Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. – Jesus (Mt 7:7 NRSV)
Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 are very familiar to me. Mostly I know them as part of a chorus we used to play and sing at church camp. When sung in parts and with the descant, that simple little chorus could transform a campfire experience into something special.
It’s funny how such familiar words can be found fresh again. At least that was my experience early this week, when in the course of reading Matthew 7 I stopped to consider the words anew. I no longer hear them as a teenager or young adult camp counselor. I hear them as a middle-aged pastor, husband, father, and recently new granddad, who has been wrestling with God in prayer for the past several months. Continue reading
Christmas was for me, as is true with many children, a magical time of year. I have fond memories of childhood Christmas experiences that involved my parents, siblings, extended family and church. These memories have kind of all blended together as the years pass by, but one or two still manage to stand out.
A Christmas memory I treasure yet to this day concerns the year that our parents decided to give each other the same gift. I’m not sure where the seeds for this gift idea were sown, or how long they had germinated, but as the Christmas season rolled around that year it was common knowledge that Mother and Dad had talked about a television for the dining room. “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to watch the morning news over coffee and toast, while seated at the dining room table, rather than just listen to the local radio station?” An idea was hatched. Continue reading
One of the campfire songs my family of origin often shared during my formative years was Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land”. We sang that tune all across the USA as we traveled with our parents each summer on a two or three week trek, leaving our Indiana home right after the completion of the 4-H fair and returning in time to start school. I’ve thought of that song the past couple of weeks as I took a trip to the West coast with my own family and once again enjoyed the beauty of our home land. In fact some of the lyrics coincided with our travels “from California” and the “Redwood Forest”.
Guthrie’s song wraps up with the phrase “this land was made for you and me”. Continue reading
It’s mulberry season! What? That doesn’t cause your taste buds to salivate? Mine either.
While on a bike ride around town I could not help but notice how many mulberry trees are currently dropping their fruit all over the pavement, sidewalks, People trail, and any other ground cover that’s within reach. The tell tale signs of purple stains are a sure give away that this year’s crop is once again abundant. And the birds are happy about that.
I grew up with a mulberry tree growing in the fence row which just happened to border our back yard basketball court. This pesky tree and I had a love-hate relationship. Actually the tree probably could’ve cared less how I felt about it. But it did illicit some strong emotions from me. Continue reading
Thank God for the Chicago Cubs! That’s right, over the last few weeks that is exactly what I have been doing – giving thanks for a baseball team. I’m guessing that you are somewhat familiar with the Cubs’ story this year, which culminated in a dramatic game seven, extra-inning World Series championship. Even the least observant baseball or sports fan would have to have taken note of last week’s news as it’s been widely celebrated that the Cubs broke a 108 year drought when it comes to championships.
It’s one of those feel-good stories that come along every so often, and this one seems to have hit just when we needed it. Mired in the muck of an ugly and awful election our nation benefitted from a national distraction – which is just what the Cubs and Cleveland Indians gave us last week. So, band wagon fan, or life long-suffering loyalist to the north-siders; we all won last week when the Cubbies finally brought home the hardware. Seems like the many companion stories to their success bear witness to this. So, I thought I’d add my story. Continue reading