Category Archives: Everyday observations

A Warm Heart — A Very Short Story by Mary C. Findley

Image of Female EMT
Image of female EMT from Depositphotos

“Whoa. Your hands are cold.” Eric Morrow winced.

“Sorry. Sorry.” The EMT shoved her hands inside her jacket. Eric tried to smile through his grimace of pain.

“I guess that’s pretty petty of me, complaining about your cold hands, Erin,” He whispered, reading her ID badge as she went back to inserting the IV. “Considering you’re saving my life.”

“My husband always complained about my cold hands,” she said with a smile. “And I don’t know about saving your life. The doctors and nurses will work on that, when we get you to the hospital.”

“Wow, that was kind of cruel – your husband should have been happy that you wanted to touch him. I’ve met a lot of ice queens who didn’t want to touch or be touched.”

“My husband wasn’t complaining, really,” Erin replied. “I do have cold hands. But he always said that meant I had a warm heart.”

“You keep talking about your husband past tense,” Eric said, struggling against his weakness to keep talking, to keep from blacking out. “Can I be nosy and ask–?”

“He passed away.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Thanks. Okay, you should have less pain now, right?”

“Yeah. Thanks. That is better.”

“That’s the best part of the job, when it’s that easy to make people feel better. So, you were all done waiting for this day?”

“Yeah, they told me when I described what was happening that it’s now or never. I should be thankful this match came up at just the right time.”

“I’m sure it’s not easy to come up with a match.”

“Yeah, and they tell me I’m a rare type.”

“Wow. My husband was, too. Small world.” Erin fell silent, apparently checking something out of Eric’s field of vision.

“Hey, could you take over on this for a minute?” Erin said to her partner. “I need to make a phone call.”

“A phone call? What can be so important?” His badge read Jose, and he grumbled as he moved over to take her place.

“Trust me. This is important.”

*****

“Mr. Morrow! Eric!”

Eric climbed mentally out of that deep white place of unknowing as the echoing voice called him.

“Yeah. Yeah.”

Strangely enough, Eric had found himself unable to let go of wondering why an EMT would interrupt her care of him to make a phone call. Man, of all the things for me to obsess over.

“You’re in recovery. Technically we have to list your condition as critical, this soon after surgery, but I’m authorized to tell you that the surgery and your responses couldn’t have gone better. The team is very optimistic that you will be downgraded to stable and out of Intensive Care in record time.”

“Great. That’s great.” As glad as Eric was to hear that he was in great shape from a post-surgical standpoint, he felt beat up and beat down and just plain beat. He slipped away again.

When he awoke, his mom sat by his bedside. “Hi, sweetie,” she said, touching his hand very gently. “Dad just went to get some coffee.”

“How long?” Eric’s words stuck in the rasp of his paper-dry throat. His mother quickly got him a cup with a bendy straw.

“Sip it slow, sweetie. Just rinse a little and swallow a little.”

“Thanks.”

“The surgeon said you’ve slept for twelve hours,” his mother said with a weary smile. “They said that’s good. Even the bloodwork didn’t wake you.”

“When did you get here?”

His dad came back into the room with two cups. “Four hours ago.” He apparently read the longing look in Eric’s eyes. No, sir,” his dad said, grinning. “They’re telling us no stimulants, no nothing that they don’t put in the IV for some time.”

“I’ve heard of mainlining coffee.” Eric pouted. “Sorry to drag you guys all the way across the country.”

“Son, hearing that you finally got a transplant match was worth traveling around the world.” Eric’s father handed a cup to his wife and sat down on the other side of the bed from her. “They told us this match came up very unexpectedly. Someone actually called in to confirm that this was your perfect donor? How does that even happen?”

Eric didn’t answer, because something reminded him of a certain phone call.

“Are you okay, sweetie?” Eric’s mother started fidgeting with his covers.

“As okay as I can be with somebody else’s heart inside me. This is the part when I start wondering who it was, and how he or she died. Will who and what that person was change who and what I am?”

“You watch too many sci fi shows,” his dad grumbled. It’s a heart, not a soul. Who that person was has no effect on you.”

