Tuesday, July 18, 2017

inmate surprise




 
 
Well my dear ones,
 
I haven’t said much lately
as I have had little to say.
 
Yet recently, I did see something heart-warming,
in fact, it was just today.
 
When I heard a senior citizens choir
performed at a jailhouse, I figured,
“Hey, this isn’t Elvis with his
 Jail House Rock.”
Yes, I thought they got laughed
off the stage by these tough,
hardened inmates.
 
Actually, I could not have been more wrong;
the choir was clear that one of their members
had just died and this was in memoriam.
 
The inmates’ response was not just respectful,
it was beautiful.
 
https://www.happiest.net/2017/07/18/old-folks-crash-jail-music-starts-even-toughest-inmates-left-tears/
 
That’s just touching,
and helps restore one’s faith in human nature.
 
grace, peace, and love to you,
dave
 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Talents




 

 

 

Well my dear ones,

 

I believe we all have God-given talents,

although some of us

may just have yet to develop them;

even if you don’t think you have any,

I’d be willing to be you do. =>

 

Years ago,

my wife and I met a young woman

whose opening line to us was,

“Hi! I’m Lydia; I have no talents.”

 

In context, that line was in

response to my wife’s and my review

of her friend Madi’s talents.

Yet as the years passed,

it became evident that Lydia

(just like her namesake in the Bible)

has many God-given talents. =D

 

Now some may worry about

having the time to work on things,

as in, they see now that they

may just have a talent,

yet might it not be too late?

They learned about it later in life;

so can God restore the time

they could have used on their talents

yet spent on other things?

 

A good question; to answer it,

I’ll have to dial the clock back

about 2800 years,

back to the year 835 BC,

to the time of the prophet Joel:

 

“So I [God] will restore to you

 the years

 that the swarming locust has eaten.”

         --- Joel 2:25

 

 

There’s a lot of hope there,

like that it’s never too late,

and that our best days

are still ahead of us

... I love that!

 

In honor of all who have

sacrificed for us,

have a blessed Memorial Day! =>

 

grace, peace, and love to you,

dave

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,”

 says the Lord.

“They are plans for good

 and not for disaster,

 to give you a future and a hope.”

            --- Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Legend of the Jimbo Leg Stabber



 
 
 
Well my dear ones,
 
 
This morning, as I was washing some dishes,
I noticed a knife on the windowsill.
It used to be mine, but I gifted it to my wife;
it is now one of her favorites,
used for opening boxes and such;
however, it has a bloody history.
 
Yes, I have many knives,
even several on which I cut myself
as I learned the trick of opening them;
but I only ever owned one knife
that has the distinction
of having stabbed someone.
 
Well, like the Bible says,
“A joyful heart is good medicine”
(Psalm 17:22)
and even the guy who got stabbed
is able to laugh about it now;
he also gave me approval to tell the story;
so I will tell you how this ordinary knife,
known as the [discontinued] Buck model 506,
came to be known as “the Jimbo Leg Stabber.”
 
See it here:
http://theeverencouragingword.blogspot.com/2017/05/jimbo-leg-stabber.html
 
 
A long time ago,
nigh well more than 30 years ago,
my brother, Jimmy (aka JimBro, aka Jimbo),
and I went for a ski trip up in Maine;
in order to avoid the crowds,
we went to Mount Abram; at the time,
it was a place used mostly by Maine locals.
 
The night we arrived, we were in our room,
and Jimmy asked me if I had a nail clipper.
I said, no, all I had was a knife.
He said that would have to do,
so I handed him the knife.
 
Jimbo put his hand of the night table,
and went to work
with his modified “nail clipper.”
 
A few seconds later I hear...
 
Jimbo: “Oooooh!”
 
me: “What?”
 
Jimbo: *holding his leg*
“I think I just stabbed myself in the leg.”
*takes hand away from his upper thigh & looks*
“Yep; the knife slipped off the tabletop
 and I stabbed myself...”
 
me: “How deep?”
 
Jimbo: “Right down to the bone.”
 
me: “We’ve got to go to the emergency room,
or get you to a doctor!”
 
Jimbo: “No; no need for that.”
 
Yep; my brother is pretty tough;
showing that he was destined to
become a Marine in the future,
he used some alcohol to clean the wound,
put some antibiotic ointment on it,
and was able to bandage it enough
to [mostly] stop the bleeding.
 
Not only did he refuse medical treatment,
but he also insisted that we had to ski,
since we had already spent the money
and that’s what we had come up there to do;
hence, despite the pain in his leg,
we skied for four hours the next day.
 
He did give me the knife back,
as he said he really didn’t want to
see it for a while.
 
Years later, when he asked about it,
I told him I gave the knife to my wife.
 
