Posts filed under ‘Deep Thoughts’

Makes Ya Want Ta Party a Little Harder…

From a former Muslim young female friend this morning:

Hello Maggie,

I think I’m starting to understand now. You really good at explaining things. Thank you for listining to me. You’re a good person and sometimes I think that you must be an angel that God sent to me. You really helped me alot. [Maggie note:  Most new Christmas will call you an angel.  They can’t imagine truth could be so sweet on it’s own.  But, it is!]
 
I really want to celebrate christmas, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, because of my family. The would hate me if I did that. They still think I’m muslim. I still pretend that I pray to God their way, but I don’t really mean what I say. It hurts me that I have to do that every day, 5 times a day, and go to the mosque every saturday. It’s really painful. I think i’m going insane. Maybe I’m mentally ill, I don’t know: (
 
My biggest wish is that my family accept me as who I am, and realize that Islam is not the right religion.
 
I really don’t know what to do. If I go to a mosque a again, I will die. I can’t stand it. I really can’t. My family is making my live a living hell! Sigh..

Celebrate Christ’s birth if you can, friends.  Celebrate for those who cannot and want with all their hearts to bask in his love openly, to share, and having family share in their joy.  Celebrate.  For He has come to save His people from their sin.

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December 18, 2007 at 9:50 am

What If Mary Had Been Pro-Choice?

My husband just said to me, out of the blue, “I’m surprised there hasn’t been a bumper sticker yet that reads ‘Just think what would have happened if Mary would have been pro-choice.'”

We’re talking, of course, about Mary, single mother of the Christ-child, Jesus. 

Wow.  I’d never thought of it.

We were just watching the White House Christmas Special.  We were surprised at the lack of…what’s the right word…dignity? shown in some cases in dress and presentation while performing for the President of the United States and distinguished guests.  Seems that dress would be modest and the tone would be respectful, even if fun, light, “wintry”, and cheerful.  You know…it’s winter!  That should lend itself to appropriate dress for such a distinguished occasion.  Short, short dresses?  I don’t get it.  Why provoke wrong thoughts.  Just because you are an entertainer, it has to have key elements of sensuality?  What a culture we live in.  Women want to be respected, and yet, they show little respect.  The two don’t walk together, friends.  They just don’t.  You can’t be sensual and fun-loving and expect to not cause someone to stumble.  And yes, it is half our fault when we do that.  Save it for the one man of your life who deserves it… that spouse you have or may have.

I wonder why can’t we seem to get the tender balance between fun and dignity?  It can be done.  I’ve seen it.  Well, I guess it takes a deep walk, a tender guide, and a sensitive conscience only developed by walking with the One who is Wisdom…ironically, the One they sang about tonight! 

Walk the line, young ladies.  Walk it carefully.  Get to know the lover of your soul, first.  Trust me, you can’t help but think twice about the way you present yourself to others and the message you are sending with your life. 

December 13, 2007 at 12:09 am

Balance and Artistry

To be “artsy”, an “artist” of any kind can be a precarious thing.  It can bring irrational focus and vision for something trite or trivial, at times.  A need to “create”, get “it” out, fine tune.  It can provoke time- consuming, unjustified, attention and focus. 

The results?  Beautiful or noteworthy to some, perhaps.  To others, inconsequential.  

The “consolation” of “the creation” takes a lot out of a person.   Therefore, the “it” can be a mixed blessing, like most things. 

The same for all “gifts” or “talents”.  A fine line between grace and flesh. 

I’m not yet good at that balance sometimes.  I have not yet experienced the effortless, joyful dance of a dancer,  the flow of an ice-skater.  I am still the one falling, bruised, battered, tired.   In the flesh.  I pay the price for focus, or over-focus. 

Insatiably drawn to “it”; blessed relief.

