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Well... That Escalated Quickly - Thoughts on Palm Sunday

Sometimes I wonder of the phrase, "well that escalated quickly" originated during the first Holy Week more than 2000 years ago.  If you've been around Christendom at all, you've heard the poignant truth that the same crowd who lauded Jesus as He entered Jerusalem for Passover shouting Hosanna in the highest did one of the most dramatic reversals of public opinion in history as they chanted "crucify" days later at Jesus' trial.  The same people who lay their cloaks on the street and lined the way for this uncommon Rabbi Who had spent the last three years making religious bigots irate and reaching out to the losers and screwups - those same people were angry enough to throw Him to the wolves in exchange for a murderer.  But before we write them off as confused or psycho for their about face, we probably ought to realize we are often in that same crowd.  We too are prone to cry Hosanna and then turn our backs on Him with break-neck speed.  I've seen i…
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Revelations in Winter and other Covid19 Thoughts

There is a spot near my work place that I call my "thinkin' spot".  Just a matter of blocks from the office is the church I attend and they have a lovely pond with a fountain out front.  On really stressful days, you can find me there with a couple of tacos just watching the water and the geese and dodging the mulberries that drop like rain from the tree in the corner of the lot.  I don't know... there's something about the water and tiny little bit of nature that's calming on a difficult work day.  But while most of the scene rarely varies, the seasons have a definite impact on the view.  
One particular day in the dead of winter, I went to my thinking spot with my tacos and enjoyed my lunch in the chill of the cloudy day.  It wasn't particularly beautiful to park there - the fountain was turned off, the geese all had the good sense to find a warmer climate and the trees were as barren as a spinster.  Nothing fruitful remained.  Still I sat in the silen…

A Lesson From the DoorDash Guy

"You go back to your menial, simple job and leave the important things to us."  I've heard those words - maybe not word for word, but the meaning was the same.  "You're out of your depth.  Stick to what you know.  We'll handle this."

In the ancient near east on a battle field, the first recorded conversation like this occurred.  It was war.  It wasn't going well.  The army was terrified.  The leader was indecisive.  The enemy was emboldened.  And a lot was riding on the outcome of this confrontation.

Enter the door dash guy bringing lunch to his brothers.  He was a curious little guy somewhat out of place among the ranks of the soldiers and commanders.  He was too small, too young, too inexperienced.  He was really only there to drop off lunch and take back a progress report to his dad.  But he asked too many questions, got too involved, too incensed by the status of the conflict.

David, the greatest King in Israel's history, didn't look m…

The Seen and the Unseen

There is a language in tears... one that only the soul can understand and interpret.  From life's first cry, tears have been our means of communication for that which we cannot find words.  When our hearts are aching and we can't seem to find a way to express our frustration or anger or pain, tears will all too willing do that for us.  What we cannot say will spill from our eyes and blur our vision.  What we cannot put into words we put into tissues and handkerchiefs one drop at a time.  Speaking from the deepest recesses of our soul, tears say what we struggle to communicate.

I've learned this is never more true than in worship.  God help if I find my way to church without Kleenex - it gets ugly fast.  But there's something about the Spirit of God among a body of believers that will always reduce me to tears - often just at the thought that an infinite God chose me to love me and to redeem me.  I'm far too aware of my failures to think I deserve anything from Him…

God Spoke

God bless memes.  Sometimes they say so clearly with humor what we struggle to communicate with mere truth.  Take for example the meme I saw recently of a Jersey Shore guy where the caption read, "Only God can judge me?  That should scare you!"  LOL  Right?  As if our predisposition to be critical is somehow less tolerable than the judgment of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.  Rest assured, I'd rather be judged by people however unfairly and harshly that might be than to be judged by God.  He's terrifying!  Have you read that Book He wrote? 

One of my friends told me her son had a natural curiosity about faith and about God so they decided to read the Bible together.  For a small child, some of it was a bit R-rated - violence, sexual content, wrath, the whole nine.  They decided instead to start with a book of Bible stories on her young son's level.  The R-rated content would wait for a more mature minds. 

I don't want to paint a bad picture of fait…

Defined by the Crowd or Calling?

Sometimes, I make decisions and then spend more time second guessing myself than I did in deciding to begin with.  I'm a worrier.  Prone to anxiety, Lord, I feel it. Prone to abandon my confidence when I most need it and when I'm too far down a corn-row to turn back.  I take forever to make decisions and once I do, I take longer to determine if it was the right thing to do.  This self-confession leaves me to myself as I'm sure not one other soul I know does the same thing.  You all know exactly what you what, when the right time is to move on it and then you never look back.  I envy you.  I don't think I've ever done that... ok, maybe once and it was fairly recently. 

I think the Lord gave me some insight though on why I'm this way. 
Why I struggle to choose a path and march on.
Why I tend to lose my footing looking back at that fork in the road wondering if I chose correctly.
Why I have spent a lifetime doing so many things that might never have been meant f…

The Civics of a Snowfall

We've settled snuggly into fall here in my hometown.  Fiery-colored trees have dropped their leaves like a silky garment in a pool around their feet as if starring in their own perfume commercial.  That was last week.  This week for the first time this season, the world has donned a more modest blanket of white. Snow fell as we slept and the world was beautifully clean and cozy as we rose from our slumbers.  It's always a welcome sight to me... even at the beginning of a week when I decided to drink less coffee.  (I'm thankful "less" is relatively vague enough to still indulge on a cold day that won't make it above the freezing mark.)

I woke earlier than I wanted to, left earlier than usual, and made my way to work across town.  I usually enjoy the snowy drive as it fills my head with my Dad's voice... "leave good distance between you and the car in front of you, no cruise control, ease off the gas on the overpasses and bridges, look for cars that c…