Just a Dream

Last night, I dreamed...I dreamed that mom and dad were both still alive and we were in our old home. They were young again. I was young also. Just a child. The years had not taken their toll. Parkinson’s was still far in the future for both dad and me. Dementia had not yet offered even a hint of it’s cruel arrival to my mother. We were laughing. Perhaps we laughed because we knew the years would never pass in my dream. We were safe there.

There is a simple joy that comes when you have two parents in heaven. They live beyond hurt and age. They are not touched by disease nor dread. They cannot be shaken by the hard news of earth. And, they occasionally come for the sweetest of visits - into my dreams. I never know just when to expect them, yet they are always welcome. They make a pathway from out of their safe place and arrive by nightfall while I sleep. They let me see them as they were, and I understand somehow that is how they are again. Young and strong. In our old home. Laughing. We are safe there, in my dream.

“I go to prepare a place for you,” He said one day. The very One who dreamed of the beautiful sky full of stars and then spoke them into being is making an eternal home for us. It was still far away when He spoke... yet to come. He too, had to pass through the pain of this earth. Thirty three years were His fill of heartache and hurt. He often dreamed of home - the Place untouched by the torment of passing time. There He could be one with the Love and Peace that abide there. In His dream. And, somehow, in His bountiful care for us - He dreamed of us there too… at home with Him.

The Dreamer says it will all come true, one day. As I close my eyes - I say that I believe Him. I am laughing. Am I dreaming?

Last night, I dreamed...I dreamed that mom and dad were both still alive and we were in our old home. It was a new home. We were young and strong - and we were laughing. We were all safe in the Dreamer’s dream. Far from the hard news of earth.

Plain Packaging

 

We have all seen it occur. An awkward, and unlikely contestant in a talent competition surprises the judge’s panel and the entire audience by revealing a spectacular singing voice. The great gift within had been hidden by a dismissive exterior. The resultant shock registers on every face as tears flow freely throughout the performance. You would think we would get used to this kind of thing. But we never do. We register surprise each time we encounter an unlikely hero. Yet, it was God’s idea to put the pearl inside the oyster.... the pure gold in a lump of valueless ore.

Once, long ago, God put all of His magnificence and glory into human form. He then put that newborn human into an outhouse stable with an unlikely set of nervous parents. The stable was in a one horse town not in a shining, capital city. To accentuate the principle,  that town, Bethlehem, was in occupied territory on the remote outskirts of the vast Roman empire. The subtle incarnation was announced to lowly shepherds, not ostentatious kings. It just goes on and on… God methodically reduces the exterior in order to reveal the precious interior. He wraps gifts in plain packaging.

When you stop and consider, that is what He does with each of us that belong to Him. It continues  throughout our lifetime. Age, disease and the rigors of staying alive cause us to ‘reduce’ our expectations that we place on our fleshly packaging while, at the same time, we grow inwardly into a spiritual treasure, the value of which is beyond compare. To maintain focus on our own exterior throughout life is not unlike throwing away the pearl and retaining the oyster shell.

I just read through a list of some of the world’s richest women. Excavating and mining had made some of these baronesses wealthy, however the one with (by far) the greatest fortune sold makeup. Attempting to look good is producing more wealth than any other industry. Mankind surely does look on the outward appearance - but God looks at the heart. Some of the ladies on the list had obviously spent a lot of time and money trying to patch up their oyster shell. Such a misconception of true beauty.

God wraps beauty in ordinary wrappers. He fashions gems under pressure. He obscures the truth in parables. He loves surprises. All the while, He plants clues as to what He is up to. The homeless vagabond who sings like Pavarotti… The blind beggar who writes poetry that moves the masses. The crippled nursing home resident who paints like Monet. Most of them will never have opportunity to stand before us or a panel of judges. But they are not hard to find, tucked away in alleys and institutions. They roam the streets, singing for their audience of One. The Giver of the gift… the One who placed the pearl within the shell. He is always listening with delight. Their song rises from this tired earth to greet His ears. It is an anthem in the making, and someday soon - it will be the Hallelujah we all sing.

That will be the day we shed our shell and reveal our own pearl within, to the glory of God. Tears will flow freely as, with the entire audience, we stand and applaud Him, for no one is crippled anymore. No one is blind any longer. And, wonder of wonders - we all have found home.

One Night in Boston

"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7 NASB

I was at a convention years ago; an evangelical gathering of ministry leaders from all over New England. During the closing keynote address, I saved myself a seat next to Milton Friesen, one of my spiritual mentors. Milton was the director of a homeless shelter in Boston and we had struck up a meaningful friendship over the years. Together we sat on the risers that spanned the back of the auditorium.

The main speaker was a well known author and lecturer, recognized by his passionate preaching and persuasive presentations. He was known as a defender of the faith and more than one disagreer was shamed into silence after taking him on in a debate. You would most likely recognize his name, however he is not the one you’re thinking of. He’s the other one. He was calling for a compassionate outpouring of God’s love for the unbeliever. His challenge was for those of us in attendance to share the message of the gospel with everyone and anyone we would happen to meet.

Then the shocker came. As he was fussing and spitting his way to his passionate point, the dynamic speaker announced, “All around us in the streets of Boston, there are thousands of people on the road to hell.” He paused and went on, “The problem is that most of you in this room don’t give a ___________.” (expletive deleted) He bravely continued as the audience gasped and grew silent. “The bigger problem is that most of you are more upset that I used a curse word in the pulpit than you are about all those people going to hell.”

The silence was deafening. No one moved. After a moment, Milton leaned over and said softly in my ear, “I fear our dear brother is correct.” I have never forgotten that evening, nor have I forgotten the lesson. I suppose I never will.

Growing up, I always thought that the Commandment (number four of Ten) “do not take the name of the Lord in vain,” meant ‘cussing’ was forbidden. Well, it surely should be -- but that is not what the law means. Not at all. It simply means that we must not say we belong to God and then live like we don’t. That is a far greater problem than swearing for most of us.

If a woman marries and takes the name of her husband, then proceeds to live like a single woman, she would have taken his name in vain. Many Christians say they belong to Jesus, but no one would never know it. Their lives and identities are tied closely to earth-bound things, despite being heaven’s offspring.

