Saturday, November 30, 2013

Twenty Five Guests

Beginning Thanksgiving Eve and through Saturday, we had around twenty five guests. Every bed in the house, the guest house, and an extra air mattress, was used for someone to dream the night away and gain weight. Some visited for a few hours, some overnight, and some for several days. Two of our three children were here--one from Seattle and one from Boston. A guest from China, Lao Shao,  experienced his first American Thanksgiving and fired every weapon I own--another first for him. Ben, a student attending UGA, but who hails from Los Angeles and also taught in China spent the night. Joshes girl, Sammy, who is a professor from Kansas is here. Sandy's mean niece, and her husband came from Florida. Many others--who now call Columbus, Georgia home--born and raised all over the United States broke bread with us. Some were from Christian traditions, and some were not. But the one thing that united all that diversity was the joy of one another's company.

Prior to everyone's arrival I had laid in a BIG stack of firewood; it's mostly a circle of gray ashes now. In spite of the unseasonably cold weather we pulled the chairs up close to the flames and told lies and stories for hours on end. Our house is surrounded by hundreds of privately owned land and during the day we cruised much of it. Deer leaped from the hardwood bottoms and up across ridges, turkeys took flight, and a lone possum did his best to get out of sight as fast as he could. At night we heard the frantic yips of a pack of coyotes, and the lonesome hoot of a barred owl.

Of course a couple of hours were dedicated to watching the Lord of the Rings. It's a tradition for us. Food? Oh my gosh! We ate non-stop! All the traditional Thanksgiving fare: turkey and the fixings, pies, cakes, turnovers, fruit dishes, breads, and more disappeared in our mouths and reappeared on our body mass index!

Over the last few days we have talked, texted, and FaceBooked with friends and family that could not come. For those we have yet to contact--we love you, and give thanks to God for all that you have brought to our lives and to our world. Be blessed!



Friday, November 29, 2013

Robert and Sara~When Less Is More

As many of you know, our good friend Robert George passed away on Veteran's Day. He was 80 years young. If you knew Robert and Sara personally, you also know that they were inseparable. Working side by side they advanced the Kingdom all over the world. They were the modern day equivalent of Priscilla and Aquilla of the New Testament book of Acts.

So many have asked how Sara is doing in the days since Robert's passing. The day before Thanksgiving I talked to her on the phone. Sandy and I have wondered and worried about how she would go forward after her Love of decades was no longer at her side.

Sara cheerfully answered the phone, and I listened as she described the outpouring of love from family and friends from across town and around the world. The most prominent thing she described was the peace of God that passes all understanding. "God has been holding me up," She exclaimed. "in ways I have never before had to avail myself to God's strength. I am not just hanging on and getting by. Instead, God is using this loss to speak into the lives of so many hurting people. Bill, the Spirit and love of God is exceeding anything I have ever before experienced. God is giving me the strength to bring comfort to so many. Never has God's presence been as powerful."

During their earthly sojourn together Robert and Sara passed through the fires on many an occasion. Each time this faithful couple faced them together and emerged with a faith that was purer, and a testimony of the power and presence of God that was clearer. Now, for a time, Sara is the lone image bearer of what was once a dynamic partnership. Yet, God has proven once again that less is more--when God is the more.

The gold is purer and Sara is reflecting an even brighter and more vivid image of the difference Christ makes.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Shouting or Ranting?

A voice said, "Shout!" I asked, "What should I shout?" "Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." ~ Isaiah 40: 6-8

There is a distinct difference between shouting and ranting. A rant may contain some truth, but loses its authority because it is often undermined by irrational intensity. All heat and no light. Presenting truth in a harangue causes hearers to shut-down, rather than listen-up.

God shouts, but He doesn't rant. Neither should we.

A voice--God's voice--was urging Isaiah to shout. But the prophet's spiritual sensibilities told him his audience would not tolerate a tirade, so he asked God, "What should I shout?" That's a great question for any who profess to speak emphatically as heaven's spokesperson. Put another way, we should ask: who or what is blowing on the embers in our spirits, before we unleash a fiery gust of exclamation points in ascending decibels? Isaiah, got that settled first.

