Showing posts from October, 2019

Hospitality Check

Keeping things clean is one of my passions and a personal value statement. I admire those committed to this important task. Recently, I had a brief conversation with an employee charged with the responsibility of cleaning the restrooms at the local restaurant we frequent on most Friday evenings. It's the one with the country store! :) He was wearing a kitchen white apron, and carrying an all purpose cleaning rag in one hand and a fully equipped caddy in the other. I engaged this worker at dinner time while he was finishing up his cleaning the restroom sinks. I questioned, "Are you tidying up?" and he answered, "This is one of the regularly scheduled 'Hospitality Checks!'" I then followed that with the affirmation, "You've got things looking real good!" After I'd exited and was back at the table, I thought about how unique the euphemism, 'hospitality check,' was. When I worked in retail and had to do this often unpleasant detai

Choosing A Church

I have been retired just over a year now. It has been an all new experience for me. Unlike my beloved wife who refuses to let go of the reigns of her profession as an educator (she recently substituted in her favorite school 11 days in a row!), I have intentionally shifted the gears of my daily schedule to more mentoring meetings with friends, increased time with family, and yes, some travel far and near. I do continue to serve on a chaplain team in a retirement center, and occasionally do pulpit supply for nearby congregations, but I have slowed down. In short, I am enjoying this time of my life. Our eldest son recently described this new chapter by saying, "Dad, it's like you and mom are on a sabbatical! You guys have earned it! You are free to travel, meet new friends and to visit new churches! Enjoy it!" I like what he described and we are trying to grow into this new phase of our lives. About the matter of "visiting new churches," we are pioneering this w

"One Ball and Four Bases!"

Kickball at the Keppler's is nearly a daily experience this fall! Our two energetic grandsons, Danny and Charlie, gather on their "field of dreams," (actually, the front yard of our house) each day after school. It is their downtime to "blow off some steam!" Their daddy, Dan, made kickball famous with them during summer kids' club at church. They have loved it ever since they first joined in that simple activity of "one ball and four bases!" I've observed how the boys are like a "relational magnet" drawing other kids into the game! We have watched the numbers grow from two or three to regularly six to eight and some days more that a dozen neighborhood boys and sometimes, a couple of girls. Moms and dads have joined the crowd occasionally. When I say, "joined," I mean that literally. They are out there playing with the kids too! They are remarking to us, "Thank you so much for letting our kids play with yours!" An

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! SES Lost and Found 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

"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 gr