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The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer

Pastor Craig’s Assignment: Pray the Lord’s Prayer daily [2-3 times per day, even better] for one week and then “Let It Be”.

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Day 13 of Lent

daffodils 650

Daniel 6:1-10

New International Version (NIV)

Daniel in the Den of Lions

[a]It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 6:1 In Aramaic texts 6:1-28 is numbered 6:2-29.

Greetings!

Over the next couple of weeks, at least, we will be studying verses from the book of Daniel using our [new] Spring 2013 Cokesbury Adult Bible Study guide PLUS we’ll also be reading daily devotions from our Lenten study guide, “Thy Will”.  I’ve included a handy calendar for you so that you’ll always know which Day to read on any given day.  It may appear to skip some days, which, in fact, it does.  In case you weren’t aware [fairly recent news to me – always learning!], Sundays are not counted in the 40 days of lent.
“Thy Will” Lenten Devotional Calendar
Day Date   Day Date   Day Date   Day Date
1 2/13/2013 11 2/25/2013 21 3/8/2013 31 3/20/2013
2 2/14/2013 12 2/26/2013 22 3/9/2013 32 3/21/2013
3 2/15/2013 13 2/27/2013 23 3/11/2013 33 3/22/2013
4 2/16/2013 14 2/28/2013 24 3/12/2013 34 3/23/2013
5 2/18/2013 15 3/1/2013 25 3/13/2013 35 3/25/2013
6 2/19/2013 16 3/2/2013 26 3/14/2013 36 3/26/2013
7 2/20/2013 17 3/4/2013 27 3/15/2013 37 3/27/2013
8 2/21/2013 18 3/5/2013 28 3/16/2013 38 3/28/2013
9 2/22/2013 19 3/6/2013 29 3/18/2013 39 3/29/2013
10 2/23/2013 20 3/7/2013 30 3/19/2013 40 3/30/2013

I searched the internet for an answer as to why Sundays are excluded during lent.  There’s so much information out there in cyberspace regarding the Bible/religion/spirituality – almost too much – so I tried to be selective with what I read and passed on to you.  I came across “The Upper Room”‘s website and felt fairly confident in it’s reliability.  Here’s what they have to say about lent and Sundays;  

http://www.upperroom.org/lent101

As far as the book of Daniel goes, I get the feeling there’s a lot of controversy over it – after reading up on it in my NIV Bible and also on the internet, I think it would be interesting to listen in on a theological debate about it’s contents.  I know.  Be careful what I wish for, right?

Peace,

Jennifer

A Twofer

b & w tree 650

Today’s Bible Verse:

Colossians 4:7-17

New International Version (NIV)

Final Greetings

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[c] among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

Footnotes:

  1. Colossians 4:7 Or slave; also in verse 12
  2. Colossians 4:8 Some manuscripts that he may know about your
  3. Colossians 4:11 Greek only ones of the circumcision group

Greetings!

Today’s post is most definitely a “twofer”.  Two for the price of one.  Well, truth be told, they’re both free.  I needed a title for this post and “twofer” seemed fitting.

The first part of this twofer is same ol’, same ol’.  I’ve included the bible verse of the day as suggested in our Cokesbury Adult Bible Study Guide [check], a photo [check] and a little story/anecdote/scattered thoughts from my day/week/life [literally and figuratively under construction].

The second part of the twofer consists of two links – one leading to the NIV’s “Introduction of Colossians” and the other will take you to “Thy Will”, a newly published Lenten Devotional, written by various members of Great Bridge United Methodist Church.

The Introduction to the Colossians link is self-explanatory.  Reading it will educate/remind you of the importance of Paul’s letter[s] in the bible.  Perhaps after reading it, you’ll see today’s bible verse and the rest of Colossians in a new light.  And it will prepare those of you in our Sunday school class for tomorrow’s lesson…which happens to be on Colossians 4:2-6, verses preceding today’s scripture [interesting approach]:

http://www.biblica.com/niv/study-bible/colossians/

as a side note:  There are several versions of the Bible available online – the NIV just happens to be the one I connect with best.  In case NIV isn’t your cup of tea, I encourage you to search for one that speaks to you.  

In case you aren’t able to open the web site for “Thy Will”, I’ve included a wonderful letter that, on the surface, peeks into the relationship of the potter and his glob of clay…there is a much deeper meaning being described, one for you to read and discover for yourselves [see below].

