Spring Thaw

One of my favorite things to do on a rainy day when I was young was to grab a shovel and go outside to make little rivers from one puddle to the next on our long driveway. We lived way out in the country on a little traveled dirt road and our driveway was about a quarter mile long. Rain in the spring was always the best since it helped to melt the snow making longer and wider puddles. Some were more like little ponds than mere puddles. I would put my boots on and my jacket and cap and go out in the rain, digging trenches from one puddle to the next all the way down the driveway. Sometimes I’d make a dam of mud and gravel here or there to make my own puddles or put smaller pieces of gravel or sticks in the stream pretending they were rapids or waterfalls. Often, if it wasn’t too cold out, I would take the time to find some old blocks of wood and some matchbox cars and make a small little town of sorts near the end of the driveway along the mighty river I had just created and then run back up the driveway and break the tiny dams I had made and watch the water rush down and demolish the tiny town I had created…

Roots of Division

There have been some thoughts rambling around my mind for the last few weeks. It started when my son asked me one day, “Why are there so many different churches if we all love Jesus?” Hmm…how should I answer this one? I thought for a minute and had a conversation with him about the difference between using his name and following him and how many in the world today will say they’re Christian but their life does not demonstrate that they do. Then I told him that people worship and come to the Lord in many different ways. Some churches are quiet and reserved and others are booming with music and choirs and dynamic speakers and people who like it one way or the other typically get together and over time different churches have come about simply because of preferences…

The Man In The Middle

The thieves on the crosses were both what I have just described above, and more. They were sinners caught by the cords of justice and hanging on trial alongside one who was willing to take their sin and pardon their souls if they would only choose to believe. They knew the physical pain and agony he was in. They had no doubt heard of the events of the week leading up to this man being placed between them. Jesus is there at the center of a tug-of-war waged between life and death…he was right there hanging between them with his love radiating farther than his arms could reach. The offer was available to each of the thieves but only one chose life. Only one chose to spend eternity in paradise. Only one believed…

Sunday Matinee

Farming is a 24/7 chore. It was a rare to have a day off, and even when it did happen, it was more like a few hours off. Typically, it was Sunday afternoons after church and Sunday dinner. Sunday really was the day of rest in our house with lazy afternoons that turned into much needed naps and a fend-for-yourself supper. Occasionally, Sunday afternoons would become movie time. Not downloading one and parking in front of the 55-inch flat screen…but piling in the car and heading to the Movie Theater in the big city (Houghton, Michigan…not really as big as it seemed to my young mind). With hot, buttery popcorn in one hand and a Coke in the other we would settle in to the old lumpy theater seats and watch in amazement as stories were told before our eyes…

Changing Seasons

There are also seasons of our lives, much like the seasons of the year. There are warm, growing spring times when everything seems new and fresh and we are eager to reach higher with every warm ray from the sun or raindrop from the sky. Then there are long hot summers spent basking in the blessings, nurturing the newly sprouted vines and waiting for the harvest. The autumn is spent bringing in that harvest that we diligently planted in the spring and tended throughout the summer, storing it neatly and properly so that it can be used throughout the cold, dark winter. Then the winter comes and we huddle close for warmth and remember the seasons past and pray for blessing in seasons to come…

The Old Man On The Hill

Why such a drastic response as calling down fire from heaven and destroying 102 soldiers who were following orders? Why did the old man not just go straight down to the king and deliver his message in the first place? The answer to these questions lies at the very beginning of the story that I have not mentioned yet. You see, the king had fallen through the roof of his house and been injured and became very ill. He was worried that he may be near death and sent messengers out to inquire from seers and sorcerers if he would live or die. The old man on the hill met the messengers on their way and gave them a message to bring back to the king: is there not a God in your own realm that you need to seek wisdom from other gods in other kingdoms?…

Love…On The Other 364 Days

I’m not against Valentine’s Day but I do take issue with the idea that this one day has become a kind of barometer of how much someone loves us, disregarding all the big and little things they may do on the other 364 that scream out, “I Love You!” I can walk into just about any store and pick up a card for just about any reason, any day of the year, for anyone I care about and make them smile. I can go into any florist and buy something as simple as a daisy for my wife to show I’ve been thinking about her, (or if I give it a bit more thought, a tulip because I know it’s her favorite). Or better yet, pick a few flowers for free from the field on the way home from work on a hot day in July when I’m tired, cranky, and sore. It might look a little weird seeing this middle-aged balding man traipsing through a flower-strewn field on the side of the road searching for that perfect daisy, but love can make you do some crazy things…

Pastors And Preachers

For my kids, doing chores means something very different than what it did for me as a kid. For them it is getting the dishes done and vacuuming and keeping their rooms cleaned. It also means taking care of the pets, taking the garbage out, and shoveling snow. […]

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