So, I reckon the speaker got it right that night in Boston. My friend Milton passed a few years later. He now enjoys a seat in heaven, so I will have to say it in his stead. “I fear our dear brother is correct.” If you take the Name, you had better swear allegiance.

“Missed Opportunity”

We all miss the boat some days. Despite our best efforts, we all fall short. It’s just who we are. We are human and humans make mistakes. On occasion, those mistakes can really sting. As we all know - time has a way of healing the hurts and can even produce a chuckle or two when we stop and consider a particularly grand scale “missing of the boat.” One such blunder is etched upon my memory, and although I initially winced, I now have to laugh.

 

It was summertime and I was still a young man. It was a wonderful season of life. I had my own small apartment just outside the city of Boston. My good friend Ken had insider access to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, allowing him to get seats for low (or,no) cost, and he frequently passed on the blessings. I watched a lot of baseball that year. The ballpark was just minutes away down Beacon Street, a drive I would often make with the T-roof open on my new Camaro, sunshine splashing on my face as it began to sink low behind the city’s skyscrapers.  It seemed as though everything was going swimmingly. I was even flush with cash.

 

Ken had a deejay business and he began to get so busy that he offered to cut me in on the action if I wanted to help. I was happy to oblige and thus, spent many nights spinning records for high school dances or private parties. My favorite duty was aboard the Boston Harbor cruises that sailed out each night. We would be the musical entertainment for the evening as the cruise ship coasted lazily through the waves, the shimmering city of Boston in full view behind us. As the moon would rise above the Hancock Tower, I would often find myself thinking “It doesn’t get much better than this.”

 

So, now the blunder.

So, now the blunder. One August afternoon,  Ken left me a message on my answering machine (remember those?) There were no cellphones in those days. People made telephone calls from the office or their home. After that there was no mode of communication other than a public phone booth. I got home from work and checked the messages on my ‘incoming’ cassette tape, and there was Ken’s call - only it was a poor recording due to a bad connection. I hit ‘rewind’ and listened again and again but all I could gather through the static was that we had a booking for a cruise that night and that I should meet him at six o’clock to assist. The location he gave sounded like Rowe's Wharf, a place I knew well. Try as I might, I could not make out exactly where he said to meet but I threw on a tie, headed for Rowe's Wharf and figured I would find him easily enough.

 

Pulling into a parking spot twenty minutes later, I saw no sign of Ken. I was early, so I figured I would just wait until he arrived. As the clock drifted past six, I turned on the local news station to check the traffic report. There was a jam downtown on the expressway the radio reported. I assumed Ken was delayed due to traffic. Cruises usually departed at seven each evening, but as the seven o’clock hour drew near, I began to grow concerned. I walked down to the dock, but there was no sign of Ken. Seven fifteen came and still no Ken. As the clock on my sportscar dashboard read eight pm, I reluctantly turned the key in the ignition and headed home.

 

“Buddy, where were you tonight?”

At about eleven pm, my telephone rang. It was Ken. “Buddy, where were you tonight?” he asked. “That was my question for you!” I said to my friend. “Long Wharf, just like I told you,” he said. “Ohhh, I thought you said Rowe's Wharf,” I replied. “That explains that. Did I miss a good time?” Ken then began to tell me of his evening on the water.

 

He got to the wharf at about six and since I was nowhere to be found, he loaded all of the equipment on board ship and set up the portable sound system. He kept checking his watch, wondering where I was. About six-thirty the first guests began to arrive on deck. Ken thought that there were fewer in number than for a usual Friday night, but he continued his preparations. As he did, he noticed a few celebrities were coming up the steps and climbing aboard. “Where is Loren?” he wondered, thinking I would enjoy this gathering of stars.

 

“Nice choice,”

About seven, there was still no sign of me, and the ship was about to pull away from Long Wharf. Ken started the entertainment with a very popular song by an internationally known singer who had local roots in Boston. “Nice choice,” said a voice behind him. He turned and found himself face to face with the musician himself.

 

He had rented the cruise ship for a private party for his dad’s seventieth birthday. I won’t mention the star by name, but you would know it well, and it was enough to make my jaw drop. “We hung out together all night long,” crooned Ken. “Dude! You missed the best boat ride ever…” A colossal blunder.

 

The best things in life are not brief encounters with rock stars.

So, why am I laughing about it now? Because I learned that when you miss the boat and mess something up, having a friend who really hopes you are going to make it is a great gift. The best things in life are not brief encounters with rock stars. Much better than that are friends who see your mistakes and truly feel empathy for you. They are the kind that cut you in on a good thing and share the best they have. A cruise around Boston lasts only a few hours. My friend Ken has been there for four decades. We don’t deejay any longer, but if he needed me tonight, I would be there - or at least in the vicinity.

On Board

Thanksgiving, 2016. It was almost four hundred years ago that the early settlers crossed the ocean and landed in Plymouth. They came on the Mayflower, a tiny ship packed from stern to starboard with men, women, children and a few animals. There were more than one hundred of them, sailing for months in a space no bigger than a modern two bedroom apartment. They were determined folk, indeed they must have been. They endured sea sickness, fear, loneliness and a general lack of privacy. When they arrived in this new world of America, there were no relatives waiting - no welcoming committee or chamber of commerce. In fact, when they stepped ashore, the hardest part was just beginning. They had to carve a life for themselves out of the rugged and rocky New England landscape. Retreat was no option.

About fifteen years ago, I launched an idea. I asked the good people at Plymouth Plantation if we could hold a Thanksgiving Eve service aboard the Mayflower II, the exact replica of the original ship that docked in 1620. The channels were graciously cleared and an appreciative group of youth from  our church boarded ship at nightfall. We were about thirty in number. As we went below decks, we stooped and shuffled into the cramped quarters. The creaking of the masts and the slapping of the waves was our only music as we sat in awe. We were in the place where Thanksgiving started.

The chilly night air came rushing down the open stairway from up on the main deck. It had started to snow. We huddled closer. The wind picked up, pouring through the ports. We served communion. The temperature dropped. We opened the first law of the New Land - the Bible. The night settled in around us. We read aloud these words, penned by the first Pilgrims.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

A reading of those ancient words from the original Mayflower Compact enables one to realize they had indeed left everything behind and were looking only forward, despite the hardships and dangers. They were “all in.” No looking back longingly at the comforts of the old world. Clearly - they were together… bound by a purpose.

