Saturday, April 10, 2021

for the first time in my life

I am relying on tips to determine the hourly wage my boys and I get when we door dash. 

People who don’t tip are ... well I have no words to describe the feeling. 

Friday, April 09, 2021

Give to Everyone Who Asks of You

 Yup, that's a Bible verse in Luke 6:30.  Pretty intense huh?   I can already hear you saying "but what about......"

I've struggled with this verse many times in my life, particularly when living in Mexico where there were always so many folks who were asking.  Beggars on every corner, small children, single moms, homeless and distraught, asking for a few pesos.

I've also struggled with it as a clergy spouse when we are asked as a church or as a couple to give to someone who needs a hotel night's stay or a ride somewhere.   Many times we knew that there was a chance that we were being scammed but we gave anyway.

I struggle with it now whenever a CarePortal request doesn't go quite as planned because I want resources to go to people who will be able to move forward in their lives because of the gift.

But I have realized in all these situations that I might be missing the point.  What if the verse was nothing to do with the recipient and everything to do with the giver?   

What if the point is that God wants us to give because he wants us to get the blessing that comes from obedience, regardless of whether or not the recipient will do what we want them to do with the gift.

Thoughts to ponder on a Friday.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

A unique prayer

 Just a short thought to share with you today.

I was in a meeting yesterday where an older pastor prayed an interesting sentence that I’m not sure I ever heard prayed before.

It reminded me of this verse in Matthew 6:8:

"your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

He said:

don't forget to give us the things for which we forget to ask...

Isn’t that a profound thought?  That God knows what we need and sometimes he give us even the things for which we forget to ask.

Keep that in mind today.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021



This happened yesterday.  Bart's car.  Nobody injured.

He feels fine today though the experience was traumatic.

We have insurance and have a rental to drive for a while.

Everyone is safe.  Cars can be replaced... or repaired .... or fixed.   

He's the best and any thought of losing him makes panic rise in my throat.  And we're only 57.

Wonder how married couples live into their 80s and 90s wondering when they have to say goodbye? 

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

What do these stones stand for?

When I was in high school I had to drive a car that looked a lot like this  except it was older and uglier. By the time we got it it was at least 15 years old   It wasn’t quite as ugly as the rusty royal blue station wagon that it replaced, but harder to drive because it was a three speed with a clutch.  And before you say that I should have been lucky to have a car, please realize that the one vehicle was shared with four drivers, (my parents, my brother and I) and so most of the time I road the city bus to work.

But the car has a story.  And that story is a powerful one.

The blue station wagon died one day.  I remember sitting at the dining room table, hearing of her death.  My dad announced that the mechanic had said there was no way to fix it again.  He solemnly let us know that he wasn’t sure how we were going to get around because there was no money for a new car.  (My parents lived on a very small income and always prioritized tithe and giving to mission BEFORE groceries, so we often didn’t have meat with our meals during weeks where there was a surprise expense (but they never missed paying their tithe and the missionaries always got the monthly pledge)

After my dad’s announcement, my mom said, “Well kids, I guess we’re just going to have to ask God for a car.  And my dad, as he often did, said in his prayer that night, “We commit our ways to thee now.”

The very next day my mom got a call from former neighbors.  They said to my mom, “I’m not sure why, but I think God was leading me to ask you if you want the car we have in our back yard.  It runs fine, but we don’t need it any more and we will sell it to you for a dollar.”

Check out this story from Joshua 4 (EXV)

Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel,  that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’  then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

In Scripture this kind of monument was referred to as an Ebenezer, now defined as a "commemoration of divine assistance”.  It’s something we point to when it’s time to remember what God has done.

The old 3 speed clutch car became one of the many Ebenezers of my childhood.   Many times when we were running into hard times, someone would say, “Remember, God when gave us a car for a buck?”

In essence we would ask the question “what do these stones mean to you” and our parents would tell of all the things God had done for us.

Do you have an Ebenezer but didn’t know it?  Take a minute to look back today on something you can point to when your friends, or your kids or grandkids wonder if God can do as he promised.  

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I've come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Monday, April 05, 2021

Don't be alarmed!

Even after all of the Easter sermons I have heard over the years, until yesterday when an excellent preacher I know helped this thought to stand out to me,

In Mark 16, the women come to the empty tomb and find a man dressed in white who says:

Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.”

If you consolidate the first message given by what we assume was an angel to the distraught women who found the empty tomb, here is the message.

Don’t be afraid — he is going ahead of you.

Whatever you are facing today, don’t be afraid.  He is going ahead of you.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

so you have soup in your bedroom?

I just noticed that we do.  Tucked on a shelf near medications, books and boxes of Q tips are two cans of soup. 

Why? You ask.  Because Bart likes soup. And if it is in the kitchen someone will eat it.  Or possibly someone will pour it into a bowl, stick it in the microwave and then leave for work without remembering they were going to eat.  

so  yeah.  We have soup in our bedroom.