The Charming Tyrants

The Charming Tyrants

Good Words

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way. - Anon

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stupid Human Tricks

HT does this thing with his eyebrows where he rolls them across his forehead like the crowd at an arena during a sporting event.  We like to call it "the wave".  I finally got him to do it for the camera.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Who Do You Say That I Am?"

Jesus asks this question of his disciples in Luke 9:20 and it has been in the scripture readings for the last two Sunday's and has started me thinking.

Thinking about what the answer to that question is, thinking about how his disciples answered the question and about how we answer that question.  Thinking about the impact of that answer and our response to it and how it will affect the way we live our lives.  If we answer as Peter did in verse 20, you are "the Christ of God" we are then asked to follow him.  Do I follow Jesus?  Do I even really know who is he?  I would certainly answer as Peter did.  But can I ever really know him?  I have spent most of my lifetime trying and I am not going to give up, no matter how hard it is.  I believe the relationship is worth the effort.

Not everyone would answer as Peter does, some call Jesus a great teacher, some say a prophet, some say a charlatan.  It seems to me the answer to this question is the crux of how Christianity was founded.  If we do not understand who he is and what his purpose was in coming to this earth we are truly lost.  If we pretend that his sacrifice on the cross was unnecessary or that he was not raised from the dead, then what do we gain in following him.  We would be following a facsimile of him, one of our own making, one that would lead us nowhere, one that would have us laboring for salvation by works rather than "faith alone".  I heartily agree with C.S. Lewis who so eloquently addresses this issue in Mere Christianity.  If you have never read the book I would encourage you to do so.  I also think that if you are struggling with your "religion" and wondering about whether or not to go to church or to leave one church for another, the question you should be asking of the church is "Who do you say Jesus is?"  The church that answers as Peter did would be a good place to start.  Once we find our way we can then strive to follow him.  Jesus himself says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Am I willing to "take up my cross" and follow him? Am I willing to suffer for my belief in who Jesus is?  I would like to think so, but really how can my "suffering" if you will, even compare to what others see elsewhere in the world, especially Christians in Asia and the middle east.  Yet I see daily how our religious freedoms are being eroded.  One hardly dares express an opinion about religion or morality for fear of being called intolerant, ignorant or a bigot, even when we speak the truth in love, we are shouted at, laughed at and belittled for our words.  I also know that I can never suffer as Jesus himself did.  Have you ever seen The Passion?  No movie before or since has ever depicted the suffering of Christ as it does.  I sobbed and sobbed uncontrollably and had to look away more than once, it was excruciating to watch.

I have also been convicted of my lack of faith and failing to follow Jesus, in every way, in every day and I struggle to find the right balance, to be in the world but not of the world.  Asking myself how that is done with truth, grace and dignity?  And admiring those who seem to be living in that balance.  Living for Christ is a lesson that takes a lifetime to learn and I'm still learning.  Sometimes I despair at the burden of teaching my children this lesson, but really I know that they must come to faith on their own.

So I am asking you today who do you say Jesus is?  Can you answer he is "the Christ of God"?  If not I would urge you to start seeking out the truth, find a church home,  talk to a pastor, pray with a friend, read your bible, do whatever it takes and live the life God intended for you.

I'm linked up today, click button for more lessons.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Fun in the California Sun

When I was a kid growing up I remember parties that my parents and us kids sometimes attended, where the host and hostess had just returned from a whirlwind vacation to some exotic locale, a place we were never likely to visit, to view their vacation slides. Mostly us kids just wanted to play and having to sit still and be quiet while someone droned on about their vacation was sheer agony. The internet and more specifically a blog has replaced those types of parties, what with the invention of digital media and the ease of up loading photos online, no one has to sit through a bunch of slides and politely ooh and ah when appropriate. You can now pick and choose what you want to view or none at all.

So this post could alternatively be titled, "The post in which I bore you with more vacation photos." And if you decide to click away, I completely understand. But this blog is somewhat of a digital scrapbook for me and I want to save a few of the best pictures.

