The Keymaker – and the keys to peace and joy

The Keymaker who drove 50 miles

I needed a locksmith, and couldn't find one in the closest town who'd be willing to drive up to our place in the mountains.  We rent the place to guests, believing and hoping that time spent out of the city and away from television will provide an environment where people can encounter God, perhaps hear God's voice with greater clarity.  A key had gone missing, and we needed to change some locks, but nobody was willing to drive 20 miles to visit us.50 miles though, is another story.  I ca … [Read more...]

Safety: Vice or Virtue?

P1050625

My friend Christian died in the Austrian Alps this past spring, caught in an avalanche.  Jane Larson was struck by a falling rock in July and is alive and healing, but it could have gone either way.  Spend enough time in the mountains and you'll begin to compile an "in remembrance" list of those who died young.  The rest of us who venture out all have "almost" stories, enough to write a book, because to go high in the moutains is to move to the realm of uncertainty.  You can mitigate the risk to … [Read more...]

The Piano – and the painful goodness of letting go

P1050976

I didn't know on Saturday night that they'd be the last notes I'd play on it.  I sat down a few minutes before a woman came in response to our Craig's list ad and touched the keys with a tune I made up on the fly.  It's what I do best with pianos.  Those pesky notes from Bach or Mozart have always felt too confining for me.  So I simply sit and play, letting the music well up from my soul and pour out over the keys.  I've done that multiple hundreds of times on this piano.  It's been a friend.  L … [Read more...]

The Path… why we desparately need silence, solitude, and paying attention

a simple overnight can teach life changing lessons

My daughter and I are going up into the high country, but we'll be taking the road less traveled.Instead of parking at a trailhead and following a line on a map, we'll be walking up, behind the chalet we purchased nearly one year ago with a vision of offering hospitality, space to hear God's voice, and a sharing of life in a mountain setting with guests.  This way of getting to our destination offers no line on a map - just word of mouth, unused and overgrown roads and subtle paths which, if … [Read more...]

Colossians: An antidote to cynicism and despair

I've been living in the book of Colossians a fair bit recently, diving in some mornings after coffee with God, and at other odd times during the week.  Over and over again, I've found myself saying, 'this is the truth that we need right now - at this anxious, polarized time in history, when it appears that so much all around us is either collapsing (think Egypt, Syria, Greece, the Eurozone), or built on untruths (think every campaign ad about to baptize your sensibilities).  From the moment we w … [Read more...]

Light, Shadows, Snow… and faith

When I say that we all need to learn how to read from the book of creation, sometimes people wrinkle their noses and wonder what I'm talking about.  This morning's journal entry might offer a helpful example, written after a morning walk with the neighbors up at the writing cabin.Good morning God...My heart is full this morning, grateful for the walking friends up here and the refreshing conversations when we do our mile together.  This morning though, most of my gratitude stems from t … [Read more...]

Hope and Laughter – Yours for the Thaw

thaw - the sun will win

I'm driving east today from Seattle, into the mountains for some R&R (Reading & wRiting).  I've been east often during this past ski season, often enough to watch the snow pile up, to watch upper story windows become encased in snow.  Up in these coastal mountains, most of that rain that famously falls in Seattle comes down as snow, creating tons of beauty.  Still, enough is enough, and one begins to wonder, with the white stuff still falling in late March, when this frozen beauty will be … [Read more...]

Cultivation – Freeing ourselves from “the latest and greatest”

P1040985

I normally teach in Germany at the end of November, when the harvest has just come in and the farmers are taking a break.  This year, though, I'm privileged to be in this agrarian region of southern Germany (wine, apples, honey, plus much more) at the end of winter and the farms are anything but sleepy.  The vines are being trimmed.  The soil is being tilled, as I encounter numerous tractors on my morning run.  Folks are in their yard gardens, prepping, planting, trimming, cleaning, turning the s … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X