Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/congmicj/cathyconger.com/wp-includes/query.php on line 751

As a writer, needle artist and photographer, I invite you to share my pursuits with me on this site. Among other things, there is a weekly post called “D-mail” that examines the spiritual meaning in current stories, both personal and news events.  I invite your comments at  cathycongerblog@gmail.com

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.”  N. Platt

BROKEN LEG IN BROOKLYNLast week Chuck and I flew to New York City for a week. He had a medical conference to attend and we had a whole bunch of sightseeing, shows and eating adventures on our itinerary. The first day we took the Circle Line ferry boat tour which circumnavigates the island of Manhattan. The three hour tour was very informative and we saw a lot of the city that way. It was hot and humid the whole week but never really rained except for that night. It poured rain while we made our way to dinner and back on the subway. Of course, New York is a walking city but the subways are safe and efficient so we took them whenever possible. But boy, it was sweltering on the subway!

Each day Chuck was at his conference from 7 am to 1 pm. Then we took off to see the city. The second day we went to the Museum of the City of New York and to the Vanderbilt Conservatory Gardens in Central Park. The gardens were so lovely and peaceful tucked away in the midst of noisy traffic and huge crowds. We also visited some stores on 5th Avenue, including FAO Schwarz, and then made our way to a unique Italian restaurant/market called Eataly. It was recently opened by Mario Battalli, one of the Food Channel’s Iron chefs. Crowded and loud, it was bedlam (New Yorkers don’t seem to mind) but the food was delicious and it was fun to walk around and see all the Italian ingredients for sale.

The third day we visited the oldest district of Manhattan, the South Street Seaport. From there we were going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to spend time in Brooklyn and have dinner at Grimaldi’s Pizza. We were about to ascend to the bridge when I tripped on uneven pavement and went down hard. I wrenched my left knee pretty good. We were in front of a little market so Chuck went in to get a plastic bag of ice to put on my knee. A lot of people stopped to offer assistance. We have been told for years that New Yorkers are an impatient, cold-hearted lot, but we found people were very friendly and helpful everywhere we went. Anyway, we parked ourselves on a nearby bench until the ice had numbed my knee pretty well. I was able to bear weight on the leg with minor pain if I held onto Chuck’s arm and walked with my leg hyperextended. Thinking that it would get better, we decided not to attempt the Emergency Room scene and after stopping at Grimaldis pizza for dinner, Chuck helped me hobble back to Times Square via subway. By the time I got back to our hotel, I knew it wasn’t going to get better soon. Chuck had 3 more days of meetings so we decided to buy some crutches and stick it out. Chuck had to go all the way to Greenwich Village to buy them. Our 40 story Times Square hotel owned only 1 wheelchair! In order to get to a taxi or get anywhere in the hotel, I had to use the wheelchair and it came with a security guard attached! I quickly shaved our extensive plans to eat at fun restaurants, go to several museums, wander Central Park, go to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller center) and attend 2 Broadway shows. Instead, we ate take out food, Chuck went to Cirque de Soleil at Radio City Music Hall by himself, we took a carriage ride through Central Park, and were able to see How to Succeed in Business because our seats were on the main floor (the theater was less than a block from our hotel so the security guard for that day decided to just push me in the wheelchair down the street to the theater and right to our seats!) Fortunately, we had already done some fun things before I fell, so the week was not a bust. The trip home on the airplane was tough but people were very accommodating. Then we had a 3 hour drive home from the airport in Milwaukee. I crawled up the stairs to our bedroom while Chuck unpacked and started the laundry. Home at last.

Yesterday I saw my orthopedic surgeon, expecting that he would tell me I had torn a ligament in my knee at worst. However, the X-rays showed that I have a tibial plateau fracture! There are two bones in your lower leg, the tibia and the fibula. The tibia is the larger of the two. Where it connects to the knee, it’s surface had 2 knobs. I fractured one of the knobs, thus displacing the cartilage at that juncture. It will require surgery to fix. They may have to do a bone graft and he said screws are involved (icky). He sent me to the hospital for a CT scan and we are to see him tomorrow to schedule surgery. He said they usually don’t do surgery for 5-7 days following the injury anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t try to get treated in New York. In the meantime I am taking pain pills and laying low. The new crutches have been killing my neck, wrists and arms. I’m so unstable using them that I’m scared to death of falling. Once more, I am so grateful we kept Chuck’s parents’ wheelchair as I will be living in it once again for quite awhile and it will save us some rental money. I’m also glad we made a downstairs bedroom out of my sewing room three years ago. Chuck moved furniture out of the way in that room, the library, and the family room. We also moved the kitchen table and the stuffed chair around so I have more room to negotiate the turns in the wheelchair.