Lord, help me surrender all to You.  Keep the “it” a blessing, whatever they day’s “it” is.   

comments are intentionally off for this post.   (thank you so much for reading)

November 26, 2007 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

Grieving

The world stops.  News comes.  We try to be near.  Errands need to be run, people need us, groceries need to be bought, school needs with kids, parties to get through tomorrow, decorations today, celebrations needed by the youth.   Other funerals…and…

Oh, Lord.  It’s so much!

Help us when we need to stop. 

When we just need to grieve. 

Like waves it come:  memories, echoes of voices, accents, service, ministry, character, faithfulness, family…children, wife,  marriage.   Friends, neighbors, ministers…we are all speechless and empty and doing well to breathe today.

Oh, our beloved “Jesus”…every Easter play.   I miss that already. My children…all their lives, every year,  saw him hanging on a cross, doing the work of ministry to a community. 

“Jesus”, who peels the potatoes for our Wednesday night suppers.  Who runs to stay healthy.  Who is highly regarded with co-workers and in our small community.  Who had the respect of all, and earned it.

Somewhere close to 50 years old, and so much life left to live.  Oh, Lord.  We don’t understand. 

He son just took a role as our children’s minister months ago.  So much for him left to see.  His son would also soon be married…and oh!  It’s too much.  

Lord, give us time to wear blank faces, and grieve. 

Thoughts of images of the morning bombard the mind, mother, son, daughter, lost in grief.  It echoes. 

How do you go about your day? 

I seek out any verse to help–this is all I have: 

Brothers, we do not want you to…

grieve like the rest of men,

who have no hope.  (I Thess. 4:13). 

Show us the hope of eternal life. 

Hope of your presence. 

Hope of your comfort. 

Hope of your help. 

All of us…grief stricken.

October 30, 2007 at 12:48 pm 5 comments

Who Do You Look Like?

 

I’ve posted some long posts lately…enough to keep you busy for a while.  You are probably like me, bookmark ’em until you have a minute, and…you never seem to have a minute! 

I added some videos through VodPod.com on the right sidebar.  I like them there for my personal use as well as for yours.  iTunes hogs my system, so I get to where I don’t initiate it.  I have purchased all these songs, but it’s sure easier on my system to play them from here than to boot iTunes.   The videos are great.  You can run them from vodpod (click “SEE ALL __ VIDEOS”),then minimize and do other work, or surf other blogs–very cool.  (I hate music that plays from blogs home page and then clicks off when I want to comment, and then restarts when I go ‘back’It just kills my little groove.)   

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I did this Look a Like thing again in honor of the next segment.  Note,  you can exclude the ones you don’t like!  I excluded a few!  😀  If the people who came up with this little test were selling something, I’d probably buy it. 

In other exciting news: someone told me last night that I favored like Julia Roberts.  “I mean this as a compliment, but…” 

Oh, no apology.  I think she’s great.  Pretty Woman had me.  I saw it at a GA or Acteen sleepover at the church as a young teen.  Nobody tell my Mom.  I think we missed a significant part of the story line at that time.  When I told my husband I liked it and we tried to watch it a few years later, well, I got the rest of the story line.  We must have not been paying much attention, or giggling, or something on the whole prostitute scene.  All I remembered was a white horse or a white car at the end and a terrace–you know, the classic white knight in white armor thing.

So, yeah, Julia has like a ga-zillion more teeth than me, and is a good two feet taller than me, and has twice the hair I do, but…you know, there are some compliments you just take irregardless.  And while we are here, I have to say:  I HATED Erin Brochovich.  My husband loved the story line and her tenacity, I couldn’t get over her accent and clothes.  I just had her pegged as a lady and that ruined the whole thing for me.   

Anyway, I used to hear the same rather often when my hair was styled similar to hers.  Last night, the comment was “I don’t think of her when I see you, but I think of you when I see her.”  Unravel that for me.  Probably  means I’m more popular than her, or something. :D.  

