This is a place where a career, stay-at-home-work-at-home, former homeschooler, almost empty nester, rapidly passing through middle age, mom finds an outlet for the thousands of daily, unspoken words.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Christmas stalactite

Christmas at our home is festive - lots of decorations, garlands, a plethora of snowman keep watch from the mantle above the front door, a village display and lots of candles. Christmas Eve celebration can't begin until candles are lit throughout the living and dining rooms. I'm not known for the quality of the candles - just the plentitude. And so this year once again, we lit the candles, among them a lovely red pillar candle set perfectly in a festive candle holder and placed at one end of the piano, joining the other colorful decorations. The evening began with our traditional fondu dinner, this year especially delicious as we enjoyed a new fondu sauce for the meat rather than the usual oil. This type of dinner takes a while and we lingered at the table for an hour and a half or so. We then made our way to the living room, enjoyed the Christmas story reading and began the process of passing out the multitudinous packages! Mindy reached beside the tree to grab a large, flat, wrapped package that happened to have "to Jeremy" on the tag and was surprised to find that it wouldn't budge from it's home alongside the piano. Perplexed, she tugged again and then took a closer look. The red pillar candle on top of the piano had burst through its side, completely overstepping the boundary of the holder and had made its way down the side of piano, eventually coming in contact with the top of the package, dripping down its length securing it to the floor in a pool of hardened wax. The formation of wax was solid from the candle itself to the floor, draped artistically over the package, forming an interesting shape much like the stalactites you see on a tour through an underground cave. We had a good laugh over it. Any lessons here anywhere? I suppose one would be to buy a better quality candle that won't pull any surprises on you. The other would be to - I don't know. Any ideas?

Oh, by the way, I still haven't scraped the wax off the floor yet! Better get going!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

I definitely need to write an addendum to the previous entry! As I looked back in my files, I realized that I only skipped my annual Christmas letter last year - not the several years that I eluded to! And besides, we have so much to be thankful for in our family - I have no business whining about what DIDN'T happen. So here goes - a short family update letter complete with NO picture because I still haven't learned how to do pictures. I sent this out to our families and a few friends as well via email WITHOUT our wonderful Thanksgiving picture because, again, I didn't know how to make it work! Use your imagination. We look pretty much the same since you last saw us except we look younger!


Christmas greetings from cold, snowy, brilliantly white Minnesota! When I wonder WHY we live here (as you in warm climates are wondering), I just take a good look out the window at the unsurpassed beauty of pure, glistening white, and I know. Well, I know until I have to step outside and brave the icy winds and navigate the slippery roads. Some of you have never experienced pushing a loaded grocery cart through a nasty, freezing, slushy parking lot to your car. Salt does wonders to the beautiful white stuff in short order. But in spite of all of that – we still love Minnesota. Besides, how can one ever truly experience the wonders of spring without enduring the trials of winter?

Anyway, it has been a while since we’ve updated you on our family so here goes and I promise to be brief. Kids first:
Jodi and Tony are still busy with their respective jobs – Jodi teaching 7th grade reading at Valley View Middle School and Tony running his Grounds Control business. This year he has added snow removal to his repertoire and has had plenty of work already. They both are still very involved with the music and youth ministry at their church.

Mindy is working part-time at our church as an associate music pastor and part-time at Starbucks. She was recently asked to add missions to her responsibilities at church. She lives in an apartment just down the street from us and we love having her so close.

Jeremy is busy working at the Apple store as the concierge supervisor at one of our malls and is enjoying it very much. He is dating a beautiful girl named Jennifer whom we love and recently moved north of us to a little place on Lake Minnetonka.

Steve and Diane are both at home now – Steve on disability and Diane still teaching piano, doing medical transcriptions for Words to Go, and working a few hours at church helping out with childcare. She enjoys singing in the church choir and participating on a worship team about once a month. The highlight of our week is still One-by-One Tutoring – a ministry that now has over eighty children in it and seventy or so volunteers. We’ve seen many of our kids come to Christ already this year. There’s just nothing better than that.

Well, that about wraps it up. Thanks for all your prayers for us over the years – we feel them. May God bless you abundantly and fill you with the riches of the knowledge of Him. Oh, come let us adore Him! Merry Christmas!

