On Winning and Losing

On Losing and Winning We are T minus 2.5 weeks to the execution.  The condemned has invited us to join him on death row and, on that day, he will have also invited us to die with him.  These are days fraught with sobering realities. If we look back we will remember that this is just as he promised it would be from nearly the beginning.  “Come, follow me.” Follow me in announcing a new way to be and live, follow me in steady pursuit of loving others, telling the truth, showing mercy, undoing evil’s grip.  Follow me in saying “Yes” to the Father—in fair weather, when they say you can do no wrong, and in foul weather when they …

THREE PRAYERS FOR PEOPLE IN PROCESS

Jesus used at least three prominent figures to describe the believing life as an on going work of God’s grace in our lives—the journey, the new birth, the vine and its branches.  Here are three prayers for people in process that express the longings of my heart.  Perhaps of yours too. Master, thank you for noticing me when you passed my way.  Merely that—what a miracle!  Then, for you to call me, pull me to my feet, welcome me in your following . . . wow! I would not dare to request more, if you had not urged me to ask.  So, keep me on the way with you, alert me to the potholes and the slippery slopes along the …

Abscess, Root Canal and Lessons from the Pain

Recently I had as miserable a week as any I can recall. One night I woke up to a dull throb under a large molar on the bottom left side. Dull became acute; the molar shared its pain with the whole jaw, then cheek, eye, temple, and soon the entire left side of my head. In one week I was host to the natural birth, nasty childhood, rebellious adolescence, sociopath adulthood of a monster abscess. For its egregious crimes against the human, the abscess was put to death by root canal. After more than a week a whole night’s rest felt heavenly. It is, however, not a week to forget. As I remember and wince over this painful time, I …