Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Monday, February 13, 2012

Comment... Please!

I've had some folks tell me that they would like to comment here on Miscellaneous Ramblings but couldn't figure out how to do it.  I think I can walk you through it.  It's easy, so please don't hesitate to comment.  It encourages me no end. 

Put your comment in the box provided at the end of the post.  Look directly beneath the box and you'll see "Comment as"and a small box that says "Select Profile."  Click on the little downward arrow to the right of that, and you'll get a drop down menu to select from.  There are several options, but the easiest would be to select "Anonymous," which is the last thing listed.  You can always put your name in the comment if you want to.  I'd love for you to identify yourself if you feel comfortable with that.

You can click on "Preview" to see it as it will appear on the blog, or click "Publish" and it will go directly to the blog.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  It makes my day everytime!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Have you Heard?

If you have been saved, if you have given your life to Christ, if you have invited Jesus into your heart, you have already heard the voice of God, which is the Holy Spirit.  You have already been in contact with Him, you have felt Him move within your spirit and your soul.  He spoke to you and you spoke to Him.  And He has been there ever since and will be there evermore.  How great is that? 

But there’s so much more to it.

 To hear the Holy Spirit, you’ve got to be listening.  You have to know what He sounds like in order to hear Him. 

I used to have a quiet time first thing in the morning.  This was way back in the day when my kids were growing up.  I had a full-time job (and I know a lot of you can relate to this) so I had to cram all of my home time around my job.  To accommodate the quiet time, I got up an hour early to pray.  I had a small notebook with pages upon pages of people and situations to pray for.  Once you got on my list, you didn't get off.  Even dying didn't take you off, because then I prayed for your family.  So there!

 And being a dutiful pray-er, I would ask God what He wanted from me.  Most times I would go on and on about how I wanted to be used by Him, suggesting different things that I was interested in.  But sometimes – sometimes – I would shut up and just listen.  Be still.  Try not to think of anything. 

 Well, of course, I would have these random thoughts go through my head.  "Got to remember to take the chicken out of the freezer for tonight."  "I wonder if Alice ever found her other shoe."  "Surely Mark has finally picked up his room by now."  "I need to tell David about that funny noise the car is making."

 Or people's names would float through my mind, or their circumstances, or something I had planned in the future.  "I hope Mable is feeling better."  "I wonder if Randy got that job he applied for."  "The preacher looked a little pale last Sunday.  I hope he's okay."  And I would try my best to ignore them all.  They were intruding upon my quiet time, and we couldn't have that, now, could we?

 One day it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, those thoughts were the answers I had been looking for.  I had asked God to use me.  And then I ignored his directions to me.  Perhaps I thought of Mable because she could use a call from me or a note to cheer her up.  I could call Randy and ask about his job situation.  I could stop by the church office and look in on the preacher. 

 I came to treat those thoughts of names and circumstances as holy thoughts, promptings by the Holy Spirit to do what I could to love the ones he had brought to my mind.   And it occurred to me that when somebody's name just popped into my head at any time, those were holy thoughts, too.  A quick e-mail, a check of somebody's home page to leave a comment of encouragement, maybe simply a quick prayer offered up in the midst of a busy day.

 So, see?  You have already heard the voice of the Holy Spirit.  You'll hear it again.  Just listen…

Friday, February 10, 2012

60 and Counting...

I am 60 years old.  How did that happen?   I don't think of myself as being that old.  To put a bit of perspective on it, if I live to be as old as my dad lived to be, I've got another 40 years to go.  Or 30 years in the case of my mother, who is still healthy and active, mentally and physically.  So I can't use the excuse that I am too old to start something, like my speaking career.  That's a lot of years to fill up with something, and I want them to be fruitful.

But I have been noticing for the last few years that an awful lot of other people are treating me differently.  I didn't understand at first, and then I finally figured out that they see me as elderly.  I want to say, "Listen, you little whippersnapper, my dad lived to be 100.  Now, that's old!"

It's disheartening to be treated as if I'm not all there or not there at all.  Store clerks and check-out girls are the worst.  I've had people pat me on the arm or shoulder, trying to be reassuring.  This is the south, so of course I've had my share of "Hon" and "Sugar."  The one I really resent is when someone, usually male, calls me a "young" lady.  Listen, mister, my mind is fine and I know that I clearly am not young.  You need to get your eyes checked.  Or, better yet, you need to quit saying that.  I find it condescending and patronizing. 

I remember my dad saying "I have all the answers, but nobody will ask the questions!"  He was probably 98 when he said that.  And I kind of feel that way.  I don't know everything, of course, and neither did my dad.  What I want is for people to be able to learn from my experiences, and I want to continue to learn from others' experiences.  There's too much fascinating stuff out there to just sit on the sidelines and watch.