Love, Steve & Diane

Monday, December 22, 2008

Things Will Be Great

I haven’t attempted to write a Christmas letter for the last few years because I just couldn’t think of what to write. A Christmas letter from the Dahlens was tradition – and I’m big on tradition. So to let it go was no small thing. Christmas letters are fun to write and to read when they are full of life and good things and blessings and progress. Much of the last three years or so, haven’t been that way for us. And who wants to read a letter full of illness and problems and struggles? Some people call Christmas letters “brag letters” and often they are –especially to those reading who seemingly have nothing to brag about. I find myself in that category once again this time around. I have nothing much to brag about in the natural. I did have a thought the other day though that might be worth sharing. Maybe from God’s viewpoint, the last three years for us have been the best of years – where He was able to accomplish inside of us something that would not have happened in any other way. You know “the worst of times, the best of times.” Sometimes I really believe that, when a surge of faith comes, as God seems unusually real in a prayer time or speaks profoundly through His Word or through a book or someone else. At other times, the difficulties of daily life seems to smother any sense of spiritual growth. I want to be a person who remains full of joy no matter the circumstances and I pray to that end. I’m not sure how to get there, but God is giving many opportunities to learn how.

Don't be mistaken. We have experienced wonderful blessings along the way. God has delivered us more than once from impossible situations. He has answered prayer time and time again.

And so, we come to the end of another year. I read in my journal the other day that at the beginning of it my slogan was “Things Will Be Great in 2008.” I really believed it and looked forward to God doing new and wonderful things. In reality, the kind of “greatness” I had anticipated did not come. However, I choose to believe that from God’s perspective, greatness did come in the form of changed hearts, growing faith, deeper trust.

Thank you, God, for a great year. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

I started a new "job" a month or so ago and I now have the privilege of helping with a before school child care program a couple of times per week.   It has been rather eye opening for me to realize the difficult home situations so many kids come from.   I hear kids referring to "my mom's boyfriend," or making statements like "I'm going to my dad's this weekend, or "My other mom was in a car accident."  

One little girl named Izzy arrives rather distraught quite often.  She keeps her little backpack close beside her and often sits in a corner by herself unwilling to relate to anyone.  Her dad left the house last spring because of a drinking problem and she hasn't seen him since.  One day she came in very out of sorts.  She curled up in the little shelving space immediately inside the door, crying and refusing to be consoled.   Another little girl, Katie, noticed the situation and would periodically kneel down beside her, pat her gently and reassure her all would be well. At first she received little response.  A bit later, I noticed the girls chatting about a toy Katie had brought over to her.  Izzy's tears had stopped and although still curled up in the cubicle, she was relating well to her little friend.  Within an hour, both girls were playing happily together creating some sort of "play" they then performed for everyone.  Both adults in the room had had no success in reaching Izzy. It took a kind, patient and understanding child to break through the unhappiness and bring comfort.  There were no lectures given...only a soft pat on the back and a toy offered. I learned much that day and saw in a new way what Jesus meant when He said we need to become like children. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Magnificent Six

There were seven of us - spanning twenty-four years and four decades.  Now there are six.  The second born, Ken, went to heaven ten years ago.  We are all getting older, now in our fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties.  The youngest are barely hanging on to a rapidly passing decade; the oldest just past another landmark birthday.  In either case, we had the privilege of all being together for an evening two nights ago. It used to be that we were the picture of youth, the vitality of middle age or enjoying the senior discounts, howbeit barely.  Now it seems we are morphing into the same bracket - greyer, slower, portlier, more content with sedentary activities rather than rousing games of anything.  But some things never change.  We still love going down memory lane, laughing loudly, retelling jokes and stories and especially loving each other.  I am blessed beyond belief to have a family like I have.  I thank God for each day we do have each other and look forward to many more happy times together.  I want to put a picture here and I will when someone shows me how - again!  The Magnificent Six - LeRoy, Norma, Dick, Pat, Diane and Terry.  

Saturday, August 09, 2008

This Apple Is Rotten!

Today was frustrating - actually the last few days have - no, make that a few months. We bought an Apple Mini several months ago with the intention of making the switch from our aging PC imminently. Well, sickness got in the way....procrastination got the best of us....shortage of time was a factor....fear was another. I don't like change - I'm used to things as they are. I use certain features in my work that I was unsure the new computer could duplicate. Macros for one. In my work for Facial Pain I use it for letters, signatures, addresses, etc. and in a couple of quick clicks - walla! Done! Auto text is another irreplaceable feature. I have hundreds of words, phrases and sentences all ready to go with a click on the Enter key. I would have to start completely over on the new Apple and I just didn't want to do it. And my email needed to be set up again and the addresses transferred over. So today we got serious. Steve spent many, many hours on the phone with the experts and made a quick trip to the Apple Store. Result? My email still doesn't work; we found out that the new Word program dropped their Macro feature and that all the stuff I laboriously entered in auto text yesterday hadn't been saved for some dumb reason and was gone! Oh, how I love computers. Can't live with them and can't live without them. At this moment, I think I'd refer to live without one rotten Apple!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Chapmans on Larry King

I just watched Steven Curtis Chapman and family do an hour-long interview with Larry King regarding the tragic death of their 5-year-old daughter.  They were very real, very honest and I think of tremendous comfort to the vast numbers of people and families who are currently suffering from some inexplicable tragedy.  Their testimony was clear - that even though they have no answers as to "why" and even though they have struggled with anger at God - and even though they are still coping one day at a time with each other's help and the help of counsellors, they still rest in the hope of eternal life and in the love of their heavenly Father.  

