The Calender Conundrum

All through history questions have been posed that bring about much discussion and debate as to the answers. If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does the light stay on when the refrigerator door is closed? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? As perplexing as these questions might be, they tend to pale in comparison to the big one that I perpetually face. If I fail to write an event on the kitchen calendar, can it happen? An even greater conundrum is if it wasn’t written on the “Big” Calender, did the event ever really take place?

My wife is a big believer in the kitchen calendar. When our kids were growing up, every major and minor event was scheduled on those sacred pieces of paper. Doctor’s appointments, dental check-ups, practices, games, and school/church programs were all scheduled and recorded. When I would mention some upcoming event, her first question was always, “Did you write it on the calendar?” Since I knew what was good for me, my usual response was, “Not yet dear.” or “I was just about to, Buttercup.” regardless if that was my actual intention. First and foremost, let me say that my wife did and does an amazing job of keeping our household organized. Because my Momma didn’t raise no fool, I would never question my lovely bride’s management style and techniques but something deep inside me rebels against recording things on the “Big” calendar. It really is quite ironic because I’m naturally a creature of habit and a planner. I love counting down the days to vacations and holidays. It may be that in my heart of hearts I believe I can remember everything and can keep all the balls in the air with nothing more than my brain. The same is true about needing a list to go to the grocery store. It’s like it is an affront to my manhood if I need to write down the ingredients necessary to purchase to make a recipe. We won’t mention the additional trips that have been made because I neglected to consider a vital necessary component but that’s another thing entirely. Back to the calendar, it’s not like I think remembering the date of the neighborhood picnic or changing the batteries in the smoke detectors qualifies me as a member of Mensa but in regards to those events, I tend to tap my skull and think that I’ve got this. Even after suffering my wife’s frustration when I wonder why she’s not ready for an occasion that I failed to place on the calendar, I stutter some lame excuse like “Don’t you remember, Baby, that I told you about it when you were unstopping the toilet that day?” You can imagine how that went over. I guess she may have a point since this post is coming out on Tuesday when I promised myself in an effort to hone my writing skills that I would post on Monday and Friday. As I was nodding off sitting in my chair last night, it occured to me that Monday follows Sunday like it does each week and I had failed to write anything.

Something happened last month that should have imparted the weightiness of an event recorded on the calendar but I failed to grasp the significance of it until writing this post. As I stated earlier, doctor’s appointments are chiseled into the record for posterity. Once it has been so recorded, Yul Brynner as Ramses II in the Ten Commandments may have said it best with “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Well, the doctor’s office moved the appointment up and I attended it but failed to remove the old one from the calendar. Sherry texted me about the appointment the day before. Like I said, I knew that I had already had that appointment but I began to question myself if I actually had. So the answer to whether or not an event actually occured if it wasn’t on the “Big” calendar might be whatever my wife says. With that being resolved, the other answers were really quite simple. Yes, the chicken of course, yes unless it’s wired for European outlets, and it depends on if they are right or left handed.

Ecclesiastes 3

The Mystery of Time

There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;[a]
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;5 a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;6 a time to search and a time to count as lost;a time to keep and a time to throw away;7 a time to tear and a time to sew;a time to be silent and a time to speak;8 a time to love and a time to hate;a time for war and a time for peace.

There is also a time to write stuff on the kitchen calendar as I have discovered.

It Was Something That I Ate

There are some things that just disagree with my stomach. Green peppers are an excellent example of this phenomenon. It’s not that I dislike them. In fact I kind of like the taste but they definitely do not like me. I’ve had people tell me that a recipe doesn’t have many peppers in it and it should be alright only to discover later, much to my and those in my family displeasure, that even that small amount disagrees with my stomach. I’ve even had cooks try to “sneak” them by but my body will have nothing to do with it. I even had someone argue with me that I “have” to like them because they are so good. I’ve also had people suggest taking antacid to settle my stomach’s disagreement with them with little to no success. The bottom line is that they disagree with my stomach. It’s not like I have a peanut allergy where I can’t be in the same room with them. I don’t ban anyone from eating them when we share a table but I have learned because they disagree with me, it is best if I just avoid eating them in any form.

I fear that some people think that it is not proper to disagree at any time for any reason. They believe that I must swallow my opinion to get along and agree with them. I don’t mind compromise on stuff that doesn’t really make any difference in the long run but there are some fundamental truths that I just can’t deny, even if it means I disagree with them. I don’t hate them but just like peppers, I disagree with their “truths” and sometimes it’s best to just avoid them.

Sometimes they even argue that Jesus was accepting to everyone. Jesus did and does love everyone but He didn’t and doesn’t agree with everyone. He definitely didn’t agree with the Pharisees. He didn’t agree with the accepted belief to avoid lepers or tax collector’s. He didn’t tell the Samaritan woman at the well that He agreed with her lifestyle. He violently disagreed with the money changers and sellers in the temple so much so that He drove them out of the Temple.

