Author Archives: Dee

About Dee

I am a working wife, geek, and mother of two with opinions about just about everything which I plan to share here.

John 4:1-26 and 39-42

John 4:1-26 and 39-42

I Love the pictures the bible gives us. Pictures of Jesus and pictures of God’s people wrestling with how to live out their faith in the real world. Regular people just like us. The story of the woman at the well is one of those kind of stories.

Sometimes stories become so familiar that I think I know them and because of what I think I know, sometimes I miss details.

God orchestrates ordinary circumstances to accomplish extraordinary things.

In this scripture there is a little passage, kind of a side note that caught my attention. Jesus HAD to go through Samaria. Some translations say Jesus needed to go. Jews at that time had as little to do with Samaritans as possible. They would take the long way around to avoid going through Samaria. So that makes me wonder…why did Jesus, a Jew, HAVE to go through Samaria?  So, if we walk this out –  Jesus did His Father’s will. So if Jesus had to go through Samaria, then logically, it was His Father’s will that He go that way. If he had not obeyed His Father’s will, He would not have met the Samaritan woman. (sometimes when we listen to the prodding of the Holy Spirit we may go through unfamiliar and even uncomfortable territory.

If you have an encounter with Jesus, you might do something out of the ordinary (like leaving your water jug behind)

So here we are. Jesus, wholly divine and fully human is sitting at this well, tired and hot. A woman shows up at the well to get water. She must not have been rich or she might have had servants to fetch water for her.  But Jesus listens to her. He SEES her, right to the heart of her life. Maybe his words caused her to see herself through His eyes, and made her realize how badly she needed grace. I’m not sure what His words meant to the woman but we know from the text, they were personal and He revealed Himself to her as the messiah! The words must have had a profound effect on her because she was so excited that she went off and left her water jar. In the desert. Left. it. THAT is what an encounter with Jesus can do to you. I imagine if I went to Walmart for milk and was gone several hours and came back empty handed, Dale and I would be having a conversation. Now notice what happened. She went back and told the others that this man told her everything she had ever done and they BEGAN to believe. Something about what she said or maybe just how she was, made them want to meet him.

Sharing our faith doesn’t convert anyone. We just have to point them to Jesus. Jesus does the heavy lifting. It is their own encounter with the Christ that changes them.

Whatever effect Jesus had on this woman, something about her caused the people she spoke to, to have a desire to meet this Jesus for themselves and once they met Him, they wanted to hang out with him and because of their time with Jesus, Christianity spread throughout that part of the world. Pretty extraordinary!

So what are we to do with this? How does this story speak to each of us? For me, it reminds me we are all walking through a desert. It can be beautiful but also it’s dry and dusty and just harsh sometimes. On Sunday morning we come here – to our well where we can rest and be refreshed.

We are tired and thirsty. Maybe we have spent the week wrestling with our faith, trying to work out how to live as one of God’s kids. Maybe we have had one of those weeks where we resembled the Samaritan. We have worshipped on a different mountain and hung out at different wells, and our own beliefs have gotten muddied. Maybe it was wonderful and we just need to say our thanks and praise the one who sustains us. Whatever the week was like, we are here now with with our empty cups held out.  We need an encounter with Jesus. We need that thirst to be quenched. We need to be filled with living water.

But just showing up at the well isn’t enough. Like the woman at the well, we have to seek Jesus for Him to reveal Himself to us and ASK Him for that water. If we walk into the sanctuary with our empty cup held out, asking Jesus to fill it, to fill US with living water then it isn’t going to matter who is behind the pulpit. It isn’t going to matter that our favorite hymn wasn’t sung. It may not even matter what team’s playing or where we are eating after church because we will have in some way met Jesus and we will be changed. And maybe, just maybe, if we are paying attention, there will be someone we encounter in the next week that needs to meet this Jesus and we will have a conversation, or perform a kindness, or just seem different and it will point them in a new path in the desert, not just to fill a pew at our church, though that would be wonderful; but because every single person needs to know that they are not alone in the desert, needs their own encounter with the risen Christ, and needs to know that at the end of that long walk through the desert, Jesus is waiting for them.

Changes

I have been inactive here for too long. My dry spell for writing began with the election but while shocked at the results, the continuation of that dry spell has been more a response to the willingness of people to not only strongly take sides, but spew hate without even seeming to be aware of what they are saying. I fear for this world, not for myself, but for my children and their children. There are hard times coming.  Some writers can take their pain and turn it into poetry. My poetry comes from a place of peace in my soul and that is what I have been working on, but it has taken my thoughts in a different different.