However, this year, for his birthday,
I gave my Bro the current version
of this knife, and told him it
had the identical blade to the old
“Jimbo Leg Stabber.”
 
And he laughed; so that’s cool;
and that’s the story...
 
Wait...I was just reading last night
about the medieval bards,
the storytellers from whom we got the
“histories” of King Arthur and Robin Hood.
Any bard worth his salt had to add to the tale,
to tell more than just the bare bones facts,
even embellish it a bit...
 
OK; forget everything I just said...
 
*thinks for a bit*
 
This is how things “really” went down.
 
My Bro and I were in the parking lot
at the Mount Abram ski lodge
when a bunch of local toughs walked by.
 
The leader of this gang thought my Bro
looked at his girlfriend,
so he had 4 of his guys grab my brother
while he proceeded to stab him in the leg,
right down to the bone,
and left the knife sticking there
while he laughed.
 
But my brother got the last laugh!
He slapped the living crud
out of all 5 of those guys,
then pulled the knife from his own leg
and used it to slice their pants off.
 
So, when the cops showed up,
there’s my Bro holding a knife,
while these 5 lou-sas are
stumbling around in their underwear. #_#
 
The two cops, both former Marines,
thought this was so funny
that they suggested my Bro
keep the knife as a memento;
they further suggested that he
might want to join the Corps,
as they could see he had Marine potential.
 
Yep; that’s it; that’s how it went down;
that is...
“The Legend of the Jimbo Leg Stabber 2.0”
 
That’s how I plan to start remembering it
...in the future. Hahaha! =)~
 
Remember, God has a sense of humor
so we should, too! =D
 
“This is the day the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
              --- Psalm 118:24
 
If you enjoyed this story,
you can leave a comment on my brother’s
Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/jim.macfadyen.7
 
Thank you. =>
 
grace, peace, and love to you,
dave

Jimbo Leg Stabber



Thursday, April 06, 2017

an inch




Well my dear ones,


I haven’t said much lately
because I haven’t had much worth saying.

Lately, I was telling a couple of friends that
I haven’t really been myself lately,
not since my Dad passed away;
my Mom had Alzheimer’s,
so in a way I lost her before she died;
but it hit me hard when my Dad died,
because as long as he was still around,
it was like my Mom was still around, too.

Now, most days,
I feel like I’m an inch away from being back
in the days of my clinical depression
(80s & 90s…pre-Christian…an uncool time);
the only thing preventing that is that I know
that Jesus died for me.

Yet, on further reflection,
I told my friends I had one more thing to add;
when I said "I feel like I'm an inch away"
God laid it on me that He's got me by an inch...
...and if God's got you by an inch,
then that's like
you've got the finger of God on you.


And I think we're better off
if God's got us by an inch
than being guarded by an army of 10,000 men,
or being protected by a 6-foot thick steel wall...
an inch of God...what's more powerful than that?
Nothing. =)

For any of you that are going through,
or will go through, some tough times,
I pray God’s got you by an inch, too. =D



grace, peace, and love to you,

dave

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The King of the World




 

 

 

Well my dear ones,

 

 

I know I am way behind;

I lost my Dad a few weeks ago,

and I am still processing that...

 

...but this is an encouragement;

hence, I promise you that today’s blog

may start out dark, but will end well.

 

Losing my Mom six months ago was tough,

yet as long as one of your parents is still here

it’s kind of like the other one is, too

...if that makes any sense to you.

 

So when my Dad passed away,

it brought back reminders of the old days,

my clinical depression days,

my atheistic days,

...in a word, the bad old days.

 

Back then, wandering in a daze,

I stumbled upon a sign,

“If you need help, call #######”

I did, and wound up chatting with this pastor.

We spoke of many things,

and when he got to the goodness of God,

I asked him how we would feel if God allowed

his wife and kids to perish in an accident.

 

He looked at me and said,

“I would say, the Lord gave

 and the Lord taken away...

 blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

 

(He was quoting the Hebrew prophet Job,

 but I didn’t know that at the time)

 

I was about to start laughing,

when I realized,

“This guy is serious;

 he actually believes what he just said.”

 

Then I realized he had a power and stability

that I lacked, and that I might need to

spend some more time with him.

 

When he found out I was an engineer, he asked me

to research the Resurrection of Jesus,

like find out for myself whether it went down.

After 4 years I was pretty confident,

but I spent an extra 3 just to make sure

*shrugs*

for something that important,

I felt it was worth 7 years to be secure

in the knowledge that we have cause for hope.

 

Some years later,

I was hit with an even darker depression,

and I felt truly hopeless;

following Jesus had not stopped

the living hell of depression.

