As much as I really prefer longer days and more sunshine, I also enjoy the magic of the early darkness and the Christmas lights that are appearing on many buildings these days.  Those decorations often look bare and a little forlorn during the sunlight hours. Yet when darkness falls, the forms take shape and the spaces are filled in with the glow from the lights. The tiny bulbs generally used each put out very little light on their own, so… Read more

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, 2009. I had intended to just have a lazy day, relaxing, reading, drying what seems like bushels of basil I’d harvested from the garden before what I figured would be the first freeze of the season. Mid-morning, my phone rang. Unfamiliar number–no name with it. When I answered, the voice introduced himself as someone I had known years ago, and had recently seen at a gathering for my and his parents Sunday School class. He… Read more

My desk is covered with appeals for funds. Most of these are organizations I have supported regularly or sporadically in the past. I have huge respect for what they do. Some are for educational institutions, but most are for agencies who work to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the prisoner, release the captive, give sight to the blind. For the biblically literate, those phrases speak of the prophetic call on the life of Jesus when he first began… Read more

I recently received a note from someone I knew years ago but have not seen in decades. The last time we had spoken, we had discussed our mutual interest in what it might mean to live as Christian people, giving much more than simple lip service to the things we said were vitally important to us. He wrote to me about that conversation, “That time with you made so much difference in my life. I became much more active with… Read more

On an average day, what did you touch that someone else has already touched–or will touch after you? Consider a day at work or school.  If the entrance doesn’t have an electric eye and automatic opening device, then you touch the handle to open it.  If you go up or down stairs, you will probably at some point grab the handrail.  If you use an escalator, you will probably balance with the ever-rotating hand hold at some point.  Elevators mean… Read more

What is your basic truth about the nature of God? Is God good? Happy? Angry? Close or far away? Does God like you? Dislike you? These may seem like silly questions, but the answers we give determine how we do, or don’t, relate to God. It also determines how we read the Bible and the answers we find, or don’t find, about life, God, salvation, heaven and hell and a host of other things. A wise theologian once said, “Where… Read more

Recalculating . . . recalculating . . . recalculating I have recently acquired a GPS device (global positioning system) to guide me when I’m heading someplace unfamiliar. I rarely use it, as I enjoy a good sense of direction and read maps well. However, on a couple of recent trips to out of town locations, I decided to see how it worked. A soothing voice supplied succinct instructions (that female voice coming out of it means I must refer to… Read more

Every year as the days shorten and the weather cools, I find that I tend to sleep longer and more soundly than I do during the warmer months that coincide with longer days.  I used to think there was something wrong with me when this happened–that I suffered from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and that this was a problem that needed to be fixed. Sometimes, however, with age comes wisdom.  Last week, I was teaching a Bible lesson to our… Read more

“If I had known this was even a remote risk that we could be walking down that midway and the dart would end up in my daughter’s eye, my eye, I would never go there,” she said. This was a quote in a Dallas Morning News article made by a woman who was attending the Texas State Fair and who was injured when a stray dart from a Midway arcade game hit her eye. It’s a nasty injury, and her… Read more

Last week, while running errands one day during the rain, I noticed that my windshield wipers were badly worn and needed replacing. I knew I needed to get them replaced before I left this past Monday for a seminar in Little Rock, Arkansas. But, as often happens, life intervenes, and I just forgot about this necessary task until late Sunday afternoon. Then I panicked–weather reports indicated I had a long drive in the rain in front of me and it… Read more

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