How big is this corona fire? Is it a fire storm like some of the fires we've seen in California and Australia? In some ways it bigger because the spread is world wide. In other ways it's so small we can't even see it and most of us haven't had to deal with it in our bodies either. It isn't spreading in our neighborhood.
A preacher lady once had a sermon topic, "Satan Is a Liar. Blow Out His Fire." For an illustration she asked the congregation, "If someone suddenly yelled "FIRE!" what would you do?" And with a show of hands she found out that the majority would head for the nearest exit. Then she pulled out a little candle that was burning from behind the pulpit and said, "If you saw this and I yelled "FIRE!" what would you do? There was laughter in the crowd. Of course they wouldn't run.
I feel like someone has yelled "FIRE!" for something that isn't worse than other influenza we've dealt with over the years and never shut down the entire world. Be that as it may, fire has a lot of advantages when controlled and used for specific purpose.
Let's take fire for keeping warm and cooking. We use "heat" every day for cooking, even if it isn't an open flame any more, except for barbecuing. Fire will change the entire chemical composition of what it affects. The one exception is water, but that's a different subject. We love our fireplaces in our modern homes because we can still enjoy the warmth and appearance of flames, even if they are fake! We still know that if we burn something in the fireplace, like a letter or document, it isn't going to be anything but ash when done. That goes for cremation too.
Fire is used for melting and shaping glass and I always admire artisans who learn how to work with it. The end products, from bowls and goblets, to ornaments defy imagination in beauty and originality. Here for sure, with glass blowers, no two are alike. Fire used for hardening clay in ceramics is also part of an art and trade not done by many because of the expense of the kiln and the cost of the power.
Fire for smelting is used to mix metals and alloys to produce a finished metal for specific use. Some metals need to be soft and pliable, others hard to withstand extreme weight and pressure in the end use. Fire for precious metals is the process of purging and bringing the dross to the surface where it can be skimmed off so what remains is purer.
We are told that all our works will be tried by fire: "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:13 The list of works are represented by silver, gold, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble.
I wonder if we aren't going through a fire right now to see what will remain that is really worth something to keep and do in the future. Many who have never thought of anyone but themselves are reaching out and maybe upgrading their works from wood, hay and stubble, to gold, silver, and precious stones. Some are putting a higher value on their family, the few material possessions they really need, and not missing all the other stuff. We'll see if it's a lie and someone has yelled, "FIRE!" when it's just a little candle we can blow out!
The jury is still out on whether this virus was "made" in a lab, or just "made" by accident of nature. Regardless it's certainly made a lot of havoc in our fear factors affecting our lifestyles, our liberties, and our economy. The word "made" by definition is: "... made or formed in a particular place or by a particular process. Google That definition could apply to a place in China and a process used in a lab. Just sayin'
But on the lighter side, when we use the word made, it refers to manufacturing of mass produced products, or "home made" or "made by hand". All involve a process that a person has envisioned, invented, and tried. Nothing is made until there's a manifestation and real life tangible substance. And we value it for how it's made.
We value something mass produced because there's consistency in quality and function from one to another. The expectation is met in the market place by the consumer. But we also value something custom made that's unique, one-of-a-kind, special, and stand alone. High Tech creates a need for High Touch.
A bakery or restaurant is expected to produce fresh food made that day by a baker or a chef, compared to the can of soup that was 'made' in a factory who knows when. For some of us, though, having all those factory made tins and packages of food has been our saving grace during this confinement. We dream about when we can go into a restaurant again, sit down next to and across from our family, friends, and clients and enjoy REAL food we didn't have to make ourselves.
I love the comment by an immigrant who remarked when their child was born in Canada that it was "made in Canada". Psalm 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." The human body is still the most complex organism ever made. Scientists are still trying to find out how we're made, wanting to duplicate us in Artificial Intelligence. God forbid!
I'm involved in Jesmic Inc, a business that makes and sells Sun Catcher Pendants made by hand. The "mic" at the end of the name stands for "made in Canada". If we ever have them made in a foreign country, like India where we grew up, the "mic" will stand for "marketed in Canada". We have it covered.
Even if someone made a smart remark, it manifest as words, with vibration and frequency that made it real. So that saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me" isn't true. It is a saying made to combat the hurt and harm of words. It doesn't work. Bullying is often made without violence or physical attack, but the accusations, or teasing, cut to the quick of the heart and soul. The memories are real and so are the obstacles in life caused by them.
When we have a fight with someone and don't speak for awhile, but then reconcile we use the expression, "We made up." Or when something breaks and gets fixed, it's "made right". We are just making things all the time, in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.
God says He made it all to begin with: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3 There. The word "made" is in one little verse three times. I think it's pretty clear. And I don't think he made the corona virus. I think He made the parts and they got 'made' into something bad by bad people. Just sayin'
Who has the last word in this corona confinement? We do. We do this by paying attention to the recommended health regulations and staying home, etc. It's just a word. COVID-19, or whatever you want to call it. Many names have been suggested. Words all have meanings and the way they are said, if used verbally, can adjust the meaning too.
I love old fashioned cartoons that used the balloons to indicate who was speaking and what they were saying, or what they were thinking with the bubbles under the balloon. The part you could really understand was when the balloon was full of @#$%^&* which stood for words that would get a bleep on radio or TV today! If someone was shouting, daggers were coming out of their mouths, or the words in the balloon were in big capital letters with lots of exclamations marks.
Texting is a whole new language and our digital devices using AI (artificial intelligence) try to second guess what we mean before we even have the word out which makes for some confusing or funny sentences. The speed to which people want to communicate these days have invented acronyms such as BTW for "by the way" and B2B for "business to business" etc. Emojis are supposed to be universal symbols in place of actual words to express feelings.
Lyrics are words in songs and some of us old fashioned folks like music where we can actually hear and understand the lyrics. I recently did up the graphics and duplication of CDs for a young rapper. His rap is edgy, modern, and addresses social issues, but I love it. I can understand it and the beat he's chosen with the music is melodious and catchy. It's really just poetry delivered in a way that is reinforced by strong rhythm.
People like me used to do the multiple choice word definitions in Reader's Digest and try to get at least 8 out of 10 to improve our vocabulary. Then when I began to write and present seminars and workshops, I was often asked to 'dummy down' my vocabulary to the grade five average level of magazines and newspapers.
I was giving a seminar to a French speaking audience who had the notes in French, but I was told to deliver it in English because my power point slides has also been translated into French. They said most of the audience understood English from watching TV even though they didn't speak it. We decided that if I came to a word they didn't understand they would put up their hands, and we would stop to have it explained.
I was teaching on mixing and matching colors, patterns, and styles in visual merchandising. I used the example of mixing a floral, with a stripe, a solid, and a plaid, as long as they were the same color combinations. I was asked to stop. There was a discussion in the room that I didn't understand at all and then they all sat back and told me to carry on. The unknown word was "plaid".
The most important words are in the book that still outsells all other books of all time: The Bible. The acronym for Bible is "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". And they are called words of Life. Jesus referred to our hearts as 'soil' into which the 'word' is sown and the different conditions of the soil affect the germination and growth of what's planted there. Matthew 13. Mark 4. Luke 8.
