It All Changes Not At All

I’m not THAT old. This summer, I will celebrate my 34th birthday. 

My daughter popped up from her summer reading book and questioned, “What is a long distance phone call?”  It just wasn’t that long ago that all phones were attached to houses and there wasn’t the problem of my cell phone battery is about to die.  

I watched a documentary about the Hoover Dam. The men drove trucks into the cave (leaving them on) and then several men died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Just like I am shouting, “I’m not that old.”  I am shouting, “It was not THAT long ago!  How did they not know?!”  Such a simple way, with the knowledge of that poisonous gas, our world has changed. 

Fashion changes so swiftly that now I ask advice from my eight year old, because sometimes I just don’t know “what the kids are doing these days.”

The world is spinning, spinning, changing in so many ways. 

But then I read about the struggles of parenting in the seventies, and love affairs in the twenties, and people greedy for money during Biblical times, and I realize that people have really not changed at all. 

We love our families, struggle with other people, desire riches and comfort, ask questions, eat food, learn just a little bit, and come to terms with God in one way or another. 

For years and centuries and millenniums, human nature remains the same. We laugh about the details around us that change, but they are just that:  details. And it all comes and goes so quickly. So, while I do love me some details, Lord, please help me focus on the big picture. I want kindness more that I want the popular opinion, I want to give more than I want to have, inner peace more than temporary happiness, wisdom more than entertainment, education more than possessions, love more than greed, and Jesus more than this quickly fading world. 

And I Lived Happily Ever After

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Spoken from a man that knew suffering. Job was a man that was so righteous that God pointed out his goodness to Satan. When Satan strips him of his riches and kills all ten of his children in one day, when he is judged by his closest friends as being in the wrong, and when his wife tells him to curse God and die, Job responds that if he praised God in the good, he will also praise him in the bad. The reason for Job’s suffering was not that he had done something wrong. In contrast, the reason was that he had done so much right. The reason was to see if he would praise God when he suffered so immensely.

For good reason, humans do not like to suffer. But in the wrong, we conclude that suffering is proof that there is no God or if there is a god, that he can not be loving. 

What kind of god do we want God to be?  “If you do not do what I want, I dismiss you God?  If I do not understand, I dismiss you God?”

God is a God of order. He created this world that makes sense. We study science and it is the textbook of this earth. And life is the poetry. It is the love story. There is a problem of sin and suffering is the result.

“Suffering is a reminder that this world is not the way it is supposed to be.”  Tim Keller

But Jesus is the remedy!  We are living the story. We are in the thick of it. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it does not make sense. So, why is the Bible the Good News?  Because we already know the ending. Not only will Chrisians live happily ever after, all the past wrongs will be undone!  

Put yourself into the story!  You are the protagonist. The King of Kings has come to seek and to save YOU!  How will the story end?  Is it a tragedy or will you live happily forever after?

God, What Can You Do?

Man stands firm and confident and rubs his hands together.  He believes and dreams and wishes.  But with all his plans, nothing happens. He beats his forehead with his clenched fist and feels silly and stupid and upset with his failure. Man shouts, “God, if there is a God, what can you do?”

God snaps his fingers, and Earth appears. His hand rises and with it rise the Magnolia and the Palm, the daisy and the tulip, Mt. Everest and the Rockies.  His dancing fingers form Orion and the moons of Jupiter. Science is born. 

Man shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes. Man is not impressed and seeks more, “God, I am lonely and God I want more, if there is even a God at all.”

God breaths into the dust and the Earth is filled. Filled with lonely people seeking companionship. Filled with colors and races and languages.  Filled with doggies eager to play. Filled with enough to consume every day.  God spreads his arms offering his gift and smiles. 

Man turns his back, refusing to delight in the offering. He sits in the dust and throws a fit. Unable to create from nothing. Unable to know and understand it all. Unable to love perfectly. Man stands up and declares, “God?  There is no God at all.”

I Heart Science

Very tall for her age, even taller than her twin sister. She was long and lean, blonde and breautiful, and just as clumsy with her grace as any other fourth grader should be.  My fourth grade students were still babies, but I could see in their achievements (they were impressive) that they would be teenagers tomorrow. 