“Is there any way to find out anything about the EMTs who brought me in?” Eric asked after a longer silence.

“The EMTs? Why would you want to know about them?”

“Well … just one of them, really.”

*****

Next time Eric awoke, Erin stood beside his bed. She smiled down at him. “My fingers are itching to take your vitals. How are you?”

“Good,” Eric said. “It was your husband, right? He just died? Right when I had to have the heart, or else?”

Erin made a gulping, hiccupping noise and quickly turned away. Eric couldn’t do anything but wait until she turned back around, red-eyed and sniffling into her sleeve. “Yes.”

“Well, I know one thing he was right about.”

“Okay …?”

“That whole warm heart thing. That has got to be the ultimate warm heart. That phone call you made? You were checking on my match-worthiness?”

“Sort of. When you mentioned that you were a rare type, I remembered how they had to make special arrangements any time my husband needed care, so I wanted to make sure they were completely prepared to take care of you.”

“Wow. Thanks.”

“That’s the best part of the job, remember? When it’s that easy to make people feel better.”

Please visit us at Elkjerkyforthesoul.com and find more faith-filled fiction and biblically sound nonfiction. Thank you for reading!

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What My Daughter’s Cat Is Teaching Me

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Some people are dog people. Some are cat people. I am both, but for many years we have had only cats because we have so many outside the home responsibilities and cats are better with being home alone. For eight years I rode in a semi with my hubby around the 48 states and Canada and we had no pets. I have since settled with our adult hearing-impaired daughter in her apartment (not exactly by choice, but by God’s loving provision, and that is another story for another time).  We built a house and now hubby has a place to come to when he can get off the road.

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Victoria I have been blessed to become housemates with Ruth, a Siamese/Tabby mix she got from a shelter to be a hearing aid cat. If you’ve never hear of a hearing aid cat, you’re not alone. She hoped to be able to train this kitty to let her know when things are happening that she might not be able to hear. We also hoped Ruth would be a good friend and companion for Vicky as a single young woman.

Well, I’m not sure who is getting trained all the time, but this cat is daily a wonder and a blessing from God. She runs to the door anytime anyone is approaching or making noises outside. She always knows when it is time for “mommy” or “grandma” or even “Grandpa” to come home and sits waiting at the door for that happy occasion.

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She even lets us know when it’s time to get up mornings with a jump on the bed or a pat on the face (or whiskers in the face or a lick on the eyelids). Ruthie is very vocal and lets us know by meows that sound a lot like words sometimes that we need to get ready for work or shut a window or door against loud noises (she doesn’t like mowers or trash trucks). When anyone is sick she will sit with them on a raised recliner seat sharing fuzzy warmth. And sometimes she goes off and leaves us alone.

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So here’s what I’ve learned from Ruthie that I’m figuring out how to apply to my own life:

  1. Service gives opportunities for praise and reward (All a cat asks for in return for being our living alarm is meals, treats, “rubbies,” and occasional “conversations” because she is so vocal).
  2. Nobody’s perfect (she doesn’t like to be hugged or held but she is learning to tolerate it from “mommy.” And boy she does shed! She is also not a fan of Grandpa playing music on the computer. The high notes make her ears twitch.)
  3. It doesn’t take much to be a mood-lifter (just seeing her on “bug patrol” by the front door or having her curl up next to you is enough).
  4. Comfort doesn’t mean smother (She’ll sit at the very edge of the bed or seat and not intrude on what you’re doing).
  5. Active time (running up and down the stairs was one of her favorites), social time, and alone time are all important. Life is about balance.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says He has made everything beautiful in its time. So it is with Ruthie.

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To Glorify God — Post by Michael J. Findley

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Westminster Shorter Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:14

Let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Every believer I know agrees that every thought and action should glorify God; many with a shrug. because it should go without saying. But many who call themselves believers simply are not living this way.