Through Isaiah, Almighty God was shaking off the dust His beloved had covered Him with.  A vicarious spokesman blew away the shifting sands upon which the Chosen had chosen to stand. Once upon a time God was the bedrock upon which they had firmly stood, and the final word on all they believed. Indeed, Isaiah shouted, but God's breath empowered the prophet's sermon. In a nutshell, God would drop a bombshell. His beloved had become focused on all-things temporal and lost sight of all-things eternal. A prophetic message would change everything. God's Word would once again be the litmus test for all things spiritual, philosophical, and practical.

Isaiah's announcement is desperately needed today. To a great extent, we are witnessing a generation that lives like tasting, touching, seeing, smelling, and hearing is the be all and end all. A world view that says, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. But life in the Kingdom is not just food and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. God alone is our all in all.

A final thought…

To get perspective on Isaiah's message, open your front door or your family photo album. Truth is delivered metaphorically, but shouts loudly. Imagery of brilliant greenery turning colorless, and the young that do not remain ageless. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people...but the word of our God stands forever.





Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wise Guys

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble...Can two walk together without agreeing on the direction? ~ Proverbs 13:20; Amos 3:3

There is always a transfer of influence from one person to the other as people spend time together. If we were do a quick inventory on our personal core values and past and present actions we would quickly see that we are impacted by our relationships. Crunching the Proverb to even fewer words, "We rub off on each other."

Amos' words remind us that we choose a direction and find companions to join us. The choice is ours: grow deeper in wisdom, or slog through the shallows--growing older, but never wiser.

Enjoying the Adventure is the mantra I write and live under. Adventure refers to the one we are called into upon salvation. For me, having a way to quickly remind myself of that conversion is of paramount importance, because I know that I am a complex concoction of curiosity, intensity, and melancholy. That being the case, seeking out wise people helps me keep reasonable guardrails on my intensity. Also, I readily confess that I can be way to quick to seize life by the throat. Along with that, life generously raises a lot of questions, but very stingily gives answers, and that stokes the embers of melancholy--that are always smoldering--into a consuming fire. I can easily contemplate myself into oblivion. Dangerous.

So I say all that, to say this. Each of us is bent and broken. None of us is self-sufficient. None of us has it all together. Not even the Redeemed. For sure, we absolutely need the wisdom of God, and when I talk of wisdom that is the wisdom to which I speak. But we also need the wisdom of the godly. This is where the hard choices must be made, so I will frame it with these rather hard words: we can give in to our dents and dings and dysfunctions and choose to join a merry, but misguided, band of fools that never speak of God or speak godly wisdom into our lives, or we can choose companioning with people that are pursuing God's agenda and have gained sanctified wisdom while doing so. The former is a fool's errand, and the other is Enjoying the Adventure...   

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mary Magdalene

Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene from whom he had cast out seven demon. Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's business manager; and many others who were contributing their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples. ~ Luke 8:1-3


For who knows how long, seven demons tortured Mary Magdalene's soul and manipulated her body like a hand puppet. Jesus broke their spell over Mary and sent them to the pit. From that point on Mary Magdalene never left Jesus' side. The former demoniac and alleged prostitute was one of only a handful that followed Jesus all the way the foot of the cross. She had backbone. Those who realize they have been forgiven much usually do. They love much, too.

Jesus, twelve male disciples, and many women--some cured of debilitating diseases and some freed from destructive demons, banded together. There was Joanna, whose husband, Chuza, was a member of Herod's inner circle; his business manager, no less. Imagine her and hubby's pillow-talk. Joanna, Susanna, Mary Magdalene, and others unnamed, provided the financial resources to keep the whole lot of them on the road. Try to imagine the scenes as they walked the dusty streets of hamlets and villages. Wouldn't you have loved to see such a sight?

Over and over again they witnessed the power of the Son of God's Good News message. Each of them were living, breathing testimonies that Jesus came to save all of us--not just some us, and bring us together with purified passions and purposes. Even when the only thing--but the most important thing--we share in common is that we have been forgiven.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In Honor of Native American Month (November)

The Native American Princess in the actual picture is stunningly beautiful

My grandfather, William Vernon Shorey, (I carry his name), was of Native American heritage. So that would mean I also carry those genes. My wife, Sandra, comes from Native American heritage also and it's obvious. All of our children, especially Josh, carry many physical features of the Indian. Me…not so much. Light skin, freckles, blue eyes and auburn (now white) hair. 

Rich Poor People

They [churches in Macedonia] are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. ~ 2 Corinthians 8:2

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son...  ~ Jesus

Have you ever met someone who is generous but not joyful? I can't recall meeting a generous person that isn't also a joyous person. My experience is that such people do not necessarily express their joy with a big effervescent personality. Some of the generous people I know actually border on being shy Maybe you have had the opportunity to observe generous people over the long haul, and like me, would also testify that they remain generous--even though life has brought them their fair share of trouble. My mom is that kind of generous and joyful.

Each of us has probably dreamed of coming into a great fortune. Sandy and I have been driving down the highways and seen the MegaBucks and PowerBall advertisements, which have spawned conversation about what we would do with our millions. Have you done that? You know, give a few million to each sibling, parents, friends, or favorite charity. Travel the globe, build houses for people who don't have one, quit your job, buy your company and fire your boss, set up trusts funds for your kids and grandkids. The list goes on and on.

But that's not what generosity is really about. What is generosity then? It's about having a generous heart that is compelled to give. Most of the generous people I know don't have a lot of money, but they do a lot of heart. They still find non-monetary ways to be generous. Their disposition toward whatever possessions of time, money, or abilities they have are seen as assets to meaningfully give away. No matter their resources--abundant or meager--they find a way to give. And like them, we can be poor as church mice, and yet still be generous. They are the offspring of the Believers in Macedonia, exceeding expectations when it comes to generosity. We, too, can be poor as church mice, and yet still be know as generous.

We are entering a season of giving thanks for what we have received. But maybe it's been a lean year, and though there is always something to be thankful for, it's been a tough one. Love, respect, justice, and care have been withheld--leaving your soul with an empty stomach. Sadness is hovering around you. In the midst of such a personal famine, could it be that the best thing to do is to find a way to be generous?

Those early Believers gave out of their poverty. In return they received joy. Stop and think about it…isn't that what we all want--joy? Let's choose to be rich poor people.

    

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Native American Sketch

Even if you are a novice artist like myself, it is fascinating to start with a blank sketch pad, draw a frame, shade it, and then begin to draw the image in front of you. Along the process I took photos at different stages (as you can see I didn't load them in the right sequence).

I started the sketch by squinting my eyes and drawing in the darkest shades, which began with his right eye. As I began I tried to capture as much detail as I could at my level of competency. Next, I drew in his left eye and he came to life. After that I began to fill in his hair, then the contours of his face, and finally on to the entire picture as I saw it.

I am learning more about negative spaces, shared edges, shading, and training my eyes to see more detail each time I pick up my 2B pencil.

My Bride of thirty-six years is 1/16th Native American. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Rapture...

This morning our pastor spoke on the Second Coming, also known as the Rapture...

A couple of weeks ago the doe and her twin fawns that have been hanging around our house disappeared. We haven't seen them since. There have been, however, several young bucks and a couple of mature does that feed along the pond every other day. At least three times I have had them in the crosshairs of my Winchester, Model 88, .308, but have yet to squeeze the trigger. That would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago.

I like the taste of venison, and the stealth and care of quietly picking my way through the woods before first light to climb into a tree stand and wait for nature to awaken from sleep. From the same vantage point in the evening, I love watching the changing shadows as the sun sinks behind the tree line. I have taken my fair share of deer here in Georgia, but dropping a deer while seated around our fire pit in the backyard doesn't do it for me. By observation, we have patterned the locals to the point where we know when they are going to show up and from what direction they will arrive. They are like neighborhood deer, far too unsuspecting, and every bit as predictable as the arrival of the daily mail. Even now, as I watch them through my binoculars, I noticed that for some reason they are feeling edgy. Something has raised their protective instincts to a higher level of alertness.

Later this fall I may be going out into the backwoods of Alabama to hunt. There, the deer are wary and wild. We hunt with bows, take only mature stock, are in their untamed environment, and the deer hold nearly every advantage. If I don't make that trek it doesn't matter.

Aha!!!!

Our deer headed for deep cover. You won't believe what happened just minutes later! As I sat here typing I heard a bugle sound. We are surrounded by nearly two thousand acres of privately held land and a fox hunt is underway! In fact, a couple of long legged hounds, beige in color with wheaten patches, have their nose to the ground and are zig-zagging along the banks of the pond trying to pick up a scent. Out of my view, but in Sandy's, she told me that another thirty, nearly identical hounds, came bursting out of the underbrush. As I rushed to get my camera the bugle sounded once again, and in a blink they disappeared… like they had been called out in the Biblical Rapture!

Off in the distance a man's voice shouts out calling the dogs back to him. Makes you smile does it not?

We love this place!




Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tears

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto God: Man shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. ~ Psalm 40:1-3

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. ~ Psalm 56:8

We emerge from our mother's womb and enter this world crying. We will exit this world and loved ones will file before our casket crying. In between our arrival and departure countless more tears will slide down our cheeks. Yes, there will be tears of joy, wonderfully happy and sentimental times when we will laugh until we cry. But compared to the streams evoked by sadness that will surge up from our hearts and out through our eyes they will be but a drop in the bucket.

Scripture tells us that God collects all our tears in His bottle and records each one in His book. Just as a mother knows why her little one is crying, so too, God surely distinguishes between the tears caused by the loss of a parent and the loss of a pet. Between a heart broken and a heart rejoicing. Between those caused by peeling an onion and those caused when layers of your soul have been savagely peeled back.

Stop for a moment and think about the times those salty veins of water have breached the tiny dams at the edges of your eyes and fallen onto your lap, or have left a snowfield of white tissues on your bed or kitchen table.

David has journaled a particular kind of meltdown. Of all the tears he/we shed, these speak to a most important event that binds us to God and changes our life like no other. For each of us the catalyst prompting the release of guttural groans and the unstoppable floods may be different. Describing such a moment is difficult. But at the core the reason is exactly the same: we have come to the end of ourselves. We can't "pick ourselves up by the bootstraps." A crisis of such magnitude is swallowing us alive, and neither friends nor material resources can bring relief. God alone is our hope. I am talking about crying out to God to save us at the soul level.

As painful as it is, we are never in a better place than when such a great awakening arrives. It's that God-moment when we cast all our cares and outcome on an unexplainable belief that God is listening. We know God is near. We believe God will lift us out of our horrible pit and the miry clay. We bet the house on Him.

From that moment our lives are changed. Faith is born. There will be more tears, but they will be shed as we stand on the rock-solidness and growing confidence in the One who delivered us. Our journey will be more treacherous than ever before, but though our eyes are still dimmed by tears we will never see more clearly. A new perspective will help us see that God is working in our successes and failures and through them actually establishing our goings. There will be melancholy songs, but the great Conductor will be rearranging the somber minor keys turning them into hymns of praise.

The best part…

Time will be the test and friend of this Truth. Our watching world will take notice, because theirs is a tearful sojourn too. Hurting and broken people surround us. It may take years before onlookers can translate our transformation. It may be when they walk by our casket. Unfortunately some may never come to the end of themselves. But some will…and they, too, shall trust in the LORD.

He washed my eyes with tears that I might see,
The broken heart I had was good for me;

He tore it all apart and looked inside,
He found it full of fear and foolish pride. 

He swept away the things that made me blind
And then I saw the clouds were silver lined;

And now I understand 'twas best for me. 
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see…

~ Ira Stanphil

Friday, November 15, 2013

Robert's Rules of Order

He lifted me up out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. ~ Psalm 40:1-3

Robert presenting a scholarship to 5 Chinese students on our first trip to China together
Robert and Sara lived chaotic, yet scheduled lives all at the same time.





Chaotic, in that most Americans work toward retirement to get out of the grind and coast through their golden years. Not them--they did more after "retirement" than most people would do in a lifetime. They immersed themselves into the lives and needs of others.

Robert was also an incredibly organized and disciplined person. All over the world--literally, there are upstart ventures that were built on the business plans Robert helped young entrepreneurs formulate. On top of that, God only knows how much money Sara and he raised to help Asian students get into American Universities. On at least four different continents he navigated the bureaucracy and red tape necessary to help others launch new enterprises. All those efforts were but a pipeline to funnel into countless home Bible studies Chinese seeking to learn more about Jesus. I had the privilege of leading a good number of those groups and saw Chinese saved and baptized. To the person, they have all gone on to share the gospel and advance the Kingdom.

