Monday, August 17, 2015

The changing of the blog

Well, isn’t this something.

Welcome to the new After nearly 10 years in Blogger, I have moved over to the WordPress platform.

Read the rest of this post here.

And thanks for visiting all these years!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

God in the land of the living

“I am still confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalms 27: 13-14 NIV)

Because he is omnipresent, it should not be a long wait. You just need to focus a little and he is there.

You’ll find him in the land of the living. He’s not someone you don’t meet until you die.

I am still confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living:

In a dog sniffing the ground for something to eat, then curling up in the grass near my feet.

In the white butterfly that jumps up and flies across the yard.

In the chattering of insects and birds 360 degrees around me.

In the flowers that spring here and there and everywhere from the ground, planted or not.

Even in the sounds from the highway of people on a journey, on their way to a safe arrival or return.

In the branches that sway in the wind. No one can see the wind; we can only see its effect.

God is not someone you don’t meet until you die.

When I had that thought, I remembered a song I had somehow forgotten for some time, by Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull … God’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The longest summer ever

Red and I are slowly finishing a project that we’ve wanted to do since we built our house three years ago: insulate the garage. We did the back wall last fall. The other day we committed to doing the biggest side wall.

First we pulled everything out of the garage, and then we set to work, Red cutting the pieces of insulation and I stapling, and it was all done in less than a half-day. Truth to tell the actual work was done in an hour or so – most of the time was taken up in moving the clutter out of the way and then putting it back.

There was still plenty of time in the day to do several other little projects – although I did have one contradictory thought: Is it really three whole years since we moved into this house? The time has flown by.

And yet it hasn’t – a day is a long time, weeks and months and years are longer. Remember how long ago it was cold? That was “only” four or five months ago. But look how much has happened since.

Time flies only in retrospect. Yes, it seems hard to believe that what happened five years ago was so long ago, but then think of what you’ve been through since. It’s enough to fill up 1,826 days. It’s a full life.

It’s one of those “Is the glass half full or half empty” things. Life presents us with so many choices that we will never see and do quite everything we hope to see and do.And yet the average life is packed full of things seen and done.

Sometimes it’s worth reflecting on what life was like before time “flew by” – how much you had not experienced yet, all of the marvelous inventions that people have invented, all of the new building or all of the land reclaimed and preserved.

That’s when you realize the hours and days passed at the same pace they always have.

I drive the highway to work and see the lush green cornfields and the clean clear pavement, and I try to imagine driving slowly through the same scene packed with snow blowing so hard I can’t see out the windshield very well. I have a flash of a long-ago time when I tried to imagine lush green cornfields and 65 mph.

It seems like a long, long time ago. Perhaps the four seasons are there to remind us that time passes, but that it takes a long time.

All things considered there IS time for everything. The day is just as long as it has ever been. 

Door County Advocate, Aug. 12, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A pilgrim arrives in the kingdom of Else

Once upon a time, there was a magic land called Else, which was ruled by a queen named Elsa. Some said Queen Elsa was wise and good; others thought she was cruel and heartless; still others said she was cruel because she was good.

It was a land where no one wants for anything – a land where no one wants for anything – where dreams come true … or do they?

When pilgrims arrive in Else, some discover they are still waiting and the dream was inside them, not in another place. For some, simply being somewhere Else is enough. For others, another journey looms.

“But I came to the kingdom of Else because I want another life – a better life!” cried the pilgrim who has just arrived.

“Yes, you did. Yes, I see,” said Queen Elsa. “Well, you have found another life. It’s up to you to make it a better one.”

“Up to me?” gasped the pilgrim.

“Why, yes,” the queen said kindly. “All we do is give you somewhere Else. ‘Better’ has always been up to you.”

“I traveled all this way only to find I could have stayed in my home and made the changes there? That’s not fair!”

“Meh,” said the queen, turning away. “It is not fair or unfair. It simply is. But now you know, and knowing, you can do what you must.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What to do first

“You want to what?” 

“Fly, Father. I want to fly.”

The wind across the water made a roar. The older man looked anxiously at the younger.

“Look at you, Bill. Look at you in that chair you’ve been sitting in all these years.”

“Doesn’t matter. I’m going to fly.”

“Just like that. How? Why?”

Bill’s hair fluttered, just a little, sitting next to the window and all.

“I’m not sure. That’s not the point. I’m tired of sitting. I want to stand. I want to fly.”

“Now you’re getting somewhere, son. First you have to stand, and then walk, perhaps run – probably run. You’ll need speed to achieve liftoff and fly.”

“Now see, there’s where you’re wrong, Pop,” Bill said with a gentle smile. “First, first – first I need to dream.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

4 thoughts that generate better habits

A habit must be a habit, or else it is just a thing.

A habit has to be ingrained to the point where you just sit down and do it, and maybe you don't even remember whether you did it today but when you checked, sure enough, it got done.

You can't be coming back two or three days later to find out you skipped it. Nope, you have to do it and do it every day until it's second nature.

"Practice makes perfect" is a cliche because it's true.