Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A RIVETED OR DRIFTING MIND




"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. Ps.119:18
 
You might be wondering how my reading in Romans is working out for me.  The interesting thing I have encountered and do not want to admit, is that staying focused at times is a struggle.  Why is it that I am easily distracted?

  Why is it I can read a novel with riveting mind without having the mind drift at all?

In my eagerness to enrich my inner life, so much is going on in my mind that trigger a million random thoughts.  
Having followed my plan for reading and re-reading has worked out great for me but my fights with galloping thoughts threaten to derail the very words I read,  drifting to irrelevant things.
 One second, I am reading about Abraham and the next minute, I'm singing "Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham.  I am one of them and and so are you so let's all praise the Lord...."

Rom. 4:16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all."

No, I'm sure God is not surprised by a mind that can't focus.

I am not regretting taking Romans out of the box that I had put it in because I felt intimidated by it's volume of theological doctrines.  I have not lost sight of the purpose for such a venture.
Slowly, I am getting a better understanding of it and see how easy it is to become confused by it.
This morning, reading it for the 36th time, I was struck by the saturated statements of God's mercy.
 God is in charge of mercy.  God extends mercy.  The fact that he distributes it is remarkable and extra ordinary.


14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.  ~Rom.9


So, what do I do with my struggles with a wandering mind?
> I Began with a reasonable goal.
>I committed to reading.
>Reading with an eye to see God more clearly.  He is what he is.
>What kind of clues reveal my heart condition.
>Do the clues I find match up with God's character?
>Am I listening? Am I thanking God? Am I just trying to rush through it to get it done?
>I have chosen a form of accountability.  I do not use accountability in a traditional sense but blogging, knowing others will read and I remain on task.
>I make use of a modified inductive study approach.  Each time read, I mark one word each time you read it and  
look for lists.

>I read along with audio to keep me moving along, reading in chunks. It helps keep the mind on track and has proved the best method for me to a wandering mind.
>I Chose a Bible Version I was comfortable with.
>Sometimes, when, I can't focus, I will just copy a verse or begin to mark repetitive words.
Don't stress over the fact that you can't focus or that your mind finds a wandering path.
  The perks of insomnia and erratic sleep patterns, and extremely early risings are conducive appointments to Scripture reading.

A GREAT READ BY challies on the-patient-mercy-of-a-holy-god/


 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

FERRY TALES

Adventures are an invigorating pick me up. 
They re-energize and bring inspiration, and just make you plain thankful for all those those little joys along life's journey.  By all visual aspects, an adventure is a matter of perspective and outlook.

"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."  ~William Feather

Spectacular water crossings always open the door to enriching adventures.  I loved the idea of gliding across the beautiful Puget Sound on the ferry.  It is always an unforgettable experience.  The panoramic view is breathtaking each way, with gorgeous views and tons of opportunity to take pictures and videos.
Sure you can chill out in the vehicle or sit in a booth inside but I did not want to deprive myself of the experience of walking about and missing out on what was happening in the world about me.  You never know what one may encounter, see, hear, feel or taste.  It was a feast for the senses.  I found my favorite cookie on board.

The rhythmic sound of the engine , the whiff of salty air, and the wind whipping through the hair, or the ferry pulling out.  The real joy was captured outside.
My happy place during our visit to the Emerald City, was the relaxing cruise on the ferry.  It can always put anyone in a better mood. 
The magical moment, one I will cherish, was taking the moment to witness the end of a perfect day.  One of the best sun-downers I have ever been treated to.
The image in the water did not disappoint

  It's long light path ended right in front of me as I sat in a booth inside.  The effect of the waves on the water provided a continuous path to the sun off in the distance.  I sat there mesmerized.
  Looking pensively over the waters, something deep moved inside me. How wonderful this world  because God created it and said it was "Good".  All this for me? 

