Nobody really likes getting old, but there are a few priceless perks
“Grandpa, tell methe 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.
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.
(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
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.
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.
Something positive might emerge from this election fiasco if we can form a national consensus about enforcing transparent procedures.
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.
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 →
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.
Had I knownit 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.