On a side note I would just like to say how very disappointed I am with Apple and iPhoto and iLife because you cannot make a simple photo collage. If I want to make a collage it is complicated and time consuming and very limited by what you can and can't do with a screen shot. If any one out there has a better solution that won't cost me an arm and a leg I am all ears!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chasin' Leprechauns

The day started as any day.  

As any day you would expect to see come springtime.  The sky was brooding and dark, the clouds looked bruised and wrung dry.  The air hung heavy with the scent of leftover rain.

As I pondered the gloomy day over my cup of mint tea I thought I heard a strange noise.  

I knew I'd heard a noise . . .  there it was again, the scurry of little feet and the jovial laugh of  . . .  could it be . . .  a leprechaun!  I knew I had to move fast or I would miss my chance for fame and fortune.  

What to do?  What to do?

It came to me in a flash.  I'd set a trap.  

It'd be brilliant! 

I rushed to find my supplies, a hat, a whoopie cushion and a trail of chocolate covered sunflower seeds.  Everyone knows that leprechauns love a good joke and surely they couldn't resist chocolate.  Once they snatched that cushion the hat would fall and their pot of gold would be mine.  MINE, MINE, MINE.  

It was with glee that I bounded up the path to set my trap.  The sun decided to peek through the clouds as if to see what all the fuss was about.  That was when I remembered that today was St. Patrick's day and knew that luck would be on my side.  How could I fail?

I crouched behind the bushes patiently waiting, just out of sight, then I heard them again.

They were coming!!!!!

I could hardly contain myself.  My hands shook with excitement as I tried to hold the camera steady.  I needed to capture this moment!

And then . . .

I kissed my blarney stone for good luck.

And then . . .

I snapped the picture.



I hope you're feeling the green.

Several months back I agreed to participate in Amanda's (aka Dumb Mom) totally awesome blog photo chain.  It works like this.  A disposable camera is mailed to each participant, who takes one photo, only one and then mails it to the next person in the chain.  I just happened to get it today.  So we will have to wait until the camera makes its way back to Amanda to see if I was successful in capturing a leprechaun or not.

I'll letcha know!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

We attended the wedding of my nephew a week ago last Sunday and the minister said some things that really got me thinking about love, life and relationships. It was a very lovely wedding and traditional in the sense that you heard and saw what you would expect to at any wedding. The bride was radiant and gorgeous and with joyful tears she walked down the aisle. The groom beamed with pride and adoration at her coming.  At long last hands clasped in solidarity.

The minister talked about faith and fellowship, not only towards each other but to God and within their respective families. Reminding us all that when we marry we are forming new boundaries. Boundaries that now include our spouse but that will also inevitably be exclusive to the marriage partnership and rightly so. When we create such deep emotional, physical and spiritual ties with another we are vulnerable to one another and that creates an intimacy that touches every part of our lives, of our very beings. And we are bound to hold that vulnerability and intimacy faithful, to give each other our trust, a trust that should never be broken.

We are asked to seek God's grace and wisdom to guide and sustain us in our relationships with each other and with the newlyweds. To be mindful of those boundaries.

The minister also spoke on Paul's admonition in Ephesians 5:21-22, 25. Which is oftentimes controversial because we have a tendency to misunderstand his words and to take them out of context. I am reminded of what I have heard before that we are to listen to what is being said to us and not to use what is being said to another as a cudgel. Those words are not for us, we need to pay attention to those words that are! Each party must "be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ"! Did you catch that, "subject to one another", the admonition is not mutually exclusive but inclusive to both parties. This connection, this commitment to one another must be inclusive to succeed and echoes the words of Christ who said that no greater love exists than that which moves a friend to lay down his life for another.

Love is a beautiful thing, it is also hard work and can sometimes come at great personal cost but man is it worth it! No greater love have we seen or will we ever see than that of our Lord himself for us. It is humbling and convicting and makes my so called sacrifices pale in comparison.

