New Neighbor

Our butler is our Cavalier King Charles named Frank. Whenever there’s a knock or bell at our door, he tears out for the door at top speed, barking all the way.

We have a new red-headed neighbor who came to visit. He tapped at the front, sending Frank rushing to answer the call. I followed him, and there was no one there. He heard a knock at our back door and quickly changed directions.

By now I was curious and went out on the porch to welcome our shy visitor. There, perched at the edge of our roof, was our new neighbor–a red-headed woodpecker, hammering away at our wooden trim board.

Now, after a couple of weeks, Franks ignores him. I guess he has decided the distinctive rat-a-tat-tat no longer requires his welcome.

Thoughts Released

What’s In Your Tackle Box?

Jesus went down to the seashore and invited some rough, unlearned fishermen to follow Him, and he’d make them ‘fishers of men’. He looked at their nets and the bait in their tackle boxes but beckoned them anyway. Jesus saw people swimming out of their depths in an ocean of confusion. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself,” (John 12:32 NRSV). The people needed guides: The guides needed preparation.

Our younger son, Chuck, has always loved to fish. As an adult, this interest grew into collecting and selling antique lures. He scavenged around for old, dirty baits which he could repair, clean, and make like new. He has his own collection showcasing on his website store–the favorites that he won’t sell. But for those he will sell E-Bay has become the best outlet for his product.

Chuck lives on Guntersville Lake. One morning he went to the dumpster to dispose of his trash. When he lifted the lid, he saw a tackle box. It was obvious that it had been in the water for a long time before someone threw it into the trash receptacle, thinking the baits were no longer of any account. He took it out and opened the lid. Inside were 22 lures covered with the film of age and abuse.

He patiently cleaned and restored 21 of these lures to like-new condition and immediately got bids on them from buyers on E-Bay.

Numbers 1-21
Number 22 (before cleanup)

When he recovered the lures, they looked similar to the side picture. However, number 22 would need more patience and polish. Perhaps this one was found in Peter’s tackle box.

Jesus lived side by side with his disciples for three-and-a-half years, demonstrating the power of the Gospel Story, reshaping the enticements in their tackle boxes: indifference to compassion; hate to love; selfishness to generosity; restrictive law to grace; fear to trust. “A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another,” (John 13:34 KJV).

Then He set them loose into the world to witness to hungry seekers with their testimonies. Those ‘outside’ looked on and said, “See how they love one another!”  (1 Peter 1:22-23). Not all will be saved, but “whosoever believeth in Him shall have eternal life”, (John 3:16). We can’t predict their outcomes. That is not our task. But the care of the tackle in our boxes is our responsibility.

Number 22 (after cleanup)

Lure #22, which we said might have come from Peter’s tackle box, may have been more dirt-encrusted and had more rough edges but it, too, became useful.

Thoughts Released

How Do You Say ‘Good-bye’?

What do you say or hear when you leave your friends? It may be bye, bye-bye, ta-ta, adieu, adios, aloha, later alligator, afterwhile crocodile, have-a-good-one, or it may be no more than a smile and a wave.

I now live in Middle Tennessee. Nestled in a nearby small community, there is a term used upon departure that I think must be a special colloquialism used by people born and reared in this small pocket area. When you say ‘good-bye’, many times they will respond with ‘have a good rest of the day’.

It’s not a term that I will adopt because it doesn’t roll off of my tongue easily, but it is encouraging that someone ignores the first part of my day, whether good or bad, and gives me a wish that the rest of my day will be good.

I’m going to interpret this phrase not only as a ‘good-bye’, but I’m going to accept it as being sent out with their blessing. It sounds a little like ‘may God be with you’.


Latest Book With Fan

It’s such a feeling of accomplishment when I receive the first copy of my latest book. I breathe a sigh of relief and slide my copy into the bookshelf to nestle among its brothers and sisters. It’s out there now in the world. I hope it goes forth and makes a name for itself!

It’s a different feeling when someone who purchases their copy of your book sends you a picture of it in its new home. It’s a thrill! Then the questions come: Will they like it? Will the sequel fulfill their expectations? Will the book be in good condition? Are any pages stuck together?

Here she is. She looks expectant, not negative. I think I’ll get a good review. Ahh!