Our oldest daughter, Andrea, will have fulfilled her obligations in Minneapolis by the end of next week and she has agreed to come home to help until school starts for her in late August. My goal is to be able to travel to Bayfield July 15 for our week-long family vacation. All of the kids and grandkids are coming and I have been looking forward to that week for a year! Chuck called the place where we are renting a big condo (on the third floor!) and was able to get the two of us a small condo on the ground floor of the same building. God is so good. I didn’t really know why, but I had decided not to sign up for any writers conferences this summer. Now I know why!
Keep us in your prayers. I am feeling pretty discouraged about becoming dependent and all the rehab ahead of me. Pray for Chuck. He has a lot on his plate with his ER down one doctor and now having to care for me (and the yard).
We’ll keep you posted.    Love, Cathy

p.s. For those who have been following my D-mails on this blog, I want to let you know that because of my accident, there may not be any D-mails for the foreseeable future until I feel up to writing again.  I hope to post photos on the blog though so check back from time to time!

 

Scripture: Genesis 8:20-21, Exodus 29:15-18, Leviticus 3:16-17, II Corinthians 2:15 

A PLEASING AROMA

The first weeks of June were heavenly for my nose! Lilac season! Lilacs and violets are probably my favorite flowers, but violets lack that intoxicating smell that fills the air from lilacs. The season is so short that I fill vase after vase with lilacs to place all around my house so I can enjoy the smell anywhere I go. Nothing is quite like it. The other day as I stood near my lilac hedge, the aroma wafting to my nose on the breeze, I was reminded of how the sweet aroma of sacrifices made to God in the Old Testament pleased Him greatly.

After the great flood, when the waters had subsided enough for Noah and his family to emerge from the Ark, Noah prepared a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God for saving them.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart, `Never again will I curse the ground because of man even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” Genesis 8:20-21
The aroma of the sacrifice was so pleasing to God that he realized how much he loved his creation and vowed he would never destroy it again.

Centuries later, when Moses and the Israelite nation were wandering in the desert, after God had given Moses the Ten Commandments as well as the plans for the Tabernacle, God gave instructions to Moses about the priestly sacrifice.
“Take one of the rams and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon its head. Slaughter it and take the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides. Cut the ram into pieces and wash the inner parts and the legs, putting them with the head and the other pieces. Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is called a burnt offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, an offering to the Lord by fire.” Exodus 29:15-18
Again, the aroma of the sacrifice was pleasing to God. It would signify the atonement for the people’s sins. The cleansing of sin always pleased the Lord.

In Leviticus, God instructs the preparation of the fellowship offering. The fellowship or peace offering symbolized peace between God and man as well as the inner peace that resulted in the hearts of the one sacrificing. The fellowship offering was the only sacrifice of which the offerer might eat a part. The priest would also eat a part, symbolizing fellowship between God and the offerer. That sweet aroma wafted to God’s nostrils and He was pleased with this fellowship.
“The priest shall burn them (the animals presented for the fellowship offering) on the altar as food, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord’s. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.” Leviticus 3: 16-17

When you smell meat sizzling on the grill outside, doesn’t it smell good? It makes me salivate as I imagine how delicious that meat would taste. That aroma comes from the fat in the meat dripping onto the coals. God, too, loved that aroma, because it indicated that His people desired fellowship with Him. He liked it so much that He would not allow the people to eat any fat; it was reserved for producing that aroma for His pleasure alone.

