John 6:56-69 – The 13th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, August 23, 2015
“Many of his disciples who heard this said, “This message is harsh. Who can hear it?” (John 6:60)
A hand waved from the back of the room.
Then came the question: “Do you have ‘anyone’ in the room with you when you write?”
The quotation marks hugging “anyone” are important. The questioner was referring to an imagined real person.
Ron Carlson answered with, “Oh, yes I—”
In a moment I’ll finish Carlson’s response.
A few years ago, for an August week, I lived in Squaw Valley USA, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Perched at 6,200 feet near Lake Tahoe, this Sierra slice of heaven is also many slices of commercialism. In winter, skiers flock here. Fancy restaurants, a golf course, luxury hotels, and mansion-like cabins dot the landscape. Continue reading →
“Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, ‘Whom shall I send . . .’” (Isaiah 6:8)
I demand an additional verse to the Bible. Let Isaiah’s sixth chapter have fourteen verses rather than thirteen. This action won’t add or subtract any words, chapters, books, or testaments. It’s barely a hiccup. It won’t even register on the Biblical Richter scale of changes. I’m confident all readers can adjust to this tweak with lickety-split ease.
Here’s what Isaiah’s sixth chapter and eighth verse looks like now:
8 Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, “Whom should I send, and who will go for us?” I said, “I’m here; send me.”
Here’s what I want:
8 Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, “Whom should I send, and who will go for us?”9 I said, “I’m here; send me.”Continue reading →
“He led them out as far as Bethany, where he lifted his hands and blessed them. As he blessed them, he left them and was taken up to heaven.” (Luke 24:50-51)
What are the basics of life?
Shelter. Clothes. Food. Water.
However, each basic need has qualifications: Shelter from warmth or cold, adequate clothes, healthy food, and safe water.
When backpacking, I carry tools for the qualifications. Much of my hiking has been in California’s Sierra Nevada, a few hours drive from my home. Until the last few years of the devastating, worrisome drought, water has been abundant. The winter snowpack typically melts and feeds the alpine lakes and meandering rivers. Once I lived in Wisconsin, where the first snow can fall in October and the final flurry may transform April into a winter wonderland . . . as in, I wonder if spring will ever arrive? I told my shivering cheesehead neighbors we had more snow in California, but it was properly stored in the mountains. In 1982, 67 inches of snow accumulated at Echo Summit, south of Lake Tahoe. All of those inches fell in 24 hours! At the time it was the second highest total for snow in a day in the United States. Continue reading →