Sara George and Sandy and me in China
What sustained Robert and Sara?

There is only one explanation that could account for such sustained and robust selflessness. I can tell you what it was without question. Robert and Sara shared an intimate relationship with God. I do not know the circumstances that caused them to call upon God, but I can assure you that they came to the place any and all who seek redemption must find themselves. That is without God--no matter how good things appeared--without God they were in a pit of despair, and mired in mud. When they called, God answered. From that point on they continued to bring their lives before God. They considered anything but a life fully devoted to Christ to be living in the pits. Not everything they touched turned to gold. In their history there were some staggering set-backs. Times when they were knocked face down. But in turning to God, He picked them up and steadied and refreshed them for each new adventure. Robert and Sara shared an effervescent enthusiasm that was a hymn of praise to a watching world. Many saw it, wanted it, and put their trust in the Lord.

When seeking Robert's advice and wisdom, I would tell him I needed Robert's Rules of Order. In my last one-on-one conversation with Robert I was trying to figure out how to hit the curve ball God had pitched Sandy and me. Robert listened, and then asked me, "Bill, what do you want?" My eyes welled up, and I remember how I wanted to hug his eighty year old neck and tell him, "I want to be like you!" Meaning: humble, solid, purposeful, and fully committed to helping people find their way to God.

I didn't hug him. I wish I had.

The last audible words spoken by my orderly friend were to the gentleman who rushed to his aide as Robert Franklin George lay on the concrete outside the Columbus Post Office were, "Call my wife, Sara." And then he gave the kind gentleman her phone number. Moments later Robert was in God's presence. His mission accomplished, his itinerary complete. Heaven rejoiced.







Sunday, November 10, 2013

Good Walls Aren't Bad.

Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, What they are building--if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!" Nehemiah 4:3


The fox is a beautiful creature. But as a neophyte artist (who has yet to master the 2B pencil), I have found they are difficult to capture in graphite. This is my attempt to sketch a photo without the benefit of blending shades of brown, black, red, and gray.

Also, I began to recall how frequently the fox is referenced in Scripture; almost never in flattering terms as metaphor or a simile…which led me to Nehemiah's walls.



In New England, where I grew up, property lines that divided farmlands were often rock walls. Wandering around in the woods, there have been many times when I have come across them. Long after the old homesteads have turned to dust, and the pastures that once supported crops and livestock that supported a husband and wife and a brood of children had returned to forest, traces of rock walls remained. There is something beautiful and peaceful about them, even when they are no longer functional and tightly fitted together. Sitting with a book on an old lichen covered stonewall, that for decades has survived the brutal bullying of heaving frosts each spring, is an experience I wish upon everyone. Or, you can just sit with your thoughts and imagine what life was like back in the good old days.

Nehemiah looked upon the outer walls that had once protected those who lived within them. No pleasant thoughts came to his mind. The city's ancient walls were a tangled mess. Hewn timbers that once framed the gates were scorched and charred. He was looking upon the judgment of God. Israel, a rebellious people, had long before torn down the spiritual walls God had given them through Moses and the prophets. The debris field he maneuvered around was metaphor of the results. Sowing to the wind, they reaped a whirlwind. Nehemiah felt an emotional storm of grief whip up in his soul. Then, fresh and gentle winds of hope.

Nehemiah remembered that God has also promised that following judgment He still held out the invitation to rebuild the spiritual walls that had once made them his wonderfully peculiar people. If they would, he would gather them from the four corners of the known world to live and worship together, and by Divine intervention bring about physical and spiritual restoration.

We, as God's New Covenant people, have always have been a paradox like our fore bearers. Without thinking, we proudly tear down good, spiritual walls God established to bless and protect us. For sure, there are racial, segregational, denominational, and a long list of other walls that need to come down, but too often we erect new ones without the blueprints of the Divine Architect. Such walls have proven time and again that they are incapable of supporting even the nimble pacing of a foxes feet. Let alone curb the fall-out of our fallen nature. Century after century has proven that godless walls cannot keep enemies at bay, keep the precious protected, or bring about justice, yet we labor on in vain.