As believers, it’s also OK to disagree on somethings. We don’t all enjoy the same worship styles, music, or decorating styles but we should all be of the same Spirit. We also don’t need to get bent out of shape about those things that don’t really matter. We are supposed to be in the world but not of it so there will always be some disagreements with the world’s opinions. Just like peppers, they just disagree with me and leave a funny taste in my mouth.

John 15

19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Each Friday I participate in the FiveMinuteFriday.com challenge to write for five minutes on a prompt word. Today’s word is disagree.

Goin’ to the Chapel

Last weekend we traveled to Gulfport to see our son get married. He had been engaged for almost 6 years. Even though I thought it many times, I never made the statement about it being time to fish or cut bait.

Since it had been at least a year and a half since his sisters had seen our son, we had been planning to rent an Airbnb in Gulfport. Our oldest daughter and her husband are expecting so we thought it might be our last opportunity to make such a trip. While we were talking with our son on the phone discussing our upcoming trip, Sherry said, “Y’all ought to go ahead and get married while we’re down there. No pressure.” To our great surprise, Ty replied, “Pressure her (his fiancee)”. That’s all it took for our youngest to grab the bull by the horns. With the ferocity of a bulldog, she would not let it go. We made our plans but were never completely confident that the whole thing was going to happen right up til the time we left for Gulfport.

All five of us piled into our Santa Fe, think Beverly Hillbillies, and since the best way to begin any road trip is with Chick-fil-A biscuits, we stopped after driving for about 1 1/2 hours. Our travel schedule would have driven Dad crazy but we stopped frequently due to our daughter being pregnant.

We made it safely to the coast and got checked into our rental. The place had an amazing place outdoors to have a get together with our son, his fiancee, and her parents. On Friday, we had a “rehearsal” luncheon at a restaurant in Gulfport. I couldn’t help but point out that it was the first time we had ever had someone throw a wedding when we were coming for a visit.

On Saturday the wedding was beautiful and came off without a hitch. One of the funniest things that happened all weekend was after we walked from our Airbnb to Ty and Lauren’s house 1 1/2 miles along the beach. We saw about a two foot dead shark washed up on the beach. Having grown up close to the Atlantic Ocean, it never really bothered me too much about such animals living in the water. I was greatly surprised when my youngest, my daredevil, wouldn’t go in the water past ankle deep recalling the memory of the shark. I guess I really shouldn’t have been too surprised since she was borne and bred in Tennessee. She also may have developed an aversion to Mississippi rest area restrooms but that’s a story for another post.

We are so pleased to have been able to witness Ty and Lauren’s Wedding and thank God for keeping is safe on our trip. Our pregnant daughter did awesome traveling.

Luke 14

He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noticed how they would choose the best places for themselves: “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, don’t recline at the best place, because a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by your host.[c]9 The one who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in humiliation, you will proceed to take the lowest place. “But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when the one who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ You will then be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Feelin’ Groovy

Each Friday I participate in the FiveMinuteFriday.com challenge to write for five minutes on a prompt word. Today’s word is slow.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the prompt word for today was an insta-gram post of a little kid running in slow motion to home in a baseball game.

That kid is enjoying every moment of the experience. Even when the coach tries to hurry him along, he will have nothing of it.

I think too many times in life I try to hurry through experiences instead of being in the moment. When my kids were little, I was sometimes guilty of being too worried about taking pictures or video of some event they were doing rather than embracing the experience. Pictures and videos are great but it was so much more important to be in the moment. Some of the best times I can remember were sitting on the porch swing at Papa’s house in Alabama doing nothing but listening to my Grandfather tell stories.

Life is so fast paced that sometimes we need to heed the advice in Simon and Garfunkel’s song “The 59th Street Bridge Song” of just enjoying walking down the street.

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy

God designed us to work but also to take time to slow down and relax. He took time to walk each day in the Garden of Eden with His creations until we messed it up. There are times when we are to “be still and know that He is God.”

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

A Legacy

Today is Memorial Day when we are to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. My early week post are usually pretty light but it will be a little more serious today. I’m very proud and thankful for my Dad’s service in the military. He married Mom after his discharge and began his duties as a husband and father. I was reminded of the legacy that he left for our family at my son’s wedding this weekend.

