Yes, I know I spelled “BLEWS” differently, but this is my blog, and I can spell how I want.

Have I mentioned that I can’t stand truck shopping? Have I also mentioned that I can’t stand shopping of any sort?

Shopping, to me, is amongst the worst ways I can spend my time. I know, many people love bargain hunting, I am not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I hunt bargains. I just do it faster than anyone else you know, or will ever meet.

But there are some things I am extremely patient with, and truck shopping is one of them. It has been a week now, and all I have done is talk to a bank, a dealership, and read numerous advertisements, both in the local paper, and on the net, about everyone’s like - brand - new used truck.

Seriously, why would anyone bother ever buying a new vehicle, when for a few thousand dollars less, you can buy everyone else’s once brand - new vehicle, that same vehicle being “like” brand new now, with one small difference, it’s not brand new, it’s only “like” brand new.

Have I mentioned that I am not enjoying this truck hunting? Aggggghhh!!!!!!!

This Saturday, I am going to a dealership to see some of their “like” brand new, used trucks. I can’t wait (rolls eyes). If they have their way, they’ll have me driving out with that “like” new vehicle the very same day. Obviously, they haven’t met me, yet.

One of the reasons I am driving to the dealership in a car that won’t be traded in is exactly because I don’t want to drive home with buyer’s remorse.

You know what buyer’s remorse is, don’t you? That’s where the moment you leave the store, you regret spending the money you had on what you purchased, and wish you hadn’t? Well, that won’t be happening to this unhappy truck shopper.

Oh, I’m sure they’ll take one look at my “like” new Mustang, and expect that it is the car I am trading in, but ahhhh!!!! What a surprise they are in for, because I’m not trading in a car!! Ha ha ha!

So in all, should I find a “like” new truck that fits my budget (which ain’t much), and fits my needs (which are many), then at some point, I may be persuaded to actually buy the darn thing. Oh Harold!!! Why can’t you just last forever!!

Poor poor Harold, he’s going to be so lonely without me, but there is good news for him. I have a friend who is interested in buying my very “unlike” new truck for personal usage. Harold may not have to be buried in the junk yard after all. We’ll see. I hope he gets to run a little more, even if he can’t run as smoothly, or as quickly as he once did. He’s still Harold, and no “like” new truck is ever going to replace him.



Let us remember the resurrection today. We celebrate Jesus, and His victory over death, and one day a year, we remember it. We call that day Easter.

But I say to you, if we are to live in this world where death remains, we better remember His victory every single day, or we will be like the dead burying the dead. Since death remains in this world, without the resurrection, there is no hope, for this life would then be all there is. Without the resurrection, the scientists would be right, and the world would be smart if we all ate and drank today, for tomorrow we die, and there is nothing after death. This resurrection gives us hope beyond death.

But to me, the hope lives on every single day. There isn’t a day where I don’t think of it. There isn’t a moment, somewhere deep inside, where the resurrection doesn’t impact every single thought I have. Some of those thoughts I am better off without, but deep down inside, there waits the resurrection, my eternal hope, for today, and for that day.

To live this life now, as if we are merely waiting to die so we can rise from the dead, is to waste this life. But to live in remembrance of the resurrection, to live as though we will never die, that is the way we use what has been given to us fully, that is the way we don’t waste what Christ gave us. It is the way we invest the “talents” He left with us, rather than burying them in the ground somewhere, where we won’t even draw interest through osmosis.

Many people who believe in Christ have but one hope, that glorious day when they will be in heaven. All their problems will be solved, and they will not shed any more tears. That is truly something to look forward to. But to bury that treasure, to hide it so we won’t lose it is akin to having lost it already. I cannot imagine living life without remembering the fact that I am eternal NOW, that I live forever NOW, that I will remember NOW forever.

To live such a life as I once did would be a heartbreak more rending than if a man were to run me through with a blunt sword. To return to that way of living would be like death to me. I cannot imagine it. If the only hope I had was to die, why would I ever want to live?

The resurrection of Christ gives hope, but not just for tomorrow. It is our hope every single day. Can we live as though it is NOW? Or do we have to wait? What will your answer be tomorrow?



Terri Schiavo is on my mind today. I have been thinking, and rethinking what I know about this case, and the fact is, I don’t really know all that much. I know as much as the next person, which constitutes all of America, and maybe the rest of the world.

But curiously, for a news story as large as this one, there is a lack of information available. Many have asked questions that haven’t been answered, in fact, the questions have been ignored altogether. Why just the other day, our federal government subpoenaed Terri Schiavo, with the express intent of actually witnessing her condition, so they could be better informed to draft either legislation, or to allow the starvation death to proceed. Judge George Greer denied their request to have the feeding tube reinserted, so they could have time to witness Terri’s condition.

Which leads me to ask two questions. The first, and most obvious should be, “When was the last time Michael Schiavo visited his WIFE.” Surely a man who loves his wife as much as Michael does, one who loves her so much that he would remember her saying she didn’t want to live as a vegetable, and thus would go to great lengths to bring that about to honor her, wouldn’t be absent from her side, would he? How long must a man be absent from his spouse before it is considered that he has abandoned her? Interesting question, one that no one connected with the case from Michael’s side will even bother acknowledging.

The second question is, “Has Judge George Greer ever visited Terri Schiavo?” Try as I might, I cannot find one instance in the press where such a visit was reported. Surely he must have visited her, to witness first hand, in person, exactly what He was judging, wouldn’t you think? Yet no matter where I look, I can find no record of such a visitation. Can you guys help me find this?

I am left here thinking about this further, and the greatest temptation for me is to blast the judge, and Michael, with my pen. But to do so would be wrong, because more is at stake here than meets the eye. And I will not judge anyone without as many of the facts as I can gather. Maybe that’s the difference between me and them, that they don’t have all of the facts, and yet are willing to render a judgment anyway, while I am not willing to render a judgment without the facts. I don’t know.

I do know this, if Michael Schiavo has moved on, and is with another woman now for the last several years, then this case is certainly by now a conflict of interest for him. It should be obvious to anyone looking on that he has abandoned her. Let’s face facts here, although he hasn’t remarried, he has fathered children with a different woman, and is living with her. Hence, he is guilty of adultery, which in most states in this union, is still “illegal”. Check the facts, adultery is still on the books in many states in this nation. So if we are going to follow the law, as the judge, and as Michael truly want us to, then shouldn’t we follow that law as well? If we are going to get legalistic with this case, then let’s drown ourselves in legalism, and declare Michael an unfit husband, and thus, unable to be her guardian any longer.

Why do I say that? Here’s a question for you that will help us understand my reasons. If you had a child, and for some reason, left that child for six years in the care of others, would you expect a court to grant you every right as that child’s legal guardian upon your return? Nothing less has happened here. Michael has abandoned his wife, he has forsaken her for another, denying the power of the vows he took, promising to stay with Terri through sickness and in health. In short, his marriage vows are void, and because they are, he no longer has any right to claim guardianship over her.