I’ve shared this letter and other excerpts from “Thy Will” with several people including our church’s prayer shawl knitters, my daughter, a young lady to whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a recent pledge drive for our local national public radio station and a homeless person named Mary.  Mary, along with 49 other displaced souls, stayed at our church as part of N.E.S.T. (Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team) for a few nights.  After serving them a hot turkey dinner [props to everyone who organized, provided food, cooked, served & cleaned up!], I struck up a conversation with Mary.  She asked me to read the potter’s letter to her.  We talked about a lot of things.  Mary taught me a thing or two about God and faith and hope and life in general and I was reminded that regardless of our outward appearances and earthly expectations, God sees and LOVES all of his children EQUALLY.

Here’s the link for the “Thy Will” in its entirety:

http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/1333/thywillebook.pdf

Dear Lord, I pray that knowing Your love will help Mary to remain hopeful & positive during this time of transition in her life.  I pray that the NEST staff will find suitable housing for Mary and in the meantime, I pray that she is safe, warm and out of harm’s way.  Amen

“Thy Will” provides short, sweet & relatable stories that will enrich your Lenten experience as you reflect, repent, pray and prepare your hearts for Easter.

[aaaaaand check].

Peace,
Jennifer

 

* Reflections on the Cover Photo:
“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou
our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Dear Clay,

I imagine you are wondering why I have dug you from the
comfortable confines you have come to know as your earthen home.
I will have to ask you to put your faith in me and trust that I have a
plan and a purpose for you. I must warn you though. It is often a
painful process to go from the filthy state you now possess and
refine you into something more beautiful than you can even
imagine. I know your value and worth and I will not abandon you.

First I must rid you of all the impurities that inhabit you from the
environment from which you came.

Next I will have to remove excess water through a process called
wedging. It is apt to hurt because I will have to repeatedly throw
you onto a firm surface with a great deal of force and then
repeatedly push and turn and press and lift and I will do this
several times until you are malleable. It is much like the way a
baker kneads a loaf of bread but with more force and pressure.
Once the wedging is complete, a swift toss onto a flat round surface
will enable me to spin you. You are likely to feel dizzy but it is
necessary. In order to achieve center, I will have to apply consistent
firm pressure. It will be natural for you to want to resist, but my
hand will be unwavering.

Finally when you yield to my rigid hand,
you will feel me press down and then pull out to create the base
that will provide the support on which you will be able stand. As
the electric motor hums rhythmically, and the wheel spins steadily
you begin to glide effortlessly as if you are being caressed through
my wet moist hands.

But now this period of rest gives way to a time of growth. Under
the careful steady pressure of my fingertips, I will evenly pull my
hands in an upward motion evenly stretching and thinning the
walls of your shape. Because you are centered, you no longer resist
the guiding movement of my hand; rather you comply and grow vii
gracefully into a thing of beauty. Your graceful bends and curves
are pleasing to my eyes. I am pleased with my creation.But I am 

not finished. I will have to leave you. But I will not forsake you. 

You may think I have abandoned you, but it is not true. I will be
checking on you while you gradually evaporate your remaining
moisture. After several days, you will feel firm but you will have to
go through a painful process known as firing. You will be placed in
kiln where the temperature will feel unbearable. I will not give
more than you can withstand. As a matter of fact, this step is
critical in strengthening you so that you can fulfill the plan and
purpose I have for you.


After your surface has finally cooled to the touch, I will need to rub
you briskly with rough scratchy sandpaper to smooth out any
imperfections. This will remove flaws that can’t necessarily been
seen with the eye but can be felt by the meticulous hands of the
master. You are my workmanship and my love for you grows as
you come close to perfection.


The glaze painted on your surface feel like a soothing balm after the
brisk sanding. Despite the fact that the mottled gray of the glaze
seems to have marred you beauty, again, you will have to trust I
have your best interest at heart.


I know you would be happy to remain unfinished if it means you
could avoid having to return to the fiery kiln. I know you think you
can’t possibly endure a second firing, but you can. You are strong.
I know this because I lovingly created you. When you think you
can bear no more, please remember you can do all things that I have
strengthened you to do.


The heat of the last firing has made you more beautiful, inside and
out. Your beauty brings joy to those who lovingly place you on a
tea tray. It pleases me to see you fulfilling your purpose
serving daily, in the capacity in which you were designed.
Linda Winokur

Image

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,”Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[a] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 4:25 That is, the Ten Cities

Greetings!

