Have you heard of Rizpah?
She's one of the least known women in the Bible, not in the same league with the popular Ruth, Esther, Mary, Eve, Sarah, and Hannah. In fact, she was mentioned only four times in the Old Testament, KJV (2 Samuel 3:7; 21:8; 21:10-11).
But zooming in on what Rizpah had done as a mother, a fellow mom like me can't help but be stunned.
Whatever Ate Vi serves on the breakfast table, I eat.
But my boys are different. They are all good cooks, so they relish cooking their own breakfast. Sometimes Tony makes a Spanish omelet; sometimes son #1 prepares pancakes; sometimes son #3 does French toast or a new concoction of last night's leftovers. All dishes are always well presented (like those I see on TV) on each of their plates.
After all, the kids are grown, the mortgages paid, and life's loose ends tied up (well, almost).
I am now, as I wrote in my book, What Me, Retire? . . .
See this punctuation mark? #. For the longest time, I called it "Number."
Now here's a newer monicker with yet another usage: "Hashtag."
I don't do Twitter so I missed Hashtag's birth. But on FB, which I do daily, I began noticing the "Number" or "Pound" or now "Hashtag" appear in a number of messages, especially photo captions.
For instance, a young friend posted a photo with his family. Before the photo were these gobbledygook:
Today, the thinking, “Believe in yourself” is a campaign, or maybe even an ideology, to raise one's self-esteem, which is seen to have paramount importance in building a person's confidence.
Spelling is kind of complicated. Especially now that we have developed new, appalling habits of misspelling everything in text messages (which also often take the form of email and FB notes).
Yet we have the compulsion to make it even harder.
Cirio is a simple enough name. But it can still get mangled along the way:
Now, think about the confusing ones.
The intense, oppressive afternoon heat made me closet myself in our bedroom with the air-conditioner full blast.
I visited a cabinet unopened in over a decade. Surprise! There sat manuscripts, clippings, and files I had stashed away for reasons I can't remember. One of them is a copy of a letter dated July 1999, which I wrote to the 15-year-old daughter of a family friend.
My friend was extremely distressed when her daughter joined the Atheist Society. A faithful Christian, my friend cried on my shoulder. Since her daughter was quite close to me, I decided to write to her:
A wise old man told me when I was your age, “The day you stop questioning is the day you die.”
I choose not to die before my time, so at age 54, I am questioning still—no longer about the existence of God, but about other things: 'If I ate 12 peanuts instead of eight, will my joints ache?' 'Have I taken my maintenance pill?'
I was ten and in 6th grade, and after class, my friends and I decided to spend our allowance that day on knowing our future. We had heard that the seeress had beautiful fingers and a crystal ball that gleamed.
Five giggly girls heard all we wanted to hear. She told me I'd marry a foreigner and that I would have a stormy marriage. At age 10, nobody worries about marriage, but I was excited to meet the foreigner I was to marry.
Today, we thank the Lord for the grace of an active little boy who has just turned six.
We haven't seen him for 771 days, but he is in our prayers every day. May he continue to grow up knowing and loving Jesus more and more.
Our thanksgiving offering to Him who keeps us from falling:
For Adrian, this is what the Lord said about little ones: Mark 10:14 (NIV) “. . . Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Happy birthday little one!
Top photos: Gianina Chong
Some people don't like going to church.
“I can pray or worship God anywhere,” they would argue. In fact, some of them just turn on the TV set in their bedrooms, sing hymns, and pray with the people in the show, which is “exactly the same as being in church.”
There are many verses in the Bible that remind God's people to get together and build relationships. One is found in Hebrews 10:25 (NLT), “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
But the most surprising reason for going to church for me came not from the Bible but in a testimony of one of the members of our youth group in church.
In a halting voice, Olim said in words that I now paraphrase: