Lyn’s birthday gift

Here is my sketch of our recent vacation. This was at Heyburn State Park, in Idaho, where Lyn and I had been with the kids in previous years.

campsite sketchDo you see that little Weber grill in the foreground? Let me show you what we made on that!    Paella! and it was fantastic!

paellaNotice the date on my sketch (above, lower right). 7/6/16.  That is Lyn’s birthday, and her dad was having surgery that day. So it was an emotional day anyhow, and we were praying throughout the day. I’m not easily moved to tears — although more so since Lyn died — but I couldn’t hold back my emotions when leafing through the sketchbook I saw this last page — a complete surprise:

Lyn's gift“Before Thy throne we daily meet,
As joint petitioners to Thee;
In spirit each the other greet,
And shall again each other see.”

Discovering this quote on her birthday was a priceless gift!

With all the heartache of losing her, I still believe God is good. Things don’t have to make sense to me. I trust that God knows what He is doing, and I will some day understand.

Would you do me a BIG favor? If you don’t mind, leave me a comment, even a simple “thanks.” (or, “take some art classes!”)

Till next time,

Thanks for sharing my thoughts!

Jesus is the good news that each person needs to hear.

I love the incident in which Jesus returns to his home town synagogue and is invited to read a scripture. He opens to Isaiah and reads a messianic passage — to the effect that the messiah would give good news to the poor, heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, liberty for the oppressed, and the year of the Lord’s favor.

In other words, the messiah was full of good news.

Then Jesus said he was that messiah.

Jesus is the good news that each person needs to hear. Many today will say that Jesus is the only one who could deliver them from addiction, or the only one who healed their marriage.  Jesus was the only one who got the kids back, or the only one who healed from tragedy. Jesus was the only one who kept him sane after loss of a child, who got her through a chronic illness.

Hopefully people will hang with Jesus long enough for him to say, “You know, the good news you truly need is forgiveness of all your sins, that you may stay with me forever.”  And that’s gospel.

(Leave a comment would you? How has Jesus been good news to you?)

gospel is

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Earth, God’s amazing work

earth-in-spaceThis planet called “earth” and this solar system, are integrated with the entire, immeasurable universe. Therefore, our God who created the earth surely created the universe, otherwise this system could or would have problems of incompatibility with space and all the movements of galaxies. The speed of light follows the same physics as earthly light. God authored those physics.
Yet God has chosen to focus detailed creativity on earth and its inhabitants. And it is marvelous! It should amaze us, every day, that we are part of this incredible expression of God’s power and love.
And the story of redemption means the creator God wants relationship. He chooses some of us, enabling us to choose Him. Thank You, O God, for Your marvelous work. You have created this place in space, and entered it in order to save us. You are here now, with us, by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus will come a second time, at any time. I look forward to that day, even today!


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Vision on a clear night

night caveJohn the apostle, now an aging man, is alone on the isle of Patmos, looking out at night from a hilltop, in front of the cave he now calls home. He looks into the distance and sees fires on the mainland where the seven churches of Asia lie. As night falls the  afternoon winds calm down, the way they did suddenly at the command of the Master. Oh what a day that had been. How their anxiety turned to awe at the authority of His voice, “Peace be still.”

The apostle ponders the seven churches that burden his heart, the sheep given to his charge. The Ephesians, so strong in doctrine but lagging in love. Those in Smyrna, the flock in Pergamum. What is their future, these tender congregations? Will they huddle to themselves in self-preservation, unaware of the power given to them in the Spirit? Will they cling to each other around common likes and dislikes, rather than throwing open their arms to rich and poor, Jew and gentile, high class and low?

Suddenly a breeze blows across John’s face, as if the Spirit of God is visiting him afresh. The apostle’s heart surges with the joy of a hopeful vision of things to come. He sees a heavenly multitude gathering around the throne of the Ancient of Days, for a time has come to right the wrongs on the earth. The evil that has twisted humanity must be driven out by righteous judgment. The 24 elders stand in worshipful consternation. The dilemma is this: The scrolls of judgment are sealed, and none has the authority to open them. Heaven waits for the answer.

In time the vision becomes clear. It is not by military might that righteousness reigns. No, heaven has a different scale. Into the throne room walks the one who embodies righteousness. Like a lamb, slain in sacrifice, the Savior enters and in an instant all know that the scrolls will now be opened, not by force, but in voluntary subjection to the power of humility.

The followers of the Lamb are then revealed and the sight gives John new hope, for the throng of worshipers are from every tribe, tongue and nation. They are one, a new community, fashioned after the humble character of their Lord. “Worthy!” they cry. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to open the scroll!”

While the vision became clear, so had the night sky. He looks over in the direction of the churches and ponders their future. He knows they will struggle, even suffer. But He now has confidence that the gospel will spread to every people. He knows that God will choose for Himself a new community whose love will overcome all divisions. He knows that the sacrifice of the Lamb will not be forgotten, but will be victorious in the end.

(Based on Revelation 7:9)
Photo credit: Eric Nathan photography


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“Morning Prayer” of St Patrick

Morning Prayer

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through the belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension.

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me,

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptations of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone and in multitude.

I arise today

Christ to shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness,

Of the Creator of Creation.


Accessed on 7/7/2016 at

Dr. Bob Kellemen provides this comment:  The following prayer by St. Patrick has been variously titled Morning Prayer, The Breastplate, or The Lorica. Some question whether St. Patrick actually wrote it, or whether someone else penned it years later and it was ascribed to St. Patrick. However, for centuries it has been associated with his name and his ministry. Various versions and translations of assorted lengths are in existence. This is my collation


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Comfort in my hurt

When I listen to my soul and let it speak for itself,

I realize I have been wounded.


My confidence in myself has sustained injury.

A bruise remains.

Then I hear in my mind a melody from my boyhood,

often sung, seldom pondered,

but now of comfort.

So I nudge near to the one in the song —

the one with the wounded, bleeding side,

where my wound is in excellent company.

Thanks for sharing my thoughts!