 
     While reading the above passage, I couldn’t help but think about the gazillion times I’ve asked someone to come with me, mostly speaking from a parental point of view.  “It’s time to leave”, “Please grab your stuff and let’s go”, “I’ll be waiting for you in the car” and the dreaded, “Let’s go, we’re late!”, all came to mind.  No amount of encouragement brings my passenger immediately to the door, ever.  I might be exaggerating a little bit but not by much.  And yet, it seems entirely possible to drop whatever it is we’re doing [unless we’re holding a baby, a hot cup of coffee or a very expensive Ming vase] and be at someone’s side at the mere suggestion/request.  We, as a society, have put our own spin on the meaning of the phrase, “I’m coming!” to the point where it’s considered socially acceptable to be “fashionably late”.  
 
     It takes planning to get from A to B these days, doesn’t it?  We won’t even dare respond to a request before first checking with our cell phones/ipads/day timers/personal assistants [dreaming].  We have to “move heaven and earth” to fit “things” into our busy schedules and at the very least, do a mirror check before leaving one room to go into the next.  Let’s face it, we need a new term for “busy” because we’ve taken things to a whole new level, excusing ourselves for taking time to get places.  When we hear someone calling our name, do we respond immediately, or, like Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers, do we cringe, buckle at the knees and squeek out a response such as, “Whatever you want, my darling, I’ll be right there” with a pained expression on our face?
 
     Our dog, for another example, will wait for us to throw another load in the washer, finish homework assignments, wrap up a chapter in a good book, make a couple of phone calls, fix our hair [never ends], rearrange pillows on the sofa, grab a bite to eat, before taking her for a walk.  Occasionally, inside the house, she will follow us around but once the realization hits home that we’re not moving in the direction of her leash, she’ll circle a couple of times, land once again on the floor, or her bead, all neatly tucked in, close her eyes and let out a big sigh…sometimes more than one.  She has the patience of, well, an Autumn.  
 
     On the subject of” immediate response”, our Sunday school class also comes to mind.  Technically, class starts at 9:30am.  Our teacher exercises a great deal of patience while everyone gets reacquainted, finds a seat, pours a cup of coffee, leaves the room to chat with friends in the hallway, hands out books, welcomes newcomers and on it goes.  We wear our name, “The Christian Fellowship Class”, proudly.  It’s nothing short of a miracle that our teacher is able to deliver the lesson in the allotted amount of time.  It also comes as no surprise that we’re sometimes late finishing things up.  Is it a “sign of the times” or just a reflection of our chatty group?  “Immediate response” isn’t exactly what we’re known for from inside our classroom. 
 
     I have to admit, at first glance, I had a difficult time believing that Simon/Peter, Andrew, James, John, and their father dropped what they were doing in order to follow Jesus.  I wondered if there was more to the story that might help me understand this better?  In today’s standards, it’s difficult to grasp the concept of doing much of anything in such a way, outside of being bribed with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies or responding to an emergency and even then, there’s no guarantee of an immediate response.  But then I realized, Jesus had said something to them that made perfect sense – He promised to make them “fishers of men”.  Jesus’s gentle voice and truthful words were the key ingredients to their immediate responses.  They didn’t need anything more than that and if we were to be really honest, neither do we.  
 
     Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.  I appreciate your support [comments, when you have a minute] and prayers and love.  You’re also in my prayers and thoughts.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my spiritual journey/walk with you.    
 
Peace,
Jennifer 
 
 
 

The Missing Blog…

Skitter Portrait

The Jews and the Law

17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”[a]

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[b] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 2:24 Isaiah 52:5 (see Septuagint); Ezek. 36:20,22
  2. Romans 2:27 Or who, by means of a

Greetings!

For some unknown reason, this post was sent out without scripture & my ramblings on Jan 16th.  I only discovered this because I had referred my blog to a friend this morning and thought I should take a quick peek to see what she would see before sending her the link.  Huh.  No idea how that happened.  [sorry about that!]

Everything was present and accounted for at the time that I hit the “publish” button on Jan 16th, honest!  I do remember that I was in a bit of a hurry that day so, I’m guessing, God has sent me, yet another,  message to slow down and breathe and think, think, think before I act.  Will I ever learn?

I am pretty sure that the intended post included something about our cat, so I’ll run with that memory and tell you a little bit about her.  Skitters is almost always nearby whenever I sit down at the computer to write.  It’s done without much thought on either one of our parts.  I sit down and she jumps up onto my lap.

She doesn’t always make it on the first try though which is too bad for me because she uses her front claws to catch her fall which rarely works…leaving her pride somewhat bruised [cats are supposed to land on their feet, right?] and me with a few holes in my legs.  Ouch.

