When you’re up against a trouble, Meet it squarely, face to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, Plant your feet and take a brace. When it’s vain to try to dodge it, Do the best that you can do; You may fail, but you may conquer, See it through!
Black may be the clouds about you And your future may seem grim, But don’t let your nerve desert you; Keep yourself in fighting trim. If the worst is bound to happen, Spite of all that you can do, Running from it will not save you, See it through!
Even hope may seem but futile, When with troubles you’re beset, But remember you are facing Just what other men have met. You may fail, but fall still fighting; Don’t give up, whate’er you do; Eyes front, head high to the finish. See it through!
Yesterday I wrote about my own health issues and the uncertainty of life. Today I’m shedding a few tears, and yet rejoicing, for a man who’s bravely faced over twenty-four years of uncertainty.
With one last puff, a flickering candle has blown out in this world. We all knew the end was near for blogger Bill Sweeney; he told us that in his last post. Now this morning, With A Heavy Heart, his wife Mary informs us that he’s passed away.
When he was first diagnosed, the doctors gave him about five years. Now, after over twenty-four years of battle with ALS — aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease — this warrior has been called home from the battlefield.
“O Death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” — I Corinthians 15:55
When he first entered the battle against this foe, he reached out for the hand of God and grasped it, and found it firm to the end. Though Bill slowly lost his physical abilities and was finally completely paralyzed, still he carried on faithfully doing what he could. Via the internet, using a computer program that tracked his eye movements, he continued to share the good news of God’s love and encourage people around the globe.
He inspired us all to be more serious about our beliefs and more faithful to our Lord. All those who’ve read his posts will miss his sensible and gracious thoughts.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is SHUFFLE, and a very fitting one it is. Two weeks after Christmas find me shuffling a lot of stuff — organizing, tidying, hopefully boxing up some things to be donated. “Out with the old and in with the new. Or, as FlyLady says, “If you aren’t using it, give it away so it can bless someone else’s life.”
When you have so and so much space and it’s already full to overflowing, then Christmas gifts come in, something’s gotta give. So we shuffle through cupboards to see which things we should part with to make room for the new. Hopefully by the first week in January most objects have all settled into the best place for them.
This morning I went through my stack of jigsaw puzzles. I collect and distribute to the folks at the Villa and other friends who like to do them, but somehow they come back in greater numbers than they go out. I spread them out on the bed and sorted out the ones I still hope to do someday myself, then piled the rest into laundry baskets. I took these — about thirty puzzles — to church, sending a WhatsAp message around for anyone who wants puzzles to help themselves. Now to say a prayer that they will all disappear. 🙂
Books and puzzles are best circulated; they get musty sitting around waiting to be opened and used.
Which reminds me that I did a shuffle in my closet last week and pulled out a dress I haven’t worn in awhile. It’s been a little..ahem..snug. It has — or had — elastic at the waist. But the moment I stretched it out to look at the dress, the brittle elastic just disintegrated. Ah, yes! There really is no point in storing clothes that don’t fit, either, because if elastic isn’t regularly washed, it dries up and crackles like the autumn leaves. (Ditto with the elastic in sheets that have been stored.)
Things are not made to be hoarded. Ornaments can sit around and the worst that will happen is they will fade — unless they get broken. But I’ve learned that most fabrics and paper, like food, can’t take continual non-use/storage and stay good-as-new.
I’ve been sorting through some Dropbox files and decided to share some of these old verses with you. I feel this verse has relevance for all time. However, I’ve used a bit of poetic license and split his longer lines into the style we’re more familiar with today. A lot easier reading, methinks.
by Canadian poet Archibald Lampman (1861 – 1899)
'Tis well with words,
oh masters, ye have sought,
to turn men's eyes, yearning
to the great and true,
yet first take heed to what
your own hands do.
By deeds, not words
the souls of men are taught;
good lives alone are fruitful;
they are caught
into the fountain of all life
where-through men's souls that drink
or made new.
