Thursday, June 28, 2007

Enough is Enough!

Have you ever spent a tormented night waiting for the Lord to answer your prayer? You toss and turn questioning the rightness of a particular decision. Is this the Lord's will? My will? What if I misunderstand? What if I choose incorrectly?

In Genesis 32 Jacob wrestled with God. Of course when the struggle began, he did not know with whom he wrestled. Often this passage is compared with prayer. The NetBible challenges this common allegorical interpretation pointing out that it was not until the man touched Jacob in the hip, crippling him, that he realized his opponent was the Lord. Only after he stopped fighting, did he ask for a blessing.

What an interesting idea. He stopped fighting.

He asked for a blessing.

The prophet Jeremiah writes to the exiles in Babylon and reminds them to whom they belong. He writes these words from the Lord: "When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,’ says the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:12-14a

Seek the Lord in prayer. Seek Him with all your heart and soul. Ask for a blessing.

Wouldn't that be so much easier than wrestling all night long?

"It's my will, and I'm not moving
Cause if it's your will, then nothing can shake me
It's my will, to bow and praise you
I now have the will to praise my God" --DC Talk

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Historical Snippets

Train Schedule 1900
The Good Earth series fictionalizes the railroad war of 1908-1912 through the Central Oregon desert. In the first book, Bethrina Granger is sent from Seattle, Wa to Hillman, Oregon. Along the way she encounters a variety of characters who will help her in her journey to become a confident self-assured woman of God.

One segment of her journey takes place on the Columbia Southern Railway from Biggs to Shaniko. During the first decade of the twentieth century Shaniko was the "wool capital of the world." By 1911, a flood in Hay canyon and the completion of the new line from the Dalles to Bend left the Columbia Southern Railway to the history books.

Bethrina settles in a small town known as Hillman. The town is named for two railroad barons, Hill and Harriman, who dream of connecting Washington and California by rail. The ensuing rail war will challenge Bethrina's faith and determination in ways she never imagined possible.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Writer's Spouse....

So how do you lovingly tell your wife that her new chapter really stinks?

Don't know?

Neither do I...

Thankfully, she hasn't written a stinker yet. I don't anticipate this issue arising, but the military man in me likes being prepared.

So far, my duties regarding this book have been simple: tell her she's doing great and help her edit her work.

The first one's really easy. The second...not so much.

The work continues.

When you DO read this book, you may notice that the author has skillfully portrayed male mannerisms and speech despite her lack of a Y chromosome. I think she'll give a nod to at least a couple guys in her life....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mary Higgins Clark: No Place Like Home

My first love may be historical fiction, but every now and then I enjoy a good psychological thriller. Nothing too twisted, but a book with a lot of suspense. There's something decadent about vicariously experiencing danger through the pages of a good novel.

Mary Higgins Clark's
No Place Like Home delivers a good pace, plenty of clues and a solution that satisfies.

The pacing is good. She reveals enough clues, strategically placed, to keep up the tension and keep the reader engaged. However, this is not a book that compels you to read it straight through the night.

Clark's ability to drop clues is once again superbly demonstrated in this story. She weaves a tale that is believable, and lulls the reader into a false sense of security before springing the climactic surprise.

The solution is believable, but the epilogue throws in a twist that sounds a bit like an afterthought.
This is a very good read. However, if you are looking for an edge of the seat thriller try one of her earlier novels such as: Where are the Children?, The Cradle Will Fall, or Loves Music Loves to Dance.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Send in the Clowns

My grandmother has fallen victim to a vicious predator of the aged. Is it Alzheimer's? Dementia? We may never know. For more than a decade, she's been afraid that her doctor is conspiring against her. Sometimes she thinks he is trying to steal her land, at other times she believes he is trying to kill her by prescribing "rat poison." (It was actually coumadin--a blood thinner.) She refuses to go to the doctor anymore.

The problem is, her deteriorating memory is leading to a myriad of dilemmas. She is becoming more and more unstable.

She puts Metamucil in the coffee pot. She questions who the "old man" in her bed is (Poppo, her husband of 45 years). She puts dirty dishes away instead of washing them. She is convinced the government took her driver's license away because she turned eleven.

This is a woman whose memory was longer than the Willamette River. She worked as hard as any draft horse. And she cooked well enough to--well, she cooked well enough. She plowed, and hoed, and raised a field of roses.

Soon my dad and uncle will have to place her in a care facility. What a terrible decision to have to make! The good news; Poppo has finally realized it is time, and he is ready to go with her. Even through all the pain...through the lapses in her memories...through the hateful things she says and does in her diminished state, he loves her.

In an earlier post ("Marriage First--Part III," published March 15, 2007) I asked the following question:

"If a husband is not meant to be our strength, if he will never love and accept us perfectly, what is he good for?"

Poppo is a wonderful example...