One of the standard pastoral care questions I have often posed to persons who are dealing with a life challenging situation is: “What are you learning through this experience?” Over the past several weeks I have been asking myself this question as I’ve spent time on the other side of the pastoral care equation.
Without going into all the details I’ll share a little background: Continue reading
I have been a Purdue fan all of my life. No kidding, for as long as I can remember I have cheered on the Old Gold and Black. Why? I’m sure it had something to do with 3 older siblings attending Purdue University for college, as well as earning my own undergraduate degree from the West Lafayette campus. The allegiance was built early and runs deep. I can remember in elementary school wearing a different Purdue shirt every day of the week. My teachers even commented on my regular Purdue attire. Hey, it made getting dressed easy! Continue reading
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. – Jesus (Mt 7:7 NRSV)
Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 are very familiar to me. Mostly I know them as part of a chorus we used to play and sing at church camp. When sung in parts and with the descant, that simple little chorus could transform a campfire experience into something special.
It’s funny how such familiar words can be found fresh again. At least that was my experience early this week, when in the course of reading Matthew 7 I stopped to consider the words anew. I no longer hear them as a teenager or young adult camp counselor. I hear them as a middle-aged pastor, husband, father, and recently new granddad, who has been wrestling with God in prayer for the past several months. Continue reading
Christmas was for me, as is true with many children, a magical time of year. I have fond memories of childhood Christmas experiences that involved my parents, siblings, extended family and church. These memories have kind of all blended together as the years pass by, but one or two still manage to stand out.
A Christmas memory I treasure yet to this day concerns the year that our parents decided to give each other the same gift. I’m not sure where the seeds for this gift idea were sown, or how long they had germinated, but as the Christmas season rolled around that year it was common knowledge that Mother and Dad had talked about a television for the dining room. “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to watch the morning news over coffee and toast, while seated at the dining room table, rather than just listen to the local radio station?” An idea was hatched. Continue reading
One of the campfire songs my family of origin often shared during my formative years was Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land”. We sang that tune all across the USA as we traveled with our parents each summer on a two or three week trek, leaving our Indiana home right after the completion of the 4-H fair and returning in time to start school. I’ve thought of that song the past couple of weeks as I took a trip to the West coast with my own family and once again enjoyed the beauty of our home land. In fact some of the lyrics coincided with our travels “from California” and the “Redwood Forest”.
Guthrie’s song wraps up with the phrase “this land was made for you and me”. Continue reading