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She loves me, more than oregano. To what may I compare?

Yes, the lovely herbal companion we speak of is pictured here with my Little Frau. It looks like they enjoy a strong relationship. You know what they say: behind every good oregano plant is a great woman. Stated another way, behind every garden bare spot is a man with a runaway weedeater.

Frau has always had a mind for a green thumb, ever before the physical namesakes began to think twice about gripping a shovel. It times past, she would go to the nursery, lovingly pick a baby plant and place it in the garden with love, only to see a jealous husband lay waste to her little friend.

OK, maybe jealous is the wrong descriptor. Clueless may be the better term. Regardless (which, sadly, he was) the plant often found itself the victim of a premature end.

There is a scriptural reference that comes to mind here. Matthew 6:30-31: If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Paraphrased, we might say: If that is how God clothes the oregano of the garden, which is here today and tomorrow is cut down by the husband, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

But, time has passed. My eye for gardening has improved. I am no longer the hatchet man. In this autoimmune era, I am now the shovel man. I gently bury the tender roots of new plants the way Kevin Durant buries three point shots. (yes, I can blog and watch the Thunder build a double digit 4th quarter lead at the same time!).

Fortunately for me, Little Frau’s patience for the yard man grew stronger with time. Now, her oregano plants can do just the same.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat? She loves me, more than oregano, and that’s just the seasoning we needed.

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This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 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. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29:10-14

His name was Daniel, and best I can tell, he never got to go home. He had trial after trial. He was called upon to make hard choices. He defied a king’s decree as a young man, and was honored for it. He prophesied about the demise of another king. He defied yet another royal decree, this time as a part of another kingdom, and he was fed to the lions for it, at least the effort was made to feed him to the lions. And through it all, God loved him very much. Even more importantly, God had plans for him, but those plans did not include getting to return to the way things were before. Daniel was an educated man. I’m sure he knew of the 70 years prophecy, and that given his age he would likely not live to see Jerusalem again.

How did Daniel respond? He prayed. He refused to deny God. He prayed some more. He did not give up.

Which brings me to today’s brief thought: are you currently in Babylon? If so, how can God use you in the place where you find yourself today? If not in Babylon, maybe you feel like part of “the remnant”, those who were left behind in a desolated Jerusalem without the ones they held dear. The same question is true here: what are you called to do? Help others pick up the broken pieces and rebuild, like some did with Nehemiah?

Maybe your captivity is disease or chronic illness, with little if any hope for cure. Maybe Babylon for you is unemployment, or underemployment. Maybe captivity means being courageous and doing the hard thing, again, and again, and again, knowing full well that it will never really get any easier.

Daniel did not give up, as I understand it, and neither should we.

Daniel’s account closes with him receiving a promise, and I think we have hope and a promise for the same.

Daniel 12: 8-13 I heard what he said, but I did not understand what he meant. So I asked, “How will all this finally end, my lord?” But he said, “Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means. “From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecration[b] is set up to be worshiped, there will be 1,290 days. And blessed are those who wait and remain until the end of the 1,335 days!

“As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.”.

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Rules are rules, and sometimes nothing you can do will change them. Laws are laws, and the same holds true.

The Oklahoma Secondary Sports Athletic Association has rules, and they are meant to protect the sanctity of secondary school sports. I heard an advertisement on the radio yesterday for OSSAA promoting years and years of serving students. As I was driving last night to watch my son play in a Junior Varsity high school basketball game, and watch him sit in the stands later as his teammates and friends played in a varsity game without him, I was reminded that rules are rules. That being said, OSSAA’s “service to students” claim seemed to ring hollow in my ears. Rules are rules, and when they penalize people for moving or making the best educational choice for their kids, the accompanying one year sanctions are like salt in a wound. Sometimes, things are out of our control, and it hurts. Sometimes, people find ways to circumvent the rules, but it always comes at a cost.

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Laws are laws. Gravity is one of the most universal of laws. Sometimes, we find ways to circumvent the laws, but it always comes at a cost. The concept of risk/return trade offs is at the heart of this idea. Man taught himself to fly over 100 years ago, and it has revolutionized the world. Good things, great even, like international travel and study opportunities, life saving air ambulance services, overnight delivery, and the like are all a result of man’s desire to learn from his environment. Bad things, horrific even, like arial bombardment in warfare and tragic accidents are all a result of man’s desire to conquer his environment. And conquer it, we may not.

Laws are laws. What goes up must come down. Sometimes, things are out of our control, and it hurts. OSU lost 10 from their basketball family in a plane crash 10 years ago, and it has happened again this week with the loss of Women’s Coaches Kurt Budke, Miranda Serena, and two others in another crash.

