Archive for April, 2018

The Early First Hours

In the early first hours of the day, God speaks to me silently from His heart to mine, and I feel like a child on my Father’s knee, my head against His chest, listening to the sound of His loving heart. And as I go into the day, where I’m often quickly swallowed by the cares and turmoil of this world we live in, I hold tight to His hand, as a toddler holds his father’s hand. I feel His presence—His hand on my shoulder—every minute of every day.

The day will come when all this is true. Perhaps not while I inhabit this body and dwell on this earth, but it will come. He tells me this in the morning, and it causes me to sing for joy and be glad all my days.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

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Far and Beyond

07-19-17 3 quoteGod’s love never fails; it is always constant, always strong, always everything we could want, even when we don’t deserve it. Our love for others, even for Him, is fragile and easily disturbed. The smallest word or gesture can cause us to shrink back from those we hold most dear, and even from God. Our love fails.

Therein lies the wonder of God’s love; His love never fails, and one day our love for Him and others will be as perfect as His love. All else will pass away, but love—because God is love—will never cease to be.

Love never fails. But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8

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All Things Considered

In the mid-eighties, I spent a few blurry years in New Mexico, and during the summer months, we often traveled south for a weekend at Elephant Butte Reservoir, near the town of Truth or Consequences. For real, folks, that’s the name of the town.

On one of our trips, my propensity for incidents reared its ugly head, and two of my buddies claim one of my incidents was nearly the death of them. (I wasn’t skeert.} I’ve tried to tell them that it wasn’t that bad, but that if they insist on recalling it that way, I assure them I never meant no harm to them. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (With me.)

I had a souped-up ’85 Chevy pickup at the time, and I won’t go into the boring details but suffice it to say it was a mean machine, and man that thing could haul a boat uphill. Anyhow, one morning me and two of my pals decided to take a cruise around the lake and see what there was to see. I was driving and, of course, we all had a beer in hand. I mean, after all, it was only a few hours ‘til noon, and it’s quite possible it was five o’clock somewhere. And besides, at the lake it didn’t matter what time it was.

pickup rideThere were some jeep trails out where we were and seeing as how the “truck” was four-wheel-drive, we decided to give one of those trails a whirl. Well… I decided. Kind of sudden-like, too. It was like, there was this dirt path going up a hill, and I said, “Hey! Let’s do some four-wheelin’, boys!”

Well, we shot up that little hill, and I never even asked either of them to hold my beer. Shoot. The truck had an automatic transmission, and any old fool can drive with one hand. I got to tell you though, the ride got pret-ty hairy, pret-ty quick. There were some sharp turns where we couldn’t see nothing but air out in front of the truck, and I can’t even put to print some of the things those boys were saying. Me, I was laughing like a crazy man, and hanging close to the side of the hill. Heck. We weren’t even going that fast! I couldn’t figure what they were so concerned about.

Then, quite sudden-like, the trail got real steep, and the tires lost traction. We began to slide backward down the narrow trail, and that’s when the screaming started. Darndest thing I ever heard! Took me a minute to realize it was coming from the fellas riding with me. I coulda swore a couple of ten-year old girls had somehow gotten into the pickup. Those two big ol’ boys were shrieking like someone had stole their beer coolers.

Well, anyhow, we somehow got situated and were able to get down the hill. The boys were quiet for a while, but then started in calling me names and threatening bodily harm if I ever pulled another stunt like that. I just did some guffawing and grinning, thinking they’d get over it by beer-thirty (noon).

When we got to the bottom of the hill, a young fella was sitting there on his motorcycle, and he waved at us to stop. I pulled up beside him and asked what was up. He said, “Dude! Are you crazy, or what?” I give him a grin, and my buddies hollered, “Yes!”

I took a swig of flat beer—it gets like that when you shake it up too much, and the ride up that hill had done us some shaking for sure. “Whatchootalkinbout, Willis?” I said to the kid.

He shook his head in that way that, says, Yep. Dudes plumb loco.” Then he said, “That’s a motorcycle trail you just tried to climb!”

Joe and Rooster about went nuts when they heard that. Called me things they’d left out before.

Me, I said, “Well… we did pretty good then! All things considered.”

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A Propensity For Incidents

ear tuck

Oh, rats!

From the age of six (maybe even earlier) to this day, I’ve had what I’ve deemed a “Propensity For Incidents”. I typically did not plan said incidents but rather, in many cases, I didn’t look before I leaped. I’ve chronicled many of them in short story form, and they can be read on this blog. I’ll list a few at the end of this piece. The most recent incident might possibly be a case of karma—if you believe in such a thing—but I’m going to go with APFI.

We recently bought a used house, and we’re repainting prior to moving in. We hired a painter to do all but the garage, and I’m still working on my phase of the project. We had several other things we wanted to do, and we turned to Tracey and Sean (daughter and SIL) for contractor recommendations. Sean grew up here, and Tracey has lived here since they got married twenty some years ago. Their advice has been spot-on!

The most recent request for advice was for a wood flooring contractor, and so I sent a text to Tracey. My typical texts to her regarding contractors were complete questions like, “Do you know a good plumber?” This time, however, my text was brief (I thought I was being hip you see) and it read, “Wood floors?” Her answer was, “??”. My response to that was a comment about blondes, and a complete sentence as to my need for a wood flooring contractor. She replied with a name and phone number, which, despite my use of smiley faces in the blonde comment, I perceived to be a terse response.

So! I went back to my garage painting, and APFI (or maybe it was karma) followed me. I grabbed a can of paint, shook it up, and popped the lid off. Then… I saw a squirrel. Not really, but, you see, another of my propensities is one which causes me to go from one task (or more) while in the middle of another. I call it multi-tasking, but Sherry calls it squirrel chasing.

After completing my squirrel chasing, I returned to my primary task—painting—but failed to remember an important detail; when I’d seen the squirrel, I’d set the lid “loosely” on top of the paint can. So, when I grabbed the can of paint and gave it a good shaking, paint went everywhere! But mostly… all over me. After a thorough cleanup job, I put the lid securely on the can of paint, put it away, and then went out to the patio, where I sat and watched squirrels play in the yard.

I should have let the painter do the garage too.

Here are some samples of my APFI:

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/22-holes-in-one-tire-3/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/22-holes-in-one-tire-4/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/go-get-the-drew-twins/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/go-get-the-drew-twins/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/tothleth-in-tekthath/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/way-over-the-line/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/it-was-suh-weet/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/eeeyeent-eenk/

 

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Priceless

The choice to be made is not whether to be sinful or not sinful. The choice is whether we will seek God, love and follow Him, or seek the pleasures of this world. Having sought both, I can tell you the world has one very needful thing missing in its repertoire of earthly offerings: peace. No matter how much wealth, power, and love the world might offer us, none will bring us the peace God can offer. It has been proven time and again that the more earthly possessions one has, the more one seems to want. Enough is an elusive thing.

more valuable than gold (2)

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

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