Next Sunday I will give the message at church for the first time. I will post it here after Sunday. I am speaking on John 4, the story of the woman at the well. Walking though the desert to get water and meeting Jesus seemed a good place to start. I would appreciate prayers. I am not a public speaker and this is so very far out of my comfort zone. Luckily I will have a stool to sit on as it makes it even more difficult to concentrate on your words when your knees are shaking!

I’ve also had some ongoing health concerns this year and as of this post, I have a shiny new grand daughter – Nola Mae. So cares and blessings. Life moves on.

 

 

A New Year

A friend posted several very gray photos on his Facebook page with short poems, expressing his depression over the new leadership.  I have been sad, angry, dismayed, but I can’t sustain that. I ‘m not made that way. My verse for this year is Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

My responses to his photos are below.

sun rises and sets as the planet spins

It pays no mind to us

to our worries and hopes

to kings and paupers

it shines the same creating light and shadow

on the pond as on the castle

castles crumble and ponds dry up

mountains smooth out as wind

blows grains of sand

how do we live?

one grain at a time

waiting for light

waiting for rain

washing worries and hopes the same

soaking kings and paupers

pay attention

as the sun rises and sets

and we spin on this planet

pay attention

__________________________

if the world is gray, let it be silver

the light reflects off low clouds

while the sun licks her wounds

rests for another glad dawn

holding herself just on the other side

out of sight but still giving light

sun cannot help but shine

any more than I can not breathe

and while breath is not promised

nor another dawn certain

we remember gold and cling to air

if they are gone, we will meet

the sun on the other side

I will hope, and pray, and love as hard as I can.

New Year Reflections

I had so many dark thoughts about the past year and not a lot of positive for the next. I was prepared to write a ranting post about the horrible state of the world and then….I read several things written by folks much smarted than I am. For instance:

“Speaking of the happy new year, I wonder if any year ever had less chance of being happy. It’s as though the whole race were indulging in a kind of species introversion — as though we looked inward on our neuroses. And the thing we see isn’t very pretty… So we go into this happy new year, knowing that our species has learned nothing, can, as a race, learn nothing — that the experience of ten thousand years has made no impression on the instincts of the million years that preceded.” John Steinbeck January 1, 1941

It would seem that as bad as things seem, they come in cycles so in the words of Bette Davis “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” I’m going to hang on and hope to ride it out until the wheel turns.

 

as long as there are poets

and stars up in the sky

then hope will fling the sweetest words

to float above us high
as long as there are singers

the band will surely play

marry the two, the singer the song

the heart will have it’s say
as long as there are dancers

and feet to tap the time

to travel the world on a single floor

movement synced with rhyme
as long as there are painters

to mirror color and line

reflect the hope, the world goes on

with brushstroke, broad and fine
as long as there’s a speck of God

in every living soul

creative need a planted seed

will help to make us whole
as long as there are hands to make

to reach across a chasm deep

to hold, to soothe, extend to shake

to do the work till time to sleep
from heart to mind to hands and feet

all will sing and move and say

and when we’re gone the song goes on

shadow, echo, fade away

 

Happy 2017 world.

Mary Rocked

When Mary rocked her baby boy

She dozed as mothers do

and as she slept she dreamed

a dream of me and you

For in her arms a baby slept

but there was more she held

for on this night all round her

God’s own angels knelt

In Mary’s  arms the world did rest

each soul who breathed and died

Mary rocked the world that night

all the way to God’s side

For every tender kiss and touch

God’s love flowed gently through

This baby born to live and die

To make each of us new

Autumn Gold

cold rusted leaves cling to wet branches

braced for a final fall

last dance before the earth swallows their life

to give back to next years new growth

memories of sun fill veins

pulse slowed to the rhythm of seasons

give way to slumber

as though winter wins the battle

as though the fight does not go on

frost will come over and over again

the cold cannot reason past it’s arrival

but roots will hold trees in place

waiting for the first drops

as light and life triumph

the bright gold a promise

that is always, always kept

hope

Copy and Paste If You Agree…

I posted this on Facebook. I am probably being unfriended or dismissed as a libtard as I repost here. I wrote this after reading two posts by other folks. I copied part of their post and put it in the google search bar and though they did not say so on their post – their words did not come from them. The only clue was that at the bottom of their post were the words “copy and paste if you agree”  Interesting enough, one person who had copies and pasted and shared something that they did not write actually “liked” my post…

The funny thing is, I actually consider myself more of a conservative at last by my understanding of what it means to be conservative. I also believe in helping others. I believe in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. I pay taxes and I am blessed that I can afford health insurance (barely).

