Materialism? Not for me.

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jesus

He did not even own a bed,
He had no place to lay His head.
A cattle stall, His crib at birth,
He had no bank account on earth.
He laid the wealth of heaven down
For earthly rags, a thorny crown.
He passed the praise of angels by
And came where men cried, “Crucify!”
He left a throne for you and me
And bore our sins upon a tree.
So strong His claim, so clear His call,
How dare I give Him less than all?
Barbara C. Ryberg

heartbreaking truth.

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child

I was secretly glad to have a cold yesterday so it didn’t notice when my eyes would tear up.

You see my daughter has been talking with her husband, who is working as a translator for the Syrian refugees pouring into Germany. He told her how there are so very many orphans. Some parents have died on overcrowded boats and some, there not being space for them all to get on the trains,  had, in sacrificial desperation, thrust them in the available spaces (some only 2-3 years old)

I cannot imagine being so desperate for my children’s safety that i could make such a sacrifice, having to trust somehow the German people would take care of them.

The German government is pleading for people to adopts these little ones.

(Don’t believe all you read in the media about Syrian refugees by the way. The vast majority arriving, he said, are Syrian women and children, not single men or not economic opportunists with fake Syrian passports.)

The Price of Peace

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from May 2014

Song Bird Songs

After_the_Battle

(Short story for the theme “Loss”)

 Dusk hung over the grim Northumbrian field, veiling, but not obliterating the sights that swam before Edwin’s eyes. Shield and banner, once glorious in their pomp, now lay in jumbled heaps amidst torn limbs and lifeless forms, contorted, muddy, and everywhere was the stain of blood. He leant on the shaft of his sword to steady himself, red streaking the fair hair and face in lurid patterns of death, his lean form panting hard. It was over. They had won! He was alive and relatively unscathed, but inside dwelt a sickening emptiness.

Senses reeling he staggered forward, blue eyes shot with scarlet, searching among the heaving bodies for what he could not find, the living body of his brother. He had seen him go down in the first charge, like a bird pinioned in flight, the bright eye shocked, unbelieving. Wulfric had thought…

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A LIVING FAIRY TALE. (a year ago today)

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10487353_10152995890949992_127644117955591036_n

(My beautiful daughter and wonderful new husband)

Perhaps it was the setting, a castle dating back 2000 years, the 11th. century turrets with their hidden stories, gothic arches spanned by fresco, the Barouche décor of the chapel or perhaps the vista from a mountain’s edge overlooking miles of tiny salmon hued houses and church spires. There was the décor, pastel shades of white and pale pink roses, crystal chandeliers and lace, and the violinist’s mellow tunes against white stone and sky blue background. But all this I knew can be bought with a bank card.

Perhaps it was the guests in glimmering 20s attire, stunning make up and twining curls, handsome, dark Italians contrasting pale, blond English or the bride herself managing somehow to outshine the other beauties (of which there were a number).

Everywhere I looked all was perfect, choreographed by wedding planners and the bride herself. Yet I knew behind the scenes there had been chaos, incompetent make up artists and florists, hitches and problems that kept the bride and groom in a constant flurry till the moment they appeared seemingly calm and unruffled.

No, it is not these things that make a fairy tale, though it may appear so in pictures.

The real fairy story began with the chapel vows, a tiny jewel escaping the bride’s immaculate eye make up as pledges were exchanged. Gems followed gleaming among the congregation reflecting on their story. Two precious hearts spurned and abandoned finding each other and overcoming impossibilities to be together. Tiny gleaming diamonds were quenched by furtive thumbs and sweated by a groomsman, tattoos smothered in a stifling suit because “It was THEIR day”.

Gold had echoed first that day in the dust of slippered feet as a bridesmaid, clad in a dressing gown, ran the gauntlet of a staring foreign wedding party to escort a photographer when wi fi failed. Other toes, iron clad but smiling, stood firm all morning guarding the soft hearted bride from all but the most urgent requests. A final gleaming dust had sprinted to the chapel as the bride’s insistent stilettos delayed her triumphant entry for the friend who’d used her prep time to take over the make up.

These offerings were but the beginning. As crystals on a strand they began to form again at the dinner speeches as stories were recounted, gems of love and appreciation recalled and strung to the thread of their story. There was a gush of tender rubies as a young girl confessed, through garbled tears, her love for her new step mother, a flood echoed on the faces of her audience who understood why.

