Category: Tributes

We can know that God loves us. How? The Bible tells us so. “Knowing” proceeds on several levels, so “knowing God loves us” is perceived in several abilities. First the mind can grasp a truth from the Bible translated into our language. Our language learning has given us an ability to take hold of meanings. If the Bible has meaning to me, it happens because something in me can relate to something outside of me. The relating brings the Word in. In me are the tools of creation, the faculties of humankind, created in His image and likeness. Outside of me, the Word initiates a friendship. This friendship occurs as we give authority to this Word by lending a worshiping ear to it; this implies that we comprehend it, believe it, reckon on it, position our focus on it, become a willful servant to it. (see Roman’s 6) God Himself…

Bells toll, signalling for us to rise up, look up first, lift our heads before that, awake from shame into approval, honor, and esteem. Singing flows from us, “glory, glory, glory to the Lamb that was slain.” “All praises and honor to our God, forever and ever, amen.” Daily our souls must hear the bells ringing as Martin Luther did: “The just shall live by faith.” “It was a creative sentence for the reformer and the Reformation. It was in these words that God then said, ‘let there be light! and there was light.” “It was the unveiling of the face of God.” “All through his convent days he proceeds upon the assumption that God gloats over his misery. His life is a long drawn out agony. He creeps like a shadow along the galleries of the cloister, the walls echoing with his dismal mornings. His body wastes to a…

Joshua would be 40 years old on April 10 if he had survived his bout with cancer. 14 years have past since his untimely passing. We remember him today. I have thought of Josh much this past 14 years, but I am okay. God has allowed my imperfect life to continue and has paid me back with many blessings of the spiritual  and physical sort. I have enjoyed the friendship of God’s Spirit, of Jesus, and the Father. I have been allowed to simply be myself, to speak transparently, to have a ministry with the broken hearted. I have felt God’s loving comfort for grievers; I have identified with their pain. These things we have learned from Joshua’s life and dying: The events of life, thrills or tragedy, are not mere speed-bumps to recover from, but are doorways which open to new worlds. Many hidden gifts and desires opened for…

I flew the small way this week — 8 seater. Not bad, a beautiful day, winds were at a minimum. Three seats actually carried travelers — two others and me. A pilot and co-pilot manned the front seats. We flew not by the “seat of our pants,” but for me it was an adventure. The term (flying by the seat…) emerged in the 1930s and was first widely used in reports of Douglas Corrigan’s flight from the USA to Ireland in 1938. “Douglas Corrigan was described as an aviator ‘who flies by the seat of his pants.”  “The old flying expression of ‘flies by the seat of his trousers’ was explained by Larry Conner — means going aloft without instruments, radio or other such luxuries.”  phrases.org. The phrase conjures up a ton of metaphorical pictures for believers. We believers must go many times without connective guides — gauges for equilibrium, location…

The great significance of the Gettysburg Address, then, “is that it restates and reaffirms another great expression of the American mind, the Declaration of Independence—the opening “Four score and seven years,” in fact, points directly to the year 1776. There is one important difference, however, between our foundational political document and the Gettysburg Address: the Declaration of Independence asserts the “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal,” whereas Lincoln refers to human equality as a “proposition.” What was self-evidently true to the men of 1776 had been challenged and even rejected by later generations, leading to a renewed defense of slavery, the great sectional divisions within the Union, and the hostilities then engulfing the nation. Likening the nation’s founding principle to a mathematical theorem, Lincoln suggests that the truth of this “proposition” is not immediately self-evident for all, but must be demonstrably proven to be true.”  historyplex “By insisting that…

  I watched two moms, one my own, the other my wife. A third would be my wife’s mom. All these have a common thing – close ties with their offspring. The children love mom not because she is perfect or even for her giving, but this – she is always in their corner, no matter what. Moms forgive their children — at least the ones I have known. They so never lose hope that their son or daughter will be great or at least be OK. They pray for the kids and worry. Most worry is sin, but not for moms; it becomes sanctified worry. The kids know about this worry and it guides, even restrains them away from certain paths of sure destruction. In order for a kid to go wild he has to find a way around his mom. He has to disregard her. No matter, mom will visit sons in county jail, or…

On this day 12 years ago our son Joshua went to heaven. Now, what do we want? To see him again soon. You lit up our lives for a short 25 years and we miss you today, Josh, and the wait seems long; but eternity is longer. Can’t wait! St. Augustine says: He that loveth little, prayeth little; he that loveth much, prayeth much. What do you want? Surprisingly we rarely visit this thought. What do I need, what can I eat, what do I need to do and what does God want, are questions more common. Christians say, “I lost my vision when things didn’t work out and now I am just meandering.” “What do you want?” When I dutifully focus on my Savior. He says “what do you want?” Some folks in the Bible got healed because when Jesus asked them “what do you want?” —they had an answer.…

Parking was easy; we had a small rental car, low curbs and no real space markers. Pay at the credit card machine, don’t push the wrong buttons; decide how much time needed and add amounts slowly. Place your ticket on the dash visibly. We bought time together. Brother to brother, we were enjoying each other’s rare company. To the used book-nook, yes the sign said “open.” Mildew hits the nostrils, faintly, then stronger; the stay would have to be shortened. What treasures would be found? — Civil war, Christianity, Sociology, Nazi Germany? Personal stories of psychological exploration, biography of a war spy, sports strategies, the brain book; mining for gold, we endured as long as possible. Throats red, we paid and left; but happy with our tiny jewels. A free day, great conversation followed us throughout, unforced but “come as it may,” we enjoyed the next thought, and the next.…

“How you feelin?” Bill Kraski loomed a giant among the weak. My first words to him were always, “how you feelin?” For as long as I knew him, Bill was a member of “the walking wounded;” sometimes seemed to be “dead men walking,” Just his appearance welled up tears in me — Till he started to converse. Authentic laughter Then came the smile, a little tease, then authentic laughter, now a return to a controlled face. “Okay!?” – was a half question/half reply — he “noted” my comments. “Okay?” Next came something that required deep thought, (some details were missing), nevertheless after a few queries, profundity occurred. Bill gave us, in a short sentence, hours of meditation; the baritone spoke as a news reporter.  Bill spoke of his D.J. days, when prompted. I think he played “MacArthur Park” first of anybody. He liked Bela Fleck and anything “light jazz.” I…

It’s about the people. It’s about those faces; humble, hungry, hoping, honest. To be happiness for them, make them smile, somehow fulfill; this is all. We listen, we see their hearts. Having touched the Christ, they crave more. Clearer, greater, a basket without bottom is God new-found. You and me and them; we are all conduits of joy, gardens of flower, trees of apple and pear, apricot and lemon. It flashes through us, we bathe necks, waves come belly-basket, a bale of wheat. We dine at sacred table, the foe watches; he cannot mess. Love shields, we are whole, and in finger-less embrace the souls hug. They broaden love, they widen freedom, they coat the multitude; they mask all defamation. The broken heart finds bond, mended souls synchronize, blazing passions quell, devil-fright vanquishes; I am now Him; He is now us. His is in heaven and so to me; sorrow,…