Blogathon – Part 1


This is a supplemental blog post for today, as I was recently tagged in a

by Reveling in the Overflowing Grace of God, a blog that I follow on a regular basis. I’m honored that Jeff thought enough of my blog to tap me to participate in this Blogathon. So, I am attempting to carry on this honor by participating in said “Blogathon.”

The rules (which are not obligatory, by any stretch of the imagination…in other words, please don’t feel obligated to do this if you have been tagged here) are as follows:

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the “tagger” has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These “lucky” bloggers must then be told.
6. No tag backs.

So here goes:

Eleven things about me –

1. I’m fascinated by fire. Flames are mesmerizing. I love to build roaring fires outside, inside, anywhere that’s legal and relatively safe. And, I’m good at it, having learned techniques for fire building in the Girl Scouts in Wisconsin.

2. I love Mepkin Abbey, the only place of worship I know where the living presence of the Holy Spirit is palpable. Why I don’t go every weekend as I once did is beyond me. I think it has something to do with the price of gasoline as Mepkin Abbey is about 45 minutes from my front door. Also, sometimes I feel like an intruder on the quiet solitude of the brothers. Still…

3. I’m what I call a “mother-friend” to my two grown children. One lives with me and is dependent upon me. The other lives away from me and is independent of me. Both are my beloved children; both are my friends. Yes, I disagree that a parent can not be a friend to her child.

4. I own two Bichon Frise dogs. They are brothers. One is Hank; the other is Robi. They have the same parents but were born a year apart. They are white, feel like soft leather, have beautiful black eyes, and wonderful personalities. They love each other – no, seriously! And are super jealous for my attention. They’re spoiled rotten, too.

5. I’m a medical speech language pathologist working in a large, teaching hospital with very ill people. I work 40 hours every week doing my best for these people, then I come home and leave them to God, who cares perfectly for them. That way, I do not carry more of a load than I can handle. I love my job.

6. I’m a poet and novelist. When I was younger, I wanted to be famous and a “great” writer like Shakespeare or Hemingway or Bradbury or Golding or Orwell. Notice these writers are all male. My favorite female writers are Joyce Carol Oates, Lois Lowry, and Flannery O’Connor. I write about men and women; I make no distinction.

7. I love movies, preferably good ones. I also love plays, again preferably good ones. I used to read more than I do now. I think I’ve fallen into the trap of “instant gratification.” Sometimes it takes too long to get into a book, and I become distracted much easier than when I was younger. Also, I can do two things at once if I’m watching a movie at home. I can write while I listen. Somehow, a movie on in the background is better than the radio on in the background… Well, makes sense to me.

8. I self-published two novels this year, one in May and the other in October. Both are part of the DooRFrame Book series about Charlie Logan, a former baseball player and his family. Both are available on Amazon.com.

9. I grew up on college campuses and moved often as a child. I also moved frequently as an adult. I didn’t “settle down” until I was 40 when I moved to the Low Country of South Carolina. I think the Low Country is one of the most beautiful places in North America.

10. I was married to the same man for 28 years, but he left me for a younger woman about whom he used to say nasty things. I think that’s the essence of irony. Bitterness and anger pop into my heart here and there. To deny this is to lie about who I am. Yet, I can say without hesitation that I promised to love that man until death, and that promise I’m certain I’ll keep. Nevertheless, I can honestly say I don’t want to live with him again.

11. I love life, but consider myself a stranger in this world. This is not my home; and I long for my true place of residence beside the God who loves me. I live here in that hope, the hope of my true life.

The questions Jeff asked are:

1. What inspired you to begin blogging?

The short answer is GOD. One day, soon after joining Facebook, I got an urge to write about the Book of Job, one of those wonderful Old Testament books that seems to bewilder some people. Perhaps the problem of pain is what bewilders people. At any rate, once I started God seemed to tell me to “do that every day.” I keep blogging.

2. What one thing do you wish you could change about the world?

I’d eliminate sin – like that’s possible. I’d have Adam and Eve obey God in the garden of Eden and so change all of history. But then we might not fully know how much God loves us. I am sure that everything is working together for ultimate good, so… maybe I’d change nothing about the world.

3. How would you spend your last day on earth?

I somehow imagine I’d spend it like I spent today. I’d get up really early, take my dogs out, feed them, make coffee, take the dogs out again, drink my coffee, check my email, blogs, FB. I’d probably watch the news and maybe then find out that the world was coming to an end. If I know it’s my last day – everyone’s last day – I’d probably already be with everyone I love. I hope we’d treat each other well and tell each other how much we love the other. I hope I’d just stay calm.

4. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

My children when they were newly born – both were the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

5. What is the thing that you admire most in people?

Courtesy. If people are courteous, they are necessarily loving, kind, respectful.

6. What is the purpose of your blog?

GRACE PARTAKERS is my effort to promote the love of God and to teach tolerance.

7. What do you like about you?

I’m smart without being a complete egghead. I’m detailed without being anal. I’m courteous.

