Gobsmacked

We always learn the best lessons in adversity –
especially when we make mistakes.

David Robertson

What is the point of arguing with God about the way things are?
Words cannot change the world.
‘The more the words, the less the meaning’ (Ecclesiastes 6 verse 11).
If ever there was a verse for social media that is surely a main contender!

David Robertson


(the bumblebees are trying their best between the freezing days and the warming days / Julie Cook / 2018)

Gobsmacked—usually a British or Australian slang term denoting astonishment or amazement
or simply being flabbergasted….and in this case, I’m going with the latter…
as in flabbergasted.

When I was teaching, I was in a small city school system…we had an expression:
“so goes the high school, so goes the system.”
Meaning that the high school was the pivotal lynchpin or what was the true staying power and
glue to the system.
I think they’ve changed that notion since my days there…
but it seemed to make sense at the time.

Ours was a small system with only one high school—
albeit one, it was still an important piece to the community.
It represented so much in the way of the identity of our city, county, and community—
despite what the county schools would have to say to such a notion…

And so I often think that same expression holds true for the US and or the UK—
So goes one, so goes the rest of our western civilization…
as both the US and UK are the standard bearers to the direction of our global democracy…

However, I would imagine that both France and Germany, as well as others,
would most certainly disagree with my assessment—
But the point remains…it being the more prominent nations who generally lead the pack
while the others follow in like step.

I’ve not been able to keep up with either our friend the Wee Flea or Bishop Gavin Ashenden
as much as I would like given these most hectic past couple of weeks in my small corner
of the world…
Yet I have read enough to know that there are storm clouds on the horizon as I feel that the
coming tempest is approaching at a much faster rate than I had imagined.

Each of our friends has come under vicious and nasty attacks as of late from both press and
varying special interest groups.
Even various Christian denominations have gotten sadly in on the attack act.

Why you ask.

Well, each man seems to take God at His word.
Neither man sees the merit in rewriting God’s word to suit the changing times we’re
currently finding ourselves living in.
It’s the idea that if God said it, it therefore is…as in for all of time.

This goes for same-sex marriage, homosexual ordinations, the rise in transgenderism…
that ensuing nonsense over the idea that biology no longer has any bearing on a person’s
gender as folks may now choose a gender on a whim or trade it right back if so choosing…
and no one should say one iota about such.

As well they have each noted the rise in cultural hedonism, the Queer theory,
the erosion of the Church of England and the caustic double standard running rampant
in today’s culture over the growing desire to rid Christians of any and all rights…
tolerance for all except for the Christian…as society has now become a fluid entity
ebbing and flowing with the debauchery of the day.

It’s really gotten so nasty that our Wee Flea friend finds that his impending departure for
sabbatical could come at no better time…

And so I leave you with a couple of recent posts by our friends as they note the rising nasty
and most sinful tide in the UK…as I fear that same twisted tide will shortly be
sweeping our way…

The Eye of the Storm – The Transgender Backlash and the Timing of the Lord

Ecclesiastes 6 – Out of the Shadows into the Light.

So why, when Christians throughout society ask the same,
does some of the gay community, reply “no–you can’t have your freedom of conscience–
you have to conform to our values.
Why this sudden reverting to victim-hood after the political victory?

Gavin Ashenden

Gay marriage and conscience clauses (published in Jersey where conscience clauses are being debated)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test,
that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to
those who love him.

James 1:12

“Amoretti”– a poem, obviously, by a love struck sandpiper

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(sandpiper, Watercolor Beach, Florida / Julie Coo / 2014)

Amoretti
One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
but came the waves and washèd it away:
agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
but came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
Vayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,
a mortall thing so to immortalize,
for I my selve shall lyke to this decay,
and eek my name bee wypèd out lykewize.
Not so, (quod I) let baser things devize
to dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:
my verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
and in the hevens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
our love shall live, and later life renew.

Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti (1595)

Shifting Sands

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.
Marcus Aurelius

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(sand castle being dismantled by the tide / Henderson State Park / Julie Cook / 2014)

Time has always proven the master of any and all Empires. As soon as a people grow complacent, change will come. . .Empires, be they realms, kingdoms, countries, states–or be they personal fame and fortune, will all eventually fade from sight. As they are built on the shifting sands of humanity. If you believe otherwise, you are merely deceiving yourself—only one Kingdom will withstand the test of time—

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Rev 1:4-8

My Dad is like the tide, ebbing and flowing

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(Photograph: Area of Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon, Tillamook Island Light House / Julie Cook / 2013)


“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Things seemed a bit panicky over the phone yesterday from my step mom’s perspective. Seems Dad is reverting back to some negative behaviors after we worked putting life back on an even keel a couple of weeks ago. I’m off to visit today and hopefully bring a little more order, to smooth the waters, until the next Nor’easter blows in…which I fear may be sooner than later….I wish I knew what to do to make their lives, both of them, better and easier, but there is not a clear-cut picture quite yet. Lot’s of resistance to all sorts of ideas and suggestions on both sides of the fence in that house.

My son is an only child, as I am these days. That does not make things easy as we age. I now feel badly for his potential role one day… I will continue worrying about him, as I do, but now it will be from the window to my own life with my Dad. I wish life was easy, but there were never any promises for such. We get up each morning and we do the best we can by the people we love, the ones we are entrusted to care for and for ourselves as well. It is by Grace that we can continue putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward… as forward is always a positive.

I have always found such comfort and solace when I am at the ocean…funny how I now liken it to my dad, his mind, his actions and his life. Ebbing and flowing……