We know that when Christ came and, on the cross, became the ultimate sacrifice for sin, God no longer required animal sacrifice to please Him. But God desires another pleasing aroma to waft heavenward. Paul explains this to the Corinthian church.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”   II Corinthians 2: 14-16

Paul’s image here refers to when a Roman general led a triumphal parade of his soldiers and captured prisoners through the streets while the people cheered and the air was filled with the sweet fragrance released by the burning of spices in the streets. So Christians, led by God in Christ, “process” throughout the world, spreading the sweet fragrance of the Gospel. And though the Gospel is always a sweet aroma, it is not always a pleasing one to other people. To those that reject the Gospel, it becomes the smell of death. But to those who receive salvation, it is the most pleasing aroma God could ever smell.  Our songs and praises - what the Bible calls a sacrifice of praise - are a pleasing sacrifice to God.

Prayer: Our Father, We know that you desire pleasing aromas to waft to your nostrils from Your people. May our prayers be a sweet aroma to you and may we spread the gospel message of salvation whenever we can so that you smell the fragrance of life, and not the stench of death. Amen

Proverbs 1:8-9 “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”

The Wedding Bridge
story by Faith Lundblad Garnett

“Many years ago, when my family was living in Brussels, Belgium, my father was invited to a company party he did not wish to attend. He was sure he wouldn’t know what to say or do, being the only American in the gathering. My mother’s advice was to find someone there who looked to be as uncomfortable as he was and become their friend. So when my father arrived, he saw an older man at the other end of the room and began talking to him. He discovered that they had a mutual interest in art, and Dad asked if the man had ever been to Brugge (Belgium). The man had not. After my father described it in glowing terms, the man expressed a wish to go there. However, his age prohibited him from driving or going on his own. Dad then promised to take him the following Saturday if it wasn’t raining. If you know anything about Belgium, you know it rains….every day! So my father felt it was a safe offer to make to a relative stranger.

But when Saturday came, the sun was shining, and the man was waiting with his art supplies, so the two drove to Brugge. That day, through this other man’s eyes, my father saw things in Brugge he had never seen before. They walked at a slower pace and the man exclaimed over various sights with his hands framing each sight. They eventually stopped at what is called “The Wedding Bridge” and began to sketch. Though my father never completed his painting, the man did and it was beautiful. Several years later, when the man died, his son came to my father and presented him with the painting and the man’s art supplies. He told Dad that the day his father had spent with mine, in Brugge, was the best day of his life in Belgium.

That painting of The Wedding Bridge hangs in a prominent place in my parents’ living room, a reminder that there are those times that we entertain angels unaware (that is how my father sees it) My mother often told us that whenever we felt discomfort, that easing that of someone else would almost always remove our own. She told me that no one ever was praised often enough, and that I should be generous with it. She died several days after my own wedding to Michael, without being able to attend, but her gentle spirit is with me always.”

Faith Garnett was my roommate in college. I always look forward to her emails! Thank you, Faith, for this wonderful true story from your mother and father’s lives. Like the Proverb says, the lessons they taught you are most certainly a garland gracing your head and a chain adorning your neck.

Father’s Day is this Sunday. Think of something of value that your father taught or modeled for you growing up. If your father is still alive, thank him for it. If your father has passed on, praise God for him and the effort he made to teach you valuable principles you still remember today. Perhaps, though, your father was not a part of your life or was abusive. Maybe he was a father who made selfish, harsh or foolish decisions. Nevertheless, instead of dwelling on the pain you feel because of his behavior, try to recall some time when he made an effort to be a good father, and, as hard as it might be, choose to remember that instead. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

Prayer: Lord, you are the father of us all and you model all the best qualities that we could hope for in a father. This Father’s Day we honor not only our earthly fathers, but we honor you and give you our love. Please comfort those who never experienced an earthly father’s love or attention. Speak to the hearts of those men who are far from their families because they made selfish decisions. May they be convicted to change their ways and return home to their children. Lord, for those children, young or old, who are longing for a reconciliation with their fathers that has not yet come, I pray that this Father’s Day will be the day that you make a way for that to happen. Amen

Scripture: II Corinthians 6:14,   Song of Solomon 8:6-7

 

A GOOD MARRIAGE

 

It’s June- the traditional month of weddings! On June 11th, my parents will celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary.  People always want to know what the secret is to a long-lasting, fulfilling marriage in these days of skyrocketing divorce rates.  Sacrifice and commitment are common answers.  Selfless love, of course.  But I think my parents, in addition to these things, would say that when they married, they yoked themselves together for life.

