DRACULA, WEREWOLF & SPOOKS

‘Tis the season for spooky stuff. AMC is having non-stop chillers. TCM has Friday Fright Night. I’m sure other channels are doing the same. Our community is having a Scarecrow Festival and some are pretty ghoulish. My husband loves the old Dracula, Werewolf and Frankenstein movies with such actors as Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and Vincent Price (notice the set of 3’s, Chuck). I can watch these. I can’t watch the stuff of today.
The last few weeks my husband, the remote controller, flips through channels. A scene from ‘Chucky’ comes on. “Change it!” We watch another mild show and then his itching fingers flip again and a scene from a ‘Friday The 13th’ movie shows up. “Change it!” Click. HGTV House Hunters in Hawaii. Ahhh. Much better. House hunters, not head hunters or head choppers.
Back in the day, the old scary movies did the trick. I remember watching ‘The Mummy’ (old one, not new ones) as a child and being scared to death. But the gore was almost non-existent and the fright factor good but not over the top. I don’t mind what I consider G rated scary, like when the alien steps out at the Mexican birthday party in the movie ‘Signs.’ And by the way, if you haven’t seen this one, it is well worth the time. Scary but powerfully good.
You know those emails that are nostalgic about the past, especially the good ‘ole TV shows with talking horses, rescue dogs and smart horses? A huge hit on television right now? ‘The Walking Dead.’ In fairness, we have watched it for 5 minutes, so I cannot be too hard on something I haven’t seen. Maybe it has good stuff. I’m content not to find out. I could get on my soapbox lamenting how scary movies of today for the most part have transformed into disgusting, horrific, sadistic themes of evil. I could further question why people would want to watch them.
But instead, unabashedly I say, take me back to the old days of The Munsters! I liked The Hand! I loved Herman!

More Eyes

Ever wished you had global eyes?
Someone says, “Oh! Look at that!” and no matter, you could see it.
Even if the car has passed by.
No child would have a chance. ‘Eyes in the back of your head’ would be a reality.
But a few problems could happen.
Like stimuli overload in the brain.
Focusing on just one thing.
Trouble with the phrase, “No peeking!”
Sunglasses?

Which Way Do You Swim?

I love the ocean! As a child and then teenager, body surfing at the Atlantic coast in Florida gave me great joy and occasional panic. Sometimes in a half hour I could end up way down the beach from where I started because of the current. Surfing along with the current…that’s the easy thing to do. It requires little effort.  But try going against it and you begin to understand struggle and effort and pain.  After a while it’s just easier to give up and quit resisting.  Go with the flow.  When the current gains strength, however, fear begins to set in and the struggle begins. No one wants to be totally swept away, losing all control or even life.

Born in the flesh on this earth, humans have an inclination toward good or evil.  Everyone begins innocent, aware of only the basic needs and having them fulfilled.  But the longer one lives on this earth, innocence slowly but surely erodes.  Gradually, the current of the world gains a foothold in the heart and mind.  One resists, being created to know when the direction is wrong, something known as conscience.  It doesn’t ‘feel’ right to go in that direction.  Some   beaches have danger signs posted saying, ‘Rip Tide Currents. Stay Out of Water.’  How foolish not to heed the warning! But all too easily, with practice, one can learn to ignore the voice of right-doing, finding it more desirable to flow along with the flesh as countless others have done before. The older one becomes, the more the voice can get drowned out by the world’s standards:  morality of today is relative; what may be wrong for one person to do may not be wrong for someone else – it depends on the circumstances.

At Clearwater Beach as a child I remember putting my foot in the water and watching tiny fish scurry away.  One turns, they all turn, as though in harmony.  Likewise, people making wrong decisions, choosing not to do good when they should, giving in to desire instead of restraint, follow in the worldly direction together, going with the flow.  Giving into the flesh is like moving with the current, easier to do.  The after effects are not always pleasant but are shared by those in the group so one doesn’t feel so badly.  But when the current gains strength the eyes are opened and one feels on the brink of a precipice.  “Do I really want this for my life?  What am I doing?   Why am I here?”  Doing good things and choosing not to follow evil desires appease the conscience for a time, but IT’S SO HARD GOING AGAINST THE CURRENT!

