Me, the Dog, and Jesus

The shelter dog experience requires a great deal of patience (at least two I know of, do). Sometimes I look at this beautiful dog with some of the most aggravating quirks I have seen, and I think how I am also a mongrel. I do not fit the average design, but God chose me, just as He did you, to be who exactly we are. He has a purpose for every sort of difficulty I present to Him. Usually, I think He wants me to learn on Him to depend, instead of any faith I might place in me.

I do not run straight to Jesus as often as I should. My dog does not run to me, she creeps, or sometimes she has that sad, sad face that will break me open because, despite her craziness, I love her. She hurts me, I have scars, I had to wear a brace, she runs off where I have to go into strange territory miles away searching for her, and she does not always answer when I call. I am like this with my sweet Jesus too. He died on the cross because of me, that is some incredible injury. How much a disappointment it must be to Him, when He is certain He made it perfectly clear what is expected, and I go my own way, then creep to touch His hand, hoping He will fight my battles. Thankfully, He does not scream at me, as I sometimes do with the dog. He remembers that I am living a broken, sinful life, in a shattered sin-filled world and over and again He has mercy on me. My mercifulness leaves much to be desired with the dog, but we are working on it, and it improves in spurts and starts.

I do not recommend the shelter dog experience, but should you wish an object lesson on who our Father is, try it. As Alex told me, “Get a big dog, it’ll be fun, Mom.”

I do not know how my analogy stands up, and really I just wrote this off the cuff. Jesus knows I try to explain who He is to me, so maybe you will find a life with Him. It is the only life worth living and has a single promise of eternity.

The Wookie is the big dog, the tiny tot is Mom’s dog (mine now), Tribble. We might explore another story another day.

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Inspired by a Rolling Stone

I caught myself saying I do not want to go see them live because I want to remember them as last I observed them. Then I thought is it the stars I fear to see or is it that they reflect who I have become?

Do I want to face that I am growing older, that the glory days are past? My idea of myself, it does not connect with the image in the mirror. I am unwilling to give in to infirmity, to recognize any decrepitness, I imagine myself strong enough to face anything for I have overcome so much.

I like to think the days are still outstretched in perpetuity, but I know, I know chronologically that more hours are passed than reach into the future.

This is hard to admit, to accept, that death is any breath away, and my tenure here will cease. However, it also imbues every moment with a priceless preciousness that I cannot escape or deny. If I am to do what I am purposed to do, I must get on about doing it. There is no time to waste in frivolities or procrastination.

Life is a limited engagement. The show does not employ the same cast forever, and the show must go on. I, like everyone, want to do all the good I can, love as much as possible, create more happiness than grief, and leave memories that will be treasured, but I realize I should do those things in the now. Now does not for anyone last indefinitely.

So, maybe I should see the stars as they are and let their talent and charm take my breath away again. Each of us is a universe of life, and we should celebrate the beauty of our existence for God made each of us a Masterpiece, one of a kind, with no duplicate in eternity.

So thank you, as so often, to Sir Mick Jagger for challenging me, inspiring me, and providing food for thought. I am so indebted to you and the many others who have given a soundtrack for my life.

Maybe my small contribution will touch someone who needs to remember we are all here for only a brief while and should expend our time wisely. Blessed be.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Battling the Specter of Nevermore

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In recent books, I have read about hemlock, strychnine, and other poisons. I read a variety, this is not about genre, fiction or non-fiction, this to me speaks of destruction.

Our whole lives are immersed in depression, despair, lack of dignity, lack of respect, an absence of tolerance. It is no wonder suicide, and murder rates are soaring, mass killings are rampant.

We as a world, need an infusion of hope, a multiplicity of loving-kindness in every aspect of life. We cannot point at one another and claim others should be the solution. We must be, ourselves, the answer, every one of us. We must carry love within us, and to each person we encounter.

Forgiveness, grace, love, mercy must become our functional vocabulary, as well as our method of conduct.

We never know, by reaching out, by being a friend, we may be lifting ourselves or someone other from the precipice of death. The Lord is Love and He inhabits our acts of kindness and compassion. We are called and sent, let us reach out. May we be the solution for one another.

It is, and has been for some time, a fight against Nevermore.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The tempestuous soil

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This Soil I Call Home

They wonder why tearing down monuments rankles. Apparently, they do not know the history of this earth where we are bound. I only know a little, but I know the land is holy.

Once, tribes of indigenous peoples, later called Indians roamed this country. They battled among themselves in societal tribes. They lived, loved, hunted, died, made lives. Then all they owned, all they loved was taken, and they were left, bodies, bleeding into the soil once their heritage.

These conquering Europeans also brought criminals who they restricted and mistreated, tortured, letting some starve, others became indentured servants, used, abused, unpaid. Some finally won free but were still cast down, called trash.