This is very scientific, too.  For a while, I wore my hair short like Halle Berry’s…people told me I looked like her.  You know, the caucasion, non-James Bond sort of woman that I am!   Go figure

This somehow led me back to the fruit of the Spirit.  😀  Yeah, well, hang with me here!  Yesterday, our pastor told us that the fruit of the Spirit was the personality of Christ.  If we want to “look like” him, we will “inherit” the traits of his personality, some over time:  “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  (from Galations 5:22-23). 

With that in mind, we were getting ready for school today, and I heard my daughter screeching reprimands at little brother in my “mommy voice”. 

I said, “Good grief!  We.  Are.  Working. On. GENTLENESS AROUND HERE!!!!”  {gulp.}

She sounds just like me.  The point is, she doesn’t need to.   She’s not “The Mom!”  I told her that she wasn’t sounding Christ-like, and wasn’t using The Tone for the purpose for which The Tone was created.  

What was the offense?  Well, her little brother had forgotten to put his backpack in the van.  I mean, I never sometimes yell over things like that!  But,…well,I’M The MOM!” 

It dawned on me later today as to why the Old Testament Bible prophets had pull with God when they prayed, “Lord, please don’t unleash your all anger full force as you should or could!  The people don’t understand!  They can’t handle it.  Yes, it’s justified, but your reputation depends on your response!  Consider your honor!  Consider your promises!  Have mercy!  Relent!”

I feel God imploring the same of me, The Mom, with the same: “Consider…!”

Yes, I could unleash my fury.  Yes, sometimes, I should.  Oh yes, sometimes, I do!!!   I rarely feel sorry about it with three kids going nuts all the time.

But, I want my kids to look like Him, not like the most beautiful people we esteem today.  For that to happen, this Mom needs to resemble Him herself.  G-E-N-T-L-E-N-E-S-S.  K-I-N-D-N-E-S-S.   Very motivating, indeed.

So, back to actors and actresses: www.heritage.com does these cool look a like tests.  They are fun to run with family members over the holidays if you’ve never done them!  Get your face forward face snap shots ready.  You’re sure to get some good laughs from the fam!  Post yours and send me the link!

October 22, 2007 at 4:13 pm 3 comments

Problems/Benefits of STATIC /(or) LEAVES and Beauty

This morning I had an early appointment at the car dealer to try to fix my van door locks.  They stopped working last week.  Flip the button up, flip it down, press the key fob…nothing happens. 

Interestingly enough, the dealer said that this “electrical problem” was generally easy to fix, just a fresh download from the computer, and it will reset.  He said, “Put some Bounce, or other fabric softener dryer sheets under your car seats and car mats to keep it from happening again.  It’s the only thing that will work.  The factory has tried and tried and can’t correct for random static build-up.  Body static alone getting in and out of the vehicle creates enough of a current it over-rides the {amps/volts…whatever} — the electronics just forget their settings.”

I started to think:  my life is a lot like that right now.  My system has been set many times with the right electronics to respond, yet lately there is too much static running through my system, things sliding this way and that, in and out, here and there.  I go for the fresh downloads every day, but alas, there is so much shifting, my memory “forgets” again and again.  When I least expect it, things just don’t work!  No matter how many buttons get pushed…buttons that worked before, they are NOT working today when I need them to!   Arg.

Stress, it’s a crazy thing.

I started to wonder…so what is the “bounce” for my life to put in my back pockets?  How do I protect my circuitry?  I’m in the word, I’m praying, I’m resting, I’m trying to eat well and life well and even eat the chocolate a girl needs under this amount of life!!!.  Still, short circuiting.  Oh, Lord!  I need to just crawl in a hole and stay there!

I think back to yesterday…are there clues I’m missing?  I mean, I don’t know if they are clues to fix anything, but did I hear God?  

On our field trip with the kids, several the “active boys” wanted to be in my group because when I’m in the class, I try to help the teacher with those kids so that she can rest and be free to help others for that time.  They know me best…off we went.    In our LONG line of kids, I started picking up pretty leaves that had fallen, stacking them together neatly from BIG ORANGE LARGE in the back of my handle to LITTLE BITTY YELLOW POINTY leaf stacked neatly on the front.  It was beautiful.  Everyone commented on it.  They loved it.  I was enjoying it immensely. 