What I try to keep in mind, though... and it's hard to remember, is the warning, "...That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."Mat_12:36 Ooh... I've often said, "If God can shut the lion's mouth, He can shut mine."Daniel 6 Our words are important and so are the words we hear. My test is that if what I hear doesn't fit the narrative of Biblical principles or what God has said, I"m going to doubt it's true and question the source.
So while the report of the corona virus lingers on, I choose to believe the report of the Lord. Someone has made an acronym for COVID to mean, "Christ Over Viruses, Infections, and Death." Sounds good to me. So be it.
We are all hoping that the Corona confinement is fading in the distance as more time goes by and we are getting into summer proper. Summer sun, more than any other, makes everything fade that is left in it too long. I once had a turquoise linen suit and I not only wore the skirt more without the jacket, but sat in the sun for lunch at work. The day came when I went to wear it as a suit and the jacket was several shades brighter than the skirt... what to do? They became separates after that.
Then there is the end of summer when fall approaches and everything in the garden begins to fade. The leaves fall off the trees, the blooms droop, and all the lush green begins to turn into monochromatic brown.
In our home, as seniors, we have an expression that says we are running out of energy at the end of a long day of chores or physical endeavors. "I'm fading." One of us will say and the other nods in agreement and empathy. When I'm drifting off and getting drowsy watching TV or reading I use the same expression to alert myself to get off to bed.
When I took my fine art lessons, we were taught two things about landscape painting. The further in the distance, something is, the more 'gray' or faded you needed to make it look. The other thing we learned was that in order to make something look more 'gray' or faded you add the opposite color on the color wheel. Orange to blue. Green to red. Violet to yellow. This makes them look 'muddy' and could also be watered down, or thinned with the right medium.
Fading is also what happens when light is gradually removed, as in the dusk, a dimmer switch turned down, or even candlelight. (the latter known to fade wrinkles) If something is moving away from us, like a vehicle on land, or a plane in the air, it will eventually fade into the distance and disappear. We are all hoping and praying that this virus will hurry up and disappear into the distance, never to reappear again.
So extreme light will fade items, and extreme darkness will block them from view. At both ends of the scale they fade. So do we. So does our wealth. James 1:11 says, "For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business."
We may as well follow my Dad's advice before we fade away from life.
Do your giving, while you're living. So you're knowing, where it's going!
There are four things to know about the science of Coronavirus to look up if you are interested:
Four is my favorite number because it represents so much stability. If you look around you right now you will see a lot of things that are standing on four legs or that have four sides and four corners. It's a basic.
My domain name is visiQUAD.ca. which means things seen in fours. The name visiquad was invented by me in about 1989. I had started a business of what we now call "staging" properties for re-sale. It represented one quarter of what my long term goal was and the name for all four, when it came to pass, was "visiQUAD"! 2015 is when I brought the sum total of everything I do and secured the name.
On your hand you say you have four fingers and a thumb. If I ask, "Is your thumb a finger?" Well... you will hesitate. It is a 'digit' but no one wants to call it a finger, so that leave four! Toes are a different story. We have five of them and we don't have a special name for the big one. I digress.
The directions north, south, east, and west are a visiquad. So is up, down, forward, and backwards a visiquad for movement.
My library has 66 lineal feet of book shelves that all have four sides, and four corners, including each shelf, and each opening where the books are. All the books have four sides when you look straight on at the cover, the back, or even the spine. The tables, chairs, and footstools all have four legs, even the one that's oval shape. The windows, the doors, and even the house itself is mostly made of materials that are four sided. And of course all our digital devices seem to have four sides and four corners. Go figure.
A four leaf clover is considered good luck, because it's so rare to find one. It's also rare to find good leaders do and here's an article listing the "4 Rare (and Brilliant) Things Smart Leaders Do to Get Respect. https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/4-rare-and-brilliant-things-smart-leaders-do-to-ge.html
The number four shows up 30 times in the book of Revelation. You may have heard of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. My pastor Dad has an interesting interpretation of them which I'm wondering about right now. He imagined that the Black Horse stood for oil. The White Horse represented paper, printing, or information. The Red Horse he postulated could stand for socialism and the Pale Horse for sickness, disease, and plagues. All of them seem to be riding as a fast gallop around the world right now in one way or another. So maybe Dad saw something and it's happening right now.
Regardless, four is an important number and I'm sticking with that thought... fist pump anyone?
In many ways this corona virus crisis is like an iceberg. While we see it floating through our current history we all sense that there's more that we can't see. More that's invisible but attached to what's visible, and very dangerous. This partly comes from the reports of the symptoms of the virus and how contagious it is. The worst thing being that people can be infectious and not have any symptoms. That's one iceberg.
The other is what's unseen. No one knows where it's going and how much damage it may be doing to our liberties, lifestyles, and the economy. It feels like it's moving along based on the currents of the expert opinions and the charts. An iceberg isn't steered and neither is this virus. All we can do is steer ourselves and keep away from the risks as much as possible.
The most common use of the word "berg" is as a suffix to "ice", as in "iceberg". This refers to the large floating islands of ice that we all know are larger under the water than what we see above. They are resting places for some animals, like polar bears, but they are also dangerous to run into by sea going vessels. (I'm not sure how this relates to "iceberg lettuce" and I"m not researching that.)
The word "berg" has it's origins in northern Europe and refers to a mountainous region. This makes perfect sense since most icebergs do look like mountains floating in the ocean. Their shape is taken on by the water melting the parameter and making the center even more pointed.
This is different than the word "burg" that refers to an area that has a castle. Google says, "In the German language, Burg means castle or fortress, though so many towns grew up around castles that it almost came to mean city, and is incorporated into many place names, such as Hamburg, Flensburg and Strasburg."
The only castle or fortress we have where the virus is concerned is that of our own making. By social distancing, washing our hands, and following the guidelines we are told that this is the best we can do. We are all holed up in our castles as our fortresses against the risk of the virus and waiting for the iceberg to completely melt away, as they always do.
I'm praying for this one to melt away very soon and go away completely!
You've heard the saying, "... a soft place to fall." The corona confinement hasn't been a soft spot to fall for a lot of people. It isn't a soft place if you lost your job, or if your elective surgery to replace your hip was postponed. For many people it's become a hard place. For certain it's a place most of us have never experienced and for many it's worse than for others.
We love 'soft' things. We use the expression that something is "soft as a baby's bum" meaning soft to touch. We enjoy soft sheets and some of my most worn out sheets and towels are the softest. Jeans are pre-washed and sometimes bleached to make them softer. Most of our pets are soft to caress and cuddle. Stuffed toys and teddy bears are called "plush" because they are soft.
One thing that's hard to keep soft is my heart. Having a soft heart means compassion, empathy, a desire to reach out, especially to hold a hand, or give a hug. It's hard to physically express a soft heart when I'm not allowed to be within a 6 foot distance of another person outside my home. I feel like I have to make my heart hard on purpose in order to keep a 'safe' distance because of all the restrictions. I don't like it.
Being too soft can have a downside when a child needs to be disciplined, or a truth needs to be spoken. My heart isn't very soft towards the bank that makes me wait 45 minutes outside in the cold morning breeze, but at the same time is soft towards those enduring the same thing in the line. Yes, as the saying goes, "We are all in this together."
A verse that kept coming to my mind when I was struggling with my marriage was, "Harden not your heart as in the day of provocation..." Psalms 95:8 I had to look up that word and it means, "action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry, especially deliberately," The key to my understanding and how to reconcile was in meditating on what was causing annoyance or anger, and find out if it was deliberate. After a silent weekend retreat in the mountains, a soft spot where I go to search my heart, I knew I had to choose God's unconditional love for me, His soft spot for me, in exchange for what was causing annoyance and anger.