And so the battle resumes, doing what is right or giving into the flesh.  It doesn’t take long to realize how powerless anyone is against the pull of this world.  “Oh, wretched man that I am! Who can deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7: 24) This cry comes when someone realizes time and time again his weakness to swim against the current.  The dilemma is spelled out:  “What I want to do, I do not. And the very things I hate, I do.” (Romans 7: 15) I have become my greatest obstacle! So how do I learn to move away from the pull of the flesh, to swim against the current for a lifetime, not just every blue moon when a long look at life is taken?  It’s not enough to try, try again if at first you don’t succeed.  

The strategy for overcoming the obstacle known as self is surrender.  But it’s like telling a pregnant woman in labor to relax during a contraction.  It’s the last thing she feels like doing but it’s the best thing she can do to work through the pain.  Surrender means letting go. Ironically, it’s the only way to enjoy and be successful going against the current.  Surrender means finding yourself by dying.  “He who seeks to save his life will lose it.  But he who chooses to lose his life for my sake will find it.” (Luke 9:24) Jesus spoke these words. He also said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.   

Years ago while in Hawaii, my husband warned me about the power of the ocean and the need to respect it.  He knew from experience, and listening to him paid off.  Although a strong swimmer, I chose to follow his words and avoid danger. When you’ve faced the damage in your life from going with the flow, listening and choosing to follow One more wise and powerful makes sense.  Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28 – 30)  What if you could erase the past and follow someone like Jesus? It begins with a willingness to trust him and decide to turn completely around and begin swimming upstream, against the current.  That’s the death part, a decision to let go of those things that kept you stuck in the current, powerless to change course. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies…”   

Years later, I took our children into the Atlantic Ocean to teach them to body surf.  They swallowed salt water as I had but enjoyed the thrill of riding the waves into shore.  The more they practiced, the better they became.  In the same way, swimming upstream develops muscles in your heart and mind.  The longer you do it, the stronger you become. I was with our children, making sure they were safe, that the current wouldn’t pull them out into deep water.  Every minute of every day, the One who is gentle and humble in heart wades out into the current of the world and says, “Come to me.  Learn from me.  If you die you will truly live, and you will find rest for your soul.”

I * LOVE * PUMPKIN

pumpkin pie
pumpkin roll
pumpkin seeds
scary pumpkins
funny pumpkins
plain pumpkins
pumpkin crunch
pumpkin cheesecake
pumpkin pecan pie
pumpkin smell (except if burned)
pumpkin patches
lit up pumpkins
funky faced pumpkins
Feel free to add to the list.

Where's My Mommy?

A small brown calf (look carefully) is bawing for his mother. No answer. The rest have gone over the hill where he can’t see them. After trying different directions, he finally loped out of sight, hopefully finding her. Think we’ve all been there…lost…with what seems to be no answer. But if we just admit our condition and turn toward, in this case, the Father, He will come running with open Arms. No conditions.

The Search is OVER!

Oh, the little things in life that bring you joy, like a used recliner in good shape, looking perfect in our little living room, adding a much-needed comfy seat so we don’t have to share the tiny sofa!  The search has continued for at least two months with the most recent possibility snatched from under our feet by someone with a truck and money.  We had money, no truck.

But TODAY…not only did we like this $30 recliner, but found out it could be pulled apart and actually fit into our 4 door sedan and trunk!  Why, we even had room for groceries!

I’m one of those who has no problem asking God for the little things.  The solution appeared, really, at just the right time, less than a week after getting back from our month-long trip. But tonight, no one can sit in the recliner as I rubbed over it at least 5 times with upholstery cleaner on a damp cloth.  But tomorrow, oh, joy!