When I made a toast at the reception, I couldn’t help but give credit where credit was due. Dad wasn’t perfect but he gave us something priceless. Family was important to Dad. There was never any doubt that he loved our Mom completely. Unfortunately that’s not something everyone can say. Mom and Dad could be seen holding hands almost everywhere they went. A huge part of him actually died when he lost her to cancer over 10 years ago. He exemplified the kind of love that he wanted his three sons to have for our wives. If I could pass anything on to my son, Tyler, it would be to have that kind of love for his new wife. Dad loved God, our Mom, and us boys with a life long devotion. He’s been gone for almost 4 years now and on this Memorial Day, I salute my dad as a soldier but respect him even more for the time he spent tirelessly in the trenches as a husband and father. It’s a legacy I pray will continue in our family for generations.

Ephesians 5:33

33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.

Ecclesiastes 9:9

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting[a] life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun.

No Throw-aways

Each Friday I participate in the FiveMinuteFriday.com writing challenge to write for five minutes on a prompt word. Today’s word is recover.

My wife hates to throw old furniture away. There have been countless times that she has brought something home that was just plain ugly. The fabric was worn and dirty. I think I have a pretty good imagination but I can’t help but think to myself that the only way to fix it would be with some gasoline and a match. I have learned through all of our years together that if she sees something in a piece of furniture that there is hope for it. Too many times, I have seen her work her magic, recover it with fabric, and turn something I thought was ready as dumpster decorations into a piece of furniture that I’m proud to show to guests. Just recently, she took a weird ottoman and not only recovered it but flipped it over, and repurposed it into a seat with storage beneath in her sewing room. Because she has the skill to recover the old, my wife has a hard time throwing something away in which she sees value.

There are times, however, that even she must admit that some items are too far gone to restore and she is forced to throw it away. Thank goodness, Jesus doesn’t believe in throw-aways. No one is too far gone for Jesus. Zacheaus was a hated tax collector that people avoided. The religious leaders even condemned Jesus for eating with such a bunch of sinners. Saul was a murderer and the thief on the cross beside Jesus had absolutely no visible prospects and yet each of them was valuable to Jesus. He offered to recover each of them with His righteousness. Because of Jesus,. God the Father sees each of us who accept what He offers as brand new creations.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things[a] have come

You Know I Can’t Dance

Our son is getting married this week. It will be a very small ceremony with immediate family only. It’s a completely different experience marrying off a son rather than a daughter. We felt a little like the Little Red Hen. We ordered the flowers, picked them up, arranged them in our garage, decorated the church and the fellowship hall, arranged chairs in the chapel, and baked more pies than Sara Lee. My other daughter and I hung enough lights to earn an electrical engineering degree. I ran around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to fulfill my duties as Father of the Bride. Let me tell you, it really is a job for a younger man. My mind was willing but my body was barely capable to complete the task. Being an avid Andy Griffith fan,. I always thought Emma Brand/Watson’s sciatica was just for comic relief but I can testify that it’s no laughing matter. I was concerned that I was going to be unable to perform my main duty as Father of the Bride. I’m not referring to giving my daughter away. As important as that is, it is no where near as vital as the Father daughter dance at the reception. Since the ceremony was at a Baptist church, I should probably say that it was going to be an exercise in creative movement so that I won’t be excommunicated. I must admit that I learned all of my dance moves from Hitch. I can make the pizza, use the Q-tip and throw it away and definitely have moves that nobody would want to touch. No pain, no gain so I sucked it up and made it through the dance without dislocating a hip or losing any major organs.

Preparation for our son’s wedding has not been nearly as involved. It hasn’t been necessary to brush up on our flower arranging skills or review any electrical schematics as the time for the ceremony has approached. There has been no relapse of sciatica either. With all this extra time, I’ve binge watched Hitch. I don’t know if there will be any dancing but I’ve got a Father of the Groom routine choreographed that people will never forget.

Ecclesiastes 3

There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;[a]
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;

The Dog Ate My Homework

When I saw today’s prompt word for the FiveMinuteFriday.com challenge, I immediately started thinking about excuses that I’ve used and the ones our kids used growing up. They vary in originality from the ever popular “I forgot” to “I didn’t think it was mandatory homework” to even “I wasn’t even in the room when it broke.” Excuses are something we come up with to explain why we either did or didn’t do something. I wish I could remember where I heard this story so that I could give them credit but I believe it is one of the best excuse stories I have ever heard.

It seems a gentleman was returning home from selling at a flea market at a neighboring town when he noticed blue lights in his rearview mirror. He rolled down his window as the officer approached. Before he could apologize, the officer said, “Look, I’ve had a long shift and I’m about to go off duty. Tell you what, if you can give me an excuse I’ve never heard before, I won’t write you a ticket.” The driver launched right away into his story. “My uncle passed away several months ago and I’ve been dealing with his estate. I brought the remainder of his things to sell at the flea market here in your town. I had sold everything but my uncle’s huge collection of Elvis Presley 8 track tapes. I was dreading hauling all those boxes back to my car when an officer in uniform offered to buy the collection for more than I anticipated. I have to confess that I sped up when I saw your police cruiser because I was afraid he was chasing me to return them.” The driver went on his way with no citation being given according to the story.

