Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thankful in All Circumstances

A few weeks ago, we said farewell to my father at the age of 89. His life was marked by love of family, deep integrity, intellectual curiosity and hopefulness. His passing was a bit sudden, but the entire family was able to celebrate a life well-lived. We shared laughter and tears and saw some family members we have not seen for many years.

Just a few days ago, tragedy struck our family as our newborn granddaughter, Nora Jo, only lived a few hours after her birth. Complications during delivery led to this unexpected and heartbreaking moment. We are grateful for the prayers of thousands and the strong faith of Michael and Aubren as they walk through this valley.

Thanksgiving takes on a new depth this year as we absorb this moment and remain faithful in faith, hope and love. The resurrection hope of the Christian faith is a sustaining grace.

As in Habakkuk 3:17-19, we remain hopeful even as we are healing in our hearts. These moments pull back the veil just a bit and we receive foretastes of eternity, whether in privation or prosperity. The prophet lives during a time of great political and spiritual turmoil and the Lord revealed his sovereignty over all events and nations. The job of the righteous in such times is remaining faithful under trials, watchful in prayer and worshipful in all circumstances. Here are the prophet’s closing words, apropos for our world:

Though the fig tree should not blossom, not fruit be on the vines,
The produce of the olive [crop] fail and fields yield no food,
The flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s
He makes be tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: on my stringed instruments.

As we remember the Pilgrims, feast with family and reach out to the hurting, may we renew our devotion to the Lord, the One with us in all circumstances.

Critical Minds, Tender Hearts and a Prayer

A critical mind is not a judgmental heart.
May we (re)learn the art of evaluating arguments and evidence, without castigation or hypocrisy. Disagreeing with another’s perspective – even on moral and political issues – does not mean hatred or intolerance.
Living peaceably with our deepest differences while we find common principles of ordered liberty requires humility and courage.

A Joyful Lament:
Lord, hear my praises and receive my tears:
Rejoicing in the goodness, love and power of Christ.
Lamenting the immature and polarizing words of people in power, from the President to celebrities.
Rejoicing in all the good work done by millions no one hears about.
Lamenting the sufferings of so many and praying for comfort in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, Mexico City and scores of other locales.
Rejoicing in the progress of many dialogues, community outreaches and on-the-ground renewing of communities.
Lamenting the inability of so many to live with diverse views and honor one another.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Holy Spirit, come anew with purifying and transforming grace.
Amen.

Voices I Miss

There are voices of our lifetimes that stay with us, from the terrible tones of evil persons to the resonant sounds of beautiful songs and words that inspire. Here are some voices of my lifetime that are either retired or enjoying eternal rest. I miss them:

Billy Graham: Evangelist and Global Statesman.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years.
Mr. (Fred) Rogers: “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
The “voice” of the melancholy wisdom: Charles M. Schultz, creator of Peanuts.
Laurence Olivier’s mellifluous tones transported the hears on stage and screen.
Campbell McAlpine, mentor and prophet.
Joy Dawson, teacher extraordinaire.
Walter Cronkite, CBS News: “And that’s the way it was…”
Ronald Reagan: infusing hope
My mother saying, “I love you.”