However, when the woman saw that the tree produced good food, was attractive in appearance, and was desirable for making one wise, she took of its fruit and ate it. Then she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate some, too. As a result, they both understood what they had done, and they became aware that they were naked. Genesis 3:6,7

“If you think it’s the wrong thing for you to serve the Lord [Wrong; certainly not. Inconvenient at times. It’s just that serving the Lord isn’t always the thing I want to do.], then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve—the gods whom your ancestors served on the other side of the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose territories you are living. (Certainly not. My gods were only invented a few years ago.) But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

There will be suffering and anguish for every human being who practices doing evil, for Jews first and for Greeks as well. But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who practices doing good. Romans 2:9,10

Who are you to tell me that doing what I enjoy is evil?

I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:1,2

To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write:
‘The Amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the originator of God’s creation, says this:

‘I know your actions, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich. I have become wealthy. I don’t need anything.” Yet you don’t realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore, I advise you to buy from me gold purified in fire so you may be rich, white clothes to wear so your shameful nakedness won’t show, and ointment to put on your eyes so you may see. I correct and discipline those whom I love, so be serious and repent! Look! I am standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me. I will give a place to sit with me on my throne to the one who overcomes, just as I have overcome and have sat down with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:14-21

All Scriptures are from the International Standard Version (ISV)

Public domain image from a painting by  John Rogers Herbert

 

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Music In The Early Church — post by Michael J. Findley

lastsupperJesus and the disciples attended Jewish synagogues and temple worship. These services included stringed, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The book of Psalms was the hymn book of the second temple. After finishing the Passover meal they sang a hymn, presumably not a Psalm, and presumably without instruments, before walking across the Kidron Valley to the garden of Gethsemane. Until forced out, first century Christians continued to worship in synagogues and follow Jewish customs.

Paul wrote to the new Gentile converts “Let the word of the Messiah inhabit you richly with wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16 and “Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; you will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts,” Ephesians 5:19. This admonition was taken by some to mean antiphonal singing, with either two choirs or dividing the congregation into two parts and alternating the parts of the hymn or song.

Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Trajan (61-113) about the proper punishment of Christians. “They had been accustomed to come together on a fixed day before daylight and to sing responsively a song to Christ as God.” (AD 112?)

Five times in the book of Revelation a song is sung in heaven; 5:9, 5:11, 14:1, 14:3, 15:3. Harps are played heaven. Revelation 5:8, 14:2, and 15:2. The musical instruments of Babylon are condemned, Revelation 18:22. Trumpets in heaven are sounded, but not used as musical instruments. Zechariah 9:14, Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Hebrews 12:19, Revelation 1:10, 4:1, 8:2, 6,7,8,10,12,13, 9:1,13,14

Justin the Martyr wrote (AD 155?) in his Apology to the Emperor Chapter 13 “to use [material possessions] for ourselves and those who need, and with gratitude to Him to offer thanks by invocations and hymns for our creation …”

“Chapter 41. The crucifixion predicted And again, in another prophecy, the Spirit of prophecy, through the same David, intimated that Christ, after He had been crucified, should reign, and spoke as follows: Sing to the Lord, all the earth, and day by day declare His salvation. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols of devils; but God made the heavens. Glory and praise are before His face, strength and glorying are in the habitation of His. Give Glory to the Lord, the Father everlasting. Receive grace, and enter His presence, and worship in His holy courts. Let all the earth before His face; let it be established, and not shaken. Let them rejoice among the nations. The Lord has reigned from the tree.”

Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome, approximately AD 235? “Then, rising up after supper, the children and virgins having prayed, they shall sing psalms. Then the deacon, holding the mixed cup of the offering, shall say a Hallelujah Psalm. Then, the presbyter having commanded, ‘And also such-and-such Psalms,’ after the bishop has offered the cup with the proper thanksgiving, all shall say “Hallelujah” as the Psalms are sung. And they shall say: We praise Him who is God most high; Glorified and praised is He, Then, when the Psalm is completed, he shall give thanks over the bread, and shall give the fragments to all the believers.”

