Thursday, November 18, 2010

SHORT Stories

A friend posted a link to an NPR article about 'Hint Fiction' Celebrates the (Extremely) Short Story and I was intrigued. I have diligently worked on editing my blogs and writings lately and this looked like an exciting challenge.

Here are my stories:

Two of which are taken from Scripture so they cannot be considered fiction, but it was a cool exercise to condense them into a few words.

Title: Luke 8 Woman © JJ Bogdanowicz
She escaped terminal rejection and reached for Life. Healing happened. Eternal freedom began.

Title: The Other Choice (Based on Luke 9:61-62) © JJ Bogdanowicz
He left without saying goodbye.  Stunned, she took a deep breath. Eternal purpose had been chosen, trusting the Master’s provision. Destiny called them both.

Title: Conqueror © JJ Bogdanowicz
Seasoned eyes were sharpened for night pursuit. After decades Darkness still retreated in terror. Sword severed precisely. Victory established by moonlight.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Living with Superheros...

I am not going to lie. There are many days that I look to the heavens and I say, "I begged You for THIS!??"

But not today.

Today was different.

Usually after 6pm my nerves are shot. Star Wars light saber sounds have taken their toll, the wrestling, running, jumping, feats of strength and general mayhem often end with little warriors having time outs and other assorted consequences.

But not today.

Today there was peace in our home. The Warriors swung their light sabers, the sound affects ringing in my ears, grunting, sweating, laughing and even flying were done without crisis, irritation or even injury.

Usually when Daddy leaves early to go to work there is tension, usually mine, about having to "run the show" for the week. My nerves are on edge about what is coming for the week that I know about and wondering about the unknown surprises lurking around the bend. I know this sounds horribly pessimistic from such an optomist, but when my Love flys away for days at a time it often takes me at least 24 hours to settle into some sort of "groove" and then usually a day or two later he is home again, to do things his way. :)

Today though, I actually feel changed. Deeply changed. As if that old place of anxiety in me is gone, or at least taking a nap for a bit. Last night I made sure to get enough "good night" kisses for the week all at once, then woke up this morning well aware that he would be gone before dinner. No anxiety snuck in the back door, no tension pushed at my nerves, no hyper-sensitive reactions took place as I went about the evenings tasks.

Instead I cooked a chicken veggie soup to eat for the week, listening to my Jedi's battle in the confined space of our living room, my youngest Jedi begging for the most recently fashioned paper light saber, enjoying their playtime and my cooking.

After dinner it was time for jammies and two of my three fellas donned their Batman jammies. Purchased at a consignment sale, my smallest Batman no longer has a cape, but his big brother who decided on GI Joe garb (no cape included) got out his Superman cape and attached it to a very happy Batman. Bigger Batman carried his black cape into the kitchen with a grin requesting I attach it to his shirt. Once the velcro was connected my super hero took off to join his brothers fending off imaginary foe.

Shorter Batman-Superman came running around the corner to tell me in his delighted two year old voice that "Mommy I can fly! Watch me!" So I watch as he goes running down the hall cape flying like a kite behind him. I say, "Peter YOU are amazing!" to which he yells, "Yes I am!"

I pray this night is imbeded in my heart. I am fairly certain there will be other nights to enjoy the warrior superheros. Tonight though, there is something special about seeing the fruit of my peace reflected in the eyes, hearts and bodies of my sons, now THAT is a wonderful sight to behold!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hating Others?

I am currently studying the names of God. This week, the study is on God's name Adonai.

Adonai means Lord and Master. These verses from Luke 4 were a part of my study that keep ringing in my spirit:
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

So WHAT does that mean Lord? If you are my Master, I have to hate everyone else? I have to abandon all the key relationships in my life, that YOU have given me?

I love God. I know He loves me, not in a sing-song Sunday school way, but a real, no kidding, serious, rubber meets the road kind of Love. I want to draw into His presence daily, pursue Him, learn from Him, receive from Him, walk with Him. That's great, as a Christian, that is what having a relationship with God looks like.

But wait! There's more!

When Jesus says that we are to hate those nearest and dearest to us so we can be His disciple, that seems SUPER strange to me. After all, He provided those special people in our lives. He put us together with them, knowing the challenges, the victories, the pain and the joy we would encounter together on this path of life.

I wish my life would accommodate an in-depth study on this verse, but it doesn't. I did read it in several versions and the New Living Translation said that we are to hate them in comparison to Christ in order to be His disciple.

Ok, so that doesn't sound SO bad after all, does it? What does that look like in a practical sense?

I know missionaries and their families who have lost their marriages, children to rebellion and drugs, and their lives or body parts to horrible diseases. People who have sacrificed so much and yet continue to serve God in whatever way He leads them. They have loved Him more than their marriage, their family, their bodies, and served Him.

My missionary friends have served with all their hearts, lived through hell, relationally, emotionally, and physically. Is it any wonder that when we as humans are asked to walk out a supernatural call of God that our humanity crumbles sometimes? The ensuing judgment by the Body of Christ for not keeping an appropriate "balance" is tragic.

Does this mean there is an excuse to not attend diligently to my marriage or to my family and friends? That I am to shut myself into my room, neck deep in Bibles, Concordances, Lexicons, throwing food in my kids vicinity when they make too much noise to concentrate? Do I hide away from my husband, nose in Bible, pursuing God irregardless of his needs?

NO, I am sure that is NOT what God is talking about.

However, I am prayerfully meditating on His Word in this case because I want to KNOW if there is anything in my world that I love or need more than Christ. Mostly because I know that without Him, I will ultimately end up with nothing.

My memorization verse for the week is Psalm 16:2, "I say to the LORD, You are my Lord (Adonai), apart from You I have no good thing." (No, I did not type that from memory - working on it still!)
I have come to the conclusion that to be His disciple, my love for Him must compare to none other. When I compare my love for my family and friends, it is as if  I hate them in comparison to my passion for Christ.

I have sung this song with passion and zeal for several years of my adult life, I am pondering it deeper now.
What I love about this particular youtube video is the real ministry and worship taking place. Do they or I REALLY mean "We will abandon it all, for the sake of the call?"

Yes, I believe we do.

Who am I?

My photo
I have been married to my best friend for over 26 years and our children are 14, 13 and 10 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost dear friends to tragic death. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which is essential to surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by my heart and words. Thank you for being here..