The Empty Tomb

It was late afternoon in Jerusalem. Low clouds seemed to be burdened by a pending rain. But in the garden, the overhanging branches of the trees were like umbrellas stretched over the pathways. A small crowd was inching along the path to the tomb. 
Not just any tomb, but the one where many scholars agree that Jesus was placed after his crucifixion. 

Even with all the people, it was so quiet. Our lowered voices made a gentle sound in the area around the tomb. I closed my eyes and just listened. 
I’ve not been a world traveler—but here in Jerusalem, just outside the tomb, I heard French, German, and Spanish visitors. But there were other languages I’d never heard before. 

As we waited for our turn to go into the tomb, I looked at my fellow sojourners. Different cultures and languages, but one faith. The Bible talks about every nation and every tongue—and I felt it here.
Even though we couldn’t understand one another, we were sharing a moment we’d hold close to our hearts forever. We’d travel…

Getting Chipped?

Call me suspicious, but I just want to ask this up front: would you implant a data chip in your right hand in order to have a more full-proof method of protecting your ID, credit cards, and bank accounts?
The cover article in April’s AARP Bulletin, discussed the challenges facing consumers in this online world of financial transactions. The United States had over 16 million victims of identity theft in 2017. Scammers reaped nearly $17 billion.
Our passwords just aren’t stealthy enough anymore. Biometric authentication with eye scans and thumb prints can help beat some of the scammers. Facial and voice recognition are being used more often to confirm identity. It sounds good until the companies storing your photo ID get hacked.

The safest solution is already in place in Sweden. A tiny chip the size of a piece of rice is inserted between the thumb and forefinger. No more lost car keys, no need for your work ID badge, no lost or stolen credit cards. Nearly un-hackable. Simple, easy, and you…

Personal Trainer

I’ve been visiting a personal trainer for about a year. She’s much younger than I am, but she doesn’t let me use age as an excuse to slow down. 

Thankfully, she did give me time to adapt to the workout routines. I already know I’ll never master the kind of flexibility she has. Not to mention her boundless energy.
But here we are, face to face, for our weekly session. She’s ramping it up. I guess she figures I’m in better shape after all the work she’s done to get me ready. 
It’s a combination of floor exercises followed by running. She directs. I follow. There’s not much of a break between the exercise sets. 
After what seems like less than two minutes off, she gives me that smile that says, enough rest, it’s time to get moving—and she starts running. 

I follow close behind. The interesting thing, is that all of this training has made it easier to keep up, and when she looks back to see where I am, I smile because I’m right behind her.
I highly recommend getting a personal trainer like min…

Make Do

When Grandma needed something that she didn't have, she'd often say, “We can make do.”  The most affectionate time she said we could make do was when I arrived at her remote cabin in the woods with my infant daughter. I didn’t own a portable crib, so Grandma emptied a dresser drawer for her to sleep in—it worked great. 
Grandma was resourceful. She’d make toy dolls from yarn and buttons. She fashioned doll clothes from flour sacks. In the kitchen, she’d make do with what she had. She repaired what broke; she didn’t replace. 

I don’t think I ever fully developed my ability to “make do”. Growing up with plenty of cheap solutions, my idea of making do usually meant going out and buying it.

I wonder if I have missed an opportunity to think creatively with what I have on hand—like Grandma did. Her generation seemed to find solutions from what was available. 

As I look at what I have—it’s way more than Grandma had—maybe I can learn how to improvise more, need less, and in the end, be sa…

A Season to Remember

A ragtag group of 14 and 15-year-old boys played together on a perpetually losing baseball team. 
It wasn’t like they didn’t have talent. The first baseman was tall for his age and had an arm reach that could snag a line drive before it ever had a chance to make it to the outfield. 
Then there was the outfielder who never complained about his position and could run faster than the opponent’s hit—robbing many of an RBI score.
The stud second baseman was a poor kid from the city’s low income housing. He looked like every other player in his new uniform. But one of the team moms always had a concession stand burger for him after the game.
But the new head coach had big ideas for playing small ball. He’d vex the opponents with an unexpected bunt, scoring a run from third base. And then he'd call for a fake bunt when they were anticipating one—having his batter swing hard at the last second.

The coach also brought in an ancient pitching coach—he was over 80 years old; the boys must have won…

That Look

I’ve seen that look on your face before—I’ve been with you long enough to know when I might see it, so I watch for it. 

I guess it’s just what a grandma does—I’m on high alert for your hurting heart. I saw your downcast eyes, you didn’t want to talk, sadness was hidden—but barely, because your lower lip quivered just a bit.

After five years of teamwork, your basketball team played its final game. Theteam had stuck together through the toughest of all losses—a teammate killed by a drunk driver over a year ago. 
Then you all committed to play even harder. Now, it’s over. I imagine you’re wondering if you’ll make the high school team. I know you wish your friend would have lived to be part of it.

I wanted to hug you and let you know that I saw the look, but it wasn’t hug time. 
Instead I prayed that God would do what I never really can do—be with you in all of those kind of moments—because I know there will be many more I never will see, but God always will.

"Watch this: God’s eye is on t…

Fortnight and the Generation of Doom

If you’re a parent or grandparent of a middle schooler, I don’t need to define Fortnight—the video game sensation. For the rest of you, it’s the latest in an onslaught of worries facing parents, educators, and medical professionals. 
One recent article lamented that some 5th graders had signs of carpel tunnel from hand overuse. Not to mention the worries about gaming addiction. 
Sigh. Today’s kids do not have it any easier with all the advancements in technology. They are responsible for higher academic expectations—many requiring computers while at the same time their use of computers and video games has to be carefully monitored. 
A world of porn and potential harm lurks menacingly behind those screens.
So, are today’s kids doomed to a life of online addictions? No. But a few will, just like every generation copes with addiction—alcohol seemed to hit my parent’s generation. Mine has dealt with drugs.
But my generation wasn’t doomed any more than Generation Next is. Choice is still an opt…