Category Archives: New Season

What Eagles Never Bear

We’re watching the Decorah Eagles again this year (http://www.decoraheaglecamalerts.com/ie.htm) and it occurred to me that there are certain things eagles will never have to bear:

SPAM: no eagle has ever

·         been offered the chance at penile enlargement

·         needed a belly fat blast

·         been offered a work-at-home strategies to make a six figure income

·        been offered a chance to date eligible black-white-gay-straight-men-women-blondes-brunettes

·         been told to vote no on prop 29

·         been told to vote yes on prop 29

·         been advised to help the president win reelection

·         been advised that it will be curtains for the free world if we do not defeat the current administration and replace it with a new president.

MEMORY LOSS: no eagle has ever

·         misplaced his keys and had to call his spouse to let him in the house

·         forgotten to mail the Netflix video back

·         forgotten to return the library book so often the librarian knows him by name and calls him when it’s close to time to return his materials

·         burnt dinner on the stove because he forgot the burner was up on high

·         forgotten the name of the woman at church who just introduced herself

·         misplaced her reading glasses

·         forgotten to put the perishables back in the refrigerator so the milk curdled overnight

·         left her coffee in the microwave until the next morning.

FAMILY OBLIGATIONS: no eagle has ever

·         missed his parents

·         loved his sister

·         shared his fish with his brother

·         prayed for his siblings

·         laughed at anything at all.”

I’m glad we’re not eagles.

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“Mom, You Want A Cup of Coffee?”

My older brother dropped me on my head when I was a baby and he was only four.

They rushed me to the hospital, and my brother tells the story of seeing Mom, worried look on her face, not knowing what the doctors would say, nor whether there would be any permanent damage (whether there was or note is a debate we can have—later).

He wanted to help, to fix things, make things all right again.

He somehow managed to get a cup of coffee poured, and he went to Mom in the living room and said “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Today, Mom got to follow the ambulance carrying Dad down to Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle. He’s been fighting pancreatic cancer, and a number of other ailments that plague eighty-year-old men. She had to drive in the pouring rain, of course.

Dad is probably fine, and he’s receiving the best of care, but from 1,500 miles away it’s frustrating.

I want to help, to fix things, to make things all right again. I want to go to the hospital and sit there with her and say “Mom, would you like a cup of coffee?”

If you’ve ever had a situation like this, tell me about it in the comments section below.

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Gratitude

This past weekend I watched a video of a woman who had married her fiancé. No big story there, until you learn she married him after he was in a car accident that destroyed his brain and left him to a great extent incapacitated, and that she and her husband were both twenty-something when they married.

I was dry-eyed until she described her “gratitude wall.” It is a corkboard hanging on the kitchen wall, filled with post-it notes documenting everything in her life for which she is grateful—family, friends, her husband’s handicaps, God’s grace. (Perhaps those last two go together.)

Inspired and guilt-ridden, I made my own gratitude wall this weekend. Though it has only a few scraps of paper pinned to it, I plan to take a moment each day to remember those things for which I am truly grateful, and to add at least one thing to the board.

I think there is some sort of benefit from doing this–being consciously grateful–that goes beyond the obvious advice of being glad for what we have. Somehow, our gratitude is one of the ways God extends His grace to us–not a means of grace like baptism or the Lord’s supper, but important nonetheless. Important and true enough for me to recommend you do the same—build your gratitude wall.

Or at least, Be Grateful.

(Yesterday I was particularly grateful for my Mom.)

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Great Things

Why is it we’re always told to stop and smell the roses, but never to commit our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to a cause larger than ourselves?

Why do we love the founders but seek to be like those who stood on the sideline appreciating the music?

Why do we honor those who fall in battle but pray that our soldiers be kept out of harm’s way?

What great thing was ever achieved while we rested?

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Morning Langniappe

Clouds over the Pacific Ocean this morning were pulled directly from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. They lacked only God, Adam, those fat little cherubim with the impossibly small wings plumping around the periphery, and the choir singing the chorus to Handel’s “Messiah”.

I love it when I’m inspired by things over which I have no control, and which arrive unexpectedly, a little langniappe* for the morning.

*lagniappe: LAN-yap, noun, Cajun French , a little something extra at no extra charge (think the 13th donut in a baker’s dozen).

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The Snake Pit

The Snake Pit sat quietly on the opposite side of Thomas street from Reynolds Army Community Hospital. The white clapboard building sported linoleum floors, a quarter-for-three-songs juke box playing Ronnie Milsap, and six paperclip-shaky-leg 1950s soda fountain tables with red plastic chairs. A civilian served up top drawer beer—both Lone Star and Michelob—snatched two-at-a-time from the cooler.

Things happened at The Snake Pit, and cars knew their way home from the gravel parking lot out back.

The Snake Pit is a fading picture of a long time ago, and I love it still.

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Strength, Not Skill

There is energy in doing the right thing, whatever that thing is for you.

There is strength in that energy. It erupts not because we’re skilled at the activity, but because the energy flows from the heart’s recognition of a fundamental right-ness. It’s as if engaging in the activity slides the tumblers of the lock in place, and the safe drawer slides open with a soft click.

Like the wind across the Oklahoma plains, let the wind of encouragement blow you a step closer toward doing the things that give you joy, and strength.

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