Saturday, December 26, 2009

Born to Die - The Bridge

Have you accepted the gift? Will you?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (NIV)

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mary Christmas

I wish you a Mary Christmas.

A foot-filled Christmas.

A time of sitting at His feet. Listening. Learning. Sharing.

"She had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he said." Luke 10:39 (NIV) 

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)

I wish you a Mary Christmas.

A fragrance-filled Christmas.

A time of staying at His feet. Praying. Worshiping. Rejoicing.

"This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair." John 11:2 (NIV)

"But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV)

I wish you a Mary Christmas.

A faith-filled Christmas.

A time of submitting at His feet. Receiving. Clinging. Trusting.

"When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.'" John 11:32 (NIV)

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." Psalm 13:5 (NIV)

I wish you a Mary Christmas.

Not just today. But every day.

"I am the Lord's servant, Mary answered." Luke 1:38a

"And Mary said, 'My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant." Luke 1:46-48


Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beholding Christmas Through the Eyes of Youth

Unconventional! But isn't that what Jesus was? Can you feel the joy?

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bigg-Hearted Biggby

They didn't have to do it. 

I mean, it wasn't that big of a deal.

Well, maybe it was. At the time.

I gripped that steaming hot, tall, black coffee. Sniffed the heady aroma. Barred myself from even a sip. No spilling in the car or down the front of my Sunday outfit. Or scalding myself. Savored the anticipation.

Picked it up on the way home from church. Well, after eating and running a couple errands. Planned to curl up with it and a good book.

Our local Biggby Coffee. I love it there. I love the folks who work there. So cheerful. So helpful. I'm usually on the run. But I could sit in there. Relax. With a book or my 'puter. I'd feel so . . . so . . . writerly.

I think I could even work there. And B-Happy.

Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever met a Biggby I didn't like. But I digress.

Hurry, Dennis, hurry! Go faster! Must go faster!

Getting out of car. Juggling stuff. My purse. The coffee. Something else. I reached to hit the garage door closer thingie.

And the cup. Went. Splat!

Upside down. Top and bottom separated. Rose Dog's toys now suspended in frozen java.

I wailed.

I posted my sorry state on Twitter and Facebook. I just wanted a little sympathy and compassion for my distress.

And BiggbyBob replied. He wasn't even my friend. Then.

"So sorry. What can we do?"

"Do you deliver?" I responded.

And then I got another message. Bigg-hearted Biggby wants to replace my coffee. Not once. But double for my trouble. And it wasn't even their fault!

They didn't have to do it. Some might say it's a great marketing thing. But I choose to believe they care.

A random act of kindness.

A gift I'll pass it on.

What random act of kindness have you done or experienced lately?

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." ~Mother Teresa

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wouldn't You Rather Be a Sloth?

"I am a sloth."

A Facebook friend posted this a couple days. I raised my hand. "Me too! Me too!"

Especially when it comes to temple care. Like in diet and exercise. In fact, here's me getting physical.

This little dude pretty much sums up slothfulness. Inactivity plus. A disinclination to work or exert oneself. Think sloooowwwww. Or not at all.


Slothfulness is even considered one of the seven deadly sins. Especially if you are spiritually slothful. Not such a great thing. In fact, early Christians apparently thought of it as a surrender to despair.

A German proverb says, "For the diligent, a week has seven days; for the slothful, seven tomorrows."

Proverbs 10:4 in the Message says, "Sloth makes you poor; diligence brings wealth."

Okay--so slow, lazy, undisciplined, negligent, apathetic. Not so good. I so get that.

But I learned some cool stuff about sloths.

They spend most of their lives upside down. God designed them to have a very good grip.

Sloths can live up to be 30 to 40 years old. Some even stay in the same tree for years. Under the protective branches. Camouflaged by a coating of algae. Not flying out in the open or running around on the ground. They live a simple life.

They are not lazy. Just slow moving. In fact, the sloth is the slowest mammal on earth. It doesn't live in a state of frantic activity.

They have a low metabolic rate and low body temperature at 91 degrees. So I guess you'd say they seldom get "steamed."

Because they don't have a lot of energy, their need for food and water is kept at a minimum. They can be content with little.

Besides the dolphin, the sloth is probably the only other mammal that continually smiles.

A Japan-based, world-wide Sloth Club actually exists, basing its philosophy on the quiet, peaceful, efficient sloth: "less, slower, nonviolent." We could take a lesson.

And then I found this picture.

And I thought, "Wow!" I don't want to be slothful. But I do want to be a baby sloth! Nestled and at perfect peace in my Father's hand.

How about you? Wouldn't you rather be a sloth?  

"The fool sits back and takes it easy. His sloth is slow suicide."  Ecclesiastes 4:5 (The Message)

"My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:8 (NIV)

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting the Pieces Together

My dad is the jigsaw puzzle king. At gift-giving time, we take on the major challenge of finding a puzzle that's a major challenge. One that takes longer than a couple days to put together. He has slapped together 3D, edgeless, and double-sided ones. I think my sister finally found one that took him a month. She wins the prize!

