of the things that have happened since Messiah captivated your heart with His love and grace and mercies, calling you into His blessed service in the midst of this true dream unfolding in the grisly grip of a nightmare of sin and corruption…

…the days are evil…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… –Ephesians 5.16b,18-19

So, You Want to Change the World?

What follows is a feature I wrote a number of years ago. I wrote it to testify of an historical event recorded in the Scriptures. I wrote it to encourage those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to exercise the same courage exemplified in the life of an ordinary Jewish boy in extraordinary circumstances. I wrote it to remind the world that the God of Israel reigns…

Here, it is reproduced in a blog-friendly format to share. May it encourage you for such a time as this…


real people press insigniareal people press insigniaThe Real People Press

Reporting Truth to the Corners of the World

“Jewish Boy Changes International Law!”

BABYLON—The entire populace of our city is reeling from the news of this morning’s events at the palace. One hundred and twenty-two of the government’s officials have been thrown into the king’s lion’s den. All of Babylon was awakened to the news of the king’s decree that all the kingdom of Babylon must worship the God of his vice regent Daniel.


danielsentencedShown at left in King Darius’ court is Daniel, one of the Judean captives, whose persistence in prayer to his God has earned him both persecution and favor in Babylonian government circles.

This new decree abolishes the previous day’s decree condemning anyone for praying to any god other than the king for the next 30 days. The 122 officials are now sport for the hungry lions for their attempt to make sport of Daniel, the king’s vice regent.


Daniel6vs7-10

The decree  shown above, drafted by King Darius’ palace officials, signed with the king’s seal, and issued to take effect immediately. This decree is irreversible under the Mesopotamian Code of Law, and is enforceable throughout the Empire. Under its authority, millions of Jewish captives in the Babylonian Empire would face death in the lion’s den for their devotion to their God.

Daniel is one of three governors that King Darius appointed to oversee the royal satraps in the Babylonian provinces throughout the kingdom. Our news service learned early this morning that Daniel miraculously survived an entire night sealed in confinement as the only supper for the king’s hungry lions. Daniel’s service in the Babylonian government dates back to the days of King Nebuchadnezzar. The former king of Babylon took Daniel from among the Jewish captives who survived the Babylonian conquest of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah to the west. The king’s chronicles record that Daniel’s tour of service here has been characterized by uncommon reverence for the leadership of the kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar raised Daniel to a favored place in his court after three of Daniel’s kinsmen miraculously survived the most dreaded punishment in the kingdom: the king’s fiery furnace. The king had sentenced Daniel’s Hebrew compatriots for their refusal to worship the images of our Babylonian gods.


Shown at right in former King Nebuchadnezzar’s execution furnace are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fieryfurnaceepisodewith the apparent manifestation of an Angel from their God with them. The phenomenon stunned everyone gathered to witness their execution, and during the remaining years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Mesopotamian Law Code mandated worship of the God of Israel.

Daniel’s posture toward the leadership of the kingdom has never stooped to militance or treachery in order to gain the king’s favor or to influence the legislative system in Babylonian government. On the contrary, Daniel has honored the king even when his own life was in danger because of a law to which his conscience prevented his obedience. Daniel’s strategy in such instances has consistently been to pray to his God. Sources inside the palace report that Daniel’s habit in his 60+ years of exile has been his discipline of prayer to his God three times daily. The kings of Babylon have become so accustomed to Daniel’s habit of prayer that they consider it one of his duties of state. Every king from Nebuchadnezzar till now has highly commended Daniel of Judah for his loyalty as a subject of the Babylonian Empire. Yet Daniel has never abandoned his identity and spiritual heritage as a citizen of Israel.


danielpraying2Shown left is surveillance photo of Daniel in his upper chambers in his customary daily discipline of prayer. It is written in Israel’s prophets that those who believe in their God are to pray for the city wherever they are captive, because its peace will be beneficial to them (Jeremiah 29.7).