 

We don’t often see animals yoked together to pull a wagon these days, but think about the last pioneer western you watched on TV.  When a wagon was to be pulled, two strong animals were yoked together and harnessed to the wagon.  The advantage of that was that in a yoke, they pulled smoothly.  They could pull with combined strength; when one animal was weaker than the other for some reason, the other took up the slack.  They pulled in the same direction, thus saving energy, saving wear and tear on the wagon, and getting to their destination faster.  The wagoneer would try to always yoke the same pair of animals together because, over time, the animals came to think as one.  They contentedly moved together in the same direction, often pulling that wagon heroically over rough, rocky terrain and through deep rivers. They were so used to being side by side that when one had to be replaced, the other often refused to pull or lost the rhythm and jerked in the harness. Isn’t that what a strong marriage is like?  The apostle Paul writes of marriage,

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (in marriage). For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14

Solomon wrote in his beautiful Song of Songs,

 

Set me as a seal over your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

for love is as strong as death,

its jealousy unyielding as the grave.

It burns like blazing fire,

like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love;

Neither can rivers drown it .

If one were to give

all the wealth of his house for love,

it would be utterly scorned. Song of Solomon 8:6-7

 

Perhaps you will be a wedding guest this summer.  Your presence acts as a witness to the vows that couple will make.  Give them more than a set of towels or a toaster.  Give them your prayers and share God’s wisdom for a wonderful marriage.  I recently wrote a poem I will be giving as a wedding gift.  I’d like to share it with you.

 

A Good Marriage

 

is like two hands

that come into the world

at the ends of different arms.

 

One hand is born a little stronger,

yet the two discover

a natural rhythm

working together,

tapping to the same music,

sleeping in the same bed.

 

When one is cold,

the other enfolds it for warmth.

When one aches,

the other massages it for comfort.

When one is broken,

the other does the work of two.

 

A pair of eyes may blink together,

cry together, move together,

see the same things,

but they never see each other,

 

yet hands,

though they may rest,

in separate pockets,

from time to time,

will seek refuge in each other

in a crisis,

wringing away their fears,

praying palm to palm,

and clapping when joy returns.

 

Though a body can survive

with only one hand,

two hands, like a good marriage,

can play a Stradivarius.

 

Cathy Conger

Copyright June 20111

 

 

Prayer:  Lord God,  Author of perfect love, Creator of marriage,

I pray for your blessing on all marriages, both strong and weak.  I pray that both partners in every marriage will see the value of placing the union before their own selfish desires and their partner’s needs before their own.  I pray that those of us who are friends and relatives of newlyweds, will pray for the couples and stand by them in tough times to support and give wise counsel.  I pray for our own marriages, that we too will learn to love freely and to stand yoked equally with our life’s partner.  Amen

 

FRED

    It started innocently enough. Six orphaned baby bunnies from a nest turned up by the lawn mower, five excited children wanting to rescue them, one heroic father who carried them in, and one harried mother who should have seen it coming.  Now we were scooping tiny balls of fur out of their shoe box incubator one at a time for pipette feeding.
    “Mom, why don’t they open their eyes?” Andrea asked.
    ”They’re too young,” I replied.
    “Won’t their mommy come looking for them?” asked Rachel.
    ”Once people handle them, the mother usually abandons them.”
    ”Dad, what are they eating?” Peter asked.
    “Baby formula,” my husband, Chuck, answered. “So far I can’t seem to get them to take it.” His brow was as wrinkled with concern as his children’s.
    “They’re wild bunnies,” I said. “At least they were before Daddy brought them inside. They’re supposed to drink milk from their mommy. And, if you think I’m going to get up and feed these rabbits every two hours after finally getting to sleep through the night for the first time in nine years, you’re all sadly mistaken.”
    “Mommy, don’t you like baby bunnies?” Rachel turned her doe eyes on me.
    “Daddy, don’t let the bunnies die!” Andrea wailed.
    How had I become the villain here?

