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Family History

June 25, 2011

This past Christmas I created a book as a gift to my family. It is a collection of stories that were written by my great, great grandmother. She was born in Sweden and her family immigrated to America. There are amazing stories of how God worked in her life and the life of her family. I have made it available to the public for purchase online through blurb.com.
Below you should be able to preview a portion of the book.

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The Cloak of Gaga – Part One

March 3, 2009

Yes folks, you read that right, the cloak of gaga. No, it’s not some silly riddle to tell kids. It is the truth that haunts all of our lives.

Have you ever met someone who you were astonished by? Who was able to captivate your heart and soul in a colossal way? Someone you thought was perfect, or at least close to perfect. Just the very thought of them had a hypnotic effect on you. Nothing, absolutely nothing they did or said could ever be wrong. Then. Either the next day or next week, or maybe even ten years in the future, you realize that you were completely and utterly wrong about those ideas or feelings. Somehow, someway, some indescribable power had over taken you. It had successfully covered the truth of who that person really was and how they really were. You my friend had fallen victim to the cloak. The cloak of gaga.

It has happened to us all. We find something, which at the time seems flawless, unblemished, dare I say immaculate, then discover that in fact there was something tarnished all along. How did you not see this? Why did it only become clear after the fact? You may say to yourself, “How could I have ever been so foolish!” Relax; we have all been there. That moment you realize the truth, the truth that was hidden all a long, by the cloak.

A cloak is defined simply as something that covers or conceals. In a sense it is a piece of clothing draped over you inhibiting your ability to see clearly the path set before you. There is actually a definition of “gaga”, the French actually used a similar term to describe an old fool. The definition I liked the best was when it was described as completely absorbed, infatuated or excited.

This cloak or this object that is concealing your vision is also a cloak of gaga, which says that you are not just distracted by the cloak but at the same time you are now infatuated. This pretense of sorts can come in different shapes, sizes, colors, fabrics, styles, some have lines, some have pokadots. Some are ugly, some are beautiful, some are dangerous, others safe, some are smelly, others are tasty. Regardless, they all have the same effect; they create a delusion of the truth. The cloak can be anything that gets in the way of you and your vision for what God is calling you to do. It creates a barrier between you and reality.

One of my favorite scriptures found in Hebrews 12, says this, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Notice when it says , “let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,” in the Kings James it says, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us. The two words here either in the NASB, Entangle, or the KJV, Beset come from the Greek word Euperistatos which means skillfully surrounding. So it tells us in essence to lay aside the sin which skillfully surrounds us and to instead turn our eyes away from that and to fix our eyes on Jesus.

This is a lot of time what sin does in our lives. We have the appearance that everything is great, that we are living on top of the world but what we fail to see is we have become enthralled by a vision created by our “cloak.” As I have begun to think this thought through, I have realized that this topic is much larger then I thought. It truly touches every part of our lives and affects our relationship with God. I will, in due time, begin to write of more specific examples that I have noticed in my life and in others lives, where the cloak of gaga has been evident.

Finally, I will leave you with a question, “What is it that we are holding onto that so skillfully surrounds us? What it is that seems like a wonderful thing but is really blinding us from the reality of the truth which God has for us.

Favorite Things

January 4, 2009

The other night the movie “The Sound of Music” was playing on TV. As I watched I was intrigued when the song “My Favorite Things” came on and it caused me to ask myself the obvious question, “What are some of my favorite things?” While my favorite things are not raindrops on roses nor whiskers on kittens, the following list will show you a few of mine. Enjoy!

 

Walking in the woods during Fall. (sometimes donning an orange vest at the same time, but not always necessary)

Watching the snow fall. (preferably while I am not driving)

Driving down an open road with a full tank of gas. (perhaps the windows down and a good music playing)

Chicago Style Pizza. (Thin crust is for wimps)

Looking up at a dark sky and being amazed at the number of stars in the sky (then trying to watch for a shooting star)



A well crafted, well written and presented song.

The sound of a mandolin being strummed by a pro.

My grandma’s applesauce

Molasses cookies



Sweet Barbeque sauce on almost anything…

and speaking of sweet…

Sweet little hugs and kisses from my sweet and little niece!

Talking with a good friend about life for hours on end  (and even into the morning)




 

…these are just a few of my favorite things, what about you? Share with me a few of yours!