That was the part I had to be deliberate about. I knew I couldn't keep my hard heart and receive the love God was offering. I came home and said to my husband, "I was wrong. You were right." and he said, "I wasn't all right and you weren't all wrong." In those two confessions a wall of conflict broke down and the marriage has been strengthening ever since. Having a soft heart deliberately has made a huge difference.
I now know where the soft spot is for my hard heart to fall. And I know that a lot of stuff on the outside doesn't matter! We all need a soft spot towards our lives right now and towards others, especially those doing their best to offer good service in spite of this corona confinement crisis. We can become their soft spot with a kind word, patient attitude and benevolent action!
Well, COVID-19 is famous. Famous for causing fear in more people on earth than the actual virus has caused the flu. So what about fame? I believe everyone is famous for something and to someone. We think of fame as well known people, places, or things. But what is famous in one place, may not be in another.
I'm always amused when a restaurant advertises, "World Famous Pizza" Really? It's like describing a self-centered, egotistical person as "...a legend in their own mind." Famous to themselves. Hoping others will agree. Most fame comes from accomplishment that is tested and recorded like the things in my little sketch. When the world is watching a competition, the one standing on the winner's box being handed the prize is now famous for that success.
When fame comes with fortune, as it often does, when it is monetized and advertised, it can give an impression that it's a wonderful thing to desire. Everyone is looking for their "lucky break" on Sunset Boulevard. But there's a saying, " A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all. Clive Jame
Claire Danes said, "People confuse fame with validation or love. But fame is not the reward. The reward is getting fulfillment out of doing the thing you love. " People who do things passionately with all their hearts are the ones whose fame you respect, admire, and enjoy.
I said everyone is famous for something to someone. My Dad was famous in his circle for being the preacher who also fixed watches and clocks. He was famous for his rendition of the poem "Albert and the Lion" by Marriott Edgar, told with a walking stick in his hand. He was also famous for inviting people home for tea, and not telling my Mom. She was famous for reacting by saying, "The gravy in the navy, you get used to it."
Everyone is famous for something to someone. Jesus Christ is famous and each time we look at our calendar and see the year, it's because His fame has lasted 2,020 years... so far. He's promised us a home in his famous 'heaven' if we just believe in everything else he's famous for. Amen!
The corona confinement has curtailed in store shopping completely in some cases or at the very least made inconvenient by long line ups. We are resorting more and more to online shopping which means shipping! (unless you are doing curb side pickup from a local business)
Here's a quote by Robin Chase: "Transportation is the center of the world! It is the glue of our daily lives. When it goes well, we don't see it. When it goes wrong, it negatively colors our day, makes us feel angry and impotent , curtails our possibilities."
Another saying also uses glue as an analogy. " Love is the glue that holds the world together. Starhawk It's hard to believe when we don't see a lot of love going around. But even selfish people can hold together around the love of food, shelter, and clothing...and a whole lot of other things. We'd have to define the love.
I love this one. "History is scraps of evidence joined by the glue of imagination." Subhash Kak I was once accused of lying after sharing a personal experience. So I said, "I'm not lying. I'm just embellishing the truth." As a writer and artist you learn to make things as interesting and as colorful as possible. My sanctified imagination gets me into trouble when the people with whom I had the same experience don't see it that way and would never use the descriptions I do. Hmmm..... It's MY glue. My memory glue.
Glue is so important and we learn to use it when we are little, mostly for simple paper projects. It's very important to have the right glue for different materials and projects. I've experienced having fingers glued together with a tiny drop of "crazy" glue and using solvent with a Q-tip to loosen it. I've also had items patched with glue several times because the first attempts weren't holding.
In jewelry making there are glues designed to hold stones in place and it's hard to believe they will really last. On our honeymoon in Hawaii you could purchase an oyster for $5 and keep the pearl inside. It was anyone's guess the size, shape, or color, but a pearl was guaranteed. I got a beautiful steel gray, very rare colored pearl, which the vendor offered to set into a ring. A hole was drilled, glue added, and it was set onto a little pin on the top of the ring. It never fell off, but without trust in the blue, I finally took it to a jewelry who added claws for extra support.
There's a wonderful proverb that says, "A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 We can be the glue for each other during this time of the corona confinement.
During the corona confinement we’ve turned “high five” hand slapping into an elbow bump, but we aren’t even allowed to do that now. We can only do what’s six feet apart. Blow a kiss? Smile? Talk? Wave? Yes. We can still do those things.
Five is a special number and we learn it very early in life. Every parent counts the fingers and toes on a newborn to see if they are all there. My daughter, born full term, but just under six pounds had perfectly shaped and trimmed finger nails that weren’t even a quarter of an inch across! We teach our little children about fingers, thumbs and toes. We have the little piggy going to market as we tickle them and make them giggle.
Many flowers have five petals. I do face painting and the tutorials that show how to make petals and use several colors on a single brush to design more quickly always make five petals. It might not look botanically correct as a specific species, but it always looks like a flower and not an odd color four leaf clover! It’s like a minimum for a flower.
I play the piano and have taught a few people. I explain that every octave, series of white notes, has five black notes. They are called “sharps” and “flats”. The same black note can have two different names depending on if you are moving up a half step or down a half step. This can be confusing. Imagine if your name changed because you were going up, or down. Mind you a person can be called sharp, and a singer flat.
Many things in life do better in groups of odd numbers than even ones. If a board or committee has an even number of members than there can be a stalemate in a vote. As long as you have an odd number the outcome of the vote will be clear. In the case of good design, especially in flower arranging the odd number of feature flowers makes the arrangement more interesting, as a cluster, with some higher and some lower.
Pentagrams and five pointed stars have their own symbolism and are used by different people to represent specific ideologies, or identify adherents or brands. The Pentagon in Washington is named for it’s shape and here’s one explanation for that: “The easiest solution, a tall building, was out because of pre-war restrictions on steel usage and the desire not to ruin Washington's skyline. The tract selected had a asymmetrical pentagon shape bound on five sides by roads or other divisions so the building was designed to conform to the tract of land.” Google
For me, five is the number of GRACE. Grace is one of those words, like love and hope that can have a lot of meanings depending on the context and the one using it. The story is told of Saint Paul who prayed that a ‘thorn in his flesh’ would be taken away. God's answer was: "...My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2Co_12:9
I need God's strength made perfect in my weakness to do anything about this corona confinement that's keeping me from what my plans were for this time of year. Since His grace is sufficient, I"ll take it. I didn't know what "grace" was until I cared for my senior parents 24/7 for five years. It was a very hard job but I had this sense of commitment and desire that no matter what it took, I wouldn't quit. That to me was God's grace!
That's how I feel right now about this time we are enduring. So give yourself a high five and clap your hands!
During this corona confinement, we have to find the right things to hold onto. We have to hold onto our sanity and a way to live life with all the unknowns. We need to find that place of safety in the storm even though it may not be damaging us physically. Some people are trying to hold onto their jobs, or their homes, or their cars even if they can't make the payments. Financial help seems to be available for a few weeks or months .
