Posted in Christianity, Observations, Uncategorized

One Ring

Was Tolkien trying to reveal something about absolute power in his epic writings, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? Something maybe even predictive about where the world is headed many years later?


While I really appreciated the books a lot more than the Hollywood rendition, in both cases the story line reveals something about what the ring unmistakably symbolized – absolute power, how intoxicating it is, how alluring, and how it possesses the wearer in progressive stages, a little more and a little more every time he makes use of it. Until it ruins him, as in the case of Gollum who could not do without his “Precious.”

Thus the only sensible solution is to destroy it.

I recently watched the movie series again, and there was no mistaking the lesson, as to how destructive the pursuit of riches and power really is, especially absolute power. The ring’s dark inscription was “one ring to rule them all.”

One might ask, is not the current “power” direction essentially one first of all of deceit via much propaganda? Consequently, it may be said, “One ring to fool them all, before we rule them all.” Are we seeing a convergence of many major world powers and potentates, all vying for the position of being the “ring master” (head of the circus?) who rules them all. Who are the players? What do they really represent on the world stage? What’s the agenda here? These are questions we should all be asking, and then keeping our eyes up and being alert.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Men are corrupt in their hearts, and power over others can have an intoxicating effect.

What puzzles me is that, when these films first came out, strung across several years, many people were practically idolizing this ring although its inscription is a dark one, purchasing models of it, and wearing it on their persons. These were not all children or young people, but adults as well! People who say they do not stand for tyranny. Yet they were quite willing to wear something that symbolized it. Why would anyone even want to identify with an oppressive idea like that, unless the idea itself found a place to hook into them?

I’d like to think it was because they wanted to identify with the quest of destroying it in Mount Doom. But I tend to be a bit skeptical of human trendiness.

Food for thought. Indeed, “One ring to fool them all, before we rule them all.” And how easily we can be fooled. It is so much easier to present a pretty idea without the messiness of firing a shot, or starting wars where possible – if people can first be charmed into submission, and compliance with dominance can be achieved with flattering speeches, empty promises, and trinkets.

Take a really good hard look at what’s going on in the world, an honest one. Look at trendy trends, like the foregoing. What precipitates them? What’s unfolding across the world afterwards? Were we warned, threatened? What effects are they subtly planting in people’s noggins, these lovely little fads? We know that Hollywood is a propaganda mill, and that much coming out of it is perfectly timed, very calculated, and not by accident.

My thought on it is that we were given a message packaged as entertainment, when it may well be calculated entrainment. The ring represents a very alluring but dark idea, pulling along many into its vortex – if they have little discernment or ability to view entertainment with a critical eye.

Good stories aren’t written with no point to them other than to “entertain” people. Especially with the effort put into the creation of this story, as well as its film follow-ups. Perhaps thinking and analysis don’t rate very highly on the list as ways we can be entertained. When it’s all about thrills and feelings and purchasing rings with darkly occult messages on them to amuse ourselves, then we may have already marked ourselves as easy targets for those who seek absolute power: the one ring to first fool them all, before it is revealed as the one ring to rule them all. 

Posted in Friendship, Uncategorized

Saddle Pals Forever

Today was a happy trails kind of day. I made an impromptu visit to see an old saddle pal friend of mine. We used to do a lot of trail riding back in the day (we’re talking mid 70s-80s). There used to be plenty of trails in that area – through farmland, vineyards, and undeveloped areas by the river near her horse farm where she still lives, and where I boarded my horses over the years.

Then when my daughter got interested in horses later, she took up the tradition. These are priceless memories.

Today we went for a ride on my friend’s golf cart. Oh, what is this world coming to?! What happened to the hay wagon? We drove around those same areas where we used to ride – now all paved and proper. You wouldn’t recognize it – all “developed” now with big fancy houses. (There goes the ‘hood, as they say. Lol.)

Those were the best of times, and we are still the best of friends, although visits are far too infrequent. Some things never change, thankfully – those rare and precious friendships being the best examples. I realized I don’t get out in the outdoors or the sunshine, or make visits, nearly enough. That does need to change.

But best of all is the sunshine of good old friendships that are cherished forever, especially when reminiscing about our experiences involving the days when we viewed life from the backs of our horses.

Who says there are no good old days?

Posted in Artwork, Uncategorized

Mama Bear

Going through the “archives” of my studio – also known as the forgotten pile of arty stuff cluttering up everything. This is Mama Bear, which I created in 1998. 20 years! Pen and ink sketch on vellum drawing paper. PS: She’s been digitally cleaned up a bit and vignetted. But what ol’ girl couldn’t use a little makeup, or even a facelift?