To me, if I were judge, this case would be as simple as that. The mere fact that he is with another woman not his wife right now while he has been faithfully demanding Terri’s death would lend a pall over his testimony so dark that I couldn’t give an ounce of credibility to it whatsoever. I guess he should thank God I’m not the judge.

This entire case is not based on facts. Michael’s request is based on hearsay. There is absolutely no written instruction from Terri. It is his word against her parent's, and in this case, somehow, the judges have always sided with Michael. I wonder, how exactly has that happened?

Do you see the same problem I see? Most see that this case as murder. Many say that Terri isn’t in a persistent vegetative state. But that’s not what this case is about. Do you see what it is about?

Let’s explore further. Michael Schiavo says his wife had a death wish. On the strength of his word, the case is seen by an actual judge. Remember, the strength of his word.

Can you imagine what his answer would have been to the attorney for the Schindler’s when he was asked if he could produce a written living will? “No.” Could he produce a letter, a note, instructions left somewhere on a computer’s memory, anything that would indicate Terri’s wishes? “She told me she wouldn’t want to live like that.”

Attorney’s answer? “Oh! Well, that settles everything. She told you. By all means, remove the tube.”

“Oh, Mr. Schiavo, a couple more things….Where are you currently living, and when was the last time you visited your wife? Also, will you be the one removing the tube?”

Michael’s answer? Well, can you imagine it? Do you really think these questions weren’t asked inside of a court room? I am not a lawyer, I have absolutely no expertise in courtroom savvy. But these would have been my first questions for him. So can we assume they were asked?

How is it possible, that in a court of law, a man admitted abandonment of his wife, and yet, he still has guardianship over her? For who in their right mind would not consider Michael’s taking up with another woman an abandonment of his wife? Do you see the trouble we now have?

George Greer, and the judges before him are ignoring one very important fact. Michael Schiavo is no longer married to Terri. Oh, a piece of paper may say he is, but then again, by common law, he is also then a bigamist, because if he is still married to Terri, he is then married to two women at once., through his common law marriage to the woman he lives with. Maybe vows were not taken between he and the woman he lives with, but in his state, he is considered her common law husband. How can a man who has two wives have any credibility inside of a courtroom, while her parents are called liars, schemers, and treacherous selfish people?

See the problem yet?

Do not call good evil, nor what is evil good.

Michael Schiavo may well have had the best intentions for his wife at one point. But he can no longer honestly say that he does. He cannot possibly have her best interests at heart, because his interests are divided between two women. Any judge worth a lick of salt would recognize this instantly. But let’s ignore it for the time being, shall we?

Let’s focus instead on Michael’s answer to the attorney, “Do you have anything in writing?”


As a judge, I would have stated immediately, “case closed, I find for the Schindler’s, and I remove Michael’s right of guardianship over one Terri Schiavo.”

For you people not familiar with how an American court room works, let me help you understand. Without written proof of a statement you are making, say, in the case of driving without a license to operate a motor vehicle, if you were to state that you know you have a license, but all records indicate that no such license exists, you would immediately lose your case. The case would be dismissed instantly.

Another example would be this: Say a man confesses to a crime he committed, but doesn’t sign his name to the confession, nor does he even write a confession. In an American court, such a confession isn’t even admissible as evidence.

Another example would be of an inheritance issue. Say your father died, and before he died, he told you he wanted to change his will, so that you could receive a greater share of his estate. Yet when asked in a court of law where any document proving your claim might be found, you would have to answer that it was a verbal request, and not written down in any records that you were aware of. In an American court, your case would be dismissed immediately.

In American courts, “statements”, unless supported by written documentation, are usually not admissible in any case. I was just involved as an expert witness in a court case where accusations, and “remembrances of words said” were slung about every few minutes. Each time they were, the judge ordered the witness to stick to the known facts, the facts that were documented. He wasn’t even willing to listen to hearsay.

So the greatest question I have for this case is, why are all these American courts now listening, nay, giving strong credibility to hearsay? Why has our court system, for this one case, become so blind to it’s own laws?

We have two very loud pieces of evidence here. The first is, there is no evidence that Terri Schiavo ever requested that she be killed should she live in a vegetative state. That’s not calling Michael a liar. It’s just a fact, no evidence whatsoever, in required written form, exists of her wishes. That piece of testimony should have been thrown out. The second piece of evidence we have is that Michael Schiavo has abandoned his wife.

If we combine those two pieces of evidence, where does our case end up?

Do you see the problem now? It's not about murder. It's about Terri. It's about one person's dignity being stolen. Michael Schiavo claims he has her dignity in mind, yet in that same mind of his, he has the love or lust for the woman he is currently living with. If he truly had Terri's best inetersts at heart, if he truly believed in his own words, that he was defending her dignity, he would not be with another woman, nor would he have fathered children with her.

That's the trouble I see for the judge. I see blindness, and I see it being acted out willfully, and I have to wonder out loud, "Why?"

Logic dictates that no man is defending his wife's dignity while he is sleeping with another woman. His wife's dignity is the furthest thing from his mind. When my wifer left me for another man, she had absolutley no concerns for my dignity, I assure you of that. Michael is not telling the whole truth here. And this case is more about adultery than you think it is. He sleeps with another while he is still one with Terri. It doesn'ty matter what her state is, at least, when he uttered the vows "in sickness and in health" it didn't. It is clear, he has broken his vows, he is no longer fit to be her husband, nor her guardian. Logic DICTATEs that. Heck, I don't even have to use the God card in this case.

Sooner or later, every case in a court room, every disagreement, comes down to selfishness. This case is no different. That's what's being ignored, that's the problem I am pointing out.

This case isn't about a living will, because no such thing exists in this instance. Michael isn't defending his wife's dignity. He's defending his own. Let me explain. When he first attempted to remove Terri's tubes, he didn't expect to have the fight he has now. He desired to be released from his wedding vows, that's what I see. He was once a man of principal, and maybe one day, he can become one again. But this about a "'til death do us part" vow that he took, and that he wanted to be released from, to save his own dignity. I see a man tiring of watching his wife not respond, a man who loved her deeply, but a man who abandoned the promise he made to the wife of his youth.

There are all manner of reasons for such an outcome, but inevitably, it always comes down to human selfishness. Michael doesn't want his wife alive anymore. He wants to move on. He hasn't wanted her alive for years. For him, it is a sad thing that we have technology that can keep people alive on feeding tubes, for without these things, Terri most certainly would have died. But she is not dead, and until she is, he remains one with her, even thougth he abandoned that vow a long, long time ago. The best thing a judge could have done was to recognize the signs of a man giving up on his marriage, and rather, given custody of Terri to people who truly love her. Michael's love for her is dead. Yet she lives, whether it be by machine or not isn't a consideration. She lives. No man, for whatever selfish reasons, should have the right to change that course once it is set. She lives.



I want you to imagine the apostle John on this good Friday. It is Ten PM as I write this.

Do you think John was asleep by Ten PM on the day Jesus was slaughtered?

Think about that for a moment. We use words like “surreal”, and unreal, and other various phrases to describe something we just cannot believe is happening. Think about John.

This is the one Jesus loved. Of all the gospels written in story form, I find John's to be the most personal. Yet when he wrote it, especially the crucifixion, he barely showed emotion.

Is there a reason for this? I like to think there is, and I believe that the overwhelming event of the resurrection caused John to almost completely forget his grief over that Good Friday.

But that’s not what this article is about. I’d like to touch John’s heart for a moment on this night.

Recall that John was the one who was inside as Jesus was tried by the scribes and Pharisees. What must he have been thinking? Would thoughts such as “Jesus will get off from this. There’s no way they are going to hold Him for long, after all, have they not themselves witnessed His miracles?”

But as the evening wore on after His arrest, and morning approached, John’s heart must have begun to quail. A kangaroo court had been set against Jesus, an illegal one at that. That’s right, check into the facts on this. The court that tried Jesus acted completely against Jewish law for a Passover, as well as an evening gathering of the Sanhedrin, with not all of its members present to give their opinion. Truly, this was a conspiracy, and the court that tried Jesus, and then handed Him over to Pilate was acting blatantly illegal for all to see. So much for the righteousness of Pharisees, right?

As Jesus was handed over to Pilate, John may well have been pushed out of the way, not able to witness the trial as closely as he wished. Yet throughout the early morning, he certainly would have stayed very close to his friend, his teacher, his Lord. What must he be thinking?

Imagine it, if you can. Here is the man who met Moses and Elijah on the mountain top. Here is the man who was transfigured before John’s eyes. This man, Jesus, John’s closest friend in the world, had turned water into wine, given sight to the blind, and raised people from the dead on several different occasions. If ever a man had reason to feel disconnected, to use the word “surreal”, it was John.

Picture him watching as Pilate feebly attempts to gain control of the mob outside of his quarters. Watch John as Jesus is flogged, and brought before the crowd, tattered and bloody, a shell of what He once was even before He was crucified. When John heard that Jesus was to be flogged, was there hope that this punishment might be the lowest depths that Jesus would suffer? Was there hope that the flogging would be the end, and Jesus would escape with His life? Would John dare hope so? He may well have hoped this, yet in the back of his mind, he would be realistic about Jesus’ chances of surviving the flogging. Everyone in Israel knew that many did not survive flogging, simply because the Romans were brutal in their policing, and in their punishment. How many had John heard of who had died form the uncountable lashes given to them?

And then the verdict is reached, Pilate is not able to save Jesus’ life. He is to be crucified, and John’s worst fears, the most remote thoughts, have come to pass. For how could John, or Peter, or anyone else ever really believe that Jesus could be killed in such a way, by His own people? This is the Messiah!!!

Imagine John’s heart, and the pit of his stomach, as he watches them nail Jesus to the tree. Feel the unreality that John feels. How is this possible? He did good!! He was not evil!! Nicodemus, He taught you!! You, Pharisees, you saw Him heal all of them, how can you do this to God’s chosen One? Jesus!!!!!!! Use your power! Why won't you use your power?

Could those thoughts have been passing through John’s mind? Can you picture yourself as John? What would you feel? And if Jesus could be killed, this the Messiah, what hope was there now for anyone else?

John lived with this nightmare for three days. Do you think he was broken?



I am not feeling much like blogging tonight. I’m tired, discouraged, and overall, just plain frustrated. My truck needs some fixing, and I am not sure if the cost to repair it is worth it. There are over 241,000 miles on it, and at some point, it is going to die.

I don’t want to even think about having to buy a different truck, because to do so would mean having to get a loan, and I’ve become quite accustomed to not having any loans. Frankly, just the thought of it angers me.

Oh, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. I just don’t want to look for a different truck, and go through the hassle of arranging financing. Know anyone who is giving away a perfectly good truck? Ha ha ha.

I’ve gotten used to my truck. The previous owners called him Harold, and they are amazed that he is still running. Actually, he is running fine. The problem isn’t engine related, it’s suspension related, and no, I’m not talking about shock absorbers, which would be a cheap and easy fix.

Oh, suck it up, Tom!!

This is just one circumstance in the entirety of my life. It will pass, and it won’t kill me. Even if it did, I’d live beyond it forever. Sometimes, all we can do is look to that eventuality when we will be with God beyond this physical body which dies. Tonight, I don’t want to play car shopper, or car financer, or any thing else. I just want to be a child of God.



I woke up this morning saying, “Nobody likes you” to myself. Literally, the alarm clock went off, and I heard myself say those words. I don’t know if I said them out loud, or if they were merely in my head. That could have been a very bad way to start a day.

I am not certain if I was dreaming, and this statement was part of that dream, or if some ghouly demon was whispering in my ear as I slept. All I know about waking up this morning was that it has been the low point of my day.

Normally, waking up is a good thing. I wake up cheerful most of the time, but this morning, I was apprehensive, and I am pretty sure I know the reason. The words “Nobody likes you” were crossing back and forth in my mind. I know they are not true, so whatever was going on in my sleep was an item of falseness that I was able to wave away with the back of my hand. Still, there was an uneasiness about it, even though I knew the truth. What could have caused me to be saying this as I woke?

I didn’t spend much time pondering that question, because I had a dreadful day planned. Friday, I left the jobsite angry, having given the owner some advice which he promptly ignored, and thus made my job harder by a factor of two. Or three. Or maybe even five. It doesn’t matter, the fact is, I was angry leaving the jobsite, and I was facing the problem this morning yet again.

Something must have happened between Eight AM and Eleven AM this morning, because when I got to work, the owner still wanted me to pursue making plans to ignore my advice, which basically meant trying to accomplish the building of something which in its current design would have failed utterly. I would have built it, showed the owner it wouldn’t work, and then had to re-engineer it, and build it all over again. Most people who know me also know thatI cannot stand doing things twice, or having to do things over. Further complicating this would have been having to do it over knowing I had been right the first time.

But I reminded myself that I must be patient, because the owner does not always understand what we try to tell him, and I mustn’t lose my temper just because his area of expertise has absolutely nothing to do with carpentry. In short, it’s his money, and if I gave him an honest answer, yet he still decided to make the wrong decision, then there was simply nothing I could do about it. Trust me, this is not an easy place for me to get to in my heart. But it happened this morning.

Sometime within the first three hours of the day, I found myself preparing to do the project as the owner originally asked, knowing full well I’d have to do it all over again. Somehow I had accepted it, and wasn’t angry anymore. Then came the miracle. Around Eleven AM, the owner walked up to me, and said, “I think we aren’t going to do this the way we originally thought (or words similar to that).” In essence, without saying so out loud, he was telling me to go ahead with the way I had advised on Friday.

I could have been spared a lot of anger, and even some anxiety over the weekend had this decision been made Friday like I suggested it be. But then I would not have had the opportunity to grow up. I was angry not because I was concerned about the owner wasting money. Rather, I was angry for very personal and selfish reasons. Once I stopped, and turned around to face the truth; that this project isn’t about what I want, I was able to accept the owner’s decision, right or wrong, knowing I had done my best to try and save him some money. The change of mind for me was necessary this time, and hopefully, next time, I will stop, and turn around mentally immediately, rather than chew on contempt for the owner all weekend long.