Sources inside the palace report that Daniel’s colleagues in government sought to legislate against his right to retain his spiritual convictions. Their objective appears to have been the removal of Daniel from his place of favor in the king’s cabinet. Sources close to King Darius report that their strategy consisted of obtaining the king’s seal on a law that they secretly drafted to condemn to death in the lion’s den every person in the kingdom who prays to any god or man other than the king for 30 days. Their draft of the law became effective 24 hours ago, and it granted authority to these government leaders to levy the death penalty for a period of thirty days from its issue. They knew that once signed and sealed by the king, such a law could not be changed. No one was exempt from this law. Unaware of the objective of his officials, King Darius signed the decree. Shortly afterward, the PRESS received reports that the palace prison facilities were being expanded and more lions were being captured to handle the multitude of prisoners expected from enforcement of such a decree. The result of this decree promised to be a bloody holocaust, the first of the condemned being Daniel of Judah. Palace sources report that Daniel was seized during his habit of evening prayer in his private quarters. That law is now abolished with King Darius’ new decree issued this morning after Daniel’s miraculous exit from the lion’s den.


babylon prisonShown above: The grisly jaws of the entrance to the King’s lion’s den where it was expected that millions of Jews would be executed for refusing to cease from prayer to their God. Today the mouth of this den swallowed up 122 of King Darius’ officials after the first Jewish victim, Daniel, emerged miraculously unharmed by the voracious lions. The 122 were found to have been involved in clandestine political activity which King Darius judged to be equal with treason. Their plot intended to destroy Daniel’s reputation as one of the king’s favored royal servants.

In an exclusive interview with Governor Daniel, I asked him the subject of his prayers for so many years. He confided that he was compelled to confess his own sins and the sins of his people. He thanks his God for mercies and kindnesses even here in his exile. His most urgent requests have been for his God’s forgiveness of sin, wisdom in leadership and the fulfillment of his God’s plan for the people by blessing or by affliction, in the Land of Israel or in exile. I asked Daniel what motivated him to pray to his God under such a mortal judgment as the latest anti-prayer law. He stated that prayer is like breathing and that even death could not break his communion with his God. If Daniel’s feline companions could talk, I wonder what they would report about Daniel’s prayer and Daniel’s God.


Shown at right: One of King Darius’ lions lounges comfortably after an abundantly satisfyingreluctant lion morning meal. Daniel was to be one of his midnight morsels, but reports from the palace say that Daniel’s God exercised His power over the lions’ appetites and made them content to bunk with Daniel through the night. Daniel was the first intended victim of the Mesopotamian decree that influenced international law in the empire. His prayers to his God appear to have made him the last Jewish victim, and resulted in influencing international law in the empire in favor of his God.

Daniel’s prayer habits appear to have made him a reliable spokesman before kings and before his God on behalf of himself and his people here in their Babylonian exile.

 It is written in the Scriptures which Daniel has believed:

 If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.–2 Chronicles 7.14

Drifting…

The new post window is open and here I sit with my fingers on the keyboard…

The weeks have drifted by, washed in currents of reading other friends’ posts, led on paths to re-visit Middle Earth, immersed in the water of the Word of God, and plunged into dialog with other hearts…

My little sailing ship has cut through many currents, venturing far and wide across the seas during what I hope is the very last blast of winter in our region. I’d rather be someplace tropical and sunny, but I am exceedingly grateful for God’s mercies on my stretch of the sea of life…

Now that I’ve managed to steer my little craft back into harbor, I am beginning to think about how to blog all the things I’ve discovered and learned on my little voyage to encourage all who are in this boat with me, as I sail from glory to glory…

TU B’SHEVAT – A NEW YEAR FOR TREES…

…A Morning Walk in February

Strolling along in our little “shire” of a neighborhood where some, like me, live half burrowed into the side of a hill, like semi-hobbits. I love the clear mornings in late winter, cool, fresh air to waken my hibernating soul out of winter’s retreat…

