It Happened One Eve

I wrote the following three weeks ago, but life kept rolling so fast, and with my limited energy, I didn’t get to the “edit and add pictures” stage, so I’m just now getting this done and posted. In the meantime, there are so many other topics I’d like to address, but I’ll post our evening “happening” anyway along with some responsive thoughts to the event.

At 7:30 Monday evening, August 10, I cozied up in my recliner by the fireplace, ready to chat with my best friend from high school. Soon I was saying “How was your birthday?” Sandy had just turned 65. After 45 years of marriage to Bill, this spring she became a widow. I had been Sandy’s maid-of-honor. On this first birthday without Bill, I wanted to give her a long hug over the phone lines.

Paul was in our back yard preparing for a rainstorm that was about to come through. We had expected rain the previous evening but none came. Fine. Now we could tell it was coming. Paul saw it on his radar (the obsessive, retired Air Traffic Controller always checks weather). In the late afternoon he observed the skies preparing. Soon it would be here. The sky was darkening

Paul put most of the lawn furniture in our new shed and was closing up everything.

7:33. Sitting on my recliner, I noted an increase in noise. A sudden rushing noise. The beautiful, red, smoky bushes outside my window angrily whipped back and forth. How dark it had quickly turned!

Paul lowered the patio umbrella and with no time to do any more, he rushed inside. “Get away from that window!” Paul yelled at me. Outside the wind blew furiously. “Get away from the window!”

As best I could, I jumped up and scurried to the front of the house. The rushing noise crescendoed and at 7:35 I heard this long, loud, cracking noise.

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Categories: nature, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Spring Therapy

Ahh. Spring! Thank you, Lord, for Your gift of the seasons reminding us of Your faithfulness.  Some disagree! “A faithful God? How can you say that in light of this horrible, Coronavirus striking people, taking lives, and causing economic upheaval?”

Yet, we are haunted by Thomas Chisholm’s old words, the hymn writer who claimed, “Great is Thy faithfulness!” He obtained this concept from Scripture (Lamentations 3:23) and through experience. In 1923, at the age of 57, having endured much, he penned,  “Morning by morning new mercies I see.”

We must choose to see God’s mercies. And we must choose to remember that Christ holds all things together (Col. 1:16-7),  even in a broken cosmos so that day and night continue to turn;  that we “are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3); that “The eternal God is [our] dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:2 ); and that this life is meant to be mortal, thus a portal into eternity (John 14).

So, right here on our own property in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I’ve been choosing to remember and to see Creation’s witness to God’s faithfulness. As Chisholm described:

“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.”

Our fragrant Ornamental Weeping Crabapple tree in our front yard.

I invite you into our yard to view the lovely witness of ornamental cherry, pear, and crabapple trees, the witness of a Mr. and Mrs Goose and our black bird with a red and yellow stripe perching protectively on a cattail above his nesting wife, and in closing,  the witness of April Joy, a 36 hour old baby snuggled in my arms. Such witnesses are spring therapy to our weared souls.

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Categories: nature, Pictures, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Why Suffering?

Why Suffering? Why pandemics? In the conclusion to my last post, I wrote that in the next post “Lord willing, I hope to explore some thoughts” regarding these why questions. “I hope.”  “To explore.” “Some thoughts.” That tames the goal down a bit, but “a bit” is still a breath-taking task.

While I have never explored the role of pandemics, as a specific context of suffering, if you’ve followed me, you know I’ve researched the biblical literature on the themes of suffering and joy as the base for my dissertation, and that I am presently hammering out a Bible study developing these themes.

In this post, during the most holy season of the Christian calendar, I’ll offer some salient points along with Scriptural backing, for your exploration and prayerful meditation. At the end of this post, you will find three delightful and rich videos plus one sermon link to bless you in various ways. Stay with me, please.

Why suffering? Why suffering?

Hmm. What kind of creature would ask such a question?

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The Personality of Light

Lights, lights, lights. ‘Tis the season: Christmas lights on trees, wreaths, houses, and stores.  This, of course, triggered my thinking: What is light? Literally. Figuratively.

What is darkness? Well, except for the obvious contrast, maybe the latter will have to be explored at another time!

Light?  Immediately, I connected the light theme with Scripture. Jesus claimed, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Hmm. I’ve always found this phrase, “light of life”, to be a curious expression. John 1:4 says, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men”.  Life’s light; Light’s life.

I need to explore.  But I can only do so if I slow down in my cluttered busyness to “be still” and learn to “know” something of what is available to be known. Research creates another kind of clutter. Out come stacks of books, spread all over our dining room table! Oh, no! Not much time! Must clean this up by tomorrow! So, here is what happened:

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Categories: nature, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Reminds Me Of….

Have you taken one of those tests where you are shown an object and asked to state the first thing the image makes you think of or the first word that comes into your mind? You are shown a yellow circle, and you may respond with “egg yoke” or “sun”.  I suppose most of life can be like this. We experience something in this physical world, and if we’re alert, we see connections to the invisible world, the spiritual world. This reminds me of my most recent favorite passage, II Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV).

Verse 17 states, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” I often repeat this verse in my mind. “Wasting away.” Do you see it all around you and in you? Seems discouraging. But then, “renewed day by day”. “We are being renewed day by day.” The contrast of the inner reality to the outward experience is the reason to “not lose heart”, to not give up. Does this verse encourage you, infuse you with courage?  Continue reading

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