Thursday of this week, I’ll head up the CA coast on Hwy 1, the classic route through Big Sur, to teach at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and hang with some witty writers. A couple of years ago I did the same route, and must have seen two dozen Mustang convertibles. Rentals, I guess. And no better way to enjoy that stretch than a convertible—unless rain descends. But seeing several Stangs on that clear blue-skied day shocked me—their tops were up and latched, like the one in the pic. Rather than basking in the openness of God’s creation, they chose…Read More
God moves in unexpected ways through minor events. While we dined in a Palm Springs restaurant, I spotted three paintings of local scenes on the opposite wall. One colorful pic intrigued me, so I consulted our waiter. He knew it was close, maybe 40 miles away, at Slab City, an abandoned military fort where snowbirds and unreconstructed hippies and artists roamed. That pretty much exhausted his knowledge. A little research revealed the name, Salvation Mountain and directions and distance—about 80 miles. Even so, we took off one afternoon to…Read More
My dad ate to live. I lean in the opposite direction—I live to eat. So much, I wonder if it’s not my greatest spiritual gift. Logic can support that—I allow those with the gift of hospitality to exercise that gift! My gift, or curse, makes it hard to resist the buffets at our two local casinos (the one above is the best-- the Pala buffet). For just $23.24, you encounter over 200 choices to entice you to commit gluttony. And I do! Shrimp, New York steak, mussels, crab legs, custom omelets, prime rib—if I went on the saliva dripping down my chin would short out my keyboard. To avoid the recurring sin of gluttony, I limit myself to once a year. About time for a return. But a recent message by our pastor...Read More
In an almost New Testament manner, our church has a satellite campus at a winery east of Temecula. The pic above shows the view the gathered believers have during worship. This last Sunday, just after the sermon began, a small, yellow-breasted bird flew up to the window, beating his wings trying to get in. Tiring, he flew back to a grapevine branch, rested, then resumed his attempts to enter God's presence. After a few moments he tired, returned to the branch, rested again, only to head to the window. What a metaphor for seeking intimacy with God! Do we...Read More
As I put together this post on Wednesday, I'm getting ready. The Mustang is gassed, soon to be cleaned. A case of clothes soon to be filled, then all packed in securely so cruising the coast with the convertible top down won't blow anything out--except worries and cares and stress. As you read this, starting Monday, the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference will come close to its conclusion. Set in the redwoods just above Santa CruzRead More
A common fallacy is bifurcation, also known as false dichotomy or being caught on the horns of a dilemma. Basically, this gives only two options, forcing the reader to choose one. Obviously, a fallacy when more than two alternatives exist. But this can also be a good argument—some issues yield only two choices. I’ve found this concept abounds in growing closer to Jesus. How do we start our day with God? We have an abundance of options; let’s just find what works best for us. We explored this in a recent post. But some other options are limited.
Only with pain did I learn that.Read More
Let’s begin a regular, continuing topic, OK? Once a month we’ll explore how much value God has, or doesn’t have, in our lives. Who is he? What’s he like? What does a connection with him look like? How can we craft that? I’m convinced that we need to identify those questions because our view of God, or the lack of it, will shape our lives. So this first post will start the process with two positions that represent the ends of the spiritual spectrum. Several years ago, a woman walked into Haagen-Dazs, and noticed Paul Newman...Read More