What we do know is that there is hope. Its not only about today. There is life after the pain, and there is life after we are gone. Thank God for that.

There is a saying that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. I hope that is true for my OSSAA mandated varsity sideline companion for this year, and I hope it is true for those who are hurting in the OSU family today.

James 4:13-14: Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

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…must have Little Frau’s number on their speed dial. Real life inspiration, indeed. You can’t make this stuff up.

The cute:

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And the sad, but true:

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Thank you, DRD, for the morning inspiration…

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“That was like eating sand”. The statement from Little Frau could only make me laugh. We had been
sitting in a doctor’s office exam room, repeating and clarifying information on the handwritten multi page new patient form as the nurse aid awkwardly typed it into the computer. It seems that nursing skills need not necessarily include computer data entry acumen, and that’s OK, but why even have the computer if it can’t make your job easier, I wondered.

I’m no digital native. I like technology, and sometimes embrace it, but often
find that it challenges my digital immigrant status so much that I end up feeling like “the Accidental Tourist”. I still love the feel of a good “to do list” scratched out on a yellow legal pad.

There’s no substitute for a good clipboard. After our nurse data entry exchange, I made that suggestion. Then the doctor walked in. Slightly older than me, and maybe a tad bit geekier (if that is possible), he was
a master of the patient exam/inquiry and data query combo. He made
the keyboard sing like a bad Elvis impersonator. Oh, man.

He pulled information from history. He commented on potential interactions between LF’s prescription file. And there was not a piece of paper in sight.

So, the technology was worth it after all, in this case. Maybe, with a little more training, the nurse can even pull that menu of silica appetizers off her keyboard…

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It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning in Edmond America. A slight breeze, clear blue skies, and mid 70’s temps. This is San Diego weather, right here in middle earth.

The conditions called for a walk. TeamBing had been out earlier to do one mile in the Walk for Arthritis, and I felt compelled to keep going and get almost 4 more in.

Some great walk time tunes accompanied me today. I’ve never been much of an Avalon fan, either the music group or the car (sorry, Johnny de). However, there are one or two great songs in their hopper, and this one provided a great lyric vault moment for today’s walk:

Part of me is the prodigal
Part of me is the other brother
But I think the heart of me
Is really somewhere between them
Some days I’m running wild
Some days we’re reconciled
But I wonder all the while
Why you put up with me, when

I wrestle most days
To find ways to do as I please

I always have, I always will
You saved me once, You save me still
My longing heart, Your love alone can fill
You always have, always will

I was born with a wayward heart
Still I live with a restless spirit
My soul is so well worn
You’d think I’d have arrived by now
I’m caught in the trappings of
My search for lasting love
I’ve made mistakes enough
To last me a lifetime

I still slip, I still fall
But I’ll always run back to you

I always have, I always will
You saved me once, You save me still
My longing heart, Your love alone can fill
You always have, always will

I’m gonna keep trusting You
I see what You’ve seen me through
I’m goin’ where You have gone (yeah)
I’m letting You lead me on
All my days (always and forever)
Never far (never leave me never)
Here I’ll stay (ever love me ever)
Here’s my heart
I’ll always love You, love You (yeah)

I always have, I always will
You saved me once, You save me still
My longing heart, Your love alone can fill
You always have, always will

I always have, I always will
You saved me once, You save me still
My longing heart, Your love alone can fill
You always have, always will

Oh, You always have, You always will.

AMEN

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In this “Switch” moment, I’m reminded of Charlie Sheen, the famed crazed film star who has quite possibly ruined his career, if not his life. Charlie may not choose to “Switch!” for the better, but his employer network certainly has. CBS has made the switch, and they are moving on without him. It kind of makes you wonder if all the crazy acting in “Hot Shots” and other projects was really acting at all.

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And it got me to thinking. Sorry to spoil the fun.

Sherry has Rheumatoid Arthritis. We’ve covered it all before. One of the greatest blessings of living in the 21st Century is the advent of new medications. But, can blessings and curses come from the same needle? Quite possibly. Quite possibly.

You see, there are the side effects. Aside from that, the drugs don’t always work. No scientist or doctor has ever cracked the code sufficient to tell you how a unique human being’s body will respond, act, and react. “Hot shots”, indeed.

Things are not working so well, medicinally. Unlike the picture above, Sherry’s no chicken. She is a brave trooper, and is searching for the best right path. A “Switch!” is in order. If you, dear reader are a friend and acquaintance, or not, please be in prayer that this switch will be the right one. A few weeks to go, and we should know soon enough.

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