The Chapmans now have a brand new dimension to their ministry - one that can only come through suffering.

A Thirty-ninth Anniversary

Yesterday was the thirty-ninth anniversary of an event that forever changed my life and the lives of my entire family. A tornado ravaged our vacation site near Outing, Minnesota taking the lives of my mother and two of my nieces. My best friend's mother and grandparents were also swept into eternity by the violent winds. In all, seven in our group lost their lives that day. The rest of us involved were saved by the water. Our cabins were thrown into the lake, broke apart and scattered, but the water provided a safety cushion for most of us.

Having survived such a tragedy, one would hope that the new perspective on the fragility of life would remain - that one would cherish life and loved ones and friends so much more keenly; that the idea of taking people for granted would be a foreign one. However, life moves, it charges on, memories fade, feelings change. I'm wondering today that perhaps I need to revisit those perspectives once again and begin to cherish afresh. And so I will.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fall Down Go Boom

It has been probably close to fifty years since I fell and scraped up my knee like I did yesterday. Ouch. One does not forget that feeling over a lifetime I guess. I was hauling two bags of groceries into my house from the foot caught on a beam of wood that borders the sidewalk and down I went. Fortunately for me, in my left hand was a bag containing two boxes of cereal and one carton of eggs and my purse. They definitely cushioned my fall somewhat, but still my right knee and hand scraped against the pavement. I lay there for a moment taking inventory of my injuries and of course, checking around to see if anyone saw me! No one was around so I cautiously got to my feet, picked up my smashed box of cereal and slimey bag of eggs and made my way to the house. Would you believe, only four eggs were broken? Either they were hardboiled or I fell more gracefully than I thought!

Anyway, there are some experiences that maybe repeated occasionally throughout life and even though it may have been fifty years since the last round, it feels like just yesterday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

I received this story from a friend today and thought it was worth sharing.


Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago 's south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis . I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66. However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED. People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was 'Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.' When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis . Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died. From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to Malone's Poro College , a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, once into my head they just seemed to fall into place: 'Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.' The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power. And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home. -Tommy Dorsey-

For those too young to know who he is, Tommy Dorsey was a band leader in the Thirties and Forties. Did you know that Tommy Dorsey wrote this song? I surely didn't. What a wonderful story of how God CAN heal the broken-hearted! Beautiful, isn't it?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Doggone It!

Today I am posting an e-mail I received from my son, Jeremy, the other day that is just too good not to share! Enjoy!!

