The Bible Tells Me

I’m not the Bible scholar I should be. I know some verses; not as many as I ought. Still, I find most of my experiences can be framed or underscored, explained or illuminated, by Scripture. Or maybe a hymn or a worship song, a devotional or a testimony. Frequently, I have those “Oh, yeah” moments when I see God clearly in an event. Or realized that I should have seen Him.

These are the moments of “The Bible tells me.”

These essays reflect that. Do know that I can proof-text as well as anyone. I have a concordance, and I know how to use it. Well, truthfully, I do all of that online now, where I can quickly find a passage, see it in many versions, and choose the one I like best. I try not to be narrow, but instead broad, as I apply Bible words to my experiences. I know that your interpretations and understanding may be different than mine. But I also know that our God is big enough for all of us.

I have a friend who, in her prayer time, likes to tell jokes to God. “I know He knows the punch line,” she says. “But I tell them anyway. He likes it when I laugh.”

He likes it when I laugh. I’m going to hang on to that. It’s Biblical. The Bible tells me.

Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Psalm 126: 2,3 (HCSB)


I know that God created all living things, and He had and has a plan for all the animals. But I think we can all agree that we just don’t like some of those animals. Like rats. Like cockroaches, especially the great big ones that can, and will, fly! Across the room. When you are having guests.

It’s hard to be angry with squirrels. They’re just so darn cute. I had a bug guy once, who was treating the house for, well, bugs. We were discussing the squirrels in the back yard (and how annoying I found them), and he said the only reason people like squirrels is because they have those darling, bushy tails that make them charming. “If they didn’t have those tails,” he said. “They’d look just another kind of rat, gnawing away at your wires, your eaves, your pecans.”

Oh, indeed. He was so right. I really do intensely dislike the squirrels, despite their adorability.

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I Should Have Sung that Mr. Rogers’ Song about Being Proud of You!

Last May,  when I was at a writer’s conference at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, I visited the Allenstand Craft Shop, in Asheville. I was hoping to find an electrical outlet cover to match a lovely dark green switch plate, with embossed leaves and fronds, that I had purchased there the year before. When I walked into the building, glory be, there was that artisan, right there, displaying her wares.

“I’m so excited to see you here,” I said, explaining my search. She had exactly what I was looking for—the outlet cover (with one rectangular hole, instead of two roundish ones, in just the same dark green), and she wrapped it up for me to buy.


Hand-crafted switch plate and outlet covers

Then she said, “Here’s how I make them.”

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How Old ARE You, Mrs. Lintz?

My sister, since I began this blog, has been all over me about the complete list of Paul’s characteristics of Fruit of the Spirit. Last week, she reminded me about “peace,” looking for it soon. I might should be concerned about how challenged I’ve felt to think of something peace-related. But here it is.

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Lessons from the Grocery Store

Many shoppers at the grocery store irritate me to pieces. I suspect that I irritate folks, too, so I try to think gracious thoughts about other people, even the ones who leave their cart on a busy aisle (because they are having to wait to get down the row) and walk an aisle or two away to get something else, therefore creating additional snarling, because the rest of us now have half an aisle to navigate through and . . . . But I digress.

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Fun with Friends

A while back, an Early Childhood educator friend of mine posted a link on Facebook for Tall Painting. (I’m going to put the link to this at the end. If I put it here, you’ll go and look at it and be mesmerized and watch YouTube videos for the next hour and you’ll never get back to me. DO NOT GO DOWN AND LOOK FOR IT RIGHT NOW! WAIT!) Within minutes of his post, about a dozen other Early Childhood folks responded with “Oh, I want to Tall Paint.” I wanted to Tall Paint, too, for months. But the only time I’m with little kids is during Sunday School, and I wasn’t sure I could carve out the time. And, they’re three years old; I wasn’t sure they could really do it well. But I kept thinking about it.

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If You Break It, You Buy It

When I was growing up, my parents, as most parents did, cautioned me and my sister against touching things in stores when we went shopping. I don’t really remember it, but it must have been so, because now I feel guilty whenever I touch anything in any store. Except, I guess, for the grocery store, which isn’t usually a “just browsing” sort of place.

I passed down that instruction to my own sons. Except by then, I had learned some positive guidance techniques for young children. Instead of telling kids what NOT to do, adults should tell them what TO do. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t run,” a better choice would be, “Please walk.” So, in stores, instead of saying “Don’t touch,” (or, “Don’t you DARE touch that”), I would try to remember to say, “Please look with only your eyes,” which quickly, for each boy, shortened to “Look with your eyes.” An even better thing (I know now), would have been to use the positive I-message, “I’m worried when you pick up things in the store. Something might get dropped and broken or damaged. So please look with only your eyes.” This gives a child (or anyone, really)  a logical reason to choose appropriate behavior, given in a gentler and more informative way. Okay, so much for the child guidance lesson.

Last week, I was doing some shopping to get ready for a week of activities for preschoolers at church.

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A Testy Attitude

I know that business managers try to train their employees to be courteous to customers (some do, at least). I appreciate that. I do avoid places where I’m dealt with unkindly and rudely. I would rather take my business where I’m treated politely. I also understand the issue of Southern/Texas manners. I know when someone says, “Mornin’. How are ya?” they’re not really  interested in a lengthy response. And I answer, in a friendly way, “Good, good. And you?” I’m expecting that they will reply, “Fine, fine.”

That said, it’s an annoying enigma to me to be greeted at the doctor’s office with, “Good morning, Mrs. Lintz. How are you today?”

“Well, I’m at the doctors office. Isn’t it your job to tell me how I am today?” Maybe I’m a little pricklier about it than most. I have a lot of doctors and am in somebody’s office every few weeks. Still.

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Phone Etiquette

My parents raised me to be nice. I was supposed to be polite to people, and I was. With regret, I admit that I am less so, the older I get. I blame the strangers who call me on the phone.

So many people, all unknown to me, feel free, empowered, and worthy, to call me whenever they want during the day and/or evening, to press me, question me, suggest to me, and threaten me with, well, whatever is on their mind. I’ve become a shrieking shrew to strangers on the phone. On rare occasions, someone I don’t know will phone me with a real question. I will have answered taut and tight-voiced and then must apologize for my discourtesy.

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Taking Photos

In 2008, I went to New York City with my sister and her family. Her son was in charge of the camera. Lest you think this was an opportunity for a child to get some shutterbug experience, Collin was an adult, 24 years old. He took pictures of EVERYTHING.

Collin, the photographer

Collin, the photographer

Natalie sitting in Hans Christian Andersen's lap

Natalie sitting in Hans Christian Andersen’s lap

For example, as we were walking through Central Park, we came upon the statue of Hans Christian Andersen, seated on a bench, with a book on one knee. Collin got out the camera. We sent his 20-year-old sister Natalie to sit on Andersen’s bronze lap, as though listening to him tell one of his tales, maybe “The Ugly Duckling.” ( We aren’t irreverent or inappropriate; the statue is intended to be climbed on.) Collin took several shots of her. She moved away; he kept shooting. There are distance pictures of Hans Christian Andersen, nearby pictures, and an intense close-up of the inside of his nose. The camera filled up with stuff like that.

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I Do Love to Laugh

I sat down with several friends at a long table for breakfast, at the conference center where we were teaching for a week. An employee was walking around the noisy, busy dining hall with a stack of styrofoam cups and a coffeepot, pouring fresh cups for some and replenishing the mugs of others. This lead to a conversation among us about who did and didn’t drink coffee. A couple of friends agreed with me when I said, “I just don’t like coffee. I never learned to drink it.”

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