God’s garden is full of new seasons

photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh

Every spring, we all get the urge to start planting flowers around the house. For the home gardener, it’s a way to celebrate the end of winter and an excuse to play outside in the sunshine.

But before any of the fun stuff happens – the planting, mulching, and watering – first comes the grungy job of preparing the soil. 

An experienced gardener knows the quality of your foliage depends on your prep work. If you don’t properly prepare the soil, your plants won’t be as healthy as they should.

Prepping the soil takes effort.  It requires getting down and dirty with the earth: crawling through the flower bed, pulling weeds out by the roots, and clearing out all of the debris cluttering the area.

Then you dig in and turn the soil with a spading fork. After that you finish crumbling the soil with a cultivator, then you rake it into a smooth bed. Now you are ready to plant.

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Why I don’t like to fly

As the British say, “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.”

Flying back home was supposed to be the easy part.

I enjoyed a road trip recently, helping my son take his sons and their belongings down to Florida. After helping the boys drive down, I would be flying back home.

My son Steve and his wife Andrea had a great plan. He is currently going to school online. She works online from home. They home-school their kids.

There was no reason they couldn’t do all those things in sunny Florida instead of freezing Indianapolis, so they rented an Airbnb near Orlando for the month of February.

Steve and his three sons would drive down, bringing all their stuff in the van. Andrea would fly down two days later with the girls (ages three and five) to avoid having an 18-hour road trip with preschoolers.

Andrea’s flight would arrive late in the morning. About an hour after that, I would be flying back home on her plane’s return trip.

I spent the night with Steve and the boys after we arrived at the Airbnb. The following morning Steve and I grabbed donuts and coffee on the way to the airport.  We arrived 90 minutes before departure.

I looked forward to relaxing on the flight home. I was at the airport in plenty of time. What could go wrong?

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The best gig in town

 Nobody really likes getting old, but there are a few priceless perks

“Grandpa, tell me the story about hanging upside-down again!”

Why my grand-daughter Janey is so fond of this story, I really don’t know. She must have a special video in her mind of her young grandpa hanging from his feet and swinging back and forth like a pendulum.

Janey on the go

I enjoyed sharing it with her the first eight or nine times, but it’s getting kind of old for me now.

“Janey, let’s do another story. You’ve heard this one so many times already.”

She cocks her head to one side and looks at me with those big blue eyes.  (Somewhere down the road, some young man is going to find those eyes irresistible.)

“Grandpa,” she scolds me like a child, “upside-down story please!”

When you are tucking in the sweetest five-year-old on earth, it’s hard to say “no.”

“Okay, one more time…so I was 11 years old, and I had a job working for a greenhouse gardener near my house. I had just started working there, and I was younger and littler than all the other boys, so they liked to pick on me sometimes.

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You only find true peace one day at a time

(Jesus speaking) “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  – Matthew 6:31-34

Solitary woman looks out across a quiet still lake.

We all want to feel like we have a plan for the future. And that is proper. We all should set goals and plan ahead as best we can. It is good to dream and have ambitions.

But what can we do when life goes sideways and all our plans fall apart?

When our plans fail and we cannot see a clear path forward, we often panic. Our anxiety causes us to become fearful and lose our joy.

So we cry out to God for some kind of guidance. We beg Him to give us some kind of sign to help us regain our hope for the future.

And because He loves us, God will give us guidance … but in His own way, and His own time.

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Who Knew It Could Freeze in Texas?

Snow covers the ground and the palm trees in San Antonio, Texas.
Snow and ice coat the palm trees in San Antonio, Texas.

At 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning Peggy woke me up again.

“I’m getting cold.”

I mumbled, “Okay” and started the Toyota.

In a few minutes, warm air flowed through the dashboard vents. I wiped the fog off my side window and looked across the Love’s Truck Stop parking lot in Kingsville, Texas. A freezing drizzle glazed the scene around me in ice.

I’ve had some sucky vacations in my day, but this one might top the charts. We had arrived in Corpus Christi on Saturday, February 6th, and it was sunny and beautiful. We’d enjoyed four days of mild weather.

Among other reasons, we’d chosen to stay in Corpus Christi because it was a beach town on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s almost as far south as you can go in Texas, just 165 miles north of the Mexican border.

Surely this would be a safe spot for a month-long escape from our Indiana winter.

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Can We Salvage Anything from This 2020 Train Wreck?

Something positive might emerge from this election fiasco if we can form a national consensus about enforcing transparent procedures.

Voter drops a ballot into the ballot box.
Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

President Trump’s legal battle to contest the election has polarized our country.

Many Trump supporters are convinced the election was stolen, that Democrats played loosey-goosey with mail-in ballots and vote tabulations and rigged the results in Joe Biden’s favor.

Democrats claim that Republicans are trying to “overturn the election.”  Business Insider reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked Republicans supporting the lawsuits, saying they’re “engaged in election subversion that imperils our democracy.”

The problem is, no one really knows what happened.

You know what you believe based on news reports from media you trust.

I know what I believe based on news reports from media I trust.

But none of us really “know” for a fact if this election was fair or not.

The big problem here is lax enforcement of election rules.

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Why We Should Never Take Election Day for Granted

Today as I left the polling station I was reminded how blessed we are to live in America.

Walking past the voters waiting in line, I observed a cross-section of humanity rarely gathered together in one place at one time.

Old and young, short and tall, thin and wide, high-school dropouts and college grads.


A lanky bearded baby-boomer, with faded jeans and a headband, waited patiently in line behind a young businessman in a blue suit and tie.

Elderly widows with canes stood alongside young moms with babies. Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites populated the long queue. There was no intimidation, no rowdiness, no disrespect shown to anyone.

Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; we all gathered together to peacefully share in this most wonderful of American rituals: the opportunity to vote. Continue reading

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A Short Story in Remembrance of a Life Lived for Christ

I am pleased to publish this guest post from my friend Brenda Purcell

During the civil war in Guatemala, Pastor Miguel Cojti was preaching in his church. In the middle of the service, three soldiers came through the doors and pulled Pastor Miguel out of his pulpit.

They proceeded to take him out to a field and said they were going to kill him. They said that it was because he preached that there was a Heaven and a Hell and only by trusting in Jesus would a person be able to live at peace with God.

One of the solders protested and said that there was no Hell, that Hell was here living on this earth and experiencing all that was happening in Guatemala.

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It Really Was Almost This Pathetic

For once I am speechless...

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How Dare You Disagree with Me!


Had I known it would sour a relationship that I treasured, I would never have sent that comment.

But let me back up and give you some quick background…

My wife Peggy and I have known “Jenny” (not her real name) since she was nine years old. For seven years, she and her two sisters were a regular part of our family.

We first met them when their mom was recently divorced and needed help with child care. So Peggy and I picked the girls up after school several days a week and kept them until their mom got home from work.

Over time, we became really fond of those girls. They spent weekends with us about once a month, and several times joined us on short camping vacations at Indiana State Parks. We joked that they were our “part-time daughters.”

We went to their school plays, made birthday cakes for them, and just generally enjoyed the blessings of having some new youngsters in our lives after our two children had sprouted their wings and left our nest empty.

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