Dad never boxes the puzzles back up. The 3D Capitol sits atop the entertainment center. Others are glued to cardboard, covered with plastic wrap and hung all over the house.

He gave us one to work on when we were home for Thanksgiving. "We" means Gracee and me. But it was mostly Lee and me. Only 500 pieces. It took us an evening. Lee set the box top up so we could see the picture while we worked. I told him that was cheating and put it down. Then I put it back up. I needed to cheat.

At one point, we scoured the floor and down our shirts for missing pieces. Only to find them camouflaged on top of the puzzle. More than once I looked and looked for a piece that turned out to be right in front of my face the whole time. And, of course, sometimes, as we put one piece in, we knocked several out of place and had to repair the damage.

When we were close to the finish, we had 5 holes and 5 pieces that didn't fit. So we had to search for pieces that had appeared to fit but really didn't.

We enjoyed looking at that puzzle for a day and then broke it apart and dumped it back in the box.

We do have a couple of puzzles that we worked on when Abby was pregnant. Those are glued together and stored in a closet still waiting for frames. One of them has a missing piece that in seven years has never turned up.

Life is often compared to a puzzle.

We're all born out of plain brown boxes. And then the box is gone. Can't climb back it.

No pictures to show us how all the jigs and jags of our lives will eventually fit. It's a no-cheating zone. No matter how we try, we will never find all the pieces or make all the pieces fit. And there will always seem to be pieces missing. Only God knows the ultimate picture. Only God knows how it all fits together. And His glue holds it together.

The Bible tells us that He makes everything in the lives of His children work together for good. In His time. Our lifetime.

A very wise pastor once told me that everything will come together when all the pieces get together. But it will be something beautiful! No missing pieces. Puzzle complete. Picture perfect.

Are you working too hard to put it all together? Can you rest and let Him do all the work? Can you trust that it will be beautiful? 

"We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] that all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." Romans 8:28 - Amplified Bible

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Monday, December 14, 2009

True Love


New love.

Heart strangely warmed at the sight, the sound, the touch.

Holding close. Stroking the body. Picking up good vibrations.

Hours travelling in the car. Learning to make music together. Even a stolen weekend getaway.

A pasttime with a plan.

But then.

A past love intrudes and holds me in its grip. A rekindled flame consumes my every thought, my every moment.

True love.

A passion with a purpose.

And she sits neglected. Slightly hoarse. Soundboard silent.

While the keyboard clicks.

Because I am a writer. Not a harper. At least not yet.

My sweet Stoney End, 29-string, double-strung, fully levered Lorraine.

Be patient, my darling.

I will return.

But I fear not with my whole heart.

What good thing have you had to give up or set aside in order to pursue a better thing or higher calling?

". . . rekindle afresh the gift of God that is in you . . ." 2 Timothy 1:6

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lost Treasure

December 4, 1981. 

The day of the mysterious disappearance.

Our 10th anniversary. To the day.

John Pennekamp State Park on Key Largo.

Where they say the barracuda like flashy jewelry. So they encourage you not to wear any when you snorkle.

So we didn't, instead depositing all shiny objects into the glove compartment of our yellow Dodge Omni. I hunkered down in my seat while I removed my wedding set, which was soldered together. There was nobody in the parking lot anyway, so I'm sure--almost--that nobody saw what I did. We locked the doors.

But when we returned from our snorkel trip, where we were followed by curious barracuda, my rings were gone! Everything else was there. Dennis' wedding ring and watch. Our class rings. Everything.

But my rings.

We took everything out of the glove compartment. We searched the car. We searched the parking lot. We reported the loss at the dive desk.




I loved those rings. Engraved with love. I cried all night.

Several times, over the years we had that car, one of us would get the urge to go out and ransack it. Take a flashlight. Search every nook and cranny.

To no avail.

Treasure lost. Disappeared. Poof.

Jesus told a parable in Luke about a woman who lost some treasure. She had ten pieces of silver. They likely represented a dowry. Maybe something akin to a wedding ring. Something that symbolized not only blessing, but perhaps even love, security if something happened to her husband. Sometimes a woman would run a cord through pierced coins and hang them around her neck as a necklace or weave them into her hair or carry them in a bag on her person.

Value. Real and sentimental.

The woman ransacked her house looking for one missing coin. She looked high and low. She lit a lamp and broke out the broom. Maybe she searched frantically, and then persistently and methodically. Like we might look for a single stone to a set. Something very precious. Perhaps her tears turned spots of the dirt floor to mud.

Imagine her joy when she noticed a glint of it in the faint light! Found!

Party time!

Jesus told this story to the Pharisees and scribes as an example of the joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.

We've never found my ring, though. No party here.

I've often thought about how I don't seek HIM as diligently as I searched for those rings. I don't comb through His Word as methodically as I combed through that Omni.

And I wonder.

How often do we put the earthly over the eternal?

How often do we put security over Security?

How often do we put regalia over relationship?

