Saturday, June 6, 2009


Rest day today. I'm taking a break. Hope you do, too. I hope to meet you here tomorrow!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Older Friends

It had been thirty years since they last met. But the eyes. The shy grin. Hit life's "rewind" and notice two young boys playing in a thicket of willow bushes. Carving guns and swords out of old boards that were lying around. Eagerly shooting arrows in the air to see if they would disappear. Eating some type of dog biscuit as a snack because they were "hiding out."

Two young boys growing up in the country, playing, working, laughing and sometimes crying together. Shooting hoops in a yard, building treehouses, making a little money with a hay-hauling business.

When they were grown, one of them was Best Man for the other one. Then, somehow, they lost track.Thirty years. Then some emails were exchanged. And a phone call or two. Finally, this week, they got together and started catching up on life.
Mike was my best friend as I grew up. Other friends came and went, but when it was all done, Mike was the one who was there. Now, as a fairly new follower of Christ, Mike was able to come to the desert and spend a day.

By God's grace, it won't be the last one.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old Friends (continued)

A few months ago, I wrote this. It has much to do with the brevity of today's post...

...more soon!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rare midweek "Off Day"

I got home yesterday to no cable signal. I entered this by thumb on my Blackberry. It's one area in which I'm not "all thumbs" and takes forever. Hope to join you tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Running Legs

My friend Kelly recently became my running partner. Kelly and his wife Laurie are in our Small Group and we were all talking about a race that we might enter this fall. "I need to get in shape," Kelly said. When I heard that he preferred to run in the mornings, we set a schedule.

Kelly, who felt out of shape, is still a Marine. His approximately 29 years of service to our nation makes our friendship an honor for me. Though an old guy to most of the people he leads, he still pushed my pace faster that I had been running and completed the 3-miler the first day out. That was some weeks ago.

Last week we went on a little longer run. The hill that we have been ascending each circuit just about doubled in size and we felt like we were barely putting one foot in front of the other as we neared the top. We made it, though, and kept going until we completed our miles.

Yesterday, we were back on the shorter route -- now four miles. That "half-hill" climb was almost easy. Something about the greater test which we had already accomplished made it much less daunting to face.

Which hill are you climbing today? Is it the longest and steepest of your life? Or are you able to take it easy because of what you already experienced?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Increased Occurrences or Heightened Awareness?

Another young wife and mom told me Sunday about her breast cancer. It seems that the people people I know have been through significantly more difficult life-circumstances than I can remember. Cancer and death in immediate family are the primary challenges. And many of the victims are young.

Are any of you noticing something similar. Or is this unique to my circle of friends and family?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"There Came A Sound..."

"What if we're making a mistake?" Thomas kept his voice low to avoid disturbing the people praying across the room. "I just don't want to dishonor Jesus by getting in a hurry and not following his plan."

"Thomas, Thomas," said Bartholomew, "you have such hesitation in you! Jesus showed us during the forty days how to see our current events through the lens of the Scriptures. We are simply following His pattern. Besides, the decision is made. Matthias is obviously the Eternal's choice to replace Iscariot."

A few feet away, some of the other apostles were deep in prayer. Several of the women had gathered in a little circle and were fervently asking the Mighty God to show Himself by revealing the Helper -- the promised Advocate. Still others had stepped out into the morning air to stretch their legs, cramped from long hours on their knees and on their faces. It had been like this for ten days since Jesus -- Messiah -- had disappeared into the clouds. He told them to wait and pray for the promise to be fulfilled. How long would it be?

The streets outside were beginning to fill with locals and guests alike. The first fruits were being brought in abundance for this year's Pentecost. The crowd seem larger than normal, with people having formed caravans from faraway Mesopotamia. A large contingent of people had come from Libya. They had been joined by scores of dark-skinned travelers from far south in Ethiopia. A large ship had arrived from Rome and almost all the passengers were here for Pentecost. If you stood in the shade near the temple, you could hear every conceivable language as people walked by.

Peter stood and asked all those in the room to give him attention for a few minutes. "Friends, we know that Jesus made a promise to us. We don't know the hour or the day when that promise will be fulfilled, but I wanted to encourage you to hold on in prayer. I carry with me the sadness I felt that night in Gethsemane when James, John and I kept falling asleep -- Jesus seemed so lonely when he asked if we couldn't just tarry with him for an hour. I also know the shame of failing our Lord that same night after his arrest. Therefore, I ask you again to simply keep waiting, watching and praying."

The noise of footsteps on the stairs caused them all to turn to the door to see who would enter. As about six or seven came walking in, it was clear that others were close behind them. In just a few minutes they counted and all 120 of them were in the room at the same time. Most of them had been here for all their waking hours each day, but it was common for a few to be away at a given moment. Here they were together.

They all sensed a sudden urgency to pray and began lifting their voices as one. With new fervor they cried out to the Eternal to send the Promised One.

Then...the sound seemed out of place! The sky that morning had been clear and the air was calm. It looked to be a beautiful day. Where was this storm coming from? The noise was intensifying quickly. They began to look at the ceiling because they were afraid the roof was blowing off. The air, however was perfectly still!

Suddenly a little cry escaped from the lips of one of the women. "Look!" One by one, it was as if tongues of fire had rested on every person's head! Their eyes were wide with wonder and someone opened his mouth to say something. He was speaking a language he didn't know!

To my readers: I was surprised at the joy I received from writing some of my own thoughts about events surrounding Holy Week this year. Some of you encouraged me to come back at the time of Christ's Ascension and continue the project. It is my prayer that these words will serve to enhance your appetite for more of the history from Scripture itself.