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen. ~Romans11:33-36


 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

3. MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS


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Was the Boeing tour worth it?
Well, it all depends on your perspective and considering this was my companions get away, it was worth seeing him enjoy this adventure.  It also provides fodder for future conversations on our enjoyable experiences.
 Seeing airplanes in the process of assembly is cool.
The sheer size of the building is mind boggling boasting of a million light bulbs and a staggering power bill.  The 21 stairs and a long brisk walk through two tunnels to the freight elevator left me breathless but with the satisfaction that I had more than gotten my exercise for the day. (over a mile and half, not counting stairs on the ferry.)

 

Using zoom from the Strato Deck to capture the massive hanger door

Riding back was kind of fun knowing that we had just gone over Boeing's only privately owned bridge on the highway in the country and we had a close up massive view of the assembly of planes   inside the world's largest building by volume. 
View from the Strato Deck, far building on left is the assembly plant we toured.

The largest mural in the world on the hanger doors were worth looking at.

 

The "No cell phones, cameras, or purses etc." left me feeling naked.  It is unbelievable that we can become so attached to those things.


 ABOUT THE TOUR click here
Photo of Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour - Mukilteo, WA, United States. Boeing - an American classic

BOEING
Everett Factory Tour
Future of Flight Aviation Center
Photo of Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour - Mukilteo, WA, United States. All the national flags for Boeing aircraft
The flags represent the countries that Boeing has made planes for.

But the most exciting thing for me about this day was the journey to this destination which will post in the next blog.
 


Saturday, August 11, 2018

2. MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS


 20 "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles." ~Romans 1:20-23


I couldn't seem to get beyond the first chapter in my reading of Romans this morning without thinking of my recent six day adventure to the Pacific Northwest.


Those six days stare back at me.  I felt a boundless optimism as we drove away from the airport.  Although, I am no stranger to the area, I am still awed at every visit.
 
Evidence of God's footprints surrounded me.
  I was reminded of the journey we take with creation as we wait expectantly for our future redemption.

I couldn't help but think how God takes a personal interest in making sure each one of us has some knowledge of Him through what he has made.
God has made it evident that the grand purpose of all this beauty is to focus on his invisible attributes and his divine nature (love-power-wisdom-patience)
How clearly we see and understand certain attributes by the effects of nature.
  I will refrain from mentioning them by their long "omni" theological terms.
I was clearly reminded of this on our first morning as I awoke with expectancy of an early morning walk down to the dock to view the lake, only to find as I opened the door that there was no dock in view.
  The entire lake was engulfed in fog. 
Later, while having breakfast and coffee on the veranda,
I watched as the fog moved out of the picture at a pace of slow moving honey to again reveal the lake I had seen the night before.

As John Keats once said, "Nothing becomes real 'til' it is experienced."

My photos speak more than words and make it possible to speak and express my thoughts.
  Sometimes I find something visible that I have missed.  Other times there is no words to express.  I remain speechless.
 

Memories leave me breathless at times and leaves a mind full of awe some new memories and starry thoughts of the pleasure God must have had in creating all that beauty.

Reviewing past moments gives me a new appreciation for finding peace in the present and benefiting from the past.
  I didn't let the beauty surrounding me take away the pleasures I felt and enjoyed.
The idyllic scene took my breath away as we turned into the long drive way of what would be our ambiance of a bed and breakfast stay.

 The lake appeared like magic.  It was lined with what appeared to be cedar trees.

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; How great Thou art!
How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!


