Archive for July, 2011


July 25, 2011

We haven’t posted to this blog in a little while.  Over the last couple of weeks we’ve helped our daughter Kari and family move (about a half block.)  They’re now in a 100 year old house with more room than they have had in their married life and now are wondering how to furnish it.  Papa and Nana had the tough job of caring for the grandkids.  What a treat.

In addition, we’ve made some trips to Iowa to spend some time with Dave’s mother.  She’ll be 99 on Wednesday (God willing), but had a few days stay in the hospital and now is on comfort care at home.  We still see some signs of the old “Bestemor”, but also see the failing health.  She’s at home with Dave’s two sisters who do a marvelous job of caring for her.  Dave had tried to help with time spent on the mower working around their very large yard.

One of the good things about retirement and Mary Jo’s time off from school is the opportunity to do these sorts of things.  We are thankful for that.

Dave had a chance to preach this weekend.  The gospel for the day presented some metaphors–“The kingdom of heaven is like…”  The kingdom of heaven is when God does what God does, or is God being God.

One of the metaphors we heard in that gospel is that the kingdom of God is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.  When he finds a most perfect pearl, he sells everything to possess it.

When God is being God, it’s like a merchant searching for a priceless pearl.  Could it be that the priceless pearl God is searching for is YOU!  Yes, in all of your humanity, with all of your strengths and weaknesses, with all the good that you do and all of your faults, all of your sins of commission and omission. God is willing to give up everything to have you–becomes human with all that means including dying.  That’s what the kingdom of heaven is like, that’s what God does.

This kingdom is a gift to live in, a gift to receive, a gift to live out of in service to the world and the people in it that God loves so dearly.


Prince and Colonel

July 2, 2011

Prince and Colonel were the two workhorses on my grandmother’s farm in the 1950’s.  She had the crop custom planted, cultivated, and harvested.  But she and her brother did their haying with the horses as they had always done for 50 years. They needed the hay for the horses and for the dozen cows they milked by hand.  The hard work stopped only when my grandmother died at age 84.

I used to like to see “Uncle Gilbert”  harness up the horses.  Bit and bridle, big horsecallers, and in the heat of summer  backs  draped with gear that would keep the bugs from bothering them as they worked.

Colonel was pretty old, so most of the heavy lifting was left to Prince.  The two of them though were hitched  together to pull the mower,  the rake,  the hay wagon, often with a hay loader attached behind.  The thrill for me was to “drive”  the horses in the field.  I’m not sure I really drove them.  They pretty much knew the routine themselves.

In this weekend’s gospel Jesus offers rest to those who are weary and carrying heavy burdens.  Jesus promises to do the heavy lifting in life so that we can rest.  We don’t need to carry the whole world on our shoulders, God is doing that.  We can give our worry and our trouble to Jesus.  We can rest quietly and gratefully in God’s loving care of the whole world and of us.

Jesus also offers an easy yoke, a light yoke.  Not “no yoke”, but a light and easy one.  We do have purpose and meaning in our lives when we take up this light yoke. When we are rested, God gives us the opportunity to join Jesus in God’s love for the world.  We join the work God is doing that leads to health and wholeness for people.  We get to do what we were created to do–live as God’s people in the world.  We get to do all of that for we rest in God.

Hear that Good News this weekend.  May this long weekend be a time of rest and renewal.