We need more Mama Bears these days. Grrrrrrr…


Mama Bear.jpg

Posted in Christianity

Meek Does Not Mean Weak

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:22-24)

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It is said that Moses was the meekest man above all others on the face of the earth! (See Numbers 12:3) Imagine that for a moment! Here is someone who walks into the court of Pharaoh from whose condemnation he fled years before. Moses then performs miracles by the hand of God bringing about the liberation of the entire enslaved population of the Jews. He leads them out of Egypt. From there he parts the Red Sea, leading these ex-slaves in the wilderness for forty years – refining and preparing them to receive the inheritance of the Promised Land given to them by God so long ago. There in the Wilderness of Sinai he receives the covenants of God’s Law while on the mountain and sees God face to face. Not exactly the average Mr. Milk Toast, as defined by today’s ideas about the word “meek”!

So, we might ask, what’s so unique about meek, since Jesus also invites us to learn meekness of Him? Certainly we’d have to agree that the Biblical kind of meek does not mean weak! It certainly is not characterized by being a doormat. In fact it’s remarkably resilient, powerful, and no nonsense.

Meekness here, rather than referring to timidity, is the boldness which comes only from full surrender to the Spirit of the Living God and to our Heavenly Father’s will – which always has the best and highest in mind for us! Our meekness results in His strength.

Sometimes maybe we get a little confused about how this meekness thing works.

One of the best and surest ways meekness operates is through the prayer attitude of Jesus before His betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Thy will, not mine, be done!” He prays. Obviously this requires radical commitment as well as being able to see beyond the cross and our daily co-crucifixion in Jesus. Yes, we see beyond the cross and hold the vision of our resurrection and ascension – also in Him. We have to understand that the way to is the way through, and surrender the ego self to it.

Meekness has everything to do with the inner view of what we call “faith”. I think the NASB has an easy-to-comprehend definition of that in Hebrews 11:1 – “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Without a faith-view, it’s virtually impossible to practice meekness, for faith is not ever really “blind”.

Perhaps it would be good at this point to prayerfully pause for awhile to consider how God may be calling on us for this kind of meekness in our own life… How does that look? Where is my ego holding me back, with its personal agendas and opinions for its own fulfillment?

Preceding this personal working knowledge is the heart that completely desires the Father’s will, having first experienced His unconditional Love (See 1 John 4:19). We’ve  seen God’s Love for us in action. We know we can trust Him in whatever He asks of us. It means abiding in His Holy Spirit and in His Scriptural Word. Surrender in this case is built on a deep and lasting trust in Divine Wisdom through the experience of its workings.

This is also known as humility… not what I want, Lord, but what You want, nothing held back now or ever. “Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way…”

There is no doubt that the journey He leads us on will have a blessed destination. We realize, know, and understand that He never leaves us or forsakes us – no matter where He takes us.

Thus is it not a fairly simple matter to surrender oneself to Him, or to practice meekness,  since we know of His wholly reliable and unconditional lovingkindness toward us?

Simple in theory, but practice is another matter, we might say. More easily said than done?

But this is the point: learning meekness is a spiritual practice. And practice makes perfect, they say… The quality, the virtue, of meekness grows as we allow God to aim His grace toward us, and through us out into life! The more surrendered to Him we become, the more we manifest His image and likeness in the world.

Very soon we will be entering another Lenten cycle. This invites us to further and more deeply consider the meekness Jesus asks us to learn of Him. He invites us to once more walk in the remembrance and realization of His full commitment to the redemptive work in the plan of salvation it was His to do.

As we follow Jesus into this very real and daily experience of fleshing out our co-crucifixion with Him, let us be “bravely meek” and stalwartly committed, as the prophet Isaiah reminds us: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7)

Kind comments and insights welcome. Blessings, dear reader.

Posted in Artwork, Horse Art, Uncategorized

Palomino Pal O Mine

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Horses are probably my favorite subjects for art. We used to have horses, and our daughter was involved in 4H, dressage, and drill teams. However, for Mom the interest waned as I discovered that aging bones do not mend as well as in youth. So I am content to watch from the paddock fence or beside the show ring, although horses and their care are a thing of the past at this point. But for beauty, power, movement, and in my mind a symbol of energetic freedom, I do not think that there is a lovelier and more powerful creature fashioned by the hand of God. So my artistic attempts are a way that I wish to bring honor to Him for the magnificent gift of equines, whether by way of realism as depicted here, or interpreted abstractly as here:

Happy viewing, and happy trails to you, dear visitor. Thanks for stopping by my blog and my art website. Don’t be a stranger!