I am currently dogsitting (and housesitting) in Bloomington. I've told a couple of you about the dog, named Maggie, who is so old, so blind, so deaf, and so almost-dead that each time I see her sleeping I have to watch really closely to see if she is breathing (and after last night, cross my fingers and hope that she has died.)
I arrived home around 10 last night. As usual, the dog had gone to the bathroom all over the kitchen. Great. "MAGGIE!!!!" I screamed, trying to rouse her from her nap, "IT'S TIME TO GO OUTSIDE... MAAAAAGGIE!!!" She doesn't move. I wonder if she is dead. She isn't.
12 AM: I am awakened at midnight from a deep sleep by a very loud and scary, methodical noise. My first irrational thought is, "Someone has broken in. This is OK." My second thought is, "Wait a second... what is that?" My third thought is, "Maggie. Stupid Maggie." I get out of bed and stagger into the hall to find Maggie standing in the hall with her head in the closet, wheezing louder than an old man with asthma. I touch her lightly and she stops making the horrendous noise. I pull her head out of the closet and try to lead her to her bed. After about 10 minutes we make it the 10 feet and it takes her 5 minutes to lay down. I wash my hands and go back to bed.
3 AM: I begin to wake. I hear a familiar noise. Groaning... loud groaning. I throw my angry legs over the bed and stalk down the hall to find her. I find her, standing into a corner, moaning. I touch her and she jumps... I wonder if I've given her a heart attack. I sort of hope I have. I lead her back to bed, and when I get there, I notice blood on it. Ugh. She won't lie down. In fact, she walks into the kitchen and towards the door. I race ahead of her and throw it open (so she won't walk into the glass). She stumbles outside, falls down a makeshift ramp that covers the stairs, and disappears into the darkness. I fall back into bed and fall asleep.
4 AM: I awake with a cringe. A blood-curdling noise is echoing in the night. It takes me a second to gather my thoughts, and try to expel the thought of driving to Wal-Mart, buying a shotgun, sawing it off, and shooting that damn dog. I resist. The pained yowl rises again... I stick my head out the door and yell as quietly as possible... "Maggie!" It doesn't work. At this rate the neighbors will be up in no time. I suppress my rage, run to my room, grab my pants and shoes, pick up a flashlight, and run into the backyard to find the dog. The beam pierces the darkness and I find... nothing. Where is she? I fight a couple of dating bushes and suddenly there is is, TRAPPED in the bush, yowling for help. I free her and lead her inside. On the way she trips UP the ramp/stairs but successfully locates the door. Walking down the hall, she finds her bed and stands in it. I try to sleep... no luck. I hear the dog. I look down and notice she is trying to stick her head inside my shoe. Whatever.
The sun rises and I'm up... again. Maggie has found a place to sleep and is doing so quite soundly. I step over her and find my shoes. I check my left shoe before pulling it on, remembering Maggie's curiosity... I quickly check my right shoe and then do a double-take. Strange piles of unknown substance have been deposited into my $70 shoe. I suppress more rage, pick a different pair, grab my keys, and leave the house for work.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Things I Want to Learn # 9

I want to learn how to arrange my perspective properly so that instead of reducing God to the size of my problems, I see God for who He is, thereby dwarfing my problems. God is God and there is none other. Nothing is impossible with God and nothing is even difficult for Him. He is omniscient, omnipresent, Creator of the universe and holds all things together by the Word of His power. He sees the past, the present and the future and has all our days numbered before we even existed. He knows what is best and can masterfully arrange the details of our lives to make sure the best is accomplished! God is HUGE and compared to the awesome greatness of God - my problems are NOTHING! There isn't such a thing as a big problem or a small problem with Him. He can just as easily raise the dead as find us a parking spot! AND He is utterly trustworthy and loves us with an everlasting love.

God, help me keep my perspective and see You for who you are!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Is Done and Spring Has Sprung

My favorite month has come to a close. What a month it has been- full of ups and downs, unseasonably cool weather and groanings sometimes too deep for words! On May 1 I wrote. "As the world comes alive with leaves and flowers, I long for new life to begin in my husband's body. New spiritual life and fervor has indeed been birthed in us both as we've been abiding ever closer to the Vine. But wouldn't it be great if physical vitality would match that and he would indeed have his "youth renewed like the eagles - that he would run and not be weary, walk and not faint?" The early weeks of May held more doctor appointments, more disappointments, more difficulties without much relief from the relentless sickness....until a few days ago. Steve began to feel better. He was up and around more - involved in life more. Time for his six-month colonoscopy (don't you wish you could be on that schedule?) We didn't have high hopes but were not full of dread or fear either. We were rather peaceful as though whatever happened would be okay. (That HAD to be supernatural - especially for me) The procedure went well and there was no subsequent fever or illness as had happened six months ago. The doctor said there were "no surprises" in the process and would call us as soon as the lab reports came in. We expected to have to wait over the weekend, but we are accustomed to the waiting game. Friday afternoon, Dr. McCabe called and very matter of factly stated, "Nothing alarming seen - no dysplagia - just mild active colitis." Wow! Dr. McCabe was not impressed with his findings as he is convinced that once a person is diagnosed with dysplagia (as Steve was a year ago or so) one has it - it doesn't go anywhere. "This doesn't change the fact that you still need surgery," he said. Of course, we've been told that surgery isn't an option for Steve because of his other complicated health's just too risky. And that's why this news is so fantastic! Well, whatever the future holds, we know God has once again done an amazing thing and we are so grateful. Steve felt so good yesterday, he said he was almost euphoric! Maybe soon he will be running without getting weary and walking and not fainting! Nothing is impossible with God!

And so May finished with a dash of real spring for us! Looking forward to June. I wonder what wonderful surprises God has planned.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I am encouraged and motivated to trust God with the uncertainties of life just now. How did I come to that? Two reasons: One is the sermon Pastor Vargas gave last Sunday at our church on Philippians 4. You know the familiar passage we often read but don't put into practise? "Don't worry about anything, pray about everything." Here are his main points: 1) Take your worries and turn them into prayers. 2) Set your mind on positive truth (see Phil 3:8 which tells us the kinds of things we are to think about. Worry is negative meditation.) 3) Surrender. If it's in your hand, it means it's not in God's hand. Surrender doesn't mean giving up, it means releasing control. Number three is definitely the biggie. Surrender means that I quit praying for what I want and dictating to God how He needs to act, and start seeking Him for who He is and letting Him do what He does best - MY BEST.

