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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Mel's Odd Stuff Welcome Guest
    Mel's Odd Stuff
          Just a bunch of odds and ends. Life is strange sometimes, so this will probably be strange, too...

    Thu, Jan 19th - 2:16AM

    A touching story: Did you Smell That?



    A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.  That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

    "I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

    Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

    "No! No!" was all Diana could say.

    She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

    There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

    Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more.

    But that happy ending is far from the end of her story. One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving,Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent.

    Clasping her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"

    Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

    Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

    Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

    Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

    Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My Father forwarded this on to me, and like most of these stories it had a barb at the end designed to bash you with shame into passing the story on.  For the reason of that barb, I almost did not post this here, because I sincerely believe that even attempting to prod someone into action by using any form of shaming a person is dead wrong!

    The barb was:

    "You now have 1 of 2 choices. You can either pass this on and let other people catch the chills like you did, or you can delete this and act like it didn't touch your heart like it did mine."

    Sorry, I don't see it the way they say the last part.  There are plenty of other responses.  Yes, this story is worthy to share, but to insinuate that because a person does not share it immediately that they are heartless is heartless in itself and unconscionably hypocritical.  Do not let my ire about this detract from the message it brings.  If you feel like sharing it, by all means do so.  If you are not motivated to do so, I think nothing less of you.  You might even remember this story years from now with surprising clarity and have just the right moment to share it face to face with someone who needs to hear it.  I suspect that would please God more than you just copying this and in some somewhat uncommited way emailing it on to 20, 40 or even 100 other people.

    Do not just read the good stuff, letting it flow over you and be forgotten, passing it on in some superficial and self sanctifying way.  Let it sink into you.  Contemplate it.  Wonder about it.  Feel it.  Understand it.  When the time comes to pass it on, rest assured that the Holy Spirit will prompt you to your total surprise, and I think that experience is more of a blessing than even the story itself.

    Go Forth in His Strength,

    Mel



    Comment (2)

    Fri, Jan 6th - 2:40AM

    Humility and Humiliation



    It comes to me this way:

    We are to be humble, full of humility.  Does this mean we should be humiliated?  Generally, I think not.  Earthly sorrow is grief that is fruitless.  It does not cause a person to turn to God.  Instead, it brings shame.  Humiliation usually brings shame.  That is what I see as the fleshly response at least.

    That need not be the case.  We can suffer humiliation and feel no shame, but that is a difficult task.  Christ suffered humiliation before he was crucified.  Think of the things that happened to him.  Should he have any shame for any of those demeaning things that happened to him?  I think NOT!

    I suffer humiliation.  Much of it was brought upon myself as a result of stupid choices I made.  Should I live then in the shadow of my shame?  No!  Shame does not motivate me to seek good.  It makes me seek to avoid the consequences of my evils.  That is a subtle difference, but can you see that merely attempting to avoid lacks any real power?  Should I seek to avoid humiliation?  No!  Paul suffered for Christ in prison.  He was humiliated.  And humbled as he was, he spoke with great power.  And without shame!

    2 Timothy 1:6-12 (NIV)

    6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

     8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy lifeónot because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

    When I suffer humiliation because of the wrongs I have done, I recieve the instruction and training of the Lord if I am wise, and that is the best of it.  When I suffer humiliation for the Lord, I have stepped into a different realm, and am walking by faith, that walk that God loves us enough to desire that we should do it.

    That being the case, should we humiliate one another?  No.  Gently try to bring a brother back who has sinned.  Attempting to ridicule and shame a person into doing the right thing is valueless.  You may get them to do the right thing, but their heart will certainly be wrong about it.  Which is more important, the actions or the heart?  Think long and hard on this.  Search out the answer in the scriptures for yourself.  You may find something I have not given full enough attention to.

    I am trying to keep this short and boil it down to something manageable.  There is much more here than what I have shared.  What are your thoughts?

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (3)

    Sun, Jan 1st - 1:10PM

    The Tower of Babel -- Why I chose that passage



    From The Prayer of Jabez:

    1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV)

    10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

    What if I take that literally?  "Enlarge my territory! "   What could that mean?  Everything I own is a gift from God.  My house.  The little plot of land it sits upon.  My family.  My food.  My job.  And anything that comes from anything, even my God given skills and abilities.  So what does my territory really mean?  Hmmmm...

     

    I have two burdens on my heart.  I do not believe that the ease with which we allow people to have abortions in America, at least, is right and correct.  First of all, I see it as killing an innocent life, which has done nothing to deserve the death, especially the most horrible of them, near term abortions.  As I have previously stated, I feel no right to lay a burden on any woman unless I can first give a person considering that action another way out of the terrible situation they are in.  I also see forcing a woman into the place where she must make such a terrible choice as damaging to her very own psyche, and her very soul.  I have, as of yet, been able to do nothing to correct this.

