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Month: December 2012

Cheerful Taker

“My soul shall be satisfied with marrow and fatness.” Psalm 63:5 God sets a rich table.  Not to partake freely what he offers offends against his hospitality.  He loves a cheerful giver, but he also loves a cheerful taker.  Never rise from his table without something good on your lips.

Adherendo Deo

Wetlands are a riot of life. Our lot in Indiana bordered on a bog behind. My kids once tried sleeping outside in the Spring, but dragged themselves in by 1 AM complaining “it’s too noisy to sleep out there!” thanks to a chorus of peepers. The lowly marsh grass, by holding on, provided the stability that supported everything else – peepers, crawdads, snakes, raccoons, muskrats, opossums, deer, red-winged blackbirds, owls, marsh marigolds, swamp irises, and a host of other creatures. Without the tenacity of the marsh grass, that bog would’ve been a big, slimy, stinking, toxic mess. One year, I decided to make an improvement and plant some bald cypress trees in the bog. I took my heavy-duty garden fork,…

No More Mr. Fix-It

What’s wrong with the world easily preoccupies us. Other people aren’t doing what they ought and we cannot go forward – or so we think – until all that is fixed – and it never is. The world is and remains always and everywhere the world. We cannot escape it because we carry it with us wherever we go. What a relief it is to discover that the disciple’s task is not to fix the world. When we think it is, we give away all of our power to the most dysfunctional people. Truth be told, we cannot even fix ourselves, let alone be responsible for everyone else’s irresponsibility. When I try to fix the world so that I can…

Like Seed

“Dad, what does it feel like to be a milkweed seed?” six-year-old daughter Rachel asked me almost thirty years ago as we released the contents of several dry pods. Struck dumb at the time, “It must feel like entrusting our life to providence” —  I now answer.

Black Shelled Manna

“Tough nut to crack” has long been a synonym for a difficult problem. The toughest nut, the standard by which nutcrackers are judged, is the black walnut. I have yet to meet the nutcracker that renders its contents easily accessible. Primitive tools are often the best – car tires, a one pound hammer, and a brick. Many years ago, when we lived in Indiana, our property was loaded with black walnuts. I yearned for softer nuts to crack, like the paper shell pecans I remembered from Texas. One year I searched the nursery catalogs for a way to grow pecans in Indiana. I learned that it would be risky and would take 7 to 8 years to see the first…