I strolled this morning under a lacey canopy of white clouds against the blue of heaven above me. As I walked, I scanned the tree tops, dark filigreed against the arch of the winter sky. All the branches are pregnant with the smooth grey placentas of new life gestating in their tiny little wombs…

Hope…

Promise…

Waiting…

Praising God for all His mercies, new every morning in this walk in the wilderness…

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3264/jewish/Tu-BShevat.htm

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…

–Psalm 122.6

The Real Neat Blog Award – What Fun!

real-neat-blogI was nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by https://kbailey373.wordpress.com/author/kbailey373/. What a surprise and an honor! Thank you so much, kbailey!

Part of this nomination includes answering some questions and nominating others.  Although it’s voluntary, I like the idea, because it encourages me to follow up with my comments and my “likes” of other bloggers with another form of appreciation. But if you are nominated, any part of acceptance or participation is up to your inclination–no obligation of any kind…

Your mission, should you accept the Real Neat Blog Award, is as follows:

1. Put the award logo on your blog. You can do this by saving the image in this post to a folder on your computer. Then open your WordPress site; click on “new post.” Once you are in the draft window, click on “Add Media” and copy the image in your computer folder into the loading zone area on your WordPress media window; note the URL address in the attachment information window and copy it; go ahead and insert the image into your post; it will show up in your draft, but also be retained in your media files. Now go back to your main site administration and choose “customize;” choose “widgets;” choose “image;” when the little window opens, paste the URL from your media file into the window asking for the URL; name it, if you want to, and click “save.” It will then show up on the panel on your main page along with the other things you have added for your site…

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

6. Ask your nominee(s) 7 questions which you would like to know about them.

KBailey’s seven prompts for me to answer are:

1. What’s your favorite season and why? My favorite season of the year is Springtime. Since I live in the Northern Hemisphere, that season comes in March, April and May. I love the new life emerging out of the ground. I like watching the buds in the trees emerging from their blood-red embryonic state to that neo-natal green mist on all the branches. Between that, the clear blue sky or the soft mists of spring, and the pastels of all the early blossoms, the world becomes a Rococo painting reminding of me of the work of Jean-Honore Fragonard. Dazzling! In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is also the season which coincides with the Biblical season of Passover and Firstfruits (Resurrection). It is the time of year which reminds me of my new birth in Messiah Jesus. Dazzling! Unforgettable!

2. What is the thing that helps you bear your depression or helps you move out of it (if you do suffer from depression) I have suffered more from anxiety–that heightened threshold where, for no reason I can name at any given time, my “fight or flight” response engages. Depression hits me in the backwash of battling the anxiety. Between the two, I can quickly lose my bearings and my ability to focus on anything. Slowing down and spending time in the Word of God and prayer are the two things that restore my bearings. I have particular verses which remind me of the Truth of God’s sovereign care in my life–the exquisite love of the Father, and the strength of the Lord Jesus when I am weak.

3. Who is your favorite person and why (don’t have to use a name). My favorite person: I guess the idea of this question is to name someone who shows me the most love with skin on it–the one who knows me and all my warts, who will always tell me the truth and who knows just how to do it, and who loves me even when I am not particularly loveable. Well, in all honesty, I have to say that the One who has pre-eminence in my life is Jesus. He is, after all, more real a Person than many persons I know. But if I have to name the human being who is not God, but who is the closest thing to being the expression of His love in my life, I would have to choose my husband. Forty-five years of faithful love for me is reason enough.

