"We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labor is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake." (C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm on Prayer)

On Bookmarks

A T-shirt I saw recently proclaimed: Bookmarks are for quitters.

The thought made me smile. There is some truth in that.

As a sometimes contrarian, I would like to respond with another true thing:

The Word of God is best savored over repeated interrupted nibblings.

As many times as I read something like today's passage "Hatred stirs up quarrels but love covers all offenses (Proverbs 10:12), I still find it takes more thought and more prayerful readings to know how to live out something that sounds simple. I might need to read this again tomorrow or next year. When I pick up this uncommon book again and again through the decades of my life, my hope is someday another life-enhancing truth will finally grow root deep into my life and yield loving words and actions in my world.

Reading is not for quitters.

Nana Time with ElevenTimes Infinity

I have just returned from a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for our eleventh grandchild's baby shower. I'm looking forward to hearing his name, cuddling his small body in my arms and of seeing who he becomes as a man. I hope he grows into a wise and compassionate person. First, of course, he needs to be born. That day is steadily approaching.

This will be the first child for my son and his wife. This is the first grandson for her family. Many people are excited. That is an understatement. At the baby shower I was reminded and amazed again how noisy-loud excited extroverted people can get. I assured my daughter-in-law that I am excited also in my quiet way. "A child is a miracle," I said softly. I suppose an explosion of fireworks at that moment would have been appropriate.

Perhaps I should explain that I express my feelings by tasking fingers to crochet stiches into a colorful blanket or sometimes to weave thoughts, images and feelings into sentences on a blog pos…

Solar Eclipse


Gotta Get Them All

Recently, I had the privilege of going to an energetic Pokémon Trainer party where celebrities were in attendance.

The mood was giddy at times and conversations, animated. Although some guests were jumpy.

Decorations appropriate for the occasion festooned the room: balloons with watching eyes and streamers, among them. Marilyn Monroe was unable to attend and sing, so we all chimed in as our musical talents allowed. A small child, Toby, the guest of honor, beamed above a candle-lit Pokémon cake.

Guests seated themselves at long tables. Superman shoveled cake into his mouth with superhuman relish.  Cinderella toyed with dainty bites of cake, more intent, it seemed, to talk quickly with other guests, great and small, than to actually consume calories.

A representative from Star Wars sat in quiet dignity beside other comic characters. And a number of guests in plainclothes munched quietly.

But even casual observers could discern this was no ordinary birthday gathering. Serious business h…

Roots for a firm marriage foundation

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.Psalms 111:1:10 NLT)

How can two young people make a commitment to love and honor one another for a lifetime? Who can know what troubles and joys the years bring and the changes that result? Who can know what it takes to build a relationship and commitment that lasts? Who is that wise and foresighted?

Few marriages seem to last any more. Promises are strained and broken. Vows are whispered joyously and later forgotten or angrily cast aside. Seasons change and people change. So, how can two people build a relationship that can weather the changes? How can anyone know?

In 1975, when David and I were good friends and becoming more, I didn't know the answer to these questions. More than forty years later, after as many years of marriage, four children and ten grandchildren, I still can't predict the future any better than I could when I was young.

Over the years both David and I h…

Book Review: Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard

Jennie Allen reveals healing aspects of God's grace in her book Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard. Allen wrote the book after becoming exhausted trying to measure up. Two women helped her understand God's unconditional love for her. The dedication sums up God's grace at work:

You two show me unconditional, never-going-anywhere, no-matter-what, never-have-to-prove-a-thing love. 
Through thick and thin we've tested that this year, and God through you was solid Forever grateful for you. 
What kind of love is this? Unconditional love that sees faults and mistakes, yet forgives; that knows everything and loves, that encourages and accepts and endures, going the distance and beyond, never leaving us.
As believers in the living God, we have this love through Jesus, working in us and through us. God in us is enough. We have nothing to prove to the one who loves us and who lavishes his good gifts and grace on us.
When we can remember, recognize and believe God at…