Music had only two purposes in the earliest Church. It was used to instruct, build up, edify, believers. It was also used in direct address to God to worship God. There are no recorded instances of performing music to please those who listened. Performing music just to please the listeners has been condemned as a sin by thousands of pastors for over 1500 years. At the same time, music to glorify God is essential to worship in the Christian Church. The Spirit of the prophet must be controlled by the prophet and this includes music.
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Fue la llamada “Ultima cena” el seder de Pesaj??? | Blog …

 

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Why I am, For Now, Staying on Facebook — post by Michael J. Findley

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Friends, other people; it really is that simple. If I could, I would leave. But the people I like and often love are not on these other sites. These are people I trust. Friends who supply better news links than the MSN, better sports analysis than ESPN, funny animal videos, wacky UFO/paranormal humor, touching military stories, interesting cars and hobbies, history and science links, and many other things I usually cannot imagine.

Facebook is public. Never, ever post anything you will not stand by in the future. And do not ever quote other people out of context. Like most of my friends, I wish Facebook was like it was ten years ago when I first joined. Every change (update) has degraded the Facebook experience. It used to be faster, easier to find what you wanted, and was not drowning in leftist political censorship.

Like many people, I spend too much time on Facebook. My tablet makes typing responses almost impossible. And I post things things I shouldn’t even think. But these are my sins. Facebook makes my sins public. Closing my Facebook account will not make me less of a sinner. It will make my sins less public. But I glorify God by confessing and forsaking my sins, not hiding them. Facebook, at least for me, is the opportunity to confront my sinful nature and ask the Spirit of God to both forgive me for the sins I post and to not commit the same sins in the future.

 

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Ring in the New — Post by Mary C. Findley

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Happy New Year from Findley Family Video Publications!

Welcome to our updated and upgraded blog. You will find some new images and videos. We also now have no ads and our own domain, elkjerkyforthesoul.com. A little less to type, or to copy and paste. A little more to make things simpler and clearer, we hope. We hope you like the changes, and that you’ll let us know how we can continue to make the blog a better experience for you.

May God bless you in this new year and help you to serve Him better and love Him more.

 

 

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A “To God” List

Here’s a video version of this post.

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Yesterday in our Sunday school class we were talking about the true meaning of the Sabbath. Some people believe the Sabbath is obsolete because it was part of the law. But Jesus kept the Sabbath, and never said we shouldn’t. He often said, however, that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. He also said the Jewish leaders burdened people with wrong ideas about the Sabbath. They condemned Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, but He quite rightly pointed out that they would not hesitate to water and feed their livestock or pull them out of pits on the Sabbath. To these Jewish leaders, their Sabbath rules were a means to control people.

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Sometimes we think God is trying to control us. Many people say that is why they reject Jesus Christ and salvation, because they see it as a loss of freedom. They will be burdened with a heavy list of rules to follow, a life filled with “don’ts” that will make them miserable.

I want to share the whole 58th chapter of Isaiah because it is so fantastic on the subject of real reasons to do real things for God. But I’ll just share verses 13 and 14 and stick with the Sabbath discussion. God had a very different view of the Sabbath from the Pharisees and Sadducees, I think.

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“If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (NASB)

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Yes, we have to turn away from our own pleasure. But look! We can call the Sabbath a delight. People are fond of “name it, claim it” theology and visualization. This is a place where it works. Call the Sabbath a delight and it will be. You will also get to take delight in the Lord. Imagine how it would feel to “ride on the heights!”

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What is the heritage of Jacob? Maybe he’s not our father, if we are not literal children of Israel, but God gave Jacob, who was a most imperfect man, as are we all, huge blessings. Salvation is by grace, and was even for Jacob, and salvation puts us into God’s family. In Christ we can claim God’s blessings. God wants to feed us, and send us soaring like that daddy who swings his little one up in the air and makes him scream with joy.

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So instead of grumbling about all God is going to make us do, why don’t we make a change in our thinking? That’s all God really wanted us to do, with all the laws and regulations and commandments. Love God, love your neighbor. Jesus said these fulfill the commandments. It’s not a burden. It’s a delight.

Some people make “To Do” lists. What if we made a “To God” list, committing our day to God and seeking just to delight in Him, to honor Him, and see if we can’t get that ride to the height, and that feeding from His bounty?

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What would your “To God” list look like? We’d love to have you share it with us.

All images Public Domain from Pixabay

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