In the end, that’s what this was all about; a vivid lesson in walking away from contempt. I was right in my initialadvice, but I was wrong in my heart toward the owner, so my contempt was definitely not justified. Today, I grew up a little bit more, and this day, despite its beginning, was a good day after all.



The following is the fifth part of a story I call Missy's Reason. You can find the first four parts here and here and here and here.

As Missy ambled into the kitchen, Ben watched in amazement, seeing a younger version of his wife short-step it across the warm tile floor. Katherine had walked in the same way when she first rose from sleep every morning. In fact, you couldn’t really call it walking, as it was more of a shuffle, right foot sliding forward eight inches, then the left foot sliding forward eight inches, and so on, until Katherine reached her destination, a first glass of cold tap water filtered through the refrigerator. Missy was aimed directly at the refrigerator, completely oblivious to the fact that she was copying her mother’s early morning shuffle, a walk Ben had affectionately called the Penguin waddle.

For a moment, Ben remembered the last time he had seen Katherine shuffle across the tile floor. Seemed like forever now, but in actuality, it had only been six weeks ago. Since that time, she had been in hospital care, never to grace this home with her presence again.

Missy turned around from the refrigerator tap, and eyed her daddy from just above the rim of the glass, long curly hair tightly wound around her shoulders and neck. Ben returned her look, and asked, “Sleep good, baby?”

Missy wrinkled her tiny nose, “No. I kept waking up.”

“Why?” asked Ben. “Bad dreams?”, as a sudden realization of what yesterday might have done to her psyche hit home.

“No, I drank too much water last night at the hospital and when we got home, and I kept having to go to the bathroom.” Missy replied amidst a yawn. “And then….and then, Daddy, Auntie Jeanne, she couldn’t sleep neither. So she came and laid down by me. But I think I kept her awake, 'cuz I was always getting up, and moving around. I didn’t mean to keep her awake, but I always had to go so bad.”, She said, frowning the way children do when they really want to emphasize their point.

That’s okay, Missy.” Ben smiled, thinking of what it would have been like to sleep with an eight year old girl who had to go to the bathroom every hour. “Auntie Jeanne is still asleep then, huh?” He asked.


“Well, baby, I’m glad she finally fell asleep then. Make sure you let her sleep for a good long while, okay?”

Missy wrinkled her nose again, yet another trait she shared with Katherine, whenever she asked a question. “But doesn’t she have to go with you to the funeral place, Daddy?”

“No honey, she can drive in later. Besides, I want her here when Pastor Jack’s family gets here, so she can show them where everything is.”

“I can do that! Daddy! Really! I can!” Missy responded, eyes opened wide now.

“I know you can, Missy, but I want her here anyway. We talked about this last night.” He said, gently. “Missy, there is a lot to do around here, and Pastor Jack’s wife offered to clean the whole house for us. I didn’t want her to, but she insisted. So I want Auntie Jeanne to show her where all the cleaning things are, okay?”

“Oh yeah! I’m sorry, daddy, I forgot.” She said, swallowing a gulp of her water. “When do I have to go?”

“Not until tomorrow, honey.” Ben replied.

“But I wanted to see Mommy today, daddy. I can’t wait ‘til tomorrow, I really wanted to see her today.” Missy said in such a way that caused Ben to wonder if she was going to begin crying. Missy bravely held on to her emotions, though.

“Missy, after we meet with the funeral director, they have to get her ready for….for…” Ben could hardly say the words, “the viewing”.

Ben had never liked “the viewing”. From his earliest memories, every funeral he had ever attended had been complete with “the viewing”, the part of the funeral where everybody stopped in front of the casket, and looked upon the loved one, friend, or acquaintance lying in state. Katherine’s would be different, being his wife, and he wasn’t sure how he was going to make it through, seeing her always out of the corner of his eye, while onlookers paid their respects.

Inevitably, someone, maybe many people, would say, “She looks so good.” Ben’s mind raced along the only answer he could think of in reply, and somewhere in his mind, he heard his voice cry, “No she doesn’t! She’s dead! How can someone who is dead look good?” He knew he would never say this out loud, but his mind screamed, and his heart ached at the thought of hearing those words said about his wife.

He looked at Missy, a tiny tear forming in the corner of his eye, and said, “Missy, I know you want to see her. But I can’t make things any different today, do you understand? You have to stay here, and I really need you to be patient, even though it’s the hardest thing to do.” He hugged her gently, and looked into her eyes for any sign of grief coming again.

“Okay Daddy. When are you coming back?” Missy asked, as a shadow crept over her eyes.

“I’ll be here for sure by six o’clock. I promise, Missy, I will be back here by then, no matter what” Ben said, recognizing this look in her eyes, and remembering how worried Missy had been last night in the hospital that he might not come back for her.

Missy smiled, hugged her Daddy, and then asked, “Do I have to take a bath today?”



Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the Kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 17:20-21 NASB

Do you think God is far off? Seriously, honestly, do you?

How many of us hear the words “God is near”, yet in the back of our minds (or in the very front), we remind ourselves that really, God is way out there beyond Outer Space even? Or we think very subtly when we pray that God can barely hear us, because He’s up in heaven somewhere, while we are way, way, way down here?

Yet when Jesus was asked, by religious leaders no less, when the Kingdom of God was coming, He didn’t answer them with a time. Instead, He answered them with a place. He went so far as to tell them that people wouldn’t be looking into the sky, and claiming “Here it comes!! I can see it! It’s the Kingdom!! It has to be!”


This is how the punctuation marks should look in our Bibles. And there should be a picture, one of Jesus with His arms outstretched, one arm to the sky, the other pointing and waving all around Him, as He shows exactly where the Kingdom of God really is. It’s in our midst. A thesaurus would show us that “midst” can easily be represented by words such as “middle” or “center”. And if we pay attention to the context, we can also see that Jesus isn’t talking to one Pharisee, but to the “Pharisees”, meaning more than one, and possibly, far more than one. In other words, even amongst the Pharisees, God’s kingdom is in their center, it’s right smack dab in the middle of where they are, in their “midst”.

Here is an interesting question. If God’ kingdom is in our midst, where is God?

Don’t answer that. The possibilities are frightening. They are wildly exciting. They are the stuff of dreams coming true, of hopes being realized, and of miracles being witnessed. Whatever you do, don’t follow the logical conclusion, or you just might find yourself right in the middle of where God is at this moment, right now. And then what would you do?

If the answer to that question is true, and how can it not be, what does the rest of our life look like right now? If the Kingdom is here, in the air, by the tree, around the corner, and yet right at your very feet, what good can that possibly bring? How could it benefit us to know that God is not beyond outer space, but right here?!

What would our prayers sound like if we actually believed that God heard every one of them? What would our love look like if we knew, I mean REALLY KNEW, that God’s love was partner with ours wherever we went?

We’ve perhaps heard that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, but I think sometimes that fact is a bit too vague. However, place God right in your hand, in the air that you breathe, so that physically, every time you move, you touch Him, and what does that do what you used to know about God? How does it change everything?

