Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Crown for Me

Today I may be getting a crown--for my tooth. But it set me to wondering what it will be like to get a crown from the Lord. To the church of Smyrna the apostle John was told to write:

"Be faithful, even to the point of death,
and I will give you the crown of life."
~Revelation 2:10

And to the church of Philadelphia, John wrote:

"I am coming soon. 
Hold on to what you have, 
so that no one will take your crown."
~Revelation 3:11

In heaven,  whenever God receives glory, honor and thanks, the twenty-four elders fall down before him and worship him. 

"They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
'You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.'"
~Revelation 4:10-11

Think of it! One day we'll be in that glorious company and, along with the twenty-four elders, we'll lay our crowns before the throne and proclaim the glory of our worthy Lord and God. Surely the hymn writer had this in mine when he wrote:

"Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee;
and hail Him as thy matchless King,
through all eternity."

Friday, August 13, 2010


My friend George suggested I blog about roofing.  Okaaaaaay.

My Dad was a roofer in the years following World War II. In those days consumer products were scarce, but for some reason roofing materials were plentiful. An ambitious young man, Dad made it his goal to cover the rooftops of Portland. It was hard physical labor, however, and after several years, he decided to complete his education and go into teaching.

From improving the rooftops of houses, Dad moved to improving the noggins of Portland's youth. He dedicated the rest of his working life to his students and delighted in their progress. Even his summers were devoted to teaching as he and many of his fellow educators converted our country home along the Clackamas River into a summer camp for boys and girls who struggled with their studies.

Nevertheless, Dad still knew and appreciated a good roof when he saw one. Long after he retired from teaching, he employed our friend Dave Day to re-roof his house. "That's a good roof--one I'd have been proud to put my own stamp on," he said.

Yes, Dad was a good roofer. And he was an even better teacher.  Over the years, many of his former students came back to thank him for setting them on a course that led to college and beyond.

I'm proud of my Dad for the man that he was. Roofer or teacher, he believed in doing the very best job possible.  Thank you, God, for the memories I have of my Dad.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where Do Blog Ideas Come From? (Or, From Whence Come Blog Ideas?)

As a writer, life changed when I became a Christian in 1975. The old joys and pleasures seemed empty and were quickly cast aside. Even my writing took on new dimensions and parameters. I would only write those things which brought glory to God. But since I knew so little about Him in those days, I worried about what I'd say.

That's when I "chanced" upon Psalm 45:1. "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (KJV). I didn't need to worry about running out of content. I just needed to be "ready"--confessed up, prayed up, sitting at His feet--and He would speak through my pen.

Yesterday I momentarily forgot that and felt fresh out of ideas for today's blog. Couldn't think of a thing to write about. I mentioned that on Facebook and was rewarded with several ideas I'll be using in the days ahead as my one-year experiment with blogging draws to a close.

Michelle suggested I share what I'd learned in this discipline of daily blogging. It's this: the Christian writer who sits at God's feet need never run out of ideas. You may forget that every now and again, but it's a truth you can count on!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Riding the Rails or Looking at Life from Both Sides Now

This week we took Amtrak from Portland to Seattle for the express purpose of attending a Mariners game. We clickety clacked our way up the valley passing farms, rivers, wooded areas . . . and the backsides of bergs.

Towns don't put their best foot forward along the rails. It's true wherever you go in the world. Is this a human failing?

Humans generally focus on what we see in the mirror. "Lookin' good," we say and turn this way and that--but not all the way around. If we did, we'd see that our back fat is showing and our hair is tousled like we just got out of bed.

If there's a moral to this story, it's that there's more to life than meets the eye. There is the flip side. So, in making decisions, be sure to look at all sides of an issue--the front, the back, and side to side.

An old song says, "I look at life from both sides now" and that's generally a very good idea. It's also scriptural. Proverbs tells us that in making judgments we should ask good questions:

"The first to present his case seems right,
till another comes forward and questions him."
~Proverbs 18:17

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Last night we sat in the stands at Safeco Field in Seattle watching the Mariners face off against the Oakland A's. And it caused me to think . . . .

The Christian life is much like a ball game. Satan's fiery darts fly at us like hurtling baseballs. We strike at them. Sometimes we strike out. But our turn "at bat" comes back again and we face that trial (or another one) once more. Each time, we learn something new about warfare or about ourselves.

When we finally connect--when we hit that fiery dart right out of the park, we experience great relief. Yet, there is no time to rest on our laurels. We are in a battle that will continue until the Lord calls us home.

And when the Lord makes His move,
Satan will know his time is over--
  and he'll be cast out
forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Slice of Heaven

If the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference was a slice of heaven, I can't wait to taste the whole pie!

The saints came, one by one, with their manuscripts in hand, hoping to learn, mingle, perhaps to sell their work to one of many editors who came to teach, mingle, perhaps to purchase an article or a book--the next best seller!

Each day began with devotions and ended with vespers . . . acknowledging the greatest Author of all time. He was present in the classes as well as out of doors among the trees. He was in the powerful words of the keynote messages and in the songs of praise offered up by His people.

A spirit of joy permeated the grounds of the Conference Center. Holy grounds. 

Yet, the conference drew to a close. One by one, saints headed home, fortified with the knowledge that God cares deeply for His people and the words they write. True to the conference theme, He will continue to instruct us and teach us in the way we should go (Psalm 32:8).