Reading Time: 3 minutes We were all amazed you hacked heaven out of a patch of dirt between a parking lot filled with second-hand cars and the apartment building you managed filled with second-hand people. You loved both the roses and the people nearly equally. I don’t know if you know, that rose garden is still there, seventeen years after you last fertilized it. Thank you, Mom. You reflected a beautiful but hardscrabble God to us in that rose garden and in your very life! I love you.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Through their fear God was drawing close to them as they faced powerful enemies, dark nights, deep depression, doubt, frustration, hunger, and desolation. In their trouble, God spoke not demands but comfort. “I am with you. I will fight for you.” God spoke this comfort as a father sitting on the edge of his child’s bed during a terrifying thunder storm. He pulls the sheets up tight and whispers, “Fear not. I’m here. We’re in this together.”
Reading Time: 3 minutes Shit, shower, and shave also seems like a litany for our current situation. Do what you can, what needs done, check it off the list and move on. One of my favorite musicians, Bruce Cockburn asks, “If this were the last night of the world/what would I do?/What would I do that was different/Unless it was champaign with you?”
Something ordinary, with a little flare.
Reading Time: 5 minutes My first call as a pastor was a disaster. Unknown to me when I accepted the job and we moved to Illinois, the senior pastor of the church was involved in his third or fourth affair. The church was so dysfunctional it continually ignored his sin. They responded to me and my family with hate and blame for demanding they do something about it.
Reading Time: 5 minutes You and I suffer the same snake bite. We question the worth spoken into us by our Creator. By doubting our original design from God, we lost touch with God as Creator. We search for validation in ill-written dictionaries, which cry: find your worth in your accomplishments, your bathroom mirror, your bank account, your philosophy, your social media likes.