But for now, I soaked up their current love for their teacher (me), I fed off of their enthusiasm for learning, and I was blown away with their profound statements and questions. 

She raised her long arm. It was, with the rest of her body, jumping up and down in her desk from excitement. Her fingers twisted and turned through the air. She had something to say. 

I paused at the right time during my lecture (yes, I said during my lecture. Please note this was lecture and note taking time)….I paused during my lecture and smiled at Laura and nodded my head for her to go ahead with her question or comment. She proceeded with the attention of the whole class:

I (she pointed to herself)

Heart (her fingers formed a heart in front of her own)

Science (and she spread her arms out pointing and displaying the lecture notes that still covered the board)

She loved to learn. What a gift!  What a blessing!  It was learning that she was in love with, hard lecture notes at such a young age, but something had clicked and she could not contain the excitement and the joy she found in new knowledge. 

I believe that when we learn truth, we learn about Jesus. I believe that Science is the study of God’s creation. I believe that school should be hard work and not always fun, but at the end of the day the kids should beam with excitement from their new found treasure. Knowledge. 

And now I am not a teacher anymore in a classroom. I AM A MOMMY!  And it is summer break and Madison Academy is in full force. We have a list of classic books to read. We are going to conquer labeling all 50 states (she can label 30), by Fall, we will be able to list all the American presidents in order, our nature notebook will be full of sketches and information about plants in our neighborhood, and Daddy is going to teach the fundamentals of basketball. 

And this is where I want to thank Laura’s parents. Because I believe that love of learning begins at home. Yes!  A teacher can spark this or squash it. But almost always, I believe children, like Laura, come from homes where learning prospers and runs wild and covers the smiles of the whole family learning together. 

So, I take my daughter’s hand and I have the PRIVILIDGE of learning alongside her (trust me, I am learning also!) I have the joy of picking, “What do I want my girl to know?” And then teaching her!  

There will be late cookouts. She will have cousins spend the night and sleep in late. We will spend entire days playing at the pool. But perhaps learning just as much as in the classroom (or dare I say possibly more?) I now say with confidence, SCHOOL IS IN SESSION!

The Most Beautiful Body

My oncologist is a genius. There are smart people, there are people that are smarter than them.  There is genius level. And then there is one more level of smartness, he is in that circle. Him and like two other people in this world. One of those two other people is Ben Carson. 

Dr. Scheri, my oncologist, is this insanely brilliant man and somehow he is still able to talk and carry on a normal conversation at the kindest level, like we have always been the best of friends and like I could possibly understand things at his level of thinking. 

I wish I could know him under different circumstances. I wish James and I could sit down with him and his wife and discuss the weather and family life. I wish I could hear his story about what pushed him to becoming a doctor at the most elite level. And I wish that I could tell him how much I admire him and what he has meant to me and my family. 

But  James and I have never had Dr. and Mrs. Scheri to our house for a cookout. We sit in a waiting room anticipating our visits and he only knows me as a Cancer patient. 

We had one of these dates planned just the other day, where my family (aren’t they the best to go with me?!) and I sat waiting in the sterile room to discuss my health with this brilliant man. We discussed my biopsy, any possible symptoms, medication, so on and so forth. He asked if I had any more medical questions. Nope. And then he asked if I had any more questions. Well, yes, I did have a question:

“This is not really about my health, but have you ever published?”

A little taken aback, he answered that yes, he had published and he had published medical publications, texts, and correspondences. (I looked it up and it is the kind of stuff written from one top notch surgeon to another.) and then I kind of joked, “No poetry?”  

He laughed, like a loud guttural laugh that in me would have ended in tears of laughter. When we left, James commented that he had never seen him laugh like that before. 

Later, I was thinking about it. It seemed hilarious to me!  It seemed hilarious to me that he COULDN’T write poetry!  Why did it seem so funny?  BECAUSE I CAN!  

There is no hierarchy of people!  Dr. Scheri belongs to a level of genius that I will never know, but that does not mean that he has easily mastered all the tasks that I believe to be so much easier!