Remember when you loved to swing? Most of us wanted someone to push us and even do an 'under-duck' to get us going really high and really fast. It was 'scary-exciting' but only as long as the branch or rail had the a firm hold of the rope or chains that we had a hold of for dear life! Taking it higher and even scarier is the sky diver or parachuter who has a firm hold on the rip cord and then the cords that help steer the chute to land on point. We have to know what to hold on to and how to hold onto it.
David, a song writer/ poet wrote this verse in Psalms 119: 143 that describes what the corona confinement is making some people feel like. "Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet your commandments are my delights." Why could he say that commandments (laws) could be his delight? We often think of laws as holding us back, or keeping us from doing what we want, when we want. Well, that's kind of how the government and health regulations are right now, compared to the freedom we are used to. But when we believe that the rules are holding back the spread of the virus, then we are delighted to keep them.
Faith, the opposite of fear, is described as being like a shield. "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. "Ephesians 6:16 The darts of the wicked are those thoughts that come to scare us, or make us mad, agitated, frustrated, or overwhelmed. The warriors who used shields had to know how to hold them to protect themselves. Shields are for defense. Right now that's all we can do while we wait to see IF and WHEN this is all going to end.
A good warrior had to hold and maneuver their swords and spears while holding onto their shields. It's a balancing act and one that requires skill and practice. Most of us feel like we've had lots of practice at dealing with things coming at us before. But nothing like this with so many unknowns.
My sketch shows a hand holding a rod. This reminds me of the amazing martial arts demonstrations of how a long rod can be used as both an offensive weapon and a defensive 'shield' with skill and practice. I for one am grateful that I have food, shelter, and clothing. Above and beyond the basics to sit out this time of confinement, while I hold onto my sanity and my peace. I have plenty to do to keep occupied and lots of projects I can work on when the mood strikes me. And I'm holding onto my shield of faith to keep the darts of negativity from attacking my soul. Are you?
Can the saying "Silence is golden." be applied to the corona confinement all around the world? Someone captured the silence of the cities in this video. There have been fewer sirens blaring since there's no traffic and crime is way down. The silence in some cities have caused YouTubers to post videos of birds chirping that normally aren't heard in busy downtown streets. Some construction projects have shut down so that has brought more silence too. People aren't talking, walking, or driving. That low hum that permeates most cities from dawn to after dark is mostly gone.
We've all heard of the "golden rule" and there are two versions of that. The first is, "He that has the gold, makes the rules." Right now we are seeing the government make all sorts of rules. Some of them designed to make us socially distant, and stay home. Some to close down businesses supposedly for our own good and protection. A whole lot of "gold" in the form of financial help has been released by the government to help employees and employers out during the crisis. Wealth seems to come with power and control and not all of it is benevolent. We have to have wisdom to know the difference. Some is a hand out and some is a hand up. Some is debt.
The second version of the "golden rule" comes from Jesus himself, when he said, "... in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. " Matthew 7:12 I have heard this mis-quoted as "Do unto others AS they do unto you." which is an ideology of revenge where no forgiveness or mercy exists. This is for people who just wait to see how they are gong to be treated before they decide how to treat others. The Biblical view is that you treat others as you would like to be treated as a matter of personal principle and character. You reap what you sow.
This follows the "royal rule" to follow the two main "laws"
1. To love the Lord your God and
2. To love your neighbor as yourself.
Not only will your silence be golden, but so will your words if you follow that rule!
We use the word "gold" to be at the top of perfection or ultimate service. If someone has an exquisite singing voice, we describe it as golden. If companies advertise a "golden standard" we assume it to be exceptional compared to silver, bronze, copper, etc. Gold medals won at competitions are the top of the top and the dedication that goes into winning them is well known. After 25 years of working for the same company employees are often awarded with the traditional "gold watch", even if they stay on a few years longer. Real gold is the most valued metallic substance in the world and I haven't even tried to describe it's scientific or technological properties.
But just because our streets are silent, doesn't make them golden. That is reserved for heaven, where we are told that we will walk on streets of gold. There's no silence there where throngs of people who have experienced the peace from the Prince of Peace will be shouting for joy! Check out this description of the New City of God, "The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass." Revelation 21:21 Now that's some kind of gold. I can't wait to see it.
No Corona virus there! No social distancing! No masks! We will be face to face with God.
The corona virus is nothing to crow about, except to keep the public informed so we continue to socially distance, sanitize everything and wash our hands. We will all have something to crow about when we get our freedoms back, being grateful that we weren't infected by it. We were brought something we didn't need for sure.
Crows collect things they don't need. They are used for trade offs. Did you know that crows are some of the most intelligent animals next to chimpanzees, and of course humans? The crows and magpies are building their nests as usual this spring in our neighborhood. Fear of the virus isn't affecting them at all. I notice they are social distancing since their nests are few and far apart. They are squaky, noisy and make their presence known all year around. They always seem to have "something to crow about" And that's an interesting saying. If you have something to crow about it's worthwhile. If you have nothing to crow about it's not very important.
The story is told of a car wash owner who was losing money even though his car wash was always busy. He couldn't figure out where the coins were going, even while he watched drivers paying for each car wash. Finally he set up his lawn chair and was prepared to sit for 24 hours and see what was going on. (Obviously the days before video monitoring devices.} Suddenly a crow flew into the car wash, sat on the coin tray and with his beak was able to reach in and grab a coin. He then flew to the roof and came back for another one. The man shooed him away and went to get a tall ladder. Up on the roof, the crow had deposited hundreds of dollars of coins. Everything missing was there. That bird had lots to "crow about", but it ended that day.
According to one comment on line, crows collect shiny things to mark their territory, show hunter/gatherer skills, which improves the possibility for breeding with other crows. They also bring a variety of items and leave them as "gifts". Here's a BBC report of a young girl's collection thanks to the gifts of the crows she fed.
The story's told of Noah sending out a raven (cousin of the crow) from the ark after the flood to see if the water was subsiding and land was appearing. " And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth." Gen_8:7
There's an account of a prophet named Elijah who was directed by God: "Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook." I Kings 17
A raven looks like a bigger crow. The gifts they brought to Elijah twice a day were his provision. I always wonder who might have prepared the meat and bread for the ravens to bring and how far away they were. It's not hard to believe that a raven could take a gift to a person, but it's a stretch to believe that the meat and bread were miraculous. Imagine if you are making meat and bread and suddenly ravens swoop down, one takes some meat and one takes some bread and they fly away only to come back later and do the same thing!
At least the ravens themselves weren't the food! There's a saying that you will "eat crow" if you say something you have to retract. Also known as "humble pie". So the birds keep flying, the crows keep collecting, and we keep listening to see what the media is crowing about today. Keep safe!
Fear of getting or passing the corona virus is so strong, so I’m going to attach the word love to fear. A verse to ponder is the one that says, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:17&18 Wow. That's a lot to ponder. Let's unpack it.
This is a day of judgement, especially from the first Wikipedia definition. “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. “ Our decisions right now are considered around what we can or can't do. Go to work. Travel. Visit the relatives in the next province. Throw a big birthday party for someone turning fifty. We come to sensible conclusions and compromise or do the best we can within the boundaries of the health regulations. Our love isn't diminished, it's just directed and expressed differently.