Today, the ship sails on. No, not the Mayflower. It is rather, the unseen ship that steers through the centuries. It carried the first settlers and carries us - their descendants. It is the ship of Faith and it is bound for a New World. The journey is hard, but the hand of the Almighty is making us strong enough to endure. Blow chilly wind! We will open our mainsail fully and bounce across the waves of open sea before us. We too, are together - bound by purpose. When we all finally step on shore, we will look in awe at the place prepared for us, carved out of glory by the master hand of a Carpenter… Then the hardship will be forever behind us… Press on, Pilgrim. I can see land from here. A Promised Land lies dead ahead. We will enter its gates with Thanksgiving!

 

Wood Pile

 

I was asked to speak at a charter school for teenagers in a nearby city. The school was the educational home for students who had been expelled from the inner city, public high school. Ranging in ages from fourteen to eighteen, these were primarily local youths with family in the region. The nearby public high school was known for it’s violent altercations, drug abuse and gang activity. The students at the charter school were considered to be the worst of the worst. They had been given many chances, and had now been bounced to their last possible stop, and on this particular morning they were sitting before me in a lecture hall.

I looked out over their faces, and in doing so, noted the hardened features of the nearly fifty students. Not one smile could be seen in the group. I looked at my notes, and made a quick decision to toss them away. I decided I would listen instead of speak. I figured this could be far more informational for me - rather than for them. I opened the session with a question or two, and soon found their interest level high and their responses well thought out and sincere.

One young man, however, sat near the back and managed to look as disengaged as possible. As the ninety minute presentation progressed, I noticed that he was growing more and more uncomfortable. He squirmed in his seat, doodled on paper and stared out the window. I desperately wanted to hear his story. Approximately sixteen years old, he was a handsome boy - one you may expect to see on a debate team and not in a charter school for disciplinary problems. He did not raise his hand to speak, but I called on him anyway with the next question. “How can you improve your relationships within your family circle,” I asked him. There was an awkward silence that followed. After what seemed like an eternity, he spoke. What followed was something I will never forget. I am sure you will not forget either.

“I hate my dad,” he began. “Hate is a strong word,” I answered back. “Are you sure its the word you mean to use?” “I’m positive,” came the reply. With that, he shared a story which I will try to relate just as I heard it that morning.

My dad works construction, you know? He has his own company. All growing up, I thought he was the coolest. Putting up homes, hospitals or whatever, he could build anything. My dad was my hero. All I ever wanted was to work for him some day. Well, when I was thirteen, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to work with him one morning, It was during summer vacation and he told me I could help him out on a job site. I was so excited.

We got to the job and he pulled up in his pickup. “See that big pile of boards?” he asked. “I want you to stack that neatly over by the trailer.” I told him okay and he left to go check on a job across town. He said he would be back in an hour or two. Well, I got out and started stacking wood. I worked like a dog. I busted my butt. I got the whole pile stacked in about a half an hour. I was done - but I noticed another pile of wood over at the dumpsters, so I figured I would stack that one too. I kept  thinking he was going to be so proud of me. I finished the second pile, stacking it by the trailer, just as he pulled in. “Look!” I said. Well, he looked alright and he got ripping mad. He called me an idiot and just about every other name he could come up with, screaming at me - right in my face. He said he only asked me to stack the one pile, that the other was throw away stuff and now it was all mixed together. I didn’t know! I thought he would be happy. He drove me straight home - telling me I was useless. I never want to work for him again. I hate him.

“You know, he was an A student until the 8th grade…” the school principal told me afterward. “Then, he just mentally dropped out. He doesn’t seem to care anymore. That is the first time I ever heard that story, but now we know why.”

What a different life story would have transpired if the father, upon seeing his son’s mistake, had gently corrected him and helped him fix the error? He instead, broke his son’s heart over a pile of wood. Our children are God’s gracious gifts to us. They are to be handled with care. The Heavenly Father dispenses much grace. He is patient and gentle with us, His children. And, He covers our mistakes with a cross made of wood. Just some old boards, really - but they make all the difference in the world.

Boom-Booms

Sometimes, True is afraid at bedtime. Often when he is going “night night” he points to the bedroom window and says “Boom booms.” It all began back in the summer, when some of our neighbors lit off some fireworks, no doubt leftovers from the 4th of July. I think the neighbors were probably a little ‘lit’ themselves. Anyway, the rocket’s red glare flew by our mailbox and exploded with a bang outside True’s quiet room. That was all it took. From then until now, he has been constantly on the watch for more boom-booms. He has awaken from sleep on more than one occasion, crying in obvious terror. Upon being gathered into our arms, he describes the boom-boom that invaded his dreams.

I wonder what these boom-booms are in his two year old imagination. He knows nothing of our  nation’s independence day. He does not understand explosives. He just knows that a loud noise once disturbed his peaceful world and that it made him unsettled. The explosions are gone, but the fear remains. I cannot erase True’s memory. I can only assure him that the season of boom-booms is gone for now. We are all quiet until next summer. And, after more summers and winters pass, True’s fear of fireworks will be a fond memory, long past.

Memory can be horrid, but it can also sweeten things with time. Looking back on a dreadful time in life that robbed your joy (or sleep) can, through the wash of memory, cause us to allow a small smile to come to our countenance while we shake our head in wonder.  How we ever made it through is overtaken by the pleasant knowledge that we did make it through and indeed the memory does not hurt us. Not now.

I was remembering some things myself the other day, and through the filter of years, the quality of the past experience came rising to the top as the hardship and inconvenience fell away. Ask any old timer, the days of yore shine brighter than whatever may occur today. That walk to school that we reluctantly undertook each weekday now is summoned to recall and worn like a badge of honor. The tedious hours spent in Saturday catechism or Sunday School are logged in memory’s perspective as having been good for us. However dear the memory, it is forever set in passing time. The future yet beckons, as it flies quickly toward us. We cannot escape it, nor do we know what it will bring. Whatever it is, we do know, it will stay for just a while and then become a memory. True won’t fear the boom-booms for much longer, and the frightening dread of the night will sublime itself into pleasant memories of a little boy in his little room upstairs, in a big house on a quiet street, with neighbors who drink just a bit too much, in a place called Freetown, in a very big world. And, as for me? I will scoop him up from his nightmare and treasure this little blue eyed child with a head full of curls. I will always remember that I once was able to make the boom-booms seem not so frightening for this precious boy of mine. Dear God, I pray I never forget.