If there is such a thing as re-memories, I find myself with a heart of thankfulness.  They give me a chance to relive the good moments. 
Writing gives good exercise of the mind as well as gratefulness to those who helped make it possible to spend the six day getaway in such an idyllic setting.
Taking in the scenery alone is an activity.  It did not disappoint.
Walking along the catwalk to the dock is an experience in itself.  The creaking sounds, the gingerly walk, the side to side movement, the sway, way to much for my comfort.
  The bounce of the dock as someone comes to join you.
How can one not be interested when captivated in such delightful surroundings?  The water lapped gently against the dock and catwalk.  They were surrounded by hundreds of water lilies and their pads.  I catch sight of a blue dragon fly flitting about. 
Off to the side is a fallen log making for a fascinating photo.
Pausing at the end of the dock, the water shone like a million little, sparkly diamonds as the sun hit the surface, covered by a blanket of blue sky.
  On other days the lake was flat with trees casting colorful shadows across the shoreline.
The sereneness of the moment gave me the escape I needed, an escape from some of the stressors of my life.
I could not help but soak in all the colors and tranquility.
  Across the lake, I noticed cozy houses with reflections adding to the splendor.
  I wish I could bottle up that feeling of peacefulness, however, I can't, so I will comfort myself with its memory.  I took many such treasured moments of silence and peace.  I took photos, stared and admired, and took more photos. 
What the locals call "weeds", the water lilies and the blackberry bushes, I found fascinating.
  They contributed to the ambiance of my surroundings.  I was not disappointed.


Dock magic, docks and fishing alone are your best friend.
  That experience really can be magical if it's someone else.
  The small prizes yielded don't compare with the time and patience invested.

Maps have taken a whole new turn.  The magic of turn-by-turn spoken directions, sometimes the suggested best turn, turns into  ammmm, somewhere else.

That little map icon on the iphone is an open door to enriching life adventures.  I am not an experienced user but they can lead to unexpected side trips which we call scenic routes.
I recently enjoyed driving by Ohio Avenue in Bremerton where my mother lived when she was young.
My grandfather worked in the near by shipyards.  My mother worked their also for two years. The same 1917 built house they lived in with the high school near by where my mother graduated adds to the quaintness of the older part of town close to the water and shipyards where we took a tour of the Puget Sound Navy Museum.
Due to the unintended length of this post, I will have to continue on to create a new one.
  Hopefully, I can get beyond that first chapter in Romans later on today.

 

t's great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later. George Foreman
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/george_foreman_613399?src=t_memories
t's great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later. George Foreman
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/george_foreman_613399?src=t_memories

Thursday, August 9, 2018

1. MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

The View From Above
GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN.

Our six-day get away was much needed and full of rewards.  It proved to be time away from all the home responsibilities, a worthy break, a time to relax and enjoy the treasures of the Pacific Northwest.
With my senses intact, a bit frazzled from preparations, and a spring in my step, I squeezed my self between two children's car seats for the short ride to the airport.
  Grand daughter on one side and grand son on the other both vying for my attention.  Each one holding a sippy cup of milk and a plastic cup of cherrios.
I was in my orbit of excitement at the anticipation of the trip ahead.  The grandchildren on each side were just as excited to see me.
  My grand daughter leaned toward me and softly said, “Grandma, I love you.”  So endearing, I thought as she reached for my arm from her side hugging it close to her.
My daughter, from the front seat quickly snapped some shots as the grandson blurted out “Coco”.
Now in the quiet of the house, I look back on the unfolding of those moments, those tiny slices of life that pass ever too quickly.
Insanity Selfies
 
After passing through a quick, hassle free TSA security checkpoint at the beginning of our journey, I was in the middle of a really enjoyable moment, just sitting, just beginning to relax some, when my companion, interrupting my thoughts, suggested I give him some lessons on his iPhone.  I slightly annoyed, relented.  We practice taking photos and selfies.


The terminal had few interests as we temporarily settled in other than trekking to the restroom.


After boarding, my companion squeezed into the middle seat and his seat mate was a recent retiree of Boeing.  Needless to say that the next two hours were filled with interesting tales and conversation. 
As a side comment, my companions father worked for Boeing years ago.
 
The return home was an adventure in itself.  The TSA Security checkpoints left little to be desired upon observing the length one had to walk through a serpentine line.  The wait time was horrendous.  The TSA explosives-detection canine and his handler were overseeing the lines.  When the dog got distracted, his handler kept saying, “keep working, keep working”.  The benefits of the pre-sniff allowed us all to keep our shoes on. “These dogs are helping people get expedited screening.” What a blessing!