The word "perfect" is used three times and attached to love in every case. First, our love is made perfect so we have this courage to consider our decisions and come to sensible conclusions. Second, perfect love casts out fear, because there's no fear in love. And third, if you fear you can't be made perfect in love. Perfect doesn't mean no flaws or mistakes. It means you choose to see, be and do love to replace fear. It's what's perfect for you. What fits. This seems to be saying that you can’t mix fear and love. There’s one or the other.
Have you noticed how the fear of the virus subsides when we show our love towards others. Whether it's finding out if a senior neighbor needs something, or being patient in the long line ups on the sidewalk outside the stores. Fear also subsides when someone is caring, like medical people caring for the sick, and merchants in grocery stores caring by working so hard to keep everything sanitary and safe? And the shelves stocked, (with toilet paper!!!)
My old grandmother used to say there were only three things to avoid in life: "Debt. Dirt. and the Devil." With the corona virus we are tempted to fear death, debt, and the devil who's behind all things evil. ( in my opinion ) I put them on one side of the fear versus love scale in the illustration. On the other side I have nothing but love. Some coming from the hands of others, and some coming from God. Times like these call for more mercy, forgiveness, and patience. All are acts of love. Giving to those in need and sharing from any abundance will help someone else to have less fear. That way your love casts our some of their fear. The verse also says, "as He is, so are we in the world." He (God) is love. So fear doesn't come from Him if love casts out fear. Let Him shine through us in all the love we can manage!
Much is being exposed in the world and true colors of both the good and the evil are showing up. We will see in the end where the love really is because of when and where fear is cast out. If no one is doing that, then we have to reach in ourselves and decide to act and react with love, even if no one else is. We have to do that daily as we face this “unseen enemy” and trust the judgement of our government leaders and medical experts to bring this to an end. Amen.
The best is yet to come. A saying that keeps some of us anticipating a future with more or better than what we have right now. Right now we have a fear of the corona virus and the best we can hope for is that we do all the right things right and don't get it. The best to come for most of us is being able to make some plans and move forward with the life we've planned.
When we watch most shows, whether it's the news, or interviews, a concert, or televised event we are used to the "best foot forward' with staging, lights, perfect sound, and great picture quality. Now the best is someone's home video or laptop, the camera, mic, and lighting as is, and terrible sound. With all the props gone, we can see what 'best' really is and it's ok, but we have been conditioned to see and hear everything with all the trappings. So what?
We become that best friend that has more time than ever to talk, and figure out a face-time app to get as close as possible. We have time to make and bake our best recipes since we are still allowed to go to the store and get the ingredients. With summer around the corner, some of us may have the best gardens we've ever had because we will have the time to putter more.
Best is five stars for reviews and classifications of properties. Best is the top spot on the podium and the gold medal from competition. Best is the cup at the end of the season. Surveys come though and our opinions are calculated based on one to ten. Ten is usually the very best. Over the top. Excellent. Bette Midler was once asked on a scale of one to ten, what she thought she was. She didn't miss a beat and immediately said, "Eleven". Good self esteem there!
But how about a best man at a wedding. That’s the man who stands up with the groom, even at the smallest wedding. What makes him “best”? The bride’s matron of honor isn’t called “best woman”! First of all the attendants at a wedding are there to assist and encourage their friend or family member in the planning and preparations. Most of all, the best man is there as the one assigned to endorse the marriage certificate as a witness. He’s also there to represent the groom’s side of the family and give explanations to the bride’s family, helping the new family being formed to come together in more unity and understanding.
The “best man” in my life is the Christ, Jesus, or Yeshua as He was called by His parents. He’s not only more than the best, He helps me to be my best in everything I do. I know that if I follow His “best practices” I stay in peace and enjoy life more even in all this corona confinement. We are offered gifts by God that list His “best practices”. “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet I show you a more excellent way.” I Corinthians 12:31. And what's that way? LOVE. When we find ways to love, regardless of the corona thing, the best really is yet to come.
With the corona virus there is only one way to get a full pass, and that's if you get a test and it's negative. In the meantime, some of us are giving ourselves a pass because we don't have any symptoms. But we could still be passing the virus to someone else so we have to be carefull. Some people have tested positive, had the virus, and survived. They REALLY have a pass and hopefully have antibodies in their systems.
We have to pass each other in public with at least 6 feet of space. Shopping at the grocery store was like a cat and mouse game with most of us feeling like the mouse running to get away if we saw another shopper coming too close. Finally the stores made one way aisles and that helped a bit, except if the person shopping in front of you was taking their time and you wanted to pass. Awkward. Some passed and some waited. Problem with wearing masks is that you can't see someone smiling or laughing about it all, which I was doing! As I passed!
A pass is a wonderful thing and gives a lot of confidence. If you have a parking pass for handicapped or a reserved parking space at work it makes life very convenient. Every seminar or workshop that needs registration gives you a lanyard with your name tag so you get a pass into the events you've signed up for. A pass can also be proof of payment and now days we don't have to have a ticket or paper to prove it. We just flash an email or better yet the bar code on our phone as we walk in. Nothing makes a person feel more like a VIP then when a door is being opened as you approach. We have electronic doors that do that for us now, but the bonus is having a person there to welcome you, smile, and maybe ask if they can take your bags.
The biggest challenge we have right now is how to pass the time in confinement, or working from home, or figuring out some face-time platform. Families not used to being together 24/7 may be challenged to figure out how to pass the time. They have to schedule virtual school, play time, meal time, and quite time for the baby's daily nap. If sharing electronic devices, including TV, is hard for the whole family used to availability other times of day, that has to be worked out.
One of my sayings is, "This too shall pass." But did you know that there are 446 verses in the Bible that have "and it came to pass" in them? Someone once said, "Don't forget, it says, it came to pass, it didn't come to stay." And we sure hope that's true for the corona virus! God willing. And if it comes around again, I'll pass. Thank you very much.
The corona virus has two main gates into our bodies. Our nose and our mouth are like outside gates. The gate into our lungs is the inside gate. It's the one the doctor sees when he makes you go "Achhhhhhhhhhh" to look down there. Actually if someone laughs, yawns or sings with their mouth open wide, then you might see that gate. We can't close that gate, or we won't breath. We can only guard the gates with good sanitary measures, and follow the health guidelines being recommended. Sanitize everything, wash our hands frequently, watch where we go, what we touch, and keep our hands away from the outside gates.
A gate is different than a door. A gate separates open spaces and a door separates closed spaces. The one thing all gates do is protect the space on both sides. The gate protects from things getting in and getting out. We feel safe walking by a house where a vicious dog is snarling and growling, even if we can see him, as long as there's a good fence and a sturdy gate. Some gates are made to swing easily as you walk into them. That would be like a turn style that's counting the number of people going through. Gates that fit in doorways keep kids and pets enclosed and safe, especially at the top of stairs.
Some gates are the entrance to a high, solid wall, and except for a little peep hole door have maximum privacy. In some countries a gate like that might be big enough for a car to drive through. Gates protect in many ways, but still provide the convenience of traffic. Many different types of hardware exist to keep a gate shut. My favorite is the wire that comes through the front of the gate that you pull to release a clasp on the back. It means you can have a really tall gate that you don't have to reach over to unclasp. Ours have always come with locking options and in the city we feel safer keeping it locked when we aren't taking lawn mowers or plants through.
Gates come in many sizes, shapes, style, and materials. Gates are usually attached to a fence or a wall. It would be very odd to see a gate standing alone in the middle of nowhere. A gate tells us where the entrance is, if we don't fancy jumping the fence. But I have seen gates in an opening of dense hedges that create another kind of fence.