Love Song

Things were different fifty years ago. How many times have we heard that expression from a senior citizen? But, I am telling you again - because they were. Very different. We are a long way from that first Garden, and we drift further still with each passing year. Oh, I am under no illusion that there were no unsettling and invasive matters back then. I also recognize that many good things exist now that we knew nothing of in past decades. But, all in all, we are slipping. We are powerless to halt the fall. We are mere men and we cannot control our destiny. The One who has the authority to shape global systems, indeed, universal systems, has set things in motion and we are pulled along by force into a final act that surely will be played out.

 

Nostalgia… If you live in that cerebral district, you are likely unhappy with present circumstances. Some spend their time living on memories. For instance, classic rock was just, well, rock until my generation grew past it and began missing screaming guitar solos. Lost in a foreign sea of techno-beats, we longed for arena filling anthems, so we made a safe place on our radio dials  where we could always return. And, there we dwell. No thank you. The future does come spilling into the present like a mad rush of water - sweeping away all in its path. But, consider the source! It is poured out of heaven itself from the wells and springs where love abides.

 

Love never fails. It never changes. It is the One thing that will carry you from decade to decade and into eternity, for it is the very stuff that matters. When God chose to reveal Himself to us - He chose love as the method. The coming future is a love story. But, you must accept love on its own terms. Negotiations are meaningless. Love has made a way but it is narrow. Only a few find it. The rest of earth’s populace is left to spin the dial in hopes they will find something familiar to lean on. They will sing along in classic fashion until the final song is played - and that last hymn will begin with a resounding “Hallelujah!”  Its a love song through and through. Alpha to Omega... beginning to end.

 

Slip Slidin Away

In 1982, Chevrolet introduced the new design of their popular sports car, the Camaro. It was sleek and speedy and since I, in my mid-twenties, was at a sleek and speedy phase of life, I knew that I had to have one. My dad, living in Brattleboro, Vermont, knew a man who owned a Chevy dealership further north in St. Johnsbury and according to the local buzz,  he had a real beauty sitting in his lot. Charcoal metallic in color, gold rims, and a tinted T-roof made this brand new Camaro Berlinetta seem like something right out of a Hollywood movie. I drove it home a few hours later on the edge of disbelief that this vehicle was my own. Flying down I -91 south,  I turned up the eight speaker stereo system and cruised along, the speedometer hovering just over the posted limit. I was in Chevy heaven.  

Once back home in Massachusetts, I drove that Camaro everywhere. I picked up friends and took them to the cinema or the mall. We cruised the ‘strip’ along Nantasket Beach on Saturday nights and showed up late for church on Sundays, making sure to pull in the parking lot with windows open and the radio up loud. The car made a statement and sitting behind the wheel was one of the most incredible feelings I had ever experienced.  That is, until winter came.

During the cold weather months, New England roadways can become quite challenging. Hardy souls who live in the region know all about snow tires, chains and four wheel drive. A T-roof is of little use when the snow begins to fly. It was apparent that the “even weight distribution” on my sports car made gripping icy pavement a “free for all.” Front tires? Rear? Traction was anybody’s guess.  Stop signs were mere suggestions as the Chevrolet Limited Edition reached the unwavering limitations of science and stayed in motion despite my valiant effort to apply the brakes.

My neighbor Don, was an oft-utilized partner for pushing. He would get low on the bumper of the Camaro while I spun the tires on the graded hill that led to my driveway. It became customary that whenever he would hear my tires singing in the snow as I was attempting to navigate the automobile toward a parking spot, out the door he would come, throwing on his coat and pulling on his galoshes. “Not again!” he would exclaim.“We ought to put a glass case around this vehicle. It’s beautiful to look at, but it’s useless in foul weather.”

Many of us are overly concerned with appearances. Not unlike my shiny sports car, we look as though we are cruising along life’s road in style. But our trials come like winter storms and if we don’t have the right equipment - we will surely slip. A friendly neighbor may offer help when we get stuck, but without a true changeover to a proper mode of transportation, we are doomed to slide off the path again and again. Change your wheels for something more practical.  Now, the pace at which the Lord moves is sometimes maddeningly slow, but it is also steady and sure. He isn’t one for flash and flare, but He will never wind up in a ditch, nor will He  slide helplessly past a warning sign. With His Spirit as the guide for life the road becomes manageable no matter what conditions you may have to weather. Your new vehicle will come equipped with GPS (God’s Plan of Salvation) which will always get you safely home.
                                                                                                                                   

Peace Signs

As much as it depends on you - live at peace with all men. That is from the Bible. I’m so glad that God put the primary clause in that little verse. It is brilliant. The Author knows his creation well. He understands that we don’t always get along. Hardly ever, in fact. But there it is, sitting pretty in the Scriptures, as much as it depends on you… live at peace with everyone.

In order for this little sentence to function - a few things need to happen. First we must allow for the fact that not everyone wants to be at peace with us. They don’t even like us. Petty jealousies or past, un-forgiven hurts block the way of love and affection. Often, these things are held on to like coins in a counting house, adding up to a Reason so that someone feels justified in their negative opinions. We probably all have someone in our lives who is stacking against us, amounting to a genuine dislike. So, it is dependent on us to ask for forgiveness. If we have caused hurt - own up to it and apologize. It won’t kill us. On second thought, Jesus calls us to die to self - so it may well do us in. But, this is good.

Next it depends on us to treat those who don’t enjoy your company nicely. Get over your reactive positioning and love them. Proactively! Genuinely! Yes, despite the fact that they still don’t seem to like you much. You have asked for forgiveness, so live like you have it. God has you on a clean slate - so roll with that. If someone is slow to forgive - that is not in the category of “Depends on you.”

Also, in order for this lesson to work in our lives, we must value peace. Many have abandoned hope for peace, thinking it an impossibility - a fairy tale. The world we live in rails against peace. Many of us grew up in homes where there was no peace. Even when there was quiet, there was no peace. We just waited for the next bomb to go off. To you I say that peace is possible. It’s one of the results (or fruits) of being a container for the Holy Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is - there is peace. So, invite Him into your life and your relationships. Peacemaking in this fashion is a noble cause. Jesus said that peacemakers who plant seeds of peace will harvest peace. Imagine a full harvest of peace filling our houses and barns. It’s possible - but we have to start planting. That much depends on us. Leave the rest to God. You can’t force someone to change.