I did not like ANY of our candidates this year. I like how people are reacting to the result even less. Name calling and anger on both sides. I believe in peaceful protesting. I do NOT believe in indiscriminate destruction of property just because you are mad partially because it is wrong and partially because that is no way to change anyone’s mind.

I believe this country being founded by immigrants, should be willing to shelter those who are in harms way from other countries. I do not believe in a permanent free ride.

I believe that we live in an age where information is free and prolific and takes very little effort to find. It does take a little more effort than simply copying and pasting. Facebook has turned into the virtual version of what we used to call supermarket rags – those papers that you would see at the checkout with “shocking” headlines and celebrity gossip and I find it frustrating and insulting that the contents of these sketchy websites are being shared and resider as though they are reputable sources of news. Some contain tiny bits of truth amid inflammatory language and sometimes out and out lies.

My first thought was to just start unfriending people so I would see this dreck that gets me wound up. For the moment I am instead, writing and commenting and hoping that people will start to actually read what they are sharing and maybe even research where it came from; put some thought into the agenda of the original source.

I recently read a post on Facebook that began like this: : “I’m going to let all you upset Hillary supporters in on a little secret. To those of you questioning now how you will ever be able to raise a child in a world full of hate and bigotry, saying this election has provided even a further wedge in our nations divide, etc. Donald J. Trump will not come into your home, and teach your children, real values and morals, You will

This text came (as far as I can tell) from Buzzfeed which is a click bait site that makes money off adds as we all click there and read sketchy “news” articles that may or may not be plagiarized or contain pieces of truth mingled with things made up with the purpose of getting us all to click there. They concentrate on social media sites like Facebook and twitter. They play on our anger, fear, and voyeurism and they focus on making posts go viral – not out of any agenda other than to make money from ads. That’s it. They do not care about your race, gender, religion, politics or anything else about you other than your ability to click and share so someone else will click and share and so on and so on.

I will not from this moment on take another stupid Facebook quiz or do anything else to support this behavior. There are a lot of websites that do the same and much of what I have read on the internet the last few days came from those kind of sites. If you want to know more about this website here is a wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BuzzFeed

We all have the freedom and capability to post our opinions. This is mine. I recently came upon the phrase “consensus reality”. This basically means that a group of people adopt a world reality because they all see it that way. This is not inherently a bad thing. In the midst of a horrible event the reality can change because there is a consensus of hope. Unfortunately the opposite is also true. A happy or uplifting event can change because of a bad perception. If who we are is what we click and share we have created a consensus reality that we are mostly angry/whiny contentious, snowflake, bigoted, brainless, privileged, whatever. Choose your club.

Four years ago Republicans were crying that our country is ruined. Their candidate lost the election and they were certain we were going to hell in a hand basket. The same group is now laughing and calling democrats entitled whiny babies. Democrats are saying all Republicans are all privileged and bigots and have no compassion.

Politics is a very good example of consensus reality. A politician wants to create a consensus that he or she is the answer to all of our problems. It doesn’t matter that the reality is that the problems are complex and will not be solved the day after the election. They don’t care if you get angry with your neighbor for how they vote. They just want to WIN (the political equivalent of click and share).

When my kids were small we signed them up for tee ball. What a fun experience. Aside from teaching basic skills like running, throwing, catching and hitting the ball, a difficult lesson to teach them was that they should not all run to the ball. They had to be taught team work. Each person had a place on the field and they each were part of a process that if they learned to work together, allowing each person to do their part, they could attain their goal.

Remember the old game where you whispered something in someone’s ear and it was passed around a circle and at the end the last person had to ay what they were told and often it bore little resemblance to the original message? Did you trust the person who whispered to you? The person who whispered to them?

What will you whisper? What will you click and share? Who will make money off your anger?

We all need to go take tee ball lessons.