The kids all asked to hold it, but I wanted to get it back to the room in one piece, so I asked them to make their own!   Every leaf was interesting and of value to them.   Actually, they liked the crunchy ones–ones without color at all…of course, I knew those would make a mess and would not keep!  

On the way walking back, I had just a few boys in the very back of the line.  They wanted to give me some more leaves! I was getting picky by this point.  My stack had been held for three hours!.  My hand was cramping from holding them tight.  So, I was even more discerning by then, saying, “No, that one is a bit dry for us to keep.” or “That one is pretty broken up, let’s look for another.” 

I’d let it fall back to the ground. 

A little boy then reached down to the very next leaf in his path and said, “Look!”  I’m thinking he is NOT being very discerning yet!  Kids just don’t listen.  But, they are having a good time.

Out of my mouth was about to come, “Let’s look for another, it’s middle is all torn out…it’s getting dry”.

But, he went on quickly with a smile, holding his leaf way up to my face as we walked, and said “See, it sort of looks like a butterfly!”

“Yes.  Why, it does.”, tucking it into my hand, behind another so that it’s “wings” wouldn’t get broken on the journey.

When we got back to the classroom, the teacher said she’d use the leaves for a project.  I said, “Oh.  Great!   Um, I just want to take a couple of them Flash picked out to show his Dad how pretty they are!”  (I lied, I wanted to keep the broken leaf).

I fished through for one BIG ORANGE leaf, one YELLOW POINTY leaf, and one torn and broken leaf that happened to look like a butterfly to a 6 year old, discerning little boy.  More discerning than I.  I really only took the others to make it look less obvious, and to protect it as I carried it home. 

Yesterday morning, a friend had bloggged about no longer considering herself “a moth drawn to the light” as she used to say, but she now more like a butterfly, basking in the light.  I think of the graceful flight of a butterfly, in all it’s flitting, as compared to the mad frenzy of a moth.  Something in that touched me.  Another this week referred to the “process of becoming” using the same imagery of being a caterpillar, just breaking out. 

This year butterflies symbolize hope for me.  It seems that at the lowest of times, I run smack dab into them.  Or they run into me,  en masse.  It’s true.  And people, I don’t collect things.  I mean, I don’t keep groups of ducks and roosters, or angels or collectibles, this is a whole new thing for me–this “repeat exposure” to an object that means something to me.  This visual that needs to mean something to me, something I can’t quite put a finger on, but that I know it is significant for me to grasp.    

I read a magazine while I waited for my van to be de-static-tized.  I saw an advert with a butterfly in the background. 

In the meantime, the mechanic was warning me, you need to get some of those fabric softeners, or this will happen again.  I told him I would. 

Then, my eyes fell to an article that didn’t even apply to me, but it ended in this scripture:    

1Therefore, since we have been justified [made right with God] through faith [in Christ Jesus], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  (Romans 5:4-5)

So, yup, life brings inherent static.  But, to get to solid hope, we apparently need us some static.  Faith, hope, and love/the fruit of the Spirit?  These keep our systems running through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)

I do not feel strong yet.  I am not “delighting” yet.  I’m rather grumpy, in fact. 

This may require a process of character and perseverance, it may take some patience I don’t have either, but He promises to do the work if we’ll stay the course.  

In the meantime, he has “poured out HIS LOVE into OUR HEARTS by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.”(Rom. 5:5) 

He loves us.  Like the leaf the little boy saw:  when our middle is all torn out, we’re getting a bit dry, our edges are a little shredded up,  we feel way past our peak and usefulness, probably not worth much more than throwing down for others to hear the sound of crunching under their feet in a brisk Autumn stroll.  