    The second burden is on a grander scale, and quite intimately tied to the first burden.  I like Star Trek, so I will use it as an example.  See and read this:  http://www.ericweisstein.com/fun/startrek/TheMarkOfGideon.html  The political and sociological comment is there, and what was seen then is even more of a problem now.  Personally, I feel it is one of the most dangerous challenges out there.  That might be God's will.  That problem, of course, is the overpopulation of this precious little ball of dust we live on.  In the cosmic sense, that is all we are, a small, and yet very significant speck of dust, in the vast scheme of things.

    Sober yourself with that thought.  Have we been good stewards of that possession or territory?  (I ask this in the collective for those of you who can actually answer Yes! on the personal level)  My opinion?  NO!  We have not.

    So then, what to do?  Call me kooky, if you must, but I do see something much greater than I myself can do, and so, I step out in faith even just proposing it.

     

    Have you heard of the X Prize?  How about the L5 Society? (I used to be a member, late in the 70's of this organization, although without my current point of view, based upon my faith)  There are others, to be sure.  Some are wide-eyed and wonderful.  Some of them are crackpot nutjobs. (only IMHO -- may they still go in peace)  All of them involve big dreams and high hopes. (pun intended)

    My dream/vision is this:  I see setting up a foundation that, as its stated and ultimate end, is to free us from being bound to this little (and getting smaller everyday) planet we call Earth.  To that end, it will accumulate wealth, in the form of the most limited of resources that we as of yet have no suitable substitute for, land/territory.  I foresee it doing so in the most benevolent of ways.  Taking and purchasing property in depressed areas and returning it to use as soon as possible.  Working with people like Habitat for Humanity, to put these homes bask into the hands of those who need them.  Another benevolent and different investment is to pick up open space and put it temporarily under the stewardship of some other organization such as the Sierra Club.  It could be that the funds could be used in a rural community to buy a failing farm and allow the farmers to continue to farm the land.  In the end, it does not matter about the specifics, it matters that land is being held in trust for that future time when the real estate actually becomes available beyond the confines of this world.

    I agree wholeheartedly with what groups like Habitat for Humanity are doing.  So dealing with them does not leave me with many qualms.  I feel that some conservation groups are extreme in some of their views, but nonetheless would be excellent stewards of open spaces that were entrusted to them.  I'd rather make a friend of them than find an enemy in the camps of the misguided Eco-terrorists.  I'd rather concentrate on the positive, not the negative.  I'd rather be a peacemaker, and in that be called a son of God.  In the end, we desire a similar thing.  A world with less people and less pressure on our precious ecosystem.  A place where if a species goes extinct, it is not because of the encroachment of man, but is rather more of a natural occurance.  A place where the quality of life is improving and the ability to appreciate nature and it's wonders is on a steady climb.  I don't think there are many people out there who would say that they did not want that, only those who are not willing to take the risks or pay the costs.  I'd rather see that day come by peaceful and pleasant means, not war or famine or pestilence.  Those will come at God's appointed time, and if it is sooner than later, my vision will submit to His will.

    The specifics of dealing with pregnancy and abortion is to do with housing.  Give appropriate housing to those who would take a girl in trouble in and lessen her shame and humiliation.  Give carefully to those who would appreciate the gift and give back by doing this.  I feel that this is better than any institutionalized process that many would prefer to abdicate to.  It is more likely to open the heart for frank discussion and gentle persuassion.

    Similar to the X Prize, the idea is to accumulate resources to reward a successful self-sufficient colony in space.  It must be extragovernmental, and the ability must be there to survive and expand if totally cut off from support from this world.  When the first one does that, you liquidate and give them all the resources to kickstart a time of rapid growth, with the understanding that the resources would go for just that, not self-enrichment.  With a large enough investment, I truly believe we could do that today.  With a big enough carrot, someone (or more probably, a group of someones) might jump in and actually do it.  The difficulty is in figuring how big of a carrot it will take.

     

    This is a rough and general outline.  The specifics are still a matter to decide.  Indeed, they might deliberately be vague enough to encourage broader participation.  It might possibly even come from sceptics who feel this is doomed to failure, but the investment in whatever benevolent activity a specific sub-chartered branch of the foundation was likely to support, they felt was worthy enough on its own merits to support, and in their minds, relatively risk free.

    In all of this, God is the lead.  If not, it fails.



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    About Me

    Name: Mel Miller
    ChristiansUnite ID: lylejr
    Member Since: 2005-09-28
    Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I've been a christian for some time, but squandered my time and talents 'in a foreign land' I have been in the military (active and reserves) for 33 years. (now retired) I have two lovely daughters, and life seems to often be strange to me.

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