How often do we put our treasures over the Treasure? 

What are your thoughts?

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one? Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." ~Luke 15:8-10

P.S. If you find my rings, let me know.

 Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remembering Pearl Harbor

I've been there. 

I've hung over the rail of the USS Arizona Memorial and watched the oil droplets bubble to the surface. A solemn and vivid reminder of sacrifice.

I've gazed over the harbor and tried to imagine the attack, the shock, the fear, the confusion, the roar of aircraft, the rat-a-tat-tats, the explosions, the screams, the smoke.

Silence. Lives cut down. Death in paradise.



The enemy poised and pounced.

Peace, peace, where there was no peace.

The Gibralter of the Pacific crumbled.

I stood in that tomb and read the names, tear droplets bubbling to the surface, remembering, though I did not remember.

And I said thank you.

And today I remember, and I say thank you for your sacrifice.

And today I remember the One who gave all. With blood droplets bubbling to the surface.

My Pearl of Great Price. My Rock of Gibralter. My Safe Harbor. My only Defense.

And I say thank You for Your sacrifice.

And the empty tomb. 

"Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up." I Peter 5:8 (The Message)

Have you ever been to the Arizona? What was your experience? Are you prepared for sudden attack in your life?

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane--1971

Dennis and Sandy King married and flew to San Francisco for their honeymoon (12/05-12/13).

The Golden Gate Bridge's lights were out all night due to a power failure (12/14)

Richard Nixon was president and Time's Man of the Year.

The last televised cigarette advertisement aired on the Tonight Show.
One of the earliest appeared in 1949--the year of my birth.

The Soviets manned the first space station for 23 days.
Alan Shepard played golf on the moon (Apollo 14).

Walt Disney World opened.

Most watched TV shows included:

And just a couple of my favorites

Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry RFD, Hogan's Heroes, Green Acres and Ed Sullivan ended.

Song of the year


Miss America - Phyllis George

The average U.S. taxpayer gave the government $400 for defense, $125 to fight the war in Indochina, $40 to build highways, $30 to explore outer space, and $315 for health activities ($7 for medical research).  

Life expectancy: 71.1 years.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series.
No Pulitzer Prize awarded for a fiction book.

Madge softened hands in Palmolive dishwashing liquid.

Tide and a new Speed Queen washer took care of 3-year-old Bradley's dirty shirt.
Woolite safely soaked pants and other fine washables clean in 3 minutes.
Uphill, the engine of the Datsun 1200 Sports Coupe generated such instant pep, you wouldn't hold up a line of angry cars.
You could take a quiet break with a Ford LTD.
You could get an 8 cents off coupon for Easy Off Oven Cleaner.

The average new house cost $25,200.00
The average income was $10,622.00 per year.
A new car cost $3560.00
A movie ticket cost $1.50.
Gas was 40 cents a gallon.
A stamp cost 8 cents.
Fresh baked bread was 25 cents a loaf.
Eggs were 45 cents a dozen.
Women could buy a 2-piece bonded knit pantsuit for $9.98.
You could get 4 "bright, beautiful" place mats and matching coasters for any 10 Stokely labels.

The Year That Was 
1971 Remember When

Those were the days!

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And So It Began

April 1971. 
Only eighteen months into my nursing career and already burned out in short-staffed critical care. I applied for a job in an OB/GYN office, but the doctors hired another nurse with hospital OB experience.

In the meantime a young pharmaceutical sales representative announced his intentions to quit and return to graduate school, but his boss talked him out of it.
Only days after hire, the OB nurse discovered she was pregnant, and the doctors called to offer me the job.

Susan, one of the other nurses, told me about this cute "detail man." The day he walked into the office, sample case in hand, my heart flip-flopped. 

Our first conversation centered around the effectiveness of one contraceptive foam over another. 
How romantic.

Susan did not like my current boyfriend, so she called Dennis into our workroom and strongly suggested he ask me out. 
He claims he already intended to anyway.


Saturday, May 1, 1971. Our first date. A concert. The Philadelphia Orchestra.

He proposed three weeks later.

On his own. No help from Susan.

My doctors could hardly wait for the wedding. During the following six months, they tolerated my "spaciness."

For instance, the lab often called to tell me I'd done it again--rubber banded a patient's lab slip to the cardboard folder that encased the Pap smear slide that was also marked with the patient's name. However, the name on the lab slip and the name on the slide didn't match, and we had to call many patients back to have their exams repeated.

For free.
Susan, of course, served as my matron of honor. She still lights up with pride at her matchmaking skills.

And thirty-eight years later, my heart still flip-flops. 

We've since realized we actually grew up on the same "street"--U.S. 27, though nearly 200 miles apart. His parents ran the family farm while he rode horses, and my parents ran a small motel on a lake while I wished for a horse.

Coincidence? Or all orchestrated by a higher plan?

How did you meet?  Do you have a fun pre-wedding memory? Can you look back and see God at work? 

"But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." Psalm 33:11

P.S. My horse's name was Wendy.

Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King
Related Posts with Thumbnails