We REALLY are all created differently!  Perhaps Lebron James can not boil an egg. (I don’t know). Or maybe Albert Einstein couldn’t change a diaper. (There again, I don’t know). But my point is:  This world NEEDS surgeons, diaper changers, chefs, teachers, shoemakers, and Insurance salesmen. And when we are all content and find joy in our jobs, what a beautiful community!

But there is something even more important than the here and now!  Something far greater than community!  There are friends. Higher, in another circle is family, and in another greater realm is the body of Christ!

Oh!  Beautiful body!  The brain is gorgeous and developed and intricate!  But oh so important is the little toe!  And oh beating heart!  The thumb is used and abused and taken for granite, but oh how it aids us in life!  

Prayer warrior, prodigal son returned home, Father reading devotions to your family, pastor, sinner sitting in the pew, YOU BELONG TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BODY IN ALL OF CREATION!

WE are the body of Christ. 

The Promises of Nature

I have a god, the God, that I trust and know and believe. But there is a god whispered in my ear, that I am told to believe. Who is this god?  It is ME. 

Builders, great architects of their time, the Egyptians built the temples that are still marveled today. The great wonders of the world. But where are these builders?  Where are they?  Buried within.  All the attempts to preserve their bodies and where are they to be found?  Buried in the sand. 

He stood and proclaimed, “God is dead!”  The world was awakened. Sexual revival, nonconformity, and selfishness praised. With pride and happiness they revolted. With openness and desires they grabbed and pulled in others to follow.  Where are these revivalists?  Where are these that insisted on the death of God?  They have aged, they have fallen. You find them in the grave.

People accomplish great things. They help and build and dance. Legs run faster than ever before. Great minds compose and soothe. Marriage and reproduction. Oil struck, land discovered, and new steel construction. Applause is given and the night is over. As the good and the bad all pass away. Nature promises one more day. 

The answer is not me. The answer is not you. The world that God created reminds us of that day after day. With this world we see and live and breathe, we are left with two options:  There is nothing and we die and are no more. OR There is everything, there is God, and a purpose to live for. 

Caroline’s Creed

I believe in the Son of God. I believe in forgiveness of sins. I believe I have been forgiven. That can never be taken from me. I believe what I believe. I believe I have a daughter. She is a miracle living before me every day. I believe in love. I love her in her strength. I love her in the impatience of a bad day. There is no one, no amount of money, no power, no spirit, no sin that can take that love away. I believe.

I believe Jesus lived. He walked among this earth. He had no questions of this earth. Only answers. And conversations with God. He was God. He is God. He will always be God. I believe in the Trinity. I believe this God lives in me.

I believe in Science. I believe the Bible and Science always compliment each other. I believe in asking questions. I believe in reading. I believe in right and wrong. I believe I do not have all the answers. But I know the one who does. I believe.

I believe in love. I was loved and now I return love. I was picked and chosen. There is a plan for my life. I believe in forgiving others because I was forgiven much more. I believe in serving. Because much is required. Love makes me who I am. That I believe.

I believe in holy matrimony. I believe this oneness points me to God. I was created in his image. Marriage reflects the Trinity. I have been loved in marriage. Loved more than any other way. My life is who we have become together. I believe in love. It has many complexities, many wonders, many joys.  I believe in the mystery of marriage.

I believe in a good fight. Standing up, holding firm, a power from above. I believe it is good to hate evil.  I believe in evil.  Helping the helpless, hugging the lonely, comforting the sad, learning with the curious. I believe in others. I believe we are all made different, unique, and with a beautiful purpose.

I believe in the beauty of the earth, the ugliness of sin, the hurt of a broken heart. I believe in blessings of this world, enjoying good food, gifts of love, friendships, and celebrations of holidays. I believe in life, it’s sanctity and purpose. I believe in believing. What do you believe?

No. I think you absolutely definitely shouldn’t. Go for it, not yet. 

I want answers. I want to know what to do to be healthy, make money, raise a successful citizen, be a stellar friend, and how clean my house should be!  

When I said, “I do.”  I really meant I did.  But sometimes, more often than I want you to know, I looked more like I didn’t. I was, am, grumpy, rude, self serving, and just plain done. But I loved him. I still do.  

