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Showing posts from September, 2020

Living Day by Day!

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We have family in France who is going through a challenging time of transition. An uncle is in a rehabilitation facility recovering from a recent fall. This means that the aunt is home and on her own as she tries to maintain a house and take care of her everyday needs. Both are in their mid-nineties. When you have to depend on others for grocery shopping and you are only cooking for one, an easy and nutritious microwave meal can help alleviate some of the stress.The French have their own version of "meals-on-wheels!" A noontime meal is delivered to the door each day! The menu for a recent meal included: Beef Bourguignon (braised beef in red wine!), couscous, fruit, salami, cheese, a bottle of water, and of course, the quintessential, baguette! Voil`a! ("There it is!") A "Ready Meal!"In the Lord's Model Prayer, Jesus taught us about the daily focus. He instructed His Disciples to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11). Bread…

Who Do They See?

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"Is this what I look like?" That may have been the question our ancestors asked after they first looked into a still pool of water, or some other shiny object. Mirrors have been with us for thousands of years going back to the bronze age. The typical silvered-glass mirror many of us have in our homes dates back 200 hundred years to its beginning in Germany. Today, we routinely use this invention in our everyday lives. We utilize mirrors for personal grooming, to decorate our homes, and to enable safe driving. Photographers use them. Doctors and dentists perform procedures using mirrors. Scientists use them in telescopes and lasers. They come in all shapes and sizes! There are several Bible passages that speak of mirrors and draw out lessons from reflection. Paul said that we lack understanding because "we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror" (1 Corinthians 13:12).  I recently got a good look at myself, but it wasn't through the reflection of a mirror. Our l…

Walk Your Grief!

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During a recent sermon on grief, our pastor mentioned something that I have been thinking about lately. He said, "Many of us grieve over an accumulation of losses in our lives." This past year, Monique and I have lost several of our Texas friends. Another precious one passed a couple of weeks ago. This is number four by my count. Each of these friends has left an indelible influence on our lives. As the pastor observed, I feel like there has been a heavy accumulation of grief and loss in the last couple of years. We knew this was bound to occur. After all, we are getting older, too! But, the frequency of loss over a relatively short duration of time has been surprising.  In my personal reflections, I took to the computer keyboard to make a list of some of the specific losses. At the top, I thought of the loss of my mother who passed two years ago on July 17th. Then, there was the grief over a church conflict in March 2019. Added to this was the diagnosis of prostate cancer in…

"We're in a Pickle!"

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Monique is tutoring a couple of our grandsons these days who are staying home for instruction during this season of Covid-19. She is trying to partner with our local family of mom and dad educators who are spending their days not only teaching their classes by remote, but also in giving supervision and support to their home bound children schooling by the same technology. It is a trying time managing all of this! There are a couple of familiar expressions we use when facing tough circumstances. One says, "We're between a rock and a hard place," and the other one that is a personal favorite says, "We're in a pickle!" I prefer the latter expression because it has a tragically humorous element to it. The Dutch phrase takes this dilemma literally as "sitting in the pickle!" So, like being in a jar full of pickles, it pictures how easily and seriously we can be swamped by the difficult situations or quandaries that we face in our daily lives. Our presc…

Amen's and Sneezing!

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"An Amen Is Nothing to Sneeze At!" This will require some explanation, but hold on for that! When I was a teenager, I would get into trouble at church. Nothing major, but just the kind of antics that had me laughing at inappropriate times. Like when we were standing at the end of a worship service and listening to the choir as they concluded with a beautiful choral Amen. The choir members were all in harmony until the final Amen's. This is the time when the sopranos and altos with great enthusiasm and increased volume would hit the high notes in affirming, "Amen" and drawing out each syllable.Then antiphonally, the tenors and bases would chime in with their corresponding Amen's. It was both melodic and confusing. About the time I would try to step out into the aisle and head for the door, the choir would add another Amen. It seemed to be an endless exercise for an anxious teenager! At last and almost with a whisper, they would conclude, "Amen!" I…