A Sow Named Gertrude

There’s a sow who lives on my daughter Brianna’s farm named Gertrude. Because of her trim figure, she has avoided being a pork chop, and become a pet. A while back dogs attacked her and ran off with her ears.  Yea, that’s right, her ears! Oh, don’t feel too sad for Gertrude, she’s still one…

Love Carries A Saw

My friend Bob used to remind me that God comes as love, carrying a saw.  When he was 19, Bob and his brother crashed into a telephone pole, and walked away unscathed.  But Bob stumbled going up the embankment and his arm touched a down power line.  He said during his six month’s hospital stay…

Three Questions…

Another one in the books.  Another 365 days, the slow grind of a year, that now glancing back, feels more like a runaway train. Today I take pause before the train leaves the station of 2023, and ask myself three questions.  Perhaps one of these will resonate with you.  Did I view myself as God does?…

Grumpy Disciples-Contemplation’s Role in Re-creation

One of my favorite times of the day is what I call office hours. I shut the door to my office, put on piano music, light a candle, and close my eyes.  The silence wraps me like a heavy blanket.  My thoughts are a bundle of sharp brambles; their edges poke at me, a reminder…

Contemplation – One Step of Hope at a Time

A couple years ago, after heart issues had me in and out of the hospital, I fell into a dark place.  I use the word dark to describe how sleep escaped me, and how each successive night of wide-eyed toss and turns left me weaker, more anxious and wondering if I’d ever get a full…

Contemplative Prayer-The Fire of transformation

It’s clear from scripture that God is fire. Moses stood before a burning bush, as well as followed that same pillar of fire guiding him in the desert.  Tongues of fire appeared over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost.  The Bible describes God as a consuming fire.  Which reminds me of a little bon…

Contemplative Prayer-Seeing the Son of Man

On the day after my first son was born, I stood at the discharge counter; only KJ wasn’t going home.  We needed to transfer him to the children’s hospital trauma center.  The night before a kind doctor had explained to us that our son was a very sick little boy, needing 3-4 operations the first…

Contemplative Prayer-In Whose Presence?

Squeezed inside a makeshift tent in the living room, a perfect hiding place for a granddaughter’s over-worked imagination. “What’s that?” I whisper.  Her eyes widen, and a thin smile parts her lips.  My eyes mimic hers in widening fear as we stare at one another.  “The monster’s close, don’t move a muscle,” I say.  Her…

No Greater Love

An associate of mine had quoted conventional wisdom, “First your oxygen mask, then everyone else.”  However, under her breath she quickly added, “I’d probably not do that actually, because I’d put the mask on the one I love, before myself.”  Good, I thought, bravo!  Jesus is talking. I read an article this week titled Two…

Free & Fearless

The new assistant to the prime minister was nervous; he had never been around such a powerful man.  When he got to the massive entrance to the mansion, his trembling finger pushed the doorbell. He waited, heart pounding.  Suddenly, the doors swung open, and there in the foyer was the man he feared, down on…

Fire In The Belly

Lessons for the first-half crowd Subject: Fire in the Belly This is the second in a series of short letters, addressed to what I call, first-half-of-lifer’s. I grew up watching Twilight Zone and remember one episode that began with a room full of people at a masquerade ball. In his usual creepy voice, Rod Sterling…

Of Skiffs & Galleons

Not all prayer requests carry the same weight.  There are everyday prayers, call them skiffs , and then there are rarely seen ones, like Spanish galleons that cross the oceans. The skiffs carry coal into the harbor almost daily.  The galleons remain out of sight, yet when they do come, appear low in the water,…