I say, if you knew how close God really was, you’d think differently, you’d pray differently, and you’d act differently, not out of compulsion or fear, but because of amazement and hope. If as children, we constantly sought the attention, the company, and approval of our parents, how much more so now will we live in the reality of the kingdom of God if we know He is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW? Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy KINGDOM come, right here, right now, thy will be done, on earth (Your Kingdom) as it is in heaven." Do you know just how useless that prayer is if God's kingdom isn't right here, right now, with Him right in the middle of it?

How will it affect us if we believe we don’t have to wait until we die to be a physical member of God’s kingdom?

We can talk about “conviction”, guilt, duty, and all of those other mystical, sometimes meaningless words. Or, we can believe Jesus completely, and KNOW that physically, right now, the kingdom of God, and thus God, is in our midst.

How would KNOWING this free us and empower us? Why did Jesus give so many parables about the Kingdom of God? Why so many comaparisons? Was it not a major, central theme of His ministry here? Of course it was. And since it was, we no longer have to wait until we die to see God. He's here, right now, and you touch Him every time you move, and you taste Him every time you breathe. That's how close God is.



What are you doing here? I am over at your site, visiting you. :)



I have had a few days to think about what occurred on Saturday in Brookfield. Obviously, I have no certainties about the reasons this occurred. But there are some things I am certain about.

God was there, and because He was, I am also certain that He knows the reason.

Whenever things like this happen, we seem to pause, and if we allow it, we can easily find ourselves going down a road of despair. After all, what sort of a world actually witnesses eight people killed in a church? A church!?

The next morning, I was listening to the radio, and heard of other tragedies, things occurring in other people’s lives that are no less tragic than this devastation in Brookfield. The magnitude of this event seems to be huge, drawing international attention. And if we allow it, it will draw us down a road of despair.

Where is the good news? Why are we hearing about mass murders, family tragedies, and all other manner of evil done to people? Do we hear about them for the simple reason that they happen? Is it that simple? Or is there another force at work?

We all know evil is alive in this world, sometimes alive even in our own hearts. And when a tragedy such as this occurs, it seems that we can focus on nothing else. In one sense, I think it is right that we focus on it. In another sense, I think it shouldn’t be the only thing we focus on.

Here is what I will do. I will keep knowing that God is good. Even though He allowed this tragedy, and others like it to occur, still, He is good. And we can focus all we want on devastation, and if we allow it, it will draw us down a road of despair.

But on Saturday morning, my daughter competed in a piano competition, flute competition, and singing competition. Of six events she participated in, she won the highest honors in five of them. Am I to forget this wonderful victory for her, and instead, be drawn down a road of despair?

On Sunday, I had a chance to talk alone with my best friend, Brett, and even though I was sick, the time we had together to just talk was good. Am I to forget this, and be drawn down a road of despair?

Evil things would have us lose focus on the good in this world, all of the time. It’s bad enough that the tragedy occurs, it’s horrendous and heartbreaking. For the many involved, this one event will dominate their hearts for a long time to come, and for that one thought, I could shed many tears.

But there is good in this world, happening right alongside the evil. There is so much good in this world of God’s that we have almost forgotten to report it, and to celebrate it. It’s almost as if we take it for granted, we who claim to know God, and that instead, we live from day to day, wondering what tragedy will occur next, so that we can mourn for a better place, a paradise without evil in it.

Try as we might, we cannot escape the fact that we are HERE, in this place, during this time. And if we had need to be in that paradise right now, would not God have already brought us there?

I just want to thank all of you for your beautiful comments. I read your hearts, and I sense your tears, and frustration, anxieties about how this can happen, and what can be done about it. I feel the same as you.

Today was not Saturday, and this day had enough worries of its own. Tomorrow will be the same. But every day, there are many things to see that are good, and I wonder, will I notice them tomorrow? And if I notice them tomorrow, will I thank God for them, or will I stay focused on all the bad that I see?

I tell my daughter this often; “We have never had this day before. You never know what can happen.”

I think I am going to start saying, “you never know what good you are going to see, but be ready for it, otherwise you’ll miss it.”



Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. And blesses be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory, Amen, and Amen. from Psalm 72

Is this our God? Or is our God somewhat weaker, somewhat less infinite and glorious than the God of Psalm 72? What are we going to believe?


This story is haunting Wisconsin tonight, as around 1:00 pm today, a person carrying a gun opened fire at a church function at the Sheraton Hotel in BrOokfield, Wsiconsin, leaving five dead at the scene, including the killer. It is now rumored that of six or seven others taken to a local hospital, several more have been pronounced dead.

This has happened in my state. I am absolutley shocked, considering that it happened during a church meeting in a hotel/convention center. We now know that the name of the church was The Living Church of God. I have no more details right now.

Please pray for the families of the victims, and for the family of the killer.

God, I don't know what to say right now. Please help us.

UPDATE: The total count of dead now stands at eight, including the killer, who witnesses say was actually in the church service when he began to open fire with a handgun. Read the latest updates here.



I was sitting down the other day when this thought popped into my head. “You know Tom, we condemn Osama bin Laden and Al Quaida for what they did and do. We call it heinous, and this is true, for it is heinous. Many of the same people who condemn Osama also fight for the “right” of a woman’s choice to abort their pregnancy. On the one hand, we have an entire organization of terrorists who are responsible for killing thousands of people for a cause. On the other hand we have a “select” group of people who are responsible for killing hundreds of thousands every year. How is it possible that one can be condemned, while the other is looked upon as people free to choose?”

I thought to myself, “how odd”. Now I know how this is possible. Only in world that denies Christ is this possible. Only in a world where everything has been reduced to varying shades of grey is this not only possible, but probable.

Yet this I know; God sees absolute truth, because God IS absolute truth. So all the grey areas are only grey to us. I wonder what God thinks of the two groups of people. We know that He loves us, but being unchanging, we also know that God will never, ever, condone the taking of human life. He will not “wink” at it, and say “that’s okay (shrug, shrug) I am perfectly alright with your killing whoever you want, because after all, it’s your choice.”

Some things are not to be left to our choice. Just as it is not rightfully Al Quaida's choice to kill so they may further their own agenda, so it is true that it is not rightfully anyone’s choice to kill inside of the womb to further their agenda. In a grey world, abortion is accepted as “okay” because “no one really knows at what point the fetus becomes a real person”. Hmmmm. I think if you asked Osama bin Laden what the term infidel actually means, you’d find that it means a lot more than “unbeliever”. I think you’d find he believes it means “less than human”.

In a grey world, it is considered wrong to draw a parallel such as this, you know, a parallel between Al Quaida and people who claim abortion is “okay”. In a black and white world, you can do no other thing, for the parallel becomes obvious the moment you remove the beer goggles. You know about beer goggles, don’t you? Those are the eyes we see with when we are drunk, and do not see things as they REALLY are.



Matt 8:28 When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. {They were} so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.

Matt 8:29 And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"

Matt 8:30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them.

Matt 8:31 The demons {began} to entreat Him, saying, "If You {are going to} cast us out, send us into the herd of swine."