It is at that point,  that He reaches down and takes hold of us, and puts us in his collection.  He may tuck us in between two strong, younger leaves so that we don’t get our wings broken and he can continue to enjoy us.  We ;ook like a butterfly to Him.  We are most definitely “a keeper”!  

October 19, 2007 at 10:20 am 8 comments

Surprised by King Saul

Today is a “to-do” list sort of day.  It’s been good to escape those for a few days!  Daisy didn’t wake until 6:10 today…a fifteen minute “snooze”!  During that precious time, I dreamed I had gotten up late and was rushing out the door or I’d be late for high school!  Good grief!   I woke to COOL temps! Brrrrr!  Back into the house twice for more clothes! 

Cool, fall, crisp weather is finally here!  Sweat shirts, apple cider, and fireplaces in my near future!  MmmmmI may break out an afgan and sit on the porch to read today!

————————————————*

Last night’s Bible reading has me so mesmerized I can hardly move forward with reading.  I’m just STUNNED.  I’ve always focused on “the good guys” reading 1 Samuel.  I looked at Saul from a standpoint of “the enemy”, never really seeing his heart.  Reading from Saul’s beginning, I can see why Saul got to where he did, and it’s very sad.  I’m not sure you can comprehend without a straight read-through of the first eight chapters of 1 Samuel, and it’s so worth it.

We’ve got a guy who felt unqualified, scared, insecure,–the way most of us feel as some point.  Unlike other “leaders” God had chosen, God didn’t set him up to succeed, picking someone who would fail in the eyes of the people, just to make a point.  Set up as a failure…can you imagine? 

No matter how hard Saul tried, he could not win the favor of the people as other leaders had.  He could never measure up. 

God’s spirit was on Saul, but his favor never was.  

Saul, so often worked on man’s timetable instead of God’s, doing things that “made sense” from a leaders standpoint…he just wasn’t fully obedient.  BUT SEE WHY:  Saul’s second war, pivotal for his leadership, Samuel didn’t show up when he said he would.  In the meantime, Saul’s troops dwindled from 3000 fighting men, to a disheveled, 600!  Who wouldn’t try to just seek God, offer some sacrifices to get to the war!  I’m not sure most men would have taken time for God at all…at least he did!  REALLY:  what would you have done?  I think I would have err-ed in the same way “set up” like that.

Doing FOR God is not the same as being GOD’S man/woman!  We saw the same in Samson.

Father-son relationship problems:  Let’s just say that the lack of communication between father and son toward similar goals ended up pulling them apart.   If they had BOTH had God’s glory at center, they would have had one awesome relationship, but they never “clicked” at the same time.  It’s sad.   

Saul:  always trying, and always failing.  Things always falling apart when he needed them to rock and roll.  He can’t seem to do anything right!  Even when he wins, he loses. 

After all that “trying: Saul STILL loses Samuel’s blessing.  Probably the only thing that had him held together if I’m reading right.  And, Saul might have been corrected had it not been for his rationalized confession of sin.  Partial obedience.  Rationalized disobedience.   Ever been there?  I live there!

Oh!  I identify with Saul so many times.  Oh!  My heart aches. 

Saul has to watch young David come into his life with everything he never had, and that which he had lost.  Ever been there? 

Man!  No wonder his heart was tormented!  No wonder he was crazy.  

Yes, God made his point.   No blessing, no power. 

It’s a sad story–like watching a movie where you wonder what character you really would have been, the good guy, or the bad guy, or that you could have been either, depending on the role you were cast.  I challenge you to go meet Saul in a new light.  Sit down and have a long talk.  I guarantee you won’t come away the same.   

October 10, 2007 at 7:36 am 1 comment

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

recording, photographing, learning, creating.

I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

MAGNANIMOUS WORK

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"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion." ~Mother Teresa

MAGNANIMOUS LIFE:

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"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa

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MAGNANIMOUS ATTITUDE

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A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in it's vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving

WHERE I SHOP:

MAGNANIMOUS LIFE

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When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe

YOU CAME; I SMILED

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