And when the nurse laid that 7lb 9oz miracle on my instantly smaller tummy, I cried and smiled and instantly changed, because she was everything, and meaningful, and poetic, and beautiful, and soft as beautiful. But sometimes, more than I want you to know, I get frustrated with a messy room, and stepping on pink Legos, and a sassy attitude. But I love her. I always will, even through the teenage years. 

When should I scrub and when should I play?  How many cups of milk should I drink in a day?  Should I sit on the couch and watch a show with James or read “Bringing Up Girls,” that should have been checked off my reading list six years ago?  Should I call up a friend or spend the day at home?  Is this the year to save or enjoy?  A bush or a floral beside the house?  When and how and where? Why?

Daddy, Father God, will you please tell me?  

Because it matters completely. I want to do and accomplish. But I have made mistakes. And I hear you whisper that yesterday does not matter. Right here. Right now. This very. 

One thing is the objective:  accomplish, do, succeed, but the greatest of these is love. Love. 

Hearts Everywhere

On his knees by a bedside, tears streaming down her face as she hides, sitting alone in a crowd. Hearts cry out, “God, show me you are there.”

Theologians think they are thinking. Artists proudly offer up. Doctors believing they are healing. Parents satisfied that they are protecting.

Each day there is a sunrise. Once again birds fly in the sky. The ocean splashes upon the shore. Gravity holds a truth for one more day.

Observe the beating of a heart, genetic makeup of the simplest animal to the developed pets in our homes. Flowers blooming and cut for pleasure. Trees number the forest. And mountains unexplored. Rain forests alive with animals yet to be discovered.

We think we do so much, crying out that God is not there.

One more day He answers, responding with the beauty of nature and the miracle of life.

Evolution Screws the Helpless

I have learned that this is a very emotional topic.  Honestly, I am not really sure why, but if I ever talk about this (which is not that often), I get people really upset.  So, I apologize…I don’t apologize….don’t want to make you mad, but here it is:

“To suppose that the eye with all its intimate contrivances for adjusting the forces to different differences, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”

Guess who said that?  Yep, the big man himself!  CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN!!!  There is some food for thought, the man who proposed the theory of evolution denied it himself.

From a scientific standpoint, let’s look at the theory of evolution.  Years ago, I attended a lecture under Ken Hamm.  He is a genius of a man and definitely a great man of thinkers of the modern world. He completely demolished the possibility of evolution in one fatal two minute blow describing the impossibility of a giraffe evolving.  It would have died several times during that process.  But he continued and by the end of it, any evolutionist would be crawling under the table.  I can not recommend enough the resources found at answersingenesis.org

From a Biblical standpoint, there are those that believe that God created the world through evolution.  There are several problems with that but to state one:  Adam named all the animals before Eve was created.  So, this theory suggests that evolution occurred to lead up to Adam and Eve and that evolution occurred before the fall.  So, this theory states that death occurred before the fall, which is not biblical because death was a part of the curse and did not exist before it.

And now, for the title:  From an emotional standpoint, Evolution screws the helpless.  According to evolution, it is survival of the fittest.  According to evolution, this is what we’ve got, right now.  So, if you are dying a painful death, if you are a starving child, if you are living each day in agony, the remedy is to end it all.  There is no reason to keep going.  There is no hope.  There is no value for human life.  If you are born with a deformity, you are a mistake, the world will be better when you are gone.

Do I leave you with no hope?  NO!  Because I do not believe in evolution.  (Bet you couldn’t have guessed that.) And why do I write a post on evolution when I know some people are really pissed at me by this point?  Because I want to tell those that do not know that there is hope!  I have a reason to convince you!  I want to tell you that you mean something!  Sorry, but why would anyone try to convince me that evolution is real?!!!  The proof of burden falls on the evolutionist.  The God of the universe made you in his image!  You have worth!  He heals those with disease and injury and hurt!  You have a purpose!  If you are suffering, there is hope!  There is a reason to struggle and survive!  Because you are precious to the God that made it all!

Caroline is published!  please click on the link below for more information about Beautiful Life with Cancer, Hope During the Hard Times and to purchase

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