Some of us, frankly have never known peace. Within and without you have been buffeted and beaten, pulled far out to sea - away from the safe port of peace. For these, we must model peace. That much depends on us. Make sure the docks are open and clear when they finally sail in. Don’t harbor a grudge.

Don’t expect to find peace automatically occurring, even in church. We haven’t done too well in the peace department over the years. Not even at first. Well, at the very beginning, the birth of the church in Acts chapter two, everyone got along famously. But, a lot of things that start smoothly, don’t sustain. Many marriages offer proof of this fact. The church was no different. By the time the Epistles were written to the First Century Church, there were factions, disagreements and doctrinal divisions. It didn’t take long to go off kilter in the peace department.

So, although it sounds like an oxymoron - fight for peace. Work for it. It takes time. Years of dysfunction can not be cured with a conversation. It requires more. But, it is worth it. Peace is a beautiful thing. You can depend on it.

Rory and the Bowling Pin

In my office, there on the window sill, sits a bowling pin. A what? A bowling pin. A duck pin to be exact. It’s very old… When I went off to college, just after the earth’s core cooled, (around 1976) a dear friend of mine gave me the bowling pin as a gift. It doesn’t seem like much - but it was meaningful. It sat on my dorm bookshelf for four years. It decorated my office at Songtime Radio for the next nearly twenty years, and now it has a place in my office window at LifeHouse. It has been there as long as I have… fifteen years.

Well, yesterday I nearly threw it away. It fell on baby Rory’s head. It could have killed him. It is weighty… and it fell from the window sill - a pretty fair height. It had been a beautiful morning. The weather was cooler, carrying hints of autumn. My wife and small children were with me at the office and Rory was taking a nap in his little bouncy seat right beneath the open window. A gust of wind happened to blow the blinds in, knocking the pin from it’s perch and sending it like a missile down, down, to where it bounced off of Rory’s four month old head.

He screamed. I jumped from my desk and ran to assess what happened. I had heard the sound of the pin hitting Rory and then the floor, but I had not seen it occur. While I tried to put together what had just occurred, Amanda scooped up the crying baby and held him close. He was hurt, there could be no doubt. A large lump on his head displayed the damage and the point of impact.

Flashers on, I drove at speeds of nearly one hundred miles per hour to the hospital. And there, while we waited for X-Rays to tell us if his skull was fractured, we prayed. As word got around, so did you. You prayed. The X-Rays proved negative - and after four hours of observation, they sent us home, none the worse for wear.

Relief was everywhere. We celebrated God’s goodness with a lobster dinner. An impromptu gathering  of friends and boiled sea creatures brought an end to a long day. I couldn’t help but think however, of the homes where the news was not good this day. Diagnoses came with bad reports.  X-Rays revealed breaks, or tumors. Please know that  you were not forgotten in our revelrie. We stand with you. We will celebrate life, but we will remember just how frail it is.

I was going to throw the bowling pin in the trash. But now, I think I will keep it. Whenever I look at it - I will remember yesterday. I will pray for Rory. And for you.

Thoughts at Sunrise

I usually get up early… there is something incredible about the first hours in a day - before the world gets roaring on its way. This morning, the sky was awash with a rose colored hue, stretching from east to west. It was beautiful. Painted with colors only heaven owns, it made me stop in my tracks (while walking Tyler the Cocker Spaniel) and thank God for a new day. We only get so many of them.

This summer was our 10th year at SoulFest as coordinators of the cross ministry. Over that decade past, we have seen children grow into adults… adults push closer to senior years… and we have noted the passing of friends who now have a seat in heaven’s balcony. SoulFest happens once a year, so marking time on a “see you next year,” basis is only natural. What seems unnatural is the pace at which the years fly by. And, some day - they will run out.

When the end comes, will we have seen enough skies of rosey hue? Will we have listened often enough to nature’s sounds in the wee hours, before the bustle of traffic drowns out the crickets and birds? Will we have said the things we want to say to friends we love? I think i will take a moment now and do just that…

Amanda - you are the best wife any man ever had. I love you and I love being married to you.

Dan Russell - I am proud of you, my friend… you have endured and persevered and you have made a difference in many lives because of your life of true love.

Brett - You have become a wonderful human being.

Doug - You are a true friend to me…

Evangeline - I miss you so, but I’m grateful

Arti - you encourage all of us

CF - you are tireless in energy for the church…. Inspirational

Tom - it is all coming - wait for it...

True - you are as beautiful as the sunrise

Rory - you are a joy and you are loved. Keep making your mother smile

Mercedes - my high school, wonderfully sassy senior,  “Mer-sass” You are so obedient. Thank you so much

Lane - the world by the tail, you have it - and you will leave your mark on it

Mr. Kowalski -I love the way you love Jesus

Ash - so much of my day is spent in thoughts of you

Prudence - you look after me so well, my precious “Daddy’s girl”

Tom Howard - I miss you every day. Every single day...

Aaron - you are so wonderful to talk with - you have great gifts for the Kingdom

Papa Simmons - Thank you - for everything

Kenny - “He’s here!” I am so glad that you know

LifeHouse- I love you, church

Jesus - You are the way, the truth and the life.


The sun is up now. Another day… you only get so many of them. And, there are so many beautiful people to share them with. You may want to tell a few how you feel about them before this one is past.

Grace Train

I am riding the grace train as far as it will take me. I have been on board the other rides, and found them to be going nowhere, fast. Grace, I am certain, will bring me home. Any other destination would be meaningless and empty for grace is where God is. It is His idea. He owns grace. With that God given grace we have been saved - it is His gift to us. That means, God sorted through the treasures of heaven, and he pulled out grace to give us, first and foremost. He demonstrated that gift of grace when He willed Jesus to take the punishment we deserve, and placed it squarely on His shoulders.That is what saves us. That transforms us. That makes us a new creation, with old things passed away (dead) and a new life in its place. Lack of grace? Old life…

When our original parents sinned, they blew it in sizeable fashion. They were surrounded by grace… living in paradise. Only one rule existed - do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could only make one mistake - and they made it. In a situation where failure was hardly possible, they failed. Now, the One who placed them in paradise had every right to be fuming. Instead the Response was more grace. Surely, He allowed for some consequences but He covered their shame and restored the broken relationship - even forecasting that this error would result in Grace galore - a Savior would come and conquer the sin problem once and for all.

