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Archive for September, 2012

Cheesy Spreads

As You can see from the photo below, we have two hummingbird feeders.Take note of the cheesy little fake flowers between them. Before your disdain invites derision, you might like to know that those little plastic pink flowers have attracted more hummingbirds than you can imagine.

In fact, I’m not sure I understand why they keep going to them first before landing on the real thing next to it even toward the end of their season. You would think they would have picked up on the fact that plastic and nectar are not related. Perhaps they’re just messing with me? “Yeah, check this out hon, I’ll hover around the cheesy plastic stuff just to see if he thinks I’m stupid, or worse yet, cute.” 

Well, if birds are dumb, us humans are dumber still. No species is more inclined to counterfeit and superficiality than humans. It starts out in the Garden of Eve, that’s Eden. “Here honey, I think I found something better than God.”

“Sure, babe,” he says, “and to think all of this time, God was holding back on my V8!” He slaps the side of his head.Image

We are prone to slight-of-hand. I was watching a politician at a convention and he gestured using his hands a lot. The throngs of people hung on every word. The trouble was, most of it was, well, snake oil.

When experts want to know what counterfeit currency looks like, they study the real one, not try to figure out whether the fake one is real.

It’s an old inquiry that even a questionable personality like Pontius Pilate was inclined to ask: “What is truth?” He was staring at it and didn’t know it.

Pilate, voters, Eve, hummingbirds. Cheese Whiz! 

 

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It’s taken me a while to figure this out. What I thought was the Promised Land turned out to be a bit of a desert. Maybe I’m not so unlike the Israelites: can’t tell a resort from a wrong turn in the Sahara.

For the past three years, I’ve felt life slow down. You’ve seen slow-motion for a sports replay and you’ve seen director’s use slow-mo for dramatic effect. Maybe God uses the same techniques. Like why do they call abstaining a “fast” when it goes so slow?

But slow motion for three years? Please!

Well, I’ve been told that I only have two speeds: fast and sleeping. So, in God’s wisdom, He’s decided that I needed a third setting, or should I say, “Setting Aside.”

I know I’m not alone. Also tasting the delicacies of sand on their tongues were Jesus, Moses and St. Paul. The desert is for everyone. That’s why God made it so dang big…so we couldn’t see each other while we’re out there 🙂

In retrospect, I think I was running for so long that it’s tantamount to getting off a treadmill – you still think you’re running. It’s a whole retraining. The race belongs to the slow.

Slowness and deserts go together. Have you ever seen a runner jump in the car to get to the desert just so he can dash along in the 110 degree heat?

It hit me this morning. The desert doesn’t desire my resignation, but my embrace. It’s like binoculars. God uses the desert to bring His face into focus. When there’s no scenery except Him, He’s easier to spot.

I thought about Jesus in the desert with nothing except God’s Word. Both Jesus and His Father kept that.

 

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Life is Funny. Ha, ha.

“Life is funny.” Whoever said that was more of a comedian than a philosopher.

I was in a bit of a fix on Labor Day weekend. I was to attend a party that I thought was to be informal. My sister had forwarded me an email and I missed the “dress-to-impress” part. Not that I am ever in the running as a finalist for GQ’s latest poll, but even I got a bit concerned.

I decided that a navy blue sport coat might get me by. The naysayers all said the mall would be closed on Labor Day, but I labored anyway.

I entered the shopping center in the nick of time, headed straight to Macy’s and found that my quick- buy might turn out to be quick-ruin as the tight side of me plummeted into sticker-shock.

“I never even wear jackets anymore,” I told myself, trying to rationalize my frugality. Finally, I found a price that “suited” me, a nearly-$300 jacket marked down to $109! Well, if I had planned this better, I could have done better at a Goodwill store. So, a hundred bucks was about as good as I was going to get on a holiday.

The friendly salesman said, “It’s Labor Day and I think we can do even better!” Joy! Rapture! Hallelujah! After he had swiped my card for a total of $87, he told me it was a better jacket than some of the others at four times the price. All of sudden, I didn’t feel cheap, I felt well-dressed.

I hopped on the Garden State Parking Lot, I mean Parkway. Oy, vey! Labor Day traffic near the Jersey shore. What did I expect? At this rate, I’ll have paid $87 for a ten-minute affair. But this was my cousin’s daughter’s reception and this big spender was sparing no expense.

Whew! I made it there in plenty of time. The first person I bump into was Jeff Stopper, my old buddy.

“I think I just passed you out on the street,” he blurted. “I had to go back to my car to take my suit jacket off because it was so hot in here.”

I didn’t say a word. I kept my jacket on and borrowed a handkerchief.

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