Monday, February 9, 2015


Your offspring
 will be foreigners
in a land that does not belong to them;
they will be enslaved
and oppressed
400 years
Genesis 15:13

Jacob and Esau.
Jacob became Israel,
The father of Joseph.

Joseph was sold into slavery,
Rose in prominence,
And lead his family into Egypt.

He was Abraham's great grandson, I guess.  
So what had the family been told? 
What did they understand?
When they made that trek into Egypt, was there any thought beyond the hope of escaping the famine?

Did they come to consider Egypt home?
Did any one of them sense they were embarking on the 400 years of oppression?

Would they,
Could they,
Have done anything different if they had?

Do we ever glimpse in a startling solution,
the snare that it just might become?

Or are we all too willing, 
to sink into cushions of comfort 
without ever wondering what they might have been put there to hide?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Winter Surprise


Warm air,

shadow striped path,

along the still icy river.

Do I dare hope for an early spring?

Do I dare stuff hats and gloves back into the depths of the closet?

Of course not.  

It's February,

And only just at that.

The temperatures will plummet,

The winds will blow,

The obligatory late winter snow storm,

 will show up around spring break.

Forget the future.

Just inhabit today.

Accept it 

for the tease,

the promise,

the gift 

that it is.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Store


Books in rows,

Books in stacks,

Books engulfed in an ocean of words I want to sink into and melt as they wash over me.

I hope they never fade away,

These refuges of printed of words of depth and wisdom, and inspiration.

Most are probably nothing of the sort of course.  

There's celebrity gossip, and formula romance, and the latest miracle diet.

But somewhere, hidden like pearls in the sands is magic,

A book that will become a life of it's own,

Words that will meld into the fabric of my own voice until I almost forget that they're not.

I want to stay here until I find it,


I want to stay here until I create it.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Athletic Tuition

A segment on the news tonight outlined the costs of college athletic recruiting; meals, travel expenses, even private airplanes and helicopters, to impress and lure the dazzled young high school seniors.

Thousands of dollars, on neatly displayed spreadsheets, compared the budgets of various schools and conferences.  What, exactly, was their point?  That some schools are more committed than others to drawing the best?  That expenditures are proportional to results?  That the entire system is out of it's mind?

I was too horrified to listen closely to the point they were trying to make.  Even my husband's suggestion, that maybe the numbers included the scholarships for the athletes wasn't much of a comfort.

Just where did all this money come from?

Unfortunately, I think I know.

Where was the follow-up story on the explosive growth of college tuition?

What about the one on the back breaking debt of the students who went to college for an education; the ones who weren't offered million dollar professional contracts when they graduated from school?

 Sports programs generate income too.  I get that.

Sports done right can teach team work, commitment, and responsibility.  Those are excellent and worthy goals.

But, I can't help wondering, as my children scrabble to get started on their lives, as they scrounge for groceries and rent after siphoning most of their check to the student loan companies, just what is all that money really paying for?

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Integrity Trap

But Abram said to the king of Sodom,
"I have raised my hand in an oath 
to Yahweh,
God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth,
that I will not take a thread
or a sandal strap
or anything
that belongs to you,
so you can never say,
"I made Abram rich."

Genesis 14: 22 - 23

It seemed a gesture of good will.  After a battle, a retreat, and the loss of all possessions and people, Sodom was rescued by the servants of Abram.  "Give me the people," the king requested, but the spoils he offered to Abram.  

It seems more than fair.  It seems even gracious to my inexperienced modern ears, like a grateful expression of thanks for the gift of Abram's help.  

Maybe Bera had no right to make any demands at all.  Maybe he should have expected no more than to become the subjects of Abram, as one who has been conquered in battle.  

Abram certainly seemed to hear no gratitude in the offer.  Instead, he perceived it for the trap it probably was.  What was Bera really giving up in the deal?  His city had been under subjection for twelve years anyway.  A newcomer, an outsider, with a relatively small army, has startlingly emerged in victory.  

With Bera's "gift" he becomes stronger, well-known, a force to be considered; and he owes it all to Sodom. 

 It was a gift not worth the cost.    

Abram turned down the gift, the pressure, the slithering tentacles of control.

The original honest politician.

Too bad we can't find a few more today.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Abram's Gift

I will bless
those who bless you,
I will curse
those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:3

I'm not sure if that would be empowering or terrifying.  

The thought of the entire laser focus on heaven's attention resting on my every interaction could be an anchor of hope in the midst of endless opposition.  It could also be a crushing weight of responsibility.  

I don't know how Abram felt about it, but I certainly don't always earn the blessings of those I touch. Maybe I deserved some contempt that day. 

Would it change my interactions, to be given that promise?  Would I consider, day by day, whether my grouchy mood could lead someone to react in a way that would bring the very wrath of God upon them? 

That promise was to Abram, to the nation he founded, it was never personal to anyone else.

Yet, the principal is there.  I can't control the choices others make in reaction to me.

But I can sure control the choices I make, that provoke those reactions in them.