Matt 8:32 And He said to them, "Go!" And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.

Matt 8:33 The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs.

Matt 8:34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.

I am wondering about this story for the last day or so. Does anyone see some foreshadowing within this story? Please let me know if you do.

The reason I ask is because yesterday, after I read verse 32, I did a double take. “They came out” and “went into the swine” and the “whole herd” “perished in the waters”.

When I look at the language used for this story, I see foreshadowing. Maybe I am wrong, but look at the animal in the story. Swine? Remember that we are not to cast our pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear us to pieces. (Matthew 7:6) Who are the swine? Are they anybody? Or is that warning simply hot air? Is it Jesus talking in mystical, meaningless alarms? Are there any bad people left? Are there any swine left? Are we all swine who have been made clean?

I think not. Do not ask me yet why I think not. I am not prepared to answer that. My heart leads on this one, and I think what I think because of my heart.

So, are there swine among us to this day? Some believers say that all people are saved, and I have to admit, it sounds like something I want to be true. However, I just don’t have the evidence to prove it. I see the verses they use to prove their points, but I see so many other verses that absolutely contradict that idea. So again, are there swine? Would Jesus have mentioned them if there weren’t?

What WOULD Jesus do? Read the scriptures, does Jesus seem like someone who would utter idle threats, and offer up stories about mythical places just to scare people into believing?

If you are willing, reread the scripture above. See any foreshadowing yet? We have two men, demons, and a herd of swine. The demons ask Jesus a question. Jesus responds by casting them out, PERMITTING them to enter the herd of swine, allowing the destruction of an entire herd of animals, so that two men might be saved. And what happens next? The owners of the herd come out to see what has occurred.

These owners implore Jesus to leave their region. Never mind that two men widely known to be demon possessed have been healed. The swine are more important to the herders than the two men. The swine are their livelihood, and they would rather have their livelihood returned to them, than the fellowship of two men who could boast of the miracles of God.

Foreshadowing, I say, of all of the time from that moment to this, where we see many healed of demon persistence, and yet many more taking the broad path that leads to destruction, in fact, rushing headlong down a steep bank to get there.

I am not a doomsday prophet. I don’t get into the end times much. But it seems to me that many believe Jesus saved the entire world on the day he died on the cross. To this I would say, you are correct in thinking that. I believe strongly that the destruction, the end of this world was upon us when Jesus was crucified. But Jesus took the wrath of that age, and all the ages before and after upon Himself, and thus saved the world from certain destruction. He fulfilled what He came here to fulfill, and He started a church along the way.

But let’s never confuse saving the world with reconciling all of mankind to God. For what I see is that men still die, and if God and man were all reconciled, man would no longer die, for the penalty, the punishment of eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil would have become needless anymore.

Men still die. Returning again to the scripture we see that a few men were delivered from demon persistence. An entire herd of swine was destroyed for them. One chapter earlier in Matthew, Jesus is not talking about literal pigs when He implores us to not cast our pearls before swine. This story, as I see it, is an extreme foreshadowing of what was to come as the result of saving the world, and reconciling those who know Him to God. The world does not know Jesus. Certain individuals do. We do not choose who is reconciled, Jesus does that.

Are all reconciled to God at some point? I do not know the answer to that question with any certainty. But I will say this. If all is accomplished, and if all are reconciled to God here and now, then death is needless. Yet death occurs.

An entire herd of swine is rushing headlong down an embankment. I don’t think I am talking about pigs. Will Jesus once again watch them be destroyed, and not lift a finger to stop them, even though He loves the world so much He died for it?

The herd of swine was under that same love, was it not? We can argue all month long about How God is love, and what that means. But I don’t think any of us really understands what love is, and what God is willing to do, and willing to not do, because of it. Will this same God who slaughtered His Son allow the destruction of those who refuse Him? Is that love?

Well, this same God allowed the slaughter of His Son. Is that love? Just a few questions for tonight. I am not convinced of anything save that I love God regardless of what is true, whether all are reconciled to God or not. Maybe all are reconciled at some point. I hope so. But my love for God does not depend upon it. No, my love is derived without conditions, such as “God must be this way, or God must be that way, or I could never love Him”. Don’t hem God in, He’s more than He has revealed to us in the pages of a book.



I haven’t had (or made) much time for blogging lately. So, if you were wondering why I wasn’t commenting on your site recently, fear not, I still love all your pages, and will visit soon again. Life has just gotten hectic one more time, and I feel disorganized because of it. Or maybe I feel like because I got so stupidly busy, it must mean that I am disorganized.

Regardless, I have only a few things to say tonight. The first is to encourage you all to remember honesty before God. I have been reminded of this constantly, and even though I am sure I still remain dishonest before Him in some ways, I know that for the better part, He has taught me to be silent before I say a dishonest word.

And, I must say I agree that it is always better to come before Father in silence rather than with many words; words, I might add that are probably a bunch of fluff anyway.

Learning who God is, and how to respond to Him because of that is the great privilege of my life right now. And because He does the teaching, and the instilling of faith and familiarity, I am free. Free to be honest without fear. Free to live in a way I never lived before. Let me explain very briefly.

It used to be that when my divorce was final, I feared that I would remain alone for the rest of my life. I thought at some point it might be nice to marry again, to meet someone, fall in love, and share my faith and life with that person. Only now, I no longer fear being alone, nor do I fear that I will never marry again. In fact, as things are right now, it would take an absolute miracle to change my life in such a way that I could marry again.

I’ll leave that miracle in God’s hands. I am content to be alone, and at times, I wonder….would I even be able to get along with someone else now, having been alone for so long? The last thing I want to do is make someone miserable because I don’t work and play well with others (Kindergarten, anyone?)

So we’ll see where my life goes. I know this; although I dislike change and pain as much as anyone else, I can honestly say I agree with Paul at this point in my life, when he said he believed it was better not to marry, but if one burned with passion, that he should marry. I don’t really burn with passion anymore. I have my moments, but for a guy, passion is a major part of his makeup. I don’t have constant sexual desire anymore. In fact, the further I get away from marriage, the less I feel it. I wonder what that says about God’s plans.

Well, I’ll try not to read too much into “how I feel”. Let’s just let God write the story, and if there is someone for me, He’ll show me how it has to happen. Take care all of you, and may God bless you, and make His face to shine upon you.



Here follows part four of a multi-part story. You can read the first three parts here and here and here.

That next morning dawned bright and clear, whereas the preceding days up until Katherine’s passing had been rather bitter and dreary. The winter had been a long one, made all the more unbearable by Katherine’s illness. But this new day had risen fair, and a sort of freshness was in the air, as if spring was peeking through the cold Wisconsin snow.

Ben had hardly slept during the evening, and as the clock in the foyer approached eight AM, he was already feeling weary. He had tucked Missy into bed last night, and laid down in his own bed with every intention of sleeping, but because of his grief, and alternating anger, he hadn’t found the peace that had swaddled him on the drive home from the hospital. Here in this house, Katherine’s house, memories danced between the shadows of anguish in his mind. Everywhere he turned, he saw Katherine, on the bookshelf next to the fireplace, where Katherine’s collection of porcelain angels now stood, dusty and unattended for weeks; in the brightly lit kitchen, where she had refused any sort of darkening stain on her maple cabinets, claiming a kitchen was meant to be the light of the house, where family and friends founds food, comfort, and companionship.