A gate might keep something or someone out at ground level, but it can't keep out anything that flies, like insects and birds. It also can't keep out rain or snow. That comes down from the sky, no matter what kind of gate you have. That means that a little virus flying through someone's cough can get in. Keeping distance between your gates and others' is wise for right now.
The Bible mentions gates in interesting ways. The most beautiful gates we can imagine are described as being in the New City that comes down from heaven, "... And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every separate gate was of one pearl:..." Revelation 21:21 I want to see the oysters that those pearls come from. Has to be another planet.
Then there are choices in life described as gates: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. " Matthew 7:13&14 NIV I pray that most of us will find the gate that leads to life beyond whether we get the virus or not.
Today I"m looking at how to get firm footing on the path to our market during the corona confinement. Some of us have had almost everything we are used to knocked out from under us. Most of us don't know if the next step is going to feel firm or we're going to fall through the losses and not get to the other side unscathed. Every step seems to be dependent on other things holding the way firm and keeping everything together.
I'm involved in a little business and in our third year, 2019, we sold most of our products to Museum Gift Shops here in Southern Alberta. I made some calls in the Fall and was given open doors to follow up in March of 2020 which is buying season for those catering to tourists. As it turns out the retailers who purchase our goods are all closed down and tourism isn't exactly an 'essential' service with no one being allowed to travel or congregate anywhere for any reason.
In addition to that we geared up with extra product in our Paleo collection to show at the 2020 Paleo Symposium at the local University that is attended by hundreds of people, including international experts. That was cancelled leaving us with a lot of product. Each market we were used to approaching is not here right now. It's also anyone's guess when we might be back in business. On the other side, some of the components we ordered, still haven't arrived, and they are paid for. It's too late to cancel the order and they are the last component for custom orders promised last fall by one of our best customers.
My illustration shows what we feel we are looking at right now with broken steps to hinder our crossing over. There's the fear factor that we might not get to the other side at all this year because the corona virus has taken some steps away. One option is to go around the broken steps since the ropes holding the steps look sturdy and strong enough, except it's a balancing act for sure. The other option is to go as far as we can and then 'throw' the stuff over to the other side, hoping there's someone there to carry them to market. That represents trying more online sales.
One option is to take two new boards, some nails and tools and fill in the gap to make a firm footing and a safe path. The bridge will still be swinging and not feel 100% secure, but selling never is. I don't know what that looks like in the natural. But I do have one idea to take videos of our stock and send them to our prospects so when they are back buying, if there's any tourist season left this year, we will be considered. What do you think?
We are looking for a firm way to cross over to our market besides just waiting to see what's going to happen and when. Any ideas?
Walking is the favorite activity allowed during the corona confinement. We all know the rules. Stay six feet apart and stay in your neighborhood. We walk up to the mail box and hope we aren't meeting a neighbor that we have to consciously stay away from. As the days get longer and warmer here in Northwestern Canada more children play on their driveways or in their back yards. I'm wondering what families who live in apartments are doing. Some don't even have balconies and letting them run in the halls may not be allowed.
Most of the parks and playgrounds in our city are closed or have yellow police tape wrapped around the playground equipment. Some bike paths have been closed down too especially if they go through a public park. Walking is what's left and is especially okay if you walk a dog. My illustration for this blog is a kid's school crosswalk where they learn to cross safely, at the right time, and with the permission of the trained crossing guards. They are learning to obey authority and follow rules and they walk in the 'light' of that.
Jay walking or crossing a busy street between legal crosswalks is illegal in many cities and you risk injury as well as a ticket and a fine. Contrast that with some cities that design an entire intersection downtown to be free for pedestrians to cross any direction until the light changes. Here in Calgary we have Stephens Avenue Mall which is three city blocks closed to vehicle traffic from 10 to 5.
In order to walk safely we need light. By day we have the sun and at night we have street lights or flashlights. I recently shared with a fellow Missionary Kid that even as a child I had learned some scriptures that were comforting to me to remember. Carrying a lantern to light my walk from one end of our compound to the other, even as jackals were howling in the distance and I was watching for snakes and scorpions, I remembered the verse, "Thy word is a lamp unto my path and a light unto my way." I had no theological understanding of it, but I felt protected and safe.
Jesus called himself the light and paired that label with walking in it. John, one of His diciples quoted him: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " John 8:12 Then later in one of John's letters he says, " But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7 Wow! That looks like it comes with two advantages. First we walk together in more peace and harmony, and second, our "sins" are taken care of by the sacrifice Jesus made.
Some of our most difficult sins to resolve are from what we have done, or had done to us by people we walk with in life. After a school reunion sharing time I came to the conclusion that victims never forget and abusers never remember. We all had vivid memories of someone at boarding school that hurt or offended us. None of us remember doing anything to someone else, unless we were caught and got into trouble for it. Maybe the punishment took away the guilt? I like it that we can repent for what we've done and forgive for what's been done to us. And there's a way for us to have our hearts clean and walk in a path of light.
Enjoy your walk! Stay six feet apart from people and really close to the Light!
In some places there's a Corona confinement curfew. Most curfews restrict evening and night time activities outside. My favorite time of day has been made darker by the corona confinement and the number of businesses that are closed. You can’t even see the closed signs on the doors and maybe to save power the outside lights aren’t on. Dark and depressing for them, it makes the businesses that are still open few and far between, like islands or big ships at sea.
You used to drive around looking for a parking stall and now all you see is a few cars driving through for food or doing curb-side pick up. The worst sight is shoppers standing down the sidewalks six feet apart waiting to get into the store when a customer comes out. If it’s getting chilly as the night draws on and there are children shivering outside the stores, it makes me angry about it all. It makes my favorite time of day feel mean and menacing even though we don't have a curfew here.
Back at our house, I look down into neighbors' homes that we see into because we live on the hill above them. The lights in their homes reveal them going about their routines. It's comforting to know they are still here. They are well. They are doing what they've always done. Like us. Out front we can still see neighbors out walking their dogs and that's comforting too. A bit of "normal" for our neighborhood.
Dusk reminds me of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith where the day begins at sun down. They charge up with rest before they work. The Greco-Roman mind set is more like work first then fall exhausted into bed and call it a day! Maybe we do have it backwards. Maybe we should begin to see the day beginning at dusk and embrace the refreshment of rest and sleep. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5 "Another day, another dollar?" Right now, another day of home-stay!
It's still one of my favorite times of day. Dusk. It's well after sunset when it’s still light enough to see details of the landscape but dark enough for lights to come on. The traffic lights are now bright red, yellow, and green instead of the faded colors in daylight. Driving through neighborhoods I see windows lit up as people have come home from "essential" work or a quick drive to a grocery store or pharmacy. I imagine them preparing meals, helping kids with homework from their "virtual schools", and settling down to watch TV.
If you live near large expanses of water like rivers, lakes, or ocean front coves, you can also see the reflection of lights that doubles the delight of this time of day. It’s magical and mysterious at the same time. Shadows aren’t deep enough to cause the darkness to cover little details of familiar land marks if your heading home, stopping to shop or heading to an allowable evening event or activity. I'm jealous of you if you have a home where you can see lights reflected on water.