My second reason for ability to trust God with uncertainty, at least at this moment, comes from the insites and encouragement of a book called "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day." There's so much good stuff in it, I can't begin to summarize. But here a few goodies:
  1. Opportunities often look like insurmountable obstacles.
  2. Someday we may be as grateful for the bad things as the good things, because the bad things helped prepare us for the good things.
  3. We should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and start asking HIm what He wants us to get out of those difficult circumstances.
  4. Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing our perspective.
  5. Worship is forgetting about what's wrong with you and remembering what's right with God.
  6. Stop spending all your energy making plans for God, and start seeking God.
  7. Your explanations are more important that your experiences. While you can't control your experiences, you can control your explanations.

I could go on and on and I'm only half way through the book! Anyway, for this moment I am okay with uncertainty. As long as I can keep turning my worries into prayers and surrendering control to God, I may be able to remain okay. How are you doing today?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Divine Appointment

I am amazed at how God orchestrates divine appointments. He knows just what we need at just the right time. I was discouraged, sad, fearful and a little angry last week. It seemed that no matter how much we prayed, God was not on the move. Steve was feeling poorly - more of the same and some newer discomforts. We were both weary of the battle, tired of the fight and in a figurative way, ready to check out. Whatever that means, it is sometimes a comforting thought in an odd sort of way. I was to meet a friend of mine, Laurie, for lunch last Friday. She and I don't know each other well, and see one another seldom as she lives in Iowa. We have kept in touch via email and have prayed for each other during some pretty tough times. Laurie recently went through a scary bout of cancer and we rejoiced in God's healing work in her life. She was in the area for a doctor's appointment and had brought a good friend along, Nancy, whom I had never met. My mood that day was less about meeting friends for a good time, and more about getting out of the house for a change of scenery. As soon as I saw Laurie and met her friend, though, I knew it was going to be a great couple of hours. There were hugs all around, even between strangers and assurances of concern and prayer for us. Our conversation moved easily from the every-day frivolous to the stuff that really mattered. Nancy shared her testimony with me of how God healed her just a few months ago of a serious brain concussion. She had been driving her business van and was rear-ended by a Mack Truck! She went from a confident, self-sufficient, successful business woman to a shut-in, in that moment. The pain in her head, the magnified sounds in her ears kept her secluded for three months. During that time, God revolutionized her life and ultimately healed her. I shared some of Steve's story (it's really "our" story) and I can almost feel the faith welling up inside her. "It's time to go to battle," she says. "I feel such faith for this man I've never met. You are at the end of your trial - God is going to do something great." She prayed with great conviction, authority and faith. We parted friends and I decided that I want to grow up to be this kind of woman! Faith - joy - optimism spilling out every pore!

Steve started to improve and has had a few better days. He looked at his most recent blood tests at the doctor's office today and many of his levels have improved significantly. He has more energy than before and some of his symptoms seem to be lessening. We are encouraged to press on, to persevere and never give up. If God is FOR us, who can be AGAINST us? The battle is the Lord's - and He has won it!

Praise God for divine appointments. He knows just what we need at just the right time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blackbird Bluff

I pulled my car into the parking lot of a very lovely little park, where I was to meet a dear friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in over a year. A sleek shiny blackbird on the grassy area in front of me caught my attention. He was busy pecking at a small wad of bread, enjoying an unexpected treat, I'm sure. A much larger blackbird circled him menacingly - moving in closer, then hopping back. I could almost hear his bird voice squawking, "Drop it buddie and I mean now!" I wondered why the smaller bird seemed oblivious. He was not in the least frightened and he continued to enjoy his dinner. After a moment, the bully bird backed off and he was suddenly the same size as the other bird. He had puffed his feathers out in an attempt to look big and scary. The smaller bird knew he was a bluff and a phoney and paid him no mind.

I immediately thought about how the Bible describes our enemy, Satan, as a roaring lion, prowling around looking for someone to devour. A lion who roars is not to be feared because he has given his presence away allowing his prey time to escape. When we are in tune with God, we don't need to fear Satan's tactics. We will hear the roar a mile away and and take appropriate action to see to his defeat. Satan's roar is not to be feared because compared to God, he is all black bird bluff. Let's pay him no mind!