Wisdom of Trees

Peace falls soft with the night
Though even as the sun sets
it shares a rosy glow
Though we may be blue as the sky
The lesson from the trees
Taught as they stand still and reach
for light till it fades to black
and even then they stand
waiting to share the cool
gathered from night
when the sun returns

The Book

The book will soon be available on the website!

http://www.parispoetssociety.com

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The flowers were from my husband and children.

Grand Finale

Grand Finale Tommy Stone

Photo and Title Credit Tommy Stone

The sun, she doesn’t hide from sight

even the clouds can’t keep her light

from painting a fading sky

Even the waters sing her chorus

knowing that dark is nigh

even the trees give rest

and the birds do cease to fly

and still the sun keeps dancing

her colors wild, enchanting

as shadow slowly slanting

she says “it matters! Look and see!”

“Dance the music plays for free!”

And even as the last notes played

the echo reaches space

and though the dark will come too soon

last rays warm watcher’s face

 

Sky Falls

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Photo credit Tommy Stone

there will be time

for sun and bright colors

for light and wind and

the work of the day

spring and summer

slip away as hints

of winter settle on the pond

fish swim a little slower

clouds hang a little lower

as night comes a little closer

we walk through the dry grass

that crackles underfoot

leaving impressions

of where we have been

but not where we are going

Last Gasps

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Photo and Title Credit Tommy Stone

like the pillow

where I lay my head

clouds will cover trees

in softest down

as night shakes out

the wrinkles smoothing

out the tension

calming all the babies

tucking heads neath

feathered wings

nested in the darkest leaves

settle lower, deeper still

heavy lidded, curled around

from top to trunk

rooted in the bed of earth

sings a mother sky

of sunset dreams

and sleepy sighs

Exhibit

From Facebook:

Paris Poet’s Society is proud to be a part of a unique project. Several months ago they put out a call for submissions of poetry and photography. The theme was What Brings You Here. The project is complete and there will be an exhibit and book! Please join us October 28 at 7:00 P.M. for a reception at the Raven Gallery on the west side of the square in downtown Paris. We are so excited to be a part of this event! Please join us and enjoy the work of some local artists.

I have two poems in this exhibit and book. I’m very excited!

 

 

In The Silence

As I walk through the world
I wonder what is my purpose,
my reason, my work
Fears and worries chase me
like a million bees buzzing in my ears
but the sun reminds me that I will be warm
The pond reflects the peace
that grows in the trees and the grass
The bird stands guard
proclaiming nothing and everything
In the silence

Between The Lines

read between the lines

I whispered with no voice

because that is where truth tiptoes

whistling past the graveyard

of excuse and explanation

holding itself close as a baby

taken to breast

the thought just after

the prayer has ended

the wish too fragile

to make over the candle flames

the sound in the room

after a death

What Are We To Do

I was honored to present this at church. After torturing my husband with practicing all week I was able to do it without reading every word. The news has been so bad lately, it makes you question everything and this was my way of trying to figure things out.

What are we to do when evil
drops in and curls up on the sofa,
whispers to us from the tv,
tickles the back of the throat as we watch
another fatherless child weep?
Will we see Jesus as we stumble
along this dry and dusty road
filled with funerals and rage?
There is no room for both love and hate.
One will always push the other off the cliff
and in the falling we close our eyes
so heaven is no more in our sight.
How we see becomes what we do.
Did God know when he took clay and formed it
in His image
how we would refuse to see Him in each other?
We cannot fall so far
that grace cannot catch us by surprise
and place us back in green pastures.
Dissension can never yell so loud
that it drowns out the bird’s song.
God waits while we struggle,
ready to
give us back the gifts made for us,
give us back the work prepared for us,
give us back the part of us that is like Him.
So, while evil sits on the sofa
let us do what makes us who we should be.
Feed the hungry, heal the sick, console the bereft.
Let’s turn our backs on the thief of joy.
Sooth the tickle at the back of the throat
with living water.
Weep with the fatherless
and be Jesus on the dusty road
for those who need Him most.
There is no law against these things
and they will give us back so much more than they cost.
We will be salt.
We will be light.
We will see grace.

Sunset Symphony

the sun so loud it hurts my ears
and even as the night would cool
I feel the heat brush tree limbs bare
and paints a sky that once knew blue
but bids us peace with brighter hue
a fierce reminder daylight wins
and as a planet silent spins
the sunset chorus covers sins
dawn will come the dance begins
but just for now keep watch and see
a symphony of light for free