Like drops of heavenly elixir
with the clear essence
of eternal youth;
even one little deed
of weak untruth
is like a drop
of quenchless venom cast.
A liquid thread
into life's feeding stream,
with its crystal gleam,
bearing the seed of death
and woe at last.
For a long time I’ve wanted to sit down and actually write. Not just dash off short blog posts and stories, but buckle down and finish various longer projects I’ve started through the years. Trouble is, I’ve been getting stuck in deep ruts. Hitting mental road blocks that crack my windscreen, as it were.
The Bruiser Twins got on my case. Have you heard of them? Why bother? and Who cares? pipe up often to drench my inspiration. I hear the nagging, “You’re lousy at marketing,” and “Nobody wants to read your stuff anyway.” I just have to look on Amazon to see the kind of books that are selling like hotcakes now, but will anyone read the tame (lame?) stories I write? Thankfully, though, I was recently cheered by a letter from a friend afar who said, “I really like your stories.”
I like to write contemporary fiction, but those who know me personally will understand that many times I feel like I’m caught between two quite different worlds. The non-religious society I grew up in has moved quite far along in the new morality since I left and I’m rather out of date. I don’t care for today’s “flawed anti-heroes.” The conservative Christian circle I belong to tends to prefer the golden oldies-style that I’m not very interested in writing.
Mulling this all over yesterday I had a liberating “Eureka” moment. A little voice saying, “You need to finish these projects for yourself, for your own good. Time to stop floundering in what others might want or be buying.”
The chorus of a long-ago song comes to mind, and maybe the message has some validity: “It’s alright now. I learned my lesson well, you can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself.”
So I’m going to be SELFISH for the rest of the week and spend my time doing something that will please ME. I’m going to act like a real novelist, whack away at my story into the wee hours, live on fried eggs and toast, drink coffee ’til I’m bleary-eyed — and get something done. Wish me inspiration. 🙂
Meanwhile, I’ll post a few more book reviews here, so you can read about other writers’ works that I think are worth reading.
Thanks to M-W, we have this tidbit of information today: the proper name for this critter #, aka a hashtag/ pound/ number sign, is OCTOTHORPE.
Another tidbit, while we’re at it: this / is a VIRGULE. Commonly known as a slash. According to Lexico, virgule comes from the French word ‘comma’, and originally from the Latin virgula.
Today was a day of small things for me; I listened in on two church services and both pastors talked about small or simple things. In fact both of them stressed that Christian life doesn’t have to be complicated.
There’s a verse in Proverbs that one of the newer translations paraphrases as: “God made man simple. All of his complex problems are of his own devising.” The KJV text reads: “God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.”
Earlier I read — more skimmed, but still — an online article on exercise. Christine Carter writes about how she did simple steps toward getting into shape. Read it here if you like. Her thought: don’t start with an ambition program, like a half-hour jog every morning, but then get weary after a couple of weeks and give up. She rather committed herself to jog for one minute every morning. After a week or so she felt like doing a few minutes more rather than giving up.
This is very much like the FlyLady telling you to start by shining your sink and taking other baby steps. “Don’t try to tackle so much that you crash.” Ms Carter takes the same approach. She repeats a wise thought from the Dalai Lama: “Our goal is not to be better than other people; it’s just to be better than our previous selves.”
And now, in honour of winter’s arrival this weekend, especially the raging blizzard that has descended on us today, I’m going to redo my Header with a wintry scene. One of the sermons we listened to this morning was a wedding here at our church — attendance restricted due to Covid. I hope the bride and groom haven’t spent their first hours together slithering on a snow-drifted highway, just trying to stay on the road!
Friday’s CTV News for Saskatoon has come to pass: The City of Saskatoon is gearing up for what could be a record-breaking snowstorm over the weekend, which may force residents to ‘stay home for a few days’ and could cause power outages.