Anchors for the soul and strength for the Godward

Terminal bone cancer. A few days left of life on earth. One of my peers in my home congregation.

“Oh, good God, not again!” I exclaimed within myself at the stunning news Wednesday afternoon.

“How does God figure these things out?” I asked a friend rhetorically Wednesday night in the church parking lot. A friend whose brother had just been operated on for three brain tumors.

This morning I arose earlier after going to bed later last night. Headache. Stress.

Heartache. For friends. For us.

Weights on my mind and heart. Relationships. Finances. Health. Family. Church. Mission.

After eating some protein (brown beans on a slice of cheese, followed by homemade yogurt), I cooked some water and assembled a mug’s-worth of coffee. Sipping and slurping, I read my way through today’s Scripture portion, the second half of Psalm 31:

But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

(Psalm 31:14,19,21,24)

My mental and digital cross referencing took me to other verses: Continue reading

It's as simple as blowing your nose hard is!

I need to put pressure on someone who is already angry and bitter.

How can I do it without stirring up a fresh dose of those? What must I do to exert this pressure in a way that doesn’t bring on a heavier cascade of contention?

Maybe it isn’t possible.

These thoughts come as a consequence of my Bible reading this morning. I “learned” a new word: miyts (pronounced meets). This noun means “pressure” and appears only three times in the Old Testament, all of them in Proverbs 30:33.

Here is the verse in three versions:

Surely he who stirs milk will get out butter, and he who blows his nose hard will get out blood; and he who provokes wrath will cause contention

Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

Ciertamente el que bate la leche sacarĂ¡ mantequilla, Y el que recio se suena las narices sacarĂ¡ sangre; Y el que provoca la ira causarĂ¡ contienda.

The first version is my translation of the third (which is Reina-Valera 1960).

Put pressure on someone who is already angry and you’ll surely get contention and strife. Continue reading