So why do believers in Jesus - frequently miss the grace factor? It looms large and is impossible to avoid when you look at Him. That is, if you look at the true Jesus. There are other forms of Jesus that portray Him as angry and opposed to the people He created. But this is a poor representation of the Truth. God so loved the world… we all know that verse. Consider another one, “God was in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. “ How can sin not count against us? In a word - Grace.

Where we fall short is in our desire that sin should still count; tallied as it were, awaiting punishment.  We subtly want people to pay for their mistakes - especially if they have wronged us. But Jesus has a grace answer for that condition as well - forgive 70 times 7. Certainly we need discipline. God provides that for those that He loves. But His correction is guiding us toward grace. Maturity is His goal for us, resulting in our final, forever state, which will be to show forth His grace for the ages to come. Grace is the goal of discipline. It is why we can rejoice in hardship. We are headed for grace. It is not something we work around. Grace is what we work within. It’s the point. Its why Scripture leaves correction squarely in the lap of the Spiritual ones. (If a brother be overtaken by a fault, you who are spiritual, restore him…)The Godly understand grace. That is why they are authorized to discipline. Children run to parents crying “I’m telling on you” Parents must not discipline based on childish complaints. Parents need patience, wisdom and grace to sort out the facts and to mete out discipline appropriately. They can not react in knee jerk fashion to every issue raised in complaint. The truth is what they must be after. Grace is partnered with truth.

Grace is also closely tied to love. Love produces grace. Recently, I had a person come to me and express that they knew “dirt” or bad things about certain members of our church. They told me that they wanted to fill me in on what I, apparently, was missing, I replied that what was missing was love. I love the people they were ready to malign, and love covers sin. Paul wrote that love hopes for the best - not brings out the worst.  Love does not keep a record of wrongs. It bears all things. It is gracious.  “From now on, we consider no man from a pre-grace condition,” (according to flesh) Scripture points out. Grace has come and saved the day.

When the Apostle Paul began his ministry, he considered himself the “least of the apostles.” Later he wrote that he was “less than the least of all the saints.” Just before he died, he considered himself the “chief of sinners.” His need for grace grew as his life progressed… until that final moment when he was face to face with Grace. On that day - when you look to point out sin  - you will find it a useless exercise. It always has been that... pointless. We know we are sinners - saved by grace. Sin is covered over. Removed. Gone. Nailed to a cross.  Why try to pull it off those wooden beams and throw it around a bit? That job is already taken. There is an accuser. He knows nothing of grace - except for what he sees in us.  

Grace seems like ‘getting off easy,” but actually it is just the opposite. It is the hardest thing we have to do. Paul told the church at Galatia that they had been bewitched - having turned away from grace. The grace life is hard work. And, if you slip away from it - you wind up somewhere you don’t want to be… maybe forever. Its that serious.  Children of the King bear a family resemblance. Jesus is full of grace and truth. The next time you bring a case against someone, and you want to have others believe it is true, ask yourself - is this accusation equally filled with  grace?

I am riding the grace train. All the way home.

"Of Scars and Such..."

When I was in my early twenties I was hit by a car. A Dodge going about 40mph motored into the same stretch of pavement  that I had chosen to occupy along Route 9, and it was quite clear that the road was not big enough for both of us. Now, I am a pretty big guy. (I consider myself “husky.”) But with a ton of metal and rubber coming along at a good clip - well I was not going to get the better of that collision. The force knocked me out of my shoes and sent me tumbling down the highway. A gash in my head and a severely broken leg were my takeaways from the encounter.

Today, some thirty years later, I still have a significant scar on my leg. Interestingly, the old wound is not a result of the impact of the Dodge - the scar represents the work that was done by medical professionals in an effort to fix the damage within. Let me explain…

The brute force of the car hitting my left leg caused trauma to occur underneath my skin. Our leg muscles are held in place by fascia - a sheath of sorts that wraps around the muscle. While muscles will swell significantly when injured - the fascia will only stretch so far. When they reach their limit, they act like a tourniquet and squeeze off the flow of blood to the area. Unless corrected quickly, gangrene and other niceties can occur. That is what happened in my situation. The deep trauma within was not able to be seen - but the corrective measures taken, are visible on my outward skin to this day...

Many of us are wounded deeply - inside where things can be hidden from sight. But, our Physician won’t bypass our hurt. He sets about mending the damage - and often this process is clearly visible. So when we see someone going through a rough time, stop and consider; they may be under the scalpel of the Almighty - getting healed, not harmed.

Disguise

The other day, Prudence had a question that she posed to her mother and I. It involved gaining permission for something and we needed a minute or two to talk it over. We launched into parent “code mode”, you know how that works. You spell. You point. You nod. You grimace. Prudence has been around for seven years now. This was not her first rodeo. “I know that look!” she announced. “That is the look parents use to communicate when they don’t want the kids to know what they’re saying.” I have to admit… it worked better when she was younger.

We often disguise things that are too complicated for others to comprehend. I was in the middle of a discussion with my wife, and we were talking about allegiance… allegiance to the church – indeed, allegiance to God. Amanda mentioned that there seems to be a lack of respect for Jesus… we reduce Him to a manageable size. We talk about our relationship to Him with words like, “Me and Jesus.” (Notice the “me” comes first.) “Jesus is my home-boy” is expressed as a popular sentiment in some circles. There is a reason why we feel we can bring Him into our level of operations. We know Jesus as a man (he walked the planet – found in appearance as a man.) He set aside His awesomeness in order to put on skin. He stooped low – on purpose, so that we could relate. But, the 33 year old carpenter on a cross is only a disguise. God was in skin. Months earlier He had revealed a glimpse of His glory on the mountaintop with Elijah and Moses. He glowed brightly there, and for a moment, we caught a fleeting peek at what exactly was contained in that human form. But, the disciples, while appreciating the view, did not comprehend its meaning. Since they had never known Jesus in this light, they likely considered the two prophets to be the source of the glow that splashed over onto Jesus.