I have a strong desire to see store fronts with their night time neon lights glowing and shop windows showing off seasonal products. I want to be free to go INTO my favorite coffee shops, and restaurants that reveal the activity inside that looks and feels cosy and comforting. Dusk is still safe because when you get out of your car you aren’t stumbling in the dark because the light is bright enough to see a safe path or step.
Dusk will soon be the time of day when we can sit out on our deck or enjoy the covered patio. I can call a friend and meet for a coffee after dinner, or plan a dinner party at our favorite restaurant. It's going to be glorious. And I can't wait!
Without names we don’t have language. Language in it’s most basic form is the naming of things and actions. Names allow us to communicate verbally or in writing to come to common ground and understanding. It only works when we know the name and agree on its meaning. COVID-19 is a name we just learned and will never forget.
I love watching shows on Egypt and how experts and archeologists can actually read the hieroglyphics as a language. As soon as they read three horizontal squiggly lines as "water" or "river" I can see it and it makes sense. When we learned French in school I found out that you don’t have any words that express possession. In English, we say, “Jack’s house.” In French you have to say, “The house of Jack.” I’m sure that if I was stuck and only knew the words for Jack and house, and put them together, I would be understood.
More than that though, the name by which you are called or known is VERY important. First there’s the meaning of your name, if it was thought out. My first name Linda is after a love song that was popular when my parents were courting. My dad would sing it to my mother and substitute her name, Lydia. So my first name represents the love my father expressed to my mother when I was just a ‘twinkle in my Dad’s eye’. My middle name Ruth, was after my mother’s only younger sister whom she loved.
It turns out that Linda means “pretty” in Spanish and Ruth means “companion, friend, vision of beauty” in Hebrew. I was visiting my Brazilian neighbors in Toronto and they were going through pictures of a recent wedding and kept saying, “Ah, Linda!” which was referring to the bride as being pretty or beautiful. My mother kept me humble by sending me a name book mark embroidered with the words, “LINDA He will beautify the meek.”
Whole product lines exist to personalize items, from initialized mugs, to custom printed T-shirts, embroidered logos, and engraved memorabilia. You can have your name on just about anything. Inside my wedding band are the letters: NMGBIPL which means, “no more good byes in parking lots.” We got married to live together not just meet up and have to say good bye every time. It’s not my name, but I could sure identify that ring if it was ever lost or stolen. It’s as good as my name while I’m alive, but if the ring ended up in a second hand store, it’s anyone’s guess what a prospect might think the letters mean!
Whenever we log in or make a purchase on line, the first thing they want is our name. If we use our credit card they want the name on the card. We put our name on our stuff to identify it as ours and hopefully keep anyone else from taking it. We go to a wedding, conference, or banquet and we look for our name as we register, or find our place at a table. Tagging our luggage when we travel helps identical brands of luggage not get mixed up, and if ours gets lost the airline can forward it without making us identify the contents.
Our name is also our signature that certifies legal transactions. When a woman marries and her name changes to “Mrs. So and so” her last name represents a new family line that will be her children’s sir name. In my Rose Bush blog about community, I begin with the saying, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” And both you and I by any other name, or number, are still who we are. Even graduates with degrees who have “doctor” as part of their name, are still who they are.
The name of the top person of a corporation is the most important name in that organization. That name is behind the products, services, and guarantees as long as that signature exists to represent the bottom line of that business. Forgiveness of our sins, and especially the sin nature we are born with, has only one name, only one top person responsible for giving us forgiveness of our sins in exchange for our total allegiance. We then follow His ‘best practices’ because, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”Acts 4:12
The Bible states that after all is said and done there's one name that will stand above all others even in the entire universe..."That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth..." Phillipians 2:10 That's pretty much anything and everything that can be namedl
We are also told that there is a Book of Life and our name can be in it if we are Christ followers. It's our pass into heaven and eternity. It's like pre-registering for a conference and believing your name will be on the list of registrants when you check in.
COVID in some circles has had it's name changed to mean: "Christ Over Viruses, Infections, and Death." That's a name change worth believing in.
A full tank of gas is wonderful, except during the Corona confinement when we have to stay home. A full box of cookies or bag of chips stirs the appetite and lets us know we have lots to share so we aren’t tempted to eat the whole thing by ourselves. A fridge or pantry that's full is always better than empty. Are we feeling full mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Or do we need some filling up a little of ideas and inspiration that is encouraging, positive, and even fun?
You’ve heard the saying about testing attitude with a half glass of water. The pessimist sees the glass half empty and the optimist sees it as half full. Same level. Different perception. No wrong and no right, just different, but not full. You couldn’t do this test with a full glass of water because both the pessimist and the optimist would see it full. So maybe seeing our lives as full is more positive over all. And we are in agreement.
If the glass is over full… if I’m pouring and not paying attention and it begins to get so near the top that it’s threatening to spill over, the response is usually anxiety and a spontaneous shout… “Stop. It’s going to run over.” Overflow causes a mess, possible damage to a surface, and definitely a waste. It’s also very difficult to raise an overfull glass to your lips to drink a bit out without spilling on the way, which is why this is done bending over the glass and just taking little sips until the level goes down.
However, there is a full to overflowing that is necessary and that’s with gravity fountains and water falls. Unless there is an overflow, neither of them are possible. The key is the level and the opening that makes way for the water to fall. The table top fountain will make a gentle splashing sound as the water artificially recirculates to maintain the effect. The waterfall however, depending on the height of the drop will roar and cause a mist of sorts at the base where some water is already evaporating. Some waterfalls create a curtain over a crevice that people can stand behind if the power of the water doesn’t injure them as they try to get through.
When water overflows with no strong or secure boundaries that’s called a flood and can create a lot of damage. So we want our local water source to be full, and only over flowing if it’s directed and controlled. That’s what damns are designed to do even as the rushing water turns turbines and produces electricity.
A science teacher once wanted to demonstrate that what appears to be full sometimes still has room you aren’t seeing. He took a mason jar and some small stones and asked a student to put them into the jar until he decided it was full. When the stones were sticking out of the top a bit the student stopped, stepped back and showed it to the class.
The teacher then got a bag of sand and invited another student to come up and pour the sand into the jar. By tapping the jar gently on the table, the sand began to sift it’s way down into cracks and crevaces between the stones and soon the sand was all but covering the stones in the top. He asked the students if they believed the jar was now completely full. They all said yes.
Then he got a pitcher of water and invited another student to pour the water into the jar. The sand began to get wet and even sink in the jar as the water filled all the spaces which weren't visible until you saw where the water was going. Once the jar was almost overflowing, the student stopped, stepped back and waited. The teacher said, “Now is the jar full?” The students were afraid to say yes and wondered what might be added to it next. The teacher announced that the jar was indeed full now.
There's a saying: “If you want someone to do something, ask a busy person.” Busy people have learned to fill their jars and find room for what needs to be added without overflowing! Jesus, the Christ said, “Before now, you haven’t asked anything in my name: ask, and you will receive, you’re your joy may be full.” John 16:24 Our inner man can be full of joy even if we aren't happy with the circumstances. May your joy be full today!
Don't you love it when you ask someone to do something and they immediately say, "Sure." Compare that to asking how someone is feeling and they answer, "I'm not sure." And your natural instinct is to ask, "What do you mean, you aren't sure?" Being certain about things makes us feel a lot better. Covid-19 is trying to undermine all that.