    “I’ll feed them,” Michael said. “I could take them to school for Show and Tell. I’ll call this one Flopsy and this one Cottontail and this one…”   We hadn’t had these things six hours and they had names already! I looked at Chuck and mouthed, “Do something!” 
    “Now let’s not get our hopes up,” he said. “These bunnies are so tiny they may not make it to Show and Tell.”
    “But, Dad!” Michael looked stricken.
    “Tell you what. Let’s see how tonight goes. As soon as a bunny hops, you can give it a name. OK?”
    “Daddy, I think this bunny is a girl,” Andrea said, gently stroking one of them.
    “How do you tell, Dad?” Peter asked.
    “I have no clue. Ask your mother. She’s a nurse.”   Oh, good grief! 
   

    Two bunnies expired that first night. Dawn crept through the kitchen window as I sat cradling a tiny brown bunny in my hand. “Come on #3, swallow. You’re going to die if you don’t eat. Then, what will I tell the kids?” One stubby ear twitched as milk ran down its chin and puddled on the table. I felt my husband’s gentle hands on my shoulders.
    “Good morning,” he whispered. “For someone who was so determined not to get up for feedings, you sure look maternal.”
    “All right, so I thought I could take a shift or two. Anyway, as long as we’re in this, we might as well give it our best shot. Besides, these little guys are kind of cute.”
    Chuck sighed. “If they were just a little older, they’d have half a chance at survival.” 
    ” I wouldn’t worry,” I groaned. “With our luck, we’ll nurse them back to health and they’ll hop right out and polish off the garden.”

    The next day, between housework, chasing a toddler, and pipette feeding my fuzzy brood every two hours, I squeezed in a phone call to my friend, Sue, 
    “They’re eyes aren’t even open yet. Every two hours I pick one up and rub him. When ihe wiggles a bit, I draw up formula into the pipette and carefully wedge it into his mouth. I’ve discovered that pulling their ears gets them to swallow. Two of them are taking enough to get by, but I’m afraid the others aren’t going to make it.”
     Sue commiserated with me,  “My dear, you’re going to need a miracle to save those bunnies. Got to go. Keep me posted.”
    “You have no idea,” I thought. ” Without a miracle, I’m going to end up being responsible for five dysfunctional childhoods.”

    That night, two more bunnies died on Chuck’s watch. He took it rather hard, I’m afraid. I felt obligated to attend the back yard services he conducted, despite another day’s dirty dishes piled up in the sink. This was family drama at its best. The following night, after his fifth glass of water, I let Michael stay up and help feed the two remaining bunnies. “Mom, if this bunny lives, can I name him Fred?”
    “I guess so. Why Fred?”
    “There’s this kid at school named Fred. He told me he was born too early and the doctors said he wouldn’t be able to learn or anything, but he turned out just fine.”
    “Oh, Lord,” I prayed, “Please let Fred hop.”

    The next morning Bunny #5 expired. Chuck called all afternoon to check on our last bunny. Fortunately, the week passed and #6 finally opened his eyes! Friends and neighbors came to call on him and to offer their educated opinions about whether he was a Fred or a Fredricka. We bought another can of formula and a larger pipette. I shot a whole roll of film of the kids giving him hopping lessons. Number #6 sat shaking on the sun-warmed patio while each child prodded him. “Hop, Fred! Hop!” Afterwards, poor, exhausted Fred rode around in my apron pocket to recover. We added a heating pad to his shoe box, Andrea placed her stuffed bunny beside him, calling it Baby Sister, and Chuck experimented with giving him a piece of lettuce.
Then, on the morning of day twelve, it happened. Fred hopped! Out came the video camera to record the momentous occasion. After  #6 was officially christened Fred, Chuck said, “Kids, your mother has been a great sport about all this. Fred is alive because of her TLC. What do you say we thank her?” The kids all flung their arms around my neck. Basking in their adoration, I suggested,
    “Why don’t you put Fred into his shoe box and take him shopping?”

   ”Shopping for what?”
    “A rabbit cage. If we’re going to keep a rabbit, we’d better have a proper cage.”
The happy band set off for Ace hardware while I caught up on the dirty dishes.

