The Biggest Battle

(Finally finished this thought from our trip to Gettysburg last April 2, 2018)

Walking through the grounds of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on a cold day in April, I read inscriptions on monuments about blood-puddled ground, rocks slippery with blood, and bodies of men and horses everywhere, dead or wounded.  Like at Little Round Top, where about 330 men were told “to hold at all hazards”–and they did, even after they ran out of bullets; and the 1st Minnesota, 262 men, fighting until only 47 remained when help arrived; and of course, Pickett’s regiment was wiped out.  I cried often, walking among all the graves.

Beyond this very real history, though, I kept thinking that this horrible battle was nothing compared to Satan’s forces against me and you, right now.  He uses all the canons (government, wars, invaders); snipers from the hills and trees (luxuries, hobbies, laziness), and the screaming hordes with all their rifles and bayonets (TV, News, work, school, tragedies, health).  I sometimes see the fallen around me among spiritual blood and gore, splattered everywhere, and think…do I run?  General Jesus says, “No, stand firm and defend your soul and your right to go to Heaven at all hazards!”  I sigh.  This is where real bravery, commitment, and trust come into play.

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Drama East of Cleveland

(This happened last August 7, 2018)

Run heavily up old wooden stairs as fast as you can then

Roll back down them full body banging against walls and stairs then

Flip the lights on and off several times and

Throw a glass punch bowl across the hall into the wall and

Flinch at the loud crashing crushing tinkling sounds of breaking

glass after the loud thud on the wall

Run back up the stairs and jump down while skipping every other stair

Slam a metal bat into the picture window and

scream when the shattering glass sklatters around you

Flip the lights on and off again and run for dear life when the

747 airplane crashes through the roof crushing blasting shrieking roaring….

Over and over and over

The sounds of an impressive triplet set of thunderstorms passing through last night east of Cleveland

Brenda & Tam’s Great Adventure

(This happened on September 5, 2018)

This morning I went to visit Brenda

Brenda and her husband Fred and I chatted over the after-breakfast table (I snagged a couple of bacon slices…sigh)

Fred left to work around the farm, while Brenda and I went for a wild ride in her 4-wheel farm utility vehicle, her two dogs ran around us, baying at the fun

Brenda confidently took the vehicle off the road, onto field edges, through woods on vague paths with tree branches whipping, trying to pull us out

She showed me what oak trees look like, ash trees, maple trees, and her personal big-rock-patches (piles of rocks), and she found an old hickory nut for me

She stopped so I could run a fox-tail weed head through my hands, so soft

We saw butterflies, white, yellow, and then a monarch… and

Brenda took off to hunt for milkweed, the plant that monarchs lay their eggs on

She drove back over the field edges, but no milkweeds, drove slowly down to her mail box, looking intently at all the weeds at the side of the road.

I learned what Stinging Nettle looks like ( I have the dried leaves in tea bags!), still no milkweeds.

She turned around and drove back past the chicken coop, then abruptly stopped

Milkweed on my side!

She got out while I hung out the side of the vehicle to investigate the milkweed (now I know what it looks like)

Found one with a gorgeous monarch caterpillar, about 1 1/2 inches long, stocky, with a variety of colored bands wrapped around its body

We wondered, if we stretched out the caterpillar, if those bands would look more like monarch colors, but we only wondered

We soaked up the beautiful creature into our memories (didn’t have the camera)

Then Brenda drove further looking for possible chrysalises of the teenagers incubating into butterflies but

I was very hungry, lunch time, feeling like the caterpillar–gotta eat

Brenda drove back around to her house, the dogs looking exhausted but satisfied, and we said goodbye as I got into my car, with a smile on my face

I saw a monarch caterpillar.  Me.

Falling Stars

(August 13, 2018)

The alien called Skid-loader noisily arrived in the dark, its bright lights blinding us

beckoning us to put our folding chairs in its yawing mouth and sit on its upper lip

Lifting us up a few inches, it backed up and slowly, bumpily

took us behind our friend’s farm in northeastern Ohio

its lights bounce-playing on the rows of tall corn as we passed

I screamed when the alien tilted and tipped on uneven ground

The Husband kept manfully-quiet but hung on tightly

Skid-Loader stopped close to the folding-chair-reclined figure of our friend’s wife

near an open field

highlighted in the alien lights

staring up at the dark, starlit sky

We stepped off Skid-loader’s mouth, thankful to be safe, and unfolded our chairs as

it moved around beyond us and shut down to rest

Our friend appeared from behind and reclined on his own folding lounge chair

We all stared up into the gorgeous starry sky

Glossy clouds tried to cover our monitor into space but stayed away just

enough for us to see past them

Many airplane lights flashed, heading in different directions, then

what we came for happened!

Here… over there… down there…

“Oh!  Did you see that!!”

“Huge flaring arc!”

“Yeah!  A long one!”

All this to see meteor showers or as we enjoyed calling them

Falling Stars

Kind and Sad Both End in “d”

Kindness happens because we care, sadness comes because we lose what we care about.  If we didn’t care, weren’t kind, we wouldn’t feel sad about loss, but deep inside, we’d feel sad about being lonely.  I’d rather be sad because I cared.

We’ve had a very sad morning.  Our new friend, Kitty, didn’t come for breakfast.  While calling her, Chris saw a body on the highway, in front of the gas station.  He checked and then I checked.  It was Kitty.  We were so close to getting her to stay in the garage, but she was afraid of it.  She wasn’t afraid of the road, though, loaded with deathmakers, like most people, spiritually speaking.  God offers a place of safety, but they are afraid of it, for whatever reason, and prefer wandering around on the broad road leading to death.  Chris is hurting bad about Kitty, but we were able to give Kitty friendship, food, and company for a couple of weeks, which she didn’t have before.  Which she didn’t have before.

First Kitty Sighting
2018, August 11, through the front door window.
Kitty Sighting
Yesterday morning, Aug. 11. Our last morning together.

Seriously

Just read this one…so true!

TheWannabeSaint.com

Image result for not a huggerSeriously –

I saw her when we came into the church this morning. She was standing far enough away from us that I found my seat before she zeroed in. This woman, this hugger, does not take “No thanks!” for an answer. A couple of weeks ago she was standing at the front door of the church greeting folks as they came in. She hugged my wife, who is a great hugger! and then extended her arms to me. I tried to fend off her advances by grabbing a hand and shaking it but she was too quick. I even told her; “I’m not a hugger.” Didn’t matter. She replied as she thwarted my defenses; “Well I am and you’re a man and can handle it.” I didn’t have time to answer and had no desire to debate so once she was finished I found my seat…

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