Showing posts from July, 2023

"Don't Exile During Exile!"

As I write this piece, a dome of extreme temperatures is producing suffocating heat indices over much of the country. National meteorologists are starting their daily weather forecasts with predictions of temps in the low to mid-nineties all the way up to the triple digits in several cities. The scope of this heat wave is record-setting, and the impact is coast to coast! Hardly anyone is being spared from north to south! Subsequently, our area in the Midwest has been suffering from draught conditions for weeks. This is serious and unprecedented! It feels like a “climate exile” of sorts! Image credit: ejgn The word exile suggests that a person is in a place he or she does not wish to be and with people they do not wish to be around. I was engaged in a recent Bible study from the time of Jeremiah, one of God’s prophets. He served during a time in Israel’s history when God’s people were captives and exiled by the Babylonian Empire. Israel found themselves held against their wi

Judge Others Carefully!

This week’s title to the blog is purposefully provocative. I want us to think about it before making the proverbial “snap judgment” about the matter of judging others. I have heard individuals boast about their penchant and even skill in “sizing up” people and situations. Quick assessments like this make me wary (and even weary!) of those who brag about such things! It suggests that a person is more interested in giving others a piece of their mind no matter how shallow that grey matter may be! I admit that in making this assessment, I may be seriously guilty of making my own “snap judgments!” I’m sorry! 😧 Image credit: Several years ago, I sat down at a local coffee shop with a good friend who is about half my age. We try to schedule these chats every so often. I love multi-generational conversations and find them invigorating. They inform and even stretch my assumptions. On this occasion, a bit of relational advice was shared in the middle of a discussion con

"Today is the Day!"

“Don't worry about people God has removed from your life. He heard conversations you didn't. Saw things you couldn't and made moves you wouldn’t.”   I first saw this quote a couple of years ago and it was credited to the contemporary Christian music artist, Toby McKeehan (known as TobyMac #SpeakLife, Instagram). I recently tried to research and confirm its source without success. Even though I continue to regularly see these musings on motivational posters and plaques, I have concluded they are the reflections of an anonymous person. I don’t know all the reasons why these phrases are so intriguing to me and speak both comfort and conviction, but they do! Image credit: Potjanum Surirug Over the years of my life, I have lost loved ones to death and experienced broken relations with close friends. There have been times when I have questioned, “Why?”   The counsel not to worry has been my challenge. And the feelings of guilt over what I should have or should not

Life's Unpredictable Moments

Many in our area have been recovering from storms that raged through numerous communities last week. Straight-line and even tornadic winds unleashed destruction with a force ranging from 80-120 mph. This powerful act of nature yanked down soft silver maple tree branches upon houses and properties as it severed power poles at their bases like they were toothpicks. The damage was random, but extensive. Many homes lost power for hours, days and now, over a week! We fared much better than many. Our power was only off for a few hours. We lost two large twelve to fifteen-foot limbs. One came resting upon our six-foot fence and the other sailed right for our picnic table denting the tabletop and shoving it into the side of the garage. There was only minimal damage to the table support, a nearby downspout, and the westside soffit. We were lucky. Some of our neighbors reported that large branches had penetrated their roofs like a spear! I have some mature trees that shed numerous branches thr