As published in Inspire a Fire – June 10, 2013.
I did it again tonight.
I went looking for you. Well, at least the faint outlines of your footprints.
I found the street you used to live on and tried to figure out which house it was. I wandered. And wondered.
I knew you lived in one of the upstairs apartments on Observatory Drive. I searched the older houses, the ones that may have been there almost 50 years ago. From the street, I gazed into the upper windows, and pictured you watching, waiting, waving. Was it a front entrance up the side or would you come running from the back yard? I assume you would be wearing dark pants and a white dress shirt; the ones from the pictures. You should be over 70 by now, but I just can’t see you that way. So I guess you will still be 27. Eternally 27.
published on Inspire a Fire, March 18, 2013.
I spent a great deal of my weekend trying in vain to be the twelfth caller to K-Love, a nation-wide Christian radio station. They were giving away a new worship CD, recorded live at the Passion Conference in Atlanta just a few months ago. My attempts to win it were fueled by my daughter, who had hoped to attend that same conference. She adores today’s worship music and is quick to introduce me to her latest favorite.
But as much as I love the latest trend of new songs, I have a special place in my heart for the older hymns. Hymns I first learned by hearing my grandmother sing them from the kitchen amidst the clanging of pots and pans and the wafting scent of frying bacon.
The current worship songs I find most moving are those derived from hymns, recorded in a new and fresh way. Jesus Paid it All is one such song. I grew up listening to that one, sans music, from the pew sandwiched between my mother and grandmother. I wiggled my way through church, doodling on the back side of an attendance card until service was over. I knew when it was almost time to eat when the congregation started singing again. But when I heard them singing the words to Jesus Paid it All in their gentle alto voices, I took note of the tears glistening in their eyes. Those lyrics, and their passion for them as they sang created a desire in me to want to know more. And soon, I was singing along with them.
published in Inspire a Fire, February 4, 2013.
I was at the grocery store with my Aunt Joanne. A rare occurrence, brought by the fact that I was four and she had time to watch me. I was not yet in school, so I got to spend a few special days with her. Just the two of us–a gift I would grow to treasure within a few short years.
It gave me a chance to watch her in action. And take note. I would do well to pattern myself after her. Surely I already knew that, even back then.
We started the day by delivering food to people she referred to as ‘shut-ins.’ I assumed that was her word for older people. They were a variety of colors. Some of them had no teeth, but that didn’t keep them from smiling. They waited in tiny apartments, watching nothing but the window. Were they waiting for us?
published in Inspire a Fire, January 24, 2013.
God has a universe at His fingertips.
I never really stopped to think about it in those terms. The world is so big. So busy. So diverse. Sometimes I think it has too many people with too many opposing beliefs. How can He possibly pay attention to all of us at one time?
But He doesn’t see it that way. It’s all part of the creation that He so adores. He knows us by name, and I think He thrilled when He gets the chance to prove it to us by using His own created universe to touch our lives.
God has a way of working through the details of our lives—details that He has lovingly worked out in advance because in His world, all things truly do work together for good, for those called according to His purpose.
All things work together for good.
published in Inspire a Fire January 21, 2013.
Sometimes, it’s really difficult to know what to believe.
The internet has been called “The Information Superhighway.” And in today’s technologically-connected world, news travels on that Superhighway and across the globe at breakneck speeds. So called ‘news,’ whether it is true or not.
The big news this last week was regarding the prank that became a legend. If you don’t follow sports, you may have missed the story of Manti Te’o, the linebacker from Notre Dame. He became a victim of a hoax that involved meeting someone online who never actually existed. Why is this a story?
Published in The Christian Pulse, January 16, 2013.
Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killers. The Dead Sea Squirrels. The Band Formerly Known as Sausage. The Dukes of Hazardous Material. Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program. Guitarantula. Shirley Temple of Doom. Vampire State Building. Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of Death. Amputatoe. Pooper Scooper of Love. Chronic Halitosis. Stuck Zippers. Gopher’s Bow Tie. Intellivisionairies. Elizabeth Taylor’s Husbands. Hockey Teeth. People With Chairs Up Their Noses. Pontius Co-Pilot.
These are all actual names of actual bands. Music groups. But I wonder what type of music they might offer.
Published in Inspire a Fire, December 17, 2012.
On Friday, December 14th, like many of you, I found myself glued to the television screen, barely able to comprehend the brutal words that scrolled across the bottom.
“Unidentified gunman opens fire in Connecticut elementary school. Dozens killed.”
As the story unfolded, it proved to be even worse than first thought. After hours of inaccurate information began to be sorted out, the first to step up to a microphone to offer an explanation, as if such a tragedy could somehow be explained, was the Governor of Connecticut, Dan Malloy. And he put it in the most simple of terms.
“Evil visited this community today.”
published in Inspire a Fire, November 16, 2012.
Sometimes I have to chuckle at what our society has become. Just a few short years ago, the following statements would have made little sense:
“You will never guess who just tweeted me?”
“Did you check me in at this restaurant?”
“I need a good status update.”
“Heading to Starbucks to do my homework.”
“Double click on it.”
“Did you Google it?”
“I got an email from my car saying my tire pressure is low.”
Published in Inspire a Fire, November 5, 2012.
Behind every person lies a story waiting to be revealed. Mine is simple. Shaped by tragedy from the start, I moved on to a life filled with love, laughter, dreams, tears, and a desire to focus only on things that will matter forever. I plan to keep it that way, understanding that those who learn to do this are the ones who never look back with regrets. Still, there comes a time to share the story. And for me, November is that time.
Dealing with the death of my father when I was a baby has never been an option. It was not my choice to accept; it just simply was. Memories, or the lack thereof, left me to do my best to fill in the blanks. It should have been easy to move on. Does it make sense, after all, to miss something you never had?