Much too often, I go to God with excuses about my sins. I compare myself to others, bring up extenuating circumstances, and even try to minimize my actions as being no big deal. Luckily that’s not the way He works. My sin is sin and there is no excuse that can justify it. Just like the speeding driver of that car, I’m guilty. Jesus has already paid my fine. The only way that I can have fellowship with my Father is to acknowledge that I’ve messed up, try my best to repent, and thank Jesus that He has wiped my slate clean. I’m going to continue to mess up. It’s in my nature, “All have sinned, but I don’t need to have a good excuse ready when I go to Him for forgiveness.

Psalms 103

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in faithful love.
He will not always accuse us
or be angry forever.
10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve
or repaid us according to our offenses.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His faithful love
toward those who fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed
our transgressions from us.

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Isn’t it great to see everything start to open back up after this year of stuff being shut down. People are emerging from their cocoons ready interact with the world again. New movie releases are popping up like the first blossoms of spring enticing folks to get out of the house.

I think it’s kind of ironic therefore that we have just now installed our very own home theater experience. We don’t have reclining chairs or in-theater food service. There will be no wide screen viewing or Dolby sound to enhance your viewing pleasure. In fact, unless you are willing to scale mountains of fabric and stare at my wife’s cutting table throughout the feature, you might wonder why we even went to the trouble of installing a digital projector.

As I stated in a previous post, I was able to eliminate one the items off my wife’s wish list on her birthday with a projector for sewing. Now this device won’t be showing any of the A-list movies or even any weird indie art films for that matter. No our, and by that I mean mostly my lovely bride’s viewing, will involve productions by McCalls or Simplicity or any of the pattern companies who have gone digital. If you are unfamiliar with any movie production companies by those names don’t feel bad because they make sewing patterns. We have gone craft hi-tech. We installed the ceiling mount in her sewing room yesterday which now more eerily resembles an operating room or even Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory. Unlike any reasonable home projection system, the image goes straight down onto her cutting table so that the pattern can displayed directly onto material. If we want a really large picture, we can watch it on the floor. I guess the advantage of that will be that it will feel like you are actually in the movie as you walk across the floor.

I also get to look forward to calibrating the system with NASA like precision triangulating off multiple satellites so that her creations don’t end up looking either like Barbie clothes or something that needs tent poles to hold up. On top of all that, Sherry has signed me up to receive posts from Projectors for Sewing on my news feed. I’ve been bombarded with more posts from them than calls about extending my car’s warranty. She swears that it’s not a cult but I have my doubts because I’ve had this unexplainable urge to shave my head, put our flat screen on the floor, and binge watch Nancy’s Notions from a bird’s eye view. If my wife invites you to catch a double feature it will probably involve cutting out pattern for both a skirt and a top instead of the latest with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Admission will most likely require either fabric scissors or a rotary cutter.

From now on I fear that a romantic evening with my wife won’t mean snuggling up to watch a Rom-com but will instead be a session in the Sweatshop Cinema. I have a sneaky feeling that I can check out anytime I want but I can never leave.

Ephesians 1:21

far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given,[a] not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Stuck in the Middle

I know all about being stuck in the middle since I’m a middle child. My older brother was too old to have done something and my younger brother was too young so sometimes I received the blame. There were times I was punished for something I didn’t do just because I was in the middle but I must admit that it probably all balanced out because there were times I got away with something that I did do. The middle is not all bad cause “a kid will eat the middle of a Oreo first.” There can be safety in the middle because you can fall off when you get too close to the edge. What do you do though when there are “clowns to the left of me, and jokers to the right.”?

I fear that we may be facing a situation much like that in the world today. The left and the right have moved so far apart and to such extremes that it really does feel like it’s that drastic. I’d like to think that I fall somewhere in the middle. I am definitely more of a conservative but have difficulty drinking the Kool aid of the far Right sometimes. I try to be reasonable and pray about decisions before jumping to conclusions. Both extremes are pushing hard thinking that you are either for them or against them. In the wise words of Mr Miyagi, “Walk on right side of road, safe. Walk on left side of road, safe. Walk in middle of road, sooner or later get squished like grape.” I don’t want to get squished like a grape but I don’t want to make decisions simply because that’s what conservatives think.

I pray that I’m more concerned about being on God’s side even if it means risking being squished.

Joshua 24:14-15

14 “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship Yahweh. 15 But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

Each Friday I participate in the FiveMinuteFriday.com challenge to write for five minutes on a prompt word. Today’s word is middle.