4. What is your least favorite thing to do? I don’t like shopping in overcrowded, noisy shopping malls. There are lots of blog thoughts to share about this, if I ever find the voice to express them…

5. Name 5 things that are on your desk right now? Well my desk is workstation for multi-tasking and is inseparably linked to my computer. There is room to write with pen and paper; but most of my productivity–if you can call it that–is generated out of this marvelous computer. Here are five things that have found a permanent home on my desk/workstation…

  • My Janome Memory Craft 11000 sewing machine which is connected to my computer; there are lots of blog thoughts to share about this item…

  • A little wooden thimble angel given to me by a sweet sisterchick who is now in Heaven (she qualifies as one of my most favorite people, and I miss her)–the message which the angel bears is pinned to her skirt:

    “For Friend: We’re both growing older but, that isn’t so bad, when I remember all the good times we’ve had. You’ve been there to listen and to help me grow. And that’s why, Friend, I love you so. I know God loves you as much as I do and that’s why He has this little Angel watching over you.”

  • My prayer journal;

  • A printout of Psalm 71 kept under a clear lucite panel; and

  • Photos of three precious children suffering in a difficult family situation, and a photo of my husband and me. These photos are loose and placed flat sharing the space under the lucite panel covering them and the printout of Psalm 71.

6. If you could go anywhere in the world and had the money to do it, where would you go? Probably New Zealand. I have family-in-Messiah there who run a backpacker’s camp at Dansey’s Pass Holiday Park, near Oamaru on the South Island of Otago. Add to that the previews of that landscape in the Chronicles of Narnia and the Tolkien movies, and I think I would be thrilled to be at the farthest ends of the earth for awhile, just to see what God is doing.

7. What do you like most about yourself?  If there is anything to like about myself, it is because God has granted that gift to me by His grace. I have finally rested in that, so that when I look in the mirror at this stage of my life, I can accept the truth that God is pleased with how He fashioned me; and so I have no right to be wishing to look like anybody else or to be wanting someone else’s talents, giftings or personality. With that awareness firmly fixed in my thinking on this question, I guess I would have to say that I like who I am becoming in Christ and my small, unique, dedicated place in the Body of Messiah and in the work of God in my life this side of Heaven. Let me add, as a footnote to this, that if my readers feel that this answer is not personal enough–not human enough–if it seems like borderline fakery to them, I have to tell you all that I must look at myself through God’s eyes and from this perspective. I have spent too many of my years being discontent with who I am–the creature that God has fashioned by His good pleasure–too busy have I been changing my hair color, trying to be the perfect weight, and all the other images and characteristics the popular culture holds in high esteem. I’m not blonde anymore; my haircolor is the blend of mithril and the forest leaves and rocks, so that no goblin would be able to pick me out of the landscape when viewed overhead. I’m not the perfect weight, although I am healthy and can definitely do the moves; I’m not “Barbie.” I’m a curvy Hobbit lady with Arwen’s heart and Frodo’s feet–a curious blend, to be sure; but God’s own design…and I am content with who I am becoming by His matchless grace.


There are several bloggers I find “Real Neat.” They are very busy bloggers, however–prolific, in fact. I feel somewhat timid about approaching them just now. So, I am going to wait a bit before I intrude on their schedules. For now, I nominate simplygiselle at http://simplygiselle.com/ for the Real Neat Blog Award. She’s busy, too. She really does have sass and class, and I like that. I’m hoping she will see this as another way I express my appreciation for her writing. So here are my questions for Giselle. I am going to include some of kbailey’s questions, too, because they were very thoughtful.

1. How do you feel about being recognized as a blogger? Does the social aspect of receiving a nomination for an award of sorts encourage you or does it annoy you in any way? Tell me about it…

2. Do you like music and/or color? If so, what musical styles and what shades of the color spectrum appeal to you and inspire your writing the most?

3. Do you like fragrance? If so, what scents appeal and awaken your senses to express your thoughts?

4. How does your particular landscape and area of the country speak to the priorities and values you place foremost in your life?

5. Name five things which sit on your desk/workstation at this moment. Have they found a permanent home there? Why are they there instead of somewhere else?

6. What do you like most about yourself?

7. What is your least favorite thing to do? [And I hope it’s not receiving the Real Neat Blog Award 😉 ]

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