She does the same thing whenever I sit down and get all comfortable to read a book or perhaps the newspaper.  She loves to walk across the paper and finds comfort in laying down on top of it.  Cat lovers relate.  I used to find this habit of hers kind of annoying but I have come to accept the fact that this is what she does.  It’s her thing.  I find myself looking for her whenever I’ve decided to bury myself into a good read.  We’re like book buddies, only different.

GOD sends us signs of HIS love all the time – HIS efforts are relentless, aren’t they?  Perhaps, just maybe, our nutty Skitters and her behaviour is one of those signs, as if to say, “No matter how hard you try to resist, I AM here and MY LOVE IS FOREVER.

Unlike GOD though, Skitters shrinks away from me and bolts to another room whenever she’s in one of her moods…it’s nothing personal, I’m sure.

This morning, my daughter and I played with Skitters using a laser flashlight that projects a tiny red dot onto the wall or floor or the cat’s tail.  The excitement, the sound of our laughter, the sounds of the cat chasing the light and eventually her own tail [she’s unusually heavy footed for a cat] lured our dog, Autumn, near the kitchen.  Autumn can only stay away for so long and then no more.

Autumn suffers from anxiety and is fearful of many things, especially loud noises and new people.  She, unlike the cat, approaches life with a great deal of caution.  So, when the dust had seemingly settled,  Autumn made her way into the room.  We directed the light on the floor in front of Autumn and watched [quietly] as she gingerly followed it around the room, sniffing the floor for its scent.  Talk about cheap entertainment!

So, there was the cat and the dog, together, in the kitchen, chasing after a little light beam.  And there we were, my daughter and I, eating breakfast and giggling, discovering new places to shine the light [please, not on the dog! not on the cat! not on me!].  And there was, and is, GOD, loving us all [ALL of us, beyond the kitchen], filling the room with HIS light and love and strength and joy.  It’s HIS thing.

Peace,

Jennifer

Humility Is A Virtue…

humility

Philippians 2:1-4

Imitating Christ’s Humility

2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Greetings!

As a form of inspiration for dressing up today’s photograph, I turned to the English dictionary.  Using some of the keywords in its definition for humility, I added the text using PS Elements and came up with what I thought to be the finished product.  I then proceeded to copy/paste today’s scripture from Biblegateway.com into the body of the actual post.  All that was left to do was to write a note to you and then I’d be done.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Think again, which is apparently what I needed to do before going any further.  Think.

While I was thinking, a Girl Scout showed up at our door, cookie-order-sheet in hand.  It’s THAT time of year.  Fifteen minutes later another neighbourhood girl rang the doorbell.  Bring on the Samoas!  And then the phone rang – not a Girl Scout this time but another [pleasant] distraction to keep me away from finishing today’s post.

I went into the kitchen, made myself a cup of tea and sat back down in front of the computer.  I stared at the screen…waiting for words to come…something…anything…

Dear Lord, fill me with inspiration…help me to tune out the day’s distractions so that I may focus on this post and understand the true meaning of humility…

I was hung up on the image I had put together for you as it looked a bit blurry to me.  Not literally but rather out of focus in a spiritual way.  I continued researching for more definitions on the internet and finally found what I was looking for in the Holman’s Biblical dictionary.  Here’s the link, in case you’d like to read more about humility.

http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?word=humility&action=Lookup

As I read not only Holman’s but also other biblical references, I began to see my picture in a much clearer way.  Holman’s definition describes humility as, “A personal quality in which an individual shows dependence on God and respect for other persons.”  Of course, that only scratches the surface – a good starting point.

Ah, I think I am beginning to see things more clearly now.  I hope you do too.  It is with a great deal of humility that I write my blog.  I am very thankful to God for giving me the courage to share my thoughts about my spiritual walk with you.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Peace,

Jennifer

An Un-Nature Hike

unnature walk redJames 3:13-18

New International Version (NIV)

Two Kinds of Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

 

Greetings!

Today’s scripture is short and anything but sweet BUT it is “to the point”.  Clear and concise and easy to grasp.  My favourite kind of message – something I can work with, after the first read.

I just hope that my confidence isn’t premature – perhaps I should go back and read it again, just to be sure.  As a matter of fact, this may very well be the first time I’ve ever read James, at least to the best of my memory.  I’ve been dragging (literally, well sort of – it’s a student-hard-cover edition & heavy, literally, well sort of…) my bible around for several years now but I just can’t remember a time when I’ve studied or read anything in the book of James.  No time like the present!

