DOG DAYS

Hazy, hot, and humid week at THE Wilson County Fair.

The 2014 Wilson County Fair.

By Lisa Huddleston

1. Hazy, hot, and humid are the three most commonly used words.

2. THE County Fair ends this weekend.

3. We only need to mow the yard every other week.

4. The trees look tired of holding up dry, so-over-the-green leaves.

5. Visions of pumpkins, sweaters, and bonfires dance in our heads.

6. The public pool closes in one week.

7. The kids are already back in school. (Poor kids, poor teachers!)

8. Most of the flowers look just plain sad.

9. Cracker Barrel already has Christmas decorations on display.

10. Even the dog wants to stay inside in the air conditioning.

Making the best of dog days.

Making the best of dog days.

How do we get through the ennui? Find reasons to laugh, take it one moment at a time, and know that soon and very soon it will be autumn.

I’m thankful for the promise found in the changing seasons, for the beauty that is to come, and for the sound of the lawn mower that my son is riding to cut the grass one more time. 

Baruch HaShem!

 

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BEFORE THE LAST STRAW

Oh, my aching back!

Oh, my aching back!

By Lisa Huddleston

Some days I feel as though I just can’t take it anymore. Just one more word of bad news, of suffering due to disease or choice or pure evil, and I’m finally going to crack.

And despite all the well-intentioned (and true) articles people have written, posted, and shared about how to effectively impact issues like genocide, starvation, disease, depression, suicide, injustice and so on, I simply and honestly feel powerless.

And that powerlessness leads me to despair.

But God reminds me that He is the power in my life–and in all the other lives that are currently inhabiting this scarred and bleeding planet. When doubt, despair, and powerlessness threaten to rip me apart, this truth holds me together like gravity for my soul:

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Romans 8:26-28, The Message).

As He died in our place, He even prays in our place! He is the power for the powerless, the prayer for the prayerless, and the hope for the hopeless.

Oh, may thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven … before even one more straw can fall. Amen.

TIME TO WAVE THE WHITE FLAG

Ready to surrender?

Ready to surrender?

By Lisa Huddleston

“See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; he will escape with his life” (Jeremiah 21:8-9).

I have written on this passage of scripture before; but every time I read it, I am struck anew by its counterintuitive, countercultural way of following God’s will—SURRENDER.

And not to some glorious call to service in an exotic and exciting location. Nope. God told his people to surrender to a brutal and foreign and heathen king.

How could that be God’s will for his people? To command them to serve and pray for a heathen kingdom? But that was exactly what he required.

It was shocking then, and it is shocking today. But sometimes God’s will is like that. It goes against what we and the culture around us expects—even the religious culture. (Disclaimer: God will never command us to sin!)

In Jeremiah’s day, God’s will was for his people to surrender to a heathen king. No glamour, no glory, no obvious victory.

For me today, it may be to lead a quiet, contemplative life here on Hudfarm, far away from the busyness that my world applauds both inside and outside the church.

What is God’s surprising, even countercultural will for you? He promises, “You will … find [him] when you seek [him] with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13)!

Ready to wave the white flag?