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Showing posts from April, 2011

Thirty-Two Years & Counting

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Anniversaries remind me of time. I count the years, thumb through photo albums and reflect on places I used to be. Since our wedding in 1979, we have lived in seven cities, twelve homes, raised two kids and have had thousands of days together.


We met at college sharing dreams of music stardom and big recording deals… Then we graduated, years passed and the music slowly faded.

Together, we’ve delivered newspapers, cut firewood, done yard work, farmed strawberries, worked in a Bible bookstore, and for the past 25 years have sold millions of apples, none of these jobs was what we expected to do.

Yet, we found there was something to love or learn in every place we’ve been and in everything we’ve done. Getting older isn’t all bad. Each year seems to add more to our love bank.
Our most important lesson?We learned that life isn’t about our plans, but about God’s plans. A long time ago, when music didn’t work out for us, it just meant that He had something better in mind. We learned to trust Him.

Can Heaven be Real if Hell isn’t?

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A new book, Heaven is for Real, details Colton Burpo’s near-death experience while critically ill. Months later, he began telling his parents the details. He recalled being above his doctor in the operating room and then seeing his mom praying in the hospital chapel while his dad was sitting in a nearby room. Then he told about sitting on Jesus' lap, and meeting his great grandpa. But the real clincher, was meeting the sister he never knew he had.

His parents knew he wasn't fabricating the story--how could he have known their location in the hospital? They had never told their son about a miscarriage years before. And they hadn't known that their baby was a girl.  How could a four-year-old make up those kinds of details? Heaven is very real to this family.
Dealing with the opposite spiritual realm, is Rob Bell's new book, Love Wins, which assures readers that no one goes to Hell. Pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bell consider…

My Cat Complex

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I’m a cat person. Yet, I’ve always respected dog owners. They instill obedience in their dog and receive complete loyalty in return. 
Cats are opposite. My cat’s agenda may sometimes include me and when that happens I’m supposed to feel blessed. Otherwise, I’m in his royal court waiting to be summoned.
Maybe I can blame some of my cat-like behavior on having been a cat person my whole life. I have a tendency to remain aloof. Or rarely, when I feel like it, I can be the life of the party. I usually keep my claws retracted, but given the right motive, I can scratch unexpectedly.
Like a cat, I keep my fur groomed and dislike things that rub me the wrong way. Then there’s my diet: it’s just what I want to eat. Talk about finicky, that’s me. I want the temperature just right, the pillows just so, the music not too loud.
And just like a cat, I’m persistent when the mood strikes. I’ve been labeled “relentless” and that’s completely true until I don’t feel like being relentless anymore. I go to …

The lesson of the rattlesnake

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I used to live in the deserts of Eastern Washington.  Besides having amazing vistas because there were no trees to block the view, our closest neighbors were often reptiles. No surprise really, because our farm provided warm dirt and a ready supply of water. I still have the rattler from one that came too close.

Years later, in our home sitting perched atop a hillside in a residential area of Chelan, I wasn’t thinking about snakes.  I left those 3-foot serpents on our failed farm where they deserved to be. One hot day when I was alone in our downstairs office, I glanced over and there coiled up ready to strike was a little baby rattlesnake.
Trust me, instinct takes over. The closest thing to contain it was a can of coffee. Dumping the coffee on the counter, I immediately slapped it over the snake. I did not want this creature escaping in MY HOUSE.  I put enough weight on top of the can while I figured out a better option.
Proceeding to Phase Two of rattlesnake containment, I selected a…

Opening Day Memories

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Major League Baseball’s Opening Day has all the excitement a new season brings; it’s a fresh beginning, filled with bright hopes. It’s time to believe again. It also reminds me of when my son was little and even though I didn’t see it at the time, as my son was growing up, so was I.
It all started on a side field adjacent to the big kid’s ballpark. As the T-ball stand stood at attention, a dozen excited children attempted to focus on running around the bases in the right direction. Yearly progress brought better skills and higher hopes. A new season meant a chance to prove it again.
Just like boys his age everywhere, Tommy had his favorite MLB idol. Emulating his batting stance, he’d hit hundreds of rocks into the water with a driftwood bat.  Each year he’d practice harder, longer, and get better. Games were won and lost. There were incredible highs and the inevitable lows.
Much like life, baseball isn’t perfect. Both share bad calls, tough luck and favoritism, yet baseball shaped my son…