The bride and groom did not get the sunset on the beach wedding that they had hoped for, but I'm sure they didn't really mind and as they stood under the arbor pledging their love and lives to each other with the sea breeze rustling through the dangling chimes reflecting the light like a thousand stars and clinking like champagne glasses in a toast, we didn't mind either. At least the rain held off until we got inside for the reception.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother 
and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh".
Genesis 2:24

I'm linked up today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Paradise Point

We stayed at the Paradise Point Resort while in San Diego.  It was very nice as resorts go, not that I have stayed in many . . .  wait make that any.  The room was nicely decorated and adequate for our needs and it looked clean.  Not that I'm a neat freak, but when my youngest spilled some water all over the tile floor and I got one of the nice white towels out of the bathroom to mop it up, the towel turned black.  We kept our socks on after that.  And Housekeeping didn't make it to our room until that evening so it didn't get cleaned, not sure they would have done more than sweep it anyway.

Despite my little rant, it was lovely.

Spent some time playing with the camera, taking pictures of the birds and flowers and trees.

Can anyone tell me what this growth is on the side of the palm tree?  Is it flowering?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adventures in Travel

It's been quiet here on this blog as of late.  Just in case you hadn't noticed.

We have been busy and gone.  What with preparations and packing and traveling.

You see, my nephew got married this past weekend in San Diego and we went.  We went because we wanted some sun.  But we only got one day of sunshine and it rained the other two!  And it was my nephew getting married not just anybody and the fact that we got our tax refund back just in time or we wouldn't have gone anywhere.

Bummer, rain.  Yeah, tax refunds!

But the wedding was lovely, the reception a blast and the company was delightful, so all in all we had a good time.  More on that later and I have pictures, lots and lots of pictures.

Anyway we left Saturday morning bright and early to catch our flight.  I had packed so carefully and even made a list, yet we left the house without the stroller!  Argh.

Do you know what it is like to try to cart two suitcases, a camera bag, a diaper bag, a C-PAP machine, a backpack, my purse and keep track of a husband, a four year old and a one year old in an airport?  Not an easy task I tell ya!  One I am loathe to repeat.  Almost as fun as trying to keep said one year old happily confined on my lap during the flight.  It might have been easier to wrestle an alligator in a swamp!

He did sit still for a few minutes, long enough to watch half of one story on the "Thomas the Tank Engine" DVD.

The shuttle ride from the airport was just as fun.  HT was glad to be in San Diego, can you tell?  And he likes to play with his hair.

Anyway I have more to share, but will do that another day.  We played on the beach, "swam" in the pool, rode a "bike".  Went to the naval yard and saw the Midway.  Ate a lot, laughed a lot and walked a lot, even saw a shark.
Not the best picture, but that my friends is a two foot long shark
that was lurking in the water beneath the foot bridge to the marina.
When we came home we were greeted with a snow storm so today we have been digging ourselves out and laundry and grocery shopping and I'm ready for bed.

Ta ta for now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Welfare Ducks

We have had several really lovely days in a row now and it makes me think that spring really is on its way. Sunshine, temps in the 50's, haze cleared out of the valley, really nice.

However the forecasters are predicting rain for us today, but I have yet to see a drop. And we have a play date planned for this afternoon. HT is beside himself with excitement!

Anyway there's a wide spot in the road by the canal just a short walk from our house where the ducks and other fowl like to congregate. There are even a few goats. The fowl have picked this spot because they have figured out that someone will come along and throw them a crust of bread. They no longer fly south for the winter and I'm pretty sure they couldn't if they tried, pretty sure they live there year round. In fact the county got tired of us humans leaving empty bread bags behind and making a mess and they have set up garbage cans for public use. They have even put up a fence and painted parking spots.

So yeah, we went and fed the welfare ducks, contributed to their delinquency. I'll repent tomorrow. I was just glad to get out of the house and so were the boys.

I'm linked up today. Click buttons for more Wordful Wednesday fun.