Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Relay


For a long time I have viewed the life of faith as a relay, 
the baton passed from one generation of believers to the next.

I love the depiction of it from the book of Hebrews, 
where a long list of heroes of faith
(spoiler alert: most of them didn't look all that heroic at the outset!)
is given in chapter eleven,
and then summarized in the final verses :

"Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary,
got their hands on what was promised.  
God had a better plan for us: 
that their faith and our faith would come together
to make one completed whole,
their lives of faith not complete apart from ours."

(Hebrews 11:39-40, The Message)

Then in the next verses, the beginning of chapter twelve, 
the author uses the language of the relay race--
those whose leg has already been run 
cheering the others on until the end.

One of my favorites finished his leg of the race this week.
Bob was one of the most faithful people I have ever met,
running with all his being to the very end
to introduce people near and far to Jesus.
He prayed as though he required it to breathe.
He was one of the founders of our church,
and he loved it fiercely.
He never had physical children, 
but no father ever took his role more seriously
than Bob took his role as a spiritual father
nurturing the next generation of believers.

How I will miss running with him.
But I'm so encouraged to know he sees the finish line
from where he stands cheering the rest of us on.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Two Septembers


I've always said I wished there were two Septembers--
one to take care of all the back to school, kick off the routine stuff,
and one to just enjoy the beauty.


Nowadays, that's even more the case.  
It used to be that our activities really stacked up in the early part of summer
that I lovingly referred to as Summer I.
Then we would catch our breath and go on vacation during Summer II.


But now fall is the new Summer I.
There's marching band.




















And beauty
that just won't wait for the schedule to let up.


We actually had two Septembers this year, as far as the weather goes.


October was just spectacular, like a September II,
but we were still busy with all the stuff.


We weren't shivering in the bleachers, though,
so that was awesome!











Then the truly amazing happened--
November blew in and we've had September III.


It has been warm and glorious, and I have soaked in every minute of it.
It really feels like God has been hearing my plea
and decided to pull out all the stops on fall this year.



I'm so thankful for the glorious weather,
and also the chance to reconnect as a family.

You know what else I'm thankful for this year?
The dinner table.

It's the place where we most often check in with each other,
laugh together, and find out what's on everyone's mind.
It's where we're reminded that we belong to each other.
It's been lively and sweet lately, with everyone present and a little extra time to linger.

Meanwhile, all around us there is a lot of talking
and a whole lot of arguing this year in the marketplace of ideas--
the round table, if you will.
My prayer for my family, my friends, my church, and my country
is that when we are discussing the things we hold dear
at the round table of ideas (especially online),
we will remember that it's almost time to gather
at the dinner table of Thanksgiving
where we'll be reminded once again that we belong to one another.
Each one of us, created by God to bear his image.
Each of us with some things to say, and much to learn.
May we not let the conversations at the round table
jeopardize the love around the dinner table.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016



Today I went out to water my flowers.
Maybe it was the cooler temperature that prompted me to notice
they're starting to fade.
That's just the way it goes.


So, I decided to take some inside and really savor them today.
It was a day for looking and appreciating up close
what I know will be gone tomorrow,
and turning that appreciation to worshiping the Giver of every good gift.


I know a few people who are in the middle of major medical challenges right now,
whose faith is being tested.  They have to decide moment by moment
to focus on what they can see, or trust in God, who they can't see.
So this morning as I examined what I can't normally see, I prayed for them.


Right there in the middle of the zinnias.

Pink zinnia

I asked God to give them healing and wholeness.
Remember how Jesus would never stop at healing the physical, but also address the heart?
So often we are hurt when God allows us to endure unexplainable trials.
He doesn't stop at healing the medical hurts.




I love the little crowns in the centers of the zinnias.  They're so regal.
But they remind me of the crown of thorns Jesus wore for us, too.  He identifies with our agony.


And that was my little photography/worship retreat today.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Dog Days of Summer


Meet Stella.
She really did come to us in the dog days of summer.


Bethany has been waiting her whole life for her.

Stella 2

She had to wait a little extra long, because she was at marching band practice when Stella arrived.
I couldn't wait for her to get home so I could see the look on her face.


She is about a year old, some sort of mix of terrier and spitz
that we got from a rescue.
I'm not sure why anyone would part with her.

Stella 1

Fun fact:
Bethany picked the name Stella.
It means "star".
The dog days of summer were named that
because the early Romans associated the hottest days of the year
with the "dog star" (that's the brightest of the constellation Canis Major).
Pretty cool since Stella has a white star on her chest.

Stella 3

Stella wasn't very big on toys at her foster home,
but Bethany had picked out a fox for her that she loves!
Stella is such a good mannered, spunky sweetheart.
She is almost too good to be true.
We're grateful that she had a loving foster mom
who helped get her off on the right foot.
Or paw.


I think you'll fit in just fine here, Stella.


Welcome home!