Suppose you were at your child’s first soccer game on a Saturday morning and the parent standing next to you was none other than the President of the United States of America. He was there watching his own little one play. The two of you exchange pleasantries. You discuss parenting, youth sports, the weather… After the game you head for the car and say to yourself, “What a normal guy!” But, he leaves the game and resumes his duties as leader of the free world. He laid aside his power for a short while to be a “normal guy” but back in the Oval Office he is authorized to lead the nation.

Jesus set aside His power in order to become like us. He appeared normal. His followers had no idea of the authority He wielded. He had set that aside. As a result, His followers vacillated. They were in – they were out. Just like us. Their perspective on Jesus was colored by the level of their interaction. They met Jesus the carpenter… Jesus the rabbi. His miracles astounded them for they didn’t know how an ordinary man could make things happen supernaturally. They had no idea that within the human body was the Creator of the universe, the bright, Morning Star. Therefore, they found their allegiance was thin, and their loyalties were stretched.

Jesus is not interested in being your home-boy. He did not come to increase your swag. He is the Ruler of the Universe. Paul wrote it to the church this way,having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:18-23

Perhaps if we see Jesus for who He truly is – we will find our allegiance to be rock-steady. It’s good to have a king.

 

Life as Film

Unrest and violence are running rampant in our society. As I type these words on my laptop, my little baby boy sleeps soundly beside me – unaware of news headlines, political campaigns and protest demonstrations. 9 weeks into life he is shielded by loving care. There have been no hard bumps yet. No relationships gone bad. No racism. No hate. No poverty. No disease. No wonder he sleeps peacefully by my side. Dad is familiar and he is close by.

One thing I notice in my children as they grow is how trusting they are. True (not yet two years old) has a habit of saying, “Hi” to everyone. The cashier in the market, the server at the drive through, the nursery workers at church – they are all his friends and he greets them like he is running for governor. He accepts everyone as kind and nice, and more often than not, they are. There is something about being greeted by a happy-faced toddler that brings out the best in everyone. Why? I wonder why a harried and hurried shopper will push past me with a vengeance at the grocery store, but stop and talk baby babble to True. Where is the statute recorded requiring us to change our attitude and actions toward each other once we enter adulthood? Can we not be toddler-friendly to all age groups?

Part of the problem is lousy judgment. We react to people based upon our assumptions about who we think they are. Skin color, clothing, a badge – any of these surface matters can cause negative emotions to rise up. We take a mental snapshot and decide how we are going to relate to someone based on what we see. Well, more often than not – a picture doesn’t tell the story. Our lives are recorded as films, not photos. The homeless person with the shuffling gait was once somebody’s baby. Hopes and dreams were sung over their cradles. The single mom with an addiction to pills was someone’s ‘crush’ in high school. She went to prom feeling that life was as full of promise as that night seemed to be. And, we, after realizing these former things, must believe in the future things yet to appear on the celluloid of their life film. The addict can get clean. The homeless one can find their way back from the street.

The news media specializes in snapshots. The networks bring the headlines to life in fast paced fractions. We are forced to opine and react in instants. But, there is so much we don’t know about protesters and policemen. Candidates are more than the sum total of their soundbites. Every one deserves our grace and goodness, whether we are one with their cause or not. If we could flash back through the years we would see toddlers with bright smiles and prom queens with stars in their eyes. And, by God’s grace we could see a beautiful future to these life stories. Replace judgment with hope. Replace the snapshot with a film. Re-think before react. And for all our lousy judgments I say “Cut!”

Of Mailboxes and Telephone Poles

The trip to the mailbox is usually uneventful. Oh, it can be complicated when True or Prudence ask to come along. I always say yes to their earnest offers of ‘help,’ although what follows is normally a search for shoes (not to mention socks) and in colder months, boots and jackets must also be located. Once the child assembly line is finished – its off to the mailbox we go. The trip is about twenty yards in length, but with various stops for butterflies and dandelions (or snowballs depending on the season) the short journey can become epic.

I am not sure there will always be mailboxes at the end of our driveways. As societal technology continues to advance, the letter and postage stamp are becoming old news. Who wants to write, when, with at a button’s touch, we can talk real time, face to face on our smart phone? Circulars and advertising cards still frequent our mail boxes but they are ‘second class’ materials. First class indicates speedy importance and ever since the Pony Express days, the Us Postal System hasn’t truly been built for speed. How can anything compete with ‘instant?’

I used to tell my children to take a good look at the telephone poles that line our roadways. I figured that by the time they reached my age – those poles will be a thing of the past. With the world going wireless it seems quite likely. Any new neighborhood development buries communication wires under the ground now. I am not sure whose idea it was to line roadways with large immovable poles anyway. If we had just found a way to back them up a good distance, thousands of lives would have been saved. Cars smash into telephone poles all too often. So, good riddance to them. Okay, I will climb off my soapbox.

Back to my trip to the mailbox, soapbox to mailbox. The kids were at Grandma’s, so I made the trip alone. I pulled open the little door, reached in and WOW! There was something hot in there! I yanked my hand out of the box and along came a hornet with it. He was still stinging me as I shook him off. Apparently he had been working hard to establish a home in there, and he felt my efforts to retrieve the mail were an intrusion of the worst kind. He got me good, I’ll admit. My hand ached for over an hour. My pal, Doug got the best of him with a flyswatter and then removed what were the beginnings of a nest. Some places are just not good for flying (I should say, stinging) critters to live in. My hornet friend found his home was in a most temporary of places. Little did he comprehend the ins and outs of the US Mail delivery system. He fought hard to defend his ground, I’ll give him that. But, in the end he gave way to the inevitable. He couldn’t stay there.

We are a bit like my hornet friend. We construct homes as if we were going to dwell there forever. But like telephone poles and the Pony Express they don’t last. Not forever. We fight hard to keep things together, we paint and re-roof to stall the inevitable ravages of time. We hold to the temporary.

The tide of time is relentless and there is no stopping its waves from hitting against our meager walls of defense. We can become consumed by temporary things around us, but it is far better to work for an eternal home where time stands still – forever. So, take a lesson from a wasp in a mailbox. We can’t stay here. Its the way of the world. And, its a short walk to the next One.