There was no comfort in the kitchen this morning, Ben thought. Only a brightly lit, messy part of a house where once his wife had reigned, but now was no more. Ben made his way into the kitchen, pausing momentarily for the family cat, Tabby, to pass between his legs, meowing on her way to her dinner bowl. As Ben resumed his approach into Katherine’s former throne room, Tabby meowed more insistently, and Ben suddenly could not remember the last time she had been fed.

“Sorry Tabbs.” He said forlornly, “Come here, I’ll get you some food.”

The bin where Tabby’s bag of food was kept was nearly empty, and Ben made a mental note to pick some cat food up on his way home from the funeral home today. “The funeral home” he sighed. He had to be there at ten, he still had a little better than two hours to shower, get dressed, and drive the fifteen miles to Swan and Dillery Funeral Home. Plenty of time, he thought, although his heart ached for plenty more time, like fifty years more.

If someone had asked him just last week if he was finally prepared for Kate’s death, he would have told them no. The truth was, he still wasn’t ready for it. It seemed like years had passed since Katherine had been well. In truth, it had been one year of steadily failing health, until the last two months, when Kate could no longer stay at home safely. And through all of that time, Ben had prayed, hoped, and begged to God for a miracle cure. He had never really wanted to believe the cancer would end in death, not for his wife, not for Kate. Especially not for Missy.

But death had appeared last night, and despite Ben’s pleas to God, no saving answer had come. There had been no reprieve, and the doctors had been honest for the last year. They had said Katherine’s cancer would end in death, and they had been right.

Two weeks earlier, alone in his bed, Ben had dreamed of a conversation with God. He remembered it vividly, and began to replay it in his mind. He had been leaving the hospital in his car, in this dream, and had it not been for the fact that he knew he had woken up in his bed immediately after the dream, the reality of it would have caused him to believe the argument with God had been real, had actually taken place in his car.

But it had been a dream. He remembered how he had been driving down Oak street, the same street Missy took to get to the hospital, when a movement in the passenger seat caught his eye, He dared not look, he was afraid he was somehow seeing his wife’s spirit, that she had passed in the brief moments since he left her, and now she was in the car with him, saying goodbye. But the voice he heard was not Katherine’s. It was a man’s voice, deep and reassuring, kindly, fatherly. He stared straight ahead in this dream, still afraid to look to his right.

“Ben, I know what you are thinking.” The voice had said. Ben did not answer. He was acutely aware that suddenly he knew who was speaking. “I know how you feel. I am here to tell you that Katherine will find her rest soon, very soon. Then, you will find rest as well, in a different way.”

Ben still did not answer. He was certain he did not want to hear what this “voice” had to say. He tried plugging his ears as he was driving, but the voice rang into his hearing anyway, as if there was no hindrance that could silence it.

“Ben….listen to Me. I want you to tell me how you feel. I want you to tell me, so that you will know how you feel. I want you to face this, and not run away from it. Katherine is leaving here, and you must meet this death, and live beyond it. Missy is the one I have given you, and I have placed her in your hands. I will not have you neglect her. I will not suffer more tragedy than is necessary.”

It was then that Ben had exploded, as if God had removed the cork to his soul, the seal that had kept him from feeling, and from hurting. All at once, he blurted out, “More tragedy than is necessary?! What in the hell is that supposed to mean!? “ Ben waited, but God gave him no answer.

Catching his breath, he went on. “I mean, what in the world is tragedy for, anyway? Why all this pain, God? You want me to live through this, so that Missy won’t suffer, and I will, I promise, I will. But I want to know why this has to happen. I want to know why You decided to kill my wife, when You could have saved her.” Ben was rambling now, and anger was welling up from depths he had not realized existed,

“What about my faith?!! What about Katherine’s faith?! We believed in You, we prayed, begged, cried, and nothing!!! We got nothing!!! Nothing except more pain, and suffering, and this blasted waiting for her to die. Always the waiting!! You can’t just kill her instantly in a car accident. No!!! You have to MAKE her suffer. Why??!!!!!!”

And once he began, he felt as though he could not stop. All the anguish of the last year flooded out of him, all of the questions he had asked, he demanded answers to. All of the hopes that lay dead, as dead as Katherine soon would be, he demanded an accounting for. He put God to the test in that moment, and his last tirade against Him was the longest.

“Katherine’s served you ALL of her life! She gave up everything!! She gave up her parents wealth, she gave up any kind of financial security to help women who were abused for NOTHING! She never accepted payment, and she always gave, sometimes more than we could even afford to give!! And this? This is how she has to live? This isn’t life!! It’s a lie!! This is death!! It’s been death for over a year!! Nothing but death. And all along, we cried to You, and You didn’t answer!! Can’t you see? Don’t You know?!”

He took a breath, and then he said this last to make sure Jesus knew what he was talking about, “We’re losing faith!! Don’t you care? How can you just let us hang here, waiting for death that won’t come, for relief that never, EVER arrives? How can you make her suffer so much? And Missy? Talk to me about Missy! What about her? What has she done to deserve this? To live for the rest of her life without her mom? No!! If you want to talk with me, then tell me You’ve decided to heal Katherine. Otherwise, I don’t want to hear what You have to say! Not right now! Maybe not EVER!”

Ben expected God to vanish in that moment. He decided to chance a glance toward Him. What he saw broke him finally. There was Jesus, just as Ben had pictured Him, silently releasing a river of tears. In that moment, Ben didn’t know whether to choke Him to death, or pull the car over and comfort Him.

When Jesus looked at Ben, there was peace in His eyes, and He spoke with a calmness that frightened Ben a little, but gave him the assurance he would need for the end.

“Ben, death grows inside of Katherine. Death is the absence of life, and inside of her body, although it seems as if she is dying slowly, she is dying quite rapidly.” Jesus paused for a moment, and then continued, “In this world, there is trouble, and there is death. Every person dies, as you know. Some die over the space of a few days or years. Others die over the course of eighty, ninety, one hundred years. Yet each one who dies suffers, because death is suffering, Ben. And although I have chosen to give joy in this life, nevertheless, since death has come, each man has suffered it. And the suffering of death is no different for anyone who lives, be it quickly, or slowly.”

Ben turned away, not wishing to hear what Jesus was saying.

Jesus took Ben’s shoulder in his hand, and gently turned Ben back toward Him. “Ben, you will understand it soon enough. You too, have a baptism to undergo, and you are suffering death, although it will not be as quickly as Katherine.

Listen to me now, and hear the truth. Life is redeemed through death. For thirty-three years, I suffered in your place. Each turn of my head showed me pain and suffering the like of which you cannot understand. Yet I carried that cross all the way to Jerusalem, and buried it on that hill at Golgotha. And if I can suffer death and live, so too will your wife suffer death and live.”

