Friday, August 31, 2012


Here we are in a cabin in the mountains...about two hours into the rockies from the Springs.

These few days, a gift of some dear friends who must go and stay in our cabin.

What a wonderful thing these several days have been.


* quiet you can hear your ears hearing and the wing action of small birds flying by.  It lets me know how noisy our regular world is.  "Be still" is a rather timely call and offers wonder to the racing heart.

* So still...that you tiptoe on the deck so as to not disturb, and hold your sniffles for indoors.

*This morning I stood on the deck and watched for birds....and there are a lot of them.

*One, a junko, caught my eye as he landed vertically on a long grass stem.  His weight was just enough to send the seed bearing top of the long stem gently to the ground and that seed became his breakfast. Whole grain cereal.

* Out of the quiet I heard an irregular falling of something to the ground....morning dew in large drops?  some loose foliage?  Nope....VERY high in the tree a squirrel grooming the tree, and probably getting rewarded with food to store for the winter.  His sudden movement from branch to branch and upside down antics challenge olympic class gymnastics.

So "sing to God a brand new song.  He's made a world of wonders."  Psalm 98:1 - The Message

In these days of political and social turmoil, may you and I stay close from the inside out,  to a God who is in control.  May our lives be filled with is all around us.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


He had been away from his parents and 22-month-old sister Presley, for two weeks.
Long time for someone just six.

They - off in Idaho for intense training involving the future.
He - Carson - staying with us...and getting back into school.

We had had a memory-making time.

And now the day for their return had come.

Their vehicle pulled into the driveway at long last
A shout went out signaling "they are here."
     and Carson raced to the driveway to be the first to meet them.

Hugs, dancing, laughter.

And then it was time for Carson to show off....
"I learned to tie my shoes"...and a careful demonstration with the two-colored teaching laces in Grampy's shoe ensued while we all gathered around...with oohs and ahhs.

"And I have learned to remember to turn lights off."

And all the while, Presley, munching on a calzone, and looking on with squeals of delight.

And a big chase through the house with peals of laughter.

Reunions - this one was something quite special. is worth a big celebration.

Reminds me a lot of a big one coming -
  "And I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
     'Hallelujah!  For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
      Let us rejoice and exult.....'"   Rev.19:6-7

The door closes and Grammy and I realize we don't get to end the day with a six-year-old asking us questions and tossing on his bed...while we try to make sure we end the day with prayer!!

Thanks,  Carson,  you have taught us a lot....and reminded us of what is to come.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This is a special season indeed.

Carson (our 6-year-old grandson) has been staying with us for over a week now and his presence has been wonderful.  Lots of different questions as we eat.  Lots of cartoons on the TV.  Lots of legos on the floor.  A nightly treasure of reading all together, and praying and Jackie or I lying with him until he is asleep.....usually measurable in seconds.  He is a bright, happy, well-adjusted young man and we are proud and grateful to have these days with him.

Family has been huge....visits to, visits from....meals infinitum and treasured times around table.  Jackie and I have looked at each other and said..."so what in the world would we be doing if we had an outside job?" has been a busy time and wonderful.

Projects around the house...weeding, trimming, organizing, freezing peaches, decorating....lots of changes in the look.

Reading and soaking in the word and prayer.....Bonhoeffer by Metaxas,  Christianity, the first 3000 years - MacCulloch,  The Jesus Life - Smith,  The Bible...ESV.  It has been special to soak.

Getting more regular exercise as well...though not doing as well as my mind constructs...or my body wishes.

The days ahead.....a trip to the NW,  and the SE?....then time helping another church transition (still in the talking stages).

Changing pace so often in these years is a special challenge.  It has helped me greatly to know that each day as I do whatever God gives me to do, I am functioning in His will, and living in a state of preparation for whatever might be around the corner.  It is not "when I do X....then..." but today, do what stokes life and prepares the spirit and you will be ready.

God is the master of the "go"
         ....I need to be fully engaged in the now.

Friday, August 17, 2012


It's not till tomorrow, but it started today....
Birthday celebrations for Jackie.