    As the clock chimed four the next morning, I flipped on the light over the kitchen sink and stuck the Pyrex bowl of formula into the microwave once again. Fred yawned as I drew him out of hjs shiny, new cage. “Okay, Fred. Make it snappy so we can both get back to bed before the sun rises.”  I held Fred in my left palm and the pipette in my right hand as I drew up the milk. “Open wide.”  Then, just as I was sliding the pipette between his lips, Fred suddenly hopped! He flew out of my hand onto the table and lay motionless, the broken pipette sticking out of his mouth. My breath came in strangled gasps. I had killed my children’s rabbit! After all my valiant effort, after realizing that I loved Fred despite everything he’d put me through, he was gone.

    When daylight broke, Chuck came downstairs to find me weeping over Fred’s limp little body. “What happened?” he asked. I pointed to the broken pipette.
    “It was an accident,” I sobbed. “He hopped just as I … and I…”

    There is no guilt like the guilt a parent feels who has accidently murdered the family pet. I remembered the previous summer when Sue had run over their dog, Buster, with the station wagon. Out of guilt, she went out and got Sparky, the most destructive Dalmatian who ever lived. When I told her about Fred, she warned me not to make any unreasonable promises in a state of grief.  But she didn’t see my family’s faces.  As I looked at those heart-wrenching expressions, I heard myself say,

“I know! We have this nice cage. Let’s get a hamster.”

by Cathy Conger   copyright June 2011

*This story won an honorable mention in the 2011 Florence Lindeman Humor Contest of the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association.

Scripture : “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
( 1 John 5:14-15 NKJV )
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 NIV

ASAP

Why is it that when we’re having a rough day we usually consider ourselves too busy to stop and say a prayer ?\ In our 21st century lives everything seems to be calling out, “Get this done ASAP!” In my first career, I was a registered nurse working in intensive care. Many things needed to be done immediately in that setting. We used the phrase that you no doubt have heard on medical shows on TV - STAT. I have no idea what the letters STAT stand for, but I knew that if I heard it, I needed to jump. I do know that the letters ASAP stand for As Soon As Possible and roughly mean the same thing. I must admit that I frequently forget to speak to God in prayer before I leap into a stressful task or situation, even though I know the Bible says,
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 NIV
Prayer is more powerful and more effective than anything else on this Earth, especially when we must react As Soon As Possible. So why don’t we think of prayer first?

Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a better way to deal with those rough days along the way. What about if ASAP stood for Always Say A Prayer ? Here is a little poem a friend of mine from church read on www.god’sminute.com and sent out. I found it a very catchy reminder to pray. I hope you do too. Thanks Barb!

ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

There’s work to do, deadlines to meet;
you’ve got no time to spare,
but as you hurry and scurry-
ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

In the midst of family chaos,
“quality time” is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest-
ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

It may seem like your worries
are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-
ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER
God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
He’ll respond to all your needs
A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
Prayer: Lord God, creator of all things, you made the wind and the rain, the seas, the skies and the earth. When the weather brewed up a dangerous storm on the Sea of Galilee, you simply spoke and there was calm. I pray Lord that you would calm the skies and end the pattern of tornadoes and deluges that are causing so much suffering in our country. I pray that the farmers can get back in their fields to sow the crops. I pray that you will provide for the many victims of storms and flooding this spring. For your mercy we pray. Amen

WAITING FOR THE TRUMPET TO SOUND

I’m desperately trying to safeguard my own
from poisons they pick up mere blocks from home,
poisons that drip into eyes and ears,
injected or snorted or swallowed or smeared
on the backs of their brains,
on the soles of their shoes,
in an assortment from which to choose,
while corruption’s refining the state of its art,
gathering social excuses in its rusty cart.

We cannot rely
on some leader to stop it,
new technology to fix it,
think tanks to explain it,
going green to reverse it,
nor celebrity causes to heal the nations,
nor prosperity preachers on TV stations,
while poverty clings to the state of its art,
like a bag lady cleaves to her shopping cart.

Lord, the media, the sirens,
the gunfire like thunder
pulse louder and louder
until it’s no wonder
we can’t hear your voice, Lord,
so could You speak up
‘cause right now it seems
like You are whispering,

while evil and sin are refining their art,
gathering millions of souls in their barbed-wire cart.
Not a war between men but a war for the heart,
until the day comes, foretold from the start,
when the trumpet will sound
and the heavens will part,
and then
You’ll stop whispering.

Cathy Conger   Copyright June 2011