Jesus released Ben then, but continued on, “Ben, I could have healed Katherine, and I chose not to. Do you understand why?”

Ben shook his head, tears freely flowing now.

“Neither will I tell you why, for you would not be able to understand it here. But the time will come when you will understand it, and then, you will thank me for this quick departure Katherine is making. I know, as I have said, that you believe this has been slow, and according to your way, it has been. But you think in terms of this world, whereas I see in terms of My Kingdom without end.

Remember, Ben, death comes to all, and you know not how or when it comes. But since the day I rose from the dead, life has been the end of death for those who know Me. If you knew what that life was, you would not be angry with Me for bringing Katherine to that life. But as for now, you see only with eyes that cannot understand all things completely.”

Ben spoke then, almost as if he was removed from his body, “I see well enough. I see my wife dying, Lord. It’s all I can see right now. I can’t see beyond this moment. I want to, but it’s so hard. I don’t think I can make it. Take me, and let Katherine live, please?”

“Jesus whispered, “Ben, I have heard you. All your prayers I have heard. But this prayer is beyond your understanding…”
“Then make me understand!! Lord!!” Ben cried, his heart breaking.

“Ben," Jesus answered. ” Do you believe Katherine is dying? For I say to you, she is beginning to live. Despite her fear, despite her waning body, she is beginning to live. Do you believe death is reigning within her? For I say to you, death is waning, and life is coming again. All of her life, Katherine has been dying from this cancer, a little bit each day. All or her life she has been passing away. So it is with each one who lives here, in this place. But now, death has come to completion, so that she may have life, and have it eternally. Now, in a short while, her body will die. Then she will rise, never to die or to sleep again. Where you see death, I see life. Ben, remember, you will see life in this way also, one day. Don’t lose hope, and don’t lose faith. I have come to you so that you would remain in Me.”

And with that, Ben had woken up. He cleared the memory of the dream from his head, and poured himself a cup of fresh brewed coffee. When he turned from the counter, Missy was standing in the doorway to the kitchen, sleep being wiped away from her eyes.

He looked from Missy to the window beyond. The sun was shining through, and for the first time in several months, he could see the ice melting.




I captured this picture in the nick of time, just after a snowfall with huge flakes still clinging to the branches, and just before it got too dark to take the picture. I thought I'd share this marvel of winter foliage from God's canvas with you.



I have an admission to make. I was crabby today. Downright BUCKY! I must have looked like a man who had swallowed gasoline today. I felt as ifI looked like that. Ever have one of those days?

For me, last week was the worst, on the jobsite I am entrenched in. There were days I found myself using four letter words inside of my mind quite a bit. I felt guilty about that, and the harder I tried not to do it, the worse it became. Last week was a graceless week for me. Today was sort of a return to that, except for one thing, today I had some semblance of peace in my heart. Not sure how that works, being crabby and partially at peace anyway. Maybe it means I am not going to be so hard on myself for having a bad day.

Circumstances be damned, life is still good!!!

I did realize later on in the afternoon that I didn’t have to fall to this mood. How did I realize that? Because by disciplining and “buffeting” my body these last weeks, I have begun to be the master of my flesh. In other words, the choice I have to make is now a real choice, with real power behind me, all because I believe Jesus gave me the ability to do that through His blood.

For me, discipline has not been nearly as much about hard work, as it has been about believing the truth. In one area of my life for example, this “diet” I am on, I have repeatedly been able to slap away temptations. Now understand, diets to me are not all that important. I don’t go for the “if I eat right, I’ll live longer” bs. My normal fare would be a steak, a potato, and whatever else I wanted to eat, like Peanut Butter Cups. I count all food as good for me, and I refuse to worry about length of life because of the foods I eat. To me, it’s just ridiculous to be so worried about that.

For someone else, it might not be ridiculous. Instead, it might be important. But in this area, the food area, I eat what I want to eat, because I can. And with this diet, I am losing weight and my foot is feeling better, because I can. Do you HEAR that body!!!? BECAUSE I CAN!!

For years, my flesh has told me “you can’t do this, and you can’t do that”. Lies, all of them. My flesh would have me be enslaved to it for the rest of my life. Well, that is where the discipline comes in, not because I have to, but because I can, because of Christ. It’s far more of a faith issue for me, than a work issue. The work follows whatever I tell my flesh to do, and I don’t worry that the work is important.

Maybe it is important, but what drives me is freedom, freedom from living in slavery to something that is dead, namely my flesh.

Today, I was crabby. I don’t even know why. Today is over, and crabbiness is gone, because I can. Because I can. Because I can.

You can too, and it doesn’t have to be legalism. It does have to be faith, though, or it will turn into legalism.



Michelle from Seeking Serenity needs your help. A while back, I posted a link to her site, in regards to the health of her mother. A few days ago, Michelle's father called her and asked her to try and come during the school holidays. There is a problem, though. Travel to another continent is not cheap, and many people cannot simply afford the cost of airfare to go at a moment's notice. Such is the case for Michelle, and her son.

Michelle's mom suffers from cancer of the liver, an incurable disease. I am praying Michelle can go to see her mom in Australia as planned, without financial hardship. There is more I can do, and will.

You can help too. Laura over at Been There, Still There has set up a Paypal button, and if you click on that button, you can donate to a worthy hope, you can help make Michelle's hope of flying her son and her to Australia to see her mom a reality. This isn't a frivolous trip, this is about love, and hope, and grief.

James told us something about helping if we can.

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? James 2:15,16 NASB

So, we can tell Michelle we will pray for her, and we can tell her we hope she gets to go. All these are an encouragement, and are good things. But if we have the means to help financially, then we should do it, without reservation.

Here is a chance to put feet to our faith; will we take the step, or will we sigh, shake our heads, and prove that our faith is nothing more than an intellectual exercise?

I do not speak this way to those who cannot help because of financial considerations. But I do speak this way to those who can help, including myself. A sister is in need. If we can help, then we ought to. If we can help, then let it be now. If we can help, then thank God for the chance to be the physical manifestation of Jesus in Michelle's life.

Jesus told them, "You feed them".

With all the attending grief that comes with a terminal illness, having to deal with being unable to go see your mother should not be added to the pain. Let Michelle find reason to praise God for His goodness in a time when the world could see no good in this situation. Only God can do that, only God can deliver good during a painful time. And He uses us to do it.



Peace. I found it again today. As you know, my job is carpentry, and I am working on a jobsite where there has been all manner of problems, from disorganization, to decisions that should have been made months ago but haven’t yet.

I think recently, for about three weeks, I was letting this project get to me. By that, I mean that I felt no peace over it as I once had. Instead, I was expecting smooth waters to bring me peace.

How easily we forget that circumstances have nothing to do with inner peace. I must admit openly that I was more peaceful during the entire separation and divorce process than I have been these last three weeks. But this morning, on the way to work, I asked God to help me remember His peace, HIS PEACE!!

Things didn’t any more smoothly today than they ever do at this jobsite, but I had peace, and that made all the difference. I ought to know by now that circumstances are never going to be perfect, but the peace that transcends all understanding is. Thank you.