"Loyalty"

 

I’ve been thinking lately about loyalty. In this present day, “Me first” society, self reigns supreme and virtues such as loyalty and courage seem ever so rare. According to the dictionary, loyalty is defined as “faithful adherence to a cause.” So, loyalty is faith-connected. And, a cause is required. Now, how does our dictionary handle the word, “cause?” One of the definitions is “a joint effort.” Hmmm… To accomplish a joint effort, one needs to set self aside for a greater good. So then, loyalty is dedication to something bigger than ourselves. And therefore, if self is elevated – loyalty is diminished. In fact, as a result, it is largely absent from our culture.

The first disloyalty in the universe occurred when Lucifer sought some self promotion. In the splendor of heaven, he had a good ranking – the anointed guardian of the throne of God. Up until that moment in pre-time only one will was in force. God’s will reigned supreme. Unchallenged. But, the moment Lucifer said “I will ascend to the throne,” a will contrary to God’s showed up on the radar. It had never happened before.(It occurs often now.) Promoting self moves us into independence and it is there we run into trouble. Like wandering sheep we go our own way.

You can still hear rumblings of loyalty in such places as a 12-step group, where the members depend on each other for support and accountability. But, on the whole, with the advent of the personal computer, the personal cell phone, and the privacy that head phones provide – loyalty to a cause beyond self, rarely emerges from hiding. For the Christian, this is an impossible dilemma. Because there is a cause before us… a joint effort. Jesus left us with orders… to go into the entire world and share the good news, making disciples. But he also said if we wanted to be His disciple, we needed to leave self behind. Jesus wants our loyalty. In fact, He demands it. He has every right to. He is King of Kings. To put “Me” first is to deny Him.

Over the centuries, there have been those who are willing to die for the cause. They are heroes of faith. We could use some heroes today who are willing to deny self… to lay it down for Him. Being a martyr becomes possible if we become used to dying. And dying to self out of loyalty to the King is something we should be doing everyday – the Nation of the Cross.  

Mustard Tree?

One of my favorite parables that Christ taught was about plantings and gardens. Seeming utterly simple, it actually teaches a great truth. It is the story we call ‘The Parable of the Mustard Seed.” We know it well. The kingdom of God is like...

A mustard seed is planted in the garden. It is a tiny seed – the smallest of the small. Seeds, gardens… familiar stuff to the agrarian society where Jesus ministered. When the seed grew it branched out and became the largest plant in the garden. Many stop here and take meaning from the tale with thoughts like ‘small beginnings produce great results.’ But I think Jesus was after more.

What happens to that mustard plant? “It becomes a tree,” the Teacher tells us. Wait a minute! Any self respecting gardener would stop and scratch his head at the thought of a mustard plant turning into a tree. That doesn’t happen. Mustard plants are huge but they stay low to the ground. They branch out, not up. What is this tree business? It surely indicates something unnatural has occurred.

When Jesus taught His first parable he told of a sower spreading seed over four types of ground. You will recall that when seed fell on hard ground, it lay on top where the birds could come and eat it. In the later explanation of the parable, Jesus said that this account served as a key to all the parables. “How will you understand any if you don’t comprehend this one?” he queried. He went on to explain the meaning, not wanting any to remain in darkness. And, in the explaining process he shares that the seed-eating birds are messengers of Satan, looking to destroy.

Back to the Mustard Seed story… it grows into the biggest plant in the garden and then it becomes a tree – so the birds can rest in it’s branches. Oh! Satan’s messengers hiding out in the Kingdom? What went wrong?

Jesus never looked to start a religion. No, He was after hearts. But sometimes, when things spread out, they sprout up, like a tree. When that happens, falsehood and lies can cleverly hide in the branches. It may look natural to have a bird sitting in a tree, but remember the gardener planted a mustard plant. Note that there was no fruit on that tree, just birds. Jesus said you will know a tree by it’s fruit. While the birds seem quite comfortable and natural, they offer nothing to the garden that the wise Farmer had planted.

Big religion was never the idea. Think with me, as to how many have been swallowed up by men and their religious agendas, with egos that match. It was not as the Gardener intended. Religion is man’s attempt to impress God.

Through ceremony or ordinance, man scrambles up trying to reach the unreachable. Somehow along the way, he begins to think he has become religious enough and the desire for God gets exchanged for personal promotion. The truth is simple… God is unattainable – beyond man’s efforts to connect, and so He does the reaching. He stooped low and became known. Our faith is initiated by Heaven itself. That kind of reality keeps one humble and low to the ground like a mustard plant. Branch out, don’t build up. It’s just not natural.

Mr. Undo

Blog… from the word “weblog.” As I type the word weblog, my auto-correct underscores the word in red to tell me that the system does not recognize the word. I talk to my computer screen to say that its the original word – it predates ‘blog...’ Blog is derived from weblog (red line again.) Now, to “log” means to record, usually chronologically, an entry – to utilize the system. So a blog is a log on the web. A weblog! But my computer has forgotten its roots. Its no big deal I suppose. My first computer (Tandy 486) did not recognize Jesus. Whenever I typed His name - the system would beep. There were many beeps, me being a pastor and all. I don’t believe that old Tandy had much of a future – not knowing Jesus and all. It probably lies in a dump somewhere, useless. You’ve gotta have Jesus, friends.

 

Now I have hit the wrong key. Instead of shift – I hit control (or ctrl) and my weblog disappeared. Gone! Fortunately, I recall that my computer has a feature called the undo option. When you make a mistake, you just click on ‘edit’ and then ‘undo’… and it does! It undoes… Wouldn’t it be great if we all came equipped with an undo button? You blow it – trying so hard to capitalize – but instead things go out of control… and you end up with nothing, Blank-o. Undo is always there, faithfully making our mistakes disappear.

 

Sometimes stuff just happens… we get into a mess, not of our own making. However it is a mess, nonetheless. Amanda wanted my help for a minute or two just now, and after a few “Just a minute, Dears,” I obliged. But, when I returned to my laptop – there sat True, typing away.

 

“CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHUJIOPLMNV&&&” was how he worded it. After separating boy from blog, I went straight to Old Faithful – Mr. Undo. He can even correct a mess we inherited. What authority! What power!

 

Life should come with an Undo application… taking care of all our errors. In fact, it does give us that option. You’ve gotta have Jesus, friends. Weblog - out