Circling Up

Coffee and donuts. Sittin’ in a tree… Coffee and donuts go together like love and marriage. Someday I’d like to write a poem and I’d like to start it with the line, “Coffee and donuts, sittin’ in a tree.” I’m not sure where to go from there. I get that far and all I know is that I want to be in that tree. I confess I’ve had a few too many donuts. Sad to say, the bough on that tree would be bending pretty low about now. That’s why I decided to go on yet another diet recently. Also sad to say, I’ve already fallen off the wagon. I’m thinking of putting up a sign that says, “Please keep body inside the wagon at all times and please stay seated until the wagon comes to a complete and final stop.” You know, if someone would think of bringing fudge along on the wagon ride I would be a lot more motivated to stay on it. Okay, I suppose a really good friend would probably give me a nudge to stay on the wagon. Nudge or fudge. Tough call on which is best, friendship-wise. In our spiritual lives, we all need a little nudge now and then too. It’s good to have people in our lives we can count on to nudge us in the right direction, wherever the wagons are heading. As pioneers were settling the west, when they were threatened by an enemy, circling the wagons was part of their defense strategy. The circle provided a protected cover they could get behind to fire at their attackers. We need to rally with those on this life’s journey in the same way. We have a common enemy. Peter reminds us to “be alert” because our “enemy the devil prowls

To Make a Long Story Pie

Isn’t it great when someone says, “to make a long story short,” because then you know to cancel your plans for the rest of the day. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m not one to talk about long stories or the people who tell them. I’m known for being more than a little on the wordy side. And still, even in a personal conversation, I sometimes have trouble listening to others whose presentations are longer than three minutes. Especially if they don’t have visual aids. People. Give me a cartoon. Flannel board, maybe. A graph or a nice pie chart even. Not necessarily because of my ADD or anything but it’s always good to be—hey, now I want pie. Speaking of the abrupt segues of people with short attention spans, I opened the microwave the other day and found a piece of pie in there. I thought, Where in the world did that come from? Then I remembered. I put it in there two days before. Wow, bet that thing is done now. All focus deficits aside, I really am trying to learn to listen better. Even without the pie chart. Or the pie. James 1:19 tells me that “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak,” (HCSB). And boy oh boy, can I get those backwards. So how can we be “quick to hear” and “slow to speak”? Listen faster, speak slower? Actually, I’m quite sure it’s not a matter of speed. More often we need to simply replace the speaking with the listening. How many times have I already been putting together some kind of “impressive” response in my mind while someone was still talking? All too often I should still be listening when I let my words take control of my brain and my

Let Us Spray

Sometimes I’m tempted to take some time off from hairspray. Sometime when I’m planning to go nowhere. And I mean absolutely nowhere. I think I would call it a spray-cation. It’s funny because I almost remember what it was like to freely run my fingers through my hair. It’s been a long time, though. These days I invest in a lot of hair products. The fingers may go in, but I’m telling you right now. They’re not coming out. I have to keep the crazy assortment of hair sprays, gels, mousses and goops because it takes a different concoction for every style. A brew for every do, as it were. When constructing an up-do, for instance, you sort of have to pour footings. I use a product that’s referred to as styling mousse but I think it might actually be some sort of rebar. Still, not to split hairs or anything, but it’s good to remember that if you don’t want to have to wrestle with your hair, you have to start with a good goo-foundation. As for real life battles, if you want victory there, you have to start with a good spiritual foundation. You have to invest. Time invested in connecting with the Father in prayer is absolutely vital. Are you wrestling with your flesh on some issue or another? Take it to Him. Struggling with a decision? Lay it at His feet. Grappling with a fearful situation that has your hair standing on end—even before the mousse? Spend time with Him and the battle is all but over. The God who created everything, the One who never tires, the One who has all power and who also promises to grant strength to those who will rely on Him—He is the One who will give victory. There’s not