Such jewels have no price tags they cannot be bought or sold, each priceless in its sincerity. There was the beauty of a wedding that would rival a celebrity’s but in the end these things pale as paste settings beside the jewels I glimpsed in secret. These are what give the unreal fairy tale quality. I witnessed a true love story not manufactured by Hollywood or publicists but the genuine article, the reality of true and sacrificial love between bride and groom, echoed by family and friends. I feel honored and blessed to have partaken.

Sometimes I’m so thankful for face book!

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nepal

You see the first I heard about the earthquake in Nepal was that my old friend was safe – a face book announcement.

He was in an affected area and this is a photo from his page.

Such folks are rare and I’m so relieved he and the children are OK. Many years ago he took over a small group of orphans after foreign aid workers were forced to leave (he’s Nepalese) and has devoted his life to bringing them up (they are young teenagers now).

You can see his heart by this quote from his face book page:

“All my Nepali Facebook friends, please make a list of worst effected people you know of and inbox me and I will do what I can to help. I will add to my list I already have over 50 families in my list.
Don’t tell me here, either call me or inbox me. Thanks! You can also tell me what is the greatest need right now. I might not be able to help everyone but I will try to do what I can and however many I can help.”

I might add he, himself is living in a tent since his home was damaged and only going back inside to access the internet (which appears to be working). They have had 96 aftershocks there so such trips are dangerous!

I later heard my other friend in the area – an equally committed English lady – was safe also.

I have been through several earthquakes both in Japan and Taiwan (some major) it’s hard to explain the confusion and disorientation that hits when the ground shifts under your feet, seconds seem like lifetimes.

You can see why my heart leapt to know they were OK. Such folks are too precious to loose.

A Living Fairy Tale.

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10487353_10152995890949992_127644117955591036_n

Perhaps it was the setting, a castle dating back 2000 years, the 11th. century turrets with their hidden stories, gothic arches spanned by fresco, the Barouche décor of the chapel or perhaps the vista from a mountain’s edge overlooking miles of tiny salmon hued houses and church spires. There was the décor, pastel shades of white and pale pink roses, crystal chandeliers and lace, and the violinist’s mellow tunes against white stone and sky blue background. But all this I knew can be bought with a bank card.

Perhaps it was the guests in glimmering 20s attire, stunning make up and twining curls, handsome, dark Italians contrasting pale, blond English or the bride herself managing somehow to outshine the other beauties (of which there were a number).

Everywhere I looked all was perfect, choreographed by wedding planners and the bride herself. Yet I knew behind the scenes there had been chaos, incompetent make up artists and florists, hitches and problems that kept the bride and groom in a constant flurry till the moment they appeared seemingly calm and unruffled.

No, it is not these things that make a fairy tale, though it may appear so in pictures.

 

The real fairy story began with the chapel vows, a tiny jewel escaping the bride’s immaculate eye make up as pledges were exchanged. Gems followed gleaming among the congregation reflecting on their story. Two precious hearts spurned and abandoned finding each other and overcoming impossibilities to be together. Tiny gleaming diamonds were quenched by furtive thumbs and sweated by a groomsman, tattoos smothered in a stifling suit because “It was THEIR day”.

Gold had echoed first that day in the dust of slippered feet as a bridesmaid, clad in a dressing gown, ran the gauntlet of a staring foreign wedding party to escort a photographer when wi fi failed. Other toes, iron clad but smiling, stood firm all morning guarding the soft hearted bride from all but the most urgent requests. A final gleaming dust had sprinted to the chapel as the bride’s insistent stilettos delayed her triumphant entry for the friend who’d used her prep time to take over the make up.

These offerings were but the beginning. As crystals on a strand they began to form again at the dinner speeches as stories were recounted, gems of love and appreciation recalled and strung to the thread of their story. There was a gush of tender rubies as a young girl confessed, through garbled tears, her love for her new step mother, a flood echoed on the faces of her audience who understood why.

Such jewels have no price tags they cannot be bought or sold, each priceless in its sincerity. There was the beauty of a wedding that would rival a celebrity’s but in the end these things pale as paste settings beside the jewels I glimpsed in secret. These are what give the unreal fairy tale quality. I witnessed a true love story not manufactured by Hollywood or publicists but the genuine article, the reality of true and sacrificial love between bride and groom, echoed by family and friends. I feel honored and blessed to have partaken.