In the meantime, I want to share a kind of funny thing that happened to me yesterday, a thing that was anything but clear.

Upon retrieving our mail from the mailbox, located at the base of our driveway, I stopped dead in my tracks and thought to myself, “that’s odd”.  If you had asked me, before I turned around to retrace my steps, “What’s odd?”, I’m not sure I would have had an answer for you.  Something just seemed out-of-place or unnatural.

I walked back to the mailbox and looked at it and well, there it was.  I looked inside of it and it was empty, logically so.  I carefully stepped back (I was standing on the road at this point) and examined a bigger picture and realized that there was something black in the bush, just behind our mailbox.  I leaned in and found myself staring at a laptop computer.  That’s kind of funny & certainly unnatural, right?!

I immediately ran into the house and grabbed my camera (hence today’s photo) and proceeded to snap away.  Wouldn’t you?!  No need to answer.

I then walked across the street and knocked on my neighbour’s front door.  She opened it and I asked her if she had a minute to see something, which she did, so I showed her my discovery.  And then there were two.  Perplexed neighbours, not laptops. 

She chuckled and asked, “Is that a laptop?”, to which I replied, “Yes, I believe it is”.  We worked together to pry the branches apart.  I held the branches while my neighbour pulled the dusty, grimy, wet laptop out of the bush.  I’m being as precise as I can with the details, for the sake of evidence.

The black and silver Toshiba laptop was in pretty rough condition.  There’s no telling how long it had been there in the bush.  My neighbour suggested that instead of throwing it out, I should donate it to Goodwill.

She explained that Goodwill’s policy is to discard electronics “properly” and in the good ol’ US of A.  Apparently, too many unmentionable companies (couldn’t name them if I had to) are sending these items to impoverished countries where children are dismantling them, forcing them to handle mercury and other toxic components.  That was a handy nugget of information and I thanked her for it and also for her help.

After we parted ways,  I placed the laptop on a front porch table and went back inside my house.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I knew one thing for sure, I didn’t want the computer inside my house.  However, it was only a matter of minutes before my imagination began to run wild.  How DID the laptop end up on my property?

After thinking about it for a short while, I called the police.  They told me they’d send an officer over to my house to pick up (the evidence).  As I hung up the phone, it occurred to me that my daughter would be coming home from school shortly and I sure didn’t want her first glimpse of home to be one of worry and concern so I immediately sent her a text message, explaining the situation unnormal.   Unnatural.  I could tell by her response that she was laughing on her end of the text message.

As I loaded the morning’s pictures onto my own computer, which by the way was sitting on a table quite normally where one might expect to find a laptop, I was reminded of a cool game we used to play, at Wesley Chapel United Methodist’s Church’s Vacation Bible School, called “The Un-Nature Hike”.  WCUMC is located on a hilly piece of property on the side of a winding country road in northern Virginia.  The property is lined with trees and is quite picturesque.  Our VBS aficionado, Amy, placed pencils, toy cars, a stapler, hangers, anything that was, you guessed it, “unnatural” for that particular setting, in the trees and on the ground.

Meanwhile, the kids would be inside, waiting with pencil and paper in hand.  They were instructed to turn their voices off (one of the few times EVER that they were able to contain themselves) and write down anything they might see that appeared to be unnatural on their hike.  It was an awesome walk – a bit of confusion at first and then lots of oohs and aahs and writing of the words.  Nobody spilled their beans until we all went back inside to compare our lists.  They were giddy and giggly and LOUD once given the instruction to turn their voices back on again.  The only thing I can’t remember is the theme for VBS that year…(pls don’t say James – THAT would really rock my world right about now!).  Such a great memory to relive and share with you!

I sure know what I would have put on my list had I been on a UnNature Hike yesterday.

The policeman arrived and very matter-of -factly donned black latex gloves, placed the computer in the trunk of a very sporty looking cruiser and took down my information.  The laptop has been assigned a case number and it’s computer id numbers will be entered into their system and then the laptop will be sent to the lost and found where I suspect it will sit on a shelf collecting dust indefinitely.

It could end up being an integral piece of evidence in an unsolved mystery, but I digress…

It’s true, I’ve been spotted scouring my shrubbery over the course of today in an effort to see what else might be lurking in our shrubbery.  So far, there’s only one piece of the puzzle to one that may never be solved.  I think I’ll stick to life’s more “plain & simple” mysteries and blessings, such as the book of James.

Peace,

Jennifer