Lost and Found

Our grandson Charlie is really enjoying his kindergarten year. He didn't attend any preschool for his first five years and was so ready for school to begin when he reached eligibility! As a result, he is like a sponge soaking up every experience! He comes to our house each day bounding off the bus with a new story to tell of something he has discovered in class that day. He is working on his word sounds this first month and wears a special hat band home with the latest letter and shows off his newly acquired skill of sounding them out by rehearsing each letter with  Mimi pronouncing and puffing out the exact sound... buh, cuh. duh, juh, kah, and puh as he progresses throughout the entire alphabet! It is so precious to watch his ambition and dedication to this evolving educational process!

One recent day after school, Charlie came in wild-eyed with exploratory optimism. He couldn't wait to relate the account of how one of his classmates had misplaced his lunch kit during the da…

"A Conspiracy of Silence"

Occasionally, you will hear a fellow church member say, "I don't know anything and I don't want to know anything!" Often these well-intentioned friends are acknowledging without officially doing so, that something unethical or discordant to Judeo-Christian values has happened publicly or privately in the community or local church life, but they don't want to get involved. So, they choose to remain silent rather than get involved. I'm not sure where this approach to conflict or to something controversial is be found in the Bible! I rather think it lacks biblical foundation!

Actually, and conversely to the silent approach to conflict resolution, there is something akin to the popular statement, "If you see something, say something!" in the Bible! The book of Amos in the Hebrew Scriptures affirms the righteousness of God and His judgment upon such silence when others are being taken advantage of. God through His prophet says, "For I gre…

My Teacher, Harold!

Last Sunday, I attended the Unity Church in Vandalia on the occasion of its 125th Anniversary. Unity came about when First Baptist and Temple Baptist Churches merged in 2015. It was a reuniting of two churches that had originally been the same congregation in 1894! Temple (previously, Edwards Street in 1940 and later Second Baptist) have once again become one... Unity Baptist! Their pastor, Robert Weaver, stated the obvious, "You don't hear too much about this kind of thing in Baptist life where there is a merger and it is successful!" This one seems to be working just fine!

During the anniversary celebration, I was able to connect with several older adults who had been instrumental in nurturing my faith as an adolescent and young adult. I was able to write about this in the book of memories that was distributed at the event. In that piece I told how blessed I was to call First Baptist, Vandalia, my home church during those years between 1963 and 1977. I was baptized in …

Nothing is Random!

September 13th was a Harvest Moon in the Northern Hemisphere. A Harvest Moon is the closest moon to the autumn equinox which "falls" (pun intended!) on Monday, September 23.  The next one falling on Friday the 13th will be in thirty years in August 2049. These calendar oddities are rare to see in one's lifetime! The last Friday the 13th Harvest Moon was on October 13, 2000. I tried for two nights to capture the unique beauty of this Harvest Moon without success. Actually, no picture does this justice. I think it is best to view this phenomenon with the naked eye!

Monique and I were riding home last Friday evening from Lincoln and repeatedly looked left and right as we traveled south to Sherman. In the eastern sky, there was emerging an extra large Harvest Moon in all of its golden wonder. Then, looking to the horizon in the west at the same time, we enjoyed a beautiful and expansive dark orange light show in the pre-fall sunset. It was another convergence of God's ha…

"Best By" Labeling!

I think it is another sign of advancing age that we begin to reach beyond the"best by date" on a gallon of milk! I used to be horrified when my mother would drag out the breakfast milk and the date on it had expired the week before. I would say, "Mom! Do you realize that the date on this milk expired a week ago?" And without a direct answer she would state the obvious, "Your dad and I just don't drink milk like we used to!" I may have mumbled, "You think?!" Now that I am retired and on Medicare, I have picked up the same habit of trying to stretch beyond the "best by dates" as far as I reasonably can!

I have read around this subject using my computer "search engine" over the years, especially when we take obligatory pantry or refrigerator inventory on occasions. I am more apt to use a canned good that has expired its "best by date" than I am a salad dressing that has been languishing in the fridge for so long …

Lift Up Your Eyes!

I love giving flowers on special occasions. It has been my practice to purchase a pretty rose or roses on Monique's birthday, Valentines Day and on our anniversary to name a few of those times during the year. For me, it is a celebration of the one I love and a way to "make artistic space" for something fragrant and beautiful in our house. I have been known to display these symbols of God's perfect creation a few days before the event so that we can extend the time for celebrating beyond a single day.

Art and artist can be misunderstood. A few years ago, a friend and I attended a faculty show being held in a gallery of a nearby university. The pieces on display were mostly of the abstract variety. As my friend stood before one of the selections and studied it for a brief moment, he turned to me and said, "Mike, if we had painted this, we would have had to make an excuse for it!" We both laughed, but I'm sure that the artist would not have been amused! M…

"It Just Takes One Brady!"

Recently, Brady assembled a bedroom dresser for his sister's clothing. It was purchased at the big box international furniture store (hint: the one with the Swedish meatballs!) and came in two boxes to Matt's front door. Of course, it required assembly. Matt put the boxes aside for the week knowing that his number one son would be the "go-to-guy" for the project. Brady is a high school freshman and has had the patience and know-how for several years now to put things together following the directions and using only the minimal tools.

Not everyone has the tenacity (and did I mention, the patience?) to accomplish such tasks, but Brady, our "number one" and oldest Keppler grandson does! I can't remember when we determined that he had this gift, but since it became evident, we have depended on him to assist in various projects and now, to take the lead in fixing and assembling several things around the house. He has been a great help to me with both inside …