Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Six AM in Edinburgh

How excited I was on my first trip to Europe in 1986. I had joined a small group of teachers and students, and we had experienced a tiny bit of London & Bath, England. Thursday night we left London on a train bound for Edinburgh and haggis and other delights of Scotland. Someone had procured a small bottle of wine, and after much ado the bottle was opened and paper cups materialized. All the adults received a bit more than a sniff as the train roared out of the city and across the inky landscape. Before dawn the train attendant knocked on our door and thrust a tray holding 2 cups of Hot coffee into my hand. Now, I’m awake, still lying on the bunk. Ruth clambered down from the upper bunk, took her coffee, and started down the hall. I elected to brush my teeth first using the lavatory in the compartment. All my toiletries and first aid supplies were in plastic bags so they were easy to find in the semi-dark. Shaking my head from the cobwebs, (maybe a little wine) I squeezed an ample amount of toothpaste on my brush. Only after 2 seconds did I realize, “Something’s wrong here!” I had brushed my teeth with Ben Gay!

At this Thanksgiving time, we can all find some reason to be happy.

Proverbs 17:22 - A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit and Self An Imaginary Dialogue

H I’m starving! Growing weaker every day. Won’t you help me?

S If I can. Who are you? What do you need?

H I need the Bread of Life.

S Is that wheat, Italian or rye? Chuckle

H Not exactly. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Feed on the Word.

S Wait a minute. Explain yourself.

H I am the Holy Spirit of God. I have been given to you to help you in this life and to bring resurrection to your body at the last day.

S Oh! My! Oh! Humbled

H Because I live in you-I see through your eyes, walk in your shoes, hear through you and sometimes speak through you.

S You see what I’m looking at? You read what I am reading? Hum

H Yes. I need for you to read the scriptures; that is the Bread of Life.

That is how I gain my strength, my power to move in your life. (voice grows weaker) Forgive me; I grow weaker every day that you neglect to feed me that Bread.

S Oh, no. Forgive me! Father, forgive me. I did not realize that I was quenching the Holy Spirit.

(Starts reading a Psalm)

H Do you have any wine for me?

S I don’t understand.

H Do you have new wine in new wineskins?

S I don’t know. I suppose not. Should I?

H Let me put this another way. Do you love the Lord?


H How do you express that love to him?

S Well, I go to church. I appreciate earth’s beauty. and His blessings.

H Good. But how do you really show that you love God? It is the first commandment, you know. Do you praise and thank Him for the things you just mentioned?

S Uh. Sometimes.

H Would you like to do that just now? Practice a little?

S (bowed head, reverently) I praise you, most holy God for out of your beautiful perfection, you have created a world full of great beauty, in infinite variety- on land, sea, and air. Thank you!

H That is the wine that nourishes me. The praise of the Father that glorifies Him. Now I can pray for you with greater power through my utterance, not your language.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Letting Go

Very gently the breeze rounds the corner of the cabin; softly, quietly the fading yellow leaves turn loose and glide--ever downward. They journey from the only home they have known, the tree that nourished them, toward the unknown. The ground, still warm from the day’s sunshine provides a soft landing on this Indian summer afternoon. The incremental layers of yellow, gold, red and brown leaves form a carpet under my feet on y walk. Watching the natural process of the seasons in the flight of the leaves, I am caught by the thought that my leaving this life w ill be as easy and natural as the leaves falling.

Secure in my identity as a joint heir with Christ, I have no more worries about my actual transition from this life to my eternal life, than the leaves I admire. I imagine there will be magnificent beauty in that world of love, peace and harmony. Just looking at the beauty God created on this earth is enough to convince me that heaven is even more beautiful.

Psalm 8:3-4 - When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Oh yes, they come in a wide variety-
As befits the infinite capacity of the Creator.

Some are almost closed, compressed with the “petals” wound tightly together.
The inside is obscured from all except the most astute observer-
One who takes the time to come close, pay attention,
and finally marvel at the beauty.

Then there is the flamboyant extrovert.
All his petals are spread out wide to the sun.
Each petal is a work of art, perfectly shaped and curved.
No mystery there, but in the casual glance anyone can see
a striking, independent individualist.

Finally, a dark miniature cone catches my eye.
Each petal is carefully molded on a tiny scale
making it distinctive, precise-
It is neither too broad nor too narrow, being well balanced,
each part clearly in harmony with the whole design.

All have their place in my collection.
Lord, help me appreciate the differences in your people - your world.

Revelation 7:9-10 - After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”