Being sure of something is to have confidence to move forward in faith in life. Right now we aren’t so sure of the future of our health or economy, or of the freedoms we’ve volunteered to give up to keep the virus at bay. What makes us sure of anything?
The answer is sure foundations. What’s under anything to support what’s on top? In the physical realm this is what we are rely on for support. In it’ simplist form we are sure that our legs can help us stand and walk safely. We are sure that the chair will support us and that our house will remain standing, even in a pretty bad storm because of the foundation.
In the economic realm we can only access the funds we are sure of. With many suddenly having no source of income they might not be sure of how they will survive in the short term or the long term. In our house, one benefit of the corona confinement is that we aren’t spending much on gas, impulse buying, entertainment, or even eating out, since we have more time to make meals from scratch.
In times of risk we adopt the safety nets like washing, wiping surfaces, keeping the “social” distance, to be as sure as possible we aren’t being infected or infecting others. My illustration of the dock and the water represents the dangers of water if you aren't prepared. Every encounter with water as a leisure activity other than in a private swimming pool, recommends life jackets. This helps make every parent sure that even if their child falls overboard, whether a good swimmer or not, they will not drown.
In the case of the dock, if you’ve ever experienced trying to walk on a rotten one that’s unstable, you know what it feels like to be unsure. It’s worse for someone trying to tie up a boat to a dock that isn’t stable. The boat in my drawing is sturdy and well built for a little row boat, but without oars we can be sure no one will be taking it out. Lacking the simplest propelling and guidance system is too risky and too much work to steer.
The boat reminds me of a story one of my friends told me last year. Her pre-teen daughter was being mistreated by some of the other girls at school and came home to share that with her mother. It so happened that her mother had read in her morning devotional meditation that as long as you are in the boat in the water, nothing can harm you. All you have to do is keep the water out. She shared this with her daughter.
The next day her daughter came home all content and happy and said, “Those girls were mean again today, but I just looked at them as the water and decided not to let them into my boat.” Her mom was amazed that she had found practical application that made her sure of herself and feel secure, even at school. Imagine how she will do when she gets out into the world of work and relationship building.
My only sure foundation is that of being a Christ follower. Many years of living and working in the real world, of making big decisions both good and bad, have shown me what I can be sure of including this verse. “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows those that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (sin) 2 Timothy 2:19 I feel sure that through all this Corona confinement "...he will never leave me or forsake me. Hebrews 13:5 What are you sure of?
With Covid-19 forcing us to stay home, not go to work, and not venture out further than our nearest grocery or drug stores, some of us have a few more hours in each day. For example the drive time to work and back is a bonus time. The time taking the kids to dance and sports is bonus time. The time getting ready for church, or the theatre, and getting there, and parking and walking in to find your seat... that's bonus time too.
So now maybe fewer people are complaining that “There aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done.” An hour during our corona confinement can feel very strange if it’s not what we are used to. God only knows all the good that will come out of all the hours we now have in one day, in one spot.
An hour only goes fast or slow based on what we are doing or how we are feeling. An hour is a long time when you are waiting to do something. Especially if you are standing in line six feet apart on the sidewalk outside a store social distancing. Some stores can only have a maximum number of shoppers at a time so the line ups feel three times longer than they really are. We are judging by the length of the line and not by the time shoppers are going in and coming out.
The good part is that there's a lot of time to visit with others in line and that helps the line move faster. We are all in the same boat.
Let’s face it that hour is still an hour. The nice thing about an hour is that it is 60 minutes. That can be divided evenly into halves, thirds, quarters, tenths, sixths, fifths, fourths, or even ones and twos. What a wonderful number 60 is that makes up a whole hour.
Did you know that most of the advertising you watch on TV is only minutes long? When the host of a talk show says to the guest, "We have one minute left, is there something you would like to leave with our audience?" we panic and think, "One minute?" And we can't believe that several sentences are said, and in plenty of time to end the show properly.
In terms of time management a good rule of thumb is to over calculate the time required to do just about anything. That way unforeseen distractions and interruptions won’t create panic or anxiety as the time goes on. A report on the news was saying that those working from home were actually putting in about three hours more than they clock in on their jobs. Maybe that is including what would normally be drive time. Maybe with jobs being lost right now, there is a motivation to prove worth to remain employed.
Time stops for no one. We all get the same amount, per every day we are alive on earth. So there's really no difference between “Hurry up! We only have an hour.” and “Great we have a whole hour.” The length of time never changes. It's just our attitude and perception of how much time we need at the moment that makes the difference. And an 'hour' doesn't always refer to 60 minutes of time. Sometimes it's talking about the time of an event.
And consider this promise from Jesus: "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth." Revelation 3:10 Hmmm... that kind of describes this world wide crisis.
So I'm making part of my 'enduring patiently' having fun... as much as I can. Try it!
We all know the saying "close to the wire" or "down to the wire" to mean approaching the last possible minute of a deadline. If you are talking about a trip wire, then close to the wire means you could have almost been done in. None of us knows how close to the wire we have been with the corona crisis.
If you are saying, "down to the wire" it refers to a finish line or a deadline that is approaching and you want to get there. It can also mean that the goal or the ribbon at the end of the race is in sight and you are almost there. Two different takes. Who knows where the end of the wire is in this corona confinement.
In making jewelry, you use a variety of wire, from very soft and pliable to very strong, also called "memory wire". The soft wire will take on the shape of your neckline and body shape as a necklace. It won't kink if bent, compared to memory wire that is very hard to bend without the right tools. It's used mostly for cuff style bracelets or collar style neck wear.
Wire of different gauge (thickness), shape, and material is designed for a variety of uses. I once went to the hardware store and asked for chicken wire to use in a paper mache project. After much discussion, the store clerk finally said, "Oh, you mean poultry mesh! Whatever, yes.
Wire is handy because it can be bent and twisted for different uses, but is ALWAYS used to secure something. Stop and think about it. Even the little twist ties you get with the garbage bags, or the ones holding all the parts in place to the packaging are bent and twisted. Not only is the hold secure for the purpose, but it's relatively easy to release. And reuse.
I never understood why wire would break if bent back and forth multiple times. I was investigating wire that was stronger, but not thicker for wire wrapping stones. A customer overheard my request, turned to me and said, "You have to beat it!" The look on my face was, "What?" "You have to hammer it." and with that she took me to the entire selection of wire and metal hammering tools and equipment.
As I investigated through YouTube, I learned that bending a wire back and forth it tempering it at the bend to where it hardens and breaks! With a piece of leather and a hammer at home I was able to strengthen my wire projects, even with very fine wire. Who knew that when you take a beating, you get stronger.
It reminds me of the verse, “For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:12 The controversial one is, "He that spares his rod hates his son: but he that loves him chastens him sometimes." Proverbs 13:24
Google says: "spare the rod and spoil the child. old-fashioned saying. said to mean that if you do not punish a child when they do something wrong, they will not learn what is right." Apr 8, 2020 Like training a puppy? All I know is that I am wired to be much stronger, compassionate, forgiving, and humble from all the beatings I've taken in life. For which I'm grateful!
We may never know how close to the wire of getting infected with the corona virus we came. We are hoping that we are down to the wire of when it will end. Right now the end for a few restrictions is lifting, so it may be more like 'hurdles' to jump over than ribbons to break though at the end of a race. We'll see, won't we.
Linda McKendry, renaissance girl accused of doing too many things. Loves to educate, motivate, inspire, and empower (entertain).