Part of the sojourn of every generation of Christ-followers is the prophetic call to rebuild the walls God gave us. Not fully explainable, but nonetheless true, The Trinity will always roll up their sleeves and join that project. It's a struggle to get it right, but it's worth humbling ourselves and asking God, "What are the walls we need to rebuild?"

Not all walls are bad…


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Offensive Billy Graham

For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone--except God. Billy Graham

Before we can see the cross as something done for us, we need to see the cross as something done by us. John R. W. Stott



I just watched Billy Graham's final message--twice. His family is saying it is probably the last time we will hear from the ninety-five year old evangelist. I was caught off guard from the moment the camera pulled him into frame. The sight of his aged visage caused my eyes to blur with tears. There he sat, his white hair swept back, his deep set blue eyes fading, but still striking. As he made his points his gesturing hands trembled slightly. When he spoke his voice no longer rang with that perfect pitch and pleasant drawl that garnered the attention of saints and sinners alike for decades. Presidents and kings, rich and poor, young and old, powerful and weak gave Billy their ear. Tens of thousands came to Christ through his crusades.

Both of my sons, even as little boys, found him compelling. He was an impassioned and polished communicator, but never came across as slick, pretentious, or manipulating. All these years later his message remains as clear and true as the blast of a trumpet--all these years later he continues to use Biblical words and phrases of days gone by: hell, death, lust, pride, sin, repentance, confession, and other such confrontational words. With humility and authority, yet without apology, he declared that our country is in a spiritual, economical, and physical downward spiral. We need a Savior, because we are sinners. We have offended God. God is our only hope. God loves us. God offers forgiveness. God is merciful. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus is the only way. We must turn to Jesus. We can--and need to--be saved. God longs to deliver us. Billy was wonderfully offensive, because the message of the Cross is offensive.

At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon and out of date, I ask the question: If we listened to one hundred sermons in one hundred churches today would we hear such a message?





I Am Grateful

Even in death there is beauty
It seems like it has been ages since I have sat down to write a post. I am glad that I miss it when I don't. In the past week there has been a good trip to Maine to see my mom and connect with friends and family that live at the eastern tip of the United States. Schedule adjustments are a big part of all of our lives.

Americans on their native soil, and thousands expatriated around the globe will celebrate Thanksgiving this month. If you are on FaceBook you probably are seeing meme after meme posted focusing on taking time to count our blessings. As we look around at our world and at the circle of friends and acquaintances that make up our day to day, we know that along with the good there is the disruption of the unexpected, and the disappointments that living under the sun brings: physical illnesses; loss of loved ones; difficult job environments; strained relationships, and for Believers--times when God seems quiet and distant. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, "If we are not comfortable in this world, could it be that we were never meant to live in the world as it is?" Undoubtably, it is the case that, the great thinker was certainly in line with the theme of God's message throughout the Scripture.

Fall, in our fallen world, still reflects vestiges of beauty
Yet, we also have the privilege and imperative to continue to cultivate our fallen garden of Eden, and to  point out the goodness of God. We not only observe, but we also respond and engage to make it a better place for people whose lives brush the edges of ours. We are called, with reason, to be thankful sojourners. Amid so much that is broken and twisted we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and voices to continually pronounce--the goodness of God in the land of the living.



Friday, November 1, 2013

Maine Man

Along with mom, my sisters, and one of my brothers and his wife, we got together for lunch. Mom's eye is looking much improved. We are grateful! She is a trooper. Her grandsons--along with one of their friends--are on their way here and we will gather once again before the weekend is done.

Fickle Maine weather is upon us. Yesterday's weather was clear skies and 24 degrees. Today, winds whipped the leaves off the trees, stacked up white caps on the river, and sent the mercury up to 63 degrees! The sun slipped behind the horizon by five o'clock, and days will continue grow shorter until December 21. Then long nights will give-way to more and more daylight as we move toward the birth of Spring.

Tomorrow morning, the boys (ages 30, 31, 32) and I will grab a hearty breakfast at the 95er and then do some good old fashioned work cutting and splitting fire wood and clearing brush. I'm thinking I will take a supervisory role.