Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Sails of Us...

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On this Valentine's Day 2013 I am reminded that:

For some, they recall their youthful past with more romanticism than what it might deserve.  They felt most alive then-when the world still seemed kind and new, when the preponderance of pain and loss still waited safely in the distance.  So, with inordinate clarity, they tenderly remember the emotions, the music, the culture, the relationships of that era with a wistful nostalgia.

For them, "the good old days" really were good, old days.

For others, the days long passed left little to fondly remember- the sweet bliss of youth escaped them mostly.  Broken relationships, shame, guilt, and hurt knocked early and often.  They looked forward to older years- for a distance to refract the past into a distorted ambivalence, for an epic of circumstantial control.

For them, "the good old days" really weren't that good.

And for the few like me, well we sip a smooth nectar through it all-a pot sweetened exponentially when living with your best friend and wife in both youth and age.  For us, we treasure the past and present with equal affection.  We commemorate the good old days as good and see a future with good days still to come.

A time lived fully...

lived with one who inspires us to wake in the morning,

and whose gentle breaths

push the sails of us,

quietly along the winding


Friday, January 18, 2013

Dirt, Potato Salad and...Home...

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At first I laughed and then I felt something more.

A friend told a story of an old preacher who conducted a seminar for some younger preachers.

"One day, " he began.  "One day, you will all die. And, on that day they will dig a hole in the ground, put you in a box, throw dirt on your face and go back inside and eat potato salad."

I couldn't help but think about my own, numbered days in this life, about my funeral, about ladies gathering in the fellowship hall at church and warming up the casseroles...

About this place we now call home.

I wondered about it all, about my priorities, about the brief moment in history we are allowed in this place.

It scared me.

Last year provided a lot of changes for me and my family.  I got a new hip in March.  Lisa and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary in September.  In October, I quit my job of nineteen years to home-school our youngest son and maybe go back to school myself.  And, at the end of November, we adopted our two foster daughters.

But, somehow along the way...well, life just kept happening- that once narrow path became more obscured by the busyness of just getting by.  And, I stumbled off, down into the weedy edge- still proficient at my God-speak, sophisticated with my Sunday show, but lacking in the private disciplines of authentic faith.

Bearings alarmingly awry.

So now, it's here I find myself at this very moment in history- knowing exactly where I am, but lost just the same.

It's probably time to commit myself and our family to something different...something most meaningful...something that will last beyond the dust to which we are destined to return.

And so, my resolution is simple:

to sit beneath the broad leaves of a summer magnolia as the sun finally retreats from sight,

to sip the silvery froth of the moonbeams trickling down,

to be still...and quiet,

and embrace once more
courtesy of

the familiar Spirit of the great artist

who painted it on the sky,

to hope for a place with cloudless


to live and believe with child-like faith

that another home

is waiting


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In My Dreams...

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At first glance,

meeting eyes...

simmering wonder.

Familiar- the caress of walnut hair,

covering lilac scented skin-

voice like honey, heavy laden,

wrapped in feather pillows.

Closer I moved,

brushing my lips

gently against her cheek,

whispering with hushed ease,

"I knew you well,

even before we met.

You were lingering,

waiting quietly,

nearly every night...


out there,

in the wildest,

of my



Proverbs 31:10- A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Road...

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For as long as memory serves, I can recall us "good Christians" always asking God for some sign to reveal His will for our life- something tangible, an audible voice, a recognizable reminder that He is here with us, holding our hand, leading the way, steering the wheel.

I've even been guilty myself of making deals with Him.

"God, if you will do this for me, then I will do that for you.  'Let this cup pass from me,' and then I will know for sure you really exist.  Then I will do big things for you."  Or, something along those lines-my decisions always predicated on what He would first do or show me.  And so for most of my life, I became a waiting expert- content to wait for that ostensible sign from God above, hoping somehow for a miraculous revelation of His holy road map for my life.

That was easy.

A much harder theology to embrace is that in order to find we must first seek, and that seeking by definition means acting not reacting- doing something before we may feel led or inspired to actually do it.

Doing it before we get our sign.

So a few years ago my family, spurred on by the words of James to the early Christians, decided to turn down a less traveled road.  We hadn't exactly heard God's royal voice, nor had we seen irrefutable evidence of His will.  Didn't feel some great calling either or especially qualified to do anything other than what we had been doing in our past.

Just figured we had an extra bedroom for some kids who might need a safe place to land for a while.

And so now,  I find it mildly curious when people ask me if I worry about how fostering and adopting might negatively affect my biological children, even though a few years earlier I might have asked the same question  of others so inclined. My answer is always the same:

Not worried a bit.

Worried about as much as I might worry about how my wife birthing another one herself would "harm" them.  Not even a blip on the worry radar.  In fact, what I really worry about is trying to explain to my kids how my religion demands I care for the defenseless, how my religion demands I give food, drink, and clothes to the needy, how we have such a charmed life- a life full of blessings and bounty and how we could then choose to ignore during the week the faith we profess on Sunday. How could we refuse to share in our undeserving abundance?

No, I worry more about obscuring the light of His truth in a reclusive, self-absorbed, self-seeking, self-indulgent bushel of me.

I worry more about the negative effects of complacent faith, deceiving us into believing the chief aim of mankind is self-gratification at every given moment in time- a lifeless faith that never challenges us to get over ourselves

A faith without sacrifice.


God didn't save me to church attendance. God didn't save me to one hour of Sunday entertainment. God didn't save me to build up walls against those different from myself. He saved me to serve Him. He saved  me to care for the least of my brothers.

He saved me to rescue the perishing and care for the dying.

I would be lying if I said the journey down this road was not without its sadness.  The truth is our experience (despite appearances) hasn't been some cutesy, idyllic, picture perfect postcard of blissful living.  It has been and continues to be hard work with a little bit of everything else mixed up and thrown in together.  We've learned a lot about ourselves, about our children, about humility, about the kind of faith we hope to have one day.

And, in this process, we are still discovering something else:

We'll never see the signs along the side of the road,

while sitting quietly in

the parking

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