Our ride is here.
MORE TO LOVE.
Boeing 737.

Airports are rarely short of people.  Fellow travelers are very interesting.  Through powers of observation it is fun to fantasize, play fashion police and judge bad taste in clothing in ones mind.
And if playing mind games is not for you, there is what seems like a shopping mall that just happens to have planes landing outside.
Inside Gate 17, most of our 100+ fellow passengers wait for initial boarding on the Boeing 737.  Some begin to queue up, engaging in that subtle jostling for a better position.  My companion and I remain seated, enjoying those last few moments.  Everyone appears to be anxious except for a few including me.  I do not know why, I have an assigned seat and if my luggage doesn’t fit it gets checked in free.
The two and a half claustrophobic hours on a flying piece of tin, not to mention the half hour ordeal waiting in line to board, not to mention the 30 min in the TSA line, 10 minutes trying to find the right line, and if that experience was not traumatic enough, not to mention the hour plus car ride to the airport.


Our time in the air was well represented by families with young children.


I’m all for families with small children traveling but when the flight attendant goes down the isle offering ear plugs instead of peanuts there is cause for concern.
The moment an approx. 16 month old little person arrived on board, I kid you not, that little person cried loudly for an hour and a half , pausing periodically for a couple of seconds while all the several other little persons napped or played quietly in their seats.


I’m surprised that the flight attendant did not come back down the row offering Tylenol along with the drinks.
The gaze of delight, as I watched from the window, the familiar sights of home from above came into view.  I was in one of those planes that goes over our house as they approach for landing.
My welcome backer, grand daughter ran to greet me with a big hug and was glad I was home, all excited to tell me about her first day of preschool.  I squeezed back into my seat between the two car seats and was soon home.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

WHY-BOTHER-AT-ALL?

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." ~Isaiah 55:11


"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  ~Heb.4:12

 

  I have asked myself as to the point of posting my Bible reading exploits.

  Am I reading the Scriptures for the wrong reasons so as to appear pius or to confirm to others that I'm not as messed up as I could be?

 Why go to all that trouble to take one hour out of my day?

  Is there such a thing as insignificant or worthless Bible reading time?

  Do I sit down, read, then close the book, and have no idea what to do with what I've just read?

   What is the point of just reading it because it is what Christians do?

  Am I using it as a platform to argue or prove how wrong you are?

  If I'm not interested in letting God show me areas of my life that need change, why bother?

 Am I saying then don't bother reading the Scriptures?

  "By no means", because it matters what you read.  Your time in the Word will always be profitable.  It will show you're true colors.

 I love to celebrate the delight in reading God's Word.  As I move through life, I find myself moving toward what I love.  Finding myself inclined toward the re-reading of Scripture as in my "Camping Out In Romans" has highly captivated my heart. 

(32 times today, goal 50 or +)
   I have captured the beauty and excellence of God's holiness.  As I set out to explore a range of truths, it has made a difference in just knowing about God and personally knowing God.  That makes a difference.

  If I don't know what pleases God, how am I going to find out?  Where would I find direction in life and how best to serve him if I have not gone to his Word?

  Reading a whole book in one sit down provides a big picture within an even bigger setting.

So why bother at all to read Scripture?  Because, it is highly probable if your desire is toward reading scripture that it will also captivate your heart.


 "Ordinary faithful time spent in God’s word is never for naught. The deposits of scripture that we make in our own life, through personal bible study, will be used by God when we are drawing on the reserves." ~unknown
 As Paige Benton Brown so helpfully says in a talk,   "we are never overdrawn. There will come a day when we have nothing to deposit into the bank account of our mind and hearts. But the word we have deposited over a lifetime will protect us from bankruptcy. The deposits are doing something, even when they are small and we can’t see their outcome."