ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


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It’s Not About the Roar

by Fylvia Fowler Kline

I just learned something new about lions. I always thought that lions roar—like dogs bark—to scare or intimidate. Wrong.

Lions rarely roar. The only time they do is when they mark their territory, when they say to their competitors, “Stay away. This is my turf.” The rest of the time, these fierce animals are stealthily quiet. When you really think about it, it makes sense. A roar would only send the gazelle sprinting off at lightening speed!

The Bible compares Satan to a roaring lion. If that simply meant “When you hear a roar, watch out and get out of there quickly,” it would be easy to safeguarded from Satan’s snare. But that’s not how it works. You see, Satan has already roared a mighty AARGH and staked this earth as his territory. Now, he just lays around, sneaky and quiet, ready to pounce— when we least expect it, when we are weak or when we are preoccupied.

Even Jesus found himself a foot away from Satan’s trap. When physically weak and emotionally fragile, Satan tried to lure him. “And Jesus’ refusal was curt: ‘Beat it, Satan!’” (John 4:10, The Message)


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Remember and Never Forget

by Fylvia Fowler Kline

I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known. Psalm 78:2-3

Psalm 78 is the story about telling stories. Asaph, the storyteller, says before you start going off on how bad you have it, remember. Before you dump God for something else, remember. Before you start wishing for more out of life, remember. Before you start forgetting, remember …

Remember the past. Remember where you’ve been, how you survived. Remember the blessings, remember the miracles. Remember how your God has been with you.

Every time the Israelites lost sight of their history, they came to a bitter standstill—questioning themselves, one another and even God. So Asaph tells them to never forget their stories.

It is in the stories of our past that we find hope. In sharing our stories of faith with one another, we find strength to endure today. From the mistakes of the past, we find direction for the future.


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Tuna Salad

Roy’s Favorite Tuna Salad

by Fylvia Fowler Kline

Simple, healthy, low carb, high veggie meal. The veggies bulk up the salad, making it a very healthy, yet filling meal.

1 small can tuna in water, drained
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
2 to 3 Tbsp mayonnaise, (I use olive oil mayo)
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp dry dill

Mix together. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Great with baked yam and fresh sweet peppers.

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The Last Cab Ride

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers.”

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

A true story by Kent Nerburn (Source: http://academictips.org/blogs/the-last-cab-ride/)