Then industry rose and needed cheap labor, or labor unpaid. So ships brought cargoes of ebony people taken captives from their lands, forced to do the back-breaking, soul stealing work, making greatness by the labor of their hands.

A cry for freedom rung clear, a peal that would not be silenced. The nation, tore asunder, brother against brother, blood was shed. The ground cried out, flooded with scarlet rivers and elsewhere torrential streams of tears.

Other fights, other massacres occurred. A price was always paid in blood, for blood has ever been the sacrifice for freedom. The fighters, their names too numerous to recall, on both sides of the stories gave everything for who we are.

Whether right or wrong they paid, and it is we who should remember. We should let the monuments stand that we never forget how great is the price of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Least in tearing down, we awaken the hungry monster who destruction, war, and death, is named, and allow it to break loose drinking lifeblood again.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, January 19, 2019

I am always surprised by inspiration. It usually has no reason nor rhyme. It overtakes me in its own way and time.

For a prompt: Write or otherwise create about an issue that moves you, heart and soul. Be blunt, be real, let it show what you feel. When you access your creativity, you should be your most honest self. Share if you like. If not, allow the revelation to be yours alone.

I hope this suits you. If not, still come again. Have a blessed night.

 

May it fill a need

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Reach for Forever

You’re still here today,
Though last night held bitter dark
Which nearly took you,
You fought the fight and survived,
You will battle on again.

This war, it never
Ends, but sometimes the winning
Becomes easier,
You find someone to help you,
Becoming like miracles.

Sometimes you reach out
With a little faith, and feel
Heaven touching you,
God’s embrace empowering
You, through love, to carry on.

You are not alone,
There are those who are rising
To the challenges
Of fortifying against
Death’s shade in its onslaught.

Do not consign to
Darkness, a self so gifted
By Christ that no one
Like yourself exists or will
In all the records of time.

You who see yourself
Damaged, insignificant,
Unworthy of life,
Are a precious treasure, made,
Endowed with unique purpose.

Chase those dark shadows
Out of your existence, rise
With fresh found meaning,
Become the person you know
Grace made you to be, alive.

Arise, walk, for you
Have missions to accomplish
Of such importance
You are exclusively meant
To creatively succeed.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Prompt: If you will spend a few moments looking around you, then pick something and imbue it with some sliver of meaning, touching it with your creativity, you can make art or writing that might change your outlook. You might share it and wake someone to themselves in a new way they have forgotten or never noticed before.

You may fail to recognize it, but with your gifts and talents, the skills you have learned, you are an agent of change. Though change may cause fear it is the one constant in life. No matter where you are today, or even tomorrow, change will eventually exert pressure on you, to make you into a new being. You will still encompass who you are, but like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, you will leave what you were behind. You will carry an essence, but nothing will be quite the same.

If you have not done one lately, make a gratitude list. Here’s mine:

I am thankful:

  1.  I realized I need to read my own books more than those coming from the library. This because the books I purchase I need or want enough to invest.
  2.  My son, Alex, called and we had a good conversation.
  3.  I have done a little art lately.
  4. Themes were available for free.
  5. I have Tribble and Marbles to keep me company.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed your stay. If you like, follow Haphazard Creative, or come back when you wish.

All the best to you and yours. May God Bless and Keep You in All Times and through All Things.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Loss, New Grace, Conversation

In my time of absence here, I have been making an effort to recover. I lost Hope on October 10, after her battle with cancer. This is her last picture.

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On November 21, I went to the shelter, which was a new thing for me, and adopted Marbles. Marbles is a Plott Hound/Border Collie mix. She is a much bigger dog, with more energy than any I have had, and she is a challenge. She has helped get me out of my head some, which is an improvement. Tribble and I are adjusting to this new personality in our home.

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I would like to be able to say that the new puppy has made it all better, but that is a truism I cannot assert. She has made things different. I think the pain will be here for a while.

I hope all of you are having a fantastic holiday season.

I wrote this piece in my journal this morning and thought it worth sharing.

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The fitful nightmares
Visiting in deepest night,
Cannot live in light.

I am thankful:

  1. I had twelve wonderful years with Hope. She is free now of suffering.
  2. I have a new friend in Marbles, to help me with my journey.
  3. I did not awaken with a migraine today.
  4. I have some of the best friends one could hope for in a turbulent life.
  5. I read some outstanding books.
  6. I have learned life, while not always easy, is always filled with generous rewards.
  7. Love and hope remain even through the disasters of living.

As a prompt, write a mission statement of how your beliefs can lead you further on the paths of life you travel and help you deal with obstacles you encounter.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you found something edifying. If you like, follow the site or come again. I should be able to update somewhat more regularly going forward. My apologies to those who have missed me.

If life explodes your serenity, gather your love and hope, rebuild what is broken with faith that the future contains better experiences.

Be well and create something unusual at every opportunity.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan