Archive for January, 2017

And the iron?

…the iron did swim…

2 Kings 6:6


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For the beauty…

I was just feeding the Logan County compost canister some rich Columbia coffee.  It is one of many such containers that occupy this region, no doubt.

As I thought of how these grounds have enriched my day and are now prepared to enrich the ground, an old hymn came to mind.

And, you know me: I just had to share the moment.

May your Sunday be blessed.

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No additional commentary needed…

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All things new?

It’s been a few years since I last walked the streets of this town.

Twenty-six, to be precise.

A few things have changed along the way.

Different cars.  Different jobs.  Different houses.  Different towns, and states, even.

There have been weddings.  There have been births.  There have been funerals, and the cycle starts yet again.

Several things have aged the past twenty six years, yours truly included.   It seems odd to acknowledge I’ve lived more days since my last visit than before.

I spent a few weeks in this place early in my career auditing an insurer of military men and women.    It was in the middle of one of many wars to not end all wars.   There was not much going on in this downtown area back in those days, and time moved along.

So, too, did the economy.   Twenty years of Texas oil, and a little couple named Chip and Joanna have been good to this place.

And yet, rail lines to nowhere still exist.   So, too, does moth and rust.
But this morning, the sunrise was beautiful, as was the graceful motion of the ducks on the Brazos River.

As a song says, “He spoke and made the sunrise right on the very first day”. 

He makes all things new, every morning.

Even in a town older than a majestic Magnolia.

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What makes you tick?

Joe: “It wasn’t personal.”  

Kathleen: “What does that even mean?”

“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

We’ve all seen the movie.

Or, maybe we haven’t.   That’s OK, because we’ve all lived it at some point.

Whether we want to admit it or not, life is full of emotion.   For good and for bad, it fuels the fires of our world.

I awoke this morning thinking about Peter, the apostle, for some reason.   There was a guy, for good or for (sometimes) bad who knew how to make it personal.

Isn’t that true for all of us?

There’s a great story at the end of the book of John where Jesus shows up unexpectedly.   I love that story for so many reasons.   John is the only gospel that shares it, and it is how he chose to end his telling account of Jesus life.

Peter, for whatever reason, decides it is time to go back to fishing.   With everything that had happened, who knows why they were even back in Galilee to begin with.   Maybe he decided it was “time to get on with his life”, but who knows for sure?

Anyway, there was adversity, an unexpected (Providential) positive turn, and a sudden realization from the protagonist.

And there was a campfire with fresh fish and bread baking over it.  What a great detail to add to the story, both literally and figuratively.  

I can just imagine Jesus saying “I know you’ve been through a lot, so let’s pause and have some breakfast”.

Then, long before the words could be sung like a children’s tune, Jesus essentially says:

 “I love you, you love me….won’t you say you love me, too?”

Which brings me back to personal.

In life, what makes you tick?

Even more so, what makes you tic?

What bothers you, scares you, or gets under your skin.   What makes you want to abandon the important stuff and just go back to fishing with your old crowd?

Jesus called Peter to get out of the boat once.   Years later, he made him want to jump out and swim to shore.

And then, he had a warm fire and a hot breakfast waiting.

Talk about getting personal.

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Stop this train?

I woke yesterday morning to a dense fog.   Not a figurative fog, mind you, but the real, slowing of life’s pace kind of fog.   

And I drove off into the darkness, headed for the grave.   As I went to sync my phone for the long journey ahead, John Mayer’s “Stop this train” emerged from Pandora’s box.

You can’t make this stuff up, people.  At least, I  can’t.

No, I’m not color blind

I know the world is black and white

I try to keep an open mind

But I just can’t sleep on this, tonight

Stop this train

I want to get off and go home again

I can’t take the speed it’s moving in

I know I can’t

But, honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older

I’m only good at being young

So I play the numbers game

To find a way to say that life has just begun…

I used to say to my wife “when I’m 50, let’s have a big party, then just take me out and shoot me”.

This is not quite what I had in mind, but it’s OK.

Times change.  So do the things that occupy those times.

Along this journey, there are moments of abject beauty.   The darkness is punctuated by brilliant stars and a brightly gleaming moon.   To borrow a phrase, the sun also rises, along the way, casting a rich palate of pink and orange and blue, and newness.

Had a talk with my old man

Said, “Help me understand”

He said, “Turn sixty-eight

You’ll renegotiate”

“Don’t stop this train

Don’t know how else to say it

I don’t want to see my parents go

One generation’s length away

From fighting life out on my own

Roots run deep, here, literally and figuratively.   An old friend saw this picture I took yesterday of a tree rooted deeply near the graves of my father, and grandfather, and great grandfather, and unaware of the tree’s location, shared the following scripture:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

Touché.   Senor’ Pez could not have said it any better.

So, here, today, I gather with my progeny to celebrate something new, while never forgetting something old, or something borrowed, or what’s been given.

‘Cause now I see I’ll never stop this train.

Nor do I truly want to…

*Stop This Train lyrics by John Mayer

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Fire and Ice

Expect the unexpected.  That’s what they always say.

When the topic is Oklahoma weather, however, I’d say the correct phrase might be “unexpect the expected”.

Little Frau commented yesterday on how much more difficult it is to forecast winter storms and how the powers that be try too hard to be right about something they cannot control.

There’s an old Pat Benatar tune that  says: 

Fire and ice

You come on like a flame

Then you turn a cold shoulder

Fire and ice

This latest named winter storm that shall remain nameless turned a cold shoulder on us, indeed, making us dread its impact and drop any semblance of productive days as we awaited its wrath, then staying just abreast of us in intensity of impact.

While I am thankful, a part of me feels let down.   All this planning and angst, and things work out OK after all?   What is the deal with that?

I wonder if that’s how Moses felt a big part of the time.   I spent a few hours yesterday awaiting the loss of power that would not come to fruition.   Waiting, and watching start to finish the 50’s era epic “The Ten Commandments”.

The children of Israel had their share of storms, no doubt, as have we all.   But, in the midst of their deliverance, they got a little (OK, a lot) off course fretting about the storms that might not ever come, and making some new more damaging storms on their own along the way.

So, the rain will fall today, and the ice (what little we had) should melt quickly.   Or, maybe it won’t.   I can’t control that.   I can control my heart, and how it cares for those around me, and the storms they may be feeling.

Such was true yesterday.

Such will be true today, planned for storms, or unplanned for plans.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life — for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.  Psalm 138:8

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