Archives for March 2008


As I opened the blinds and looked out into the backyard this morning, a neighborhood daredevil unknowingly treated me to his early morning leap of faith. With the trees still leafless (though some are budding — yea!), a darting movement in the branches quickly caught my eye.

On second glance, I could see that it was just a squirrel — though he quickly proved he was not just any squirrel. He must have thought he was Wonder Squirrel or something. He skillfully zoomed higher and higher and then boldly ventured out on the tiniest limb. Before I could finish thinking, “Where is he going? I bet he’s going to jump…”, he had done it, hesitating only ever so slightly before his leap.

After sailing through the air to the closest limb of a nearby tree, he landed his leap with the sure-footedness of…well, a squirrel :) He completely trusted that limb. He seemed to know it would hold his weight, that it would catch him. And he was right. It bent, but it didn’t break. It seemed to bounce back at just the right speed, allowing him to keep his balance and continue on his frenzied little journey.

Watching this little daredevil’s leap of faith, I immediately thought of the times we are called upon to jump into our Father’s arms. You know, the times when God wants us to trust Him. The times when He wants us to go where He’s calling us to go or do what He’s asking us to do, even when it means stepping out into the unknown. He wants us to know that He will catch us and help us maintain our balance as we journey on with Him. He wants us to trust Him completely.

I want to be ready to do just that. How about you? Any other daredevils out there?

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Feeling Homesick

Have you ever found yourself feeling homesick even though you’re at home? Yes, it’s possible. Think about it a minute. If you live some distance away from your childhood home or from many of your loved ones, you might have a longing to be with them. Or maybe someone who makes home feel like home is away right now. If that’s the case, sooner or later you’re bound to feel homesick.

Me? I’ve had a case of homesickness for the past several weeks. Even though I’ve been sleeping in my own bed and enjoying the comforts of my own familiar surroundings, I’ve been feeling homesick. Homesick for my kids. I haven’t seen them since Christmas, and by golly, it’s time to see them again. (By the way, the picture above wasn’t taken at Christmas, but it’s the most recent with all three looking “unsilly” enough to post on the blog :) And yes, our son-in-law is one of our kids now!)

I don’t know what it is, but after several weeks of separation, I seem to develop a just-under-the-surface ache to get my kids within hugging distance again. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be at home. My case of homesickness can be treated anywhere we can manage to get together. In fact, we’re all planning a little spring break get-together at Kristin and Shawn’s if I can just hold on until then :)

Can anyone out there identify? Are you homesick for anyone? Or maybe you’re actually away from home and longing to get back. When will you get to “treat” your homesickness? Tell me about it with a comment. Remember, it’s a common condition. You’re in good company :)

“…I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” 2 Timothy 1:4

Moving Forward

“Wanna take a drive over to the east side and see where they’ve torn down all the damaged structures?” we asked Don’s mom after our outing to Pizza Hut the other day. We had heard that 90% of the homes and buildings destroyed by the summer flood had finally been bulldozed, and we were curious to see how things looked in that part of town now.

As we drove through the area, the tragedy of the loss struck us again. The devastation we witnessed months earlier in the aftermath of the flood had certainly shocked us, but this proved to be shocking as well. The home where Don’s cousin had raised his family was gone. A historic hall on the fairgrounds was gone. A landmark barbecue joint was gone. Home after home was gone. These buildings that have always been there were simply gone.

Everything looked so empty, so ragged. No nice grassy lots, but instead soil still torn, still fresh from demolition. Of course, the barrenness of winter’s end didn’t help. “Maybe it will look better when things start to green up, when we get some leaves back on the trees,” I said, trying to sound hopeful.

It’s hard to watch your town go through this kind of ordeal. We wonder if things will ever truly bounce back. But we’ve got to trust that they will. Some things are already moving forward.We just need to try to keep a hopeful view of the future and the new things that will come about to fill the gaps left by the disaster nature dealt us.

Right now some of us may be faced with personal disasters of some sort. Our lives may look pretty empty or ragged. We may be hurting from fresh wounds of demolition or loss. We may wonder if we’ll ever be able to bounce back. We may be trying to cling to the hope that things will surely start to look brighter.

If that’s you today, hang on to your hope and trust that things will get better. God is the Master of giving beauty for ashes, of being able to bring good out of any situation. Run to Him — He’s waiting for you.

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…” Isaiah 61: 1, 3

*Flickr photo by mikebaird, Creative Commons License

More Than Meets The Eye

Are you up for an intense movie experience? If so, run out and see Vantage Point. I can’t remember ever seeing another movie quite like it — and that’s one reason it’s worth seeing. It’s different.

The same event (an assassination attempt/terrorist plot) is told from the perspective of first one character and then another…and another…and so on. You might think it would get boring, but it doesn’t. So many new details come to light with each version that it becomes more and more interesting, more suspenseful, as the full story unfolds. Yes, there is violence. But the subject matter requires it. And the sad but true fact is that it could easily be tomorrow’s headlines. It’s our present day reality.

So much would have been missed if we had seen this story from the vantage point of only one character. Our first assumptions would have proved wrong. None of us could have made an accurate judgement based on the information gleaned from just one or two of the people involved. The story was more complex than that.

This unique movie concept — this Vantage Point theme — made me think about the judgements we make in our everyday lives. How many times do we witness or even play a role in an event or conversation and then immediately pass judgement based only on what we ourselves can see? Just like the storyline in the movie, life is more complex than that. There’s usually more than meets the eye involved.

Let’s be alert to looking at situations from different vantage points. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt the next time someone seems especially demanding or harsh. Maybe heavy demands or extreme stress has been placed on that person. When we feel like someone has snubbed us, perhaps she was distracted by worry or heartache instead.

Let’s look beyond the surface. After all, “Jesus said…’Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgement.'” John 7:21a, 24

*Flickr photo by Piutus

*P.S. Has anyone else seen Vantage Point? What did you think? Can you think of another movie ever being made like it? I couldn’t…