8. What genre do you most like to read?

I used to love science fiction above anything. Now, I like young adult fiction best.

9. Who is your favorite author?

Ray Bradbury.

10. What is your favorite book?

Besides the Bible, Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER is the best. Stephen King’s THE STAND is stellar. William Golding’s THE LORD OF THE FLIES is extraordinary. Ernest Hemingway’s THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA is awesome. Larry McMurtry’s MOVING ON is great. And, Hermann Hesse’s SIDDHARTHA is tops! In other words, I can’t name one favorite book…

11. A genie has just popped out of a lamp that you rubbed. He has granted you three wishes. What do you wish for?

I wish for complete healing for my son. I wish for happiness for my daughter. I wish for an end to hatred.

“Among The Heathen” ( Psalm 46:10, KJV ) by Carley Evans


Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...
Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagonist of John Milton’s Paradise Lost c. 1866 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God says:

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Do you think God means you to stand quietly, listening? Does He mean for you to shut your mouth? Open your ears? Does He mean for you to meditate? Pray? Is it a stillness of the body? Or, is it a stillness of the spirit? Or both?

How do you know He is God? Does He tell you? Do you just know He is God by being still? Is there some revelation? Do you become aware of Him when you are quietly still?

Do you notice God says “I Am God.” He also says, “I will be exalted among the heathen.” And, He says: “I will be exalted in the earth.” How is God exalted “among the heathen?” How is God exalted, lifted up among unbelievers? How is He exalted in the earth?

When does this knowing of God occur? I think about Job in particular; he isn’t still or quiet when God permits Satan to attack him.  Rather than be still, Job protests; he wrestles; he argues; he questions. Eventually God says, “Be quiet. Who are you to question Me?” And Job shuts up; he repents in dust and ashes because now he knows God. No longer is it just a report about God; it is a personal encounter.

Once the encounter with God is personal, then God is exalted among the heathen for this is the point at which the heathen becomes believer.

 

“On The Dust At Last” ( Job 19:25, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Job's Peak
Job's Peak (Photo credit: glenngould)

“But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last.”

When Job says this, he has not yet met the Lord. He has heard of the Lord God “by report” but he has yet to “see God with his own eyes.” Even so, Job knows that God lives; and he trusts that one day God “will stand on the dust at last.” Job understands God will overcome sin in mankind and so defeat death, the wage of sin.

What Job doesn’t know is the fullness of God; he doesn’t yet have a personal, face-to-face relationship with the living Redeemer. He has yet to “abhor himself and repent in dust and ashes.” At this point, he has only heard; he has yet to see!

“Dead Works” ( Hebrews 9: 14, ESV ) by Carley Evans


“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

What are these “dead works” the author of Hebrews mentions? I want to travel back to Job, and suggest that the good things Job did in his life are “dead works.” “All our good deeds are as filthy rags” to the Lord God.

“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of Me, are righteousness and strength.” (Isaiah 45:24) “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I Am God, and there is no other; I Am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all My purpose.” (Isaiah 46:8-10)

“Woe to him who strives with Him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’ ” (Isaiah 45:9-10)

Do not argue with your Creator. Don’t be fooled into believing that if you do this and don’t do that, if you strive with all your might to be good, you somehow please Him. Believe instead that Christ “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12) Believe that “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

As we have been delivered from “dead works,” we are now free “to serve the living God.”

“His To Use” ( Job 12: 16, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“In God’s hand are the souls of all that live, the spirits of all human kind. Wisdom and might are His, with Him are firmness and understanding. If He pulls down, there is no rebuilding; if He imprisons, there is no release. If He holds up the waters, there is drought; if He lets them go, they turn the land upside down. Strength and success belong to Him, deceived and deceiver are His to use.” (Job 12:10-16, NEB)

In the midst of his suffering, Job says it best — all belong to God. All are His to use in whatever fashion He deems perfect.

“He leads people astray and destroys them, He lays them low, and there they lie.” (Job 12:23) Look at Pharaoh if there is any doubt.

“What shall we say to that? Is God to be charged with injustice? By no means. For He says to Moses, ‘Where I show mercy, I will show mercy, and where I pity, I will pity.’ Thus it does not depend on man’s will or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘I have raised you up for this very purpose, to exhibit My power in My dealings with you, and to spread My fame over all the world.’ Thus He not only shows mercy as He chooses, but also makes men stubborn as He chooses. You will say, ‘Then why does God blame a man? For who can resist His will?’ Who are you, sir, to answer God back? Can the pot speak to the potter and say, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Surely the potter can do what he likes with the clay.” (Romans 9:14-21)

“Where Is Job?” ( Job 1: 8, NIV ) by Carley Evans


Where does it say that God knows the location of His servant, Job? In the Book of Job, the angels come “to present themselves before the Lord.” (Job 1:6) Satan is present with these angels. God says to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8)

God’s question implies that He knows where Job is located and what he is doing.

Jesus confirms, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” (Matthew 10:26) We are not capable of hiding from God. Remember, “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 10:30)