‘Twas the Night Before the Christmas Picture

Something was seriously wrong with this picture.  I had been looking through family photos and was reminded of a scary looking photograph taken a couple of years ago (and 4 grandchildren ago).  Our good friend and photographer, Vanessa, had a bit of fun in her workshop.  This is what happened:

“Twas the night before the Christmas picture and all through the house

No one was stirring, not even my spouse

The camera was charging on the counter with care

In hopes that the photographer soon would be there.


The families were in their homes all snug in their beds,

While visions of mischief…roamed through the photographer’s head

And nana in her Red Sox T-shirt and Papa in his Patriot’s cap

Had fallen asleep, for at least a short nap.


We arose the next morning to picture taking and fun chatter;

And the picture was snapped; but what was the matter?!

Confusion arose from the moment of the camera’s flash

So, I checked out its shutter…even checked through the trash


Something had happened with our picture…yes it’s true…oh no!

Our heads had been switched (as you can see below)

…Then what to my wondering eyes should appear…

But a miniature Wyndham and ten others held dear!


With a sly ol’ photographer…so sly and so quick

I knew in a moment…she must be quite sick!

More rapid than eagles, her mischief it came

And she photoshopped and chuckled, and called them by name.

 “Now KevJean and WynCa! Now EmLeigh, Now CaMel and JeanKris!

On SamKev, JakeGus! On, MelJake, GusWyn! On EmLeigh and KrisSam!

From the top of their heads for the short and the tall!

Now mix them up! Change them up! Mess them up all!!”……..

It’s a frightening sight to see these switched heads.  I was thinking how much scarier it is when we try to “photoshop” our head onto God’s.  I am quite sure of the scripture in Isaiah 55:8-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
        neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.
    [9] “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
        so are my ways higher than your ways
        and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Yet, how easy it is to try to make our thoughts God’s thoughts.  I’m grateful he does not hide his thinking from us, but gives us his word of grace and truth (through the scriptures and in the flesh through Jesus) to tell and show us so many of this thoughts. Amos 4:13

    He who forms the mountains,
        creates the wind,
        and reveals his thoughts to man,
    he who turns dawn to darkness,
        and treads the high places of the earth–
        the Lord God Almighty is his name.

At times it seems all too easy to try “switch heads” with God and tell him how to “be God”.  Perhaps that is why it seems easier for many to picture Jesus as a baby in a manger, where he is silent and “smaller than us”.  Yet God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, .. Eph. 1:22

While it is humorous to see our heads switched in a picture….it is sobering to realize how futile,dangerous, and ultimately arrogant it is to “try” to control God and His thoughts.  When I fail to humbly read his word, a subtle shift can happen where I attempt to put my thoughts and feelings onto God’s – instead of changing my thoughts and feelings to be like His.  One of my Bible heroes, Job, tried this line of reasoning – and then got “his head on straight”.   Job 40:2-5
  “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
        Let him who accuses God answer him!”

    [3] Then Job answered the Lord:

    [4] “I am unworthy–how can I reply to you?
        I put my hand over my mouth.
    [5] I spoke once, but I have no answer–
        twice, but I will say no more.”

May we all keep our heads on straight!

Deworming the Earworm

Eeeew!  This is my reaction to this disgusting-sounding title. However, this post is not really going to be about slimy creatures living inside the crevices of our inner ears or about long squiggly worms “gracefully” cascading down from the openings in our ears.

“Earworms” is a word coined within the last decade used to describe catchy phrases, jingles or songs that get stuck in our minds – and while there are replayed over and over (and over) again.  Several recent happenings brought “earworms” to my attention. One is an article I read yesterday, while in the Zurich airport, in a magazine entitled “Hear the World”. (My mother was deaf the last twenty years of her life, so articles about hearing often catch my attention).  This particular article was about “earworms” – what causes them (they don’t know) and how to get rid of them.

Also, this past weekend my oldest granddaughter, who was visiting us, began to sing a jingle from an advertisement for a jewelry store – “Every kiss begins with Kay”.  As she was singing I  began to randomly say the word “Kay”, and then give her younger sister (who was sitting on my lap)  a kiss each time I said the word.  This brought on laughter, which brought on more spoken “Kays” followed up with kisses. Unfortunately, I was left singing this little ditty in my head all day long.  Now that I have mentioned it, if you are familiar with the song I may have just passed this annoyance on to you. Similarly, If I were to write a paragraph encouraging you not to think about a red airplane – and then kept repeating instructions, “don’t think about a red-colored airplane” – chances are you would have it clearly pictured in your mind.

I read in the magazine article that studies show that the best solution for ridding our minds of “earworms” is to to sing a different song or say another phrase. Funny thing, the scriptures have always taught this God-given principle.  A scripture that has become a well used tool for me is found in Romans 12:21.  It simply states,
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Another scripture that teaches this principle is told in Matthew 12:43-45
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. [44] Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. [45] Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first…”

When I have an unrighteous thought, word or attitude come into my head I can be sure it will want to “take up residence” in my heart.  I can let it fester and take root, or I can decide (with the help of God) to send it away.  These scriptures teach me that, just like the earworms, I won’t be able to get rid of these thoughts, words or attitudes just by thinking about getting them out of my head.  Instead, I need to replace them with something else, such as what is described in Philip. 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

When I keep scriptures, songs and righteous “good thoughts”  in my “arsenal of memory”. they prove again and again  to be antidotes for having the “sinworms” take me captive. These “sinworms” are far more destructive than “earworms”, which can just be annoying.  Either way, I never have liked worms.

Digging Through the Roof

I must confess this web site construction is currently “over my head.”  I’ve googled “web sites for dummies” and read some blogs about starting them.  I’m swimming into unknown waters and about to get a headache from so much reading.  However, I’m determined to “make a go” at this thing.  I’ve found that sharing things I’m learning from the Scriptures is not only helpful to others, but also to me.  That’s what this site is about – sharing scriptures.

Yesterday morning in our “early service” (I’m teaching the kindergarten Sunday school class this term) we looked at Mark 2:1-5.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. [2] So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. [3] Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. [4] Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. [5] When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Today I did a lot of “spiritual activity.”  Somewhere in there I believe I tried to “get to Jesus.”  However, I will challenge myself to ask how much daily effort I will make to “dig through the roof” so to speak – to get to Jesus.  I’m determined to not just dig…but to let the digging always lead me to the person of Jesus. Without him I’m spiritually paralyzed.