 

Fortunately, a wonderful counselor

(whose name I will never bother to look up;

 to me, she will always be an angel)

pointed out,

“Do Christians get colds?”

Me: “Yes.”

Her: “Do they get the flu?”

Me: “Hmm, yeah.”

Her: “Christians aren’t immune to sickness

   and depression is just another disease.”

 

The pointed out that the same God

who spoke the universe into existence

also smiles when He thinks about us,

the masterpiece of His creation;

and she gave me a wonderful verse to learn:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”

 says the Lord, “plans for welfare

 and not for evil,

 to give you a future and a hope.”

    --- Jeremiah 29:11

 

I’ve been free of clinical depression

for many years now,

but the loss of my Mom,

shortly followed by my Dad,

took its toll on me.

 

Yet in that tough time,

a song by Natalie Grant

really struck trough to me,

“The King of the World.”

 

[you can hear it here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K7kplxNM48

 

or see the lyrics here:

 

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/nataliegrant/kingoftheworld.html ]

 

 

[OK; I know she really meant,

“King of the Universe,”

but that doesn’t fit the meter of her song,

so I’ll cut her some slack,

let her exercise her artistic license. =D ]

 

Her line,

“I try to put you in the box that I've designed,”

hit me hard; it reminded me of the book of essays

by C.S. Lewis, “God in the Dock”;

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_the_Dock

 

 

Anyway, I listened to Natalie’s song

dozens of times (love her voice =>);

and now I’m getting on board with Job,

saying,

“The Lord gave

 and the Lord taken away...

 blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

(Job 1:21)

 

After 55 years of marriage,

our Dad didn’t want to hang out here

without our Mom;

he wanted to go and be with her.

 

Who am I to deny him that?

 

Our Mom is an awesome Mom,

and our Dad strove to love

and protect her and us.

 

Thank you, God, for the parents you gave us;

may they rest in You till we see them again.

 

This is the day the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

--- Psalm 118:24

 

 

grace, peace, and love to you,

dave

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Thanksgiving with Grandma?




 

 

 

Well my dear ones,

 

 

I hope the New Year is going well for all.

 

I’ve been reflecting back on last year,

like was there anything really good

and memorable that happened?

Anything sweet and uplifting?

 

I did a little searching and found

a cool story about a Grandma

who was asked to send a text to her grandsons

to let them know what time dinner would be

on Thanksgiving, and to get RSVPs from them.

 

But one of her grandsons had gotten a new number

which he had neglected to give her.

So when the young man (who now had that number)

texted back asking who this is,

she said, “Your grandma.”

 

So he asked for a pic of her.

 

He sent one back, saying she wasn’t his grandma

but asking if he could still get a plate.

 

Her response?

“Of course you can.

That’s what grandmas do...feed everyone.”

 

People get wrong numbers,

or send accidental texts all the time;

but this Grandma followed through

and extended a heart-felt welcome

to a stranger...because that’s what grandmas,

or at least the cool grandmas, do. =)

 

You can see the full story here:

 

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/news/a41511/accidental-text-grandma-thanksgiving/

 

 

I love this story!

The major media tends to focus so much

on the negative side of things.

It’s so refreshing to see a story

about regular people just being cool

and acting in a loving manner.

 

I pray 2017 is full of this kind of thing.

 

 

grace, peace, and love to you,

dave

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

us...them...you and me




 

 

 

Well my dear ones,

 

 

Each morning, as the sun comes up,

our backyard fills up with critters,

as the not-so-feral cats come from the woods

and into the Sanctuary for their breakfast.

 

God forbid, I am a little late,

as then the yowling starts!

 

When I look at all the crying faces,

I think how I can’t even imagine

what it would be like to be a mom,

in a third world country,

who had her kids look at her like that,

and she didn’t have food for them...

 

...thanks be to God,

we do have the resources to feed these cats,

and I am thankful for that...every day.

 

But these cats couldn’t care less

about who is running the country,

they are just starved for food;

they are just concerned with the basics.

 

I have friends from many backgrounds;

but lately, I see many people trying to

make an “us” versus “them” argument.

 

Me?  I’m more basic.

I’m like,

“What about you?  And me?”

 

I try to focus on the small things;

each morning, as I go out to

gas up the car,

or get a coffee,

I spent a little extra time

striking up conversations with people

about...well, just about anything.

It’s not so much what we talk about;

it’s more about how you make

the other person feel

by showing them that you care

...about them.

 

What I am seeing is this:

the more kindness, caring,

and encouragement I give out,

the more I get in return.

 

It’s a good way to live. =D

 

grace, peace, and love to you,

dave

 

“If it is possible,

 as far as it depends on you,

 live at peace with everyone.”

   --- Romans 12:18