Carson, our 6-year-old grandson who is staying with us while his folks are away in missions training, began it all very early:  "Grammy, I made a gift for your birthday."

With that, the gift was handed to her and she eagerly opened it.

It was a necklace,  a loop of knitting yarn and held in place for bold display - an "E" made of multi-colored legos.

When asked why it was an "E" - the reply:  For your name, "GrammEE."

Profuse words of thanks.....and then getting it fastened around her neck.

Spelling is still something Carson is working on....but he has the meaning and how-to love and be creative well in hand.

It is not the cost of things that make them special, but the love behind it all.

So Jackie, on this day before the day, Carson and I salute you.  Superb friend, faithful partner, spiritual journeyman, great cook, wonderful host, creative homemaker, family builder and so much more.

We love you - GrammEE.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Speaking with God

Reading slowly through the Psalms in these days.  Up to #56.

This morning Psalm 55 particularly spoke to me to adjust some operational processes.

1. Sometimes I think: If I am really walking close, everything should be going just fine.

  Instead: the Psalmist's words - King David, by the way:
     :2 - restless, moaning
     :3 - oppressed, deeply troubled, grudge-bearing
     :4 - anguish within, terrors of death, fear and trembling, horror
     :12 - taunts, insolence
     :13 - friends who now bear me evil...and memories that deepen pain

2. Lots of times I act like: Prayers need to be polite, reverent, carefully expressed.

  The Psalmist's prayer focuses:
     :1 - give ear, God
     :2 - I have a complaint
     :17 - continually I complain and moan
     :15 - let death steal over my enemies, humble them
     :9 - destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues

3. By my actual praying, I often bely that: I am not sure that prayer is efffective.

     :16 - the Lord ill save me
     :17-18 - He hears and He redeems

4. Not sure what to do now about all of this?
     :22 - Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.
     :16 - call out to the Lord and He will save you
     :23 - trust entirely in God

Enough then of our pious, controlled, and abbreviated praying...especially when we are in a valley.

Oh God, you can handle our deep emotions and doubts.
  May we truly cast our burdens on You, calling out fervently to You and trusting entirely in You.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Garage Sale Theology

Our first garage sale here.

  With Jess and family - in preparation for their moving overseas.

  Lots of stuff, the garage full and the driveway too.  Not junk...but good stuff, freshly cleaned and working.

This morning it began...the steady trickle of customers purchasing a few to a lot of stuff.  Helped one lady load the back of a pickup full.

  a. the way the neighbors responded and relationships were stoked.
  b. the way people just kept coming...hardly a down moment.
  c. the fun engendered working together as a family
  d. the friends who came and lingered....what a joy

Theologically -
  a. it is better to give than to receive - the prices are ridiculous, and we dropped many still lower
  b. less is really more -  more space, but also, more simplicity, more time, more freedom
  c. the opportunity to really help some people in need - and their thankfulness in receiving
  d. the neighborhood...a chance to show love, joy, and to engender mission - met a man who has been hoping for a neighborhood group to form....across the street and down four houses.

Traveling a little lighter, and very blessed.

Theological sense regarding Garage sales: it's another way to seek first the Kingdom and watch what God might do.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kingdom encounter

They just left...driving off in an aging vehicle.

Packed full of most of the stuff of their lives.

Today they will seek to develop a potential in another community: to cast Jesus' vision into the lives of the next generation.

They were involved in a safe, traditional place of  ministry and doing just fine.

But it kept eating at them....that they were not walking out the real reason for their lives.

In fact, doing so much stuff that the realities of the Kingdom were being missed.

So they "left their nets"....and are following.

Stories now of surprising demonstrations of God's presence.

Public conversations leading to prayer....and generosity.

Provision out of nowhere.

Risky, faith-charged management of resources.

Deep commitment to raising up the next generation for Jesus.


Statements of abandonment to The Cause.

Living the prayer: "Your Kingdom COME."

A reflection of Jesus just drove off in an aging vehicle.

Be relentless with us Lord...stirring us to do the stuff of the Kingdom.