Bestriding Beauty

God called me when I was three-and-one-half years of age.  I didn’t really understand what that meant until I turned fourteen, at which point the nature of my calling was made stunningly clear when Jesus Christ was revealed to me in the privacy of my bedroom.

I am now thirty-seven years’ removed from that blessed encounter, having served over twenty-four of those years as an ordained minister of the Gospel.  I am more convinced than ever that the Gospel is the answer to our human predicament.

Welsh Wonders

It’s a wonderful thing when one can report of bearing witness to God’s saving hand on any given day and amidst any given occasion, but to have front-row seats to His wonders on a nine-day run is reason for boasting!  The Scripture says, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31), so do allow me this biblical indulgence, if you please.

God provided me with the means and the open schedule in order to travel to visit with a man who has been like a brother to me and who is very ill.  My schedule has not been so accommodating for some time, but my benefactors have always been so beneficent!

Trusting the Trustworthy

Trusting the Trustworthy

The traumatic events that played out in Boston over the last several days have brought forth both the vulnerability and the fortitude of Americans.  I should think that World War II Londoners who survived the Blitz would readily identify.

It is a different kind of war, though, albeit accompanied by the same effects, from sheer psychological terror to the killed, maimed and wounded.  The root cause remains the same:  We live in a fallen world, replete with fallen people, even those who mean well.

Waiting upon God

It’s one of the hardest things to do.  It runs against the grain of our nature, especially of those of us who live in the era of instant gratification.  We just don’t want to wait, but wait for God we must, if we are to know His blessing.

Modern Americans are not experienced in waiting; it’s as if we aren’t adequately equipped, as so much has come to us rather quickly.  More comes to us more readily, and earlier; too early and too readily, it can be argued.

Recently-deceased songwriter Marvin Hamlisch was 33 when he won the Oscar for “The Way We Were; years later he remarked that he won it too young, as there was little for which to strive or after which to aspire – Perhaps, even to hope.

Wintry Wanderings and Wonderings

   I write amidst an Arctic chill laced with a shallow and fluffy snow, the first falling of any significance, and a trifle at that; still, the treachery of potential icing on the roads isn’t diminished by the promise of milder air just a few days hence – It is, after all, winter!

I am an aberrant to the norm:  I love the arctic air, loathe the more mild climes that make forays into the dead of winter, and actually find comfort in the arms of old man winter.  I was never constructed for so-called “fun-in-the-sun”; I would feel naked and vulnerable.

Yuletide Yearnings

    Irving Berlin wrote the classic Christmas song, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  Everyone knows it.  Everyone loves it.  Everyone sings it, though whether they admit to the latter is another story!

Did you know that Berlin wrote it while relaxing by a pool in southern California with a temperature of 84 degrees?  Yep!  He was reminiscing nostalgically for the snow-laden Siberia of his youth.  I hope a revelation like this doesn’t damage the song for you! 

Yearnings are universal, especially amidst hardship; otherwise, such longings parley into a more morally-ambiguous ambition.  They speak to something innocent and especially pleasing to the heart; too often, it is for something lost or no longer to be had.

Summer Sensationalism

   I haven’t been idle since I last contributed to Meditations & Meanderings; far from it, as a matter of fact.  My time has been occupied by a bevy of house-guests, a major death in our church, several ordination candidates, etc.

I have also thrice-borne witness to the devastation of New York, via The Avengers, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (a.k.a., Gotham) and The Amazing Spiderman.  And we thought that the humidity here in Philadelphia was brutal! 

I am an old comic book fan from the ‘60s and ‘70s; back then, we couldn’t even have dreamt of such visual extravaganzas as that to which we are now being treated.  I waited forty years for an Avengers film and I can only say that it was well worth the wait!

Definitional Diagnostics

     What is it that defines your life?  Our grandparents were the product of the Great Depression.  Our parents were raised amidst the 2nd World War.  Their children, namely my generation, were the beneficiaries of the post-World War II boom.

Our grandparents were renowned for saving money, as they well-understood that a day might return when money would be hard to come by.  They remained thrifty for the length of their days. 

Our parents triumphed over the Nazism and Communism; it was not much of a stretch to think that they could provide a better living for their children.  There lives were invested in accordance with the impulse to triumph, not merely to endure. 

Paternal Perambulations


    You will pardon the rather forced attempt at alliteration in the title of this reflection.  The Shorter Oxford Dictionary offers this definition of “perambulation:”

“The action or the act of perambulating; a walk; a survey on foot …The action or ceremony of walking officially round a parish, forest, etc. for the purpose of asserting and recording its boundaries and preserving the rights of possession:  beating the bounds.”

Father’s Day is prompting me to take a stroll and to take stock of how richly blessed I was to have had the father that I did.  I am also being stoked into a deliberation as to the need of godly men to provide fatherly or father-like deportment to those around us.

Our Glorious Witness

    Our Glorious Witness

Memorial Day honors our soldiers who gave their lives in the cause of liberty.  Every flag that flutters skyward speaks a powerful witness to the American Experiment that was conceived in idealized propositions but grounded in the blood of its practitioners.

I was raised in the shadow of World War II.  My uncles served in the various theaters of combat around the globe.  I listened to their stories and grew proud as I grew up.  They were living testaments to the American determination to protect and to spread liberty.

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