So I vow to get in there and live, no matter my age.  If other people won't listen, I'll figure out a way to get their attention.  I'll wear bright colors and say bright things.  When they pat, I'll pat back.  When they call me young, I'll tell them they need to get their eyes checked or avail themselves of a mental exam because they may be delusional.  I want to surprise people.  They will see an elderly, frumpy woman.  But when I start to speak, they will see the Light and know that I am someone who is speaking for the Lord.  Can't beat that with a stick.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Do What, Now?

All of the icons on my computer are the iTunes icon.  All of them.  They are all 2 notes of music on a blue background.  No kidding.  I don't have an icon that is a big "e" denoting the internet.  I don't have the colorful Picasa 3 symbol.  I don't have all those HP icons that come with every HP computer.  This is what I have .  Everywhere.  If I didn't have a special button that tells the computer to directly connect to the internet, I don't know what I'd do.  Well, yeah, I know what I'd do.  I'd be on the phone to iTunes trying to get it fixed.  But I can pretty well work around it and do what I want.  There's usually more than one way to get to something.  This unhappy circumstance is somehow my own fault.  While trying to transfer my iTunes library (over 1800 songs) from my old laptop to my new laptop, I ended up with only part of my library and a whole lot of icons going somewhere I don't need to go very often.  It's kind of iTunes overload.  And to make it worse, the icons lie.  They still say what they are supposed to be.  But when I click it, I get iTunes; and not only do I get iTunes, I see every time that I am missing around 1,000 songs in my library.  I have mentioned this problem to a few computer-smart people and they always say, "Do what, now?" which is the Southern equivalent of "Huh?".

So I end up with this vague feeling of guilt for causing this calamity and then letting it go on without fixing it.  I know the answer is out there somewhere.  I just dread talking to iTunes, explaining my problem and then hearing a stunned silence followed by "Do what, now?" 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Reflections on David's ICD (written Feb. 2011)

My husband has an ICD, an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator.  An ICD doesn't do anything at all until his heart gets so badly out of rhythm that it flutters instead of pumps.  Death is just seconds away at this point; if the heart isn't pumping blood, no organs will survive.  So the ICD administers the same shock that the paramedics do, exactly the same.  It's like David has a little paramedic with him all the time with his little paddles all fired up and ready to go.

He had had the ICD about 9 months when it first shocked his heart back into rhythm.  It happened as he was standing in line at Foodland, our local grocery store.  He said he suddenly just shouted loudly and felt a big shock running from his chest to the top of his head.  The incision site of where they implanted the defibrillator is sore, but that’s the only lasting effect.    

It is hard to express how I feel about this.  A friend of ours had suddenly passed away about a month before this, so I guess being so close to his death, I can see in my mind how I would have to get through people coming and going, a funeral or memorial service, making decisions without David, living my life without him.  My chest starts to hurt when I think about life without David.  I see our friend's wife struggling daily with it.  I don’t want to have to do the same. 

And I don’t have to, at least not yet.  There is no doubt that his life was saved.  The paramedics would not have arrived soon enough, even though they were just a few blocks away when it happened.  Which is precisely why he has the defibrillator in the first place.  God sent us to a cardiologist who sent us to the doctor who implanted the ICD.  We so blithely would say, “Oh, yes, if his heart stops, the ICD will shock it back.”  It was easy to just speculate on what that would be like.  David was told it would feel like a mule kicking him in the chest.  So I named the ICD Mule Muffins because, I said, it would just be one old mule kicking another.  Ha, ha.  Very funny.  People would laugh and enjoy the joke. 

And then it happened -- heart stops, ICD shocks, David has another chance to live longer than around 8:30 a.m., Friday, February 25, 2011.  He lives longer to see his grandchildren grow older, his wife to retire, he lives to travel and camp, to putter around the yard, to pass out candy at church, to meet his buds at Foodland for breakfast.

Second chances are extremely cool.  My praise for the Father runs deep.  I am so grateful to Him for this and so many other things, all related to my David.  We’ve been through a lot, especially since his disability started 5 years ago almost to the day.  Maybe we’re getting more time because we’ve passed the test, we’ve come through the fire, we’ve been refined, we’ve got more to do because of who we are today. 

I love the Lord.  He knows that and doesn’t need to give me anything so that I love Him more.  But He did anyway.  He made it so that David and I can continue our life together.  It took just a spark, but it worked.

Thank you, Jesus.  And I mean that literally.